Sui-Riu

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Sui Riu, by Mooir
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Sui Riu, by Mooir
Sui Riu, by Kalia
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Sui Riu, by Kalia

Dragon Breed Data

Breed Name: Sui Riu
National Loyalty: Japanese
Physical Characteristics: Dark greenish-black or silver-grey, "heavy-finned head", stubby wings; large, pallid white or grey eyes
Special Abilities: Water spitter
Known Members: Lord Jinai, Lady Kiyomizu


Species Notes

The Sui-Riu breed was once believed to be able to summon a thunderstorm. In reality, its ability is to swallow large amounts of water and store it. When necessary, the Sui-Riu can then expel the water later in violent gusts and torrents. This ability is particularly useful against fire-breathing dragons.

The Sui-Riu live in water, and can also breathe underwater. They grow the largest when they live in the ocean, but can exist in smaller bodies of water. At first glance, large Sui-Rius can resemble immense sea-serpents in appearance.

A Sui-Riu can live for several hundred years. Lord Jinai, the "Guardian of the West", was claimed by Kaneko Hiromasa to be at least four hundred years old. Lady Kiyomizu was also most likely several hundred years old.

Particularly, when Temeraire and the crew of the HMS Potentate shipwrecked on the coast of Japan, the Celestial successfully identified a Sui-Riu dragon. However, after recognizing it as a Sui-Riu from Sir Edward Howe's work on Oriental breeds, Temeraire realized that it was "immense...truly immense", and noted that Lily, a Longwing, was "not a third his size".

Temeraire also noted that the Sui-Riu breed was "very long", and with "stubby wings". The Celestial also noticed that the voice of a Sui-Riu "carried over water clear enough", and sounded more like a "distant thundercloud than anything else".

Of the Sui-Riu's ability as a water-spitter, Temeraire noted, "The serpentine dragon drew back...its own small wings flattening against its back, and then plunged its head into the water and opened its jaw wide. The dragon, already so massive but slender, began now to rapidly swell up and out to the sides: Temeraire could not understand in the least how he was managing it, and then the dragon reared itself back out and up, and up, and up, and it blasted Lily and all the others with a torrent of water....Even Maximus was swept off his feet, and was now tangled and struggling up against the tree-line; Lily was coughing and sputtering, having taken the brunt of the torrent, jerking her head, and Nitidus and Dulcia had been carried into the bay itself and were floundering in the waves. Immortalis and Churki were a tumbled and sand-clogged mess flung into the woods, trying to get their footing again." (Blood of Tyrants, p. 33)

William Laurence noted that, when emerging out of the water, a Sui-Riu shook itself out "as might have a wet dog". He also noticed the breed was long and narrow in the chest as at the base of the tail, with feet widely-spaced. Laurence also noticed the wings to be particularly short and stubby, folded against the back. The breed also was noted to move at an ambling gait, with a "swaying stride" while walking.

Sir Edward Howe wrote about this breed.

Origin of Name

In Japanese mythology, the Sui-Riu was a dragon king that commanded rain, meaning it was sometimes known as the "rain dragon". When in pain, it caused the rain to be coloured red.

It was one of several "Dragon Kings", including Ka-Riu, Han-Riu, Ri-Riu, Fuku Riu & Hai-riyo. Because the two known Japanese dragon breeds use these names, it could be assumed that the other names are as yet unseen breeds.

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