After raging across the ice plains for hours, the blizzard suddenly turns into a hail of ice. Large, heavy grains hit the ground, smashing through ice patches, destroying vegetation, and even breaking bones. Amidst this force of nature flies the dragon, its body of ice immune to the power of the hail. Its gaze sweeps across the human-strewn plain. He growls—still no intelligent life on which to test its latest riddle.
Body of solid Ice. Ice dragons are gigantic creatures made of clear, solid ice. They have a rather bulky physique, which is hard to notice at first because of their transparent appearance. Countless icicles grow from their backs and hang from their chins, and two long horns raise high on their heads.
Cold and Calculating. As highly intelligent, rational creatures, ice dragons are known for their cold and calculated nature. They enjoy intellectual exchanges with others but can't stand being surrounded by stupid beings. Ice dragons are excellent at tactical thinking and making plans, love logic puzzles, and are not afraid to compete with the intellect of others to prove their cleverness. The surest way to earn their respect is to present them with a difficult puzzle, though finding an appropriate one is a near impossible task.
Searching for intelligent Life. The dragon makes its lair in gigantic caves hidden below the ice. It uses them mainly as a retreat, for sleeping and thinking. The caves are protected by many logic puzzles, ensuring that only beings with enough intelligence to warrant the dragon's attention can reach the ice cold center where the dragon collects its hoard of knowledge.
However, the dragon often flies over the plains in search of intelligent life or unusual occurrences, especially when it has not talked to anyone for a long time. It tends to approach humanoids hoping for an intellectually challenging conversation or discussion with them. In most cases, however, this hope is disappointed. Once its patience runs out, the addressed can count themself lucky if the dragon flies away growling or briefly flaps its tail at them. In most cases, the conversation with an ice dragon ends in being frozen into a pillar of ice, deemed unworthy of thought.
To quench its thirst for conversation, it often approaches native tribes, wanting information and reports of unusual occurrences. Most tribes have become accustomed to the dragon over the years and have little to fear. They also benefit from the fact that elemental dragons do not need food but feed on elemental energy.
Master of Ice. In battle, an ice dragon proves a deadly foe. Not only does it shoot ice shards from its body or spit out ice beams that can form gigantic ice walls, but it can also trap its enemies in ice pillars, create and control ice elementals, and affect the ice around it. As a result, ice pillars and spikes suddenly shoot out of the snow, snowfall turns into a hail of ice, water freezes, or ice surfaces suddenly crack. Also, do not get too close to the dragon, as its surface will freeze you to the ground or to the dragon.
Spot of no Return. Probably the easiest and, at the same time, deadliest way to defeat an ice dragon is to attack the weak spot on its tail. On the underside, almost at the tip of the tail, there is a scale about the size of a hand, which will kill the dragon instantly with a single strong, direct hit. But not without significant side effects. If someone succeeds in destroying the scale despite the dragon's guardedness, the dragon's body forms countless small cracks, and shortly thereafter explodes in a hail of ice shards and elemental energy. This explosion is sure to destroy any life within hundreds of feet, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. No survivors have ever been found after this massive explosion.
Intelligent Creatures. Beasts who roam the lands within 6 miles of the dragon's lair for at least one month have their intelligence score increased by 3.
Atypical groups of predators will collaborate, finding creative ways to combine their abilities for increased effect. Prey builds simple traps to kill or hamper their predators. Animals which typically for groups might organize into larger hierarchical structures, with some groups being subordinate to others. Territories might be protected by intelligently organized patrols.
Elemental Chaos. The frequency of ice elementals forming within 6 miles is highly increased. Hailstorms and blizzards are twice as common in the area and grow much quicker than usual, forming for seemingly no reason.
Insta-Freeze. Water within 1 mile of the lair freezes near-instantaneously unless warmed continuously. Temperatures that would normally boil water merely warm it to body temperature.
gargantuan dragon (elemental)
Whenever the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to take 32 (5d12) psychic damage to attempt the saving throw again.
The dragon has a scale on the underside of its tail that is a special weak point. When a creature targets the dragon with a physical attack, it can choose to target the scale instead, if it knows of its existence.
The scale has 30 HP and its AC is the dragon's AC plus 4. It has the same vulnerabilities, resistances, and immunities as the dragon. Whenever the scale would take psychic damage, the dragon takes that damage instead. Whenever the scale loses hit points, the dragon loses half as many hit points. The scale regenerates all hit points at the end of every turn. It does not count as a creature unless when determining whether it can be targeted or chosen.
Non-damaging Effects. Whenever the scale would be subject to non-damaging effects, the dragon is affected instead.
Saving Throws. The scale does not make separate saving throws from the dragon, except when specifically targeted. When the scale must make a saving throw, the dragon makes the saving throw instead, with advantage.
