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We all have an image of the classic dragon: big and red, armored, fire breathing, malevolent. But way back at the dawn of role-playing games, the creators of D&D must have felt that dragons posed a difficult challenge. How could gamemasters keep players interested in fighting yet another dragon?

Their solution was to create a veritable spectrum of dragons. Evil dragons were not just red, but also blue, green, black and white. In homage to the more benevolent Asian style of dragon, metallic dragons could be gold, bronze, brass, silver or copper. These were potentially wise guides for players. As years passed, there were jewel dragons and fairy dragons and creatures part dragon and part something else. Because the challenge remained the same — to keep these creatures interesting.

Of all the D&D dragons, the white dragons were most obviously the opposite of a stereotypical dragon. White dragons loved high, cold, icy mountains. They lived in caverns near glaciers and breathed deadly frost instead of fire. It was said they were not as intelligent as some other dragon breeds and relied on savagery instead of spellcasting.

Despite these slurs, ice dragons have become some of the most popular subjects for artists. Any Internet search will turn up dozens of likenesses of ice dragons. There’s just something about them. The ice is hard, yet beautiful. It shines against sunlight or moonlight. Ice dragons posess a mystery and grace that the traditional sort simply don’t have.

Here’s a link to a funny cartoon about white dragons in D&D.

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