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Character Profile

Name: Lily
Date of Birth: Late 1804 or Early 1805
Breed: Longwing
Captain: Catherine Harcourt
National Loyalty: Britain
Appearance: Blue with black/white bordering on orange wing tips; orange-yellow eyes
Special Abilities: Acid spitter
Status: Active


Lily © Laurelhach 13:51, 27 September 2008 (PDT)
Lily by S. Arcand Beardeddragon 11:18, 8 November 2008 (PST)Beardeddragon

Lily hatched five years early. Harcourt barely had time to reach her before she broke the shell, thus she had no time to think of a name and "Lily" was the first thing that popped into her head.

She appeared savage because of the bones by her mouth, used for spraying acid, but she was actually a very proper dragon. She liked being clean and she did not curl up with other dragons (the way some smaller ones will want to sleep on top of larger ones) because it was "beneath her dignity". Although she, Temeraire and Maximus, the three youngest of their formation, all became friends and visited the lake at the Loch Laggan covert together, Lily preferred to concentrate on washing herself while Temeraire and Maximus played more roughly.

Lily was very accurate with her spray; she could destroy targets from 400 feet above.

In July 1805, while moving from the Loch Laggan to the Dover covert, Lily and her formation were attacked by French dragons. Lily was very badly injured by a dragon believed to be Triumphalis and only survived by the combined efforts of the rest of the formation, especially Temeraire. They were finally rescued by Excidium's formation.

Jean-Paul Choiseul took advantage of Lily's convalescence to insinuate himself into familiarity with Harcourt. In October 1805, he attempted to kidnap Lily and Harcourt to take them to France. This attempt was foiled by William Laurence and by Harcourt herself, who knocked Choiseul out by hitting him over the head with an iron bar while he and Laurence were wrestling.

The Battle of Trafalgar shortly afterwards ended Choiseul's usefulness as a source of French plans. The British no longer had any reason to keep him alive. Lily, Maximus and Temeraire witnessed Choiseul's execution and its effect on his dragon, Praecursoris. They were quite shaken by this event and agreed on a pact: that if any one of their captains committed treason, all three dragons would band together to prevent that captain from being executed. Berkley chided them for being "damned conspirators," but at the time neither he nor Harcourt nor Laurence took the pact very seriously.

By November 1805, Lily was restored to full health. She fought well at the Battle of Dover, even at one point hitting a French dragon full in the face with her spray. Effectively this killed the other dragon, since its captain was forced to shoot it before the acid ate into its brain. Lily was one of only two dragons (the other being Obversaria) who were uninjured enough to protect Temeraire while he employed the Divine wind against the enemy, causing the French to retreat and ending their planned invasion of England.

Some weeks later Lily and her formation came to the aid of the HMS Allegiance during the Valerie engagement. Temeraire's sight of Lily and Maximus playing aerial tag as they returned home was to be his last sight of his two friends for more than a year.

By the time Temeraire returned from China in December 1806, all of the British dragons had contracted the Dragon Plague. Lily and the other Longwings were being kept in quarantine in a sandpit, since they involuntarily sprayed acid every time they coughed or sneezed. In Temeraire's attempt to capture the French courier Sauvignon without harming her - since she was a much smaller dragon - he accidentally crash-landed in the Longwings' sandpit, exposing both himself and Sauvignon to the plague.

It was only when Temeraire failed to contract the plague that the British realized that there might be a cure. Speculating that it was something that Temeraire had encountered during his stay in Cape Town, Jane Roland sent Lily's formation to Africa aboard the HMS Allegiance to find it. The trip was difficult for Lily, who had to keep her head resting half-buried in a tub of sand to avoid spitting acid on the ship whenever she coughed or sneezed. At one point, her tub of sand fell off the ship and she was forced to stick her head over the side to avoid injuring anyone.

Laurence spent the evenings on the ship reading to Temeraire from his books, including books on mathematics. The other dragons became interested in this topic, but questioned Euclid's postulate concerning parallel lines and began to develop their own non-Euclidean geometry. Since each dragon wanted their own physical copy of the resulting discussions, Laurence recruited the other aviators to help him take notes and copy them out. Harcourt was able to bribe Lily to eat more and keep her strength up by promising her a bound copy of the notes, although Lily was inclined to hold out for a bound copy with golden hinges, like the book Laurence read from.

The Allegiance arrived in Cape Town, and experiments by Keynes and Dorset revealed that a certain type of African mushroom would cure the plague. Lily and the other dragons were dosed and nursed back to health.

After Harcourt, Chenery, Laurence and their crews were captured and taken to Mosi-oa-Tunya during a mushroom gathering expedition, Lily, Dulcia and Temeraire flew in search of them and found them. Temeraire first attempted to rescue the humans by himself. After he was captured, Lily and Dulcia rescued both him and the humans. Lily used her acid to cut hand- and footholds in a sheer cliff so that the humans could climb down from the cave in which they were imprisoned.

Lily was not in favour of Harcourt's marriage to Tom Riley in August 1807. Although she had been concerned with "the egg" during Harcourt's pregnancy, she was not much impressed with it after it was born, finding it noisy and foul-smelling and being inclined to blame these faults on "that awful sailor." Though she would sit underneath Harcourt's window "jealously" when Harcourt went to see the baby.

Lily fought during Napoleon’s invasion taking part in skirmish above Folkestone, cutting off French supply lines and serving in the Battle of Shoeburyness. By this time Laurence had been convicted of treason for helping Temeraire take samples of the curative mushrooms to France, foiling the plot of the British Admiralty to spread the Dragon Plague to the continent. Maximus and Lily began talking up their mutual defense pact among the other dragons at the Dover covert.

Lily's crew included:

  • 1st Lieutenant Hobbes - killed in action in Africa in the summer of 1807
  • Midwingman Drew
  • Cadet Tooke, runner
  • Waley, surgeon - killed in action in Africa in the summer of 1807
  • Larring, ground-crew master
  • Kettering, rifleman - killed in action in Africa in the summer of 1807
  • Peck, harness-man

Positioning in Lily's Formation

             Messoria                  Immortalis
      Dulcia       Maximus      Temeraire       Nitidus