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Dragon, Umbral

Source Bestiary 2 pg. 95 2.0
While the other primal dragons hail from the Elemental Planes, the cruel and unceasingly malicious umbral dragons originate in the depths of the Shadow Plane. Their sleek black scales and serpentine grace allow them to strike from hiding, and they are known for playing with their prey before finally finishing it. These creatures of shadowy energy and unwholesome appetites prefer the necrotic flesh of undead creatures to any other meal. This strange hunger can be of accidental benefit to nearby humanoid societies, but ultimately they hunt and kill undead creatures for the taste, rather than out of any desire to protect others from the undead. The benefit is always short-lived, however. When umbral dragons exhaust their preferred prey, they turn on whatever living creatures happen to be nearby. Umbral dragons sometimes go to great lengths to obtain their favorite meals, even creating undead creatures that they then feast upon.

For all their power, umbral dragons are uninterested in fair battles. When faced with foes that pose any kind of actual danger to them, umbral dragons flee into the shadows and seek to strike back through pawns or minions rather than risk their own lives. Their treasure hoards are varied and diverse, often augmented by loot stolen from crypts the dragons have turned into feeding grounds. They have a strong respect for and interest in traditions and heirlooms, and they often seek to augment their hoards with items of great value that have been handed down through the generations of those whose corpses and ghosts they've fed upon.


Adult Umbral Dragon (Creature 15), Ancient Umbral Dragon (Creature 20), Young Umbral Dragon (Creature 11)

Sidebar - Related Creatures Ugothogo

Denizens of the Midnight Mountains in the Darklands worship the ancient umbral dragon Ugothogo as a deity.

Sidebar - Advice and Rules Umbral Dragon Spellcasters

Umbral dragon spellcasters tend to cast the following spells.


Primal Prepared Spells DC 29, attack +24; 4th gaseous form, hallucinatory terrain, nightmare; 3rd bind undead, blindness, slow; 2nd death knell, gentle repose, humanoid form; 1st charm, item facade, ray of enfeeblement; Cantrips (4th) chill touch, ghost sound, ray of frost, read aura, sigil


Primal Prepared Spells DC 35, attack +30; as young umbral dragon, plus 6th dominate, true seeing, vampiric exsanguination; 5th black tentacles, shadow blast, shadow siphon; Cantrips (6th) chill touch, ghost sound, ray of frost, read aura, sigil


Primal Prepared Spells DC 41, attack +38; as adult umbral dragon, plus 9th disjunction, massacre, weird; 8th disappearance, horrid wilting, maze; 7th eclipse burst, mask of terror, plane shift; Cantrips (9th) chill touch, ghost sound, ray of frost, read aura, sigil

Dragon, Primal

Related Groups Dragon, Brine, Dragon, Cloud, Dragon, Crystal, Dragon, Magma
The strange and otherworldly primal dragons hail from realities adjacent to the Material Plane—the four Elemental Planes and the Shadow Plane. These true dragons have natures and powers that exemplify their plane of origin and an affinity for primal magic, unlike chromatic and metallic dragons, who favor arcane or divine magic. Although they come from distant planes, primal dragons can be found on the Material Plane in regions touched by or reminiscent of their home plane. Although such encounters are rare, adventurers and travelers have sometimes found a brine dragon dwelling near a salty inland sea, for example, or a crystal dragon living in massive natural caverns deep in the Darklands. Unlike chromatic and metallic dragons, primal dragons tend not to develop shape-changing powers, and they are less interested in infiltrating settlements or influencing others from the shadows.

Primal Dragon Spellcasters

Each type of primal dragon features a note in the margins on spellcasting dragons of that type. To make a primal dragon spellcaster, remove the dragon’s Draconic Frenzy and Draconic Momentum abilities and give it the spells outlined in its sidebar. You can swap out any number of these with other primal spells, provided you keep the same number of spells for each level. You might also want to increase the dragon’s Wisdom or Charisma modifier by 1 or 2 to reflect their mastery of magic.

Primal Dragons of Golarion

Golarion is not home to many primal dragons. Yet primal dragons do still come to Golarion now and then, whether to escape persecution in their home plane, build new lairs, torment and brutalize weaker creatures, or seek knowledge and resources that are scarce or unavailable at home.

Brine dragons can be found along Golarion’s coastlines but are often frustrated by piracy and other lawless elements. They tend to avoid heavily populated coastal areas like the Shackles and instead choose remote islands in the oceans as their homes, where they can rule small communities of their own curation. Cloud dragons are even more isolated, and lacking any interest in politics, they prefer to dwell in large mountain ranges like the Kodars or the Barrier Wall. Crystal dragons’ vanity compels them to seek places that complement their natural beauty, such as gem-studded caverns in the Darklands. Of all the primal dragons, cantankerous magma dragons may be the ones most often found dwelling on Golarion, where they are drawn to volcanic ranges like the Five Kings Mountains. Umbral dragons hail not from an Elemental Plane but the Shadow Plane, and they can be encountered anywhere the borders to that plane grow thin, particularly in the sinister nation of Nidal.