|| A great umbral dragon, radiating evil and death. Its breath reeks of the grave.
“Crux sacra sit mihi lux / Non draco sit mihi dux
Vade retro satana / Numquam suade mihi vana
Sunt mala quae libas / Ipse venena bibas”
“Let the Holy Cross be my light / Let not the dragon be my guide
Step back Satan / Never tempt me with vain things
What you offer me is evil / You drink the poison yourself.”
-full text of initials on the Saint Benedict Medal, worn to ward off evil spririts. Inscription from 11-15th century, formally approved by pope Benedict XIV in 18th century
“On the other hand, Confucius is made to say to his disciples, ‘I know how birds can fly, how fishes can swim, and how animals can run. But the runner may be snared, the swimmer may be hooked, and the flyer may be shot by the arrow. But there is the dragon. I cannot tell how he mounts on the wind through the clouds, and rises to heaven. Today I have seen Lao-tsze, and can only compare him to the dragon.’”
-Life of Confucius
“This Dragon had Two furious Wings
Each one upon each Shoulder;
With a Sting in his Tail as long as a Flail,
Which made him bolder and bolder.
He had long Claws, and in his Jaws
Four and forty Teeth of Iron;
With a Hide as tough, as any Buff,
Which did him round environ.”
-“An Excellent Ballad of a most dreadful Combat, fought between Moore of Moore-Hall, and the Dragon of Wantley”, retold by Ambrose Philips, _A Collection of Old Ballads. Corrected from the Best and Most Ancient Copies Extant. With Introductions Historical, Critical, Or Humorous_. 1723.
For a list of all dragons, see list of dragons.
Shadow dragons are powerful dragonkind whose breath and bite attacks inflict draining. They are uncommon, usually only found on Vaults:5 or in certain late-game vaults, but naturally occurring shadow dragons can be found in the deepest Dungeons and the Realm of Zot.
Unlike some dragons, butchering it produces no special hide; doing so only produces rot-inducing chunks which most characters will want to avoid touching.
Tips & Tricks
- Each rank of life protection you have will reduce the effect of their draining by a third, providing complete immunity with three ranks. If you have good reason to suspect a shadow dragon is coming (Vaults:5 is almost a guarantee), it's not a bad idea to come packing rings of life protection, an amulet of warding, or other rN+ sources. Undead characters need not worry.
- Failing that, high evasion, Repel Missiles, or Deflect Missiles will allow you to dodge many of their breath attacks, although not infallibly. In any case, kill them as quickly as possible to limit their opportunities to drain you.
- Although they aren't undead, they have the standard undead cold resistance and immunity to negative energy. Fortunately, they are also evil and thus vulnerable to Cleansing Flame (but not weapons of holy wrath).
- Shadow dragons flee with surprisingly high remaining HP. If you want to avoid having to face them repeatedly, bring some means of dealing heavy damage at range. Powerful ranged weapons or high level Conjurations can get the job done, as can the lower level spell Airstrike which takes advantage of the fact that they fly. Alternatively you can try to corner them, but that often requires turns spent maneuvering around the beast during which you'll be taking breath attacks.