Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dark Corners of Mystara: Dragon Kingdoms

Dragons are very much alive and active in Mystara, though not necessarily visible to the lesser mortal races. In an article by Bruce Heard on the Vaults of Pandius titled "Who's who among dragons", there's a list of the kingdoms, and some of the movers and shakers that caught my eye:
  • Almaruddya: The ruler is Marudi, a 14-HD blue dragon. His lair is located at the southernmost end of a rocky desert strip, near the centre of the Emirates of Ylaruam. Marudi's territory covers a 40- mile radius, including the oasis of Hedjazi, his main watering point. Marudi's invisible lair is a typical Alasyian palace with a large throne room, except that it is guarded by lesser djinn. Marudi is a mischievous creature who enjoys fooling others, especially his foes. He is a master at illusions. When he sees a worthy victim for his pranks, he may cause his palace to appear as a small oasis. Marudi is likely to assume the shape of a desert prince or a rich merchant. His pranks, as annoying as they may be, are most often inoffensive except to true enemies. Marudi tends to underestimate his foes to the point of being outright cocky. Aside from his jovial habits, Marudi is a rather peaceful creature. The youngest among the Known World's huge dragons, he is 98 years old and particularly skilful as a thief among humans and dragons.
  • Amburyr: The ruler is Ambur, a 17-HD red dragon. Amburyr covers the Altan Tepes Mountains within Rockhome and the Dwarfgate Mountains separating Darokin from Ethengar. Ambur's lair is located in the ruins of Jhyrrad, 50 miles northwest of the City of Stahl. It occupies a large, dwarven-made hall under the city. The city is crawling with his followers, especially hobgoblins. Ambur is a young, successful dragon, merely 152 years old. Impulsive and bloodthirsty, he seeks to destroy whatever stands in his way. He uses fear and raw power to rule. Ambur has been relying on a greater talisman of elemental travel to surprise his foe s. Ambur will save this item until he is ready to attain Immortality. Ambur became a direct rival of Amanth after he mated with her. He also is an ally of Jargnir (see later) against Druuwor, whose mountain territory he covets.
  • Argosyl: The ruler is Argos, a 14-HD green dragon. Argosyl occupies the Dymrak Forest in Karameikos, on both sides of the Rugalov River. Argos' lair lies 48 miles north of Rugalov Village, in a cave under a small hill on the east side of the river. The dragon must immerse himself completely in the Lake of Lost Dreams in order to reach the entrance. The forest is guarded by several tribes of wolf-riding goblins that have submitted to his rule. Argos is 148 years old. Very quiet, he always prefers stealth and trickery to violence. Argos' sphere of influence has spread steadily to the north, seeking to rally further humanoid tribes. Argos' worst enemy is Attura (see later), with whom he once attempted to mate. He was almost bound to her as a result but narrowly escaped. Argos fears Attura and has been seeking an alliance with Marudi in case of all-out aggression. Argos' flaw lies in his inability to make quick decisions. He hesitates and worries far too long for his own good. Other dragons taunt Argos by calling him Argos the Worrier.
  • Khanistan: The ruler is Khanistar, a 17-HD blue dragon. Her lair is located on the World Mountain, at the centre of the Land of the Black Sand in eastern Ethengar. Khanistan stretches 80 mikes from there in all directions. Khanistar's lair lies deep inside a tall mountain that is dotted with sinister towers. The towers, built by magic over the centuries, are covered with stone barbs and talons. Minor dragons and other lesser minions occupy these towers, remaining constantly on the watch. Khanistar is a long, coiling, serpent-like wurm, Oriental in style, with large globular eyes and light blue scales. She has no wings but is skilful enough a spell-caster to overcome that limitation. She spent most of her 180 years of life seeking magic. She built an impressive library of rare and ancient spells, including a few abominations dating from Nithia. Khanistar relies heavily on magic manipulation for reaching her goals. Khanistar is famous among dragons for using pocket dragons as spies or messengers. These are specially bred strains with blue scales, She mated once and so far has remained neutral with other dragons. Her weakness lies in her excessive attraction to magic. She may agree to suspicious deals just to acquire an old spell or lost artifact that she's been seeking for so long.

I'm tempted to find a home for the DCC module Vault of the Dragon Kings somewhere in Mystara. While it should be placed in some out of the way location, it might be fun to place it in some surprisingly central location, like the Altan Tepes mountains, amidst impassable ranges and unscalable mountains.

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That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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