Expanding on the world of the Io's Blood Isles

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Re: Expanding on the world of the Io's Blood Isles

Post by Cromstar » Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:57 pm

talsine wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:41 pm
just poking my head in to say keep going, i really enjoy reading this write up.
Glad to hear it.


The last group of dragons are the lesser dragons, but don't let the name fool you. Lesser dragons are still full dragons and come with all that entails; they're simply grouped together because these dragons don't particularly fit in with any of the other categories of dragon (or even each other for the most part). 'Lesser dragons' is essentially a catch-all category for some interesting and unique dragon species. There are 10 species of dragon listed below. Technically my listing has 12 in this category, but 2 of those species don't translate into the Council of Wyrms setting (I'll mention them near the end of this post in brief). All of these dragons are taken from 2nd Edition sources (with or without modifications).

Aquatic dragon - Sometimes called the sea dragon or water dragon, aquatic dragons are one of two purely marine species of dragon (the other is below). Their neutral evil alignment and desire for treasure makes them a hazard to shipping in other worlds where they are found. In the Council of Wyrms setting, aquatic dragons live in the warmer seas around the southern isles, sticking relatively near to coastlines and small uninhabited isles. Aquatic dragon clans build underwater villages on the sea floors, in reefs, underwater caverns, etc and often serve as curators and guardians of undersea resources (despite their evil nature, aquatic dragons are smart and cunning, and they know the dangers inherent in overfishing their waters or destroying the reefs, etc). Though marine in nature, aquatic dragons can fly or move about on land, though the lack of water causes them skin irritation. The breath weapon of the aquatic dragon is a cloud of fine particulate that has different properties in the air and in water. In the water, the particles coat any objects, creatures, or surfaces before undergoing an intense chemical reaction with the water that results in a large electrical discharge. In the air, these particles cling together, forming a thick film that causes suffocation damage.

There are 5 clans of aquatic dragon:
-Clan Krakenhome
-Clan Siltbottom
-Clan Waverider
-Clan Abyssalplain
-Clan Riverraider

Brine dragon - Also sometimes referred to as the sea dragon or aquatic dragon, brine dragons are the second species of purely marine dragon, and are somewhat unique among all dragons. Brine dragons are, even by dragon standards, brutish, violent, and dumb. Many consider the white dragon to be one of the dumbest dragons, but only because so few people are aware of the brine dragons existence. Brine dragons, despite their malice and cruelty, are too dumb to be truly evil (they're chaotic neutral), and are the only species of true dragon that cannot cast any spells. Their low intelligence means brine dragons approach treasure with the 'shiny is better' mindset: a brine dragon will pass up a chest of uncut gemstones for glass marbles every time. Though brine dragons are at home in any oceans, the brines in the Io's Blood Isles have been forced into the temperate and cold oceans by the aquatic dragons. Brine dragon clans don't really build villages, mostly living on the ocean floor in a cluster of 'nests'. The breath weapon of brine dragons is a cloud of alkali salt water that burns like acid on contact.

There are 3 clans of brine dragon:
-Clan Bloodwater
-Clan Reefkiller
-Clan Waterdeath

Cloud dragons - Cloud dragons are a species of neutral dragon that live, as the name implies, on magically created clouds. The cloud dragons of the the Io's Blood Isles build entire cities and/or castles on their cloud islands that float above the isles proper, looking down with bemusement at the 'groundling' dragons. Their stand-offish attitudes and life among the clouds does occasionally bring cloud dragons into contact and conflict with other dragons that live on high mountain peaks, such as silvers, reds, mercuries, etc. The cloud islands of the cloud dragons can be moved deliberately or left to drift with the winds at the discretion of the dragons, but they tend to keep to the skies above the Io's Blood Isles. The breath weapon of cloud dragons is a blast of icy air mixed with small ice crystals.

There are 6 clans of cloud dragon:
-Clan Cumulus
-Clan Nimbus
-Clan Cirrus
-Clan Stratus
-Clan Fractus
-Clan Thunderhead

Deep dragons - Deep dragons are the only species of dragon that is purely subterranean (though sapphire, purple, and shadow dragons may live in the Underdark, all of those species are also found on the surface). These chaotic evil dragon clans have carved out their territories in the tunnels and caverns of the Underdark beneath the Io's Blood Isles. They have relatively little enough to do with the surface dragon species, spending most of their time fueding with other dragons who claim subterranean realms, or with the other organized threats of the Underdark (illithids and aboleth in particular). The breath weapon of deep dragons is a cloud of flesh-corroding gas.

There are 4 clans of deep dragons:
-Clan Darkclaw
-Clan Deepstalker
-Clan Tunnelfang
-Clan Underearth

Fang dragons - Often mistaken for evil due to their churlish nature and the vampiric nature of their namesake ffang, these chaotic neutral dragons are the most reclusive and isolated of all dragons. Fang dragon clans in the Io's Blood Isles seek out and claim extra-large territories in the most desolate regions of the isles. They claim such large territories so that all members of the clan have room to spread out and avoid the other clan members if they so desire. Like most dragons, fang dragons can subsist on almost anything, but have taken to a diet of rocks in order to sustain them in ever more remote locations (the lack of food helps drive other beings away). Fang dragons don't interfere much in the lives of other dragons, preferring to go about their own personal business; meddling in the business of a fang dragon is almost guaranteed to draw its ire.

