This story is set in an alternate universe. I don't own Jake Long—just my own ideas about it.
A thousand years ago, magic was known by all, dragon, human, ork, troll, elf, dwarf…but then a terrible war happened which separated the magical from the mundane. In order to keep the magical world safe, the magical creatures went into hiding. Though, at that time, magic was much stronger.
The guardians of the magical world were much different then as well, a species of dragon very different from what roams the land today. These beasts were what the legends were made of, gigantic monsters hundreds of feet in length with wingspans that could easily blot out the sun and with one flap can send a torrent wind towards any foe. These creatures were the wielders of the primordial magic flowed directly from them and permeated the land, allowing wizards to cast spells. But these dragons had long since disappeared, leaving behind a new species of guardians—which are the dragons who live on today.
There are two types of dragons. The first type is the Ancients. Ancients have the longest life spans of all magical and mortal creatures. They live to about 6 thousand years naturally, but some have found a way to ascend to immortality—through the Rite of Ascension by eating their hoards. And in there are three different types. There are the Luung Dragons, lithe, sinuous, serpent-like dragons that live in the areas of Asia and Oceana. These dragons have been known to be benevolent and honorable, even helpful to the 'lesser races'. Though they are benevolent, like any dragon, they can be easily brought to anger and can send violent storms to destroy the land if insulted. Within the Luung category were three different sub-races, Hematite, Jade, and Pearl. They could shape shift into human forms, walking among the 'lesser races' undetected. Luung Dragons reached around 100 feet in length.
The second type of Ancient were also benevolent in nature, but their forms differ from the Luung—looking more like dragons of Western history. These were the Metallic Dragons. There were five sub-races, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Brass, and Copper. Gold Dragons were aloof and arrogant, but kind as well. They could shape shift into human or demihumans form and hold that shape nearly indefinitely. Gold Dragons often were seen in parts of Asia and around Russia, making friends with Luung Dragons. The Gold Dragons are the longest of the Ancients, reaching around 250 feet in length. The Silver Dragons, often referred to as the 'boy-scouts' of the Ancients, were helpful when dealing with the 'lesser races'. They were the dragons who ventured to human lands the most and interacted with them, even falling in love, marrying, and having children with them. Silver Dragons look like creatures sculpted from the most polished of precious silver, their scales barely even distinguishable—especially in the bright sun. Moonlight captures well on a Silver Dragon's hide. Silver Dragons reach about 200 feet in length. Silver Dragons live anywhere it's close to a human or elf settlement so that they can keep in contact with their 'lesser race' friends. Though there are the Copper and Bronze and Brass dragons, I will not be discussing them.
The third type of dragon is also shaped like the Metallics, dragons from Western culture, but these dragons follow closely to how Westerners perceived dragons to be—cruel, malicious, tricky, and just plain nasty. These are the Chromatic Dragons. There are five sub-races, Red, Green, Blue, Black, and White. The Colors of the Evil Rainbow, as some scholars refer to them. The Red Dragons are the largest and most powerful of the Chromatics, and the most violent when it comes to dragon kind. They are horrid creatures of fire with fiery breaths so hot they can melt spells cast from a wizard or sorcerer. A few can shape shift, though it is not innate like Gold Dragons and Silver Dragons. For most, taking on a form that is considered lesser than they are—is demeaning. Red Dragons have the smell of sulfur (a.k.a. brimstone) about them. Though there were legends that stated that these dragons started out good and became evil. Black Dragons are equally vicious, but also sneaky. They smell of rotten leaves and wood and love to hide themselves in darkness. Some can shape shift into human or demihumans form, but that is unlikely. Most of the Chromatic Dragons have been banished to another dimension at the end of the war as it was they who had a hand in causing it.
The second group of dragons some times referred to as the Younger Race or Young Dragons, or even rarely the Drakes, are the dragons that Jake Long, Haley Long, Lao Shi, Sun Park, and the Dragon Council belong to. They usually grow to about 12 feet in length and have short life spans similar to that of humans. They do live slightly longer than humans, some have even reached the ripe old age of 180 years. But compared to the Ancients, these dragons are but a spark in the dark. These dragons are the new guardians of the magical world and have been since the Ancients left. In the aftermath of the war, the Ancients created the Drakes from humans and set them to guard the magical world to keep another war from happening. At the same time, they banished those who caused it, five Chromatic Dragons—Zestos the Red, Shäzyx the Blue, Venoshous the Green, Ithfaedeus the Black, and Glaecialyx the White. And one Chromatic Dragon helped the Metallics banish these miscreants through the Gate—Pyrothraxus, older brother to Zestos, Dragon of the Four Winds.
Pyrothraxus was, so far noted in history, the only benevolent Red Dragon. He fell in love with the Silver Dragon Sayan'i, which is a taboo because usually Reds and Silvers were mortal enemies. It was this love that brought Pyrothraxus out of the darkness of evil. He became a likened brother to the Gold Dragon O'eterus—the Council Leader of the Metallic Dragons and aided him in creating the Younger Dragons (Drakes) at the end of the war. But as the Metallic Dragon Ancients decided to depart this world to their home in a plane far beyond mortal knowledge, Pyrothraxus was the one who chose not to go with them. Though he was welcomed as a brother among the Metallic Dragons, he knew that someone had to stay behind and guard the Gate—and he felt he just did not fit in well with his new found brethren.
To the Drakes, Pyrothraxus was like a father and they dubbed him the Crimson Dragon. To them, O'eterus was known as Galen Garath the Golden Bandit, and Sayan'i was known as the Shield Dragon.
The tales of the Crimson Dragon were not lost, though Pyrothraxus appeared to be when he disappeared to guard the Gate from intruders, or to make sure the prisoners did not break their prison. When the Ancients left, they took their powerful magic with them, but left behind enough to sustain the magical creatures of today.
A thousand years had passed and the Gate's seal had grown weakened with age. One Chromatic Dragon escaped—the Black Dragon named Ithfaedeus. Pyrothraxus awoke to try and stop Ithfaedeus, but found his own powers weakened as well—and Ithfaedeus quickly overtook him. The Black Dragon escaped and Pyrothraxus had to search for him. Finding that the world had changed and to keep himself secret from not only the human world, but the magical world as well, Pyrothraxus took on a human form—a 3-year old child and walked into the new world of the late 60s New York City. He had to deny the existence of magic and look like he was oblivious to it even if he saw it being performed in plain sight. It was hard, but Pyrothraxus managed, finding that being in a child's form allowed the world around him to teach him their ways instead of him finding out for himself in an adult form. Pyrothraxus was a master of the polymorph spell and even adjusted it to make people think he was growing—becoming an adolescent, even going through human puberty—complete with cracking voice and pizza face-pimples. To hide his strange red eyes, Pyrothraxus wore glasses.
No one knew the truth about who he was, not his adoptive family, not his wife, nor his children. And that was the way he wanted to keep, that is until more nasties started to force their way out of the Gate. Now Pyrothraxus had no choice but to tell the resident American Dragon who he was and why he was here, causing an uproar through the magical world. And Jake Long never saw it coming, nor did he ever think that Pyrothraxus' disguise was someone he knew—even grew up with. After all Pyrothraxus was like a father…like—a father to him and the Younger Dragon Race.