Do you want to read nine MS Word pages' worth of material on Scarterran dragons? Too bad. Spoiler: History of the Dragons from their creation into the Age of Humans Broad History of Dragons Origin: During the Divine Rebellion, the Nine fought besides countless numbers of mortal souls. The small number of mortals who survived the battle gained a considerable amount of latent power and became the first Dragons. Early History: As a reward for their assistance, the Nine declared that dragons would be the dominant mortal race over the entire material plane of Scarterras. The dragons multiplied and spread out. They dwelled in the forests, deserts, caves, lakes, rivers, seas, mountains, basically everywhere. Some legends speak of dragons having lairs in the sky, on the moon or in other fantastic places. The dragons formed tribal lines around religion, philosophy, and differences in their innate powers and appearances. These groups formed competing kingdoms which fought each other for resources and territory. Dragons also had to compete with non-dragons, many of them were created by Greymoria specifically to kill or harass dragons. Schisms developed between young and old dragons as older dragons hoarded the best treasure and territory while also pushing them into cannon fodder roles against the dragon race’s collective enemies. A dragon queen of great sorcerous ability attempted to gain dominance in the war of the Dragon Kingdoms by harnessing the elemental powers of all Scarterras. This massive ritual spell backfired and unleashed chaotic elemental energy. Thousands, possibly millions of elementals arose in Scarterras en mass and began radically reshaping the world. Floods, earthquakes, wildfires, and storms raged everywhere. The mega-continent split into pieces. New islands and mountain ranges formed. Water bodies were redirected or formed anew. Most structures erected by dragonkind were destroyed. Surviving the First Unmaking: Many dragons died fighting overwhelming numbers of rampaging elementals. Others died in the supernatural disasters that accompanied the elementals. Many dragons were strong enough to weather these attacks, but the elementals nonetheless were destroying their territories and food supplies which led to more dragons dying of starvation. Other dragons died at their talons of their own kind as the already factionalized dragons began competing over increasingly scarce resources. This weakened the already strained loyalty and kinship dragons held for their own kind. Depending on which historian you believe, somewhere between 90 and 99% of the world’s dragons did not survive the Unmaking. Second Age History: The Nine decided that the elves would inherit Scarterras. Many dragons opposed this and tried to reinstitute their dominance. If the surviving dragons unified, they would have had the power to destroy or enslave the fledgling elven tribes, but they couldn’t unify. Most dragons agreed that dragons to be in charge again but nearly all of them wanted to be the dragon in charge. This created the term “Dragon’s Vote” where everyone votes for themselves. As mighty as they were, lone dragons and small hostile bands of dragons were not able to bring fledgling elven nations to their knees. A lot of early Second Age legends speak of legendary dragon slayers. A few dragons were not hostile to elves. Many were indifferent and isolationist. A few even tried to teach and support these emerging elven governments so that they would benefit from the wisdom of the dragons and avoid repeating the ancient dragons’ greatest mistakes. Dragons were generally hostile to elves more often than they were supportive. Even in the Third Age, modern elves tend to respect dragon slayers. It might take ninety-nine elves to bring one dragon down but they always seemed to have at least a hundred. For the most part dragons in the Second Age laired as far away from major elven population centers as they could. During the First Age, very few dragons had the ability to polymorph into smaller creatures. Over the course of the Second Age, more and more Dragons developed this trait. This led to some dragons hiding in plain sight, and far more half-dragons appearing than in the First Age. The social stigma dragons faced for breeding with lesser creatures was drastically reduced. Dragons are willful and independent but the norm was set that most dragons go through a phase in their youth where they either bully or assist the lesser races. As they get older, dragons become more neutral