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Chromatic Dragons

Named after their brightly-scaled hides, chromatic dragons can be found from the highest peaks to the thickest salt marshes. Chromatic dragons are the most common—as well as the most rapacious—of true dragons. They exert their will on the world via their peerless combat strength and by wreaking changes on their environments.

Twisted Lairs. A chromatic dragon is greedy even by draconic standards. Treasure, once acquired, is guarded carefully. A chromatic dragon makes its lair in a punishing, nearly inaccessible, location filled with traps and treacherous precipices. The dragon values worshipful allies, particularly kobolds and dragonborn , that can help patrol its lands and guard its lair against thieves.

The area around a chromatic dragon’s lair slowly comes to reflect the dragon’s nature. A black dragon’s territory becomes an acidic swamp, while the plants around a blue dragon’s lair wither as the land becomes parched. What’s worse, chromatic dragons are driven by boundless hunger, and most take no pains to preserve life within their hunting areas. Once the dragon has exhausted the land of prey, it may move on to a new lair.

The area controlled and twisted by a dragon increases as the dragon ages. While a wyrmling may have no established domain, a young dragon controls an area within a mile radius of its lair. Inside that area, the environment slowly changes to suit the dragon. An adult dragon magically corrupts a radius of five to 10 miles around its lair, while an ancient dragon might create a poisoned forest, a lifeless tundra, or other hostile environment that extends out 30 miles or more. A great wyrm, during its few waking periods, might create environmental conditions that devastate an entire continent.

Dynastic Struggles. In a time long past, dragons claimed a mighty, if short-lived, empire. Nowadays, most dragons are solitary creatures that see other dragons as potential threats. In the last few centuries, however, some chromatic dragons have rediscovered the value of cooperation. Such dragon clans may come to rule nations or even empires, demanding tribute and military service from the humanoids they rule. Elder dragons govern as monarchs, while younger ones claw their way up the ladder of command amidst a climate of intrigue, backstabbing, and duels to the death. Such an empire, if left unchecked, could pose a threat to the freedom of the entire world—and the treasure it amassed
could be truly staggering.