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Embraced by rock, then taken by the air

Born unto water, yet a friend of fire

Child of the gods of the sky

Who am I, who am I?

As mighty as the rock

As a fast as the wind

As wise as water

As impulsive as fire

Smoldering sky, and soggy soil

I kill with a keratin coil

Who I am, who am I?

One of soil, fire, sea, and sky?

For each of my words, tell me why!

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Perhaps you are

a dragon.

Embraced by rock, then taken by the air
Born unto water, yet a friend of fire

Dragons are often shown as living in caves (embraced by rock); they fly (taken by the air); many culture's dragons, like the biblical "Leviathan", are sea creatures (born unto water); dragons in Western mythology are usually fire-breathing (a friend of fire).

Child of the gods of the sky

Chinese dragons, in particular, are divine creatures, often particularly associated with gods of rain and thunder.

As mighty as the rock
As a fast as the wind
As wise as water
As impulsive as fire

Dragons are generally depicted as mighty, fast, wise, and (sometimes) impulsive or at any rate quick to anger.

Smoldering sky, and soggy soil
I kill with a keratin coil

Fire breathed down from above (smoldering sky); association with sea and caves (soggy soil); aside from their fiery breath, sharp teeth, and (in some cultures) magical powers, dragons are also typically shown as having sharp curved talons, which are presumably made of keratin. ("Coil" seems a bit of a stretch, though, so that's a weak point.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Huh. I'm sure there used to be a comment here saying that I was almost right but was meant to identify a specific type of [ANSWER]. I suspect (on little evidence) that doing so requires popular-culture knowledge I don't have, but I'm still curious. @RewanDemontay would you like to enlighten me? (Obviously it's fine if the answer is "no, I wouldn't".) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Apr 7 at 10:46
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah you're right. I deleted it. Sorry for the late reply. You merely misinterpreted part of (rock and water) the first two lines. If you can figure it then you'll find the right type of the answer. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay May 29 at 19:31
  • $\begingroup$ Although I don't mind if you keep your original analysis-just tack on the new interpretation if you please. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay May 29 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ Hello? You there? $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay May 30 at 23:39
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I'm here. (Sometimes. I do have a job, a family, etc.) I'm not sure what you were expecting, but unfortunately it turns out that merely knowing that I made a wrong guess at the intended interpretation of a couple of lines of a riddle doesn't instantly enable me to figure out what interpretation was intended. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan May 31 at 0:55

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