to lesser races and generally want to be left alone. There are exceptions in all age groups, but the stereotype exists for a reason. Surviving the Second Unmaking: Some Void Demons went to great lengths to kill dragons, perhaps remembering the Dragon’s forebears helping to bring down Turoch. Others didn’t bother preferring to devour the souls of a thousand elves rather than devouring the soul of a single dragons. Some dragons worked heroically to save as many mortals as they could. Other dragons just looked out for Number One. Relatively few dragons actively sold out or betrayed lesser mortals out of spite or a cowardly desire to survive. More often than not, the shared tragedy of the Second Unmaking made dragons feel more solidarity with lesser brethren than ever before though many dragons hold elves in contempt while respecting other humanoids. Afterall, it was elven arrogance that set off the Second Unmaking. Most scholars of draconic histories believe that about one in three dragons survived the Second Unmaking. Recent History and Distribution: There were a few dragons who tried to reassert draconic dominance over the fledgling human nations and tribes but this was less prevalent than at the start of the Third Age. Rather than dominate the humans outright, many dragons tried to become advisors and protectors to human kings and queens. It’s a matter of opinion whether these dragons were benevolent teachers or nefarious puppet masters. Usually they were a bit of both. A lot of modern monarchs claim to have draconic blood from their ancestors. Some of these monarchs are even telling the truth. While most dragons don’t cross-breed with lesser mortals, the practice is far more common in the Third Age than the Second Age. Modern dragons are a varied bunch. Some are overt bullies or benevolent crusaders. Some are covert puppet masters. The majority of dragons still attempt to find territories far from large mortal population centers unless they can polymorph into humanoid forms in which case they will often hide in plain sight. The Third Age has seen the most successful attempt of dragons to unify since the First Age. The Dragon Kingdom encompasses the Triangle Islands which is made up of about a score of young dragons, hundreds of giants, and thousands of subordinate humans. Spoiler: Modern Dragon Society Dragon Society Lifecycle and Society: Dragons are born knowing the draconic language and they are able to fly and hunt on their own less than twenty-four hours after hatching. Some dragons abandon their nests and leave their young to fend for themselves. Other dragons feed their young and teach them for either a short or long period of time. Dragons have strong territorial instincts. Even when living with their parents, it’s common for young dragon hatchlings to pick a small alcove of the lair to call their own. Some dragons buck the trend and become nomadic vagabonds though this is rare, usually as result to some terrible loss or trauma. In most cases, an adult dragon considers all land and sea within a day’s flight from their lair in all directions to be his territory. Not quite as universal as the territorial instinct, most dragons, even good natured dragons, are covetous for things of value. The majority of dragons go for coins, jewelry and the like but more than a few try to gather up libraries of ancient wisdom, magical items, or even farmland and livestock. If something has value, a dragon somewhere covets it. If the dragons acted as unified group, they could destroy or enslave humanity fairly easily, but that threat seems extremely unlikely. Many joke that dragons can barely refrain from killing each other long enough to mate and propagate the species. This is not entirely true, but dragons are far more tolerant of draconic visitors to their territory if the dragons in question are perspective mates. Dragons can meet peacefully for reasons beyond mating, mostly commonly to share news or negotiate bordering territories. Sometimes a half dozen or more dragons with fairly close territories will gather at a time to discuss news and issues that affect all of them. Occasionally, older dragons will mentor younger dragons who are neither their offspring nor perspective mates. In nearly all cases, a dragon will try to keep tabs on all neighboring dragons as far afield as possible. Every other dragon is a potential rival, pawn or mate. On to mating. Dragons mating practices vary from dragon to dragon. Some dragons leave their young entirely to fend for