Dragons
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Drákōn

The word dragon entered the English language in the early 13th century from Old French dragon, which in turn comes from Latin draconem (nominative draco) meaning "huge serpent, dragon," from the Greek word δρακων, drakon (genitive drakontos) "serpent, giant seafish", which is believed to have come from an earlier stem drak-, a stem of derkesthai, "to see clearly," from Proto-Indo-European derk- "to see" or "the one with the (deadly) glance."

Dragons are shrouded in myth and legend. These creatures have lived in secret for millennia, possibly even pre-dating humanity. European dragons tend to be the most prominent, and subsequently much of what is known of dragons is based around them. They differ from Asian dragons both in body shape and, in the case of Asian dragons, the noticeable lack of wings.

Abilities

Dragons grow stronger and stronger as they grow older (they become bigger, more resistant to damages and magic, have a more dangerous breath, and so on). Old dragons can cast draconic magic which is a special form of magic; dragons can cast spells with just a few words, rather than a sometimes long and complex ritual involving words, gestures and preparations like other wizards. Dragons also radiate a mystical fear aura around them. After a millennium or two, a dragon reaches his maximum development.

Many dragons have some innate magical abilities, but they vary from race to race. Metallic dragons are often able to shapechange into small animals or human forms, and use this ability to secretly help or watch over humans. Dragons also have some innate powers upon the element they are linked to. For example a red dragon (fire) will have some control over fires. Like all other draconic powers, they gain more as they grow older. Lesser dragons, for example wyverns, halfdragons or dragonborne, may lack innate magical abilities, while still counting as dragons for purpose of all other effects.

Biology

Dragons are inherently magical beings, and in no case should dragons be considered reptiles, despite obvious similarities such as a scaled epidermis and reproduction by laying eggs. In fact, Dragons are more akin to feline creatures than reptiles, particularly in regards to their posture and movements, as well as being inherently warm-blooded and an eye composition similar to felines, although far more complex. A good example of this is the placement of the legs: Reptiles have their legs placed on the sides of their body, while most mammals have them placed underneath their body; dragons also tend to place their rear foot where their front foot was previously, much like most stalking feline predators.

The number of eggs laid each time depends on the race of the dragon, but is usually low (between one and ten). Dragons can also cross-breed with virtually any other creature, creating a half-dragon. The most commonly heard of are in the humanoid races, particularly with humans.

As far as senses, which varies slightly depending on species due to each one, they are superior in most ways to other creatures; like any predator, they have exceptionally acute senses, which only increase with age. Like avian creatures, they have excellent depth perception and comparatively good peripheral vision, able to see twice as well as a human in daylight; unlike avians, they have great night vision, and are able to see even when conditions have no light to offer, although in such conditions they cannot discern between colors.

Their hearing is on par with human hearing, although their minds can filter what noise it hears. They are capable of "blindsense", the sense in which eyes, ears, and other senses are used to detect invisible persons or objects. Dragon taste is also refined, although they do not respond well to sweet flavors, and most dragons do not discuss the matter as to why. Of all its senses, a dragon's sense of touch is the only one to decrease throughout age, thanks mostly to the development of thick, hard scales.

Personalities

All dragons are intelligent beings, and most of them exceedingly so. Dragon personality varies from dragon to dragon, but dragons of the same subrace tend to have similar mindsets.

All dragons share a common desire to collect treasure, be it precious, beautiful, magical or just shiny - indeed, the treasure in question needn't always be gold, and may sometimes be aesthetic in nature, ranging from popular artwork or sculptures or even rare books and tomes that might otherwise have an overwhelming monetary value. For evil-aligned dragons, this generally directs a greedy attitude to achieve such wealth by whatever means suit them. For good dragons this lust for treasure is tempered, although they are certainly not averse to earning such wealth, and still appreciate gifts (while being insulted if offered an obvious bribe).

Being stronger, faster, generally smarter, and possessing longer life than humans and most other races, dragons tend to consider themselves superior creatures. For good-aligned dragons, this may only mean they often consider humanoid races as children, trying to take care of them and educate them; for evil-aligned dragons, they consider humanoids as mere animals, or as toys to play with; at best, they are minions and slaves.

The longevity of dragons is evident in their often lackadaisical attitudes. Good-aligned dragons, while concerned with defeating evil, are able to see a much broader scope of the world, and although certain crises arise that may seem extremely important to good-aligned humans, their dragon counterparts are able to see the event as an unimportant hiccup that will pass in mere centuries; even those that adventure with others tend show a sense of incredible patience, even in situations where all others feel they've not a second to lose. Similarly, evil-aligned dragons that are crossed by belligerent adventurers may plot for dozens of generations before exacting revenge on the trespasser’s line - it is not uncommon for those descended from the mentioned adventurer to find themselves the target of a dragon based simply on their lineage.

The Bloodlines

Based on certain families of dragons, bred bloodlines tend to carry over distinct markings of their lineage. The most notable of these is the color of their scales, and that classification still provides the basis for what humanity and the TriMagus know about the species.

