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Underworld Dragon, Adult

Huge dragon, lawful evil

Armor Class 19 (natural armor)
Hit Points 256 (19d12+133)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 60 ft., fly 100 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
26 (+8) 6 (–2) 25 (+7) 20 (+5) 23 (+6) 24 (+7)

Saving Throws Str +14, Con +13, Cha +12
Damage Immunities fire
Damage Vulnerabilities cold
Skills Perception +12, Stealth +4
Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 22
Languages Common, Draconic, Dwarvish, Giant, Ignan, Terran, Undercommon
Challenge 19 (22,000 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Choking Cloud. Any time the imperial underworld dragon casts fog cloud, creatures except for the imperial underworld dragon inside the affected area must hold their breath or begin to suffocate. Spells with verbal components cannot be cast within the affected area.
  • Innate Spellcasting. The imperial underworld dragon’s spell casting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 17). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
  • Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the imperial underworld dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
  • Treasure Scent. An imperial underworld dragon can smell precious metals and gemstones within 120 feet, not requiring a Wisdom (Perception) ability check.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The imperial underworld dragon can use its Frightful Presence. It then makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 47 (6d12 + 8) piercing damage.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (2d8 + 8) slashing damage.
  • Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 26 (4d8 + 8) bludgeoning damage.
  • Fire Breath (Recharge 5–6). The imperial underworld dragon exhales burning flames in a 60-foot line. Each creature in that line must make a DC 19 Dexterity saving throw, taking 31 (7d8) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

LEGENDARY ACTIONS

The imperial underworld dragon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The imperial underworld dragon regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

  • Detect. The imperial underworld dragon makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.
  • Tail Attack. The imperial underworld dragon makes a tail attack.

LAIR ACTIONS

On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the imperial underworld dragon takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects; The imperial underworld dragon can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row:

  • An imperial underworld dragon can summon one creature that lives in the caves or underground that is CR 2 or less to a space within 60 feet of it. This creature is loyal to the imperial underworld dragon and will do anything to defend it.
  • The imperial underworld dragon can cause one dead humanoid’s corpse to rise again as a fire elemental loyal to the imperial underworld dragon. This fire elemental has 50 maximum hit points and does not have the Multiattack ability.
  • The imperial underworld dragon can cause a 20-foot radius to become absolute darkness that even creatures with darkvision cannot see through, except for the imperial underworld dragon. This area lasts for 1 turn.

REGIONAL EFFECTS

The region containing the imperial underworld dragon’s lair is shaped by the its dark power, which creates one or more of the following effects:

  • Cracks in the ground begin to form within 1 mile of the imperial underworld dragon’s lair, spewing lava out of them.
  • People within 5 miles of the imperial underworld dragon’s lair become greedier than they would usually be, and the dragon itself becomes aware of items of great value that enter its domain. Creatures that remain within this area for more than 1 week become selfish and vindictive, behaving as if their alignment was lawful evil. This effect ends when a creature leaves the area or the imperial underworld dragon dies.
  • The area within 5 miles of the imperial underworld dragon’s lair becomes covered in an oppressive smoky haze that is humid to breathe in.

ABOUT

Underworld dragons are calculating, greedy creatures that carve great labyrinthine tunnels beneath the world, defending their hidden treasures. Preferring the earth to the heavens, they channel the fires of the world’s core within their twisting, stonelike bodies and through flaming breath hot enough to turn granite into slag. These serpentine dragons have skin the color of deep volcanic rock, enormous claws, and jagged, stonelike horns and scales.

Dragons are an integral part of the mythology of Asia, though they are quite different from the winged dragons known in the Western mythology. Some are benevolent and others sinister, but while their appearance is different from Western dragons they are equally capable of the savage rapacity and legendary greed of their chromatic cousins and the stern and aloof devotion to goodness of their metallic kin. Like most monsters, imperial dragons have an assigned typical alignment, but they are highly individualistic and much more likely to have an alignment that varies from the typical than would be true for metallic or chromatic dragons.

Imperial dragons, sometimes termed dragons of the celestial host, in the “dragon empires” are serpentine agents of cosmic balance, though some of them are not above sowing chaos and discord for their own gain. Imperial dragons differ in appearance from the more commonly known chromatic and metallic dragons, possessing a long serpentine body. Most lack wings but can fly gracefully through supernatural means.

All imperial dragons have large antlers, some sweeping back in delicate curves and others thrust forward to gore their foes.

Like all dragons, imperial dragons can breathe potent torrents of elemental force, and many can cast spells and perform other supernatural feats. Additionally, all can magically transform themselves into a humanoid shape.

Imperial Entanglements. Imperial dragons are defenders of ancient lands and protectors of cosmic balance. They take a much more active role in humanoid societies than their metallic or chromatic kin, to such a degree that the kingdoms of in lands they are known sometimes refer to themselves as “dragon empires.” They are active in times of social upheaval, and may be sought out for their wisdom or aid. Imperial dragons are seen by humanoids as either benevolent guardians or vile threats depending on their type. Some imperial families trace their bloodlines to the semi-divine dragon-emperors of old or still rely on the counsel of living dragons or, in rare cases, ask a dragon to rule as their wise sovereign.

Mandate of Heaven. More so than any other dragons, imperial dragons are closely tied to the religious beliefs of their native lands. Imperial dragons are often associated with divinity, whether as guardians or emissaries of a god, as the representation of a god, or as a deity themselves. It is said that imperial dragons inhabited their lands in an Age of Dragons, long before other races arose there, and were charged by the gods to safeguard the land in anticipation of humanity’s arrival. Some of the gods themselves may in fact be incredibly powerful dragons transcended into immortality, and each of the five species of imperial dragon is represented as a constellation.

Adult Dragons. The imperial dragons presented in this book are all adults. As agents of the highest deities, young dragons sometimes wander in mortal lands before they ascend, though many are kept safe in the realms of the divine until they reach maturity and complete their training. Older dragons may likewise “graduate” from their status and join the celestial bureaucracy, while others roam freely to live as they wish. If you wish to extend the lifespans of imperial dragons into youth or old age like other true dragons, you can adjust their abilities up or down in a manner similar to other dragons with equivalent Challenge levels.

Section 15: Copyright Notice
Asian Monsters (5E) © 2021, Legendary Games; Authors Miguel Colon, Jason Nelson, Andrew Ha, Aurélien Lainé, Dan Dillon, Ismael Alvarez, James-Levi Cooke, Robert J. Grady, Jeff Ibach, Matt Kimmel, and Thurston Hillman