themselves. Some dragons shelter and guide their young all the way into young adulthood. Some dragons mate for life and other dragons mate opportunistically. There is no guarantee that a dragon will raise all his or her young the same way each time. It’s not uncommon for a dragon to leave its first few clutches to fend for themselves and carefully raise their last clutch or visa versa. Sometimes a mated pair will rear their young together. Sometimes the male will raise all the young, sometimes the female will raise all the young. Sometimes dragon couples will split their eggs up and raise their own half of the clutch as they fit. Dragon family units are neither patriarchal nor matriarchal, leadership is based on age and for a dragon, age is synonymous with power. If the older dragon wants to mold the next generation, he or she can take all the eggs and their mate will not object (not out loud at least). If the older dragon in a mated pair views raising young as a burden, then the younger mate will not openly object to being made to raise all the young. If a dragon practices polyandry or polygamy the dragon is probably much older and more powerful than his mates. Most male and female dragons are alike are eager to mate with older higher status dragons. A typical dragon clutch is two to five eggs. Most female dragons have four to five clutches over their lifetime, but it is possible for dragons to have many more clutches than that, supposedly there were dragon queens in the First Age who had over a hundred clutches. On a related note, nearly every modern dragon claims to be descended from dragon royalty. Some dragons leave their young to fend for themselves entirely after hatching. Even them, one or both parents will often visit the nesting sight periodically and make sure the eggs aren’t threatened. Most dragons enjoy at least a short period of protection and provision living in the lair of one or both parents. One thing nearly all dragons who opt to raise their young do is capture some live prey to serve as their young’s first meal and first hunting lesson. Dragons grow in size, strength, intellect, cunning, and magical power as they grow older. Their scales also become harder. Religious Practices: Religious practices vary greatly from dragon to dragon. In general terms, dragons are less pious than most other mortals though most dragons at least pay lip service to the Nine. Dragons rarely seek to learn divine magic, and they are rarely empowered as favored souls. It is not unheard of for some dragons to become priests, usually they learn lots of theology, but never bother learning divine magic. Dragons may worship the whole pantheon of the Nine or a large portion of the pantheon, but the majority of dragons choose one of the Nine as their primary patron, often picking a patron whose personality and goals already approximate their own. Dragon Life Cycle and Biology Wyrmling ___40-100 pounds, Large dog _____ 0 years __~6 feet nose-to-tail Juvenile 100-800 pounds, small horse ______6 years____~10 feet nose-to-tail Adolescent 800-2000 pounds, typical horse____50 years____~20 feet nose-to-tail Young Adult 2000-5000 pounds, female orca___ 200 years____~30 feet nose-to-tail Adult 5000-8,000 pounds, male orca ______400 years_____ ~35 feet nose-to-tail Wyrm 8000-12000 pounds typical elephant_____800 years______ ~40 feet nose-to-tail Great Wyrm 12,000-14000 pounds, large elephant____1200 years____~40 feet nose-to-tail Wise Wyrm 9000-10,000 pounds, typical elephant____2000 years____~39 feet nose-to-tail Dead by old age at about 2500 years give or take. Spoiler: The life of a wyrmling dragon Wyrmling Dragons Most wyrmlings hatch from their eggs at roughly the same time. If a parent is present, he or she might help the wyrmling escape their egg prison by gently tapping the shell. A wyrmling emerges from his or her shell a soggy bundle of scales. They are roughly twice as long from snout to tail as the size of their egg. Within an approximately an hour they are dry and capable of crawling and simple flying (which is more like jumping very far instead of true flight). Within a few days, a wyrmling is capable of full flight. Wyrmling dragons seem to have proportionately oversized head and feet compared to adult dragons. The first thing a wyrmling wants to do is usually find food. If left in an untended nest, a wyrmling’s first meal is probably her own shell. Waste not, want not. This is a good source of vitamins and minerals and this also helps ensure that a young wyrmling