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The adamantine dragon, also called the adamantite dragon, is a rare and powerful extraplanar species of true dragon.

Description[]

Appearance[]

The adamantine dragons of Bytopia are covered in shining silvery hide which reflects light in beautiful, scintillating colors.[1] Its scales glitter as if coated in diamond dust.[2]

The adamantine dragon's body is smaller in proportion to its body than other metallic dragons, while its claws, wings, and tail are all exceptionally long. It has a set of horns which sweep back forming a crownlike crest.[2]

A less noble breed of adamantine dragon inhabits the Underdark. Such creatures have a dark metallic hide, and are occasionally mistaken for black dragons. Their bladelike scales ruffle like feathers when the dragon is agitated. It has no proper horns, and a row of spines runs from the back of its head to the end of its tail. It has a smooth snout like that of a snapping turtle. They have a scent of metal, like well-oiled sword or armor.[3]

Personality and alignment[]

Adamantine dragons are of genius-level intelligence. are practically fearless. They care deeply for living things, and fight to protect life.[1]

In battle, they fight with a strong sense of tactical awareness. They prefer single, direct assaults against a single target, and when fighting alone against a group they tend to isolate and single out weaker enemies first. When the adamantine dragon fights alongside allies, it fearlessly leads the assault and assumes the risk of drawing fire from enemies in order to protect its own comrades.[4]

Adamantine dragons are proud and particularly territorial. They do not accepts insults lightly, and expect to command respect from all those within their domain, subjects and visitors alike. They are always ready to engage in combat, though they are always willing to engage in earnest diplomacy with those who show the proper respect.[5][3]

While they can fly, they prefer to patrol their terrain on foot, and tend to fight on the ground also. This gives the dragon a reliable sense of the lay of its terrain, which it uses to its advantage.[3]

Adamantine dragons are neutral good in alignment. They have no interest in the cosmic battle between law and chaos, but care only for the protection of all sentient life. They are the epitome of good, always ready to make whatever sacrifice is necessary to protect all intelligent life.[1]

Some darker breeds of adamantine dragon, particularly those who inhabit the Underdark, are not so reliably good-aligned, and care primarily for their own territory. Even such dragons are often readily willing to deploy diplomacy and enter into treaties or alliances in its favor.[3] They are reputed to lack the boundless compassion for which their Bytopian relatives are famed.[6]

Abilities and traits[]

Breath weapon[]

The adamantine dragon breathes a long cone of magical flame which can ignite even non-flammable materials.[1] These is a searing white hot fire.[2]

It also possesses a second breath weapon, an anti-time cone with the effect of a time stop spell. They can only use it once per day, and even then only use this effect sparingly and in defence of their home plane of Bytopia.[1]

Adamantine dragons are also known to breath a cloud of hold monster gas, controlling the mind of their opponent in a way which freezes them in place.[2]

Some adamantine dragons attack with a thunderous roar which knocks opponents to the ground and is powerful enough to kill weaker creatures.[4]

Spells[]

Adamantine dragons cast various spells, including polymorph self, magic missile, and blink. It gains these abilities gradually as it ages. Many also cast wizard or cleric spells.[1] Other spells known to be used by adamantine dragons include mirror image, dimension door, dispel evil, banishment, antipathy, power word stun and reverse gravity.[2]

Other combat abilities[]

Adamantine dragons resist injury from non-magical weapons.[1]

Adamantine dragons are powerful and deadly in melee combat. Their great, unbreakable claws can smash physical objects with ease, much as an adamantine weapon might, and they are known for breaking swords and smashing through suits of armor.[2] A few learn to unleash powerful blasts of thunder from their scales when struck.[7]

Ecology[]

Environment[]

The adamantine dragon inhabits the Twin Paradises of Bytopia. They are dedicated to the protection of this plane.[1]

Many inhabit the Underdark, where they lair in caves.[3]

Lair[]