When missed by an Attack. If the scale isn't hit by an attack, but the attack would have hit the dragon, roll a d6. On a 4-6 the attack hits the dragon instead.
When Destroyed. When the scale is destroyed, the dragon dies, as its entire body forms countless cracks. At the beginning of the next round, the corpse of the dragon explodes with a wave of magical energy. All creatures within 500 feet (including behind total cover) of the dragon must make a DC 25 Dexterity saving throw, taking 123 (6d20 + 60) cold and 99 (6d12 + 60) force damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. Creatures behind total cover make the saving throw at advantage, and with the +5 bonus granted by three-quarters cover.
Whenever a creature comes within 30 feet of the dragon for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it must make a DC 20 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 10 (4d4) cold damage and its speed is reduced by 10 feet until the start of its next turn.
Whenever a creature or object within 30 feet of the dragon, including the dragon, would take fire damage, the damage is reduced by 15 (1d10 + 10) to a minimum of 0.
Small fires and flames in the area are immediately extinguished.
Whenever the dragon is subjected to cold damage, it takes no damage and instead regains a number of hit points equal to the cold damage dealt.
The dragon has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in icy or snowy terrain. It is invisible while underwater.
The dragon makes 5 attacks: one with its bite, one with its tail, and three with either its claw or its ice shard.
Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 28 (4d10 + 6) piercing and 13 (3d8) cold damageand the target must make a DC 23 Strength saving throw or be grappled by the dragon.
While the dragon has a creature grappled in this way, it cannot use its bite attack, and it can choose to deal 19 (2d12 + 6) piercing damage to the grappled creature at the beginning of the dragon's turn.
Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (3d10 + 6) piercing and 10 (3d6) cold damage.
The dragon sweeps its tail around itself. All creatures within 15 feet of the dragon must make a DC 23 Dexterity saving throw, taking 24 (4d8 + 6) bludgeoning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Ranged Weapon Attack +17 to hit, range 60 ft., one target. Hit: 23 (3d8 + 10) piercing damage.
The dragon chooses a point it can see within 120 feet of itself. It breathes elemental cold energy in a beam towards the point, following a line towards another point it can see within 120 feet of itself, no further than 60 feet from the first point.
Wherever the beam hits a solid surface, a 10-foot-high wall of ice forms. Each 10-foot-long section of ice wall has AC 12 and 15 hit points, is immune to cold damage and vulnerable to fire damage.
Creatures in the beam's path must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 75 (10d12 + 10) cold damage and is encased in ice. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage and isn't encased.
Encased. An encased creature is paralyzed, has total cover, and takes 5 (1d10) cold damage at the start of each of its turns. It is freed once the ice around it is broken. It can use its turn to make a DC 20 Strength (Athletics) check, bursting the ice around it on a success, thus freeing itself. If it succeeds, it can use its turn normally, as if it had only used its action.
The dragon imbues the area around it with chaotic elemental energy. For the next minute or until the dragon loses concentration (as if concentrating on a spell), a 30-foot radius sphere around the dragon is filled with chunks of ice circling the dragon at immense speed, heavily obscuring the area.
Each creature entering the area for the first time on a turn or starting its turn there must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw, taking 9 (2d8) bludgeoning and 7 (2d6) cold damage on a failed save.
The dragon scans the body language, outfit, and behavior of a creature it can see. It makes an Intelligence (Investigation) check contested by the creature's Charisma (Deception).
If the dragon succeeds, it learns the creature's level or challenge rating, its ability scores, saving throw proficiencies, damage immunities, resistances, and vulnerabilities, and its class if it has one.
If the dragon fails, it can't target the same creature again for the next 24 hours.
The dragon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. The dragon regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
The dragon moves up to its speed.
The dragon makes a Claw attack.
The dragon beats its wings. Each creature within 15 feet of the dragon must succeed on a DC 21 Dexterity saving throw or take 25 (3d12 + 6) bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone. The dragon can then fly up to half its flying speed.
On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the dragon takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects; the dragon can't use the same effect two rounds in a row:
The dragon chooses an area of water, snow, or ice at least 1-foot wide by 1-foot long within 120 feet of itself. A 5-foot-long spike of ice suddenly grows out from the area in a direction of the dragon's choice. It can choose one creature within 5 feet of the chosen area to make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking
piercing damage on a failed save.
The dragon chooses a 10-foot-long line on a solid snow or ice surface within 120 feet of itself. The surface splits, revealing a chasm up to 50 feet deep (the chasm cannot extend into material not made of ice or snow, unless it already existed). Any creature standing atop the newly formed chasm must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, falling into the chasm on a failed save.
The dragon chooses a point within 120 feet of itself. A thin sheet of slippery ice covers any solid objects and the ground within 15 feet of the chosen point. The area becomes difficult terrain. When a creature moves onto the ice for the first time on a turn, it must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check or fall prone.
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