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This is where the dragons went.
Not dead, not asleep. Not waiting, because waiting implies expectation. Possibly the word we're looking for here is...
And although the space they occupy isn't like normal space, nevertheless they are packed in tightly. Not a cubic inch there but is filled by a claw, a talon, a scale, the tip of a tail, so the effect is like one of those trick drawings and your eyeballs eventually realize that the space between each dragon is, in fact, another dragon.
They could put you in mind of a can of sardines, if you thought sardines were huge and scaly and proud and arrogant.
And presumably, somewhere, there's the key.