Metallic dragons tend towards Good demeanors while the Chromatic have a tendency towards Evil, though this is by no means definitive, as dragons are just as free-willed as humans and can choose their own path. After a few hundred years, however, the lines always start to blur…

The Metallic

Brass

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  • Maximum Height: 16 feet
  • Maximum Weight: 160,000 pounds
  • Maximum Wingspan: 60 feet
  • Breath weapon: sleep gas, fire
  • Habitat: Desert, plains
  • Diet: Mountain goats, sheep, antelope, and other such creatures. Only a malevolent brass dragon would choose to devour an intelligent creature.
  • Preferred Treasure: Handcrafted work in materials such as bone, wood, stone, or fabric (particularly weaving).
  • Demeanor: Tendency towards Good without regard to Law.

Although weaker than many other varieties of dragonkind, brass dragons are still powerful creatures by any measure. They have a strong mercenary streak and often agree to serve as guardians or battle champions for anyone willing to pay suitably well.

Physically, the brass dragon is highly distinctive. From below, its outstretched wings form a triangular shape, as they are attached to its body all the way to the tip of its tail. The wings are longest at the shoulder, and taper gently as they reach the tail. Their scales seem to radiate heat and light. The shape of the head is quite unusual, as it includes a large, curved plate that extends from the dragon's eyes and cheeks on either side and curves upwards into two points, much like a plowshare. They have two sharp horns on the chin, which become steadily pointier as the dragon ages. They smell like hot, oiled metal.

Brass dragon eggs must be incubated in a nest of open flames. Incubation takes approximately 480 days. The eggs are typically tended by both parents, so that they can talk together as they maintain their vigil. A newly hatched brass wyrmling is not remarkable in appearance; its scales are a dull brown. The scales become lighter and more brilliant as the dragon matures. Brass wyrmlings probably learn to talk more quickly than the young of any other sentient species. They talk constantly about anything and everything, and they will talk to anybody: friends, family, enemies, small creatures that cannot talk back, or even to itself if nobody else is near. When exposed to a new language, a brass wyrmling will usually become fluent in under an hour. Though they have an extremely deadly breath weapon, they are more fragile than other dragons. As a result, they make alliances with small groups of intelligent creatures, such as tribes of nomadic dragonborn.

As it matures, a brass dragon adds a love of fire to its love of speech. They can stare into burning flames for hours, entranced by their beauty. Older brass dragons often become discouraged with the world, believing that others are ruining it. Yet as they mature, they seem to accept the follies of the world, and may even donate some of their treasures to aid a cause they believe to be worthy. Ancient brass dragons are some of the best - and most willing - sources of advice in the entire Prime Material Plane.

The brass dragon prefers to dig its lair inside a desert peak or spire. They also prefer to have their lairs face eastwards, so that the rising sun will warm the lair for the bulk of the day. A brass dragon's lair is well-constructed and quite extensive, with many twisting corridors and dead ends to confuse and discourage hostile intruders. The centerpiece of any brass dragon's lair is the Grand Conversation Hall, where it spends the majority of its time entertaining friends and visitors. A typical lair will also contain an elegant foyer, a gallery for the artwork the dragon has collected, a sleeping chamber, and a storage room. All brass dragon lairs have several small entrances, known as bolt holes. These multiple entrances allow a brass dragon to easily escape an attack by a blue dragon or other predator.

Bronze

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  • Maximum Height: 10 feet
  • Maximum Weight: 160,000 pounds
  • Maximum Wingspan: 80 feet
  • Breath weapon: repulsion gas, lightning
  • Habitat: Aquatic, Tropical Islands
  • Diet: Aquatic plants, shark meat, crustaceans, sahuagin.
  • Preferred Treasure: Ceramics, statuary and gemstones.
  • Demeanor: Tendency towards Good while upholding Law.

Duty-bound and honorable to a fault, bronze dragons commit themselves to order and are among the greatest and most devout champions of that ideal. As order's sworn servants, bronze dragons can seem arrogant and haughty, with an inflated sense of self, a tendency that can put them at odds with those they meet. In rare cases, this self-righteousness grows into something far more sinister, and the bronze dragon takes over what it sees as lesser races, ruling as a cruel tyrant to its subjects. Bronze dragons claim coastlines, inlets, and islands as their own, constructing lairs in coastal caves that have access to the sea. More aggressive bronze dragons purposely choose lairs near shipping lanes so they can claim tribute from merchant vessels as those craft pass by. All bronze dragons share a deep and abiding hatred for blue dragons, and they are vigilant in protecting their homes from these interlopers.

Physically, the bronze dragon is quite fierce in appearance, despite its good nature. While most of its body is a reflective copper color, the wings are often tipped with green. The eyes of a bronze dragon begin with a green iris and as they age the eye slowly becomes a solid green with no distinct iris. The dragon has three main large horns protruding from each cheek, pointing back towards the tail. It also has a couple more smaller horns. The tips of these points are black and very sharp, and are often used for grooming. The tongue is purple-gray, long and pointed, and not forked. A large frill runs down the upper part of its neck. They smell like sea-spray.

