“How could such an environment lead to this? Is this a dragon? It barely seems to qualify. Unlike others, it shoots a strange, destructive light from its mouth… It baffles the mind.”- From the journal of a traveling scholar.
Star Dragons, born from the deep cosmos, are a rare draconic breed. Some think they are crossbred between a true dragon from another realm and something truly alien. Others believe that they are another reality’s manifestation of dragon. They could very well be an evolution of primordial energy from the distant depths, gaining awareness as it gained form. None the less, such a creature is capable of unleashing a fearsome power that is true to their kind. Unlike any element, they can release a matter consuming light. Few are sure if it is a kind of radiation, a laser beam or something else entirely. On top of that, it is said that they hold the ability to phase through reality and travel among the stars themselves.
Those who have encountered them have either contended with a brutal foe or an incredible ally. Indifferent to plights, powers and people; the star dragons prefer to distance themselves from conflict. But, if one is convinced to aid, they will become an invaluable source as long as there’s something in it for them. In fact, they’re more likely to remain away from plane jumpers and ships alike. Those who interact with such travelers always have a personal agenda in mind. Despite this, they are not typically egoistic, as they often have a communal aspect to them. They travel the stars in pods, similar to whales in the sea, doing all they can to prevent anyone from falling behind in the galactic reaches. Protection of clan and extended family is an important virtue for such creatures.
Author’s Note: I wanted to do a little bit more with my list of classic D&D monsters ported over into the realms of science fiction… Well… science-fantasy. Will these manifest in something else at one point? Most likely, yes! Anyway, here’s my take on a cosmic dragon that was scrapped from last week’s post due to time. Also, I’m going to be taking a little break from planar/science-fantasy.
“Magick…” he grumbles in a hoarse whisper to himself, “the force we all thought would hamper progress. And here we are, traveling the stars with it.” Letting out a sigh, he pushes his hovering seat away from a messy desk. “If we were truly destined to separate ourselves from magick, the horrible monsters would have been vanquished long ago… not terraforming entire planets.” The man slightly grips his teeth as he rises from the floating chair, joints popping from ache and wear. The spacefaring man gazes into a mirror before continuing to shuffle. The marks of fatigue and age on his face contrast the shining gleam of his badges, reflecting light from the ‘glow panels’ dotting the ceilings and hallways throughout the vessel. Over towards a huge glass pane, the elder military man observes systems of stars with planets seemingly nestled in perfect viewing spots by ancient giants or celestial creatures. “And this ship, it has served more of a home for me than it deserves. But, through the mad crusades and bloody combat, it has served me well.” The tranquility of an empty space fades as ships pull into view, built with alien geometries and operating through impossible physics, they charge weaponry for an epic battle. The man cracks a faint grin as similar weaponry opens fire on the enemy crafts.
The worlds of magic and monsters don’t need to end when civilizations have advanced themselves into new eras; feudal worlds give way to industrial, which give way to information, which give way to hypothetical new technologies that Earth can only speculate about. Even a world of fantasy can and should advance and change with the flow of time. All too often do these worlds stagnate in the endless mush of quasi-medieval high fantasy. Now, this isn’t to say that such a thing can’t be good and doesn’t still have a place. It’s just that for many fans of the genre, such things have grown stale and resistance to change.
In a fantasy future, adventurers will continue to carry on their business. Perhaps new sanctions are in effect and new regulations are in place. However, there are still dens filled with malicious monsters and strange sights to behold. There are gnoll raiders who operate miniguns instead of wield war-axes, elementals from a plane composed of radiation, beholders who bolster their psychic power through cybernetic enhancements, orcish biker gangs terrorizing the streets through their “hover hogs” and much more. Granted, most of these will not be appearing in the article below. However, they are ideas on how someone can twist a classic monster for a more Modern/Sci-Fi inspired setting.
Author’s Note: I figured this is a great way to close out the theme, a look at some classic monsters transferred to a new genre. And by this, I mean transferring classic D&D monsters into classic (as well as some less standard) science fiction. Also, please don’t mind the cheesy space-opera-meets-D&D blurb from up above. I’m not quite what I’d call a writer, but I figured it would be a fun change of pace.