Prior to receiving the quest "Dragon Rising," it is possible to learn words of power at each lair without fighting a dragon. Instead, each lair is defended by another leveled enemy, such as a Wispmother.
In addition to a dragon, the lair Shearpoint is also guarded by the Dragon Priest, Krosis, although if discovered before completing Dragon Rising, only the Priest will have to be fought.
Each lair typically resets after 10 in-game days, though this usually only applies to each location's loot chest. Respawning the respective dragons is generally thought to take 30 in-game days.
Another scripted appearance of a dragon exists outside the unmarked exit/entrance to Bleak Falls Barrow. The dragon sits atop a stone outcropping, and the area beneath it features mammoth bones and several ore veins. It is not flagged as a true dragon lair however, thus no radiant quests occur there.
PC 360 PS3 If a dragon is killed and later respawns, it may not be possible to absorb the soul of the respawned dragon. Reloading a save works on some of the lairs, but not all.
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