I just think they are really awesome.
The Bible was known to mention dragons. In fact the old testament mentions the word dragon 21 times, take note of the mentioning specifically in the book of Job.
Take note that Job is the oldest book in the Bible:
Job 40:19 And of the leviathan, the greatest of the ocean animals, God said that even the leviathan could not "stand before me" Job 41:34,10
(The leviathan, also called a dragon, was noted as one of the greatest beasts, along with the behemoth, in the Old testement.)
Job was more than likely mentioning of the Dinosaurs that were living in his time.
Or, more specifically Job was probably mentioning a Whale (Hebrews translates this is "tanniynim" literally translated as Dragon, but this cant be as Job 41:1-34 mentions the Leviathan as a firebreather, (which is not surprising, as there is a beetle today which has an explosive-causing mechanism.)
The flame-breathing aspect of the above was probably a plesiosaur.
In the traditional sense, dragons were large reptilian creatures first thought of in the medieval time. (medieval in the eastern and western sense.) In western realsm, the dragon was a greedy, tyranical brute who ate damsels, demolished villages, and kept a huge treasure hoarde. Mostly portrayed as a generally lizard-like creature with many crests and horns, terribley sharp claws, large teeth, sometimes quills or fur, and almost always wings. (Different variants occured, such as the wingless two-legged Linwurm, and the scorpion-tailed wyvern.)They might've also had a lion's or dog's head.
In the eastern realms, dragons were beneficial and wise. They did of course keep their treasure hoardes, a dragon is nothing without his shinies. (They're very good eating.)They were snakelike, colourful, posessed deer-antlers, usually had a mane of fur or a crest of the stuff running down their back. They were awfully powerful beings, usually close to the gods, and lived in mountains, and sometimes in the ocean. I don't kinow much more...I'm pretty sure they could breathe scalding water instead of fire.
Nowadays, dragons are an icon. Anime' abuses them, fantasy novels use them, and D&D keeps them sacred. In DD, there are two main types of dragons, called true dragons(western variety).
Here's a list...
Metallic (Good) Dragons
Gold: Looks much like a cross between a western and eastern dragon, breathes
fire, very wise. (Wings look like large fins.)
Silver: Traditional western dragon, with tall fin. Breathes frost, serene and graceful. (My favourite.)
Brass: Again a traditional western dragon. has connecting its limbs to its body, aquatic. Breathes lightning, fascinated with war. (Still good, though.)
Brass: Traditional western, has the fin-like wings of the goldy. Breathes fire, LOVES to talk.
Copper: Traditional western, fin-like wings. Spits acid. Incorrigable prankster.
Chromatic (EVIL!) dragons. (note all of them are traditionaly western.)
Red: Lives to destroy, incredibley greedy (even for a dragon.) Breathes fire (obviously).
Blue: Vain, proud, would do anything to save its hide. Breathes lightning.
Green: Manipulator, honey-tongued, curious of other creatures. Very interesting breath weapon, it spits a cloud of corrosive vapour. (My favourite chromey.)
Black: Horrible temper, territorial, cruel. Spits acid.
White: Very STUPID. Breathes frost. (More of an animal than a higher being.)
Note that these dragons are intelligent (except thew white), and cast magic, speak, manipulate, conquer, what have you. Most of the above stuff is from DD..
"Shinrao will help us, he'll know what to do."
"SILVER DRAGON! PRETTY!"
"GREEN DRAGON! PRETTY!"
You have to slay a couple of dragons before you find your princess!
Matt: "Joe, you slay that dragon yet?"
Joe: "No dude, she wants to be my girlfriend!"
Hey, you want to go dragon slaying tonight?
No, I already slew one today and then threw her out!
People often like to roleplay these creatures online.