Dragons are a newly developed weapon originally designed by the Illuminator Aludra. She initially creates them as a means of taking revenge on the Seanchan for destroying the Illuminator's Guild. Mat Cauthon proposes the weapon to Elayne Trakand in Caemlyn who agrees to lend every bellfounder in Andor in order to make them.
Despite being similiar in shape and idea, dragons are not parallels to real world cannons. They consist of a long cylinder used to launch a firework like projectile called 'dragon egg'. Unlike early cannons, which launch metal balls propelled by an explosion of powder, the dragon is, all in all, a launcher used to hurl fireworks at an enemy. The propulsion, which is part of the egg, is similiar to that of an early firework rocket, and on hit a large amount of powder explodes. The cylinder, on the other hand, is used to aim the firework and launch it safely
Dragons can fire up to one mile, and their effects are devastating. They are able to take out entire hillsides with a single blow. The result is compared to the destructive powers of damane, making the dragons very advantageous, as they do not require the One Power.