Bronze dragons mate for life, and take their duties as parents with the utmost seriousness. They will protect their eggs and their wyrmlings at any cost. Although bronze dragons always live near water, they lay their eggs in a dry cave. Apart from a dry, relatively warm environment, bronze dragon eggs require no special conditions for incubation like those of most dragons. Upon hatching, the wyrmlings are raised, taught, and protected by their parents. A newly hatched bronze wyrmling appears yellow with a tinge of green, and the scales will gradually shift to bronze as it matures. Bronze wyrmlings hold a strong sense of responsibility from the moment it leaves the egg- one that causes it to seek out purpose as thoroughly as it hunts for sustenance.

Given its exceptional abilities as a swimmer, the entrance to a bronze dragon's lair is quite naturally underwater, and often disguised with seaweed and coral. The bulk of the lair is above water level, however, consisting of multiple tunnels and large chambers, some as much as a thousand feet above sea level. They prefer to make their lairs in an island volcano, if possible.

While bronze dragons are often fascinated with battles, especially fighting to defeat evil, they have strong moral compunctions against killing living beings unless absolutely necessary. They will often join good-aligned armies to fight the forces of evil, either in human form or their own. In battle, their weapon of choice is to breathe repulsion gas, which is so putrid that it forces absolutely everything away. They also like to relocate a foe to a remote location where it can do no harm when possible. When forced to kill, the bronze dragon is a deadly combatant, roasting enemies with bursts of lightning or ripping them open with its clawed forelegs.

Copper

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  • Maximum Height: 12 feet
  • Maximum Weight: 160,000 pounds
  • Maximum Wingspan: 80 feet
  • Breath weapon: Cone of Slow Gas, Line of acid
  • Habitat: Dry, Rocky Mountains or desert
  • Diet: Scorpions and other venomous creatures
  • Preferred Treasure: Valuables from the earth: metals, precious stones, finely crafted sculptures, well-made ceramics, et cetera
  • Demeanor: Tendency towards Good without regard for Law.

Copper dragons are the second weakest of the metallic dragons. They are born tricksters and jokesters. They are quite devious and clever, but their intent is purely benign. They do not seek to harm 'lesser' creatures, but merely wish to impress them with superior intelligence and wit, and to fool them with clever pranks.

Physically, the copper dragon is very striking, with scales of a warm copper color tinged with blue. Like the brass dragon, the copper dragon's wings connect to its body all the way to the tip of its tail. However, its wings have a pronounced bend to them, giving them the appearance of a "V" from below, rather than the brass dragon's triangular appearance. Copper dragons are powerful jumpers and climbers, with massive thigh and shoulder muscles. Their two horns are broad and flat, pointing backwards towards the tail from the top of their heads. They also have a distinctive frill protruding from either jaw. When the mouth is closed, the teeth are completely hidden. They exude a stony odor.

Copper dragons lay their eggs in a nest of cool sand or clay. Both parents watch over the eggs and raise the wyrmling until it reaches adulthood, whereupon the parents separate. When newhatched, the scales of a copper wyrmling are a muddy brown in color, which gradually shifts to a glowing copper as it matures. Adult copper dragons are quite social, mainly due to the desire to play tricks upon each other. A visitor to a copper dragon's lair can expect to be entertained at length, although the dragon will become angry if the visitor does not appear impressed with their tricks, riddles, and stories.

A typical copper dragon's lair is a cave, whose entrance is concealed by rocks and boulders. Upon entering, visitors find themselves in a huge labyrinth of tunnels. Copper dragons compete amongst themselves to see who can design the most confusing layout. If a friendly visitor becomes hopelessly lost (which is rather common), the copper dragon will rescue her before she is actually endangered. Once through the labyrinth, visitors find themselves in a spacious foyer, beyond which is the Main Entertaining Chamber, where the dragon will spend the bulk of its time. Opening off the MEC is a much more straightforward escape tunnel, whose outside entrance is often fiendishly difficult to locate even when one knows exactly where it is. The copper dragon will know, however, and often uses its 'back door' to get into its lair instead of taking the time to navigate the maze. Obviously, it is far easier for a visitor to enter via the secret door if she can find it, but doing so is considered impolite, especially if she is a first-time visitor.

When it comes to combat, copper dragons prefer to avoid it. Rather than fighting openly, they prefer to taunt, humiliate, and tease their opponents until they simply give up and run away. Their ability to dramatically slow opponents often gives them ample time to run away. When forced, however, a copper dragon will fight to the very end, and is an incredibly devious antagonist. Their acid breath is not to be taken lightly.

Silver

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  • Maximum Height: 22 feet
  • Maximum Weight: 1,280,000 pounds
  • Maximum Wingspan: 150 feet
  • Breath weapon: Cone of Cold, Paralyzation Gas
  • Habitat: High Mountains (the colder the better)
  • Diet: Almost anything; love tasting new things
  • Preferred Treasure: Beautifully crafted jewellery or finely woven fabrics
  • Demeanor: Tendency towards Good while upholding Law.

Silver dragons are the second most powerful of the metallic dragons, and are true friends to all. The silver dragon enjoys the company of humans and elves so much that it will often take the form of a human or elf and live among them for the majority of its life. It should be noted that silvers, like all dragons, believe themselves the most superior creatures in the world. However, apart from the ability to fly, which they enjoy greatly, they tend to prefer the physical forms of humanoids for everyday life.