doesn’t immediately try to eat her nest mates. If one or both parents are there, the mother and/or father will often provide live prey. So the wyrmling’s first meal is also her first hunting lesson. Once the immediate hunger is satisfied, a young wyrmling will seek out a lair. If they are in their parent’s or parents’ lair, each wyrmling will usually find a corner or alcove to claim it as his or her own. Even without tutelage from a parent, a wyrmling is born with a lot of inherent knowledge, including the Draconic spoken language, the basics of hunting, how to fly among other things. Even so, wyrmling dragons left to fend for themselves live precarious existences. A majority of young wyrmlings left to fend for themselves do not make it to the juvenile stage. Wyrmlings are instinctively aware of this and their youthful energy is often tempered by instinctive caution. Some wyrmling seek out an older non-parent dragon as a mentor, a relationship which often lasts a few decades (a short period of time for dragons). Spoiler: The life of a juvenile dragon Juvenile Dragons The juvenile stage is marked by a large growth spurt though the young dragon still seems to have oversized feet and an oversized head. They also have a mental growth spurt as well. A few early bloomers their first budding ability in sorcery as juveniles. Juvenile dragons often choose to leave their parents’ nest at this stage in their lives. Others are forced out. Juvenile dragons that grew up without their parents often find they have literally or figuratively outgrown their first lair and depleted the local game, so they seek out a larger more productive territory. Spoiler: Dragon Acne (Dracne) Dragon Adolesence Adolescent Dragons Adolescence is marked by a new growth spurt, which will gradually let a dragon assume its adult form (his head and feet are proportionately comparable to older dragons). Most adolescent dragons manifest their innate sorcerous talent at this time. Most dragons leave their parents’ nest at this time. If they haven’t begun seeking treasure already, they usually start seeking treasure now. Many dragons go through a phase where they become fascinated with the weaker races, either helping them, bullying them, or just studying them. This often but not always manifest in adolescence. If a dragon is going to develop the ability to polymorph into smaller species, this power usually manifests during adolescence. Spoiler: Young Adult Dragon Life Young Adult A dragon’s rapid growth spurts give way to slow steady growth. A dragon’s mental abilities continue to grow as well. Dragons who are late bloomers finally develop their talent for sorcery during this stage. Even the most patient and tolerant dragon parents push their offspring out at this point. Many dragons with mentors part ways at this point, or if they are lucky, a relationship of mentorship matures into a friendship. Most dragons begin searching for a new long-term lair and territory at this point…ideally one near the territory of a dragon of the opposite sex. Most young adults seek out a mate at this stage in their life if they haven’t started courting others during adolescence. Spoiler: Adult Dragon Life Adult At this point a dragon is truly a force to be reckoned with. His physical growth begins to slow but does not stop. Dragons often settle into routines at this point. Whatever prevailing attitude he has towards dealing with the humanoid races usually solidifies at this stage in life. If they haven’t done so already, a dragon probably settles into the territory he plans to die in. If a dragon seeks a permanent mate, this is usually when they pair up. If the dragon was the sort to befriend or manipulate humanoids, at this point in her life she probably begins to withdraw from non-dragon societies. Whether dragons view humanoids as treasured friends or useful pawns, after watching at least three or four generations of humanoids grow old and die, many dragons don’t find them worth bothering with anymore. Spoiler: Wyrm the biggest and the baddest dragons out there Wyrm Dragons reach their physical peak at this life stage. It is a rare feat for a dragon to reach this great age. Even rivals will give grudging respect to dragons of this age. Few young dragons could potentially rival a wyrm of this power, so it’s common that dragons become mentors and leaders of their own kind at this age. A female wyrm is nearing the end of her fertile years. Most females try to raise one last clutch. If she doesn’t have a mate, it’s