Gem dragon

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The following is a list of the gem dragons, a classification of dragon found in the role playing game Dungeons & Dragons. In this setting Gem dragons are typically of neutral alignment. Sardior is the deity of gem dragons.

Publication history[edit]

The gem dragons (the amethyst dragon, the crystal dragon, the emerald dragon, the sapphire dragon, and the topaz dragon) and Sardior the Ruby Dragon first appeared in the first edition in Dragon #37 (May 1980).[1]

The gem dragons appeared in the second edition in the Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix (1992),[2] and the Monstrous Manual (1993).[3] They appeared as player character races in the Council of Wyrms set (1994),[4] and the Campaign Option: Council of Wyrms book (1999).[5]

The gem dragons appeared in the third edition in Monster Manual II (2002).[6]

Types[edit]

Amethyst dragon[edit]

  • Breath weapon: Line of force (prior to edition 3.5 an explosive lozenge)
  • Terrain: Inner Planes, underground
  • Alignment: Always neutral
  • Image: Wizards.com image
  • Notes: The most powerful of the neutral gem dragons, amethyst dragons are honorable, regal creatures. They inhabit the mountains of the northern islands, living on the shores of isolated lakes and pools. At birth, these dragons have lavender skin with fine, translucent-purple scales. These scales darken as the creature grows older, eventually reaching a sparkling lavender color.

These creatures approach life with a detached air, ignoring the conflicts of good and evil, law and chaos. At best, they see these conflicts as petty squabbles over inconsequential points of view, and not worthy of their time or consideration. These majestic dragons consider themselves to be the leaders of the gem dragons, and most of the lesser gem dragons acquiesce to this leadership - in everyday life and in the Council Aerie. While amethyst dragons consider their silver and copper cousins to be foolish and have an active dislike of red and white dragons, they do not consider any life form to be their inherent enemies. They prefer to reason out a settlement through discussion and negotiation rather than through combat, but they can and will fight if they must. Being honourable and noble, these dragons never hide or attempt to ambush foes. To them, even retreating is a dishonourable action, but they will flee if faced with certain death. Amethyst dragons eat large quantities of fish and gems. They keep vassals to attend to their needs, though they do not place as many restrictions or requirements on them as other dragon lords do. Most keep at least one hidden, underwater cave for seclusion and secrecy. Amethyst dragons approach mating in a very logical manner, seeking the optimum partner to produce the best offspring. Love and pleasure rarely, if ever, enter the equation.

Crystal dragon[edit]

  • Breath weapon: Line of blinding light
  • Terrain: Inner Planes, temperate and cold mountains
  • Alignment: Always chaotic neutral
  • Image: Wizards.com image
  • Notes: The friendly crystal dragons of Io's Blood's northern isles spend much time trying to learn about world around them. They value friendship over all else and the treasures tend to be sentimental rather than valuable, they welcome visitors who come to them with good intentions.

Hatchlings have glossy white scales that become more and more translucent with age. By the time they reach adulthood, these scales become luminescent in moonlight. In the full light of the day they glow with a dazzling, almost unbearable brilliance. Fun-loving and mischievous, crystal dragons tend to be irresponsible rulers. For the daily running of their domains, these dragons rely on their vassals to keep things going. They establish domains in the cold, open northern reaches, building castles out of snow and ice. They leave these castles open to the sky, for they love to watch the stars on clear, cold nights. The white dragon clans consider crystal dragons to be nothing more than prey, so the two types are almost always in conflict. The crystal dragons also have little love for the tribes of giants that live beyond the Ice Sea and often come south to enslave the small, relatively weak gem dragons. Like other benevolent dragons, the crystal dragons prefer to talk rather than fight. Even without special abilities, they can be charming and engaging to an extreme. Gems and metal ores are their foods of choice. They mate with willing partners whenever they want, as desire and need move them. It has also been known for crystal dragons to adopt white dragon hatchlings.

Emerald dragon[edit]

  • Breath weapon: Powerful burst of wind.
  • Terrain: Inner Planes, underground (prefers inactive or extinct volcanoes)
  • Alignment: Always lawful neutral
  • Image: Wizards.com image
  • Notes: Emerald dragons live among the tropical islands in the Io's Blood chain's southern waters. They are a curious species, taken to keeping track of history, lore and customs. They tend to be very reclusive, suspicious that others covet their treasure hoards and territory.

Hatchlings have translucent green scales, which harden and take on many shades of green as they age. These scales are scintillating in the light, giving an emerald dragon's hide the appearance of being in constant motion. A desire for privacy runs through the emerald clans, going so far as to determine where the dragon lords and their spawn establish lairs. In the southern islands, emerald dragons built their domains around the inactive volcano range that stretches across the tropical isles. Only their most trusted vassals are permitted to serve them within the main lairs. The others tend to duties throughout the rest of the domain. The primary lairs consist of traps and alarms designed to warn the dragon of visitor and other threats. Emerald dragons prefer to quietly observe intruders and rarely emerge from hiding. If parlay is called for, they send their kindred or chief vassals to handle such duties while they watch, hidden, from cover. When forced into combat, emerald dragons prefer to attack by ambush, using stealth and surprise attacks to quickly disable their enemies. If the threat prove to be too great to handle, an emerald dragon will not hesitate to retreat. However, it will plan revenge, and its patience can last for centuries if need be. Emerald dragons have no compunctions about what they eat. They prefer lizards and giants, but they will eat anything in a pinch. Of all the other type of dragonkind, emerald dragons get along best with the sapphire dragons, often controlling parallel domains (emerald dragons taking the surface, sapphire dragon the subterranean areas below). They fear the red dragon clans because of their well-known greed, and they are usually in open conflict with the fire giants from beyond the Burning Sea. Emeralds like the security and protection offered by a trusted partner and will take a single mate for a long time.

