Rhinodite- The Unbreakable Diamond

World: Any

Diet: Grass, mineral water

Length: 35’11”

Lifespan: 5000 years

Habitat: Montane tundra

Activity Cycle: Nocturnal

The frigid plains above the treeline are an inhospitable place, but every so often the rumor comes that draws treasure hunters uphill; plants and animals, turned to valuable, shining gem statues. Just like most get-rich-quick treasure seekers, most of these people will never return, prey to the jealous guardian of those statues. The rhinodite, the tyrant at the crown of the world, has added to its collection.

Mostly gravel and crystal, a rhinodite has few material needs. The mineral-rich waters of the mountain and fresh tundra grass are all it needs. This leaves plenty of time for the rhinodite to hunt for treasure, something this dragon makes on its own. Its breath weapon, a blast of gleaming light the same color as its skull crystal, turns a single organic target into a perfect gem statue, whether it be a tree, a deer, or one of the unfortunate treasure hunters seeking out the former. Over time, the rhinodite turns entire forests to crystal, dragging only their favorite statues up to their mountaintop lairs.

A rhinodite’s crystal eyes contain a magical light that allows them to see in pitch black conditions, each eye acting independently like a chameleon’s. Their main head crystal also glows when their breath weapon is ready for use. This crystal varies by color depending on the individual, and each rhinodite takes great pride in its sheen. While their breath weapon is deflected by steel, their horn easily pierces it, and there are few walls thick enough to stop this dragon when it rampages. Thankfully, they are usually content to stay far away civilization, building their gemstone gardens piece by piece, only adding us when we foolishly offer ourselves up to them. Only the theft of a favored statue will trigger their wrath, a truly terrifying event that leaves no stone unturned until either the dragon dies or the statue is found.

Upon a rhinodite’s death, all beings it has petrified return to normal. No time passes for them while they are petrified, and some unfortunate souls have found themselves flung several centuries forwards by the time they spent slumbering in stone. There are rumors that the mightiest rhinodite, “Rhomongris the Prismatic”, has the last members of several lost species in their collection, entire peoples lost to time. But that is something nobody knows for sure, for even the greatest giants do not approach their peak in Jotunheim.

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