Dragons are an ancient species left over from the early history of Garin and the wars between the gods. When the species was new, they possessed vast intellect and wielded great magical power. The great dragons of old like Carnagath the Mighty were legendary figures that shine brightly in the history of the world.
But as years have passed, the species dwindled and lost their intelligence, becoming shadows of what they were. While still very smart, they no longer can claim sapience, and while still magical creatures, they no longer have sufficient control of that magic to wield great spells of unfathomable power.
Still, they remain truly awe-inspiring creatures, and form an important part of the struggle between nations in Tinere as the backbone of the most elite forces available. Any nation sheltering a dragon roost within its border guards the creatures jealously and ensures their safety to breed and multiply. Great herds of domesticated beasts are kept solely to provision the dragons and their offspring.
The dragons understand this, and in turn they submit to the leadership of that nation They allow themselves to be ridden into battle by the most powerful of warriors. There they become the dominant force on the field and even a single dragon can be enough to turn the entire tide of battle.
Even so, they are not invincible. Many of these magnificent creatures are lost to engines of war and spells cast by powerful battle mages. This means they remain rare, and as such are reserved for only the most important of engagements. Their power is carefully controlled to appear just at the right time to either ensure victory or stave off defeat as evidenced by General Argen’s intervention with his gold dragon Krillieth at the battle of Four-Way mill during the Branchana Kingdom’s defence of Folondera.