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Nickel-Iron Dragon

At the heart of a Nickel-Iron dragon is a solitary creature bent on an instinctual need to transform. This species of dragon is extremely territorial in their youth defending their hordes with every fiber of their being. The relentless fire breath in their youth consumes all who happen into their territory.  

Majestic Patterns

As a hatchling the scales of nickel-iron wyrmlings are a dull grey with paint-like streaks of black barely visible. Through time and growth the scales begin to establish a random grey and black pattern, typically with triangles of black appearing more brilliantly as the dragons' strength builds. The butterfly-like wings can come in a variety of different colors depending on the creature's surroundings at birth, most are a translucent magenta color. It is not uncommon to see wings of translucent sea-foam green or translucent sapphire blue either. Through the front of their chest runs a series of diamond-shaped fire-like gemstones that run up to the bottom of their jaws, most believe this is the source of the young dragons' fiery rage.  

Instinctual Metamorphosis

The horde of a young Nickel-Iron dragon is an unusual premise, typically made of peat from the surrounding swamps or bogs in which these dragons tend to reside. As the dragon gathers its horde of peat it creates a bunker out of it on a hillock within the swamp, expanding the area around the hillock as needed. Once the dragon is satisfied with its size and the amount of peat that it has, it forms a cocoon out of the peat by packing it down and encasing itself within the fortress of peat. After fully building the fortress with specific tunnels for airflow the dragon lights the inside of the peat on fire and lets it burn for the months it takes to fully immolate the peat.  
If you ever find a massive burning pile of what seems to be excrement in a swamp, leave it be as it is likely a Nickel-Iron dragon in mid-metamorphosis. Not only is the fire itself deadly but if disturbed noxious gas emits from it that can kill a man in five steps without even breathing it in.     Mythanthar Sinthera , Conduit Scholar
    Emerging gloriously as the flames die down, the adult appears transformed with scales swirled with a red ochre and a blueish teal color. The diamond-shaped gems that were once seemingly fire agate on the front of the dragon are now a gentle white swirl of laced agate. Between the new barrage of colors the dragon might even spread its pitch-black wings out displaying them much as a mantis would. The now tempered Nickel-Iron Dragon is capable of a chilling blast that can freeze the hottest of coals.  

Temperate Conservation

As a transformed Nickel-Iron dragon the adult dragon turns to the preservation of the swamp building a bond with all the creatures great and small within the swamp. Sometimes finding and guiding lost travelers safely through the swamp utilizing spells to create wisps of light to follow. They can be found hiding and bathing in the bogs filth covering their beautiful scales with moss, dirt, and decay of the swamp. As they foster the relationship with the swamp they make migrations to the ocean to feed on larger sea creatures such as lucent rays or smaller whales. These are typically the only times one might be able to glimpse the pure beauty of the adult Nickel-Iron Dragons as they emerge from their deep dives into the ocean.  

A Nickel-Iron Dragon's Lair

A young Nickel-Iron dragon's lair is their most precious location, their fortress of peat that they value over everything else in the world. Once they have undergone their metamorphosis, adult and ancient Nickel-Iron dragons make their lairs under filthy bogs. They excavate a cave system deep into the ground underneath the swamps building a serpentine entrance that resembles any other seep or pond within a swamp but typically goes hundreds of feet deep. Through magic, they keep a freshwater pond in the interior chambers of their lairs to bath in and tend to only horde naturally occurring materials or valuables.  
Regional Effects
The region surrounding a legendary Nickel-Iron dragon's lair is altered by the dragon's magic, creating one or more of the following effects:   Natural Filth. Water within 6 miles of the lair is filled with black algae that cling to the plants that line the edges of the water. If an individual touches the algae they must succeed on a DC 14 Nature (CON) save or they start to see illusions of haunting spirits that grow in blob-like fashions up out of all the black algae that the individual can see. If the creature is non-evil the illusions will lead the individual to a respite grove, otherwise, the illusions act to prevent the individual from venturing further into the swamp.   Respite Groves. Within 6 miles of the lair there are four to six groves that provide a natural respite to the harsh travels through the swamp. Non-evil creatures that take a short rest within these groves gain an additional free hit die to use if they spend one or more of their own hit dice to regain hit points. These groves are typically surrounded by a ring of willows that hide the natural splendor and small clean fresh water pool within.   Guardians of the Swamp. Within 1 mile of the lair the natural beasts of the swamp gain the ability to magically speak and understand Sylvan. They will caution any further exploration of the swamp, speaking of it as a natural preserve. They will act more aggressively the closer they are to the dragon's lair.   If the dragon dies, the beasts of the swamp immediately lose their ability to speak and become crazed with aggression and the groves cease to protect against the rest of the swamp the ponds becoming filthy over the course of 1d10 days. The black algae fade and the swamp returns to normal over the course of 1d20 days.
A broken scale from a young Nickel-Iron Dragon
Scientific Name

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