Unusual Dragons

August 7th, 2017

Alex Riggs

Exotic Encounters Archive

When giving a dragon personality, many of us tend to stick to the classics: the dragon is either a bestial brute of a monster, or it’s a greedy, prideful, Machiavellian schemer with some rage issues. But not all dragons have to be (or are even supposed to be) identical in terms of personality. Today’s article provides a look at ten dragons (primal and imperial dragons, from Pathfinder Bestiary 2 and Pathfinder Bestiary 3) that sit a little bit outside this mold.


1. Yuanhuo, Questing Forest Dragon. This adult forest dragon makes its lair on the northern end of a sprawling forest known, in particular, for being infested with huge nests of giant spiders. Yuanhuo is rarely found anywhere near his lair, however, for he has been on the hunt for a particular dragonslayer for some time. The dragonslayer in question killed Yuanhuo’s mate while the forest dragon was away. Even in his absence, his lair is filled with cunning traps, and has been taken over by a colony of ettercaps.

2. Chang-Shen, Sea Dragon Protector. This ancient sea dragon has devoted itself not to protecting a particular swath of ocean, as many sea dragons do, but rather to protecting a particular pod of dolphins, which it follows in their migrations wherever they go. Because of her migratory lifestyle, the dragon makes her lair in a demiplane of her own creation, which is accessible only via a special amulet that is worn by one of the lead dolphins in the pod. Speaking a command word within a short range of the amulet opens a portal to the plane, and those returning from the plane exit from a similar portal.

3. Haolong, Sagacious Sky Dragon. A famous philosopher and poet, this great wyrm sky dragon lives in a magnificent marble and gold palace that floats exactly 500 feet above the top of the tallest mountain in the land. He spends most of his time writing, but is happy to entertain anyone who makes the pilgrimage up to his home, engaging them in philosophical debates and offering sage advice. Despite the opulent palace, Haolong has little in the way of material treasures, but does hoard a vast collection of rare poems, philosophical treatises, and similar literature.

4. Tianlian, Bureaucratic Sovereign Dragon. This great wyrm sovereign dragon has been given the august and important role of protector of the North Wind. She is responsible for directing the various air elementals and other creatures that maintain those winds, as well as for stepping in to put a stop to any attempts to interfere with the wind through magic or other means. Her lair is the inside of a massive cloud, which has been magically solidified, and floats about as she requires.

5. Huangyan, Thieving Underworld Dragon. This young adult underworld dragon is at the age where dragons begin to attempt to make a name for themselves by putting serious effort into building up their hoard. He has chosen to do so by robbing gold and silver mines, as well as the occasional vault or two, burrowing through the earth, bursting in with an explosion of magma, and then taking all that he can and returning to his own lair, a hidden complex that has no entrance to those that cannot burrow, and which features several magma flows within its confines.

6. Azyriot, Brine Dragon Empress. This old brine dragon is the empress of an island nation of the same name (or at least, it has had that name ever since she took over, 50 years previously). In addition to the island’s human inhabitants, she also rules over a tribe of adaro (Pathfinder Bestiary 3) that live in the nearby oceans. Azyriot directs her minions to stop any vessels making their way through the nearby ocean, demanding tribute from those that would sail those waters. Some of this treasure goes to aid the people of the island (and the adaro around it), but most of it makes its way to her hoard in the center of a massive coral palace currently under construction in the middle of the island.

7. Mydrias, Cloud Dragon Cartographer. This juvenile cloud dragon has no interest in material wealth, and lives only to explore, flying from place to place and creating maps, which he keeps for himself and produces copies of in exchange for odd or unusual trinkets that capture his fancy (many of which are largely valueless, although this is not always the case). Seeing no need to chain himself to a lair, he carries all his worldly possessions with him in an enormous backpack.

8. Dorrodat, Crystal Dragon Banker. This ancient crystal dragon’s lair is a vast and sprawling underground complex located nearly half a mile beneath the surface of a major city, accessible via a single elevator shaft. Far from a traditional dragon cave, the posh, marble-tiled stronghold is operated as a bank, owned and managed by Dorrodat herself, which attracts clients from miles around due to its incredible security.

9. Pagharth, Slumbering Magma Dragon. This wyrm magma dragon lives inside an active volcano, though he has been asleep for the last several decades. He spends most of his time sleeping, in fact, and tends to awaken only to demand food and tribute from the villagers that live near his volcanic lair, or to wreak horrible destruction against those who disturbed his slumber.

10. Nurlade, Umbral Dragon Gourmet. This very old umbral dragon has recently devoted more of her time to a quest for delicacies, specifically in the form of undead flesh. Having stripped the areas around her home of most undead, she has begun wandering the world in search of new and exotic types of undead creatures to kill and consume. Some rumors indicate that she is particularly interested in tasting lich-flesh, and will pay a handsome reward to anyone that can bring her a lich to consume.