This archipelago is home to the realm's last true dragon: an ancient and terryfying creature long thought to be extinct. It is said that these giant lizards used to devour dozens of adventurers at once.
Boss: Firstborn (105 damage, 666 Health), Matron of Flame (75 damage, 954 health, Magical Attack, Retaliate: Fireball)
Defeating the Firstborn will unlock the path to the Lair.
The Lair is a narrow corridor that starts with two Dragon Guards (63 damage, 167 health, Magical Attack, Mana Burn, Curse Bearer, Physical Resist 50%) flanking a wall that vanishes if they're defeated, followed by two more Dragon Guards and two Dragon Elites (63 damage, 167 health, Poisonous, Curse Bearer, Magic Resist 50%) and finally the Matron of Flame.
The Matron drops Dragon Shield instead of a trophy, but The Firstborn drops a dragon scale as normal. Although the dragon scale is the only trophy in the dungeon, you may choose to sell it for 25g, but you can also leave with it and sell it to the taxidermist.
After the interminable curse-corrosion-weaken trifectas of most Vicious dungeons, this dungeon is a welcome change of pace. Instead of debuffs, the level is filled with many of the game's hardier enemies, against whom damage-spiking is difficult, and has relatively limited blackspace, which makes regen-fighting costly. Seek out high level Druids or Serpents for leveling up. You'll want to find some useful glyph besides BURNDAYRAZ before the end, since the Matron of Flame has high health and Retaliate: Fireball. PISORF can be used if you use it to push the last enemy in the gauntlet rather than kill it, but there are no walls in the final boss area.
The final gauntlet is the most notable part of the dungeon, featuring nasty enemies who inflict nasty debuffs. Anything that lets you bypass part of this gauntlet is a big advantage. Fortunately, there's many ways to do so with glyphs. That said, the Firstborn is much stronger than normal in this dungeon, and for many characters it'll be harder than the Matron even with the curse stacks.
The first two Dragon Guards can be skipped with a single use of a wall-breaking ability (either ENDISWAL or a transmutation scroll). You can then use WEYTWUT to leap over the other four enemies, using the blackspace between them to recharge your mana. Be careful though, as Dragon Elites have a 50% chance to resist the spell, forcing you to drink a mana potion to try again. This will also cut you off from resources in the rest of the level unless you use a large portion of the arena's blackspace to teleport them all a second time. Combining IMAWAL and ENDISWAL lets you "kill" each enemy for 11 mana (more if the Elites resist) and dodge all debuffs, without cutting you off from earlier resources. If you make it to level 10 and have WONAFYT, you can instead summon the Matron to you after destroying the wall or killing one guard. Finally, PISORF or any other source of knockback will let you skip the last enemy in the gauntlet, and also use it as an anvil for hitting the boss into.
Whatever you do, don't cast IMAWAL on the first two Dragon Guards (or any of the other enemies here) unless you possess ENDISWAL. The wall only vanishes if you kill them both, which you can't do if they're petrified, so this renders the level unwinnable.
Assassin - Play competently enough to reach level 10 in the main dungeon (A Balanced Dagger, the Goblin race or worship Dracul or Tikki Tooki may be useful); this will allow you to make short work of the Matron's escort and handle her as you would handle a slightly lighter-weight Super Meat Man.
Berserker - The berserker trivializes the first half of the dungeon with his magic resist. If you save enough popcorn, you can use that magic resist for the Matron as well.
Crusader - Resists such as the Dragon Shield's are nearly useless for other classes in the lair because of the curse bearers, but not for the Crusader! Keep some level 1 and 2 enemies alive to build momentum and truly show the dragons the meaning of pain.
Priest - If you already have the Naga Cauldron from the Naga City, you can see just how much HP a Halfling Priest can accumulate. A Trisword helps too. If possible, limit resource use with the Firstborn by using APHEELSIK.
Vampire - Druids, Dragon Spawns, Serpents and especially Forest Trolls all make excellent blood cows, so a properly played vampire (especially one with Platemail) should have enough healing resources to outfight anything. Don't forget you can use your cows to regen fight high level enemies. The Firstborn is the hardest part of the level for the vampire, so feel free to spend all the resources you need to beat it. If you reach level 10 the final gauntlet is a joke due to your doubled lifesteal and immunity to poison and mana burn. Even if you can't reach level 10 it isn't too bad since your blood cows can heal between enemies. The Matron is easy to regen-fight if you have high lifesteal and a couple remaining blood cows, since you can heal more than half the damage she deals even while cursed.
Binlor Ironshield guarantees glyphs that let you skip three enemies from the final gauntlet. He also grants magic resistance, which is effective against both bosses (if you can get rid of your curse stacks for the Matron) and many of the regular enemies. There are no walls where you fight the Matron of Flame, but you can push her into the last Dragon Elite.
The Earthmother is likely to be a poor choice for this level, since it is relatively easy to trap yourself with plants on any of the bridges. It can be done though.
Here be Dragons
Complete Dragon Isles with any 3 classes
Reward - Unlocks the playable Half-Dragon class