3.5 Elder Dragons

ElectricDragon

Explorer
Veil of Shadows
The spirits of the night were first recorded soon after Kanelon Starsword, a powerful soulless knight, sometimes known as the Keeper, started his studies into the creation of the Veil of Shadows. He finished the arcane construct and began to implement its powers across his empire, calling and commanding many incorporeal undead to fuel his armies. Spectre cadres and wraith squads protected his flanks, and companies of shadows roamed behind the lines as his secret police. He relied on ghouls, ghasts, and wights for his main force. He had a royal guard of ghosts, a dozen maleficent beings, while spirits of the night worked as guards, spies, and scouts. Sages call this time the Age of Shadows because of all the shadowy creatures that made their first recorded appearances then. Erevann, a well-known bard insists that the artifact created by Starsword was either directly or indirectly to blame for the appearance of all these shadowy creatures.
The Veil of Shadows appears as spun black silk, exceptionally thin and durable. When worn, the veil can easily be seen through by the wearer, though the wearer appears as a malformed person to others while wearing the veil. The veil must be worn to activate any of the major powers, minor powers, or the minor malevolent effect (Charisma penalty); but ownership is enough to activate the major malevolent effect. The veil takes up no body slot and can be worn over armor and other worn magic items. The veil covers the face and head of the wearer, hanging down to the chest.

History:
The veil is said to allow its wearer to see through shadows and move as one, as well as giving its wearer the ability to command all shadowy creatures with only a thought. This artifact is believed to have been built by the soulless knight, Kanelon Starsword, eons ago when he ruled the known world, as a means of expanding his influence over undead (particularly incorporeal undead). Unbeknownst to the feared soulless knight, his creation was flawed from the start for the final act of creating the veil was to meld the soulless knight’s greatsword soul weapon into the veil as instructed by Nethrancor. Supposedly, the veil would then become the repository of his essence and allow him to return at full hit points even if his soul armor were destroyed. The duped soulless knight ensured that he was the first victim of the veil. Ancient tales say he was destroyed eons ago but there is no mention of what happened to the veil.

Powers:
Command Undead (Major Power):
The wearer of the veil can command incorporeal undead as a 20th level evil cleric up to six times per day. For purposes of this ability, the wearer’s Charisma modifier gains a +10 enhancement bonus for turning checks and turning damage rolls. Even incorporeal undead creatures normally immune to commanding are affected by this ability.
Creatures that would normally be rebuked instead of commanded are instead commanded.

Corporeal undead are immune to commanding or rebuking from this artifact. Command lasts until the next sunrise hits the veil. There is no limit to the number of Hit Dice of incorporeal undead that can be commanded by the veil. Commanding undead is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The veil must be owned to activate this ability.

Shadow Form (Major Power): The wearer of the veil can use shadow form upon himself as often as desired. Shadow form is the ability to assume the shape of a living shadow for up to 40 minutes per use and gain all the properties of the gaseous form spell. This ability is activated as if by a 20th level caster and is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The veil must be worn to activate this ability.

Ghost Touch (Minor Power):
The veil is empowered with the ghost touch ability so that incorporeal and corporeal creatures alike can use it and have no trouble touching or being touched by incorporeal creatures. The veil must be worn to use this ability; it is constant as long as the veil is worn.

See Incorporeal (Minor Power):
The wearer sees all incorporeal creatures outlined in a blue light that makes them easy to spot (+10 to Spot checks to notice incorporeal creatures). This allows pinpointing such creatures as a free action. The veil must be worn to use this ability; it is constant as long as the veil is worn.

See Through Shadows (Minor Power): The wearer can see through shadows as if they didn’t exist. This is neither low-light vision nor darkvision, just a piercing of the shadows as if they did not exist for whatever vision type the wearer possesses. This essentially extends low-light vision and normal vision to virtually unlimited distances. Spot modifiers for distance do not apply. Vision is limited only by physical obstructions (though smoke, mist, and fog still have their usual effects). Darkvision cannot be used with the veil, as darkness does not exist for the wearer. This also gives total immunity to all spells with the [Darkness] descriptor and makes the wearer unable to use shadows for hiding (he can’t see them). The veil must be worn to activate this ability; it is constant as long as the veil is worn.