At first glance, the silver dragon appears very similar to the Red dragon. The wings are more curved than a Red's though, and the silver has two talons on its wings rather than the single talon of most dragons. The silver dragon also has a beautiful frill that begins at the top of its head and flows all the way down its neck and body to the tip of the tail. The frill is silver towards the body, fading to a purple hue at the edge. They have two long, smooth silver horns with black tips, pointing up and back from the head. They also have a pronounced sharp frill under the chin, which has the rough appearance of a goatee. They smell like rain.

Silver dragons lay their eggs in a bed of snow. A newhatched silver wyrmling has scales of a bluish gray, which change to silver over time. Silver wyrmlings are intelligent, kind, extremely curious, and adorable.

Unlike the gold or bronze dragon, the silver dragon does not usually go out of its way to bring justice on the world. Instead, it waits for others to ask them for help. They will attempt to right an injustice if they see one, but they have no inclination to intentionally seek evil out and destroy it. Silver dragons are more interested in protecting the humans or elves it has come to care for than in looking for evil. Like most metallic dragons, silvers do not enjoy combat, and are averse to killing. If forced to fight, however, they are as deadly as any other dragon.

A silver wyrmling’s scales are blue-gray with silver highlights. As the dragon approaches adulthood, its color gradually brightens until the individual scales are scarcely visible. the pupils of the oldest silver dragons resemble orbs of molten mercury

They are very intelligent, more so than most humans, extremely powerful, breathtakingly beautiful, and have lifespans which can stretch up to 4,200 years. The silver dragon is regal and statuesque, an unusual trait they offer is the love of human dining, and will use the ability of alternate form to take part in large feasts.

Silver dragons employ a breath weapon of extreme cold similar to that of white dragons. They also have a second breath weapon, a cone of paralyzing gas.

Silver dragons are extremely rare and elusive, preferring to take the guise of kind and elderly humanoids or very attractive and young humanoids. They very much like to associate with elves and humans, not necessarily because they prefer their company over other races, but because they try to learn from the shorter lived humans.

Silver dragons' favored enemy are red dragons because these chromatic dragons are almost always evil and have a talent for destruction. Additionally, silvers and Reds favor the same sort of mountainous terrain for lairs, which leads to territorial disputes on top of having attitudes and philosophies at odds with the others'.

Dragons may live for millennia, while humans only live a few decades. This vast difference in time leads to inherent psychological differences concerning time. Dragons tend to think things through for years at a time, using their razor-sharp intellects to hone a plan to perfection, solve incalculable puzzles, or other such things. Silver dragons, however, note that humans are able to accomplish much in their short life spans because of their ambitious drive for success. When a silver dragon can combine its own long-term perspective with a quick and ambitious attitude, the benefit is undeniable.

Most silvers group together in "clans," a loose organization of dragons who choose to live together as a family. Clans take communal responsibility for protecting and raising their wyrmlings. A senior member of the clan may act as a leader, but no true leader actually exists. Silver dragons do not feel the need for a strict social structure, since they are most content to live as honestly as possible. However, many silver dragons leave their clans for long periods of time to live among nondragons. They tend to live for many years with the same group of humans or elves, having grown attached to them. As members of the family die, the silver dragon, grieved by the loss, often chooses to stay with the family, remaining a true and loyal friend and champion through many generations. If the dragon feels comfortable enough around these nondragons, it might even decide to reveal its true self.

A silver dragon's lair is typically found within an icy mountain, with the main entrance only accessible by air. The lair itself is similar to the gold dragon's in its sophistication and design, although the silver dragon's lair tends to be far less intricate. A typical lair will contain a main entertaining area, a storage room, a vault, a sleeping chamber, study, library, shrine, and two clinic rooms where the dragon can offer help and protection to those who need it. The lair will also have a concealed back entrance for use in emergencies.

Gold

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  • Maximum Height: 24 feet
  • Maximum Weight: 1,280,000 pounds
  • Maximum Wingspan: 135 feet
  • Breath weapon: Cone of fire, weakening gas
  • Habitat: Anywhere, although they prefer secluded lairs
  • Diet: Small gems and pearls; they do not eat any living creatures
  • Preferred Treasure: Art, especially paintings and sculptures
  • Demeanor: Tendency towards Good while upholding Law

Gold dragons are the most powerful of the metallic dragons (in some versions they are the strongest of all dragons), and the most dedicated to defeating evil. They spend the bulk of their lives in human form, seeking out evil and punishing wrongdoers to the best of its considerable abilities. Its typical mode of operation runs roughly along the lines of a sting operation: the dragon will listen for stories of dangerous or evil creatures or persons, then reveal its true form and mete out punishment. They prefer to turn villains over to law enforcement if available, but will ultimately take whatever actions they deem necessary in order to see justice served. They are best summarized as the paladins of the draconic world.

