So, dragons are rather large (2 meters at the withers and have a nose-to-base-of-tail length of 5 meters) creatures.
Pic related by: KatePfeilschiefter
They look something like pic related, albeit less spiky. As you can see, their most important organs are protected by scales, a sturdy rib cage (dragon bones here are only slightly weaker than carbon fiber in terms of tensile strength) and graphene-reinforced muscles (to decrease wear and tear)
Since the equipment required to deal serious wounds to a dragon is hard to transport without the dragon's protectors noticing, dragon slayers came up with a simpler solution:
They use bows and poisoned arrows that have just enough power to break through the dermis and reach the bloodstream.
The poison requires some time to act and it has the following properties:
- Symptoms (direct and indirect):
- Inability to focus
- Shortness of breath
- Inability to produce digestive acids (which are also used as the breath weapon)
- High fever
- Occasional sleep paralysis and fever dreams
- Other info:
- There is no true cure for the poison, but there are ways to alleviate the symptoms to a degree (ice packs, antifebriles and lots of soup) but the poison's effects will remain for at least a month and to upwards of two months.
- The poison can't actually kill a dragon, malnutrition does that.
The basic idea is that this is an easy and quick way to put a dragon into a very vulnerable position; and if another one is nursing them back to health, then that one too, because nursing a sick DRAGON is a stamina-draining task. This gives the slayers a big window for planning the attack, though they still can't barge in as the window IS the time they'll attack, so it's easy to flip the table on them with an ambush.
Given the properties of the poison, how should it work? What should it attack within the dragon's system and how would it be able to last for at least a month?