A more efficient and more remorseless killing machine than a dragon does not exist in all of nature. So precisely honed are their killing techniques and instincts that millions of years have wrought no evolutionary improvements. They are as they were at the dawn of creation -- as patient, as watchful, as swift, and just as incapable of pity. By comparison, even the great white shark is second-class. The dragon is infinitely more efficient because it thinks about killing and uses practiced stealth to catch its victims. And it can do this on land, water, or in the air. A dragon can sprint fast enough to grab an adventurer before the victim gets up speed enough to escape. Hitting a dragon anywhere except the brain is pretty much a wasted effort. Unless you can blow one apart with a howitzer, the dragon's reaction to a body shot will be almost no reaction at all. (I paraphrased this paragraph from an article on crocodiles found here:)
I remember hearing the story of Jim Carmichel killing a sixteen-foot crocodile. He shot the crocodile in the head. While dragging the body of the croc from one riverbank to the other, the croc woke up. The first shot hit the croc's brain. But, the croc is too stupid to know it is dead. He emptied two more rounds into the croc's head. They got the croc to the riverbank and skinned it. An hour later they came back to find the dead, skinned croc untouched by any scavenger and with a dead buzzard in its mouth. Even without a brain, the nervous system of the croc sensed the buzzard and killed it, without thinking. A dragon is much more dangerous than a croc. A dragon will keep on fighting even after it is dead.
Personally, I cannot remember killing a dragon (except in Skyrim). I tend to play low-level fighters. They often die before they kill anything significant. I do remember playing Tunnels and Trolls with Rocky Russo. I found a wand that would "kill any monster". We fought something big and nasty. I was nearly dead. I pulled out the wand and killed it. Until I wrote this, I did not realize that Rocky passed away in 2012.
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