War (A to Z Challenge, W)27 April, 2016
War is rare in the Sea of Stars but not unknown; the problem with being an expansionist power is that ultimately, everything is owned by a dragon so by declaring war and trying to seize a piece of land, you are also declaring it upon that land’s owner. Now some dragons are happy to let such conflicts play out on a purely mortal against mortal level, confining themselves to either high strategy or simply observers but a few dragons seek a more active role.
Some dragons expect their charges to be able to defend themselves without aid from their ruler, the weak should not be coddled after all. As one draconic saying has it “the weak are meat the strong eat.” These dragons are sure to make sure that the people in their lands understand that they are on their own if attacked and most who adhere to this philosophy promote militarism in the states they oversee. These states by their nature oft times look for chances to test their mettle and expand.
Other dragons relish the opportunity to test their strength against entire armies or the dragons that command them. When dragons appear on the battlefield they usually negotiate rules of engagement to ensure that they are unlikely to be killed. Being wounded is acceptable, even expected, but being slain bu mere mortals would set a bad precedent. Though even such rules do not prevent the occasional draconic death in battle as warfare is unpredictable (and few can resist the chance to slay a dragon when it is presented to them).
However, generally such conflicts between states and dragons are kept small scale, skirmishes and raids, maneuvers and feints, only very rarely escalating to full scale invasion, the difficulty of transporting an army from island to island may be part of that. But wars still happen on occasion and when they do, things can change very rapidly.
Notes: Dragons like conflict but wars, wars are uncontrollable once unleashed so the majority of dragons try to avoid them.