I *normally don’t shy away from taking contracts for Metallic Dragons. Copper Dragons I find hard to kill though, too damn funny!* – Radiald the Dragon Hunter
I have studied many dragons over the years. I eventually hope to study all of the dragons that inhabit our worlds but will settle for the tenents of Bahumet’s Brood. The Copper Dragon is a dragon that few take seriously. I wouldn’t say for their strength or prowess. They are lighthearted jokesters that enjoy life and have a way of helping others do the same. I have found this expedition on of my most enjoyable.
## Copper Dragon Physiology
As most everyone knows, dragons are old. Copper Dragons are part of the family of Metallic Dragons like Bahamut. While Bahamut is the “Patron” of the Metallic Dragons, he is not the biological father of them all. Early in the days of dragons, more of them were like that of Bahamut and even Tiamat, but eventually, more modern dragons appeared, such as Copper Dragons and the ones like the Patron died away.
Copper Dragons still are very old creatures and came well before the time of the first humanoids, Elves. Largely unchanged over the years, stories and tales from eons ago match the modern-day descriptions of these magnificent dragons still.
### Physical Attributes
As with most dragons, the most identifying attributes are the head structure and color. Copper dragons get their name from their metallic-like sheen and hue of their scales. Their color isn’t uniform as highlights of yellows, greens, and even blues can be found, especially in their wing membranes. For most dragons, they have a shorter snout but have prominent back sweeping horns like that of an antelope. These horns are smooth in texture and not segmented like that of Red Dragons, who have similarly shaped horns. Copper Dragons’ wing membranes also stretch far past the wing to the middle of the tail, which is a unique trait of many Metallic Dragons.
Dragons, as many already know, are more cat-like in their body skeletons. That is if cats had wings. The wings attached above the forelimb shoulders stretch out to twice their body length, wingtip to wingtip. They also have long necks and sharp teeth that allow them to make quick snapping bites at either prey or foes. Their tails are thick and powerful, acting as a counterbalance to their massive neck and head.
Dragons, in general, don’t stop growing until their twilight, or final years. With their immense lifespans, they can grow to preposterous sizes. Copper Dragons, despite also growing in this way, are smaller in comparison to many dragons. In their first days, only being about the size of a house cat, they grow into adulthood a little larger than an elephant. From there, they can grow to even larger sizes but still not the towering behemoths that other dragons can become.
### Breath Weapons
Like any “True Dragon”, as some like to say, Copper Dragons possess a breath weapon. They, in fact, have 2 like all Metallic Dragons. Their first breath weapon is that of a devastating line of acid. The second is that of a gas that acts as a neurotoxin that slows movement. Like with any Metallic Dragon they can only use 1 at a time so either one will cause them to have to recharge their breath sac. They can alternate or choose which breath to use at any time, just not simultaneously.
### Innate Magic
Dragons are creatures of not just immense physical power, but also magical as well. Copper Dragons are not to be taken lightly in either sense, but they don’t have the dangerous faculties of evocation-like abilities, they have strong illusionary magic. These illusions often are used in humor, many, do not aim to deceive. However, if the need calls for it, they are capable of tricking even fellow dragons with their images.
Coppers are also adept at earth magic. While only once in a day, they can shape the earth around them. A common way is during a fight into spikes dropping and impaling foes not quick enough to avoid the sudden pitfall. Throwing large boulders with no physical push is common. Even larger boulders can be thrown by the dragon with the aid of physical strength. Thieves make for good rock smears.
### Agile and Fast Fliers
Not many dragons are very adept or agile fliers. However, Copper Dragons make flight look easy and graceful. With the aid of their usually hilly or mountainous homes, they can use the terrain to their advantage for quick takeoffs. Flying for them is a daily exercise to spread their wings and enjoy life. With many ariel maneuvers at their disposal they are able to outfly and out-speed many of even the adept fliers in the skies. Those who aren’t able to fly often fall into a deep depression.
### Diet and Eating Habits
While they are built as massive predators, mostly, Copper Dragons subsist off of small game and birds. They are fast enough to catch any prey really and only eat their fill every few days. Most Copper Dragons are lean in appearance, although some have been known to be greedy enough to gain some weight and caution migrating birds to avoid flying over their territory.
It’s not uncommon for a Copper Dragon to have a large chicken farm of their own. These farms are quite well constructed with wood, rocks, and trenches that the chickens live in relative safety and peace. Well, aside from when the Dragon has some company or fancies a meal alone.
Copper Dragons are probably the most ill-mannered Metallic Dragons and even for some Chromatic Dragons when it comes to eating habits. While they are happy to feed guests, they are often very quick to scarf down food and even talk while eating. Although, their prey is usually bite sized and thus swallowed whole.
