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White dragons, also known as ice dragons, glacial wyrms, were the weakest and most feral of the classic chromatic dragons.[8][9]

Description[]

White dragon anatomy - Richard Sardinha

A review of white dragon anatomy.

White dragons were physically the smallest of the chromatic dragons, even smaller than black dragons. They appeared in shades from white to grey and ice-blue, and in arctic environments, this appearance served as good camouflage.[9]

White dragons were physically distinguished by several features: their necks were short and they had a flap of skin, called a dewlap, lined with spines beneath their chins. Their heads were very streamlined and featureless, and they had high crests atop their skulls. They have a crisp, vaguely chemical odor.[8]

White dragon toes were spaced more widely than those of other dragons, with barbed claws to aid movement on ice. Their very thin eyelids prevented snowblindness when observing arctic landscapes.[9]

When in the stage of being a wyrmling, white dragons had a less pronounced crest and small stubs where their future horns would be. They completely lacked the dewlap and their bodies were protected by a leathery white hide in place of scales.[10]

A dragon egg could be identified as belonging to a white by the greenish-white tinge seen when held in front of an intense white light, though it shared this trait with green dragons and any dragon breed with a gas or vapor breath weapon.[11]

Personality[]

Whites were the least intelligent species of dragon, and their behavior reflected this. They possessed minimal foresight or planning abilities, and their memory was rudimentary, capable of recalling only physical events rather than abstract concepts. There was one exception: they remembered offenses committed against them and have a highly developed sense of vengeance and would often hunt down beings who crossed them, no matter how long it might take.[12][8][9][8]

White dragon vendettas were brutal and violent, frequently leading them into serious trouble. They were not inclined to plan or consider consequences, preferring a straightforward attack. This approach, while driven by their obsession with revenge, placed them at a significant disadvantage against foes who were capable of strategic planning and aware of the whites' single-minded pursuit of vengeance.[12]

They were not as cruel as black dragons and were not as ferocious as reds, but they were still competent in combat.[9]

White dragons preferred to attack first, then eat their prey, rather than pausing to ask questions. They did not often contemplate what to eat, simply choosing the most convenient prey, and would often freeze it after the kill by burying it in snow or ice for days.[8][9]

White dragons preferred glittery treasure that resembled ice, such as diamonds or light gems, but platinum, silver, and anything reflective or polished works of art were also popular.[9]

Abilities[]

White dragons expelled a cone of intense cold. The cone measured 70 feet (21 meters) in length, 5 feet (1.5 meters) in width at the dragon's mouth, and 25 feet (7.6 meters) wide at the base. [5][6]

From birth, white dragons were immune to cold. They were able to traverse ice as easily as creatures walk across flat, dry ground. Mature white dragons had several innate magical abilities. They could cast gust of wind and wall of fog three times per day. The wall of fog spell cast by white dragons produced snow or hail instead of rain. Wyrms were capable of summoning a freezing fog three times a day. This obscures vision within a 100 feet (30 meters) radius and causes frost to form, resulting in a thin layer of glare ice on all surfaces within that area.[6]

Ecology[]

White dragon nest

A white dragon nest.

They were still powerful enough to overwhelm most humans and had exceptional long-term memories. Adult white dragons had several abilities well suited to their arctic habitat: they could climb ice cliffs with ease, fly very high and fast, and were exceptional swimmers. They loved to swim in cold water; the more frigid, the better. Much of their diet consisted of aquatic creatures, even whales.[9] White dragons preferred to scavenge for and collect treasure, rather than involving themselves in politics as other dragons might. Like other dragons, they looked down on others, and tended to view other creatures as prey.[9]

White dragons had active and inactive periods that were approximately of equal length, each lasting roughly twenty years.[13]

Diet[]

White dragons, as with some other dragon breeds, were unable to chew their food. Hence, to aid digestion, they swallowed small stones, pieces of metal, and even coins, which went into a small second stomach like a bird's gizzard. These stomach stones ground down their food and were eventually expelled in waste.[14]

White dragons seemed to lack any concept of population management, feeding until an area was entirely depleted of prey. When this occurred, they were forced to seek food elsewhere, often encroaching on another dragon's territory, leading to violent conflicts. In times of scarcity, white dragons sometimes migrated south from their icy homes to more populous regions, often already inhabited by humans.[15]

This insensitivity to the ecosystem and their role within it likely explained why the active and dormant phases for white dragons each lasted about two decades. Without these extended and frequent hibernation periods, the dragons would exhaust their environment to the point of unsustainability.[15]

Habitat[]

Most white dragons laired in ice caves, often dug into the side of an arctic mountain, on tundra, or glacial plains, although they did not need ice and snow, and some settled near mountain peaks or in forests. They could create their own caves by applying the breath weapon to tightly packed snow in order to transform it into solid ice.[9]

White dragons made their homes in frozen lands and ice-covered mountains.[8] Although white dragons were occasionally found among the snowcapped peaks of southern mountains, these were typically young and somewhat unwise individuals who often fell prey to adventuring parties from civilized lands. The majority of white dragons resided in far northern regions, well away from human populations.[16]

The largest population of mature and older white dragons was believed to inhabit the area on or around the Great Glacier. Additionally, the glacier north of the Spine of the World range was also presumed to be home to a significant number of white dragons.[16]

Parenting and development[]

White dragon wyrmling-5e

The wyrmling Calcryx in her underground lair near Thundertree.

