I love dragons. I don’t remember when I first discovered dragons and my love for them, but I do love them. It may have been the summer I read the Science Fiction Book Club Edition of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern. It may have been when I discovered, thanks to Suzanne White’s book Chinese Astrology, that I was born in the Year of the Dragon. It may have been when I got my hands on a copy of the 1977, 1978 edition of the Monster Manual. Whenever it was, that love led me into placing a lot of dragons in my games.
Back in the Before Time, when Rilmorn was still being born, I gamed with a group of people that had multiple DMs. While many of us took turns running games, each of us only played a single character. Because each of saw things differently, it like slipping from world to world each game. I was the first one to drop a a dragon in to the game and it was dead before the PCs found it. It was a brass dragonskin that had magically inscribed names on it. It was found in Mythgold and I’m fairly certain I stole that idea from B1 – In Search of the Unknown. I don’t recall the first living dragon that I pitted against the PCs, but I suspect it was a green, given the Green Dragon Inn and the back story that I layered in. It was during this period of my gaming career that Gregor the Gaunt (my, oh so creatively named, character) got his bronze dragon, Zuth, and became Gregor O’Dragon. Gregor and Donalis rescued Zuth from the abandoned city of Wondercliff. This period was a good time to encounter dragons and attempt to kill them. (2014.01.14)
After the other DMs decided to quit gaming or just sit on the other side of the screen, I became THE DM and truly began running games in the still unnamed world that would be called Rilmorn. I put lots of dragons in my games during this time. I used the five chromatic dragons to the best of their abilities. I lifted the ice dragon from Pegasus Magazine and freaked out few players. I dropped dragonettes in, as companions and familiars to PCs and NPCs. Dragon Magazine issue 50 gave me “True Dragons;” it was a great article and gave me plenty of good ideas. The Fiend Folio came out and I found oriental dragons. I was very happy to drop the god Anu and the three-headed dragon, Dahak into my world, after I found them in the “Babylonian Pantheon” in Deities and Demigods. The Monster Manual II gave me a couple new favorites, the mist and shadow dragons. I crafted the Chalice of Dragons during this time; if a being bleed into the cup and then focused his or her will on it, a small dragon “familiar” would form out of the blood…the user had to randomly roll for which dragon type he or she got. This time was notable for the sheer variety of dragons, it was fun. (2014.01.14)
My gaming group split up after several years of gaming. We graduated high school and such. About this time, Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church in Vancleave, MS got a new minister, Andy Cotten. The parsonage became the place to game and it was during this time that Rilmorn was named and I started writing Rilmorn’s history. I do not know where I lifted the idea of naming the Ages of History, but I liked the idea and named the era in which I was running games the “Age of Dragons.” There were dragons in this era of gaming, but only one stands out. It was the “woolly dragon,” from the cover of Dragon Magazine issue 81. It was a good time for gaming, but a poor poor time for dragons. (2014.01.14)
My college days were days of dragons. I got a copy of Dragons by Cory Glaberson. Gem dragons and the missing color wheel (orange, purple, and yellow) dragons saw heavy play. Gareth Eybender, an elven ranger ran by Mike Magee, ate the silver fruit of the Tree of Dianides and became a silver dragon. The Sept of the Dragon began collecting artifacts and other treasures to give in worship to or to control of various dragons. The Dragon War began and every third or fourth game the PCs were faced with another dragon to battle. The characters carried the battle to Kardon and its part–dragon overlord and with his death hunted down his liege Babylon. When the War of Dragons ended the political and parts of the physical landscape of Moytonia (the main continent of my gaming world) were completely reshaped. Several more dragons were appeared before the end of the age: Chronepsis – Dragon of Fate, Dhivanara of the Purple Sands, and Tel-Mordin the Feared being three of the more important. Tel-Mordin’s death marked the end the Age of Dragons and the beginning of the Age of Empire.
During my 3E days, I only remember the appearance of one dragon, Gareth Eybender, and he only appeared in his elf form. 3E dragons were meh to me.
I spent some time thinking on my 3E games and remembered that I had a pyroclastic dragon that the party defeated and once the dragon was dead, Hassiem (Matt Wagner’s character) bathed in its blood getting an extreme Natural Armor Class. It was enjoyable. (2014.06.18)
4E dragons in, probable, order of appearance
- Ramala: green dragon – daughter of Rahab and Kitiara, wounded by her brother Sargon, finished off by the adventurers Surana and Aktara
- Kitiara: green dragon – blue dragonborn that ate of the Tree of Dianides, grandmother of Kharus, a blue dragonborn, and grandmother-in-law of Suarana (played by Christina Guldensupp), a bronze dragonborn
- Vanik: orium (red steel) dragon – poses as a brown dragonborn prince
- Gareth Eybender: silver dragon from the Age of Dragons
- Bolenbach: “Ship Dragon” – sea dragon slain by Gareth Eybender and Alkin du Fey, who used body to build a ship. Ages later, Bollenbach was the figurehead for E3’s flying steamship, the Enterprise, as they continued to add magical improvements, Bollenboch returned to life.
- Menethesis: argentyl (star silver) dragon – prophet who believed the adventurers known as E3 were a threat to the world, killed by E3
- Io-Vol: dreamwrath dragon – bound to the artifact known as the Flask of Dragons
- Feldspar (played by Matt Wagner): silver dragon – shifter, who under the influence of the Blood of Io from the Flask of Dragons, ate Menethesis’ heart and transformed into a silver dragon; lost his dragon form through a faery “blessing,” but regained it after eating of the fruit of Dianides
- Paracelsus: purple dragon – oldest living child of Io-Vol-First of the Dreamwrath Dragons, master psion, and crafter of a clan of purple dragonspawn; found trapped in a mirror of life trapping and freed by Feldspar under the possession of Io-Val.
- Esaerian: steel dragon – poses as a human, captain of the Enterprise, Bollenbach’s mate
- Chronepsis: Triple Dragon of Fate – Stopped by to see what E3 was doing to the Kron, Chronepsis’ favorite humans
- Unnamed: black “True Dragon” – Mutant black dragon from Dragon Isle, has two sets of wings and no forelimbs.
- Belvar (played by James Burkett): silver dragon – Ate the Fruit of Dianides wrapped in a silver dragon scale to “assure” dragon form transformation.
- Dragotha: Undead Dragon – is involved in a Great Game with Gareth Eybender and the Lich Morgreth
- Unnamed: firewrack dragon – guardian of Hellspawn Isle
- Unnamed: seawrack dragon – guardian of Deathwater Isle
- Unnamed: woodwrack dragon – guardian of Truewood Isle
- Unnamed: vile dragon – defender of Colossus
- Unnamed: vile dragon – defender of Goliath
- Unnamed: vile dragon – defender of Titan
Wizards of the Coast has posted a History of Dragons in D&D on their DnD site. I like it.
The Map of Dragons (2014.01.14)
Wyrnflight by Deby Fredericks is a blog about Dragons! Go and Read it! (2014.01.14)