One known lair is that of the adamantine dragon Mercialla, makes her home in a wide cavern embedded with shimmering crystals. These crystals reflect light from outside and fill the cavern with dazzling light. The lair is high in the mountains of Bytopia, and is difficult for anyone to access without flight. Mercialla dug this massive cave herself.[8]

Adamantine dragons often make their lairs in massive underground caverns.[4] Such lairs are filled with twisting passageways, challenging terrain and great cave structures.[3]

An adamantine dragon's hoard is often protected with traps such as dragoncall mist, a golden, magical fog with a characteristic odor which reaches out and afflicts those who try to steal its treasures. Other places in its lair may be protected with the same substance.[9]

Life cycle[]

Adamantine dragon wyrmlings hatch with their tough, iridescent scales fully intact. This differs from many other true dragon species, whose scales are often thin and dull until they progress in age.[1] Those born underground are rather born with dull, flat scales, and may not see daylight until they are already several years old.[10]

Hatchlings are born starving, and almost immediately set out to hunt for food. This develops in them the tendency to focus on a single weaker target at a time. The dragon's territorial nature and haste to anger are learned traits from their parents. Even wyrmlings, more powerful than other metallic dragons of equivalent age, are powerful and clever enough to acquire humanoid minions to obey them.[10]

Wyrmlings have a body length of between 7 and 19 feet, with a tail length of 6 to 16 feet. Like all true dragons, they grow larger and more powerful with age, with the eldest reaching around 148-162 feet in body length, with a tail length of around 133-146 feet.[1]

Adamantine dragons learn a great deal from their parents at a young age, who take resposibility for its physical and emotional development.[11] A typical family of adamantine dragons might include one or two parents and 2-5 offspring, with a clutch of young ranging from wyrmling to juvenile age. They are commonly encountered a solitary creatures.[2]

Diet[]

Adamantine dragons have huge appetites, and regularly hunt wild beasts or giant insects for food. However, they do not like to hunt intelligent prey such as humans for food.[1][3]

Treasure[]

Hoard[]

Like all true dragons, adamantine dragons accumulate massive treasure hoards throughout their lifetime.[1]

Adamantine dragons often prefer gemstones, geodes, and beautiful crystals.[8] They enjoy treasure which remains them of their home lair. Those who lair in underground caverns where silver is plentiful, for example, are likely to have a preference for silver treasures.[3]

Carving[]

Adamantine dragon scales are valued for the production of tough dragon hide armor.[12]

Adamantine dragon hide is used to produce magically enhanced adamantine hide gloves, supple protective wear which offers limited protection from injury and can be invoked to imbue an attack with roaring thunder.[6]

History[]

The origins of adamantine dragons are largely unknown.

Society and culture[]

Organization[]

Adamantine dragons are solitary creatures.[1] They are highly territorial.[5]

Allies and minions[]

Adamantine dragons often assert themselves as the undisputed of leaders within their territory, and offers them protection. In turn, it expects to receive their loyalty and payment in tribute. It favors allies with the ability to control enemies' minds with magic, and adamantine dragons have been known to make alliances with harpies and hags to this end.[4]

Adamantine dragons inhabiting the Underdark are known to assert rulership over local tribes, including grimlocks and troglodytes. However, the dragon involves itself little in the day-to-day affairs of its subjects, and largely leaves them to their own devices.[3] They will occasionally contract adventurers to deal with issues affecting the dragon's domain.[13]

An adamantine dragon wyrmling will occasionally spend a period of time following a powerful and philosophically compatible hero on their adventures.[2][11]

Religion[]

Adamantine dragons, like all metallic dragons, invoke Bahamut's name when they fight chromatic dragons.[14]

Outside of Bytopia, where they are unwaveringly good, a few adamantine dragons who succumb to the vices of greed or envy turn to the worship of the evil chromatic dragon goddess Tiamat.[15]

Language[]

By the time they have reached adulthood, most silver dragons speak the common tongue as well as the language of dragons.[1] They are also known to speak the Celestial language and the language of gnomes.