### Habitat and Home
Copper Dragons tend to make their homes in temperate hilly or mountainous areas. While, this is in direct territories of Red Dragons at times, to which Red Dragons highly dislike, often they can co-exist as Copper Dragons prefer to live close to cities or settlements. This can keep the raiding of a Red Dragon at bay, occasionally.
Copper Dragons can’t shapeshift like many other Metallic Dragons. They do enjoy living near humanoid settlements, thus they tend to live further outside of towns, to avoid scaring the lower beings or inviting thieves. Rarely, they do live inside of cities. This only occurs if the city is large enough to somewhat secretly house a dragon underneath it or in some remote area.
### Copper Dragon Lairs
Copper Dragon lairs are for a dragon not very large. While most dragons have many rooms, Copper dragons only have 3. Their hoard doubles as a sleeping chamber. It’s very common for dragons to sleep in their treasure hoards. However, Coppers are unique in their lack of care to try and separate the two. Their other rooms include the Greeting room and their maze. Most often, the hoard and greeting chambers are surrounded by the larger maze making an entrance from some other means rarely possible.
There is, of course, always a secret entrance and exit, although usually, it involves a fair amount of climbing or flying. Copper Dragons are known for traversing their maze to inspect their lairs frequently to check for damage or weaknesses. Most dragon egos won’t allow for such meticulous attention to detail.
The maze is usually full of traps, dead ends, and even some guardians protecting the dragon. Although these mazes can be dangerous, especially the traps, the guardians usually challenge the intruders with questions instead of combat. These questions are jokes too, and to pass is really only to genuinely laugh. Guardians range from golems to sentient chipmunks, so be prepared for anything.
### Life Cycle
Clutches of 10 to 12 Copper Dragon eggs are laid and incubated for approximately 540 days. Contrary to previous reports, Copper Dragon eggs do not need to be kept in pools of acid to hatch. This is just the safest way for a mother to keep the eggs. Not many creatures are too keen on jumping into acid for an egg.
Once the hatchling emerges, they will swim to shores, if needed, and be greeted by a pile of birds caught by its mother. The hatchlings that do make it, about 80% do, will spend their first 2 decades with their mother while they learn, grow, and mature. Once old enough, as young dragons, they will set off to find their new homes.
Once the dragon finds its new home, it will usually keep a low profile from other creatures. They will then dig out their lair, usually in a hillside. The proper construction will take up the majority of their first year. The next few years will be spent furnishing and amassing the beginnings of their hoard.
Copper Dragons live very long lives as do all dragons. Throughout their many thousand year lives, they will usually sire/produce only a dozen or so clutches of eggs. Dragons are notoriously less fertile than other creatures. However, Copper Dragon populations have remained stable for many generations with no sign of decline.
### Treasure Hoards
Copper Dragons are fond of treasure like any other dragon. While they amass riches such as coins, art, and magical items, they mostly prefer exquisite artwork, usually of metal. Many Copper Dragons admire the creativity of art and collect it avidly, sometimes even purchasing it with their gold.
The hoard often has the treasure lining the walls in a U shape from the entrance. This gives ample room for the Copper dragon to sort, count, and admire the different treasures. A favorite past time, of course.
## Intelligence, Social Behavior, and Psychology
Copper Dragons are extremely intelligent creatures. They are quick-witted and easily recall many facts. Excelling at reading emotions, moods, and quick to play off of who they are talking to, Copper Dragons are excellent conversationalists. They are also great at deducing intent and entertaining. They value similar abilities in other creatures. Quick witty banter, with a Copper Dragon, can get them excited likely making for a fast friendship with the towering wyrm.
Dragons are known to speak many languages, but sticking to their tongue, Draconic. Copper Dragons are unique as they prefer to speak to creatures in their native language, if possible. Because of this, they tend to know many languages. If they don’t know the language of an individual, they like, the Copper Dragon will endeavor to learn that language before the next time they meet.
Usually, though, Copper Dragons know Draconic, Common, Elven, Dwarven, Halfling, Goblin, Orc, Sylvan, and Undercommon. Even with the many languages they regularly know it’s not uncommon for Copper Dragons to know more and interested in learning even more. Coppers also are very in-tune with not just syntax and translations of languages but local nuances as well. They tend to get to know the cultures that speak the languages as well.
### Dragons of Mirth
If you learn one thing from my adventures on Copper Dragons, I hope it is just how jovial they are. While every dragon, neigh, every creature has it’s own personality and idiosyncrasies, I have yet to even hear of a Copper Dragon that wasn’t on some level hilarious. Many are delightfully cheery and funny, but dark humor has a place too. They seem to know how to get even their worst enemies laughing, which, to be honest, is a great defense.
