The Iron Dragon (Dungeons & Dragons) is a type of dragon in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. It is a metallic dragon. Violent and ill-tempered, iron dragons are undoubtedly the most brutish and vicious of the metallic races. Many iron dragons are evil, and most of the rest are, at best, a particularly hungry and dangerous variety of unaligned.
Lairs and Terrain
Iron dragons naturally favor settings that offer plenty of game and good cover. They build lairs in dense forest or broken hills–terrain that offers many hiding places for a large predator.
Iron dragons hide their lairs well. In the absence of truly inaccessible terrain, an iron dragon settles for the most difficult and tangled ground cover it can find. Caves in brush-filled forest ravines or briar-choked gulches are common iron dragon lairs. Given their tough, thick scales, iron dragons have no qualms about plunging through the thickest patches of thorny foliage. The lair usually consists of several large, unimproved antechambers–natural caves with uneven floors, jagged rocks, or hindering vegetation hanging down from the outside, often festooned with the rotting remains of previous meals–and a deeper, more comfortable den.
Treasure of any sort fascinates dragons, but iron dragons particularly love the luster and feel of gold and silver coins–the more the better.
Iron dragons prey on midsized game, such as boar, deer, or antelope. Most regard humanoids as prey too, and they prefer small, comparatively weak creatures, such as goblins, kobolds, gnomes, and halflings. Natural ambush predators, they lie hidden in deep thickets or old ruins alongside roads until a tempting target wanders within reach of a sudden charge. Good-aligned iron dragons refrain from devouring intelligent creatures (except for the occasional goblin), but evil ones prize intelligent prey and often roam far from their native forests in search of humanoid settlements, well-traveled roads, and other suitable hunting grounds.
Iron dragons have coarse, heavy, dark gray metallic scales. Although they might be confused with silver or mithral dragons, the other metallics tend to be much brighter in color, and their scales are smaller and finer. As it ages, an iron dragon develops rusty-brown streaks, especially on scales near major joints and on its wings.
Personality and Motivations
Iron dragons are governed by their base passions–hunger, greed, creature comforts (of the sort that appeal to dragons, anyway), and the desire to be feared and respected. The best of the race are sullen and reclusive, preferring their own company to that of others. Most iron dragons seek to sate their brutish impulses by devouring or robbing any creature foolish enough to intrude on their demesnes. They are not especially clever and can sometimes be outwitted through bribery, flattery, and other such tactics–their greed can easily override their natural sullenness.
Relations with other Creatures
Young iron dragons are easily enticed into serving other monsters as guardians or champions. Goblins and their kin especially prize iron dragons for their fierceness and their susceptibility to bribes, gifts, and flattery. Larger and more powerful monsters, such as giants, can easily bully iron dragons. No matter how their allegiance is won, iron dragons make dangerous and unreliable servants. The larger they grow, the more demanding they become. Few goblin realms successfully keep an iron dragon under control for long after the dragon reaches adulthood, and only the most powerful of masters can retain the loyalty of an elder or an ancient iron dragon.
Iron dragons dislike all other dragons, but they especially resent green dragons. Both prefer the same types of forest environs, and the sly, malicious greens frequently frustrate and outwit iron dragons with their exceptional intelligence.
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