While researching Norse myths to inject into my dragon culture for nanowrimo, I came across the draugr. According to They Bite: Endless Cravings of Supernatural Predators, these ghost-vampires "reanimate the corpses" of dead Vikings and are "virtually indestructible killing machine[s] able to withstand any weapon" (Mayberry and Kramer 69). Both that book and Wikipedia mentioned they were greedy, guarding treasure hoards ("Draugr"; Mayberry and Kramer 69). Sounds a little like dragons, don't it?
Wikipedia goes into more detail on the killing machine traits, such as incredible strength and the ability to increase size at will (and thus weight). And they can drive animals and even people mad. Some other abilities include shape-changing, weather-control, and seeing into the future ("Draugr"). That last might be useful to avoid slayers ;-)
They Bite doesn't go into details on how Draugr are created, but Wikipedia gives an example of a man being killed by one to rise as one the next night ("Draugr"). However, despite the lack of details on how one is made, it is not so with their death. Draugar can only be killed by heros, and bare-handed at that (Mayberry and Kramer 69).
Those resources go into more detail, but draugar sound interesting. Although, I'm afraid, just like with the Norse legends where dragons weren't exactly the good guys, I'm going to some twisting of the legend to create a special kind of dragon. One my dragon-main-character doesn't want to turn into.
- "Draugr." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2011.
- Mayberry, Jonathan, and David F. Kramer. They Bite: Endless Cravings of Supernatural Predators. New York: Citadel Press, 2009. Print.