Dragons (or wyrms)[5] were very powerful and magical creatures.[3] There were several types of dragons, [2] the most common of which were chromatic and metallic which were evil and good respectively.[1] They were an ancient race. Few species that still exist can claim longer lineage.[3] Dragons were the bane of the creator races of Toril; their line was so old, they had their own realm during the first recorded exploits of the elves.[6] In recent times, the dragons of Toril were nearly all recluses or at the very least deceptive to their true nature, living amongst other species in polymorphed form.[1]

Subraces Edit

Chromatic dragons
Chromatic dragons were inherently evil. With the advent of the Cult of the Dragon many chromatic dragons were tempted to become dracoliches.
Metallic dragons
Metallic dragons were inherently good. They often were found helping others.
Planar dragons
Sometimes dragons lived and bred in otherworldly environments. Those that remained in another plane long enough were radically altered by its nature or its denizens.
Gem dragons
Gem dragons were aloof and self-centered, keeping to themselves and remaining neutral. They spent most of their time on the Inner Planes.
Miscellaneous Dragons
These dragon types do not fit into a single category.

Lesser DragonsEdit

  • Dragon turtles- massive, dangerous creatures that lived in the oceans.
  • Pseudodragons- tiny, playful creatures that were highly valued as familiars.
  • Wyverns- large, winged lizards with two legs and a barbed, venomous tail.
  • Drakes- there were actually a number of different varieties of drakes.
  • Felldrakes
  • Landwyrms
  • Sunwyrms- large, yellow dragons that lived on plains and could take a form of pure energy.
  • Sea wyrms- legless, wingless creatures that lived in the seas around Zakhara.
  • Hellfire wyrms- diabolic descendants of dragons who made pacts with devils.
  • Dragonnels

Related creaturesEdit


Dragon anatomy - Mark Nelson

The internal organs of a dragon.

Dragons were inherently magical beings, and in no case should dragons be considered reptiles, despite obvious similarities such as a scaled epidermis and reproduction by laying eggs.[8] In fact, they were more akin to feline creatures than reptiles, particularly in regards to their posture and movements, as well as being inherently warm-blooded and an eye composition similar to felines, although far more complex.[8] A good example of this was the placement of the legs: dragons also tended to place their rear foot where their front foot was previously, much like most stalking feline predators.[8]

The number of eggs a dragon laid each brood depended on its race, but was usually low, between one and ten.[9] Thanks to their shape-shifting, dragons could also cross-breed with virtually any other creature, creating a half-dragon. The most commonly heard of were in the humanoid races, particularly with human and elves. Any combination was possible, however, even with devils or angels.[10]

As for their senses, which varied slightly depending on the species, dragons were superior in most ways to other creatures - like any predator, they had exceptionally acute senses, which only increased with age.[8] Dragons had excellent depth perception and comparably good peripheral vision, able to see twice as well as a human in daylight; they had great night vision, and were able to see even when conditions had no light to offer, though not in color.[8] Dragons could also pick up scents very well, utilizing both their sensitive nose and forked tongue, much like a snake.[8] Their hearing was on par with human hearing, although their minds could filter what noise it hears.[8] Dragon taste was also refined, although they did not respond well to sweet flavors, and most dragons didn't discuss why.[8] They were able to eat almost everything, but each race had a preferred diet; some preferred flesh, other to eat precious metals or gems, and so forth.[8] Of all its senses, a dragon's sense of touch is the only one to decrease with age, due mostly to the development of thick, hard scales.[8]

Dragons were capable of blindsense, the sense in which eyes, ears, and other senses were used to detect invisible persons or objects.[8]


Dragons became stronger as they grew older; they also became larger, more resistant to damages and magic, had a more dangerous breath, and a great deal of other enhanced aspects. Older dragons could cast draconic magic, such as spells with just a few words, and oftentimes they didn't need long and complex ritual involving words, gestures and components like other wizards, and they radiated a mystical fear aura around themselves. After a millennium or two, a dragon reached his maximum development.[1]

All dragons had some innate magical abilities, but they varied from race to race. Metallic dragons were often able to shapechange into small animals or human forms, and used this ability to secretly help or watch over humans. Dragons also had some innate powers upon the element they are linked to. For example a red dragon, who breathed fire, had some control over other flame.[1]

