The forest dragon is one of the most popular and well-established of all dragon species. Old-growth forests are their preferred home, but they’ve adapted to rainforests and younger, scrubbier woodlands as well, with their coloration providing ideal camouflage.
If you’ve heard stories of knights and dragons, they were most likely stories of forest dragons. Europe was once covered by forests, and these dark woodlands teamed with forest dragons, although each kept to its own territory. Travelers and woodsman all spied forest dragons occasionally, and the resulting fright required that brave warriors seek the mighty beasts in their lairs. Forest dragons preferred to avoid conflict, only attacking when attacked, and they often moved to deeper forests when human settlements expanded.
The knight shrugged his shoulders, attempting to take some of the weight of his ill-fitting armor off his back. He’d tied his horse off and left it with a squire several miles back, the trees and brush far too thick for the charger. Now, shield in one hand and sword in the other, he hacked through thick undergrowth, venturing deeper into the darkening woods. An out-of-place noise ahead startled him. He dropped his visor and raised his shield, realizing that between the coming evening and the layers of leaves, it was nearly pitch black with the visor down. He dropped his shield in order to raise the visor, when he was suddenly knocked to the ground by a solid object, followed by a whooshing sound and a growl. So it was true. A dragon. He reached for his sword and leapt to his feet, still with his visor down. Something felt very hot. Still seeing almost nothing through the slits of his visor, he wheeled around, sword prodding in front of him. Now he heard crackling, like a fire was burning somewhere. Sharp points slammed into his back, knocking him down again. This time, he crawled into the bushes, stood, and ran. Behind him, he heard the growling again, but this time it sounded like laughter.
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