Pale Dragon

Family: Dragons

When speaking of Netherworld dragons, most surface dwellers immediately think of the terrifying legends of corrupted dragons: servants of Canker. More scholarly individuals might mention the copper dragons who sometimes dedicate themselves to the protection of dangerous places of power, or the black dragons who exhibit an appetite for dark, buried secrets. Even to Netherworld dwellers, pale dragons are the stuff of myth. It is said its name is a euphemism intended to evoke the ghosts of ancient times, a relic of the Travelers’ glory.

The Difficult Description of the Dragon of the Depths

Weaker than its cousins from the surface, it is also smaller and less vigorous. Its appearance is reminiscent of an albino animal. Its scales have a sandy-beige shine and are slightly translucent; in places, veins and arteries can be made out under its thin hide.

In a dark tunnel, it might not be immediately obvious that the pale dragon only has vestigial wings. These remnants are no longer capable of flight, but wyrmlings and young can still use them to glide. More surprising still, the joints and muscles of the wings have evolved to become more dexterous and are used as limbs to grasp, lift, handle objects, etc. When they’re folded back along its body, the pale dragon can move in a manner not unlike an agile lizard or giant snake.

There is more to its strange anatomy, as the pale dragon is particularly prone to mutations. It appears to be in the midst of a rapid evolution into a new form that might stabilize in a few centuries, perhaps. In the meantime, some are born without legs, or are able to retract them into a sheath, while others bristle with multiple arms instead of wings or legs.

Direct Descendants of the Travelers

Pale dragons could declare themselves the last Travelers, but they do not do so. Quiet and humble, they do not proclaim rightful ownership over remaining great sites of power, either. They do not make themselves known to-nor answer the excited questions of-history-obsessed adventurers, who seek to satisfy a curiosity without a goal.

Knowledge for knowledge’s sake holds little merit in their eyes; they’re far more interested in the reasons for action.

Although it might be difficult to obtain any information from a pale dragon, what they know could turn out to be crucial. They know a lot about the plans and abilities of the aboleths, the danger Blackwater represents, and the locations of places dating back to the Age of Travelers. They’re also some of the few creatures capable of understanding Viatic.

Inscrutable Minds

Meeting a pale dragon is a frightening experience that holds little in common with the sheer terror normally incited by adult or ancient dragon species found on the surface. This species is set apart by its intelligence, knowledge, and insight that seems nothing short of clairvoyance. The minds of others are as open books, and they can effortlessly look through thoughts and memories.

While frailer and weaker than their cousins, they can call upon innate psychic powers, ravaging the minds of their enemies when pushed to fight. Their eyes are particularly striking, an intense black that gleams with a golden glow. A form of empathy can be felt from within them: often benevolent, but alien to humanoid logic. For example, a pale dragon might seem convinced of the righteousness of adventurers’ causes, but refuse to grant them the aid they seek. Adventurers seeking a pale dragon during a long quest may have already attracted its attention. The creature could be there, right under their noses, in the guise of a caravan guide, artisan, or guard. It observes them and takes the time to reflect, preferring to act indirectly, with gentle touches.

Are pale dragons good or neutral creatures? Do they follow tenets that go beyond the notions of Good and Evil that govern the ephemeral lives of humanoids? One can only hope to understand their actions by looking at the big picture.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Creatures Rulebook for the Fateforge Role-Playing Game Copyright © 2021 Studio Agate.

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