Dragon

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Golden dragon in the graphic novel

Dragons are flying monsters, or draconids, which are said to represent the forces of Chaos. Apart from cats, dragons the only creatures known to absorb magical energy.

Dragons are 4-legged reptiles with bat-like wings, forked tongues and narrow triangular heads on long slender necks. They are divided into different types, loosely by colour and environment. Depending on their type they are able to breathe dangerous substances in combat; the Crinfrid Reavers, who have hunted a couple of these beasts, mention fire, acid and steam.

These creatures are viewed differently by human and non-human societies. While Zerrikanians worship dragons, many Nordlings consider them to be the single greatest enemy of the human race and many legends revolve around the beasts. The fear of these creatures is largely misplaced as the simpler folk cannot distinguish dragons from other flying reptiles. However, the primary motivation for hunting dragons tends not to be the preservation of the human race, but plundering their legendary hoards of treasure. Dragons are also the source of many alchemical materials, especially their tears and teeth, which are used in the manufacture of medicine and elixirs, and their blood, which is used in cosmetics. The tail is considered a great delicacy in some parts of the world.

Notable dragons[edit | edit source]

Dragon types[edit | edit source]

Other draconids and dragon-like creatures[edit | edit source]

In The World of the Witcher[edit | edit source]

Dragons are a separate family of draconids, characterized by their large size, two pairs of well-developed legs, and huge winges and tail. They are also much more advanced than their smaller cousins, possessing not only greater strength, but also cunning and intelligence. Though reasons for this behavior remain unknown, dragons universally love to collect gold, gemstones and other treasures -- a trait which has already made its way into countless legends. Despite what tales of noble dragon slayers rescuing innocent maidens might have you believe, the people organizing expeditions to hunt down dragons are invariably motivated not by the desire to put an end to the local threat, or even to win fame, but by simple greed.

In the same way, tales painting dragons as terrible foes of the human race, which are used to justify half of all hunts, are just fables. If dragons had no treasure hoards, nobody would even give a damn, except maybe the serfs whose sheep they devour. It is worth noting that almost every dragon hunt is closely scrutinized by someone connected to the Jewelers' Guild. Not coincidentally, despite the fantastic size of some dragon hoards, no hunt has ever led to the market being suddenly flooded with gemstones, with the corresponding drop in prices.

— pg(s). 130, The World of the Witcher


In The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings[edit | edit source]

Dragon
Tw2 journal dragon.png
Details
Occurrence
wherever they choose
Immunity
poison, bleeding, traps, bombs
Susceptibility
none
Tactics
fire and flight

In the Prologue of the game, you will have to guide King Foltest across a bridge while being pursued by a dragon as part of the Trial by Fire quest. Later in Chapter II, Geralt finds a magic stone that can help him learn more about who summoned the dragon and the possible perpetrator of the kings' murders. Later on in Chapter III, there is a battle with the dragon.

Journal entry[edit | edit source]

Once dragons were commonplace and ruled the continent absolutely. Dragon fire was the bane of cities, and dragon appetite was a constant threat to the first colonizers. Sorcerers stood against these creatures witchers were created to fight them. Today dragons are nearly extinct. Sometimes forktails and slipzards can be seen, but compared to dragons, they are like stray cats to tigers. The beasts were exterminated by professional hunters, such as the famed Crinfrid Reavers. Alchemical components found in a dragon's body are among the most expensive on the market, and are in high demand among sorcerers. The beast's roasted tail is a real delicacy.
The legends are true: dragons like to gather hoards and have a voracious appetite that they satiate by eating all living creatures with no exceptions. Like cats, they like to lounge in places of power - they nap there, drawing energy, yet nobody knows what they use that energy for. There are five species of these great wyrms: white, black, red, green and rock. Golden dragons, extremely intelligent, gifted with the ability to assume the shape of any creature, are of course a fairy-tale for little children. Dragons are smart indeed, but they cannot speak, much less polymorph.
The best tactic when meeting a dragon is to pray to all the gods with no exceptions. Atheists should run - they can thus extend their lives for a few heartbeats. It must be stressed that any of these choices would end in death when made by an amateur. One fighting a dragon should watch out for it's fire above all else - the breath is lethal, momentarily ending the fight. The wyrms can also fly, and are excellent at maneuvering, so they use the advantage of altitude in combat. A witcher should climb high buildings to surprise the reptile flying by, and to use walls as protection. The beast's jaws are even worse than its paws - they bring instant death. Dragons, like cats, like to toy with their prey, so they sometimes lift it to the air, and drop from height when they are bored.
Dragons are immune to poisons, unworried by oils which increase bleeding, and unaffected by traps or bombs. One would be hard pressed to find a soul brave enough to drop a dragon, unless it had been hacked to pieces with an axe first. And I wish such an outcome of the battle to all dragonslayers with all my heart.

Video[edit | edit source]

1st Meeting with dragon Running from a dragon
Killing the dragon

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

Comparison to D&D dragons[edit | edit source]

Though Sapkowski's dragons seem to be inspired by those appearing in settings for Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, there are some significant differences. While they are indeed divided into species by color of their scales, the number of their known kinds is remarkably smaller than in the popular game. Even more important, the dragon's type does not imply its character nor attitude towards dragons of other types – while chromatic and metallic dragons hate each others in D&D worlds, golden dragon Villentretenmerth and green dragon Myrgtabrakke are partners in The Bounds of Reason short story. Sapkowski also stated in that dragons could mutate, thus making individuals of different abilities and traits than others of their kind, mentioning a red dragon he created for an RPG session which breathed chlorine and mustard gas rather than fire like a typical red dragon.[3] The very existence of golden dragons, the only metallic dragons known to exist in the Witcherland, is suggested to be result of rare mutations among more common dragons.

The colour of their scales is also different than that of their exact D&D counterparts. For example, scales of green dragon in the game can reach shades of forest, emerald, and olive green while Sapkowski's green dragons are more greyish.

In Bogusław Polch's comics series and on illustrations for Wiedźmin: Gra Wyobraźni, dragons are less muscled and slimmer than common D&D portrayal of these creatures. On the other hand, Saesenthessis in The Witcher 2 is quite heavyset.

Other[edit | edit source]

  • In some illustrations for Gwent, dragons are 2-, not 4-legged. It was not explained whether they are mutations or just mistakes of the illustrators.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 in Wiedźmin: Gra Wyobraźni
  2. in The Witcher game series
  3. in The Eye of Yrrhedes role-playing game