Bright are the scales,
Solid are the plates,
Absolute is his power,
But beware ye the gilded one.
-from Dragonsbaine, author unknown
Splinter - Draykh-Nahka
Set - Alpha/Beta
Class - Legendary Dragon
Size - Aurus, the legendary Gold Dragon is a medium-sized Dragon, similar in size to the Red Dragon, Festius. He is on the other hand extremely heavy; they say most of his body is actually made of gold.
Lifespan - Many of the younger Dragons believe that the Gold Dragon is the oldest Dragon, but at 540 years, Aurus is not even close. But the oldest Dragons are also the wisest Dragons, and they have all learned to hide far away from the public eye. Because he is the senior Dragon that is willing to participate in Dragon politics, Aurus presides over the Dragon Congress.
Habitat - The Gold Dragon is entitled to a spacious villa in Olde Centrum. It is like an ornate warehouse, wide open space with all the walls covered in grotesque artwork. Most of the art is from Beluroc; the Gloridax have always enjoyed the gruesome creations from the town at death’s edge. The space in which the Gold Dragon is housed free of charge could hold eighty full-sized Kobold families, but instead most Kobolds in Draykh-Nahka work 12-hour days just to afford some floor space to sleep on.
Weapon - The attacks of the Gold Dragon are both otherworldly and devastating. The first, and his most common attack, is called the Golden Beam of Truth. No one knows why it is called that; it really has nothing to do with truth. Instead, it melts things with a white-hot burning ray. His second attack (which is more fun for the Mount Mox audiences) is the Targeted Flame Lance. This is less of a melting fire and more of a piercing one, literally taking the form of a giant lance and seeking out the enemy. The Gold Dragon also has a rather extensive collection of legendary weapons, of which his favorite is the Boomerang of Yuqo. Aurus has been practicing his throwing, but boomerangs are difficult to master and Dragons simply aren’t built for throwing.
Diet - The Gold Dragon is entitled to the finest exotic meats from anywhere he requests in the Splinterlands. Many of his favorite dishes must be brought all the way from the jungles of the Water Splinter. On average, 40-50 Kobolds and Humans each year are lost or eaten by something on one of these hunting expeditions.
Allies - The Gold Dragon treats every Dragon as a friend. His other friends include: People in power, people with wealth, and people who can do something for him. Aurus wastes no time on friends from whom he gains no benefit, which is probably why he has become so powerful in the Splinterlands. He has had in the past what he thought were true friends, but they all eventually betrayed him, so now he knows that friendship is a foolish waste of time unless it is an investment.
Enemies - It is well-known that Neoxian the Dragon Banker is the most powerful enemy of the Gold Dragon. He has taken a different approach to seizing control, and against his newly fortified system of Splintral banking the political efforts of the Gold Dragon have proven ineffective. But Aurus is currently working on a secret plan with two nameless members of the Wizards’ Council to destabilize Neoxian’s hold. The highest council is always there to help tilt the scales of power when they lean too far.
Pastimes - The Gold Dragon is the largest Dragon that lives within the city limit of Centrum. One of his favorite things to do in town is something he calls “walkabout.” In walkabout, the Gold Dragon parades through the crowded streets of the city. He loves to simply stroll about, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the city he loves. People know that he is coming, for his steps make a huge clanking sound of metal on stone. But the streets are narrow, and often people cannot get out of the way. At least a few a trampled each walkabout, but the downtown Kobolds and Humans are used to it.
The True Story of Splinterlands
Once upon a time your game purchase meant something. You could go to the store and purchase a game, after which you would simply own that game. You could play as often as you'd like, because it was your game. As the game companies were one by one swallowed up by larger and larger game companies, a terrible thing happened to the gaming world. While the games themselves were always making improvements, the players were always throwing more and more of their hard-earned money into a corporate black hole from which they reaped no rewards.
How did the corporations convince the players to pay this money? Loot. They showered the players with in-game riches designed to create a sense of accomplishment, but with no real value. Not only are these in-game "assets" entirely subject to the whims of corporate overlords who rarely (if ever) have the player's interests at heart, but they never really belong to the player at all. They belong exclusively to the game for which they were created. If a player wants to quit playing the game, they must also abandon their in-game treasures.
Blockchains are giving power and ownership back to the players, and it's about time. In this incredible and rapidly expanding world of technology it seems like such an outdated argument to be making, but the players (not the company) should own their gaming rewards. Blockchain, non-fungible tokens and games like Splinterlands are now making that possible.
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