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So, I decided to up the ante with dragons and make them much more destructive by giving the aqua regia as the breath weapon.

The problem is that the dragon in this story is a sweet and cheeky kid, who prefers avoiding physical conflict. Even when it comes to trading blows, he'd rather avoid damaging the surrounding environment when using his breath weapon, partly because he lives in it.

Just like the rest of his kin, the dragon is roughly the size of a shire horse and can store several (2-3) liters of aqua regia at most.

The problem is that while aqua regia quickly loses its gold-dissolving property, it remains a potent acid for a while. On top of that, it also creates chlorine gas as a byproduct. The dragon was never a fan of trench warfare, especially when its smell is localized in his favorite clearing.

So, how could a dragon minimize collateral damage and avoid turning their beloved forest into the No Man's Land after fending off a pack of monster hunters with their breath weapon?

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Water and Sodium Bicarbonate

According to the Illinois Division of Research Safety and the University of Massachusettes, the proper ways to deal with aqua regia involve water and sodium bicarbonate.

Sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda, is a common acid neutralizer. Slow application of small amounts is best. Further, mixing water and sodium bicarbonate can be used to produce an aerosol that will neutralize chlorine gas and improve the condition of those subjected to it.

Your dragons already have the ability store aqua regia (HNO₃+3 HCl), which has all the components of water and most of the components of sodium bicarbonate. It shouldn't be too much of a leap, then, to envision your dragons living near bodies of salt water who store that salt water as a heat regulation system that can also be deployed to counter the effects of their breath. If their scales shed often and easily, and readily break down into the counteragents needed, then your dragon's lair will be naturally resistant to its breath weapon.

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"... is a sweet and cheeky kid, who prefers avoiding physical conflict...", sounds like your dragon is a "spit in your eye" kind of dragon with a very expert method of delivering his acid to exactly where he wants it to go.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'd like you to elaborate on that. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Jan 30 at 11:19
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    $\begingroup$ Tongue tricks... people can touch their nose, their chin, turn it upside down, tie cherry stems in knots, roll it into a tube... The tube trick would give him the ability to precisely aim his acid where he wants it to go. It also allows him to portion it out in smaller drabs instead of the "breath" method that expends his entire collection in one highly toxic breath... being precise, he can also get more "hits" that if you are rolling for damage in RPG setting, could total more than a single breath weapon delivers. $\endgroup$ – user72081 Jan 30 at 22:24
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    $\begingroup$ Dogs also roll their tongues up when they drink... similar trick with a rolled tongue outwards could deliver a precision dose of acid... this method could perhaps be more of a spray than the tongue tube trick that would be a spit-wad style. $\endgroup$ – user72081 Jan 30 at 22:41
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The dragon may keep his breath pre-stored in glass flasks, since aqua regia does not dissolve glass. If they have access to technology, they may deliver the acid by using glass syringes (with glass needles). If not, make glass arrows or spearheads and coat them with the acid. These require a relatively low level of technology to craft.

Or, you know, the dragon might do as humans do and pollute its enemies habitat only. A kinda of Pax Armada. "You humans don't ♥♥♥♥ with my home, and I don't puke in your water supply and granaries."

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