There are 4 clans of fang dragon:
-Clan Deathbite
-Clan Fangblade
-Clan Rockbiter
-Clan Stonedge

Grey dragons - According to legends on some worlds, grey dragons are the descendants of chromatic dragons who, in their selfish evil, turned away from Tiamat and struck out on their own. In her jealous rage, she cursed them to be forever dull in color. But don't let that fool you; grey dragons are still evil and intelligent. Grey dragons are coastal dwelling dragons, preferring to live along northern coasts where grey skies and grey, choppy seas provide them more opportunity to blend into their environment; grey dragons mostly hunt at sea. Unique among all dragons, grey dragons live in mated pairs and (surprising to many given their neutral evil alignment) are devoted parents. There are only three circumstances in which a grey dragon will be found alone: 1) a young dragon that has not yet found a mate, 2) a dragon whose mate has died, 3) when caring for their eggs and young, a mated pair take turns hunting alone. The breath weapon of grey dragons is a cloud of paralytic gas.

There are 3 clans of grey dragon:
-Clan Dirtycold
-Clan Pairings
-Clan Wasteland

Mist dragons - Mist dragons are private, philosophical creatures, preferring to live in secluded areas filled with fog, mist, or rain to help provide privacy. In other worlds, mist dragons are sometimes rumored to be lungs that left (or were cast out from) the celestial bureaucracy in order to pursue their philosophical musings. In the Io's Blood Isles, these neutral dragons tend to keep for themselves, but willingly share their knowledge and advice with any who ask politely. This makes them highly thought of even among many evil dragons who also partake in their council at times.

There are 4 clans of mist dragon:
-Clan Cenotes, who live in an isolated jungle valley filled with a series of fresh water cenotes.
-Clan Cloudforest, who have built a city in the caldera of a volcano housing a massive cloud forest that is nearly always shrouded in fog and mist
-Clan Waterfall, who have built their village in the cliffs behind the curtains of a massive waterfall
-Clan Whitewater, who have a sprawling domain carved into the walls of a narrow canyon filled with a frothing, raging river

Sand dragons - As the name implies, sand dragons are desert-dwelling dragons that live beneath the sand. These neutral dragons have a unique form of movement that allows them to essentially 'swim' through loose surface sand and dirt. The sand dragons of the Io's Blood Isles build their cities beneath the deserts and tend to keep to themselves. Though their territories are often near to other desert dwelling dragons, they rarely have serious conflicts with their neighbors. Even blue dragons don't care to be pulled into the earth where the enemy has a distinct advantage in combat. The breath weapon of sand dragons is a scouring blast of fine sand.

There are 4 clans of sand dragon:
-Clan Antlion
-Clan Coldsand
-Clan Dunewyrm
-Clan Sandswimmer

Shadow dragons - Even among evil dragons, shadow dragons are among the most disgusting, vile, and hated of creatures. Even other dragons tend to shun the shadow dragons, and the Io's Blood Isles are no exception. More than any other dragon species except perhaps the reds, shadow dragons are only kept in check by threat of retaliation from the Council. Still, this don't not stop the shadow dragons of the Isles from plotting and constantly looking for opportunities to get away with their crimes.

There are 3 clans of shadow dragon:
-Clan Darkness, who have set up their city in a massive Underdark cavern beneath one of the middle isles
-Clan Silentdeath, who live in the depths of a dense jungle beneath the thick canopy
-Clan Twilight, who have built their capital in the remains of an ancient ruin within one of the southern jungle; the ruin's origin is believed to be from an older dragon civilization prior to the formation of the Council

Were dragons - Were dragons are not, in fact, weredragons (or even dragonweres), but a species of true dragons. Similar in some ways to the steel dragons, were dragons on other worlds prefer to live among human and demi-human populations in their natural non-draconic forms. Unlike steels and most other dragons that have natural polymorph abilities, were dragons that mate with humans and demi-humans do not birth half-dragons; all were dragons (male and female) breed true. In the Io's Blood Isles, the were dragons are a true oddity. There is only one clan of were dragons (Clan Mystery), and the other dragons know next to nothing about the were dragons and their clan other than they exist. The clan claims no territory, has no villages or vassals, and even the identity of its members is unknown. Natural dragon paranoia makes nearly all other dragons suspicious of the were dragons. Some rumors circulate that the were dragons even live among the few surviving human tribes. The reasons for doing so range from the benign (to keep an eye on them so they don't become a threat) to the malign (the were dragons secretly side with the humans and are helping them). Since dragon lore indicates the were dragons did not join in the Dragonslayer War (at least not in their dragon forms), even the most trusting of dragons harbors suspicions about the were dragons. Were dragons, however, are not entirely out of touch. On rare occasions a member of the clan will attend a meeting of the Council of Wyrms, though always arriving in dragon form and leaving in such so as to prevent any dragons from learning where they came from or left for.


I mentioned that I have two other lesser dragon species that don't translate to the Council of Wyrms setting. The first is the ablino wyrm; albino wyrms are the degenerate descendents of chromatic dragons that became lost in the Underdark. Over time they have interbred and adapted cave albinism to become the albino wyrms. In the CoW setting, the Underdark is part of the isles and dragons being permanently lost there is not a serious concern, so these creatures would never come into existence. The other is the pink dragon; originally a joke from an April issue of Dragon Magazine it was adapted to hold a very specific role in my world (where its still mostly a joke and the only surviving family of them lives in a small region that is entirely made up of jokes).

The lesser dragons were, I felt, really important to cover before getting into the giants that serve as one of the biggest dangers to the dragons. Its probably a bit evident from reading through this post why I felt that way, but I'm planning to talk about giants in my next post.

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