Chellewis is a convivial and playful ancient copper dragon, who, just a decade ago, decided to take Mara under his wing after she and a group of bumbling ruins raiders foolishly attempted to rob his lair. Mara courageously faced Chellewis, not in combat, but a battle of wits: riddles, jokes, and illusions performed by both parties, and the ancient dragon was impressed.

“At birth, a copper dragon’s scales have a ruddy brown color with a metallic tint. As the dragon gets older, the scales become finer and more coppery, assuming a soft, warm gloss by young adult age. Very old dragons’ scales pick up a green tint. A copper dragon’s pupils fade with age, and the eyes of great wyrms resemble glowing turquoise orbs.

A copper dragon appreciates wit and usually doesn’t harm creatures that can relate a joke, humorous story, or riddle the dragon has not heard before. It quickly gets annoyed with anyone who doesn’t laugh at its jokes or accept its tricks with good humor. It likes to taunt and annoy opponents into giving up or acting foolishly.

An angry copper dragon prefers to mire foes using transmute rock to mud. The dragon pushes trapped opponents into the mud or snatches and carries them aloft. A copper dragon tries to draw airborne enemies into narrow, stony gorges where it can use its spider climb ability and maneuver them into colliding with the walls.

By the time it becomes ancient, a dragon ranks among the most powerful creatures to walk the earth. Its lair is nigh impregnable. Its hoard contains more wealth than any kingdom since the fall of the great empires. Its name (or at least one of them) is known far and wide among dragons and humanoids both. The dragon has survived longer than most nations.

The truth is, the dragon doesn’t have much left to do. The dragon’s territory is as large as the dragon wants it to be. If the dragon wants to manipulate and control the nearby communities, it does so. Few rivals exist with sufficient power to offer the dragon anything resembling sport. For an ancient dragon, perhaps the greatest challenge is staving off ennui.

Some ancients spend years hibernating or counting and recounting their hoards, for lack of anything better to do. Others ignite conflict, invading other dragons’ territories or inspiring mortal allies to go to war, in hopes of finding a challenge to pass the time. A few revert to behaviors of younger dragons, hunting and raiding at whim. Some devote themselves fanatically to whatever religious beliefs they hold, or seek out new ones.

Others take on strange or surprising hobbies, passing the years by studying select periods in history, mastering rituals, or researching other planes. When adventurers hear about a dragon seeking an ancient ritual or kidnapping a sage and stealing his library, the dragon might be an ancient seeking a new area of interest."

-from Kel Bostrom’s difinitive work on dragons: the Draconomicon


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