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Imperial dragon

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Imperial dragon
A forest dragon, a type of imperial dragon.
Type Dragon
CR Varies
Environment Varies
Alignment Varies
Images of imperial dragons

Source: Bestiary 3, pg(s). 92ff.

Imperial dragons, sometimes termed dragons of the celestial host, are a type of dragon and serpentine agents of cosmic balance native to Tian Xia. Like other true dragons, they grow in power as they age.[1]


Although they are true dragons, imperial dragons differ in appearance from other true dragons, possessing a long serpentine body. They lack wings but can fly gracefully through supernatural means. All imperial dragons have large horns with which they can gore prey and foes.[1]


Like all dragons, imperial dragons can breathe potent torrents of elemental force, cast spells, and perform other supernatural feats. Additionally, all can magically transform themselves into a humanoid shape.[1]

Habitat and society

Imperial dragons are defenders of ancient lands and protectors of cosmic balance. They take a much more active role in humanoid societies than their metallic or chromatic kin, to such a degree that the kingdoms of Tian Xia are often known as the Dragon Empires. Imperial dragons are seen by humanoids as either benevolent guardians or vile threats depending on their type.[2]


More than any other dragons, imperial dragons are closely tied to the religious beliefs of their native lands. Several deities of the Dragon Empires are often depicted in the form of a dragon, including General Susumu, Lady Nanbyo, and Shizuru.[3]

On Golarion

Imperial dragons inhabited Tian Xia in the Age of Dragons, long before other races arose there, and were charged by the gods to safeguard the land in anticipation of humanity's arrival.[4] Imperial dragons are deeply tied to the human cultures of Tian Xia, and many of the eastern gods may in fact be incredibly powerful dragons. The five imperial families of Minkai were blessed by the goddess Shizuru in her guise as a dragon, the nation of Quain relies on the powerful Celestial Dragon for guidance, and the empire of Xa Hoi is directly ruled by a dynasty of sovereign dragons.[5] Imperial dragons are active in times of social upheaval; though they have been slow to react to the fall of Imperial Lung Wa, they are beginning to exert sweeping influence on the chaotic Dragon Empires.[6]

The Tian people believe that imperial dragons are guardians of the zodiac, and each of the five species of imperial dragon is represented as a constellation.[7]

Species of chromatic dragons


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