When sailors warn others of the terrible threats of the open sea, they seldom forget to mention dragon turtles—immense aquatic dragons with rocky shells similar to those of tortoises and flippers powerful enough to overturn hardy vessels. These fearsome creatures enjoy being considered as dangerous as storms or natural disasters by seafaring folk. Dragon turtles delight in amassing treasure, although most prefer to receive tribute from passing sailors and often store their hoards in the shipwrecks of vessels once crewed by those unwilling to surrender their valuables. Dragon turtles are solitary creatures and hunt in regions encompassing a hundred square miles or more. Although they normally eat large fish, they are omnivorous and also eat seaweed or even foolhardy dragon hunters. Experienced sailors keep a keen eye out for dragon turtles, preparing to flee should one approach or offer it treasure in exchange for safe passage.
Most dragon turtles are at least 20 feet wide and 50 feet long, although some can grow substantially larger. These massive, ancient dragon turtles are somnolent, and resemble rocky islands from a distance; their prodigious hoards can be a source of truly ancient sea lore. Legends persist of truly immense dragon turtles who spend centuries drifting on the surface of the ocean, far from established shipping lanes or charted waters, with shells that serve as islands capable of supporting entire ecosystems and even, some claim, small settlements whose inhabitants know nothing of land that doesn’t drift across the sea.