Dragons are creatures with nearly unlimited life spans. They can survive for long periods of time, and no one has found a dragon that has died of old age. Adolescence is usually marked by the growth of a hatchling’s wings, although not all breeds of dragons grow wings and some breeds have other traits that indicate the beginning of maturation. Once they hit adolescence, hatchlings change quickly, maturing to their full forms in only 2 years.
Dragons don’t communicate with each other verbally, but they will growl to scare off predators and frighten prey. Young dragons will emit an extremely high-pitched squeal when they are frightened. To communicate, they use telepathy with each other and to speak to other creatures.
When Water dragons mature, they lose the ability to survive on land, entering the water permanently. They are adept swimmers and eat whatever fish are in the lake they live in. They tend to inhabit the same lake for their entire lives, although a few live in the ocean and swim all over the world.
There's a lake at the bottom of the cliff, connected to a pond deep inside the Dragon Cave. The older dragons warn the hatchlings never to go near the pond or lake for a drink without one of them. For if an unsuspecting hatchling drinks here, it might find itself facing the mighty teeth of Fallsdancer, a vicious Water Dragon. He does not devour them, mind you. He prefers fish to wiry dragon flesh. But the fright teaches them never to violate his territory again. Only when an adult is near he does not dare to attack. They are too strong.
Maturing hatchlings often take part in a trial of courage, flying low over the lake and breaking the surface with a claw. The first to chicken out and flee upwards loses. The slowest to pull away gets to face the angry Fallsdancer.