Unlike other dragon species, white dragons engaged in mating primarily for pleasure, not with the intent of producing offspring. If offspring did occur, it was merely a byproduct of their mating. When a female became pregnant, the male instinctively stayed to protect her.[12]

White dragons usually laid about eight or ten eggs in a clutch. A white dragon egg was incubated for fourteen months. The first three and a half months were within the mother's body. On average, between a quarter and a third survived to hatching.[9]

White dragon eggs had to be buried in snow or encased in ice while incubating.[17] The parents did not bother to tend or protect the eggs in any way, although they would usually lay them near their lairs. After the eggs hatched, the parents parted ways.[12] A newly hatched white wyrmling had scales as clear as ice, which became white as the dragon matured. They were expected to survive on their own from the moment they hatched, although some white dragon parents would permit their young to live in their lair until they reached adulthood.[8]

The wyrmling developed into a young dragon after about three or four years, and then into an adult after about 100 years. Elder white dragons aged from about 750 years, while ancients aged from 1700 years, and the oldest white dragons lived around 2100 years.[9]

White dragons appeared to have no taboo against inbreeding, or perhaps no awareness of its consequences. As a result, they often faced the repercussions of inbreeding, including numerous infertile eggs and congenital issues, both physical and mental.[18]

Disease[]

When a draconic disease afflicted an area inhabited by white dragon, it often spread rapidly among their population. These epidemics served as a mechanism for regulating the white population.[19]

Society[]

White dragons were not social creatures. The only interaction they sought with their own kind was for mating purposes. Occasionally, white dragon may work together, but this cooperation arose solely because their immediate goals coincided, without any prior arrangement or planning. [12]

White dragons were highly territorial, especially towards others of the same species and sex. Border skirmishes between whites were rarely fatal, though the verbal abuse accompanying such confrontations was often remarkably vicious.[12]

Religion[]

Back when her domains included winter, some white dragons were known to worship the Raven Queen.[20]

Notable White Dragons[]

White dragon idle

A depiction of a white dragon from Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms.

Appendix[]

Gallery[]

Appearances[]

Adventures

Novels & Short Stories

Film & Television

Comics

Video Games

Board Games

Card Games

Miniatures

Organized Play & Licensed Adventures

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 100–103. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. James Wyatt (October 2021). Fizban's Treasury of Dragons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 168. ISBN 978-0786967292.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 84–85. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  4. Bruce R. Cordell, et al. (November 2008). Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons. Edited by Michele Carter, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 187. ISBN 978-0-7869-4980-9.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 77–78. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 69. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 34. ISBN 0-935696-00-8.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Andy Collins, James Wyatt, and Skip Williams (November 2003). Draconomicon: The Book of Dragons. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 55–56. ISBN 0-7869-2884-0.
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 Bruce R. Cordell, et al. (November 2008). Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons. Edited by Michele Carter, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 42–43. ISBN 978-0-7869-4980-9.
  10. Bruce R. Cordell, et al. (November 2008). Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons. Edited by Michele Carter, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 186. ISBN 978-0-7869-4980-9.
  11. Ed Greenwood (January 1996). Volo's Guide to the Dalelands. (TSR, Inc), p. 193. ISBN 0-7869-0406-2.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. Edited by Mike Breault. (TSR, Inc.), p. 23. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
  13. Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. Edited by Mike Breault. (TSR, Inc.), p. 41. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
  14. Gregg Sharp (June 1988). “The Ecology of the Red Dragon”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #134 (TSR, Inc.), p. 36.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. Edited by Mike Breault. (TSR, Inc.), p. 43. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. Edited by Mike Breault. (TSR, Inc.), p. 37. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
  17. Andy Collins, James Wyatt, and Skip Williams (November 2003). Draconomicon: The Book of Dragons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 11. ISBN 0-7869-2884-0.
  18. Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. Edited by Mike Breault. (TSR, Inc.), p. 40. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
  19. Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. Edited by Mike Breault. (TSR, Inc.), p. 49. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
  20. Bruce R. Cordell, et al. (November 2008). Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons. Edited by Michele Carter, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 28. ISBN 978-0-7869-4980-9.
  21. R.A. Salvatore (July 2007). Road of the Patriarch (Mass Market Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 6, p. 99. ISBN 978-0-7869-4277-0.
  22. BioWare (June 2002). Designed by Brent Knowles, James Ohlen. Neverwinter Nights. Atari.

Connections[]

The Family of Dragons

Metallic dragons: GoldSilverBronzeCopperBrassElectrumMercuryPlatinumSteel

Chromatic dragons: BlackBlueBrownGrayGreenOrangePinkPurpleRedSaltWhiteYellow
Gem dragons: AmethystBeljurilCrystalEmeraldObsidianSapphireTopazRuby
Neutral dragons: AmberJacinthMoonstonePearl
Lung dragons: Chiang lungLi lungLung wangPan lungShen lungT'ien lungTun mi lungYu lung
Ferrous dragons: • CobaltIron
Planar dragons: AdamantineAstralBattleBlightChaosEtherealHellfire wyrmHowlingMirageOceanusPyroclasticRadiantRustShadowStyxTarterian
Spelljamming dragons: Moon/lunarRadiantSun/solar
Epic dragons: ForcePrismaticTime
Catastrophic dragons: BlizzardEarthquakeVolcanic
Miscellaneous dragons: CobraDzalmusMistRattelyrSongVishap

Draconic transformations: AirAscendantBrainstealerHidecarved


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