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Earthquake dragons were created by Balcoth, the Groaning King. The petitioners who approached this Earth primordial were terrified by the death of Io, and were willing to swear loyalty to anyone who could protect them. Balcoth agreed, and fulfilled his promise by swallowing the dragons up and keeping them inside his furnace-like belly, where they “cooked” and were changed by his essence.

Balcoth would vomit up a few earthquake dragons when he needed their service. When the primordial was beheaded and slain during the Dawn War, the rest of his dragons escaped through the wound and into the world.

Generally speaking, Earthquake dragons are extremely into the whole “living disaster” thing. When they settle down somewhere, the surrounding region is soon wracked by tremors of increasing intensity and duration. The dragon feeds on the people killed by these tremors, and will sometimes destroy a city on purpose just because they can. They lair in the ruins for months, digesting their prey and enjoying the view of the ruins until they grow tired of them and fly away to look for another place to devastate.

Unlike their blizzard cousins, earthquakes are not team players. They’ll form temporary alliances with inedible creatures (mostly earth-themed), and can sometimes be bribed into service by mortals, but these arrangements never last long.

These dragons aren’t great fliers, but they can swim through earth and rock as if it was water. They hunt by suppressing their earthquake aura and stalking their prey from underground. When they attack, they make a spectacular entry and fight with all of their powers, though they usually retreat back underground rather than fighting to the death.

The Numbers

Earthquake Dragons follow the same general plan as Blizzards. They’re Elemental Magical Beasts with the Dragon and Earth keywords. They have Darkvision, Tremorsense, and both burrow and clumsy flight speeds that are about half of their ground speed.

Earthquake Dragon Wyrmling

This is a Medium Level 4 Soldier with 58 HP, representing the youngest dragon that can be a threat in combat. Their speed is 6 (burrow 2, clumsy flight 2). They project a Quaking Earth aura (1) with a very “soldierly” effect: if an enemy inside the aura makes an attack that doesn’t include the dragon as a target, the enemy falls prone and takes 5 damage.

The wyrmling’s bite and claw basic attacks do physical damage without riders, and Wyrmling Fury allows it to make both attacks in the same action while it’s bloodied.

Finally, they have a Sudden Quake ability that triggers when they’re knocked prone or subjected to forced movement. It knocks all enemies inside the dragon’s aura prone.

Young Earthquake Dragon

Young dragons are Large Level 9 Elite Soldiers with 206 HP. Their ground speed increases to 8, their burrow and flight speeds to 4. They have all the same abilities as a wyrmling, with bigger numbers. They replace Wyrmling Fury with a proper Double Attack and add two new powers.

Earthen Maw (recharge 6+) is a melee attack that does more damage than a basic bite and restains the target (save ends). After the first save the target is instead petrified! A save still ends this, but the target is entirely unable to act until they make that save.

Their “disaster” power is Rising Tremors, which follows the same pattern seen for blizzard dragons. When it’s activated with a minor action, it increases the dragon’s aura size to 3. At the end of the next turn, the aura increases again to 5. And at the end of the turn after that, the dragon makes a Close Burst 5 attack vs. Reflex. This one deals physical damage, knocks targets prone, and prevents them from standing back up (save ends). After the attack, the aura resets and this power recharges.

Other Age Categories

Adults are Level 14 Elite Soldiers with 288 HP, and have all the same abilities with bigger numbers.

Elders are Huge Level 19 Elite Soldiers with 374 HP, and again have all the same abilities with bigger numbers.

Ancients are Level 24 Elite Soldiers with 456 HP, and gain Threatening Reach 3. They once again have all the same abilities as younger dragons with bigger numbers.

Final Impressions

I’m surprised the dragons in this entry are still marked as Unaligned despite being a lot more actively destructive and cruel than blizzard dragons. I’d have thought “I exist to satisfy my twin urges to destroy and devour” would rate a Chaotic Evil alignment. Of course, you can go the other way and give them more flexible personalities and more varied motivations.

Mechanically, earthquake dragons are very good at knocking people down and keeping them down, so they pair really well with melee lurkers and skirmishers whose attacks are more powerful when they have combat advantage.