Dragon

From World of Charun

Dragons are winged, reptilian creatures of ancient lineage. It is not known whether they were creations of the Greater Sauroids, or whether they themselves are a remnant branch of the Greater Sauroid family themselves. They are not only known and feared for their size, physical prowess and magical abilities, but for being highly-intelligent beings more than capable of conceiving and executing long-term plans. The oldest dragons are amongst the most powerful creatures in Charun, and appear to gradually be making a comeback as the Fourth Age progresses, from near-extinction in the Second and Third Ages. The majority of today's dragons can be found in the realm of Mogaroth, in service to the Greater Sauroid Gorathroar.

More about: Mogaroth | Greater Sauroid | Garothroar


Contents

Dragon Varieties

Dragon and it's hoard
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Dragon and it's hoard

Dragons are generally categorized by the territory they choose to inhabit. This is not a true taxonomy, but represents their happily-diminished numbers in the modern world -- they are rare enough that each habitat has essentially given rise to a different "breed" of dragon. How dragon populations interacted, if they did, prior to the Second Age is unknown.

Swamp Dragons are ebony-hued, and probably the least intelligent of the dragon family (although this still leaves them notably more intelligent than the average Urman, and on par with most humans). Some scholars suggest that this is the result of heavy inbreeding, as those very few swamp dragons whose discoverers survived the encounter seem to be remarkably alike in appearance, with glossy black bodies smelling of rotting, acidic vegetation. Their heads have a notable "skull-like" appearance which is highly unusual, and they are known to be extremely aggressive towards those who trespass into their territories, stalking their opponents in a never-ending game of cat-and-mouse, as they are perfectly at home in the water, and so at a tremendous advantage in swampy terrain.

Desert Dragons tend to be blue-tinged, and are, thankfully, exceedingly rare. It is said, without much conviction, that the only one currently alive is living amongst the Sand Snakes, and is worshipped by them as a god. They were and are ferociously intelligent, but seem in some ways less ambitious than other dragons. Even when the Mórail had complete control of the region, there are almost no records of encounters with desert dragons: either they chose to be incredibly reclusive, or else the survivors simply had little to do with humans and Mórail for a very, very long time.

Forest Dragons are a brilliant and beautiful green in hue, and their dappled scales are surprisingly good, given the creature's size, at blending into the heavily-forested terrain.They are also amazingly light-footed for their size, and have been known to sneak up on and ambush adventurers in spite of their bulk. The Forest Dragons survive in the Wyrmwood, doing all that they can to undermine the hated Mórail of Green Glade.

Polar Dragons are considered to be either extinct now, or else made vanishingly rare, as the Eiotharin slew the last two known ones. These were great, pale white beasts who were intelligent enough to try to bargain for their lives, warning that the Frost Giants were a danger far greater than any they could pose. None have been seen in many hundreds of years.

Fire Dragons, are known to survive, and to have numbers that are steadily-increasing over time, as sailors occasionally sight them near Mogaroth. Gorathroar may be keeping them in Mogaroth for now, but their aggression, ability to breathe fire, and to fall out of the sky like crimson-tinged thunderbolts leaves the Mórail shivering in dread to this day. Fire Dragons vary in colour from burnished copper to fiery red.


Description

A dragon's eye
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A dragon's eye

The mere presence of a young adult or older dragon can unsettle foes, making them panic and flee. When it comes down to fighting, a dragon attacks with its powerful claws and bite, along with their spells, spell-like or supernatural abilities. A dragon's spell-like abilities depend on its age and variety. They can also use their feared breath weapon. A blast from a breath weapon always starts at the dragon's mouth and extends in a direction of the dragons choice.

Dragons have extremely keen senses. A dragon sees four times as well a human in low-light conditions, and twice as well in normal light. They can also ascertain creatures by non-visual means through hearing, scent, noticing vibrations and other environmental clues.

Although the are dragons are fearsome predators, they scavenge when necessary and eat almost anything if they are hungry enough. A dragon's metabolism operates like a highly efficient furnace and can metabolize even inorganic material. Some dragons have developed a taste for such fare.

Dragon anatomy
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Dragon anatomy

Even though goals and ideals vary among varieties, all dragons are covetous. They like to hoard wealth, collecting mounds of coins and gathering as many gems, jewellery and magic items as possible. Those with large hoards are loath to leave them for long, venturing out from their lairs only to patrol the immediate area or to get food. For dragons, there is never enough treasure: It's pleasing to look at and they bask in its radiance.

