In the Forsaken Isles, there are more than a few types of dragons:
- Those that serve Tiamat, the Colored Dragons
- Those that serve the All Father, the Metallic Dragons
- Unaligned dragons
- Dragons that do not know they are dragons
For all intents and purposes, the metallic or colored nature of a dragon is not apparent. All dragons are large and frightening. Until they kill you or talk to you or leave you alone, you don't really know which type they are or who they serve. Just like snakes in our world, dragons can have a massive variety of color. Looking at them, there's no way of knowing, "Oh this one serves Tiamat and is an acid breather." Additionally, the presence of eldar dragons (all of whom serve Tiamat), further confound identification because they can shapeshift (most anyways), use magic, and dwarf contemporary dragons in size and power. The eldar consider these contemporary dragons, fallen... in the sense that they fell into Time's flow and hatched and now exist as Tehran creatures, capable of aligning with the All Father or Tiamat.
There are many creatures considered dragons, as the Eldar recognize descendants who once used to be dragons or "might have been" dragons. Some examples are the Medusae, like Syliri, where Alerius speculates that Syliri and her sisters were once dragons with a petrification breath weapon. Other examples are Wyverns, who lost their breath weapons, front legs, and magic ability when they fell and went insane. Hydras, like shadow dragons, refused to align and sought their own path that would best benefit them at everyone else's expense.
Regardless of the creature type, because dragons created the World Tehra, and they are the ones telling the story, they have also been known to twist what actually happened because there are none would say for sure otherwise. Faerie Dragons are a good example of this.
Faerie Dragons, and all their types, are generally confined to the in-between spaces of Tehra and the Ethereal flow of Time. The boldest of their kind wanted to watch and see and so came through into Tehra and fell. They did not understand what happened and so bonded together, where they watch with scrying magic. Every so often, whenever hero they consider worthy finds them, they will shape the bones of their dead ancestors into a mighty weapon and gift it to the hero. Through the weapon, they can see and experience Tehra. They are not strong, but are deadly enemies. They lack the size and constitution of actual dragons, but their speed and magic give them interesting lives.
While all dragons have a breath weapon, not all breath weapons manifest as some kind of deadly <whatever> shooting out of the dragon's mouth. For example, Ynt'taris' breath weapon is a designated area (as big or small as the white patriarch wishes) that sucks all heat energy into Ynt'taris regardless of distance or time-space separation. Meanwhile, Alerius' breath weapon is a will-based expulsion of elemental fire from the plane of Fire. Contrast this to Crimson Burning's breath weapon which, in our world, acts like a laser of infinitely hot energy that can cut through anything... as a function of Crimson's will. Resistance to Crimson is also based on will, rather than heat.
Fallen dragons have basic breath weapons subject to the limitations of the world of Tehra. They are not will-based as the eldar's are. Their types are:
Sages have noted anecdotal stories of dragons having additional types such as:
- Cause mutation
- Pestilence (ranging from something like the flu to hemorrhagic fever)
- Warp reality around the target
- Chemical, such as rust or explode on contact with water, and so on
- Other magical type effects a mage might access
- Other divine effects a cleric might access
While shapeshifting and speech are common in fallen dragons, they all share a strong sense of territory, a protective instinct for their own kind regardless of type, and an obsession with either treasure, power, or both. How the dragons express this obsession can vary from "I want more treasure" to "Kings bow before my might!"
Metallic fallen dragons believe that, by serving Creation's purpose in uplifting good folk, they can earn a place in Heaven. Colored fallen dragons believe that with enough treasure and power, Tiamat will grant them eldar powers in the afterlife. However, only Tiamat's religion proselytizes conversion of dragons to Tiamat. For Her paladins, it is the 3rd Rite and any type of dragon is a candidate. Jeri, Rojo's battle priestess, is an example of a gold dragon that converted. Through her conversion, Tiamat granted her clerical powers. Like any cleric, she studies and advances in her power as a function of faith. Teleris, formerly the shadow patriarch Cor'tanos, is the same... advancing as a mortal towards Ascension for the dominion of Shadow Dragons; this is Cor'tanos' bid to rekindle the all but extinct race of Shadow Dragons.