Danger rating: Dangerous
Activity Period: Nighttime and underground
Restrictions: Bothered by daylight
Description: Barrow Dragons is a race of lesser dragons, nearly as small as wyverns or about the size of two oxen, that most often make their abode within dark and dry subterranean lairs. Typically the burial mounds of men and women of great stature prove to be ideal places for Barrow Dragons and throughout time, many a supposed haunt has proved to be an avaricious Barrow Dragon, coiled atop the sarcophaguses of lords long gone. They are black, scaly serpents, have short, stubby legs and live mostly underground. Their subterranean habits have made them uncomfortable when in sunlight and they do not leave their abodes until nightfall, when they slither and crawl out to hunt. This diminutive race of dragons has a thin, scaly serpentine body and poisonous fangs, and had it not been for their small legs and leathery wings they would have been classified as some sort of giant snakes. Barrow dragons often speak the tongues of men but do so with dramatic, whispering deep voices. Unbeknownst to most sages, Barrow Dragons are repositories of esoteric knowledge and during their millennia long lifespan, they show almost as deep a thirst for new knowledge as for new gold.
The blood of Barrow Dragons has supposedly magic capabilities. If drunk unrefined, it is a potent poison and will kill the imbiber. Some alchemists and herbalists have, however, found that the distilling of the blood yields different essences at different temperatures. One of the effects of distilled Barrow Dragon blood is rumoured to be the ability to shapechange into serpentine form, and another gives the imbiber the ability to understand (but not speak) the language of birds.
When first met, the Barrow Dragon will typically hide in the darkness and speak from afar, its whispery voice carrying through the corridors. It will ask questions of importance as well as trivial everyday questions about family life and kids. After a while the questioning will begin to appear like an interrogation as the Barrow Dragon tries to sate its thirst for knowledge by asking ever more detailed and private questions. If searched for, the Dragon will relocate and suddenly its voice might come from an entirely different direction, for the Barrow Dragon is as fast as it is avaricious. When the Dragon tires of this game, or someone approach its hoard (often the treasure buried with the lord whose burial mound the Dragon inhabit), the Barrow Dragon will usually slither and crawl furiously at the trespasser. Though the Barrow Dragons have no fiery breath, they do have a set of lethal poison fangs and a crushing embrace. It also has viciously sharp claws that might even rend through metal armour. Still the most dangerous ability of the Barrow Dragon is to silently slither at the victim, and sink its fangs into the prey before the prey has a chance to defend itself.