Dragons are one of the few sentient races in the World. Hatched from eggs, they have limited intelligence while young. However, they eventually become fully sentient and capable of speech. The intelligence of dragons continues to grow throughout their life, though they do not become sentient until well after they are mature. Dragons continue to grow physically throughout their life as well. The intelligence of a newly hatched dragon, a creature roughly four feet long and weighing some 40 pounds, is about that of a kitten. A yearling may have the intelligence of a wolf, and by five or six years old dragons are estimated to be smarter than any other animal of equal age. By the time a dragon is seven or eight it may begin to learn speech if it is particularly intelligent. Most are able to fly and some are able to breath fire, though not all can do either.
Even in areas where dragons are endemic few cause serious problems because they rarely live long enough to grow to a formidable size. Larger dragons are often killed when they resort to eating livestock and people because they have devoured everything else big enough to catch; if they are just a little smarter they move on to a different area, instead, and go on eating deer.
Dragons have no known limit to their growth. One of the eldest dragons is believed to be roughly 40 yards from head to tail and roughly 80 tons after 400 years, and she believes herself to have at least a millennium of good health left. Since young ones tend to be quite stupid and easy to capture or kill very few ever exceed what humans consider a manageable size. They reach reproductive maturity at about six or seven feet in length, about a year old, so the tendency to get killed off when they reach ten feet or so has not seriously endangered the species. It is known that hatchlings from dragons less than three years of age tend to have poorer health than those lain after that age. The linguistic centers of the draconic brain usually develop around the twenty-foot size, but of course, like a human infant, a dragon cannot learn to talk without someone to teach it.
In dragons that can fly, their wingspan is enormous, at least twice the dragon's own length.
It is strongly suspected that Dragons were created magically, likely via wizardry. Aldagon, one of the eldest living dragons, remembers being used as a living siege engine during the Great War. This is also supported by the fact that a number of parts from dragons are used as powerful components in numerous wizard spells. Dragon's blood is recognized as one of the most magical substances in the World, and is consequently used in many spells, but the yellowish tears dragons produce and other parts are also used. Most dragons during the War were bred and reared in army-run farms and "wild" dragons seem to have descended from dragons that got loose or were otherwise lost.
The eldest, strongest, and smartest still living dragons are called the Great Dragons. These individuals have been actively hiding since the end of the Great War; when the original triumvirate of Gor, Anaran and Azrad ordered all dragons to be slain, retaining only a small breeding stock.