AC 17 (natural armor)
HP 58 (9d8 + 18; bloodied 29)
Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft., burrow 40 ft.
Proficiency +2; Maneuver DC 12
Skills Athletics +4, Insight +4, Nature +3, Perception +4
Damage Resistances damage from nonmagical weapons
Senses darkvision 120 ft., tremorsense 30 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Draconic, Terran
Earth Glide. The dragon can burrow through nonmagical, unworked earth and stone without disturbing it.
False Appearance. While the dragon remains motionless within its linked area, it is indistinguishable from a natural rocky outcropping.
Essence Link. The essence dragon is spiritually linked to a specific area or landmark. The dragon gains no benefit from awhen more than 1 mile away from its linked area. If the dragon dies, the area it is linked to loses its vital essence until it forms a new essence dragon, which can take centuries. When a creature first enters an area that has lost its vital essence in this way, they gain a level of and a level of . This fatigue and strife can be removed only by completing a long rest outside the area.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d10 + 2) piercing damage.
Scouring Breath (Recharge 5–6). The dragon breathes scouring sand and stones in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in that area makes a DC 12 Dexterity , taking 10 (3d6) slashing damage on a failed save or half damage on a success.
While individual dragons have their own personalities and tactics, most rely heavily on their breath weapons. They use them whenever they can, preferably from maximum distance and while flying above their enemies.
When fighting in the open, dragons often circle above their enemies as they wait for their breath weapons to recharge. They only close to melee if their enemies deal significant damage with ranged attacks, or if they can savage an enemy cut off from its allies. Once, dragons become more aggressive, attacking with bite and claws when their breath weapons aren’t available.
If a dragon is protecting its lair, it utilizes lair features, traps, allies, and architecture such as escape tunnels to keep up a hit-and-run fight, reappearing only when it has a fully-recharged breath weapon. If the dragon is forced into melee combat, it uses its bite and claws against a single foe. If it has legendary actions like Roar and Wing Attack, it uses them to disperse its other enemies.
If reduced to less than one-fourth its hit points while fighting in the open, a dragon flies away. However, it fights to the death to defend its lair, unless it can regain the upper hand through tricks or bargains.
Earth Dragon Lair Features
Choose or roll one or more of the following lair features:
1 The dragon’s domain is a desolate mountain peak, and reaching it is a grand undertaking in and of itself. Journeys to the dragon’s lair trigger twice as many as normal.
2 The walls of the dragon’s lair are jagged stone. Any time the dragon hits a creature within 5 feet of a wall with a slam attack, the creature takes an additional 5 (1d10) piercing damage.
3 The lair is volcanic. Whenever the dragon makes a bite attack against a creature it is , it can dunk its captive in magma instead, dealing fire damage equal to the piercing damage dealt by the bite.
4 The ground in the lair is made of loose sand. The dragon’s burrow speed increases to 100 feet, and the dragon can use its Scouring Breath while only revealing its snout, retaining .
Drahirrus, Jargalant, Khaldun, Otgontenger, Slatescale, Tor
Legends and Lore
With an Arcana or Nature check, characters can learn the following:
DC 10 Though mortal, earth dragons are spiritually linked to a specific landmark, which they might guard for a hundred human lifetimes.
DC 15 Earth dragons burrow through natural stone like fish swim through the water. They exhale powerful blasts of scouring sand.
DC 20 The oldest earth dragons can command the earth to shudder and crack or rise up in towering spires.
Inexorably tied to monuments of rock and stone, earth dragons share the quiet patience and the harsh indifference of the land itself. Most earth dragons are slow to action, and even slower to anger. All things pass, and the rise and fall of civilizations are like the flowers, beautiful in their time but not to last. Only threats to their bonded lands are given consideration—but when roused to anger, earth dragons devastate their enemies like a landslide.
Slumbering Peaks. Earth dragons of jagged peaks grow sharp scales, while the scales of desert dragons look more like those of serpents. When still, earth dragons blend in perfectly with their environment. They might spend days or weeks slumbering between meals, leading many travelers to mistake them for natural stone outcroppings. Some dragons move so infrequently that they become landmarks, outdating maps on the rare occasions that they rise from their perches.
Mountain Kings. Except when defending their home, earth dragons are largely indifferent to other creatures. Rarely, earth dragons come to regard the little villages atop their mountains as intricate features of their land. In such cases, these settlements offer tribute (usually precious stones) to their draconic protector. Living sacrifices are sometimes offered, as well—usually beasts of burden, although more significant sacrifices must be made to appease the arrogant and wrathful earth dragons of volcanoes.
1 Dozing on a peak
2 Burrowing underground, hunting
3 Asleep for years, resembling a statue; awakens only if threatened
4 Raging and demanding tribute
1 Constant tremors
2 Footsteps leave no trace
3 Digging, or even attempting to set a tent peg, causes ominous tremors
4 The area is dotted with menhirs and obelisks
Earth dragons make their lairs on mountains, bare hills, and rocky deserts.
Treasure 6 jasper gemstones (50 gp each), 6 onyx gemstones (50 gp each), , 3
CR 5–10 ; with 2 (see animated objects) or 1d4 + 1 (see scarecrow)
Treasure 500 gp, 2,000 sp, 3 garnet gemstones (100 gp each), sapphire gemstone (1,000 gp), patch of black sand (acts as 2 doses of ), (marble elephant)
CR 11–16 with 1 or 2 , , or
Treasure 11 spinel and topaz gemstones (500 gp each), 13 carnelian and jasper gemstones (50 gp each), petrified dragon (a carved message indicates it will awaken one day), 2 , ,
CR 17–22 ; with 2 or
Treasure 8,000 gp, 6 sapphire and emerald gemstones (1,000 gp each), 9 jet gemstones (100 gp each), 6 carved busts (250 gp each), stone table marked with ancient treasure map, (ivory goats),
CR 23–30 ; with , , or
Treasure 20,000 gp, 4 diamonds (5,000 gp each), 6 opals (1,000 gp each), jacinth necklace (25,000 gp), 2 , ,
CR 31+ with 1 or 2 (see elemental), , , or
Treasure 5,000 pp, 40,000 gp, 8 rubies (5,000 gp), 10 emeralds (1,000 gp each), free-standing door made of moonstone (bulky, worth 50,000 gp; may open one day), 3 , , ,
Dragons include red and gold dragons, which are huge reptilian fire-breathers that number among the world’s most dangerous monsters. This type includes, which breathe killing frost, as well as smaller reptilian creatures related to true dragons, such as .