Cultural significance[]

In heraldry, the adamantine dragon represents pride, immovability, or stoicism. It is often used to symbolically represent individuals or groups famed for defending a city or other place.[16]

The ninth level elven high magic spell celestial army can summon a single adamantine dragon.[17]

The sorcerer spell adamantine echo coats the caster's skin in scales like those of an adamantine dragon.[18]

Notable adamantine dragons[]

For a full list, see Category:Adamantine dragons.

  • Ezevon, ally to a stone giant thane[19]
  • Karonzaxus, a powerful adamantine dragon who laired in the Chaos Scar[11]
  • Mercialla, guardian of Shurrock[20]
  • Urthix, enslaved minion of the demonist Physandos[21]
  • Taloklaxus wyrmling son of Karonzaxus[11]
  • Vanathia, the Black Storm, a young adamantine dragon of the Underdark[22]

Related creatures[]

The adamaaz are a form of draconian, humanoid dragonborn creatures created by corrupting the eggs of adamantine dragons.[23]

Adamantine half-dragons are practically unheard of. While many adamantine dragons display the ability to assume human form, they are rare and isolationist, and rarely engage with human societies.[24] However, were one to exist, it would inherit a fire breath weapon and a natural resistance to fire, similar to the gold dragon.[2]

Publication history[]

AD&D 2nd edition[]

The adamantite dragon was detailed in MC8 Monstrous Compendium: Outer Planes Appendix (1991). The Lair of the Adamantite Dragon is detailed in Planes of Conflict, Liber Benevolentiae (1995), p.44-45

The adamantite dragon appeared as card #607 in in TSR's 1992 trading cards set, where it is a rare card.

D&D 3rd edition[]

The adamantine dragon—note the new spelling adamantine instead of adamantite, a change which was standardized in D&D 3rd edition—appeared in Dragon #321 (Jul 2004), p.42-55.

D&D 4th edition[]

The adamantine dragon appears in Monster Manual 2 (4e) (2009), p.75-76. According to James Wyatt in Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters (2008), p.28-29, that edition decided to make metallic dragons less unambiguously good-aligned, a change which would serve to make them more readily usable as enemies for the player characters. The adamantine and iron dragon were introduced to replace the brass and bronze dragons, alloys which were considered too similar to the copper dragon to have sufficiently unique identity.

Adamantine dragons are described in detail in Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (2009).

The lair of the slain adamantine dragon Karonzaxus appears in the adventure module The Wayward Wyrmling, Dungeon #182 (Sep 2010).

D&D 5th edition[]

Adamantine dragons have not yet appeared in a canonical D&D 5th edition work.

References[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 MC8 Monstrous Compendium: Outer Planes Appendix (1991).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Dragon #321 (Jul 2004), p.42-55.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (2009), p.26-27.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Monster Manual 2 (4e) (2009), p.75-76.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (2009), p.13.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Snips of Scales and Dragon Tails, Dragon #429 (Nov 2013).
  7. Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (2009), p.219.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Planes of Conflict, Liber Benevolentiae (1995), p.43-44.
  9. Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (2009), p.61.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (2009), p.174-175.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 The Wayward Wyrming, Dungeon #182 (Sep 2010).
  12. Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (2009), p.10.
  13. Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (2009), p.43.
  14. Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (2009), p.24.
  15. Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (2009), p.25.
  16. Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (2009), p.9.
  17. Wizard's Spell Compendium Volume One (1996), p.127.
  18. Player's Handbook 2 (4e) (2009), p.142.
  19. Warrens of the Stone Giant Thane, Dungeon #198 (Jan 2012).
  20. Planes of Conflict, Liber Benevolentiae (1995), p.34.
  21. Revenge of the Giants (2009), p.66-68.
  22. Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (2009), p.108-117.
  23. Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (2009), p.188.
  24. Part Dragon, All Hero, Dragon #206 (Jun 1994), p.26-27.
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