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Dragon, Sea

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 77
Sea dragons' affinity with water grants them mastery over rain, storms, and floods. Those whose livelihoods are at the mercy of the weather and waves frequently venerate these great aquatic creatures. Most sea dragons respond kindly to requests, but, like the sea, they can be unpredictable and fickle.

Sea dragons have disk-shaped scales like fish and webbed claws as well as large back and tail fins to aid in swimming. They appear in vivid and vibrant colors, like aquatic wildlife. Underwater flora and fauna grow and thrive upon older sea dragons, and ancient sea dragons often have a head of coral around their antlers, giving them the image of being crowned royalty


Adult Sea Dragon (Creature 12), Ancient Sea Dragon (Creature 17), Young Sea Dragon (Creature 8)

Sidebar - Advice and Rules Sea Dragon Spellcasters

Sea dragon spellcasters tend to cast the following spells.

Young Sea Dragon

Arcane Prepared Spells DC 26, attack +19; 3rd feet to fins, haste, wall of wind; 2nd hideous laughter, resist energy, water breathing; 1st air bubble, grease, grim tendrils; Cantrips (3rd) detect magic, message, prestidigitation, read aura, shield

Adult Sea Dragon

Arcane Prepared Spells DC 32, attack +26; As young sea dragon, plus 5th mariner's curse, tongues, wall of ice; 4th dimension door, gaseous form, resilient sphere; Cantrips (5th) detect magic, message, prestidigitation, read aura, shield; Rituals DC 32; commune with nature

Ancient Sea Dragon

Arcane Prepared Spells DC 38, attack +33; As adult sea dragon, plus 8th disappearance, discern location, horrid wilting; 7th energy aegis, project image, spell turning; 6th phantasmal calamity, repulsion, true seeing; Cantrips (8th) detect magic, message, prestidigitation, read aura, shield; Rituals DC 38; commune with nature

Sidebar - Additional Lore Unexpected Homes

Sea dragons, despite their friendliness, don't like to share their territory. The youngest and weakest sea dragons are often ousted by older and stronger opponents from even the smallest ponds. In desperation, these dragons sometimes take up residence in wells and cisterns, much to the shock of unsuspecting villagers.

Sidebar - Related Creatures Weixiyuan

Sailors who brave the treacherous Valashmai Sea tell of the ancient sea dragon Weixiyuan, who rules the pristine waters bordering the monster-infested straits. Weixiyuan has been known to aid good-hearted voyagers who run into trouble near his territory. Though, powerful as he is, even he prefers not to enter the dangerous waters of the Valashmai Sea itself

Dragon, Imperial

Related Groups Dragon, Forest, Dragon, Sky, Dragon, Sovereign, Dragon, Underworld
Imperial dragons, namesake of the Dragon Empires and guardians of Tian Xia before humanity arrived, embody five strengthening and counteracting forces. Unlike other true dragons, imperial dragons dive deep into human affairs. Some remain secretive, posing as reclusive hermits, while others keep a high profile, openly ruling factions. Tian cultures in turn venerate the dragons, depicting gods in the form of dragons or claiming ancestry from them. Not all are adored, for plenty of these creatures act wickedly.

Draconic Cycles

Five elements underpin the magical powers of imperial dragons, influencing their relationships to all things and, especially, to others of their kind. These elements interlink in two cycles. In the first cycle, each element feeds one other: wood feeds fire, fire feeds earth, earth feeds metal, metal feeds water, and water feeds wood. In the second cycle, each element counters another: wood counters earth, earth counters water, water counters fire, fire counters metal, and metal counters wood.

Each imperial dragon represents one element and has four abilities related to the cycle. For example, the forest dragon—linked to wood—feeds fire, is fed by water, counters earth, and is countered by metal.

Shape-Changing Dragons

Imperial dragons are the most likely (and willing) of Golarion's dragons to take humanoid forms. The vast majority of them have the following ability, with the tradition trait matching the dragon's innate spells:

Change Shape (concentrate, polymorph, transmutation) The dragon takes on the appearance of any Small or Medium humanoid. This doesn't change their Speed or attack and damage modifiers with their Strikes, but it might change the damage type their Strikes deal (typically to bludgeoning).

Imperial Dragon Spellcasters

Each imperial dragon has a sidebar on spellcasting dragons of that kind. To make an imperial dragon spellcaster, remove the dragon's Coiling Frenzy and Draconic Momentum abilities and give them the spells outlined in their sidebar. You can swap any number of these spells with others from the same tradition, provided you keep the same number of spells for each level. You might also want to increase the dragon's Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier by 1 or 2 to reflect their mastery of magic.

Imperial Dragons On Golarion

Imperial dragons are rarely spotted beyond Tian Xia, where some establish territories to amass power, while others follow their natural affinity to seek a place of comfort.

Sidebar - Additional Lore One Dragon, Many Names

Classifying a dragon is as difficult as asking for their name. A variety of names and classifications have been used throughout history based on traits such as location, behavior, color, or other qualities. It isn't uncommon, therefore, for one dragon to be described as many different types of dragon over their lifetime. For example, scholars speculate that the coiling dragon, leaping dragon, and flying dragon of ancient Tian records are all attempts at identifying sky dragons.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Rules of Depiction

In some parts of the old empire of Lung Wa, it was illegal— blasphemous even—to depict a dragon with five talons on objects not used by the emperor or royalty. Officials might receive permission to wear a robe with a “four-talon serpent,” while common folk were only ever allowed to depict dragons with three talons, even for their temples. These rules might explain why old portraits of young sovereign dragons sold amongst the wealthy often have clutter in the foreground, obscuring their claws.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Rumored Rivalries

Some Tian philosophers, particularly worshipers of Qi Zhong—the Tian god of magic, medicine, and knowledge— speculate that each type of imperial dragon is mortal enemies with another type. Asking the dragons if this hypothesis is true often gets one laughed out of their lairs or a breath weapon to the face. In truth, imperial dragons have complicated relationships with one another that aren't as simple as being enemies or friends.