We've already discussed the evil, chromatic dragons. Now, we venture toward the metallic dragons. Although good by nature, these creatures are still vain, haughty, covetous, and proud, and thus, adventurers can still run afoul of them. First on the list is the loquacious brass dragon, denizen of the deserts and direct foe of the dreaded blue dragon.
Brass dragons inhabit the same terrain as blue dragons do: hot, wind-swept deserts full of rocky hills and shifting dunes of sand. Because they share the same land, brass and blue dragons are in constant conflict for the best places to lair, though not for food, since brass dragons require very little in the way of nutrition to survive. Adventurers who seek out brass dragons can face many of the same problems they face when entering a blue dragon's land as well: Stock up on water and be prepared to fight off the heat.
Brass dragons prefer setting up their homes near crossroads, caravan trails, and other major thoroughfares, so as to always have a steady stream of people with whom to converse. Because of this, you're more likely to encounter a brass dragon closer to a settlement than you would blue dragons (a blessing in disguise). If you're looking for a brass dragon, keep an eye out for tall cliffs, buttes, and other rock formations that grant a high outcropping from which the brass dragon can survey its territory.
Like other dragon lairs, the lair of a brass dragon is almost guaranteed to have two or more entrances. Unlike its evil cousins, the main entrance of a brass dragon is usually open and obvious -- the better to invite guests in to talk. Be warned, however, that if you wish it ill, the brass dragon's "waiting room" is a death trap in disguise. If it becomes angered or is attacked, brass dragons (particularly older ones), typically have the roof set to collapse with a simple trigger. They also litter the area with other traps -- they can burrow out of the fallen rocks and sand if such an event occurs.
The abilities of the brass dragon are both varied and versatile. All brass dragons possess speak with animals, providing them with a method of talking with something, in case other conversation is long in coming. They do their best to make friends with local fauna, even leaving out bits of food, so as to gain another layer of protection through untold numbers of tiny eyes. Juvenile and older brass dragons gain endure elements, meaning they can survive in the most intense heat (or cold, though seriously unlikely).
Adult and older brass dragons use suggestion mainly to entice a humanoid to sit and talk, rather than do anything particularly unusual, or make them sit and talk longer if they were visiting for friendly purposes anyway. These dragons rarely, if ever, use their ability to force a person to do something dangerous, although they are not above ridiculing a person if they prove boorish in conversation.
Wise and powerful old and older brass dragons gain control winds and control weather -- potentially dangerous abilities in the deep desert. If besieged by attackers, the brass dragon whips up fierce winds that obscure sight, and in the worst conditions, deal damage.
Great wyrms can use summon djinni to bring forth powerful allies to fight on their behalf. This ability usually augments a brass dragon's already powerful base of comrades and servants. If you face a great wyrm dragon that doesn't have any allies present, be prepared to face a djinni, typically summoned to flank you from behind.
Brass dragons are also capable of casting cleric spells from the Chaos and Knowledge domains as arcane spells.
About the Author
Eric Cagle cut his teeth at Wizards of the Coast, but now lives the extravagant freelancer lifestyle. Look for his name on D&D, d20 Modern, and Star Wars books. Recent credits include d20 Apocalypse, Races of Destiny, and Monster Manual III. He is also a contributor to the Game Mechanics, Green Ronin Publishing, Dragon Magazine, and this lovely website. Eric lives in Seattle where the coffee is dark and bitter like his goddesses.
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