I am glad at least somewhere the debate keeps the noble standards we try to uphold. Of Wyrmic Excrements
It is a long and heated debate between sages and experts on the dragonkind about the details of a dragon's digestive system. While in some cases one may do the research through asking or simply peeking, the dragons are well-known for their need of privacy. Unfortunately, the other thing well-known about them is that any would-be researcher is likely to meet that digestive system in persona. Until we find a safer way, we can only create new and new theories... here come some.
OK, what do we know about dragons:
- dragons are large and powerful winged reptilias
- most dragons are very intelligent and have sharp senses
- dragons easily survive on a diet of knights and damsels, obviously flesh-eaters
- on the other hand, they are reported to sleep for hundreds of years, not needing to eat
- dragons seem to have a need of hoarding valuable items
- dragons usually look down upon humans
- they also have a dangerous breath weapon, usually of the fiery kind
- dragons are said to be magic-knowing, and may be magical creatures themselves
So, what can we deduce from this?
Beings that eat, must naturally defecate in some sense. Certainly not all food cannot be used for growth, movement, or whatever. Advanced life-forms often find uses even for some parts of the undigestible substances. Hair and nails are only one example. Still, if something goes IN, something always must go OUT, so stuff can get in again.
A great breath-weapon? If it is dependant on food, the dragon must eat to use it, and must use it to defecate. Would a starving dragon be unable to breath fire? Could it be possible, that this kind of digestion makes all dragons as aggressive as they are portrayed? I personally think The Breath (tm) is more tied to the dragon's magical nature, though I may be wrong. Sleep 500 years with a full bladder? Hmmmm....
On the other hand, a truly magical creature could convert foodstuff into fire.
If we agree on the existence of truly material excrements, we can ask the most obvious question: Where does it go?
The heroes, magically silenced, advanced into the main hall. There, amidst ****less heaps of gold and treasures, lays the sleeping dragon. One nod is enough, and the Maxi-Magical-Ballista (tm) is aimed and shoots...
A great explosion thunders and the dragon's body swiftly vanishes, being only an illusion.
???!? The heroes are horrified. Another booming sound is heard, this time like the rushing of thousand rivers. A massive gate they somehow overlooked opens (marked with a strange golden double-zero symbol), and the dragon sitting on the toilet screams furiosly:
"What are you doing there?!"
It could be even this way.
Dragons flying around and relieving themselves... sounds unprobable, but may be true. I think it was in The Hobbit or somewhere: "...a dragon can sleep very long, and when he wakes up, on the once bleak foothills grow mighty oaks hundreds of years old." But how could these begin to grow on bleak foothills, eh? Maybe a bit of 'fertiliser' was added after eating all those fat dwarwes?
Dragons trading with humans? Much depends on the true reasons why dragons hoard wealth. As Groth Dragonslayer claimed: "They only do it to to irritate us!" (tragically deceased at first attempted dragon-slaying). Should this be true, dragons would gladly sell their excrements to humans, with a VERY bride smile.
Some sages speculate dragons value the treasure not only for its value, but also for the challenge its former owners were. Capturing damsels to lure great heroes would make much more sense this way! So a hoard is not only a hoard, it is an ego-booster, and may mean prestige in the dragon community (speculating here). Therefore, trading to gain wealth would be very degrading for dragons. Unless it is a weak and desperate dragon, perhaps.
...and as for bad relations with humans, middlemen or middlecreatures can always be found.
One final thought: what if the dragon 'marks' all his items? Dragons are said to be able of always finding their treasure. Maybe they can smell it? Think about it, before you bathe in that heap of gold! Even if you killed this one, other dragons exist...
"Dragons want their items back." is the saying.
(To Eph: "Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allen Poe
Ahem... of what exactly do YOU dream? Dragons - OK. Dragons that fly - good. Dragons that fly and....