Physically, gold dragons are quite spectacular. Several large horns tipped with umber shoot sideways from their cheeks, and two very prominent horns point backwards along their heads. The most obvious feature is probably the tentacle whiskers that sprout from the top and bottom of the gold dragon's jaw, giving the appearance of a beard of sorts. Their wings, like those of brass and copper dragons, connect to the body all the way to the tip of the tail. From below, the overall shape resembles that of a brass dragon, but the different coloring and dramatic difference in size enables easy differentiation. When in flight, the gold dragon's wings ripple, giving the appearance of swimming rather than flying. They smell of saffron and incense.

Gold dragon eggs must be incubated in a nest of open flames. A newly hatched gold wyrmling appears similar to an adult, except that it lacks horns or tentacle whiskers. Both parents tend the eggs, and then take intense interest in their wyrmlings' care and education. At some point, however, the biological parents may send the wyrmling to live with foster parents; this allows the parents to undertake their own quests, as well as exposing the wyrmling to new experiences.

Unlike many species of dragons, gold dragons have a very firm and hierarchical social structure, encompassing all members of the species. This structure always has one gold dragon as its leader who is given the title "your resplendence", who serves until he/she either dies or steps down. At that time, all gold dragons congregate and choose the next leader of their kind. Sometimes two dragons may be chosen; in such cases, the two will share the duties of leadership. The position of leader, or 'top dragon,' does not so much involve the maintenance of order - gold dragons are famous for their good behavior - so much as the dispensing of advice and wisdom to any dragons who ask for it. Gold dragons are voracious learners, and they tend to become very wise and worldly as they age. They freely share their knowledge and experience to anyone who asks, dragon or not. In fact, it is not unknown for a gold Great Wyrm to take the form of a scholarly professor in order to spread its knowledge at some human center of higher education.

Unlike most other species of dragons, gold dragons devote immense time and energy to the construction of their lairs. The layout of their lairs often resemble those of elegant human mansions, albeit buried underground. Rooms are well-constructed and elegantly decorated with the many art treasures the gold dragon has collected over its lifetime. Typical rooms in a gold dragon's lair include a main hall, a banquet hall, a resting chamber, a study, a kitchen, a lobby, a storage room, and perhaps even a lavatory. Many gold dragons even have a glass-walled observatory, especially if they live underwater.

Combat-wise, gold dragons prefer to talk rather than to fight. They will never engage in combat if they believe it is unnecessary. Once they believe it is necessary, however, they are amazingly powerful opponents. Their ability to breathe fire rivals that of the eldest red dragons, and they will pour their entire being into a battle against evil. Gold dragons dislike killing, but they do not hesitate to do so if it is necessary in order to defeat an evil foe.

The Chromatic

Red

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  • Breath weapon: Fire
  • Habitat: Mountains or hilly plains
  • Diet: Absolutely anything; they claim that female humans and young elves taste best
  • Preferred Treasure: Absolutely anything with some monetary value
  • Demeanor: Tendency towards Evil

Red dragons are the largest, most powerful, and most (in)famous of the classic chromatic dragons. Physically, they are distinguished by their enormous size and wingspan. They have two large horns upon their heads, which point backwards toward their wings. They smell of smoke and sulphur.

The eggs of a red dragon must be kept in open flame at all times while incubating. Incubation takes approximately 660 days. After the eggs are laid, the younger of the two parents (either male or female) will remain behind to guard the eggs and keep their nest of flames burning. Once they hatch, the wyrmlings are left to fend for themselves. They usually have little problem in doing so. A red wyrmling is highly dangerous, being approximately the size of a human at hatching. They are fully capable of breathing fire, and revel in wreaking destruction and havoc on almost anything that moves. The latter trait is carried fully into adulthood.

They regard all other Chromatic dragons as inferiors, with the exact amount of disdain being proportional to the variety's general power level. When a Red Dragon and a White cross paths, the Red generally allows the white to sulk out of sight and out of mind, as they do not consider them as worth the effort to kill; other Chromatic dragons are either killed outright, driven away, or bullied into servitude depending on the Red's mood and personality.

Due to their choice of living space, they cross paths with many of the metallic dragons, most notably the silvers, who are their worst enemies. They have the greatest disdain for the frivolous copper dragons, and clash with them quite often.

Red dragons have an amazing eye for value, and can determine the monetary worth of absolutely any material object at a glance. All dragons are known for hoarding treasure, but the red dragon far surpasses all other species in this regard. The gaining and keeping of treasure is the complete focus of a red dragon's adult life, and they tend to amass incredible hoards with amazing rapidity. At any given moment, a red dragon will be able to tell you the precise monetary value of all the objects in its hoard, down to the last fraction of a coin.

The preferred home for a red dragon is (naturally) inside an active volcano. If a volcano is not available, however, they will reside in any mountain, provided that it has a good ledge from which the dragon can survey its territory. A red dragon's lair will (surprisingly) often have only one entrance, which will be very high above ground level. The entrance leads to a narrow tunnel, which drops off into a steep pit. At the bottom of the pit lies a pool of water, surrounded by several chambers. One chamber will typically be the dragon's sleeping quarters, while the other will contain its hoard.

In combat, red dragons are exceptionally dangerous. Proficient in magic, they are also very fast in the air, but somewhat clumsy, so they prefer to do their fighting on the ground. They often spend years designing battle strategies, and will wait patiently until the precisely best moment to call upon them. Their massive blasts of fire end most battles before they truly begin, however. As a result, red dragons will use their powerful breath weapons as their favored method of attack, followed by power strikes from their massively powerful bodies, followed by magical attacks.

