Dragons are one of the oldest lifeforms known and predate the dinosaurs. They were also responsible for burning the dinosaurs into extinction and for causing Ice Ages with the ash from their flames. Every time the world became depleted of food, they would hibernate, waiting for life to replenish itself anew. At an unspecified point in the 21st century, they were awakened by humans mining into their caverns. The only survivor of this attack when the dragons awoke was Quinn Abercromby, who saw his mother, the leader of the mining project, crushed to death while saving him.
Over the next few years, the dragons multiply quickly and burn cities to the ground, causing humans to retaliate with nuclear weapons, only hastening the destruction and nearly causing humans to go extinct.
In 2020, a dragon appears in NorthUmberland and attacks a group of survivors led by Quinn as they try to harvest the fruit gardens behind his back. Though Quinn and his men rescue most of their comrades, the dragon burns the field and consumes the ash.
The Kentucky Irregulars, a group of Americans led by a dragons layer named Denton Van Zan, arrive with a Chieftain tank and AgustaWestland AW109 utility helicopter, the latter of which is piloted by Alex Jensen, his second-in-command. Van Zan has a system for hunting dragons and knows their weakness: poor vision before sunset, as the dragon have a hard time adjusting to failing light. He and Quinn work together and kill the dragon who destroyed the crops.
Van Zan and Alex later tell Quinn all the dragons they have found have been female. The Americans believe there is only one male dragon, and that if they kill it, the dragons can no longer reproduce and will die out. Although Quinn knows about the male dragon, the very same one that killed his mother, he refuses to help, knowing that the dragon will retaliate.
Van Zan orders his soldiers to enlist the castle's best men. Quinn, desperate to protect his people, argues that if they find the male, it will kill them and find the castle. Van Zan's group is later attacked by the male dragon in the ruins of a town 66 miles from London. The dragon then finds the castle and kills most of its inhabitants. Quinn tries to get the survivors to a bunker. As he does, his friend, Creedy saves him and is killed by the dragon in his place while getting them to safety.
Van Zan and Jensen return and free the survivors trapped in the bunker. Quinn then tells Van Zan he will help them hunt the male dragon in revenge for Creedy's death and the attack on his people. They fly to London and find it is now the lair of hundreds of dragons, with the smaller ones cannibalized by the now starving larger male. Van Zan tells Quinn about a plan to shoot explosives down the dragon's throat with a crossbow, and sets the plan in motion to kill the beast, playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse to draw the dragon into position. Van Zan fires on the dragon from the top of a silo, but the dragon is only injured slightly and eats Van Zan when he leaps at it with his axe. Quinn and Alex lure the dragon back to ground level, where Quinn faces off with it. After a tense and deadly standoff, Quinn fires the last remaining explosive arrow into the dragon's mouth, killing it.
After the slaying of the male dragon, the species eventually starves and dies out, with Quinn and other survivors not having seen one for three months since the killing of the male.
The dragons are huge and powerful; large wings that serve also as their front limbs keep them aloft with ease and they are equipped with powerful talons on their hands and feet. They are agile and swift on the ground and in the air. Their jaws are also lined with massive teeth, and they spit fire from two glands in their mouth that secrete separate chemicals and burst into flame on contact with one another.
An odd feature of their biology was their ability to eat ash in addition to raw meat. Though it is not known how they absorbed nutrients from the ash, it seemed they could subsist entirely off it, further explaining their ability to breathe fire, so as to burn everything into ash, upon which they fed with zeal.
Dragons also have excellent day vision and even better night vision. They cannot however see well in failing light at sunset, as they struggle to adjust in that interim period. They are also intelligent; the male dragon in particular was adept at luring his enemies such as Denton Van Zan and his men into a trap and then backtracking them to Quinn's castle to kill the humans there and thus eliminate his enemies. Despite this, dragons were still animals, no matter their intelligence and could still be outsmarted. They also were vulnerable to weapons such as tank munitions, explosive crossbow arrows, nets, and axes.
Reproduction-wise, dragons could lay many eggs and beget offspring very quickly; they went from a population of one to a million in a year after the first one emerged, and many females mated with the single male that served as their leader. However, this was in itself their fatal flaw; only one male dragon, a seemingly biologically immortal aberration, ever existed, and when he was killed, the species was left without a means of reproducing and died out.