Since time immemorial, Dragons and Tigers have been at war. While the war’s original cause or causes have been buried under the blood of countless generations of warriors and civilians alike, an unending thirst for revenge drives both sides now, and each side seeks to vanquish and perhaps even eradicate the other from the face of the earth. Through a rather large cast, The Draconia Chronicles regularly shifts focus from one camp to the other, and to various factions within each one, to illustrate both the solidarity and divisiveness of the conflict.
The Story Thus Far
Growing increasingly disillusioned by the war and the pyrrhic victories that come with it, the idea of peaceful coexistence between Dragons and Tigers enters the head of Kilani, a Tiger warrior. Upon deserting the war effort, she winds up the adoptive mother of an unhatched Dragon egg. As it turns out, the egg is in fact that of the would-be Princess Lumina, daughter of Oscura, the queen of the Dragon realm. The queen dispatches her royal court, also elite fighters, to rescue her daughter. Derelicting from her duty, Sombrana decides to take things a step further by savagely beating Kilani to within an inch of her life. Kilani’s wayward sister, Kess and her small gang of rogues, happen upon the fallen Tiger and her attacker.
Fearing a backlash if her secret got out, Kilani used the chaos brought on by a Dragon ambush to make a break for it. After having kept a constant vigil by her side, Kess, assuming that Kilani had been stolen by these Dragons, swore revenge. Unfortunately, this would result in her own capture, along with her comrades. Having gotten her daughter back safely, Queen Oscura sought to personally confront Kilani, and would use Kess as a lure.
Meanwhile, a mysterious informer has told both Kiriad, princess of the Tiger nation, and Oscura, queen of the Dragons, of artifacts that would allow each side to exterminate their enemy. Princess Kiriad dispatches Scyde, her best friend and chief advisor, and a hand-picked team of Tigers to retrieve the previously-unheard-of “Zhirite Claw” from its alleged location, which lies in a disputed border area. Simultaneously, Queen Oscura commissions Elektra, the de facto leader of the Lightning Dragons, to guide an expeditionary force of her own to retrieve the legendary “Obsidian Egg” from what turns out to be the same location. Additionally, the queen tacks on an extra request, in that Gaia, an Earth Dragon accused of crimes against the kingdom and the throne, is to be escorted out to the target location and left there, presumably to be killed by the first Tiger who comes across her.
While sorting out the aftermath of the failed expeditions, both sides must focus on their own individual survival as a long-dormant volcano on the outskirts of the Dragons’ imperial city erupts violently and suddenly. With fireballs raining down on the city and a massive lava flow threatening to breach the city’s circumferential retaining wall, the queen orders the Palace Guard, a corps of Fire Dragons charged with defending the throne, to quash the ensuing inferno. While meeting with some success, their efforts are largely in vain. Forced to swallow her own pride, the queen is forced to make a deal with a team of Earth Dragons, who refuse to cooperate until certain demands are met for fairer treatment from the throne.
The Tigers also deal with their share of misery here. While the border areas are getting bombarded by fireballs, the winds have blown a massive ash cloud over the Tiger territories. Particulary hard-hit is the Nat’han’il Tiger sanctuary, a vast, lush eden where male Tigers roam free and welcome females in search of mates. Faced with their race’s very survival, a massive evacuation effort is undertaken to rush the surviving males to safety.
Currently underway, Chapter 3 leads off with the morning after the volcanic eruption, the races surveying their situation, and individuals taking stock of their own personal circumstances…
Sharing a good number of physiological characteristics with reptiles, the Dragons are a race of winged creatures with the power to magically control various elements. Genetically divided into five elements, Dragons are able to control fire, light, water, earth or lightning. In rare instances, a Dragon can learn to control elements outside of what she might be genetically predisposed to use. The term “cold-blooded” applies not just to their physical selves, but also to their emotional selves, as Dragons tend to favor rationality and logic. While not immune to displays of emotion, allowing one’s feelings to cloud onc’s judgment is seen as a sign of weakness.
Whereas female Dragons have a largely humanoid appearance, male Dragons physically dwarf their female counterparts and more closely resemble the traditional Western image of a Dragon.
Physically powerful and emotionally driven, the Tigers are a largely nomadic race of amazons. As they lack the magical abilities of their Dragon counterparts, Tigers rely on weapons, speed, cunning, and brute strength to defend their turf. The race is largely nomadic, with very few permanent settlements, and occupying a vast expanse of land to the north of the Dragon realm. Their offense is bolstered by the use of zhirite, a metal that nullifies a Dragon’s magic and renders one virtually defenseless, save for hand-to-hand combat which may also be compromised as a Dragon’s physical wherewithall is fueled by her magick. Many Tiger weapons employ this metal, usually in alloy form.
Female Tigers have a largely humanoid appearance, whereas male Tigers are feral four-legged beasts. Both are intelligent beings. While male Tigers might be unintelligible to us, however, their grunts and growls are perfectly understood by their female counterparts.
Very little is known about the Fox race. At this time, we can only assume that the females are humanoid in appearance, and that at least some of them possess the ability to travel great distances by sliding in and out of shadows. Beyond this, though, virtually nothing is known.
The entity that would eventually become The Draconia Chronicles was first conceived in the summer of 1999 as a themed calendar for the upcoming year 2000, which, according to the Chinese zodiac, would be the Year of the Dragon. Originally titled “The Draconia 2000 Calendar,” the six-page, poster-sized calendar proved to be a surprise hit, and a follow-up was produced for 2001 despite it no longer being the Year of the Dragon.
In 2001, creator RazorFox decided that, in order to keep this entity growing, some sort of story would be needed to tie all these otherwise disparate scenes together. It was also decided that the Dragons would need opponents. The Chinese zodiac was once again consulted, and it was found that the Tiger is the natural enemy of the Dragon. With ideas by RazorFox and narrative fleshed out by Wendy Dodson, the 2002 calendar would feature the beginning of the series’ overarching storyline and introduce various key characters who are still prominent today.
Now with Donnie Sturges handling writing duties, by the release of the 2005 edition in late 2004, the story was starting to become too big to effectively tell in the calendar, and so it would be collectively decided that the series would make a suitable webcomic. Renamed from “The Draconia Calendar Series” to “The Draconia Chronicles,” the webcomic series debuted on January 3, 2005 as the flagship title of 2wcOnline, a now-defunct webcomic collective.
Starting off in black and white, the series ran bi-weekly for its first three years before switching to a weekly update schedule in March 2008. The series would move to Katbox.net and go to color at the start of 2011, maintaining its weekly update, and now with RazorFox acting as both the writer and artist.
RazorFox (real name Danny Valentini) is a largely self-taught cartoonist who has been drawing since 1995. Starting off as an aspiring comic writer in 1994, repeated failed attempts to secure the services of an artist drove Danny to pick up a pencil and learn to do it himself. Initially influenced by the works of Fred Perry (creator of Gold Digger and Legacy) and Rumiko Takahashi (creator of Ranma 1/2 and Inu-Yasha), Danny specializes in an anthropomorphic-flavored manga style which has been described as that of classic 1980s anime.
Danny’s works have been published by such companies as White Lightning Productions, Antarctic Press, Shanda Fantasy Arts and Angry Viking Press, in addition to self-publishing the Draconia Chronicles calendar series since 1999. His artwork is mainly a hobby, albeit a very passionate one, while he supports himself through an undisclosed-yet-perfectly-legit full-time job which pays his bills.