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Dragon, Wasteland


    Dark-tempered beasts who rule the magic-blasted wastes with a merciless territoriality, wasteland dragons prowl among the ruins of dead cities and dust-blown, haunted and barren lands that once were verdant.

    Territorial for a Reason. They consider all other dragons to be enemies, but no creatures are so hated by wasteland dragons as spellcasters and any who employ magic. They blame spellcasters—somewhat correctly—for the state of the lands they roam and, indeed, for their own current form.

    Though these dragons breed true, they were once of different breeds altogether before they were warped by an unfettered magical catastrophe and the foul energies brought through to this world from the Void. Their once-brilliant scales have dimmed to the color of rust and soil; their crests and horns have gone grey and withered; the lands they rule now host horrors which even they must fear; and their natural defenses have been warped and supplanted by the very energies which wrought so much destruction. Dragons have long memories, and these atrocities, as far as they are concerned, could have happened yesterday. Thus they attack, without warning or mercy, any who trespass, showing spellcasters particular cruelty.

    Predatory Zeal by Necessity. Dedicated carnivores, wasteland dragons prefer to eat recent arrivals to their land. Beyond the practical consideration that they would likely kill the newcomers in any case, creatures corrupted by the wastes can be hazardous in unpredictable ways; poison, infections, and infestations can occur, and the taste of wastelands creatures is incredibly foul. When they are unable to find travelers or migratory animals, wasteland dragons hunt the livestock of settlements, confident that few would dare pursue them to their horrifying homelands afterward.

    Deadly Hoards. The hoard of a wasteland dragon might contain a good deal of very old coins and treasures in the conventional sense, but they also possess dangers of their own. These dragons often bring home curious devices, arcane tomes, and relics of the dead places in which they live, some likely infused with forbidden magic. Though the dragons have little use for such things other than to add to a collection, a plundered hoard could spell disaster for the world outside.