Many red dragons hoard women and children in their lairs, along with their wealth. In some genres they have the 'power of persuasion', which means they can get someone to do anything, as long as the opponent's mind is weaker than the dragon's. As a result, they often convince the chieftains of villages outside their volcanoes to give them sacrifices of young girls.

Black

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  • Breath weapon: Line of Acid
  • Habitat: Boggy Swamps
  • Diet: Fish, mollusks, aquatic critters, some red meat from terrestrial animals
  • Preferred Treasure: Coins
  • Demeanor: Tendency towards Evil

Black dragons are the most vile tempered and cruel of all chromatic dragons; apart from the fact that they love to bargain. Physically, black dragons are most distinguished by their horns, which protrude from the sides of their heads and wrap around, projecting forward. A large frill adorns the upper part of the neck. They smell like rotting vegetation and foul water, or like the powerful acid they can breathe.

Black dragons are fierce hunters that will normally attack from the water. They will often prey on fish, crabs, birds, turtles, crocodiles, lizardfolk, chuuls, hydras, and green dragons that are smaller and younger than they are. Their enemies include green dragons and swamp landwyrms.

Black dragons are not noted as very good parents, relying more upon disguise and hiding to protect their eggs than upon guarding them personally. Black dragon eggs must be submerged in strong acid while incubating. Their wyrmlings (babies) are noted for their exceptional cruelty and their utterly insatiable appetites. They will eat almost anything organic they can kill, even plants. As a black dragon matures, its scales will very gradually grow lighter; the most ancient black dragons appear almost purple in color.

A black dragon typically lairs in a large cave or underground chamber next to a swamp or murky pond. Their lairs always have two entrances: one underwater through the adjacent swamp/pond, and one above-ground, disguised amidst the undergrowth.

In combat, black dragons prefer ambushes to straightforward fighting. They are vicious and ruthless adversaries, and their acidic bile can work its way under the heaviest armor with ease. Their only disadvantage is that their heavily wooded habitats tend to prevent them from flying very high in combat.

Green

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  • Breath weapon: Cloud of Chlorine Gas
  • Habitat: Forests with tall trees
  • Diet: Small humanoids such as gnomes are preferred, but prize elves and sprites most. Will eat any animal if hungry.
  • Preferred Treasure: Mementos of particularly exciting victories
  • Demeanor: Tendency towards Evil, though most still respect some form of Law.

Green dragons are the third most powerful of the classic chromatic dragons. Physically, they are most notable for the large, waving crest or fin that starts at the dragon's nose and runs the entire length of the dragon's body. They also have exceptionally long, slender forked tongues. They smell like chlorine gas and are highly adept at magic.

Green dragons are reasonably good parents, with both mother and father typically staying close to their eggs while they are incubating. Green dragon females either keep their eggs in a solution of acid or bury them in leaves moistened with rainwater. The green wyrmling is easily mistaken for a black, due to their nearly black scales. As the wyrmling matures, its scales become steadily lighter in color until they reach the striking green shade of an adult. The wyrmlings typically stay with both parents until they reach adulthood (approximately 100 years).

The typical green dragon lair will be a complex of caves and tunnels, with its main entrance hidden behind a waterfall. The preferred green dragon lair is a cave high up on a cliff, but such locations are usually hard to find and thus only home to the oldest and most powerful green dragons.

The territories of Green and Black dragons frequently overlap, but as greens are more powerful, they typically hold the upper hand, but most Greens will allow a Black dragon remain in its forest, so long as the lesser dragon remains in the swamps.

Green dragons revel in combat, and will often attack for no apparent reason. They are highly territorial, and will often view any intrusion into their domain, voluntary or not, as a personal affront. They are extremely cunning and duplicitous foes, and love double-crossing others. A traveler who stumbles into a green dragon's territory may be able to bribe the dragon for safe passage, but more often than not the dragon will pretend to agree and then attack the unsuspecting offender once their guard is down. Though aggressive, green dragons prefer to use magic before attacking physically.

White

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  • Breath weapon: Frost
  • Habitat: Arctic Mountains
  • Diet: Anything that moves, but it must be frozen first!
  • Preferred Treasure: Magic items
  • Demeanor: Tendency towards Evil

White dragons are the weakest and the most feral of the classic chromatic dragons, but they are by no means harmless, if somewhat dimmer than other dragons due to the inbreeding necessary to create an animal that could resist the frigid temperatures that white dragons endure. They are still powerful enough to overwhelm most humans and have exceptional long-term memories. They are physically distinguished by several features: their heads and necks seem to blend seamlessly into one another, and their wings appear somewhat frayed along the edges. They have a flap of skin (dewlap) lined with spines beneath their chins. Their heads are very streamlined, and they have a high crest atop their skulls. They have a crisp, vaguely chemical odor.

White dragon eggs must be buried in snow or encased in ice while incubating. The parents do not bother to tend or protect the eggs in any way, although they will usually lay them near their lairs. A newhatched white wyrmling has scales as clear as ice, which become white as the dragon matures. They are expected to survive on their own from the moment they hatch, although some white dragon parents will permit their young to live in their lair until they reach adulthood.

