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Essence Dragons

Whereas chromatic dragons reshape the land and metallic dragons cultivate it, essence dragons embody the land. Every essence dragon reflects the nature of its home; ancient mountain ranges, great rivers, and even accursed wastelands all have their draconic counterparts.

Patron Spirits. Essence dragons are bound to their chosen lands, and their power waxes and wanes with its strength. If a river dries up, its dragon may die; as necrotic power corrupts a valley, its dragon may transform into a shadow dragon .

Some essence dragons are guardians of their lands’ inhabitants. In such places, villages pay reverence to the wisdom of their earth dragon or the blessings of their river dragon . In less hospitable environments, essence dragons are as indifferent to mortals as the land itself.

Essence dragons bolster the vitality of the place they’re bound to, but they also present a vulnerability. When an essence dragon is killed, its land dies with it. Forests wither, rivers give way to mire, and mountains erupt with the fury of the dragon’s death throes.

Eternal Souls. Like all dragons, essence dragons are long-lived but not immortal. However, when an essence dragon succumbs to old age, a wyrmling hatches from a long-buried egg. This reborn dragon is heir to the hazy memories of its parent’s past, as well as to the land itself.

Essence Link. The essence dragon is spiritually linked to a specific area or landmark. The dragon gains no benefit from a long rest when 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 fatigue and a level of strife . This fatigue and strife can be removed only by completing a long rest outside the area.