Copper Dragons don’t only know how to make others laugh but find humor in many things. Making a Copper Dragon laugh isn’t too difficult as they can find humor in many forms. They are not too sensitive to those that they could anger with their mirth, simply laughing it off, expecting others to do the same. So as a downside, they can be innadertently, or sometimes purposely, offensive.
### Copper to Copper Interaction
Among themselves, Copper Dragons don’t communicate too often. Because of prey and local relations, having another Copper Dragon in the area simply complicates things. Even though they may live far away from other Copper Dragons, they do keep in contact. Anual contests of wit, humor, and fun, are quite common.
Copper Dragon families are rarely in contact due to distance. Children are taken care of and remember quite well, but ultimately the usual mentality is that of “They live their own lives.”. Occasionally, siblings will keep in contact.
### The Vice of Greed
Metallic Dragons, like Bahamut, are known for their virtuosity and well-meaning nature. Sure, pride is a sin most dragons carry, but Copper Dragons carry another, greed. This struggle to want to help others, but keep for themselves is a vice of many dragon kind. However, Copper Dragons either hide it much less or experience it to a greater degree. Many relationships between mates, other humanoids, and creatures can turn sour for a Copper Dragon if money is involved. This is especially worse in their older years as many Copper Dragons end up alone in the end.
### Finding a Mate
Finding a mate is not unlike how many modern humanoids do as well. Courtship, communication, and a long process of determining the correct match are all similar and integral to the process. The usual means of meeting another Copper Dragon is the large annual events, usually held outdoors at night. Unlike many humanoids who seek out such companionship, at least usually, Copper Dragons often just let a relationship grow over time. It may be decades of annual meetings suspecting feelings for one another before one may make a move.
Courtship is usually initiated by females, and while this trend is changing over time, there seems to be no reason as to why it started this way. It could be that social reasoning is so long past that simply no one remembers. If the male is interested, largely based on banter, conversations, and match of personality, then the courtship can continue. Often, the male and female will keep in communication via messengers, and even visit from time to time.
After the long process of courtship, the average span of 2 decades, the couple may then decide to move in together. Marriage or other binding agreements are not common in Copper Dragon society. Moving in is as committed as most Copper Dragons will go. This seems to allow for more splits between Copper Dragons than any other Dragon. The relationships may not last, and the Dragons will part ways. These splits can be as amicable or volatile as with any human.
The act of breeding is part of this courtship process. It is largely seen as progressing Copper Kind, and not an act of love like so many sentient creatures do. While Copper Dragons do this out of attraction, the duty of parenthood is a light burden in most Copper Dragon sensibilities. Most commonly, both parents, involved with each other or not, take active roles in raising the clutch.
Copper Dragons are not generally religious, most dragons, aren’t. However, some Coppers do pay respects to their kind patron, Bahamut. Those who do follow Bahamut uphold the guidelines of virtue. They will often be more active in the communities they live near, as open allies. Followers of Bahamut don’t involve themselves with politics or any amount of corruption as some other, even Copper Dragons, may for gold.
## Interactions with Other Creatures
### Red Dragons
It’s safe to say that Copper Dragons and Red Dragons don’t get along. This comes from the perspective of a Copper Dragon, though. A Red would say hated enemies. Copper Dragons, toy with and prank many creatures, it’s just their nature, this infuriates Red Dragons to no end. Copper Dragons are often careful not to reveal themselves to a Red, doing so could spark a fight. Even if a physical confrontation ensues, the Red Dragons find it challenging to fight while laughing.
### Other Evil Dragons and Dangerous Foes
Copper Dragons have a way of keeping even dangerous creatures on their good side. This can be a fine line, as Copper Dragons won’t abide by outright aggression to the humanoid communities they often love. Peacefully resolving any issues is often the best choice however, they are no strangers to a fight. Besides, when another dragon perishes, someone has to take that treasure.
### Relationships with other Metallic Dragons
Copper Dragons are well-liked by many Metallic Dragons. They are the life of the party. Unfortunately, because of this, Copper Dragons are rarely taken seriously. The drawbacks to humor, I suppose. In matters of dire need, Copper Dragons seem to struggle with having their voice heard on the matter. Despite their wealth of knowledge of not just the surrounding area’s cultures, but also their history.
