The Bronze Dragon (Dungeons & Dragons) is a type of dragon in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. It is a metallic dragon. Duty-bound and honorable to a fault, bronze dragons commit themselves to order and are among the greatest and most devout champions of that ideal. To a bronze dragon, there is no greater calling than to ensure a universe governed by law, where chaos and corruption can gain no foothold. For most bronze dragons, enforcing justice in their lands is enough. But for a few, only absolute order can sate their ethical hunger–even if it means they must act as despots and tyrants, for the ends justify the means. As a result, bronze dragons come into conflict with other peoples, even when their values and beliefs are not worlds apart.
Lairs and Terrain
Bronze dragons choose lairs on rocky islands, granite cliffs overlooking the sea, or other coastal locales. Some bronze dragons eschew land altogether and stake out underwater territory in kelp beds, sub merged caverns, or sunken ships. In rare cases, a bronze dragon might protect or rule a community of underwater creatures.
Freshwater bodies can sustain bronze dragons too, though adapting to these environments is slow and painful. Though rare in these environs, a bronze dragon might dwell in a large lake, inland sea, or even a deep river if the available prey can sustain it. Bronze dragons have little love for cold, and are unlikely to live in arctic climes, ceding those areas to cobalt and white dragons.
A bronze dragon's lair is usually accessible by water, its entrances concealed by the waves. Water-filled passages connect to dank and dripping mazes. The dragon uses natural caves to house servants, store treasure, and trap intruders. It might incorporate traps in the form of deadfalls, slides, and shifting tunnels. Often a secondary entrance, usually a chimney, allows the dragon an escape route. Such a passage, often disused and overgrown with creepers or buried under debris, can be even harder to find than the main entrance.
A bronze dragon's hoard consists of whatever the dragon can scavenge from the sea, sunken cities, lost ships, or vessels it attacks. Since saltwater can corrode most metals and other valuables, the dragon's hoard often consists largely of ceramics, statuary, and gemstones–durable goods that are immune to the effects of the dragon's environment.
Bronze dragons have voracious appetites, so they can't be too selective about what they eat. Most live on the sea's bounty, with kelp, fish, and crustaceans as their dietary staples. They prefer shark to other sea creatures, and often deplete local populations, leaving no sharks alive for leagues around. Like other metallic dragons, bronze dragons don't consume intelligent creatures, though many make an exception for sahuagin, whose flesh is similar to shark meat.
A ribbed and fluted crest sweeps back from a bronze dragon's cheeks and eyes, and the ribs end in curving horns, the largest growing from the top of its head. Webbing along its limbs and between its claws helps it swim. A bronze dragon's scales are a metallic dark brown, with a few highlights that look more like polished bronze.
Personality and Motivations
Bronze dragons have an elevated sense of purpose, believing their way is the proper way. Disagreement, they believe, arises from willful ignorance, and they have little patience for fools. A bronze dragon doesn't debate and doesn't argue, and if someone pushes the dragon, it might react with violence. In fact, most conflicts with bronze dragons arise from misunderstandings.
Bronze dragons see the world in black and white, right and wrong, and they choose not to appreciate the subtlety of gray. Disappointment and frustration with humanoid subterfuge might lead a bronze dragon to act rashly, destroying an entire population out of misapprehension. Even if it is later shown to have been wrong, the dragon would not feel regret and would see the tragedy as being brought on by the dishonesty of its victims.
Relations with other Creatures
Bronze dragons are territorial creatures, and they do not tolerate trespassers or explorers in their lands unless the interlopers offer some sort of tribute. A bronze dragon that settles near shipping lanes or in busy waters often demands payment to protect passing ships against sharks, sahuagin, pirates, and other dangers. Such dragons can be fierce guardians, but their prices are high, and many merchants go bankrupt meeting their demands.
On occasion, a bronze dragon might adopt a community and enforce its laws with an iron fist. It doesn't take long for the dragon to replace the ruler, and when it does, the community must abide by the dragon's rules or face extinction. Bronze dragons might rule over kobold, human, goblin, merfolk, or lizardfolk tribes. Older dragons extend their empires onto other planes, ruling devils, archons, and the like.
Bronze dragons detest evil aquatic creatures, and sahuagin are among their worst enemies. Blue dragons, though, are worse than even the sea devils, and their territories often overlap with those of bronze dragons. When a blue and a bronze meet, they clash violently, and if one retreats, it's never for long. Legends tell of bronze and blue dragons waging war for decades or centuries, with neither getting the upper hand. They spar and raid, striking and retreating until one gives up and flees for safer waters or, more likely, falls in battle.
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