All Creatures
Abilities | Monsters | NPCs
All | Families | Templates
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Dragon, Sky

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 79
Sky dragons live above the clouds near the summits of mountains. They maintain a strong religious tradition, a unique practice among imperial dragons that sets them apart as much as their wings do. Desperate souls risk steep cliffs and loose snow to seek these dragons' counsel, and most sky dragons gladly help those who make the journey, but they expel any express hostilities or badger without hesitation.

The sky dragon's wings aren't true wings, but long fins fused to their forearms; their scales also form only very slowly. Young dragons coil tightly in their lairs as they absorb minerals that color and harden their scales. Even adults often wrap around pillars out of habit.


Adult Sky Dragon (Creature 13), Ancient Sky Dragon (Creature 18), Young Sky Dragon (Creature 9)

Sidebar - Additional Lore Arcane and Primal Sky Dragons

Some sky dragons choose not to pursue religious studies. Inquisitive individuals eagerly experiment with the arcane arts and hone their mastery over lightning. Others draw primal power from winds, rain, lightning, and thunder, working with sea dragons to bring about terrifying storms of retribution against wrongdoers.

Sidebar - Related Creatures Shinonome

Herald of the goddess Shizuru, Shinonome is a paragon of the divine connection all sky dragons supposedly have. She upholds a tireless devotion to the goddess, carrying out her will on Golarion.

Sidebar - Advice and Rules Sky Dragon Spellcasters

Sky dragon spellcasters tend to cast the following spells.

Young Sky Dragon

Divine Prepared Spells DC 28, attack +21; 4th discern lies, dispel magic, divine wrath; 3rd heroism, locate, wanderer's guide; 2nd augury, comprehend language, create food; 1st alarm, bless, detect alignment (at will, evil only), sanctuary; Cantrips (4th) detect magic, divine lance, read aura, shield, stabilize; Rituals DC 28; consecrate

Adult Sky Dragon

Divine Prepared Spells DC 33, attack +26; As young sky dragon, plus 6th blade barrier, righteous might, true seeing; 5th banishment, prying eye, tongues; Cantrips (6th) detect magic, divine lance, read aura, shield, stabilize; Rituals DC 33; atone

Ancient Sky Dragon

Divine Prepared Spells DC 42, attack +36; As adult sky dragon, plus 8th discern location, divine aura, divine decree; 7th energy aegis, prismatic spray, sunburst; Cantrips (9th) detect magic, divine lance, read aura, shield, stabilize; Rituals DC 42; legend lore

Dragon, Imperial

Related Groups Dragon, Forest, Dragon, Sea, 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.