The Adamantine Dragon (Dungeons & Dragons) is a type of dragon in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. It is a metallic dragon. Also known as cave dragons, or occasionally Underdark dragons, adamantine dragons are little known on the surface world. Although not the most intelligent of dragons, adamantine dragons are far smarter than their brutish, short-tempered behavior would suggest.
Lairs and Terrain
Adamantine dragons treat their territories as their personal fiefdoms, ruling over all creatures within. Although they demand obedience and respect at all times, they also take their duty as "ruler" seriously, protecting their subjects (or at least the obedient ones) from attack.
Most adamantine dragons dwell in the Underdark, in lairs filled with great caverns and twisting tunnels. The central lair has ledges or chambers at multiple heights. with at least two or three means of egress large enough for the dragon's bulk.
If Underdark (or at least underground) "kingdoms" aren't available, adamantine dragons lair in rocky mountain ranges, making their homes in caves surrounded with the comforting weight of rock. These adamantine dragons sometimes come into conflict with the equally territorial blue dragons that dwell in high, storm-shrouded mountains.
Adamantine dragons prefer treasures that remind them of, or are native to, their home territory. For instance. an adamantine dragon whose Underdark "kingdom" includes rich veins of silver likely prefers silver treasures over other valuable metals or gems.
Adamantine dragons prefer large amounts of smaller prey. a predilection developed over long years underground, where larger game is often unavailable. They particularly enjoy the taste of giant spiders and insects, but anything large enough for them to notice is large enough for them to eat. They don't make a habit ofhunting sentient prey, but most won't turn it down if it's available. An adamantine dragon won't consume any of its "subjects" (see Lairs and Terrain), unless the only other option is starvation.
Unsurprisingly. given their physical abilities and favored terrain, adamantine dragons prefer to fight and hunt from the ground, flying to close in on prey but then landing for the duration of the battle. That said, an adamantine dragon knows the terrain of its territory well and uses short flights to pass over obstacles intended to injure or impede its foes. Even in large caverns or mountain passes, an adamantine dragon prefers to patrol its territory on foot, the better to become familiar with the region.
Adamantine dragons are a dark metallic hue. Some underground dwellers that have never seen a true black dragon call adamantines by that name. Their scales protrude in a bladelike fashion, ruffling like feathers when the dragon is irritated or hunting. An adamantine dragon has no horns per se, unless you count the row of spines that begins at the back of its head and runs the length of its body and tail. Its snout is sleeker than those of other dragons, vaguely resembling a snapping turtle's. Oddly, adamantine dragons smell not only like metal, but also vaguely oily, like a well-maintained blade or suit of armor.
Personality and Motivations
Highly territorial and exceptionally proud (even for a dragon), an adamantine dragon demands obedience and respect in its petty kingdom, and it might kill intruders without question. That said, if an explorer talks quickly and is respectful, an adamantine dragon won't necessarily be hostile. It might be willing to enter into treaties, agreements, or alliances with its neighbors.
On the other hand, offering a single insult is often enough to sour negotiations or trigger an instant attack. Adamantine dragons brook disrespect from nobody, and ignorance or carelessness is not an acceptable excuse.
Relations with other Creatures
Adamantine dragons rarely encounter other metallic dragons, except when those that live in caves delve too deeply into the Underdark. However, they frequently clash with purple dragons, since the two kinds prefer the same type of territory. Although adamantine dragons are more powerful (assuming comparable age), purple dragons tend to be smarter, wilier, and more likely to use minions, making the contests more even.
Most frequently, adamantine dragons interact with other Underdark-dwelling sentient creatures, particularly humanoids. These include grimlock and troglodyte tribes, which adamantine dragons typically annex, and drow and duergar communities, with which they frequently war. Although adamantine dragons demand obedience from all creatures in their "kingdoms," they don't demand that their "subjects" do anything. (They're far less likely than purple dragons, for instance, to use humanoid spies or assassins.)
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