Dragon

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A High Elf hero mounted upon a powerful dragon.

Dragons are massive winged reptiles, which are extremely powerful and intelligent creatures. Dragons have existed in the Warhammer World since long before the Old Ones arrived.

Overview

The Dragons are ancient creatures who roamed the skies of the frigid Warhammer World long before the Old Ones arrived. In this, they are akin to Dragon Ogres and other primeval creatures that have existed since the dawn of time.

Alas, the days of dragons are slowly fading. Many of them have been hunted down and killed by adventurous humans or Dwarfs. In addition the Blood Dragon Vampires hunt Dragons, desperately seeking an end to their curse by drinking dragon blood. Most of the remaining dragons have taken refuge in distant mountains and caverns beneath the Earth, where they spend their time in deep slumber and dream of days long past. (See the section on Sleep below.)

At the dawn of time a dying dragon would fly to the Plain of Bones to die.[1] This created a huge cemetery filled with skeletons of enormous proportions. With the Coming of Chaos some of the skeletons were re-animated as undead monsters and the disgusted dragons no longer go there.

Dragons are greatly feared on the battlefield. Even the least powerful dragons are quite capable of crushing entire armies, and of setting fleets and cites aflame. In the past, the Dragon Princes of Caledor each rode a dragon into battle, making them an extremely formiddable force. However due to the fading and slumber of the dragons, those days are long past. The Dragon Princes now ride sturdy Elven warhorses. However some worthy champions are still able to ride a dragon into war. These include High Elf Princes, Dark Elf Nobles, Dragon Mages, Chaos Lords and the Glade Lords of the Wood Elves. Indeed it seems the Elves have a great affinity for the race of Dragons, in contrast to the Dwarfs who are instead famous for despising and slaying the creatures who they call Drakk.

Father of Dragons

There are two, perhaps three figures referred to as the "Father of Dragons". The first is Kalgalanos the Black, who is supposedly the ancestor of the entire dragon race. Dwarf legends tell how Kalgalanos the Black was an enemy of the Dwarfs, and was slain by Grimnir, one of their Ancestor Gods, in the ancient past. Another figure referred to in a similar manner is Urmskaladrak, who may in fact be the same as Kalgalanos. The second "Father of Dragons" is Draugnir. Legend holds that Draugnir used his fires to heat the forge of the Elven smith-God Vaul as he forged the Widowmaker (The Sword of Khaine). However the thirsting weapon took more from Draugnir than he gave, and the fate of Draugnir's line was forever tied to that of the Elves. Draugnir should not be confused with Indraugnir, who was the dragon companion of Aenarion.

As dragons have been in the Warhammer World since long before the Old Ones, it seems unlikely that either of these is the true original founder of the race.

Physical description

Colour and breeds

There are several breeds of dragons, clearly shown by the colour of their scales (i.e.: skin). Each breed has its own kind of breath.

  • White Dragons breathe a freezing chill mist so cold that its victims are numbed and frozen.
  • Red or Fire Dragons breathe flames.
  • Blue Dragons release lightning.
  • Sea Dragons live in the seas and oceans. They have adapted themselves to their environment and no longer posses wings.
  • Zombie Dragons are undead creatures, sometimes mounted by most powerful Vampires such as Zacharias the Everliving.[1] They are able to belch fumes of pestilence from their rotting gullets. [5]
  • The two-headed Chaos Dragons are the mutant descendants of Galrauch[6] .

Age

Dragons are further sorted by their age. Growing larger and larger throughout their life they keep on gaining in resistance and strength. The lifespan of dragons is unclear, but they live to be extremely old.[7]

  • Sun Dragons are young and eager dragons.
  • Moon Dragons are older and more experienced dragons, who lived before Aenarion's reign[7].
  • Star Dragons are the oldest and most powerful dragons of all, mighty enough to best a Greater Daemon of Chaos[7].

Former editions used 'Dragon', 'Great Dragon', and 'Emperor Dragon' instead of Sun, Moon, and Star Dragon.

Behaviour

Dragons occasionally engaged in cannibalism. The dragon Maedrethnir ate dragon flesh at least twice in his life.[8].

Sleep

In the distant past, dragons were commonly seen Ulthuan. Today, most dragons spend most of their lives asleep. This is a trait they share with the Dragon Ogres. As time has moved forward, dragons have slept for longer periods, and have proven more and more difficult to rouse.

Some sources say that the dragons' sleepiness began around IC -993 during the reign of Tethlis[9]. Other sources that that most dragons were asleep already in the late years of the reign of Bel-Shanaar (around IC -2750)[10]. There is some speculation that the dragons' sleep may be due to the ending of the ice age and change in climate caused by the Old Ones. Some sources suggest that the dragons willingly choose to sleep because they are losing interest in the lives of elves.[10]

Words of taming

When necessary, the elven dragon princes are able to compel the dragons to obedience using words of taming, special arcane words of power discovered by Caledor Dragontamer.[11]

Notable Dragons

Main Article: List of Dragons

Quotes

They have no masters, no obligations, no code of laws. They do what they do, and that is all that can be said of them. These things: blame, regret, servitude - they have no meaning for a dragon. Risk. Splendour. Extravagance. If you had lived for a thousand ages of the world, that is all you would care about, too.

~ Imladrik, Master of Dragons to Liandra on the nature of dragons.[16]

Sources