Why do dragons hoard wealth and guard it so jealously? Because for dragons, much like for kings, money is power.
With kings, such a phrase lies more in the metaphor of capitalism, but for dragons it is taken much more literally - the greater the amount of gold and jewels and other treasures a dragon can amass and claim as their own, the more magically potent and physically larger they become, and likewise the less riches they possess, the smaller and weaker they become. Thus can their kind span from colossal ancient beasts dwelling in caverns lined with gold and gems down to tiny bat-sized wyrmlings clinging to their first silver coin... -- Anon Guest
They say money is power, and it's a good thing that most dragons don't get to hoard enormous amounts of gold. Most remain small, and hoard a single coin of negligible value. Their young are indistinguishable from geckoes, and the only way to truly tell is leave a coin in their line of sight.
Some infest bankers and trade-halls, where the people test money by seeing if the nearest dragon will try to snatch it. In towns that prosperous, it is bad luck to take off jewelry. Some dragons curl jealously around their first coin, and come along when it is spent. And rarely, very rarely, a dragon will find something more... valuable than a single coin.
Value is not the same as wealth.
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