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Comments: 8
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4
Condition: Normal
ID: 3498


January 25, 2009, 4:24 pm

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Cheka Man

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The Shadow of Iron Hills


Tales are leaking from below the Iron Hills, that an unnamed winged terror can be seen on the sky on the darkest of nights. What creature it is, nobody knows, but some of the disappearances in the harsh place are said to be its work. If the moon is hidden, nightly travellers are warned to stay from roads and open places.

The Academy of Necromantic Magics (see the Valley of Undead post) had, in its short history, always attracted men eager to prove themselves and their art. When the news reached them, that bones of a massive creature have been found, all raced to the location to have a try.

What was in the unnamed pit under the mountains, has surpassed their wildest expectations: the remains of a dragon, far more than any of them could take command of. Once they joined their power, the body has started to move… but something of his inhabitant’s presence stayed behind, hating any attempt of being controlled. The skelet lashed out at its new masters, and quickly fell apart as they withdrew their magical support. Most were not wounded at all.

Full Item Description
This has been a young dragon. If the skelet was inspected with care, a violent death can be deduced from the scratches and broken bones, something brutal and larger the cause - like another dragon.

The bones connected with wires, iron plates where they have been broken, black cloth covering most of the form, the ‘dragon’ is usually dormant. The bones have been alchemically treated to prevent dessication.

When in use, several forms would be seen on its back, bound in place to not fall. The flight, directed by humans, is far from the majestic gliding of its kind, the frequent flapping of wings and unstable hold make it an uncomfortable ride. The speed, though, is amazingly high.

Magical/Cursed Properties
Since there was no permanent way to silence the random, mindless urges of the remains, it is kept inert most of the time, not more magical than common dragon bones. It requires two adept Necromancers (or one master) to fly - one to animate it, the other to keep it under control.

As long as it can avoid sunlight, it is the fastest form of travel mortals are able to achieve now. Sadly, it is too fragile for any real combat, it would not survive contact with a real dragon for but a second. To humans it can be dangerous, but even there it shows how far it is from a living specimen; the largest potential on battlefield would be the pure shock of seeing one.

After frequent enchanting, the bones accept the animation spell easily, control is hard as it always was.

Current status
For now, it stays a well-kept secret of the Academy. It is sometimes used for special missions, carrying spies or sensitive goods, able to transport several men with supplies in a radius of a few hundred miles from its base (a well hidden cave deep in the hills).

The Academy does not use it too often, fearing that other powers may learn of its existence, or, a living dragon - both cases resulting in its destruction.

Plot Hooks
- IT was seen again! This time, by somebody more trustworthy than a drunken peasant. A veritable dragon-killing fever has spread among the adventurous and stupid, with several groups combing the wilderness and watching the nightly skies in search of the UFO… errr, dragon. The PC’s may join the hunt, or be quietly hired by intermediaries to stop the whole uproar.

- Bad Dreams - a fitting PC has started to have dreams with a powerful, alien presence. Obviously, it is the spirit of the dragon, that cannot pass away completely because of the link this world. It asks for help, as it can contact only a certain personality type. It will draw the contact to its remains, so they can be destroyed, or a banishing ritual performed to sever the link. This can be an opportunity to gain a rare spirit guide (and the enmity of a powerful organization).

- Bad Dreams come true - caused by the ritual above, or another experiment of the Academy, the dragon’s mind has fully returned to its body, and it is very angry. While not as mighty as a living dragon, the creature needs to be killed as soon as possible.

- The secret is out, and now it’s necessary to destroy the thing, steal, or move it elsewhere, depending on which side pays the most.

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Comments ( 8 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
December 26, 2006, 18:07
Yay-a skeliton dragon.
Voted Scrasamax
December 26, 2006, 19:38
A glorified dragon-kite, very interesting but lacking the usual level of polish.
Voted Chaosmark
December 26, 2006, 21:22
Amazingly, I'm thinking this one, though short, is almost complete. The only things I can think of to add might be a plot hook or something. Otherwise, I like it. Good work Manfred.
Voted EchoMirage
December 27, 2006, 2:57
I like the catch - no permanent enchantment, and the constant struggle for control. It lacks a WOW moment though, something to really set it apart.
December 27, 2006, 4:33
It is an old piece, I admit. Had never reason to expand it - but as always am open to your suggestions. :)

Added a few plot hooks for your convenience.
Voted Murometz
December 27, 2006, 9:33
Quite a flavorful piece, imo. Subtely evocative.
Voted MoonHunter
December 27, 2006, 14:26
An interesting bit of necromancy that I had not thought of. ossified marionettes with powers... excellent.
Voted valadaar
April 22, 2013, 10:19
I think is really cool - it may not be fleshed out (heh) but it paints the idea clear. It could be a mystery at first for PC's and perhaps later once they perhaps work for the group that has it, ends up being used by them.

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Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Castoria, Land of Shattered Stars

       By: Veretrix

Castoria was once a thriving and prosperous nation, a rich trade center for the surrounding lands. This all changed when, on one fateful night nearly a century ago, the Mist of Eternity rolled in and surrounded the land, obscuring more of the outside world as days and nights passed.

By the time the Mist blocked out the sun, a new light shone during what was assumed to be daytime: The Starpoint Spire, a mysterious place atop Castoria's highest peak in the northern-central region. Some say that there is some sort of building atop the mountain shining the dim "sunlight" onto the land, but it is only ever too bright or too dark to fully make out any structure, not to mention the mountain's immense height.

Not a month after the Spire's light lit up, the stars fell. Flaming rocks and debris from far-flung edges of space plummeted downward onto the eastern region of Castoria. Once the shower subsided, a strange energy from within the fallen stars transformed the eastern lands in what are now known as The Voidwastes, a barren gray land littered with craters and strange alien creatures (these can vary, but I had Pathfinder's Akatas in mind).

To the south, strange mechanism of eldritch origin are again at work after aeons of rest in the Ruins of Kchuthngnl, an ancient city of non-human creation that is estimated by scholars to be no less that five millennia old.

To the west, the once peaceful and serene forest, now known as The Plagued Woods, has been experiencing corruptions of the wildlife and humanoids living there. Some humans have reported creatures that appear not unlike a halfling, except that they can open their mouths to massive proportions to swallow creatures the size of an ogre.

When adventurers and citizens alike try to make an escape from Castoria, they are never seen again, and it is utterly unknown whether they found hopeful sanctuary or agonizing death withing the Mist's depths.

What is unknown to all residents of Castoria is that all of these events occurred because of the actions of a secret but powerful cult loyal to the Elder Gods who call the space between the planes their abhorrent home. The cult still lives on, larger than ever, and their plan is for the alien horrors to incubate and thrive within the dome of mist that now envelops Castoria, so that when the Elder Gods return as the cult's prophecy foretells, they will have an army of blasphemous creation at their disposal that they will use to make war with and enslave the denizens of the Material Plane.

Ideas  ( Locations ) | August 4, 2015 | View | UpVote 4xp

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