Curses:
Minor Malevolent Effect:
The wearer’s Charisma is reduced by 6 for all purposes other than those named herein. This is a temporary adjustment; when the veil is removed, the wearer’s Charisma score returns to normal. This is a profane penalty. The veil must be worn to suffer this penalty.

Major Malevolent Effect: Ownership of the veil means that the wearer will eventually become a soulless knight (if of high enough level [13+]) or a spirit of the night otherwise. Creatures changed into soulless knights have no soul weapon and no soul armor. Their essence is tied to the veil itself. Unlike normal soulless knights, if they are destroyed; they cannot reform, because they have no soul weapon in which their essence is stored, and the veil devours their essence to power its abilities. Spirits of the night created by the veil are also devoured upon their expiration.

The process of becoming a soulless knight or spirit of the night from owning the veil happens slowly: only after the owner has used any of the major powers a total of nine times. The veil need not be worn (or even carried) during this time to activate this malevolent effect; ownership is enough to activate this curse. This effect will happen after the owner has activated a major power nine times, no matter how many different major powers are activated and no matter how many planes separate the veil and its owner. Undead creatures who use the veil are unaffected by this curse so the veil is usually found in the possession of and worn by some type of undead (usually a spirit of the night or a soulless knight). The number of planes that separate a destroyed soulless knight created by the veil or a destroyed spirit of the night created by the veil and the Veil of Shadows does not matter: the undead’s essence is tied to the artifact. A wish or miracle can be used to reset the major power usage number, but only before the ninth usage. Deities of at least Lesser status can also reset this number. Intermediate and Greater Deities can remove ownership of the veil as long as the veil is then abandoned.

Veil of Shadows
Type:
Small Object
Wt.: 1 lb.
Hardness: 3
Hit Points: 20
Saves: Fort +20, Ref +20, Will +20
Damage, even enough to destroy the veil, is repaired overnight. Physically (temporarily) destroying the veil does not change ownership.

Object:
The veil is immune to acid, cold, lightning, and sonic energy. It takes half damage from fire. It is not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability drain, energy drain, fatigue, and exhaustion effects. It has immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, and death effects. It is immune to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects). It repairs all physical damage overnight.

Suggested Means of Destruction:
The Veil of Shadows can only be destroyed in one specific way. Unfortunately, Kanelon Starsword, knowing this, began a campaign of misinformation by forging ancient texts and changing their wording in this respect. Because of this, many ways are said to be able to destroy the veil; chief among them is the following method:
  • The veil must be bathed in the pure light of creation for a year and a day. This will release all the captured essences and allow them to achieve their final reward, while the veil itself disintegrates into nothingness.

    Some of the other commonly mentioned methods of destroying the Veil of Shadows are:
  • Transport it to the positive material plane and let it burn up.
  • Drop it in the sun.
  • Place it in the undying light of the sun god.
  • Research and name each creature that has ever been devoured by the veil; and using powerful magics, resurrect them all in sunlight.
  • Build a temple dedicated to light and use the veil as a canopy over a special divine ceremony to be conducted on the first summer solstice in that temple.
Only trial and error will discover which method (if it is truly any of these) actually destroys the veil.
 
Last edited:

ElectricDragon

Explorer
Divine Interference
Desinora has often had scrapes with Nethrancor in the past. Over a millennia ago, she caused one of his artifacts to be lost in the realm of Arkonseptsis. This was in part, retaliation for Nethrancor’s obstruction in her personal war with Farrag; and mainly because she felt that Nethrancor was treading on her portfolio of revenge, retribution, and vengeance through his soulless knights.