Adult white dragons have several abilities well suited to their arctic habitat: they can climb ice cliffs with ease, fly very high and fast, and are exceptional swimmers. They love to swim in cold water; the more frigid, the better. Much of their diet often consists of aquatic creatures, even whales. White dragons are always hungry, and tend to become more savage as they mature. Knowing that they are the smallest and weakest of dragons, many whites harbor inferiority complexes. They take any opportunity to bully beings such as giants and younger dragons of other species.

White dragons lair in ice caves, often dug into the side of an arctic mountain. Their lairs often contain many more tunnels and chambers than those of other chromatic dragons. More powerful white dragons will sometimes turn a large iceberg into a floating lair. Such lairs always have an underwater entrance as well as one to the open air.

White dragons are not strong combatants as dragons go, but they should never be underestimated. Their icy breath can freeze an unprepared foe solid in an instant. They typically avoid fights with more powerful dragons, but will avail themselves of any opportunity to take their frustrations out on 'lesser' creatures. Whites also have exceptional memories, and will often hunt down beings who cross them, no matter how long it may take.

Blue

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  • Breath weapon: Lightning
  • Habitat: Sandy Deserts or Hot badlands / dry steppes
  • Diet: Meat from large animals such as camels, snakes, lizards, plants
  • Preferred Treasure: Sapphires
  • Demeanor: Tendency towards Evil, though most still respect some form of Law.

Blue dragons are the second most powerful of the classic chromatic dragons. They are physically distinguished by the single large horns protruding from their heads and also by their ears, which are rather large and frilled. The tail is thick and bumpy, like that of a caterpillar. The wings are more pronounced than most other species'. They smell like ozone or sand.

They are more likely to be mocking and manipulative than outright cruel or murderous to 'lesser' creatures, aided greatly by their natural talents for hallucination. They are infamous for tricking desert travelers into drinking sand or going miles out of their way to avoid nonexistent dust basins.

Blue dragons tend to be carnivorous though they will eat plants on occasion. While almost anything is potential food, a blue dragon prefers camels above all else. They are enemies of brass dragons.

Blue dragons are orderly creatures, and are unusual for chromatics in that they keep fairly well-ordered, hierarchical societies.

Despite their evil nature, they are actually excellent parents to their young, and will rarely leave their eggs unattended. Blue dragon eggs must be buried in warm sand to incubate. Blue wyrmlings are actually quite cute, but they are quick to taunt any other creature, and even quicker to hunt small desert creatures for food.

The typical blue dragon lair is dug into one of the towering rock formations that dominate desert landscapes. As with all dragon lairs, the blue dragon's lair will have two entrances: one at ground level and hidden by the sand, and one opening onto a high ledge on which it can perch and survey its territory. Each lair also has a large subterranean cavern with a large pool of water and a sandy beach, which its inhabitant will use for drinking and relaxation.

The blue dragon excels at aerial combat, perhaps more so than any other species of dragon. Their lightning discharges are very easy to aim at other aerial foes, or at creatures below them on the ground. They are one of the most powerful dragons at spellcraft. They are also extremely adept at burrowing in sand, and often lie in wait just below the surface of the desert for prey. When they are so burrowed, their large horns can easily be mistaken for pointed desert rocks.

There are rumors of yet other dragons, such as those of cloud, mist, and even gemstone origins, but these cases are very rare even to other dragons.

Dragon-born and Draconians

The half-human hybrids of dragons, these creatures are exceptionally rare (even among the nearly-extinct dragons). Predominately, the dragon genetics outweigh the human, leaving these creatures similar to lizard-men in appearance.

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Physical Characteristics

Standing on average between 6'2" and 6'8", dragonborn are impressively tall with a heavy weight to match, commonly possessing a mass between 220 and 320 lbs. Dragonborn feet are ended with three strong talon-like claws with a fourth claw in the back as are their hands, with the replacement of the rear claw with one thumb on each hand. A dragonborn's head features a blunt snout, a strong brow, and reptilian frills on the cheeks and ears. On the back of the head a crest of hornlike scales form what resembles a mess of ropy hair. Dragonborn eyes are usually red or gold in hue.

Dragonborn resemble in many ways what their name suggests: humanoid dragons. Dragonborn exhibit many draconic features, including a scaly hide and the capacity to use a breath weapon. The scales a dragonborn wears are scarlet, gold, rust, ocher, bronze, or brown in hue and though they in fact bear little correlation to a dragonborn's breath weapon and the scale colors of true dragons. The scales are typically in their greatest concentration around forearms, lower legs, feet, shoulders, and thighs, with a very fine leathery covering over the rest of the body. With the proper training, dragonborn can learn to unlock more of their draconic potential, even to the point of sprouting wings with which to fly, like a dragon.

Young dragonborn, who hatch from eggs like their draconic relatives, grow at an impressively rapid rate, much faster than most other races, reaching the equivalent maturity of a human child of 10 by age 3. However, this rate of maturation slows dramatically within a few short years and dragonborn are not considered physically mature for another twelve years. Once they do reach adulthood, dragonborn can expect a lifespan identical to that of humans. Not all dragonborn develop a breath weapon but those that do usually obtain it during these years of growth.

