By David Kuijt
Aeons before the dawn of Man, dragons ruled from their mountain aeries. They fought Dwarves in high mountain passes, slaughtered Elf Lords in sudden onslaught, and dreamed of power and avarice half-asleep on beds of treasure.
The rise of Man disturbed their slumber. Beings that live a thousand years before reaching maturity find it difficult to adjust to change. Reluctant to give up their ferocious independence, many were overcome peacemeal as the centuries of Man's rise grew into millenia.
But Man is the complacent one now. In some human kingdoms dragons are known as solitary monsters; whole Human civilizations exist to whom dragons are mythical, not believed to exist.
But the dragons have returned. And they are pissed.
Home Topography: Mountains or Swamps or Dark Forests
The Dragonwhelp Spellcaster is actually a Lizardman crossbreed, rather than a pureblood Dragonspawn.
Who can claim the lofty status of being a Dragonlord? The test is really quite easy. If dragons are more interested in talking to you than eating you, you are a Dragonlord. Mastery over dragons is not implied, for they cannot be compelled.
Dragons mature slowly. It can take a thousand years for one to become fully adult. Like alligators, though, they do not stop growing. An Elder Dragon is enormous, one of the most terrible beings it is possible to meet. Teeth like swords, claws that can rend buildings, and a wingspan that darkens the sky. Some say that Elder Dragons have a magical aura of fear. Those few scholars who have seen one enraged and survive realize that is false -- the fear they create needs no magical enhancement.
Even young dragons can be deadly opponents. Their famed irascability and solitary nature comes later; dragons lay a brood of eggs, and when they hatch a flight of young dragons results. They play together, and hunt together, while they mature. This social stage lasts only for a few centuries, which is a short time in a dragon's lifespan.
A brood of young dragons are swift and vicious. If they lack the sly intelligence, magical resistance, and deadly power they will possess in maturity, they make it up in numbers, speed, and ferocity.
Black dragons spew acid, green dragons poison gas, red dragons fire, and blue dragons lightning. All dragons have breath weapons. That does not mean all dragons fight the same. Greenspawn Razorfiends are so named because they prefer to fight in close combat, slashing their opponents to ribbons with their razor-sharp claws.
Black dragons live in marshes and spit acid. They stay social longer than other races of dragons, living in warrens even through adolescence. They can be distinguished from other dragon species not only by their coloring, but also by their horned heads.
What magic created the Blackspawn, melding the vicious nature of the Black Dragon into a humanoid form? Some say it is an abomination against nature; others say it is the result of an arcane melding of Lizardman and Dragon. Regardless of the truth, the Blackspawn are fierce humanoid warriors who always fight on the side of the dragons.
Blackspawn are only a little larger than man-sized, so their claws and teeth are inadequate weapons by themselves. They fight with crude scimitars, the only dragonspawn to use such technology.
Kin to the Blue Dragons, Bluespawn Stormlizards crackle with electricity. They are stocky and powerful, built like a Rhinoceros with a single nose horn. Their charge is deadly, and few beings of normal stature can stand against them.
The Rage Drake is a wingless cousin of the Red Dragon. Unlike their larger brethren, Rage Drakes are lithe and fast, built like hunting cats. They are aggressive runners and very fierce, tending to use their vicious claws and teeth in preference to their short-range breath weapon.
The only ally of the Dragons are the Lizardmen of the Southern Jungles, who speak a similar language and were powerful, like the Dragons, aeons before the rise of Man. A Lizardman Firecaster is shown in the image on the left.
As for enemies, the list is long. Dwarves and humans from Mountain Kingdoms are the most common opponents, but raiding and destruction come naturally to the Dragons, and they can be found attacking any race or group.
All the figures shown, save two, are D&D Miniatures figures. The Dragonwhelp Spellcaster (left) is a Mage Knight figure, slightly repainted. The Elder Green Dragon (right) is a white metal figure from some defunct miniatures game of the 90s. I got it (unpainted) for a song in a Historicon flea market. It took me two or three tries to paint it, as I couldn't decide what color pattern to use. I finally decided that it was an aerial hunter, so it needed to be lighter on the underbelly than on the top (like aeroplane camoflage), and I went with a green treatment because blue didn't look right, red is passe, and black was too easy.
Page created December 6, 2008.
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