not hard to find one. Age is power and status and a female wyrm can dictate terms to most males. Spoiler: Great Wyrms, like a Wyrm only smarter Great Wyrm A Great Wyrm dragon is at her physical peak and her mental abilities are beyond compare. Great Wyrm dragons are living legends known for hundreds of leagues around, at least by dragonkind. Physical growth stops, but a dragon’s mental acuity continues to expand. Male dragons will become infertile within a few centuries, but during their last fertile years, they will have hordes of suitors since many females who want their offspring to have such a powerful mentor and protector. Unless they’ve taken great pains to maintain their secrecy, dragons of this age usually have world-wide fame among all races. Spoiler: Geriatric Dragons Wise Wyrms Also called “twilight dragons”. At this point a dragon’s physical prowess finally begins to decline though they mentally as strong as ever. Wise Wyrms are the most magically gifted of any dragons. While respected for their wisdom, twilight dragons recognize that they are vulnerable. They have more treasure than any other dragon and they have less means to defend themselves than younger dragons. Dragons have a ritual where they can pass peacefully on their own terms. Most Wise Wyrms opt to do this after making final arrangements rather than cling tenaciously to life though some do. Spoiler: Variations between dragons based on things other than age Physical Variations between dragons Dragons gets stronger and smarter as they age, but there is considerable variation within dragon age categories. Dragons can be jocks or nerds (or whatever the medieval equivalent of these terms is). Dragons that develop abilities and aptitudes related to their personalities. Bold dragons that like to dominate foes physically tend to be more muscular and heavier than dragons that prefer to outwit their foes. Phrenology is real with dragons. Most dragons can make an accurate guess of a dragons personality type and ability aptitudes just by looking at them. The shape of a dragon’s teeth, horns, crest, tail, and more contain a wealth of information to those who know. Dragons are a prejudiced lot with lots of confirmation bias. If they see a counter example to what phrenology suggests they will underplay it. All dragons can fly. If they want to learn advanced flying tricks like hovering, tight turns, or how to make dive bomb attacks, they need to learn these things by trial and error. All dragons can swim, but not all dragons can swim well. Dragons that evolve to be aquatic usually are longer and thinner than dragons that are not aquatic. All dragons can dig with their claws, but few dragons can burrow fast through snow, sand, or soft soil. Burrowing dragons tend to have comparatively short necks and stocky builds. It is very rare for a dragon to be fully aquatic and a natural burrower. It is extremely rare for a dragon to become aquatic or evolve into a natural burrower if they aren’t born with these aptitudes. Dragons that are especially magically talented for their age tend to be shinier and more majestic looking. Dragons that are fairly shy and reclusive often gradually take on the coloration of their environments while dragons that are vain and seek attention often develop a very striking color tones. Fire breathers nearly always radiate heat and their scales often smell like smoke. Ice breathers radiate cold and their scales tend to smell clean and fresh. Lightning breathers nearly always smell like ozone and they often crackle with static. Acid breathers tend to have caustic drool and have skull like visages with black teeth; they often reek of decay. Sonic breathers tend to be very talkative and have loud voices. Spoiler: How to build a dragon (warning this is very CRUNCHY, not very fluffy) Dragon Character Creation Guidelines Spoiler: Comparing dragons to humans Baselines for comparison. -Human attributes and abilities range between 1 and 5. -Ordinary humans have five health levels. "Heroic" humans have ten health levels. -Willpower for all creations ranges between 1 and 10. -Appearance for a dragon doesn't mean how pretty or handsome the dragon is but is a measure of how awe inspiring the dragon is A low appearance means "ewww a giant lizard" and a high Appearance means "Oh my gods, don't hurt me!" -Arcane is a trait that humans do not have. For simplicity, a dragon uses his/her arcane rating as the dice pool when casting spells. My goal is to make dragons mighty and impressive but not