Desinora thought she could bully Farrag into becoming her vassal; something easy for her. She flooded his body with madmen and lunatics gathered into several cults set to wipe out Farrag’s small priesthoods. It was working too, until Farrag appealed to Nethrancor for succor. Nethrancor, seeing a chance to gain Farrag as his own vassal, agreed and brought his own cults to the battle along with Hollow Night rituals that eventually created five different Infernal Cesspools on Farrag’s body. His cults had orders to only use Desinora’s madmen as sacrifices to keep the ritual going.

Today, only three Infernal Cesspools remain with constant holidays; each tended by a powerful undead that owes Nethrancor a service. The other two Infernal Cesspools are abandoned and have no one tending ritual. The Hollow Night holiday in these areas no longer happens there. The proscription against using creatures that do not follow Desinora's teachings has been rescinded and now any creature can be used for sacrifice. One Infernal Cesspool needs only ten years in order to develop a permanent gate, which will give Nethrancor more influence over Farrag’s body. Once all three Infernal Cesspools have developed a permanent gate, Farrag will become Nethrancor’s vassal. Desinora’s lunatics are now mostly gone, except for the occasional mad hermit living in exile far from civilization. These hermits are unpredictable and very dangerous.

Nethrancor has also sent representatives to The Eye to start a Hollow Night ritual there. It is located deep in the Swartzen Fen and its ritual masters have to import sacrifices (except for animals) from the mainland using various flying magics, because teleportation magic does not work anywhere close to the cloud island. The holiday is still relatively new and the ongoing ritual has not formed an Infernal Cesspool yet. Nethrancor assigns undead that owe him a service to tend the area, protect it from Moretta’s and Blitzhavoc’s servants, and conduct the monthly rituals. Around six hundred years of rituals remain before an Infernal Cesspool forms which will increase Nethrancor’s influence over The Eye and its two masters.

Nethrancor has also infiltrated several of Zephillious’ goblin strongholds, corrupting the shaman leaders with a free copy of the Hollow Night ritual, “accidently” found. The resulting rituals have only been going on for seven to thirteen years, ingrained into the tribes now, but far from becoming Infernal Cesspools. Such goblin tribes are more likely to save captured creatures to sacrifice for this monthly festival.

Nethrancor continued his infiltration by making available the mummy ritual, also “accidently” found. One shaman has begun making mummies from captured creatures as tribal guardians.
 
Last edited:

ElectricDragon

Explorer
Adventure Hooks

A merchant claims to have seen a band of skeletons dancing in the full moonlight on an adjacent hill. Luckily, they headed out away from his camp; but a band of adventurers need to deal with them. (A high level wizard cast dance of the dead, and the effect is still traveling around the area.)

Your party is awakened in the middle of the night with a feeling of cold and dread. An hour later, the feeling passes. A successful Knowledge (religion) check DC 15, allows the party to know they are within range of an Infernal Cesspool. A check of 20 or higher allows them to determine they are right on top of it. Dark centaurs attack.

Leaving the city, your party runs into a strange, dangerous, and powerful shadow. The spirit of the night is just the tip of the iceberg though as it signals that the artifact, Veil of Shadows, is close by guarded by a soulless knight (no soul weapon, no soul armor) bound to the veil.

A small town has hired your adventuring party to determine what is happening to their children. Many have gone missing in the last few weeks. A vampiric priest of Nethrancor is performing the Hollow Night ritual (he has gotten to the second sacrifice, still an animal, but since he has no pets, he intends to use the children for the next six sacrifices (he has captured and confined in a cage, six children from the town).

A necromancer has taken up residence on the outskirts of town. His tower is guarded by a wolf skeleton that the locals have claimed can cast spells. They urge the party to check out the evil magician and shut down his dark plans. [A necromancer, his bone mage wolf skeleton guard, and 3 shadow spies].
 

