There are six types of gigantic snaky creatures in the World of Isles. Four of these types are powerful creatures of the elements (see elemental dragons). One type is an unintelligent predatory aquatic reptile (see sea dragon). The remaining type constitutes of the real or proper dragons. These types tend to get confused in legends, fishing stories etc.

Proper dragons are huge and scaly, have four betaloned legs, and have a pair of giant bat-like wings of bone and membrane. They reek of sulphur, and can breathe out gouts of flame. Voracious and avaricious, they raid settlements, eat people and livestock, burn vegetation, and appropriate durable valuables. Dragons are cunning but vain.

As a dragon amasses a horde it tends to become torpid. For this reason people beset by a dragon sometimes give over a great mass of treasure, and make regular offerings of meat. In time a dragon which receives such treatment can come to be worshipped as local god, in much teh manner that a daimon. There are even stories of dragons becoming semi-tame in this way, and protecting their human vassals from other drains on their resources.

A good-sized dragon can do for a city and its army, being, as it is, encased in tough armour of horn, and able to fly out of range of spears, raining fire on the troops below. They seem to be more vulnerable at close quarters, and most of those destroyed by legendary heroes fall to stealth and ambush. This stratagem is not always effective, however. Despite his pankration, the oneiros Persiflex was defeated by the dragon Khlorophane, and barely escaped with his life.

Attacks by smallish dragons still occur in Gehennum in the Archaic Period, but the later periods seem to be peaceful in this regard.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.