Snow Dragon
Draco major glacies
Family: Reptilian
Classification: Para-sapient
Manifestation: Corporeal
Pronunciation: SNŌ/DRA-gun

The northernmost reaches of Thunderbird Province are occasionally visited by the exceptionally rare and reclusive Snow Dragon (SNŌ/DRA-gun). Based on limited sightings and drawings, cryptozoologists speculate that the dragon is native to Siberia, but has a migratory range reaching over the polar region into North America. Every few years, ambitious cryptozoologist Wizards will mount an expedition to "recover" the snow dragon, but as they head north and leave behind the authority of the provinces, they find the independent communities of Wizards in the northern part of the continent will refuse to offer aid or assistance to anyone who has "taken an interest" in the snow dragon. As can be expected, snow dragon expeditions are frequently disastrous, and many have no survivors.

What little we know about the snow dragon has been accumulated from notes from these failed missions. Snow dragons are extremely canny; they have been known to trigger avalanches and strategic collapsing of their cave systems as well as raiding the camps of explorers to ruin or steal their supplies. They also have the ability to alter the sheen of their scales in order to blind their attackers or fade into the snow. However, the snow dragon's most effective defense against too-curious humans is their collaboration with the wizards who make their homes in the extreme northern regions. These Wizards have been known to point explorers in the wrong direction, spread false rumors about the snow dragon's capabilities, and "accidentally" destroy their tracks.

Owing to a casting taken of a footprint by the 1936 Gutman Expedition- of which there were only two survivors- we can also make the following presumptions and examinations. The footprint was similar in size and depth to those left by elder volcanic dragons of the South Pacific. Assuming that the snow dragon is similar, the the footprint was left by a dragon that was approximately 90 feet long and was over 1,500 years old, making it one of the oldest dragons known to the Magimundi.

Not much else is known about the snow dragons. We do not know with certainty that they are a separate species, or even that there is more than one in existence. It might all be myths and legends, although that seems unlikely. Actual artifacts made from snow dragon parts have been obtained by reputable cryptozoologists, but it cannot be determined if the artifacts came from one dragon or from several different dragons.

Assuming that snow dragons are similar to their more temperate cousins, then they are likely very long lived, possibly with a lifespan of over 1,000 years. They are likely highly intelligent and see themselves as apex predators, eating humans whenever they please. They are almost certainly heavily armored, and proficient in the arts of hunting and killing. They probably have their own language, but can understand the language of humans well.

Dragons are usually solitary creatures. They sometimes form alliances with the local Wizard community, as the snow dragon has likely done. They can be quite violent and quick to anger and sometimes attack Magimundi communities as well.

Despite being very heavy, dragons are winged creatures and can fly. They use magic to stay aloft, although the smaller dragons can glide for several hundred feet without magic. The volcanic dragons of the South Pacific and the heather dragons of the British Isles can breathe fire. It has been speculated that the snow dragons have some sort of ice or snow breath attack, but this has never been documented.

Known dragons have a life cycle similar to reptiles. They will hatch from a clutch of 3-5 eggs into juveniles, called dragonets, and then grow into maturity over the course of 90 years. Once they are mature, they leave the family nest and find their own territory. Dragons are very territorial and will fight other dragons or competing predators that attempt to impinge on their territory. Shells from snow dragon eggs have never been found by expeditions or legitimately sold as artifacts, leaving the possibility of a family of dragons open to speculation.

There is a legend among cryptozoologists of a hoard of valuables hidden in the northern wastes of Thunderbird Province watched over by the snow dragons. No evidence of this hoard has ever been brought back by any of the expeditions, but that doesn't seem to stop them from trying.

Habitat

The snow dragons live in the far north of Thunderbird Province. As there are no other dragons (save the unique Jersey Devil) native to the Americas, it is presumed that they crossed over from Siberia at some point.

Biology

Dragons are typically very large reptiles. Their hide is covered with thick, armored scales. They have claws and wings, and can fly using magic. Some species of dragons can breathe fire. It is speculated that the snow dragon can breathe ice or snow.

Diet

Dragons are typically carnivores, with adult dragons eating entire cows, horses, or elk for a meal. As has been shown repeatedly, the snow dragon will feast on humans, especially unwary expedition members.

Magical Uses

Very rarely, artifacts made from snow dragon scales, bones, or teeth, do emerge on the market, though these are believed to come from aging snow dragon leavings, and not from any systematic hunting of the creatures. The true properties of snow dragon parts as magical ingredients are unknown or speculative.

Defense

The first and foremost tactic is to go back the way you came. Snow dragons appear to defend their territory through some very clever manipulation of the environment rather than by aggression, so making one's leave is the best course. It's presumed that fire or heat spells may be effective, but this remains untested.

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