In my fictional world, there is a pre-industrial civilization that has advanced to a level of technology similar to that of the 15th-century Earth. This civilization is under constant threat from aerial attacks by large, fire-breathing creatures that are both intelligent and highly resistant to conventional weapons. Magic does not exist in this world, so the civilization must rely solely on their technology and ingenuity to defend themselves.
The creatures, let's call them Drakons, are roughly the size of a small airplane with a wingspan of around 30 meters. They are highly maneuverable in the air and are capable of breathing fire that can incinerate entire villages in minutes. The Drakons are not invulnerable, but their scales are strong enough to deflect most projectiles, such as arrows and early gunpowder weapons. The Drakons are also intelligent, capable of learning from past encounters and adapting their tactics accordingly. They are not mindless beasts but rather a cunning adversary that poses a significant threat to the civilization.
The civilization has been trying various defenses against these Drakon attacks, such as building fortified structures, utilizing early gunpowder-based weapons, and employing large ballistae. However, these methods have had limited success as the Drakons have adapted and become more strategic in their attacks. The citizens of this civilization live in constant fear, and their society has been heavily affected by the need to defend against these aerial threats. The leaders of this civilization are desperate for a more effective solution to protect their people and ensure their survival.
Given these constraints and the context provided, how can this pre-industrial civilization effectively defend against aerial attacks from the Drakons without the use of magic? Additionally, what technological advancements or tactics might they develop to counter the intelligence and adaptability of these creatures, and how could these solutions be implemented in a way that fits within the established technological level of the society?