Aquatic menaces that haunt the depths of the ocean, gandarevas are powerful dragons who lust not just for treasure but the sort of riches that would make kings envious.
Huge creatures, gandarevas resemble vast stony serpents over thirty foot in length that have sprouted great wings and two sets of clawed legs. A gandareva's skin looks like the mottled pebbles of the sea floor, allowing it to blend in with its habitat surprisingly well for a creature of its size. A gandareva's arms are strong and muscular and end in huge scything claw capable of ripping a ship to shreds. Its large wings aid it in swimming and also allow it to fly. Gandarevas have been spotted skimming the waves with surprising agility, though when they attack, they tend to come from below.1
Habitat and ecology
Gandarevas dwell in the ocean depths, normally within easy reach of rich and busy shipping lanes. Gandarevas are a blight on whatever area they inhabit: they devastate the local ecology eating all they can, devastating fish stocks with disastrous effects for those whose livelihoods depend on the sea. They are just as large a menace to those who dwell above the ocean, sinking any ship with treasure that grabs their attention, and demanding huge tolls from any other ship that passes by. Gandarevas are incredibly territorial once they have established a lair, and thus are very hard to get rid of. Entire fleets have been sent to dislodge a gandareva, which typically turn such ships into driftwood. Gandarevas seem to prefer temperate and tropical waters, being most common in the warm water surrounding Garund.2
Gandarevas are part of a group of dragons known as azi. These dragons combine the worst elements of draconic greed and biology with the destructive nature of the fiends known as divs.3 Their ancient origin grants gandarevas unique abilities, as well as a breath weapon as is common of all true dragons. (Gandarevas spew noxious, highly acidic slime.)
They also carry a unique and powerful curse that makes the creature it targets grow heavier, causing it to sink if it is in water, which lead to many horrific deaths by drowning.1 They can live above the surface, though doing so dries out their scales and causes some discomfort. The only reason that draws them out for long is if they believe they have been stolen from, inciting their terrible wrath.2
While they have little society of their own—Azi are notoriously arrogant beings who view all dragons as subjects and all other mortals as toys—gandarevas are oddly influenced by their surrounding societies as they desire to posses only the most extraordinary treasure that would be the envy of kings. Only truly great treasures, such as the weapons of legendary heroes, world-famous artworks, or ships loaded with newly discovered treasure, can satisfy such greed. While most dragons are notoriously covetous, gandarevas revel in not just the wealth but in being envied, especially by the rich and the powerful.2