“My armor is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears,
the shock of my tail a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!”
Perhaps, no monster in fantasy is as iconic as the dragon. After all, they don't call it "Dungeons and Hydras" or "Dungeons and Owlbears". Nope. They call it Dungeons and Dragons.
I am sure you know the answer to this question but, for the sake of this article, humor me: what are dragons?
Dragons are legendary creatures with serpentine, reptilian and avian features and, typically, fly, breath fire and possess magical qualities. There are two main types of dragons depicted in literature and media: European, which are animalistic reptilian sexrupeds (possessing four legs and two wings) and Eastern, which are intelligent serpentine quadrapeds. Traditionally, Dungeons and Dragons is more concerned with intelligent European-style dragons, but these two paradigms hardly represent the gamut of draconic creatures depicted in cultures from around the world. Why are they so omnipresent in world cultures? By answering that question, we can probably understand why they might just be the ultimate monsters.
And, as for the fiery breath, I'm not exactly sure about the origins of that myth but it is easy to imagine the dangerous power of fire if you've ever seen a large wildfire, a building catch fire or the use of a flamethrower. The addition of that, mostly, supernatural element creates an enemy that is more dangerous than any natural predator and, by combining that with human or above human intelligence, we get the iconic villain of fantasy.
Side note: I would love to hear some theories on why fire breath is practically omnipresent in dragon mythology?
As is traditional in Dungeons and Dragons, there are good dragons and evil dragons in Sublanarya of various metallic kind or color. Most dragons in Sublanarya are evil "chromatic" dragons and, in fact, in the Tytanyan Age, there are believed to be no good "metallic" dragons left alive. The smallest dragons are the size of a horse and the largest can take on truly unfathomable proportions. Quadrapedal, winged and reptillian creatures with high intelligence, an affinity for magic, breath weapons, and, in the case of chromatic dragons, a strong desire for power, wealth and comforts.
There are other true dragons but those are not relevant in Sublanarya.
Ultimately, in the world of Narya(yes, I'm done with the silly book report section of the article), dragons play a vital role in not only the balance of power but in the creation of the world itself. This article will breakdown the creation myth of Narya, the role of dragons through out Sublanaryan history, and the dragons of Smolder in the Tytanyan Pact.