Dragonnes largely resembled giant lions, with the brassy scale covering and a smaller version of the wings of brass dragons. Their faces, which were encircled by particularly thick and coarse mane, featured large feathery eyebrows and big, usually brass-colored eyes.
Dragonnes typically reached a length of about 12 feet (3.7 meters) and measured about 5 feet (1.5 meters) at the shoulders, though especially long-lived individuals were known to reach lengths of 18 feet (5.5 meters) (tails excluded) and shoulder heights of 8 feet (2.4 meters). A typical dragonne weighed 700 pounds (320 kilograms).
Dragonnes were highly territorial and would attack any creatures invading their homes. They were not generally evil or malicious, allowing any intruders the opportunity to flee before they attacked. Those who did not leave a dragonne's lair would find themselves quickly set upon by a savage opponent.
During their month-long mating season, which occurred at the time of year when the days started to become colder, dragonnes were at their most erratic and dangerous. The creatures were much quicker to attack during this period, targeting anything they didn't see as a potential mate. When overtaken by their mating drive, dragonnes adopted different, less direct methods of attack, such as causing avalanches or dropping targets from high altitudes.
Typically, dragonnes preyed on meek herd animals like goats, antelopes, or camels. Only in times of famine would they prey on humanoids, despite their reputation for hunting helpless travelers. The Bedine had adopted a tactic to prevent dragonnes from attacking domesticated animals, namely by covering them with used clothing in order to give them the odor of people.
Dragonnes typically died violent deaths before reaching old age.
Dragonnes were known to live in Maztica. The natives knew them as hakuna, and unlike their Faerûnian relatives, these creatures were jungle-dwelling and their scales were typically black. Halloran from the Golden Legion was once attacked and nearly killed by one on a small island near Payit. Some of the tribal halflings of Maztica used such a hakuna as a kind of captive totem and fed them with humans and other intruders they managed to capture in their territory. Hakuna were also found in the scrublands of the Pasocada Basin and the Borderlands, as well as the desert terrain of the lands of the Dog People and the Sands of Itzcala,
Other habitats for dragonnes included Cormyr, Sembia, the Dalelands, Halruaa, the Shaar, the Battle of Bones, Nada al-Hazan, and the Furrowed Mountains. They could also occasionally be found in the Anauroch, Raurin, and Quoya Deserts.
A population of dragonnes made up an important part of the ecology of the Rathgaunt Hills, curbing the destructive nature of the local manticores and perytons. After the hoarder dragon Amilektrevitrioelis decimated and chased off the creatures, the local ecology began to collapse, to the dismay of the Hills' druids.
Dragonnes were also found on numerous worlds besides Toril. On Mystara, dragonnes resembled hybrids between lions and gold dragons, rather than brass dragons. While some Krynnish dragonnes resembled those familiar to Toril, that world also boasted cougar- and tiger-based versions, as well as rare examples bestowed with traits from other metallic dragons.
Outside of the Prime Material plane, axiomatic dragonnes were found in Acheron, and fire and smoke animental dragonnes were found on the Elemental Plane of Fire and the Great Conflagration, respectively.
A commonly held view was that dragonnes originated in magical experiments conducted by ancient wizards, who intended to create powerful mounts and guardians in the name of their lord by modifying lions with the essence of brass dragons. Another, written about by Ibn Al'Arif in his guidebook Anauroch, was that the creatures were the result of magical crossbreeding. A fringe theory held by some Dragon Cultists was that Sammaster was behind the dragonne, but this theory was considered dubious by Oracle Veshal Questa.
Amongst those with the capability to keep them, dragonnes were popular animal companions with moon elves. Likewise, noble djinn were known to keep dragonnes as servants and companions. The wizard spell find minion could also bring forth a dragonne minion, and would give the spellcaster long, feathery eyebrows reminiscent of those of the creature in this event.
Quon's Collectible Creatures, a monster shop that catered to wizards looking for components for magical experimentation, stocked dragonnes.
A hakuna known as Chalocka stalked the jungle around Uxma the Sorcerer's pyramid. The couatl allowed the creature to remain so it would act as a deterrent to visitors, though he typically would not let the beast outright slay people trying to approach his lair.
Zu'l Janah, whose name meant "The Winged" in Midani, was a giant dragonne who laired in a sandstone cave in Badu al-Kabîr. He owed his size to his unusual longevity, having been at least 150 years old by the Year of the Shield, 1367 DR[note 1] due to his ring of contrariness.
A horn of black ivory kept in the Star Houses of Solon could summon an ancient black-scaled dragonne. This creature was looking for its old master, and would attack anyone else it found blowing the horn.
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Chromatic dragons: Red • Black • Blue • Green • White • Brown • Gray • Purple • Pink • Salt • Yellow
Gem dragons: Amethyst • Beljuril • Emerald • Sapphire • Topaz • Crystal • Obsidian • Ruby
Neutral dragons: Amber • Jacinth • Moonstone • Pearl
Lung dragons: Chiang lung • Li lung • Lung wang • Pan lung • Shen lung • T'ien lung • Tun mi lung • Yu lung
Planar dragons: Adamantine • Astral • Battle • Blight • Chaos • Ethereal • Hellfire wyrm • Howling • Mirage • Oceanus • Pyroclastic • Radiant • Rust • Shadow • Styx • Tarterian
Epic dragons: Force • Prismatic
Catastrophic dragons: Volcanic
Miscellaneous dragons: Cobra • Dzalmus • Mist • Radiant • Rattelyr • Song • Vishap
Draconic transformations: Air • Ascendant • Hidecarved
Linnorms: Corpse tearer • Dread • Stygian
Drakes: Ambush • Black firedrake • Dragonne • Elemental (Earth • Fire • Ice • Magma • Ooze • Smoke • Water) • Felldrake (Crested • Spitting) • Greater • Guard • Mind • Portal • Rage • Space • Vulture
Dragonets: Crow's-nest dragon • Draken • Faerie dragon • Firedrake • Pseudodragon
Dragonbloods: Draconic creature • Dragonborn of Bahamut • Dragonspawn
Drow-dragon (shadow) • Drow-dragon (deep) • Half-dragon • Kobold (Dragonwrought • Urd) • Weredragon • Zar'ithra • Zekyl
Undead dragons: Dracolich • Dragonwight • Ghost • Hoarder • Rathrea • Vampiric • Zombie