impossible for humans or demihumans to defeats. The attributes are the minimum levels for a dragon of that age. A dragon can spend his/her freebie points to raise an attribute up to three points higher than the minimum. Wyrmling Dragon Character Creation Willpower 3 Dexterity 2, Strength 2, Stamina 3, Appearance NA, Charisma 1, Manipulation 1, Intelligence 1, Perception 2, Wits 2, Arcane NA Abilities (Max 3 per ability): 15 dots. Freebie Points: 30 Health Levels: 5 Juvenile Dragon Character Creation Willpower 5 Dexterity 2, Strength 4, Stamina 4, Appearance 0, Charisma 1, Manipulation 1, Intelligence 1, Perception 3, Wits 3, Arcane 0 Abilities (Max 4 per ability): 25 dots. Freebie Points: 60 Health Levels: 7 Adolescent Dragon Character Creation Willpower 6 Dexterity 2, Strength 5, Stamina 5, Appearance 1, Charisma 2, Manipulation 2, Intelligence 2, Perception 3, Wits 3, Arcane 1 Abilities (Max 5 per ability): 40 dots. Freebie Points: 90 Health Levels: 10 Young Adult Dragon Character Creation Willpower 7 Dexterity 2, Strength 7, Stamina 6, Appearance 2, Charisma 3, Manipulation 3, Intelligence 3, Perception 4, Wits 4, Arcane 3 Abilities (Max 5 per ability): 50 dots. Freebie Points: 120 Health Levels: 12 Adult Dragon Character Creation Willpower 8 Dexterity 2, Strength 8, Stamina 7, Appearance 3, Charisma 4, Manipulation 4, Intelligence 4, Perception 5, Wits 5, Arcane 5 Abilities (Max 6 per ability): 60 dots. Freebie Points: 150 Health Levels: 15 Wyrm Dragon Character Creation Willpower 9 Dexterity 2, Strength 9, Stamina 8, Appearance 4, Charisma 4, Manipulation 4, Intelligence 5, Perception 6, Wits 5, Arcane 6 Abilities (Max 6 per ability): 70 dots. Freebie Points: 180 Health Levels: 18 Great Wyrm Dragon Character Creation Willpower 10 Dexterity 2, Strength 10, Stamina 9, Appearance 5, Charisma 4, Manipulation 5, Intelligence 6, Perception 7, Wits 6, Arcane 7 Abilities (Max 7 per ability): 80 dots. Freebie Points: 200 Health Levels: 20 Wise Wyrm Dragon Character Creation Willpower 10 Dexterity 2, Strength 8, Stamina 7, Appearance 4, Charisma 4, Manipulation 5, Intelligence 6, Perception 7, Wits 6, Arcane 7 Abilities (Max 7 per ability): 90 dots. Freebie Points: 220 Health Levels: 17 Spoiler: Dragon Freebie Point Mechanics Dragon Freebie Point Chart (not exhaustive) Power or Upgrade___Freebie Point Cost First dot of additional armor 5 Second dot of additional armor 8 Third dot of additional armor 12 Fourth dot of additional armor 20 First and second additional dots of attributes 5 Third additional dot of attribute 6 Additional dot of abilities 2 Additional language 1 Literacy, all known languages 2 Water breathing, fresh water and salt 4 Aquatic movement rate 6 Natural Burrower 5 Natural Burrower and Aquatic Movement Rate 15 Ability to hover in place while flying 3 Ability to claw at a target while flying over them 3 Ability to somersault midair to change direction in a tight arc 5 First Circle Arcane Spell 1 Second Circle Arcane Spell 2 Third Circle Arcane Spell 4 Fourth Circle Arcane Spell 5 Fifth Circle Arcane Spell 7 Limited polymorph into one humanoid form 8 Limited polymorph into three distinct humanoid forms 12 Near limitless polymorphs into humanoid forms 20 Perfect traction on ice and snow 4 Limited Water walking, slow and careful 4 Water walking, full Dexterityand speed 8 Spider climb any surface capable of supporting weight 4 Spider climb capable of supernaturally light touch 9 Powers all dragons have. -They can soak lethal damage with their full Stamina rating. -They can fly -They have a breath weapon that can inflict Strength +3 lethal damage (I still need to work out how often they can use it. I'm thinking of giving them a shot limit like in the How to Train Your Dragon series. -They have claws and teeth that can inflict Strength +1 lethal damage -They can lash out for Strength+1 bashing damage with their tail. -Dragons have a frightful presence that can be resisted with Willpower. Difficulty to resist is the dragon’s Appearance+1 -If a dragon wants to pick something up its claws or mouth and fly while carrying it than its Strength is considered three points lower for that purpose. A dragon can carry something on its back (such as a human rider) then it is a lot easier. A dragon’s strength is only one lower if it wants to fly carrying something on its back while flying. -Dragon claws lack the fine motor control of humanoid fingers. Rolls involving fine motor skills are at +2 difficulty. -Dragons use their Arcane attribute when casting spells.