Dragonet, Mole Dragon

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Dragonet, Mole Dragon
Climate/Terrain:Rugged hills and subterranean
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:High (13-14)
Treasure:See below
Alignment:Neutral evil
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:2
Movement:9, burrow 9
Hit Dice:3-5
THAC0:3-4 HD: 17
5 HD: 15
No. of Attacks:1
Special Attacks:Bite lock, see below
Special Defenses:See below
Magic Resistance:20%
Size:M (body 5', tail 2½')
Morale:Elite (13-14)
XP Value:3 HD: 975
4 HD: 1,400
5 HD: 2,000

Mole dragons are large, wingless dragonets that burrow in subterranean tunnels. They have thick bodies and short tails, and their front claws are huge, well-adapted for tunneling. Their skin is thick and bumpy, like a rough stone formation, and their scales glitter like chips of mica. As the dragonet ages, its hide becomes encrusted with gemstones, making old mole dragons appear to be walking treasure hordes. These gem-stones are the creature's only treasure, amounting to 1-8 valuable stones for each Hit Die the dragonet possesses.

Combat: A mole dragon has heavy claws, similar to those of the common mole after which it is named. Their claws are too targe and unwieldy to use in combat, but their bite is fierce. If a mole dragon rolls at least five higher than it needs to hit an opponent, it locks its jaws on its hapless victim and inflicts bite damage automatically on each successive round until its grip is broken. A single hit that inflicts at least twice as much damage as the dragonet's Hit Dice causes it to break its grip.

Mole dragons have no breath weapon, but they have a number of special abilities to compensate. All mole dragons can dig three rimes a day, affecting a 10-foot cube per Hit Die of the dragon, and they can conjure elemental-kin (sandling or sandman) once per day. Mole dragons with 4 or 5 Hit Dice can also passwall three times per day and stone shape at will. The largest (5 HD) mole dragons can cast wall of stone three times per day and conjure elemental (earth) once per week.

Mole dragons learn priest spells from the spheres of Combat, Divination, Elemental, Guardian, and Protection. They can use three 1st-level spells per day. Mole dragons with 4 HD gain one 2nd-level spell, and 5 HD dragonets gain two 2nd-level spells.

Habitat/Society: Mole dragons live in deep subterranean tunnels, burrowing through solid stone and wandering Under-dark passageways. They are solitary, mating only on the rare occasions when two dragonets of the opposite sex encounter each other by chance. The female lays her eggs in a dead-end chamber and abandons them, closing the tunnel behind her and forcing the hatchlings to burrow their way out.

Mole dragons sometimes associate with duergar or derro for short periods and very rarely attach themselves to a powerful evil character as a companion. They cannot tolerate being above ground for more than a few hours, so they choose only subterranean residents as companions. When they have bonded with such an individual, mole dragons can telepathically transmit anything they hear to their companions, with a range of 300 yards. They also share the empathic ability common to all dragonets and use rasping growls and hisses to communicate simple warnings or displeasure.

Where other dragonets are flighty and mischievous, mole dragons are dour and sadistic. They are also bitter and vengeful, nursing a grudge for years or decades if harmed or shamed by an opponent. Humanoid companions who do not share a mole dragon's love of inflicting pain soon find themselves on the receiving end of the dragonet's sadism.

Ecology: Mole dragons eat precious metals, digging along veins of gold or silver and leaving empty tunnels behind. For this reason, they are particularly loathed by dwarves and other mining races that depend on these metals for their livelihood.

Mole dragons have a natural lifespan of 41-50 years.