Okay, let me ask you a question. You’re sitting in your living room, talking to a friend, and one of you mentions dragons. Now you may be talking about movies. video games, literature, comic books, RPGs, or any number of things. The source of the image doesn’t matter at this moment.
The part that does matter is the image that pops into your head when the word “dragon” is spoken. If you’re like most of us, its the mighty and majestic, fire breathing, Red Dragon. And who could blame you? These are the original beasts of legend that most of us were brought up knowing and being inspired by, to dream great and wonderful dreams.
First you need to understand. There are Chromatic Dragons. Then there are Dragon like GODS that walk among us. The Red would fall into the latter category . They are immense, both in the scale of their bodies and in the level of their power. This is reflected in the Red’s bearing and absolute disdain for all other creatures.
Easily recognizable, not just by its color but, by swept back horns and row of deadly spines along its back. The Red stares down its enemies. Eyes that flicker with an internal flame, eventually becoming nothing more than molten orbs from which the pupils have simply faded away. And nostrils that pour out brimstone filled smoke. Its wings are powerful enough to whip up hurricane strength winds and take on the bluish black tint of scorched metal.
The Red Dragon’s scales are of the brightest scarlet when young. but dulling to a blood red as it ages. They become thick and as strong as the steel. Making them more than a challenge for most adventurers.
Reds are easily the most vain and conniving of all dragon kind. They are extremely aggressive and will fly into impulsive and destructive rages. This rage can be triggered by something as simple as someone making the mistake of suggesting that a Red is just an archetypical dragon. (They are the most common. But they seem themselves as unique individuals, superior to all others. Even their own kind.)
No other dragon, and very few other beings, come close to the arrogance of the Red. They consider themselves royalty among dragons and the only true children of Tiamat. They believe the world, and every living being in it, is theirs to command.
Red Dragons are usually territorial isolationists. But this doesn’t keep them from wanting to be apprised on every major event happening in the world around them. To this end they create huge, sometimes world wide, networks of informants and spies. to bring them news from near and far. But, the subject that interests them most are other Red Dragons.
Since, to the mind of a Red, they are the only beings with the potential to grow into a true threat. Also. it helps them allows them to make sure that they are high enough on the Red Dragons pecking order.There is no such thing as an “unknown” Red Dragon. They are famous in all the surrounding lands. And often the world wide. The more famous they are, and the larger their hoard, the higher on that order.
Defeating a Red Dragon is not something that is taken lightly. It immediately elevates the adventurer to celebrity status. Just the defeat of one Red Dragon and the average adventurer is immediately considered to be among the most powerful people in the area, with fame and riches usually, to follow.
Unless of course, they are unable to do anything but anger the Red. In which case the consequences can be dire. As we will speak of shortly.
When a Red Dragon takes on servants and minions, they seek out creatures of the most heinous and evil natures. From these creatures, they demand the utmost loyalty and devotion. If fealty is not given immediately, the Red will slaughter the majority of the group. Leaving only a few to live out their lives under the Red Dragon’s tyrannical rule, as its slaves.
Kobolds worship the Red as a god. They paint the walls of its lair with elaborate murals of the Red Dragon’s exploits. They erect massive statues of the Red, and the most powerful of enemies the Red has slain. Howver, the kobolds don’t expect to garner any sort of affection from a Red Dragon for this. They aren’t fools.
No, the Kobolds and all the others living in servitude, know that this is the behavior that the Red Dragon expects from them. And they live in constant fear of a fiery death. Punishment for displeasing the mighty dragon in some way.
The most important thing to a Red Dragon is wealth. They lust for anything that is of monetary value. And have developed such and eye, that they can often appraise an item with just a glance. Its favorite pieces will come from the most powerful of its fallen enemies, and be displayed as testimony to its superiority.
A Red Dragon’s hoard is mythic in scale. And they know the value, history and location of every piece, down to the smallest bauble. It can tell if a single coin has been stolen and will be overcome with a murderous rage until the piece is returned and the thief slain. If the thief escapes, the Dragon will go on a destructive rampage. Leveling nearby townships, forests, and villages.
Its for this reason that many adventurers seeking to venture into a Red’s lair, not only have to deal with the Dragon and its minions, but also the people, kingdoms, and areas surrounding its lair. Not out of loyalty to the Dragon. But simply because they don’t wish to lose their homes and loved ones to its rage.
Think that cowardly of them? Think again.
These poor people have long experienced the earthquakes that these beasts can cause for miles around their lair. They know the sickness cause by drinking the sulfur tainted water the dragon can create. Or the instant death that comes with the portals, to the heart of the Plane of fire, that the Red commands.
And all of this pales in comparison the possibility of an Ancient Red Worm triggering an eruption of the volcano in which it calls home. Leaving nothing for miles alive, except itself.
The Red Dragon’s lair can be found everywhere. From the badlands, high hillsides, abandoned mines and mountains. Due to the fact that they share the same tastes in territory, this will sometimes bring the Red Dragon into conflict with Copper Dragons.
A Red’s favorite place for its lair is, however, in the heart of a volcanic caldera. Here the protect themselves, and its hoard, with the volcanic gasses and immense heat that few other creatures in existence can survive. Because of these natural barriers, the Red Dragon feels comfortable leaving its lair to survey to lands and kingdoms that it has bought to heel.
While inside, the Red can cause magma to erupt from any point that it can see. It can cause tremors and spread the poisonous volcanic gases to push through the halls of its home in a poisonous cloud.
Lastly, if you do make it to the Red Dragon himself. You will be combatting a beast who is powerful enough to the mightiest of stone walls with a single brush of its tail. Rip the strongest of metal with its tooth and law. And reduce even the stongest castle to molten stone and ash with its breath alone.
Taking on a Red Dragon is not something to be taken lightly. And should you decide to, I wish you the best of luck.
I hope you have enjoyed this series.
If you have any questions, comments, or requests for my next series, please leave them below.
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