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Recap / A Thing Of Vikings Chapter 81 Channels Of Communication

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Book III, Chapter 13

Given the variation across the breadth of dragon biology, it is ultimately self-defeating to speak in anything more than the broadest of generalities on the topic of draconic senses, as there are specific types and breeds and even individuals with exceptional versions of each of the main senses. However, broad trends can still be observed.

Dragons tend to have high visual acuity, especially for low-light environments: the majority of dragons are trichromats, but one genetic line possesses a mutation that grants them tetrachromacy, and another line being bichromatic but with exceptional low-light vision (highly prevalent among Boulder-class dragons).

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Hearing nearly universally manifests in a wider range than that of humans: the common range reaches down to 15 cycles per second and up to 22,000 cycles per second, with some lines having greater or lesser limits, the lowest limit ever documented being 3 cps. The majority but not totality of draconic communication conveniently happens in the same vocal range as available to humans, but dragons use the lower-frequency ranges for long-distance communications. While only simple information can be communicated using this method, historically it was used for navigation to and from nests and over long distances.

Smell is significantly more acute in comparison with humans, with some lines having acuity on par with canine bloodhounds, but all dragons are highly sensitive to scents…

An Introduction To Dragon Biology, 17th Edition, Oxford University Press, 1793
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Tropes That Appear In This Chapter:

  • Amazon Brigade: When told about the Bog Burglars by Inga Sophia compares them to the Trope Namers.
    Inga: —we train as warriors, as thieves, as sailors, as anything we need to, and we train hard, lest some men get ideas that we're weak and helpless and ripe for the picking. Some have tried... and they haven't succeeded.
    Sophia: You're Norse Amazons!
    Inga: What? Who are they?
    Sophia: An ancient tribe of all-women warriors, who lived on the Thermodon River. I always thought that they were fascinating when I was growing up, and read everything about them I could find.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: When Fishlegs asks Sigurd how he is after being exiled, Sigurd says that doesn't need Fishlegs' pity, but Fishlegs makes it clear that he doesn't pity him, and that he thinks Sigurd has no one to blame but himself for what happened.
    Oh, I don't pity you. You got yourself into this. I agree with Hiccup that you certainly knew exactly what that oath was for, and you weaseled out of it. But I think he could have been nicer about it and maybe given you the chance to explain yourself rather than letting his anger get to him. And he shamed you publicly. And because we were friends once … I figured I'd ask.
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  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: Basically applies to Toothless when he appears to not understand that humans (or 'walkers' as he calls them) give birth to live young rather than laying eggs, to the point of being concerned that Astrid and Wulfhild haven't laid their 'eggs' yet.
  • Ridiculous Future Inflation: Downplayed; less then 6 months ago in chapter 56 a pennyweight's worth of dragonscales is seen as a lot by some, but is used as an entrance fee for the Thawfest games (each)... and now, a meal and a bed at a roadside inn cost a "quarter-pennyweight" of scales and is earned in an afternoon's labor.


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