Some Pearlcatchers of the Molten Scar take such pride in their retrieval of rare ornamental metal ores that they incorporate these ores into their bodies and pearls, broadcasting their affinity to all who lay eyes on them.
In Orecatchers, the pouch-like nacreous organ, which normally secretes and stores pearl-building fluid, is also specially adapted for the refinement of metal ores "swallowed" by the dragon into this pouch. Before producing nacre, this organ secretes substances that break down ores into their components; the Orecatcher regurgitates the slag, and retains the dissolved metal to mix with nacre and incorporate into their pearl. During this process, a small amount of metal escapes the organ and is ingested, and over time, buildup in the dragon's skin, hair, and horns may give it a distinct metallic sheen. The display of their favored metal in their pearl and skin is a source of pride for Orecatchers, and elderly dragons with vibrantly metallic skin are respected and idolized.
Orecatcher nacre is frequently sought after for its decorative applications, being both vibrantly metallic and exceptionally durable, and an Orecatcher would have no trouble finding employment under any form of artist or craftsdragon. The sale of Orecatcher nacre, however, is viewed by many lineages as an abject taboo and a grave insult to the subspecies' pride, akin to selling a treasured family heirloom. It is not uncommon for Orecatchers to see precious metals as things which cannot be bought or sold, but must be earned, due to their deep identification with metals, and some Orecatcher lineages will go so far as to refuse contact with dragons or clans that trade in ornamental metals or use them as currency.
Younger, less traditional lineages may not observe their elders' taboos; the supply of Orecatchers willing to sell nacre is small but remains steady, fueling high demand.
Like most Pearlcatchers, Orecatchers take great pride in their own traditions and generally believe them to be superior to all other dragons'. Other Pearlcatchers regard them with anything from curiosity to disgust - the thought of adulterating one's pearl with any substance, no matter how shiny, is repulsive to some.
The physical adaptations that allow Orecatchers to refine metals are present no matter where they are born, but these dragons are most heavily concentrated in the Ashfall Waste around the Molten Scar, as the art of ore-diving is an important part of their culture. Fire-eyed Orecatchers often look down upon populations established elsewhere, regarding Orecatchers that don't retrieve their own ores as scavengers or as eternal children who have not performed a vital coming-of-age rite.
Each Orecatcher lineage is adapted to best refine a particular kind of metal ore, giving these dragons highly distinctive colorations that persist down a genetic line as long as the tradition of retrieving and refining ores is followed.
Electrum Orecatchers refine a mixture of gold and silver, giving them silver bodies with golden wings, pearls, and body accents. They are widely considered the archetypal or "original" Orecatchers (except by other Orecatcher varieties). It's by Electrums that Orecatchers get their reputation for valuing finery and decoration above all else, as Electrum Orecatchers hoard gold and silver ores jealously, and many believe that the only proper places for such ores are in the ground or in their pearls.
The "breed standard" for Electrum Orecatchers is Silver/Gold/Gold, though Grey primaries are not uncommon and secondaries and tertiaries from Goldenrod to Sunshine are also observed.
The presence of Ivory in either the secondary or tertiary indicates a higher-than-normal proportion of white metals such as nickel, manganese, or palladium alongside the standard gold in an Electrum Orecatcher's "diet". Opinions on these White Gold dragons vary between Orecatchers, with some purists turning up their nose and others appreciating this delicate variation on the standard golden hue. Some refer to all Electrums with Ivory coloration as White Gold Orecatchers, while others reserve the term for dragons with both Ivory secondaries and tertiaries.
Copper Orecatchers, as their name suggests, refine mostly copper, painting their bodies in orange-brown and verdigris hues. Copper Orecatchers have the reputation of being "earthier" than other varieties, their culture respecting function as much as form when it comes to the treatment of their treasured ore - they're one of the least exclusive varieties when it comes to the use of their nacre, and small populations have in fact established themselves in the Shifting Expanse, where their conductive ore is in great demand. Lightning-eyed Copper Orecatchers tend to become deeply invested in their work, treating their constructions like extensions of themselves and returning to them throughout their life to perform any needed maintenance.
|Created by: hologramblue|
|Flights||Fire, Lightning, Earth|
|Colors||Sand or Rust|
|Colors||Sand or Rust|
|Hatcheries||If you know a hatchery who breeds this subspecies, add the link here|
|Spreadsheat||Add link to spreadsheat here|
|Official Thread||Add link to the official thread on the forums here|