Sapphire dragon[edit]

  • Breath weapon: Cone of panicking sound
  • Terrain: Inner Planes, underground
  • Alignment: Always lawful neutral
  • Image: Wizards.com image
  • Notes: The sapphire dragons of the Io's Blood Isles control subterranean domains beneath two of the larger southern islands. While most of the territory above their realms belongs to the emerald dragons, they keep a small portion of the surface area as their own as well as the extensive caverns beneath the tropical jungles.

From birth, sapphire dragons are beautiful, with scale ranging from light to dark blue in color, which sparkle in the light. Because of their coloration, they are sometimes mistaken for blue dragons. Of all dragonkind, perhaps the sapphire dragon clans are the most militaristic. They fervently protect their territory from outsiders, going so far as to distrust anyone who even gets close to their borders. They work to keep their vassals in peak fighting condition, maintaining some of the best-trained armies in the isles. As most of the territory that interests the sapphire clans is below the ground, they rarely come into conflict with other dragon clans unless they attempt to take caverns currently in use. Only the black dragons compete with them for the tropical underground, and even they are wary of going into direct conflict with the armies of the sapphire clans. Most of the demihuman vassals serving the sapphire dragons are either dwarves or gnomes, as these races have no problems living and working beneath the ground. Also, elves are too much like drow, whom these dragons consider to be one of their natural enemies. Dwarven vassals are treated little better than slaves, as the two species were once at war, and they are almost never granted the kindred bond. This honour is usually reserved for gnome only. Giant spiders make up most of a sapphire dragon's diet, and great hunts are conducted through the subterranean tunnels to find these delicacies. When a dragon lord feeling particularly lazy, it will send its dwarven vassals into the tunnels in search of the spiders. Of course, they must capture the spiders alive. While militaristic and warlike, the sapphire dragons are not quick to attack. They prefer to observe intruders (all visitors are intruders) so that they can plan how to deal with them. If drow or dwarves from another clan approach, they are immediately attacked. Others can often at least make some gesture of friendship or parlay before being told to leave. If a sapphire dragon or its treasure is ever threatened, it attacks immediately with its breath weapon, spells, and physical attacks. It uses psionics and special abilities to escape if faced with a more powerful foe. Sapphire dragons take a single mate for long periods of time, however sapphires seek to possess a mate to enhance their prestige and status more than other reasons

Topaz dragon[edit]

  • Breath weapon: Cone of dehydration
  • Terrain: Inner Planes, any aquatic
  • Alignment: Always chaotic neutral
  • Image: Wizards.com image
  • Notes: Topaz dragons inhabit the coastal regions of the temperate islands, building lairs below the waterline, though constructing them so they remain dry. Clannish and self-seeking, these gem dragons usually want little to do with the other inhabitants of the isles. They keep vassals to fill their domain and make them appear as prosperous as their neighbors, and they participate in the Council activities on occasion, but for the most part these dragons neither seek company nor welcome it.

Out of the egg, a topaz dragon is a dull yellow-orange in color. With the age, its scales harden and become translucent and faceted. When it reaches adulthood, a topaz dragon sparkles in the light of the sun. While topaz dragons enjoy the feel of sea wind and spray on their faceted-scale hides, they do not particularly like the water. They swim to hunt, attack, or reach their lairs, but not for enjoyment. They do love to eat fish and other sea creatures, especially the tasty giant squids that live in the Coral Sea. While not malicious, topaz dragons are not the best of company or particularly pleasant to deal with. Besides caring little for social graces, they display erratic behavior that is unsettling and very confusing. They dislike visitors, but tend to avoid combat if they can help it. If combat is unavoidable, they use tricks and promises to distract their foes before striking with teeth and claws (which they enjoy using). Unless it specifically interests or affect them, topaz dragons tend to be indifferent to the causes and concerns that occupy the rest of dragonkind. They dislike bronze dragons and usually oppose the interests of those clans. It takes time for a topaz dragon to accept another dragon's friendship, but once it does it remains a friend for life. once another dragon gets past its outer defenses and gruff exterior, it finds a loyal companion and ready protector in the topaz dragon.

Other gem dragons[edit]

Obsidian dragon[edit]

  • Breath weapon: Cone of fire
  • Terrain: Warm Mountains and Underground, demiplanes
  • Alignment: Always neutral evil
  • Notes: Obsidian dragons, while the most intelligent of the gem dragons, are also the most vicious. They are extremely haughty, anger easily, and like to toy with prey before finishing it off.

An obsidian dragon has smooth black skin with razor edges where joints come together. When first hatched, their scales are gray, rough to touch, and well defined. As they get older, the scales darken, become smoother, and begin to blend together.

Most obsidian dragons prefer to make their lairs around volcanoes or in one of the mountains of coal found on the Elemental Plane of Fire. Most great wyrms, though, make use of the genesis power to create their own demiplane.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Collins, Arthur W. "That's Not In the Monster Manual!" Dragon #37 (TSR, 1980)
  2. ^ Williams, Skip, et al. Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix (TSR, 1992)
  3. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  4. ^ Slavicsek, Bill. Council of Wyrms (TSR, 1994)
  5. ^ Slavicsek, Bill. Campaign Option: Council of Wyrms Setting (Wizards of the Coast, 1999)
  6. ^ Bonny, Ed, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter. Monster Manual II (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)

Additional reading[edit]