Nickel Dragon Species in Akadimía | World Anvil

Nickel Dragon

Nickel dragons are a type of ferrous dragon that re-emerged on Zihæt in the 48th century.

Basic Information


A nickel dragon is remarkably crocodilian in appearance, with a squat muscular build, raised eyes, and a long, toothy snout. Two smooth horns, longer than the dragon's head, sweep back and down from the base of the dragon's skull. Two tall frills run parallel to each other, beginning at its large horns and ending about where its wing membrane attaches to its sides, above its legs. It is usually accompanied by the odor of stagnant water.   A wyrmling nickel dragons scales are charcoal grey in color. The scales lighten as the dragon grows, becoming more metallic grey upon reaching adulthood. By the time a nickel dragon reaches the great wyrm stage, its scales shine a bright metallic white.

Biological Traits

Breath weapon. A nickel dragon can breath a cone of corrosve gas.   Amphibious. The dragon can breathe air and water.   Immunity. Nickel dragons are immune to damage from corrosive effects (acid).

Growth Rate & Stages

Age Category
Age (in years)
Very Young
Young Adult
Mature Adult
Great Wyrm

Ecology and Habitats

Nickel dragons dwell in swamp and marshland, usually in shallow caves near water.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Nickel dragons prey mostly on swamp creatures such as giant lizards.

Additional Information

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

They have the ability to see in the dark up to 60 feet away from them. They can see in dim light within that radius as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. They can't discern color in the darkness, only shades of grey.   They can perceive its surroundings within 10 feet without relying on sight.   All ferrous dragons can sense the location and amount of any non-precious metal (e.g. those other than gold, copper, etc.) within a distance of 30 feet as a wormling, and extending an additional 30 feet with each stage of growth.

Civilization and Culture


Ferrous dragons. These metallic dragons were once a dominant force on other worlds, but have been unknown on Zihæt until they re-emerged early in the 48th century. By nature they are heirarchical and have a strict code of conduct, though it may not seem so to others. Ferrous dragons on Zihæt are not burdened by the norms of their society on other worlds, and as a result can often exhibit strikingly different personalities and characteristics than the legends would suggest.

Common Myths and Legends

Nickel dragons are the smallest and weakest ferrous dragon, but what they lack in strength and size they make up for in tenacity , viciousness, and unpredictability. Their temperament is belittling and contemptuous, but they aren't nearly as foul-tempered as the black dragons they usually compete with for territory.   Lawfully Unpredictable. When it comes to the dictates of their hierarchy and clan, nickel dragons loyally follow all laws set forth for them to uphold. They can be counted on to support such laws and enact the will of Gruaghlothor, but their means are often difficult to predict. It seems that, in most cases, nickel dragons do as their conscience directs, within the bounds of clan and self. Their behavior is often erratic, but once a dragon decides on a course of action, it sticks to that course until it is complete or proven fruitless.   Their unpredictability also makes them effective combatants, as even the most well-informed would-be dragonslayers are always surprised by some act of the dragon's. The long and short of it is that each dragon fights differently, and an individual dragon fights differently every time, never utilizing the same tactics twice in a row (if ever).   Even tactics that make no sense, such as retreating at the beginning of a battle or charging when it makes sense to retreat, work to the dragon's favor because of the surprise of its enemies.   One tactic that they seem to universally favor and use several times over is hit-n-run, using their ability to swim and breathe underwater to great effect. The catch is that you can never know for sure when the dragon plans to strike, if it plans to strike again at all.   Corrosive Demeanor. The disposition of a nickel dragon is about as caustic as the gas that it spews from its maw. It enjoys bullying creatures smaller and weaker than itself, often insulting and demeaning those with the intelligence to understand it. Occasionally, a nickel dragon may travel a bit out of its way just to find an opportunity to raid for treasure or scare the tar out of a town's populace.   At their core, nickel dragons are aware of their ancestors' folly in rebelling against Bahamut all those eons ago. As a result, many of their inward thoughts are self-deprecating. They reprimand themselves constantly for past mistakes, and they fear that they deserve the fate that befell them when Gruaghlothor was defeated. Within each of them lurks the knowledge that they are right, but their greatest fear is that other creatures, especially other dragons, will see their faults and know the same thing.   Their hatred of themselves and the perceived stupidity of their ancestors leads them to act out: bullying, insulting, and destroying lesser creatures in an effort to make themselves feel better. Ironically, their constant rumination on past mistakes makes them efficient tacticians and fast learners. A nickel dragon rarely makes the same mistake twice.   Only the least intelligent of creatures dare to insult the dragon, as to do so is to court with death (specifically by an extremely painful cloud of corrosive gas). Pointing out the dragon's flaws is the fastest way to stoke its fury (and forgivable only by death as far as the dragon is concerned), as nickel dragons are self-conscious and aware of every flaw they have.   Swamp Ambushers. The anatomy of a nickel dragon makes it especially fit for swamps and marshes. They can lurk for days beneath murky water or a layer of mud, waiting for prey to come nearby. Their preferred food is giant lizards or other large reptiles, such as alligators.   Black dragons and nickel dragons often come into conflict, because they favor the same territory. Their battles are long and bloody, as both are immune to the other's breath weapon.   Though black dragons are slightly stronger than nickel dragons of a similar age, the nickel dragon can often even the stakes with its sheer tenacity and tactical unpredictability. Tenacious Treasures. Nickel dragons like having treasure as tenacious as they are. That is to say that nickel dragons prefer treasure that is hardy and won't corrode in their presence. Nonmagical metals are swiftly traded away or kept in a vault separate from the dragon's main hoard, to keep them from losing their value. Even precious metals, including coins of all varieties, aren't safe from the dragon's corrosive abilities.   When it inevitably acquires large sums of coins (or other nonmagical metal items such as weapons and armor), the dragon tries to trade them away and acquire treasure that is more resilient. They especially covet magic items and gems for this reason, as both are immune to their corrosion.
Ferrous Dragon
Conservation Status
No living ferrous dragons existed on Zihæt until 4706. The few ferrous dragons eggs that do exist are under the watchful eye of Chryseis.
Geographic Distribution
Related Ethnicities


Author's Notes

Ferrus dragons originally appeared in Dragon #170, June 1991 and again in dragon #356, June 2007. Adapted to Zihæt.   Statblocks based on the DMs Guild 5e "The Book of Dragons Volumes I & II" by Conner McCall,   Oath of Dragon mechanics from Players Guide to Odyssey of the Dragonlords by James Ohlen and Jesse Sky.

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