Dragons in Farland
Table of Contents
Soon after the Council of the Gods, Tanarus and Sulis began their labors, creating the creatures of Núrion, each with their specific purpose and niche in the circle of life. And as they labored, their skill grew greatly, their knowledge of creation and their understanding of the power of the multiverse increasing with each being they created.
As their long task neared its end, the life they had created flourished. Their creations lived in harmony, their cycles of life and death mirroring that of the universe. The two demi-gods saw the beauty of what they had created and saw that it was good. Great pride filled the pair as they gazed down on the creatures they had given life.
And yet, as they looked down on it, Tanarus observed something different. He saw the elves. These shining beings stood above the creatures of their creation. These elves had the honor of being the first to learn to speak. The pride Tanarus held in his creation changed to envy, and then his envy changed into purpose. So he began work on the greatest of his creations, a creature of incredible power.
Tanarus began the process of creation with his own soul. At this time, Tanarus was a multi-colored ball of power, radiating his myriad colors across the ball of Núrion, filling it with the energy of Dekk. However, he pulled from his essence the strongest and most vibrant colors: red, blue, and green, in addition to the two ends of the color spectrum, black and white, thus permanently changing his colors to a constant yellow-orange. He tied each of these creations to the very elements themselves, the fundamental building blocks of the Shattered Jewel. The dragons of red were closely tied to the element of fire, the dragons of green were tied to the power of the earth, the blue dragons were closely connected to the element of water, and the white dragons were tied to the element of air. Finally, the black dragons were tied to the antithesis of the elements, the empty space contained within the universe shell.
Tanarus used the great power of Dekk with which he had been imbued to give life to these, his greatest creations. These creatures shone forth with light from within, much like the shining light of their master. They were set to rule over the lesser animals of Núrion.
Then Sulis saw what her brother was doing and knew that balance must be maintained. She resolved to create creatures of her own, creatures to match those of her brother. Where Tanarus used the colors of his being in the creation, Sulis reached deep within her once perfectly formed rocky body, pulling forth her finest metals. Copper, silver and gold, as well as the two alloys brass and bronze, mixtures of fine metals with similar properties, she ripped from her being. She chose these metals for their value, stability, and ease with which they reflected power. And indeed, the pock-marks, holes from which she took these metals, are evident to any who turn their gaze towards the heavens. Sulis then formed from these metals mighty metallic dragons, one for each type of metal she had extracted from her body. And each of these dragons was placed over the other creatures of Núrion.
Bronze dragons were placed to rule over the creatures of the sea, the Silver to rule over the birds and skies. Brass Dragons were placed over the amphibians, creatures of the swamps and lakes, and the Copper dragons were given domination over the vermin and creatures of the deep earth. But the greatest of Sulis' dragons were the gold, which were given domination over the animals of the land.
And thus were created the greatest of all the creatures, the dragons.
Uniqueness of Farland Dragons
In Farland, dragons are immortal. They do not gain power based on their age. Because of their creation, the power of a dragon in Farland is directly tied to its treasure horde, or more particularly the valuable metals that are found therein. The size of this horde is directly related to its size and power. If a dragon possesses a horde of a sufficient size and sleeps or rests on that horde for a period of time, it will grow in size and power (its monster level will increase). Note that, contrary to common belief, dragons do not benefit from finely crafted or magical items; instead the power comes directly from the minerals themselves. Dragons increase in size fairly quickly; sleeping for a certain percentage of their time on a horde of a certain size will allow them to gain one level every six months until they have reached their maximum level (as given in the Monster Manual).
To increase in size or maintain their current size and power, a dragon must spend a portion of its time on or near its horde. If deprived of their hordes or if they do not spend that certain percentage of time resting near their hordes, dragons will shrink in size. Dragons lose power more slowly than they gain it. They lose one level per year until they have lost 5 levels. Dragons need not rest on worked or smelted metals or minerals. They can sleep near rich ore deposits or veins of metals and absorb the energy from them.
Because dragons absorb their energy from being in contact with metals and minerals, they do not need to eat in the traditional fashion. Still, they can eat, and some dragons greatly enjoy eating in the traditional fashion. These dragons leave a desolate wasteland for miles around their lairs, as they consume any living thing within that radius.