Like dragons, dragonborn are often mistaken for reptiles but are in fact warm-blooded draconic creatures. In fact, the internal body temperature of the dragonborn is warmer than that of most similar races, being so hot as to seem feverish to the human touch. While this might seem disadvantageous the lack of hair and large mouth allow the dragonborn to displace body heat at an effective rate, meaning dragonborn are comfortable in cold climates while remaining no more vulnerable to heat than humans.

Dragonborn distinguish themselves from other draconic creatures like kobolds through a distinctively mammalian trait however. Like humans, dwarves, elves, or any of the other mammalian races dragonborn females have mammary glands that enable them to nurse their young with milk, which they feed to hatchlings for several months before teeth begin to come in. A dragonborn will then slowly wean their child off of milk with soft food and then towards normal dragonborn eating habits, which contain more meat than is typical of most other races.

Abilities

Dragonborn have a number of abilities that set them apart. Dragonborn are both stronger and more charismatic than the typical humanoid, traits inherited from their draconic relatives. Dragonborn also are quite durable and when injured have an inner strength that can push them to accomplish even more than when they are at their best. Dragonborn also heal more easily than other humanoids. However, most potent of all is a dragonborn's breath weapon, which, like that of a dragon, varies in nature, being acidic, cold, electrical, fiery, or poisonous. However, unlike with dragons, the breath weapon of a dragonborn is not tied to a dragonborn's skin color.

Some dragonborn have additional abilities. For instance, while most dragonborn have vision comparable with humans a number have enhanced vision more similar to that of a supernatural creature. Other dragonborn can modify their dragon breath, acquiring two or more other breath weapons. Others learn even to mix one or more elements together to create a composite breath weapon.

Dragonborn don't have a tradition of magic, though they have a significant affinity for certain forms of it. The race's natural abilities are well suited for the path of a sorcerer, though few dragonborn are willing to actually take up the career since it forces them to deal with powers beyond their control and leaves them under the thumb of the Trimagus. Some dragonborn Black Mages do exist, usually social outcasts or those who have justified it as a form of individuality. Dragonborn mages are, however, far more often Red Robed wizards or sorcerers, attracted by the often secretive and eccentric ways that both paths involve.

Personality

Dragonborn have a well-known dedication to honor and how deeply rooted this trait is remains debatable. However, all dragonborn tend to view all living things, even hated dragons, as deserving of courtesy and respect. To dragonborn, honor is more than a word and is often considered more important than life itself. Cowardice is not simply undesirable amongst dragonborn, it is considered outright repulsive.

Part of the roots of this honorable attitude lies in the dragonborn's drive for self-improvement. The draconic nature of dragonborn gives them a strong self-consciousness and a tendency for strong emotions. Both of these combine to make dragonborn particularly wanting of the approval of others. Dragonborn place great value on the skill of an individual, including themselves. Failing at a task is anathema to dragonborn and as a result they can sometimes push themselves to unhealthy extremes of effort. This aspect of the dragonborn mind means few of the race take a laid back approach to any skill or ability, striving ever to become the masters of a particular skill and dragonborn respect those among other races that approach life in the same manner. As a result most dragonborn adventurers come to their way of life through a desire to prove themselves and win respect from their brethren.

Other races may see dragonborn as proud or even arrogant because of this dedication to excellence and high standards. It is true that dragonborn are typically proud of their race's accomplishments. However, dragonborn are also more than willing to recognize with respect the accomplishments of other races in turn, whether or not the race in question is an ally or enemy.

Moreso than other races, dragonborn often wear their hearts on their sleeves, typically hiding neither anger nor joy. Dragonborn are enthusiastic about life, particularly success, and brooding about failure for only a short time before their disappointment is shaped into a strong drive for improvement. Only a handful of dragonborn actually demonstrate traits that might be considered timid or reserved and the vast majority of the race have no qualms asking for what they need or taking time to improve themselves. Trust is a major factor in the lives of all dragonborn and each expects others to be just as open and forthcoming with them as they are.

Perhaps paradoxically given the often rigid conditions of their society, dragonborn have a strong sense of independence and self-worth. Most dragonborn however do not view this as a need to break away from society as other individuals might, but rather to shape it for the better through their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Likewise, dragonborn see themselves as responsible for those around themselves, the group ultimately reflecting on the individual. In this way the successes and failures of each dragonborn are the failures and successes of the group they associate with, giving dragonborn a very collective sense of self while retaining their individuality. Ultimately, dragonborn hold themselves accountable for their choice of allies and poor judgment is considered no excuse for failing to uphold the standards all dragonborn hold themselves to.

Good dragonborn are fairly common but dragonborn are as fallible to evil as any other race. The passionate nature of dragonborn can make the race brutal or vengeful and given to hasty choices that are morally compromising. The dragonborn sense of worth can likewise lead to greed and egoistic selfishness. But while dragonborn can turn to evil, most dragonborn villains retain the race's scruples and values that define the race, including respect and courtesy to enemies.

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