All dragons gain more abilities and greater power as they age. They range in length from several feet from hatching to over 100 feet after attaining the status of great wyrm. The exact size varies according to age and variety and all dragons are said to continue growing - even after becoming great wyrms. However, no great wyrms are known to exist at present time on Charun.


Society

Dragons follow a number of reproductive strategies to suit their needs and temperaments. The eggs laid hatch into clutches of dragons, usually juvenile or younger, which stick together until they can establish their own lairs. Older and more intelligent dragons form families consisting of a mated pair and a handful of young. Mated dragons are always at least 200 years old. Shortly after a dragon reaches young adult age it leaves its parents to establish a lair of its own. In some cases, if there are immediate threats towards the lair, the offspring can stay up to adult age. A pair of mated dragons beyond the mature adult stage usually splits up, independence and the lust for treasure driving them apart. Older females continue to mate and lay eggs, but only one parent stays in the lair to raise the young.

Dragons are known to occasionally cooperate with other beings when doing so furthers their self-interest. For obvious reasons, the dragon usually has the upper hand in such relationships, and would be exceedingly rare for an individual to interact with a dragon on anything even remotely resembling equal terms.


Dragons of Today

While most dragons were slain during the Second Age, with the exception of the Polar variety, dragons are gradually making a comeback. A dragon is said to rule over the Sand Snake people, and the dragons of the Wyrmwood appear to have slowly prospered in their relative isolation, as their Saurian servants attempt to prosecute their long-standing war against the Mórail. Swamp dragons as well are now an uncommon but not unheard-of danger to travellers. Fortunately, Fire Dragons are not seen regularly (because this would mean that Mogaroth had returned to war, and would herald massive destruction).


Dragon Age Categories

Category | Age (years)

Wyrmling | 0-5

Very Young | 6-15

Young | 16-25

Juvenile | 26-50

Young Adult | 51-100

Adult | 101-200

Mature Adult | 201-400

Old | 401-700

Very Old | 700-1000

Ancient | 1000-1500

Wyrm | 1501-2000

Great Wyrm | 2001+


Dragon Size

Dragons vary in size depending on their variety. Their sizes can be found in the table below, separated by age and variety.

Dragon Age Swamp Desert Forest Fire - Wyrmling T S S M T
Very Young S M M L S
Young M M M L M
Juvenile M L L L M
Young Adult L H L H L
Adult L H H H L
Mature Adult H H H H H
Old H H H G H
Very Old H G G G H
Ancient H G G G H
Wyrm G G G G G
Great Wyrm G G G C G
  • T = Tiny, 1-2 feet in length
  • S = Small, 3-4 feet in length
  • M = Medium, 5-8 feet in length
  • L = Large, 9-16 feet in length
  • H = Huge, 17-30 feet in length
  • G = Gargantuan, 31-60 feet in length
  • C = Colossal, 61-120 feet or more in length


Dragonhide

Armoursmiths are able to work with dragonhide to produce armour and shields. Dragon armour is lightweight, strong, and often possessing other, rare qualities as well. These suits are much sought after, since the necessary materials are very rare and dangerous to acquire. That, and the fact that so few dragons exist in today's Charun leads to the majority of dragon armour hailing from earlier ages.

However, few smiths are able to craft dragon hide, mostly for lack of examples from which to learn. Those few examples which are found, most frequently that of Swamp Dragons, is eagerly used. Counter-intuitively, Saurians also appear to prize said armor -- whether out of utility or veneration is not clear.

  • Hide Armour: One dragon produces enough hide for s single suit of hide armour for a creature up to one size smaller than the dragon.
    • A human (M) would have to acquire the hide of a large dragon in order to get a suit of hide armour.
  • Scale Hauberk: By selecting only choice scales and bits of hide, an armoursmith can produce a scale hauberk for a creature up to two sizes smaller than the dragon.
    • A human (M) would have to acquire the hide of a huge dragon in order to get a scale hauberk.
  • Plate Mail: By selecting only choice scales and bits of hide, an armoursmith can produce a suit of plate mail for a creature up to three sizes smaller than the dragon.
    • A human (M) would have to acquire the hide of a gargantuan dragon in order to get a suit of plate mail armour.
  • Full Plate: By selecting only choice scales and bits of hide, an armoursmith can produce a suit of full plate for a creature up to four sizes smaller than the dragon.
    • A human (M) would have to acquire the hide of a colossal dragon in order to get a suit of full plate armour.
  • Shield: If the dragon is at least Large size, there is always in addition to the armour enough with hide to produce a light or a heavy shield. If the dragon is Huge size or more, there is enough hide in addition to that for the armour, to produce a tower shield.


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