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Soon...
~ The Doggins plan their invasion


The Doggins are a Hostile Species and the main antagonists of the fantasy book The Dragon's Child by Jenny Nimmo.


Past History

The Doggins lived in the ancient past when Dragons and other such supernatural creatures were the norm and before myth started. The Doggins were universally feared and hated, as they liked killing for the sake of it. They often provoked and hunted the Dragons, not killing for food but for the fun of killing. One day they killed a Dragon lord, Dando the Magnificent, and this began a massive war in which the Dragons went crazy and killed all the Doggins they could find. Some Doggins survived, but they retreated into caverns underground and became reclusive. However, they plotted their vengeance.


In the book

Biography

The Doggins first appear when the Dragons are preparing to leave the world for good and go to their famous Homeland. The Doggins' history is told and the protagonist of the book, a young nameless Dragon, wonders if they'll return.

Because he is nameless, the chief Dragon gives him the name of Dando, the very chief who was killed by the Doggins. The Dragon's mother protests her son is not brave enough to have such a name but the chief says he has to earn it. The Dragon, now named Dando, meets a bird who was an orphan and she tells him of the marauding Doggins. Unfortunately Dando cannot fly yet so when he tells his mother of the Doggins, she panics but reasons they are leaving tomorrow morning so it should be alright.

Dando does his best to learn how to fly but unfortunately he never makes it. His mother takes off the next morning, desperate to get home, but she encourages Dando to sit on her back. However her scales are too rough and he slides off, and falls back onto the island below despite the bird's attempts at warning the mother. Afterwards, the bird reunites with Dando and suddenly sees a craft approaching. She recognizes it as a ship, crewed by humans, who are far worse than the Doggins. The humans leap ashore, and they are very raucous and make so much noise Dando hides in fear. One slave girl named Manon actually sees Dando, but knowing he is a magical beast she feared extinct, she warns him to hide. When Manon is hunting for wood in the forest, she sings so loud with joy at finding a Dragon that the Doggins make their first appearance here by viewing her hungrily from the shadows, wondering if she is edible.

The humans, a tribe named the Welkin people, who are invaders from another world, (or it may be that they just came from another land and because Manon was young at the time of her capture she misread it) set up camp on the island, and their cruel leader, Lord Smould, orders Manon to build his fortress. His son, an obnoxious bully named Lord Drum, tortures Manon daily and knows she has a special friend. He organizes a search for Dando, sighting him at one point and describing him all wrong as being as big as a lion when Dando is really the size of a small dog. Lord Drum, however, gleefully finds Dando and captures him.

In jail, Dando deteriorates further, and despite Lord Drum and Manon visiting him, he despairs and soon wants to be dead. Lord Drum begins to envy Manon, and at one point he runs into the wood and screams into the darkness. He even throws away the key to Dando's cage, and threatens to let Dando rot. However, the Doggins return by slithering out of their tunnels and watching Lord Drum hungrily. They wonder if he can be eaten, and mutter they will attack soon before slinking back off.

However, he gets his spirit back when he sees Lord Smould and his wife Lady Boulda hitting Manon. Dando is so enraged he finally breathes fire for the first time, startling Lord Smould, and he melts the cage and finally, for the first time he flies out. However, here the Doggins scare the Welkin people, by howling at the night, awakening for the nocturnal hours. Lord Smould is the only one who isn't afraid, and summons his people into the dark woods to hunt down the creature responsible. However, he sees the Doggins and knows of their reputation, and so he orders his people retreat and enforce the camp.

Over the next few weeks, the Doggins attack the camp again and again, always at night, driving the Welkins insane by their constant howling and snarling. Over time, Manon finds Dando sheltering in a cave and brings him food, then encourages him to fly more. When Dando finally becomes a mature Dragon, the Doggins at the same moment brave their fear of daylight to attack during the daylight hours. The attack is a success, with the Doggins devouring or driving off the Welkin people.

Manon goes out into the wood and is ambushed by the gleeful Doggins. However she is saved by none other than Lord Drum, armed with the largest drum in the world. They also hate the sound of the boy's drum, which crushes their skulls. Dando appears and drives off the marauding Doggins with his fiery breath, and the two attacks overwhelm the Doggins who slink off snarling. Kept at bay the Doggins are momentarily powerless and Lord Drum orders Dando to fly to safety. He rescues Manon, who then encourages Dando to rescue Lord Drum too. With the knowledge that Dando is a Dragon, Lord Drum leaps onto Dando's back. He and Manon are then flown to safety in the Dragon's homeland, accompanied by the bird.


Legacy

It is said that over time, the world forgot about Doggins and the Welkin people, like they'd never existed, but of course no one forgot about Dragons.

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