Among the smallest and least intelligent of dragonkind, Frost Dragons are merely feral predators. The snowy faces of these wintery beasts show more ferocity rather than the slyness of their more powerful kin. The Frost Dragon has large, plated scales in various pale shades and prefers cold, icy climates.
Appearance. Frost Dragons are so named for their "frosted glass" appearance. Colouring varies from dragon to dragon, mostly in pale shades of blue, lavender, and silvery-white. Other colours can occur, such as a light icy green or shimmering pale pink, but the brown or black scale colouring of Horned Dragons is never found on these northern predators.
The glass-like look is a
characteristic of this species, as are the patterns on their backs - a trait
they share with their snake relatives. These patterns are distinctive to each
dragon, making each one unique and recognizable, should
a human observer want to get that close.
The long, agile bodies of Frost Dragons represent a very elegant snake-like form of dragonkind. Their enormous wings look like fragile sheets of ice, but in truth are strong, hard wings with which male Frost Dragons can propel themselves through the air with speed and agility. Female Frost Dragons do very little, if any, flying. Instead, they conserve their skill and energy for simple Ice Magic, which male Frost Dragons are incapable of using.
|Picture description. Depiction of one of the most famous Frost Dragons of the Tandala Mountains: Kehlemin, the Beast, facing the challenge of an Ashmari. Image by Isilhir.|
Frost Dragons have the classic powerfully-muscled back
legs which thrust off to spring on prey, and the more agile front legs which can
be used to hold and manipulate their food. Their paws are extremely wide in
proportion, and padded, allowing them to walk on sheets of ice with the greatest
of ease. Short, slightly curved claws act as pitons which dig in to even the
most slippery of surfaces and allow them to cling to the faces of bergs.
Adult Frost Dragons can reach a length of up to 11 peds, including a very long tail, and reach a wingspan of up to 13 peds.
Special Abilities. Frost Dragons have a number of abilities, most used to help them obtain food. First and foremost, they can breathe a stream of super-cooled moist air from their mouths, which immediately solidifies into pure ice. Their piton-like claws enable them to cling to any icy or slick surface with ease. Female Frost Dragons who can manipulate ice magic may create a wall of ice, but this requires a lot of energy and concentration, so is not done often. The females can also call up fogs that bewilder and numb anything caught within the sphere of the mist. They are immune to the effects of their own spells, and can break through ice that forms on them naturally.
Territory. In general Frost Dragons can only be found in northern regions in the world of Caelereth, where chill winds and icy conditions provide the essentials for their nature. It is said that hundreds of Frost Dragons inhabitate the mountains of Eternal Ice at the Dark Lands of Cyhalloi far to the north, where Caelereth comes to an end. However, a small amount of this species also exists on the Sarvonian continent, mainly at the Tandala Mountains which separate the lands of the barbarians from Santharian territory.
It seems obvious that humans very seldom encounter these creatures, as the regions where these dragons live in are very inhospitable and dangerous. Furthermore Frost Dragons very seldom leave their cool territories, not even for hunting reasons, and mainly keep to themselves. When battling they use the snaky thrusts of their long heads and their short claw spikes as effective weapons.
Habitat/Behaviour. Because Frost Dragons are by nature solitary creatures, they rarely travel in packs, given the few times the young do so for survival purposes. Although these dragons aren't the most aggressive ones out there, they usually go long periods without food, thus these beasts will often go after any meat that wanders into its midsts... (yah... that includes you!).
Frost Dragons are known to live at least two centuries, but observations vary. It is estimated that the longest living Frost Dragon reached the age of 325.
Diet. Frost Dragons will eat almost anything. However, they are very picky about how their food is prepared, and will only consume food that has been frozen. Usually the Frost Dragon will finish off its prey with its ice breath so that it can devour it while it's still stiff and frigid. The Frost Dragon will bury any other kills in snowbanks until they are frozen to the dragon's satisfaction.
Frost Dragons only come together and tolerate one another's company in
order to mate. Even then, there is no set time or ritual. However, a female
generally is "in heat"
during the winter. If a male and female cross paths during that time, the two
will begin to "play".
Although "playing" can seem
vicious and aggressive, it is never to the death, and is actually quite
affectionate, much like how cats roughhouse. If the male
can overpower the female, then the male will mount her, tails intertwined. If
the male cannot overpower the female (a rarity, but not unheard of), the female
will dismiss the male and fly off, one of the few times in her life where she
takes to the air.
Once the male impregnates the female, the male leaves, entrusting the female with the care of the children for the first two years of their life. The female carries the babies for about six months, then lays a batch of eggs, usually between 3-5 eggs. She creates a crude "nest" from ice blocks, which she then fuses together with her breath to make a high-walled fortress. She can easily scale the sheer sides with her well-developed claw-spikes, but other predators, and the babies, cannot.
While the eggs "incubate" in their frozen setting, the mother spends time hunting for food, bringing back the iced corpses, and chipping them into small slivers of frozen meat for the babies. After they hatch, she feeds them with the meat, brings back fog-stunned animals for them to practice hunting on, and demonstrates the principles of simple ice magic to the females in the litter. Once the two years are over, the mother leaves the babies to fend for themselves. Oftentimes the babies will stick together and cooperate for another year or so before going their separate ways.
Myth/Lore. Frost Dragons are claimed to like jewels, especially diamonds. If a sentient prey happens to be carrying such wealth, it is said that they may be able to bargain for their lives with their dragon captor. It is also rumoured that Frost Dragons make great nests of diamonds, although of all the foolish fortune-hunters who have braved the inhospitable ice wastes to prove it, none have returned.
The most famous Frost Dragon ever known to humanoids in Santharian lands was Kehlemin at the Tandala, who was slewn by the elf Arbethander at 367 b.S.
Information provided by Gryffydh and Ruil Malister