Let me just set an environment first. So let's say a large number of dragons were situated in a remote mountain region of a world containing:

  • Wood elves, who use forest type magic along with outright spells. Whose powers are great, but only around green nature.
  • Desert elves, who use "earth" type magic as well as black magic, who are powerful anywhere on land.
  • Mer-Folk, who use water type magic and are able to exert power over the oceans, but are powerless on land, and
  • Avian Humanoids, whose main magic is air and wind based.

All of these races are aligned with the elements and thus able to manipulate those elements. But how would these races, although all magical, be able to come together and wipe out an entire clan of diverse dragons, or would that be possible.

Also by diverse dragons I mean: ranging from fully grown to baby, from fire breathing to Ice breath. These dragons have all the characteristics of your average fantasy dragon, such as:

  • extremely long lifespan
  • armor piercing claws
  • magical breath
  • immense size
  • wise beyond years
  • Scales to protect it's body
  • and so on and so forth
  • and although they cannot work spells, they are impervious to spells.

It's hard for me to think of a feasible answer without weakening the dragons. I hope my question is clear and to the point. Im not looking for opinions, but rather technicalities.


closed as too broad by Aify, sphennings, Azuaron, Frostfyre, Vylix Jul 27 '17 at 21:29

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I think this can be edited into a workable question. Mostly you'd have to go into a bit more detail about the nature of your dragons and the nature of the technology and magical capabilities of all your species. (Including dragons). $\endgroup$ – Michael Jul 27 '17 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ I have deleted my answer since it was rightly commented not to be a proper answer to your question, instead a rather visual depiction of what's wrong with the question. Please specify the size and capabilities of both parties involved. This has to include tech of the humans, capabilities of the dragons, initial spread of dragons and humans and the geography you have in mind. If you provide these specifications we might be able to provide you with a satisfactory answer. $\endgroup$ – Hyfnae Jul 27 '17 at 20:49
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    $\begingroup$ In 4 words - genetically engineered dragon cooties. $\endgroup$ – WhatRoughBeast Jul 27 '17 at 22:50
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    $\begingroup$ That is much better, but I think you still need to define limits of the humanoids' magic and technology a little more tightly. $\endgroup$ – Michael Jul 28 '17 at 15:45
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    $\begingroup$ I'd post this as an answer but the question is "On Hold" - But they could be wiped out the same way the dinosaurs were wiped out! Dragons are big and need loads of food. Even baby dragons do because their bodies are trying to grow large. So a comet hitting earth, throwing up a worldwide dust cloud that causes a nuclear winter will kill loads of food sources. Species of small creatures might get by on what little food is left, but big creatures like dragons will starve to death. Granted this is more of an accident than the other races coming together (unless they brought down the comet somehow) $\endgroup$ – colmde Jul 31 '17 at 14:47

Warfare isn't won by battle, but by logistics. First, you have the common goal of four mamailian (assuming the Merfolk are standard Little Mermaid fish flippers for feet type and avians are angelic). If we were to assume each faction can field equal armies, you are dealing with a four on one war. The current tactical might of the United States, the best military in history, is such that the United States can fight a war on two fronts simultaneously. Dragons may be comparable... but that still leaves them very vulnerable to hit and run tactics that spread the Dragon to thin and leave them vulnerable to offensive actions at every front. Even if the dragons choose to attack one race first, the other three are now free to enter the unguarded dragon territory and take all the spoils for themselves. This will either ruin prime hunting grounds and other resources OR force the dragons out of their offensive (The battle of Gettysburg, for example was the end of a campaign for Lee to distract the Union by invading their territory.)

Of course, assuming that these dragons are intelligent, vicious, large, and long lived with tough armored scales and fire or other breath weapons. A flight of dragons over the battlefield is scary, but if you are doing hit and run and you will likely not encounter many as they are spread thin. But then we also have look at a manpower issue (pardon the word).

Dragons traditionally are old and and mature dragons don't reach their status for some time. Meanwhile, humanoid races are quite good at breeding fast and often and reach maturity much more slowly. Sure, a single Dragon might require fifty allied soldiers to kill, but it's going take a lot more time to replace that dragon that the losses incurred by a 50 man strong unit. Even if the unit and the dragon are both wiped out in combat, the net loss will be on the dragons side because the unit can be more quickly replaced with able bodied troops (In WWII, the United States lost tanks at a rate of 2:1 in combat against the German Panzer. But the United States was able to manufacture Tanks of a rate of 5:1. Unless a Panzer killed six tanks each, any action was a net loss. In addition, the United States used the tactics of "Hit them where they ain't" and fielded tanks in combat zones where Panzers were not).

In addition, Dragons are notoriously lazy, prideful, and stubborn, even to their own. A dragon army will have constant problems. "The Dragon King is clearly sending me to do this because he wants my treasure. Well, it's not my war... heck... if I can have the Dragon King's treasure, I'll help the food kill him. #NotMyDragonKing". Dragon land politics is probably filled with all sorts of back stabbing and bickering and infighting that would make Congress look like an institution of agreeable people.

In addition, all four races are significantly smaller and more mobile than a Dragon. It's easier to hide a group of Wood-Elves in the forest where they would be somewhat sheltered from a Dragon. Or in Caves. Having Merfolk could also open up avenues in that they would have advantages to dragons underwater (provided dragons were efective in such an environment at all) and could even find ways in a fantasy setting of setting up shelters and refuges for war wounded could return to the battle sooner. The avians would oviously be much more manuverable in the skies and could possible do scouting, while the desert elves... um... help me here, are they elves that live in the desert instead of the forest or... hmm... perhaps they are engineers or good at making really sturdy shelters or tunneling... yeah, develop those... Dragons may live in caves, but a fight in those limits their mobility, especially in fight or flight situations (A good success of the Vietcong against the United States was avoiding the bigger ticket problems (the helicopters and the air planes and the tanks) an hitting the troops when they had them at a disadvantage.... What? Not all my examples are U.S. centric... okay, fine... The Continental Army beat the British Army at the height of the Sun Never Setting by having better lay of the land, better command of available resources, and a more readily resupply of manpower. If you've ever looked at how Americans fight, they don't like to be fair. Also, this is why a lot of Pro-Second Amendment advocates do see an armed uprising against the best military in the world as perfectly feasible... there wouldn't have been a United States if it wasn't possible. waves my little American flag and plays the Star Spangle Banner Oh, incidentally, the national anthem is about the second time they did it.).

Anywho, its entirely possible to war with dragons to the extinction of them. It will probably be costly and hard fought, but most wars are when your aim isn't to fight fair but fight smart and above all, fight dirty.

  • $\begingroup$ '...all sorts of back stabbing and bickering and infighting that would make Congress look like an institution of agreeable people.' Maybe not, with Donald Trump as President. $\endgroup$ – 1089 Jul 30 '17 at 7:01
  • $\begingroup$ @1089: Surely you are not so naive as to believe that Congress was functional prior to Jan 20, 2017?! $\endgroup$ – hszmv Jul 31 '17 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ I meant more functional, not functional. $\endgroup$ – 1089 Dec 6 '17 at 5:45

Depends, does it need to happen over the course of a few years, a few decades, or a few centuries? The way many fantasy worlds with extinct dragon populations handle it is by having the hominoids reproduce quickly and the dragons reproduce very slowly. This means that if it is at all possible for the hominoids to kill even one dragon, that eventually they will be able to out compete the dragons for space and resources. If you want it to happen very quickly, I would guess the best bet would be some sort of magical biological weapon that weakens the dragons, or some such.


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