The Dragon: Wings, or no wings?

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I know that there is conflicting information about this in the published material. To sum up, through the early published stuff I recall the Dragon having no wings, and a bunch of great art confirms that. (I vaguely remember him walking with two staves, one in each hand, as well, but I'm not sure where that came from).

Then in Dragon Kings, I believe they seemed to shift gears, and people becoming dragons did begin to grow wings?

In the 4E published stats for the Dragon, he appears to have wings, and likewise in 4E art.

So I don't want to have a canon debate, since I think it is something that did change depending on who was writing it. I am curious: do you include a winged or wingless Dragon in your game?

A wingless Dragon is awesome because it further establishes how "different" Athas is, and I like the idea of him walking around in the Wastes. At the same time, I can't really envision him travelling from Ur Draxa and picking up his slave levies and such while simply walking.

I think in my game, I'm going to retain the imagery of the wingless Dragon on things like coinage, art, etc, but perhaps make the actual Dragon have wings. I think that will underscore the mythical nature of Dragon stories in Athasian real-world myths, there are tons of times that the reality has been distorted (manatees as mermaids, etc.) and the story gets an aesthetic life of its own that lasts for thousands of years.
I take the same approach - depictions of the Dragon tend to be without wings and holding his two staves, as described in the original box and Prism Pentad.  Brom's original art for this version is fantastic:


On the one occasion that the Dragon made an appearance in my DS games, he definitely had wings, though, as on the cover of Valley of Dust and Fire.  Which is one of my favourite pieces of DS art of all time:


The old discussion thread on this topic had some fun ideas as well:
I prefer my dragons with wings. I think wings help convey an important sense of power and regal-ness.

Maybe the Dragon can transform between a humanoid form and a full (winged) dragon form. It would recall the fact that the dragon used to be a human and help emphasize the difference between the Dragon of Athas and generic fantasy dragons.

This probably has no basis in the novels, but it does line up with the 4e Dragon King epic destiny.
The only sorcerer-king my players have ever seen in their true form was NIbenay. The sk's wield powerful magic. They can look however they want.

That being said I think Borys would take on an appropriate look, depending on the situation. If he wanted to awe a group he may come as a dragon with huge wings. If we wanted to seem otherworldly he may come as  gaunt with no wings.

Use the fact that they can look different to awe the PCs and make them wonder (assuming they're going to meet him more than once). 
I think Boyris kind of cheated so he doesn't have wings (though, I'm sure through magic he can grow some).

If you're a PC and you work your way up to level 30 on the Dragon-Metamorphasis spell, you deserve to have wings.
Famous Athasian last words: "Hey, you're wrong. I know elves, I've played AD&D for eight years. They're noble, sylvan creatures who will honor their word." In the desert, everything's further than it looks.
borys used the dark lens to jump to level 30, in the games ive played borys had no wings, and anyone who leveled up normally would have wings.. but no one every did in our games.. its really just a dm's judgement call. but in the novels the dragon was never described as flying or having wings.
Haha, thanks for reviving this thread! Since I made it, my players did indeed meet the Dragon, and you can see the wings/wingless debate peeping through their mindframe in the adventure log one of them wrote: 

an excerpt:

Not wanting to be eating by the Dragon, [the Altar Skulkers] typically fled into caves at this point, but Bost, Vilsis, and (bewilderingly) Dazeel all felt their work was not yet done. Bost and Vilsis went to lower ropes into the pit so that some of the slaves might escape, while Dazeel went to try to pick the lock of the great iron gate.

Zuri and I, believing that discretion was the better part of valor, fled to caves (though I first gave my rope to Bost) and we chose a cave from which we could see them during their efforts. While watching them lift slaves out of the pit one by one, a feeling of inexplicable foreboding overcame me, and I looked up and saw the Dragon.

It has wings. It flew swiftly towards us and descended towards the center of the pit. By the time it occurred to me to look at my companions Bost was already running towards the cave, and Vilsis helped one last slave to the surface and turned to run as well. The center of the pit was empty by the time the Dragon landed, the slaves having fled to the edges of the pit, futilely trying to climb over each other to escape. Then the Dragon consumed them.

In the Cerulean Storm, Borys is described as flying on the way to Ur Draxa while holding Rkard captive in his fist. This is still rather ambiguous, as wings were not specifically mentioned. He always had them in my campaign, though.
According to Dragon Kings, Stages 1-8 didn't seem to have wings, 9 and 10 did..

So, Borys should definitely have wings, since he is/was the only Stage 10 Dragon.  Dregoth had wings, and was Stage 9 before the other SKs ganged up and killed him..
"Five million Cybermen, easy. One Doctor? NOW you're scared!" - Rose Tyler
When my players meet the Dragon, I depicted him the same as the Brom's illustration for the Valley of Dust & Fire (see Kamelion's post) : with wings, and obsidian sphere..

But I like the idea he can sprout out wings at will, it put him apart from other classical D&D dragons.

My campaigns :

Dark Sun : La Décade des Héros (4E)

Al-Qadim / Golden Voyages (Next) Planescape (Next)

And excuse my baaadly and ruuusty english...

its always been rather been ambigous, with different artist going with/without wings, the mini made for him back in the day had no wings, its really just up to the dm to decide.
Kam, where you got that never-been-seen-before Brom art for DS?
Kam, where you got that never-been-seen-before Brom art for DS?


Can't remember!!

It was originally the cover of Polyhedron magazine #63.  I think I found it online - someone had taken photos of Brom prints or something?  Yeah, I know, crappy answer, lol!
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