Possessing some of the most dangerous qualities of a lion and a brass dragon, the dragonne is a vicious and deadly hunter, and a threat to many who travel in warmer climates.
From a distance, a dragonne looks much like a giant lion, with the one very notable exception of the pair of small, brass-colored wings that stretch from the creature's shoulders. Upon closer inspection, other differences between the dragonne and its feline ancestor become apparent, too. The dragonne is covered with thick, brass-colored scales, much like a brass dragon, and its mane is much thicker and made of far coarser hair than a lion's. The beast also possesses huge claws and fangs, and large eyes, usually brass-colored like its scales. Dragonnes do not have their own language. Instead, they speak the languages of brass dragons and sphinxes.
Dragonnes usually attack first with their front claws, inflicting 1d8 points of damage with each set, and their terrible jaws, inflicting 3d6 points of damage. This is usually enough to slay most of the creatures the dragonne encounters. If a dragonne is in combat with an especially deadly opponent, or is wounded in a battle with a lesser opponent, however, it will use its deadly roar.
A dragonne's roar causes weakness (due to fear) in all creatures within 120 feet of the monster, unless they roll successful saving throws vs. paralyzation. Those creatures that save are not affected, but those that fail to save lose 50% of their Strength for 2d6 rounds. Worse still, any creature within 30 feet of the dragonne when it roars are deafened for 2d6 rounds. No save is possible against the deafening aspect of the dragonne's roar, and all affected creatures cannot hear any sound and fight with a -1 penalty to attack rolls (due to disorientation).
The dragonne's roar is like a dragon's breath weapon in that it can only be used once every three rounds. Creatures within the range of the dragonne's roar must roll saving throws vs. fear each time they hear it. Once a creature is deafened, however, it cannot hear the dragonne's roar, and need not save against it, until the 2d6 rounds of temporary deafness are over.
Although a dragonne's wings are useful only for short periods of time, carrying the creature for only 1-3 turns at a time, the dragonne uses its wings very effectively in battle. If any creatures attempt to charge the dragonne or encircle it, the dragonne simply takes to the air and finds a more defensible position. The dragonne prefers not to fight in the air, as it is very slow and maneuvers poorly compared to most flying creatures. It can fight with its claws and bite, and even its roar, when airborne, so it remains almost as deadly in the air as on the ground.
Dragonnes prefer to dwell in rocky foothills and deserts. They take large, natural caves for their lairs and store their small amounts of treasure, usually taken from slain adventurers, in loose piles around their rocky homes. Their territories are usually very large, as they generally inhabit desolate areas.
They cannot bear the company of other dragonnes, and the creatures are found in pairs only during their brief mating season, late in the autumn. Dragonnes lay eggs, like their reptilian ancestors, and only one egg is produced a year by any dragonne. The female raises this young dragonne for one year, after which time even a mother and her young will be unfriendly if they meet. Male dragonnes are always antagonistic toward each other.
In fact, dragonnes get along with very few creatures, and are considered a menace by most sentient races. More than anything, however, dragonnes wish to be left alone to hunt.
The dragonne prefers herd animals like goats for food, especially since they don't fight back as fiercely as humans. It only attacks a human or demihuman for food if no other game is available.
Dragonnes are not necessarily aggressive toward strangers, and the creature's reputation as a mindless devourer of helpless travelers is more the product of ignorance than well-researched fact. A dragonne will almost always attack any creature that invades its lair or threatens its territory. This means that adventurers who stumble across a dragonne's cave or settlers who decide to build in a dragonne's territory are often subject to fierce and immediate attack. Creatures not threatening the dragonne's lair or simply passing through its territory are usually left alone. Though the dragonne's intelligence is low, it can tell the difference between a harmless traveler and a potentially troublesome settler.