Evil dragons have a special connection to elemental energy. These dragons can summon energy from the Maelstrom and, using the forces of Núrion, shape and harness it into an elemental under their control. Once per day, evil dragons can summon spell an elemental of their level or lower; the elemental must correspond to their breath weapon as far as possible . However, they may only summon a single type of elemental. Red dragons summon fire elementals, white dragons summon air elementals, green dragons summon earth elementals, blue dragons summon water elementals, and black dragons may summon any sort of elemental.
Good dragons, on the other hand, can summon animals or dire animals of their level or lower to their side. These animals willingly serve the good dragons, recognizing their power and benevolence. Good dragons may also summon a number of animals whose levels add up to the dragons total level. For example, a 20th-level good dragon may summon 2 10th-level dire bears.
Adamantine and Mithril
Excerpted from the Alchemical Handbook, pub. 9331 E.R.
Adamantine (Aa-duh-MAN-teen) is a dark, lustrous, hard element, found fairly pure in very rare occurrences over much of northern Núrion. Its normal state is one of crystalline structure, and it is legendarily produced when high-yield ferric and ferrous ores are exposed to the blood of metallic dragons over a long period of time. The exposure can be of normal pressure and temperature, and therefore the lodes of ore are not usually found deep in magma, although some have been encountered in volcanoes where dragons are known to frequent.
Adamantine is produced when the dragon's blood causes the tiny, invisible particles of the metal to spin in directions different from that of iron causing them to form into crystals of tetrahedral shape, much like a three-sided tent. These crystals are more compact and their attraction is greater than the more common cubic structure that is formed when iron is converted to steel. This compression causes the metal to be slightly heavier than steel but twice as strong in bending, tensile and shear. Ductility is less than that of steel.
Adamantine is more difficult to form and smith than iron. Its melting temperature is higher due to the bonds of the crystals and more powerful and more numerous strikes must be used to move them into desired shapes. Quenching of a forged piece should be performed in hot oil, as cold water quenching tends to set the particles at odd angles. The cooled metal can be brought to a shiny surface by rubbing with stones of volcanic basalt soaked in animal fat.
Due to its origin, adamantine is highly prized, rare, and expensive. It is mostly used in the production of armor and melee weapons, although some ranged weapons benefit from its use.
Little difference has been found to exist between adamantine made from contact with copper, silver, gold or brass dragons' blood.
Mithril (MITH-reel) is a shiny, lustrous, sometimes shimmering, lightweight metal found fairly pure in very rare occurrences in mostly northern Farland. Its normal state is one of crystalline structure, and it is legendarily produced when high-yield Titanous ores are exposed to the blood of chromatic dragons over a long period of time. The exposure usually has to occur in slightly elevated pressure and temperature, and therefore, the lodes of ore are usually found deeper in caves and in volcanoes where Chromatic dragons are known to frequent.
Mithril is produced when the dragon's blood causes the tiny, invisible particles of the metal titanium to spin in directions different from normal causing them to form into crystals of hexagonal shape. These crystals are slightly more compact and their attraction is greater than the more common cubic structure that is formed when iron is converted to steel. This compression causes the metal to be about half the weight of steel but as strong in bending, tensile, and shear. Ductility is about the same as that of steel.
Mithril is about as easy to form and smith as iron. Its melting temperature is slightly higher, due to the bonds of the crystals, but it can be formed as easily. Quenching of a forged piece can be performed in any media. The cooled metal can be brought to a shiny surface by rubbing with sand-impregnated leather strops soaked in oil.
Due to its origin, mithril is highly prized, rare, and expensive. It is mostly used in the production of armor as its light weight is more beneficial than as an offensive weapon's, although some weapons benefit from its light weight and subsequent higher speed of attack.
Little difference in strength has been found to exist between mithril made from contact with different colored dragons. However, the look and feel of the different mithril items are quite stunning. A light tint can be seen in the finished, silvery metal that is commensurate with the white, green, red, blue and black dragons. All mithril swords and items that have been heat-forged produce a shimmering effect in natural light, due to the interplay of light and the abnormal structure of the metal. Some highly-polished items can be seen to actually dance in the light, producing a mind-numbing effect in battle.