Dragon stones are central to much of the story throughout the Dragon Stones saga original trilogy and in the Chronicles of Tallin. Their presence serves to aid the people who use them and they have acted as a catalyst to the plot and serve a role in character development.
A dragon stone is a mineral deposit that appears at the base of a dragon's throat. A newly-hatched dragon does not have a dragon stone; the stone emerges at about six months of age. The stone is about the size of a chicken's egg and varies in color according to the type of dragon. Some are more rare than others, but the types of dragon stones include: carnelian, onyx, sapphire, emerald, and diamond. Carnelians are the most common.
Dragon stones are extremely powerful magical objects. They are the source of a dragon's power and also a manifestation if its lifeforce. A dragon's ability to breathe fire, communicate telepathically, and ward off various kinds of magic (such as glamours) stems from its stone. When a dragon dies, the stone almost immediately fades from its original color to a dull grey, and the stone shatters into pieces. Shattered dragon stones are said to be cursed. Although difficult and considered taboo, it is also possible to directly shatter a dragon stone. This will also kill the dragon; the stone and the dragon are therefore symbiotic. One cannot live without the other.
Dragon stones are inanimate, but seem to have some form of awareness. They refuse to aid anybody except a chosen rider, unless the stone is transferred to a direct family member. They also are noted to have some sort of pulse and warmth suggesting they are alive in their own way.
While shattering a dragon stone will certainly kill it, there is one way a dragon stone can be safely separated from its body. Using a particular spell, the stone can be split cleanly in half to be given to a rider, if the dragon chooses to accept. The stone will have a carving; the rider receives the carved half, while the relief remains on the dragon's body. Riders often use a spell to permanently implant their half of the stone somewhere on their bodies, usually in their chest. Having a dragon stone allows them to let the dragon they are bonded to share its magic, making them capable of more difficult magical feats. It also allows for a constant, effortless telepathic bond, without the need to speak dragon-tongue.
While having a dragon stone has many benefits, a rider losing their stone can cripple them. A rider with weak telepathy will have a very difficult time contact their dragon from afar without it, and not having the stone will limit their magic to only what they can do on their own. Some dragon riders have expressed that the break in the bond they share with their dragon is difficult to bear, even agonizing. However, other riders have been able to maintain the bond even without the stone.
Roles in the Series Edit
Dragon stones are at the center of most events in the Dragon Stones books. Riders frequently use the stones to aid them in some way throughout the story.
The events of the first book begins when Elias discovers his father's dragon stone in the forest, and his choosing to reveal that he found it is the reason he is forced to leave Persil. Later in the series, when Bolrakei discovers he has the stone, she purposefully sabotages negotiations, demanding she be given the stone in return for her cooperation.
Chua transfers ownership of his stone to Elias in order to assist him. Elias uses the stone to help him get started communicating with his dragon. Sometimes, when Elias is in trouble, Chua channels his own magic through the stone to cast a spell to help him, but the spell's power is limited by Elias' capabilities.
When Tallin fights Skera-Kina the second time, she uses a sapphire blade to battle him. Because dragon stones are magically sentient, they won't allow any other stone to exist in the rider's body, if they choose to wear the stone as an implant. She effectively disables him in the fight by stabbing him with the sapphire knife.
When Hanko's dragon stone is taken from him, he is blackmailed into betraying Mitca's forces. After he is exposed, his dragon stone is retrieved, but he is not allowed to have it until it is absolutely necessary. He describes its loss as being painful.
In Brinsop's Brood, Sela's dragon stone is stolen from her to prevent her from warning Brinsop that the elves plan to steal her hatchlings. She is unable to maintain a stable telepathic bond as a result.