Religion Edit

Main article: Draconic pantheon

Dragons worshiped Astilabor, Bahamut, Garyx, Hlal, Kereska, Lendys, Null, Sardior, Tamara, Task, Tiamat, and Zorquan. The pantheon once included many other deities, forgotten after millennia of time, countless holy wars, and the deaths of all their living worshipers. Some dragons had even taken to worshiping human deities under different aspects.[11]

There were other, ancient gods of dragons, including Asgaroth (also known as Io[12]), although the nature of their being was not fully understood.[11]


It is not clear exactly how dragons came to inhabit Abeir-Toril, but many traditions believed their origin was related to the Tearfall.[13] As soon as the race was established, they began a war with the giants[14] that would last over a thousand years.[6] This war concluded, according to the giants, when a stalemate occurred in a game of wah-ree between the dragon god Garyx and the giant god Annam All-Father. However, according to the dwarves, the dragons ceased the war due to their own civil war developing between the chromatic and the metallic dragons,[5] known as the Dragonfall War, a conflict between the followers of Bahamut and Tiamat that continued unabated even in more recent times.[13]

Individual dragons and dragon clans came to rule large swaths of territory and battled with their rivals not only for dominion of those lands,[6] but also over matters of religious nature as the dragons of that ancient age were devout followers of their draconic gods.[13] This period of devastating warfare among the dragons led the race to near extinction.[11] Eventually, draconic philosophers came to the conclusion that all of the fighting was wasteful and that gods who allowed such behavior were not worthy of their worship. This started the dragon's apathy toward their gods, which lasted for thousands of years.[13]

Draconic rule came to an end when the elves created the Dracorage mythal, a powerful magical effect that incited all dragons across Faerûn to madness and mindless destruction, turning against each other and even against their offspring. This event became known as the Rage of Dragons.[15] Dragons were unable to take control of Faerûn again, their collective power waxing and waning over the millennia. Although exceptions were recorded throughout history, the majority of Faerûn's dragons came to occupy the niche of top predator, not ruler.[16]

After the last Rage of Dragons, in 1373 DR, the dragon population of Faerûn was greatly reduced in number.[17] That realization sparked the need of dragons to look for the help of their gods, marking the prophesied "turning of the Great Cycle", an ancient myth that foretold the return of draconic religious fervor.[17] The dragon gods who survived the long years without worshipers received a great influx of power from their new draconic followers. In 1374 DR, a new Tearfall caused several new dragon eggs to fall from the sky.[17]

As dragons became free from the effects of the Dracorage mythal, Faerûn was threatened with the possibility of a new Time of Dragons.[17]


The term "wyrm" is used to mean "dragon", but might also refer to a dragon within specific age criteria; see dragon aging. "Wyrm" is believed to have originated from Jotun, the ancient language of the giants.[5] The words "wyrm" and "worm" are pronounced similarly. Great care should be taken to avoid this as "worm" is the most insulting thing that one can call a dragon.[18]


See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 86–118. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 74. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 68. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  4. Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 69. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Ray Winninger (August 1995). Giantcraft. (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 8. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  7. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 63. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 Andy Collins, James Wyatt, and Skip Williams (November 2003). Draconomicon: The Book of Dragons. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 5–10. ISBN 0-7869-2884-0.
  9. Andy Collins, James Wyatt, and Skip Williams (November 2003). Draconomicon: The Book of Dragons. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 10–11. ISBN 0-7869-2884-0.
  10. Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, Kolja Raven Liquette (2006). Races of the Dragon. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 56. ISBN 0-7869-3913-3.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-8803-8876-5. Note that Sardior is not mentioned in Draconomicon.
  12. Dale Donovan (January 1998). Cult of the Dragon. (TSR, Inc), p. 120. ISBN 0-7869-0709-6.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 7. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  14. Ray Winninger (August 1995). Giantcraft. (TSR, Inc), p. 7. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
  15. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 8, 10. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  16. Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 10. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  18. R.A. Salvatore (May 2000). The Fallen Fortress. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 140. ISBN 0-7869-1606-0.