Copper Dragons enjoy the smaller beings as they might refer to humanoids. While not a complimentary way to think of humanoid communities, the benefits to a Copper Dragon near an established settlement are clear. This is often a form of mutualism, the community has a strong protector, a fountain of knowledge available, and with the right coin, a great source of entertainment. The dragon gains an audience, source of income in most cases, and a form of community that Copper Dragons don’t often have amongst their kind.
While Humans and Halflings are by far the most common species to have a Copper Dragon settle nearby, other races such as elves and orcs have had Copper Dragon residents. Orcs are an especially interesting case, most often those orcish communities end up or already have denied Gruumsh and other evil deities.
### Battle Tactics
These wyrms know their way around a fight. Despite their demeaning attitude, at times, many communities that they live near will fight to protect a Copper Dragon as well. With many allies, being powerful and dangerous beings themselves, and superb intelligence winning a fight against a Copper Dragon is not an easy task.
Copper Dragons, as mentioned, can’t shapeshift but can create illusions and simple magical wards to not only protect themselves but train as well. This training is a near-daily exercise, assuming nothing else pressing is taking up their time. They will fight a wide array of foes, especially those they suspect of taking their treasures in these illusionary battles.
Once a physical confrontation does occur, a Copper Dragon will be in the fray themselves. Despite possibly having a near army at their disposal, Coppers wouldn’t suffer the responsibility of blood on their claws if they didn’t help in some manner. Using all of their abilities, which include breath weapons, illusions, and earth magic, they can decimate even other dragons quickly.
Their breath weapon is their most dangerous weapon, often choosing to slow enemies first then once recharged land accurate strikes of acid breath. Between the lines of acid, Copper Dragons use the advantage of their agile flying abilities and earth magic. From the skies, they can use their sharp fore and hind claws. If forced on the ground, Coppers will whip their tail furiously, covering their flanks and use their wings to push smaller foes away. Only if the opportunity is safe will they expose their necks to bite at a foe.
Copper Dragons are individuals like any creature, which is especially easy to see in sentient creatures. In my travels, I did encounter many unique individuals and ideas. However, there are always groups of defining traits and characteristics that we can use to better understand the larger picture of Copper Dragons.
### Knights of the Old Code
> *I am hereby sworn to valor, to speak only the truth, to use arms to defend the helpless, to use might to uphold the weak. My heart knows only virtue.* – The Old Code
Copper Dragons who enter a pact with a warrior for the betterment of all, take an oath with a humanoid to serve for a greater purpose. Both dragon and humanoid, partake in a ritual of not only words but the dragon physically sharing a piece of their heart with the knight. This grants a powerful connection both mentally and physically between dragon and humanoid. The humanoid will stay young and live for as long as the dragon does. However, the dragon and humanoid share many feelings, even pain. This process is rare, as sacrificing a piece of your heart is a hefty price. It has also been given to a very underserving human in one case.
### Bardic Copper Dragons
Using their own minor innate spell abilities, tricks, their own uncanny humor, and even some luck some Copper Dragons take to a nomadic lifestyle of travel. These dragons keep their hoards with them, usually in a bag of endless space, but good luck pilfering them. Traveling from civilizations, other dragons, even beholders at times, their lust for adventure is never sated.
### Bahamut’s Voice
These Copper Dragons are devotees of their patron Bahamut, follow his tenants spreading his ideals to other metallic dragons. Even in such seemingly serious positions, Copper Dragons get to the hearts of many using their humor and charm. Bahamut himself has been known to keep things light and full of joy when the situation calls for it. Their position demands some atmosphere of respect, thus the dragons of Bahamtu’s Voice are not taken lightly, despite their frequent humor.
### Copper Dragons Pirates
Copper Dragons are not immune to the sways of their own desires. While most Coppers can balance this nature; some, embrace their greed. Not the bastions of goodwill that some other Copper Dragons are Copper Pirates are just as much of a sea scoundrel. Raiding from other creatures, towns, ships, or anything of worth, they amass huge hoards of gold, art, and treasure. Quite likely, some of the richest dragons. Prone to killing enemies while they’re laughing is a trademark of many Copper Dragon Pirates.
## DM Notes
Dragons are a big part of D&D. While they are not to be taken lightly, overused, or underthought, this can often be the case. Metallic dragons often take a backseat to normal play in D&D, instead, other dragons offer dangerous evil foes for parties in the chromatic dragons. Copper Dragons are not, nor any dragon really, a one-dimensional obstacle for the party. Make them characters and they could be memorable. Copper Dragons are a great way to bring not only levity to a campaign or adventure but also a potentially great ally. Of course, they can always be an obstacle or another target for treasure hunters.
# Thanks for Reading
This is my 56th ecology
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## [Fortuan’s Ecologies](https://redd.it/8p0qt1)