ElectricDragon

Explorer
The shadowy assassin, Jade Bonds, has returned after a 50 year stay imprisoned in the shadows, she intends to retrieve every piece of her former treasure. Long before she became a shadowy assassin, Puck hired a mage to invisibly mark each piece of her treasure with a personal rune so that she could magically track each piece. The first valued item she always retrieved was a wand of locate objects; then Jade uses it to begin hunting for the rest of her treasures. Unknown to the party, the frontline fighter's main weapon previously belonged to Jade Bonds and is invisibly marked with her rune. She is accompanied by a cadre of shadesteel shadows that appear as noblemen that she once courted just to determine their items worth stealing. She allows the shadows to begin the attack while she hides in the shadows to use her death attack with her poisoned blade.

The dreaded Black Knight has set up at the crossroads, accosting and killing all travelers. He is accompanied by his skeleton butler, five ritual zombies, and his fiendish warhorse. Often, he sends his company to attack while he guards the crossroads; only involving himself if his followers seem to be losing.
 

ElectricDragon

Explorer
PART THREE
Farrag
Cyclopean Stoic Stone


What follows is an excerp from the writings about the fabled Dragens Arcanus by Karthan the Historian.

The eighth tablet tells of a living mountain: Farrag, the Stone. Farrag is a fallen god, who lost much of his power in his epic battle with Desinora [or any chaotic evil deity of revenge] eons ago. Though most reports say he won the battle; he was stripped of most of his portfolio and divine abilities. Desinora [or a the chaotic evil revenge deity] was unable to acquire this immense influx of deific power for herself because of Nethrancor’s [or an undeath deity] interference, so a void of draconic earth god remained. After millennia of languishing as a quasi-deity, Farrag finally climbed back into the ranks of godhood. Though he has again become a demigod; he still does everything in his power to avoid the attention of his former foe. So far he has been succcessful. Either Farrag has no plans to regain his former glory, or he has plans that require multitudes of lifetimes.

Draconic history states that Farrag’s is the back upon which the world was built. All dragonkind avoid his territory in respect for his elder dragon status, his deific status, his immenseness as a dragon, or for some other untold reason.

An observer across time might say Farrag always sleeps; but this is not true. Farrag is all too aware of everything that goes on around him for miles. He sees most things as beneath him, and not worthy of a response. Only those foolish enough to bring something he considers important to his attention have ever seen him move, or worse yet, attack. He is a terrible engine of destruction when angered, causing earthquakes and landslides whenever he moves, destroying cities as though they were anthills. Though his movement is slow; it is always measured and precise.

Most dragons know where Farrag lies and give him a wide berth, allotting him enough space to call his own that any dragon would be proud to claim as its own. Dragons refuse to speak of Farrag, choosing to allow lesser beings (all non-dragons) believe that he is nothing more than a myth.

Farrag speaks all known languages. When he chooses to speak, his voice shakes the ground and shivers the very sky with its volume and timbre. Oftimes, a legendary earthquake, remembered from untold centuries ago, was actually a bit of conversation from “the Stone”.



In order to fully describe Farrag, it is first necessary to outline a new size category: Awesome.
AWESOME SIZE CATEGORY
Awesome is a new size category introduced in this treatise. It is larger than Colossal size and even the epic dragon size, Colossal+, and uses the following game rules: Awesome is not so much as a category as a conglomerate of everything bigger than any other game-described size categories. Objects in this category include cities, very large ships, and large castles.


Armor for Unusual Creatures
Humanoid
Nonhumanoid
Size
Cost
Weight
Cost
Weight
Tiny or smaller1
x1/2​
x1/10​
x1​
x1/10​
Small
x1​
x1/2​
x2​
x1/2​
Medium
x1​
x1​
x2​
x1​
Large
x2​
x2​
x4​
x2​
Huge
x4​
x5​
x8​
x5​
Gargantuan
x8​
x8​
x16​
x8​
Colossal
x16​
x12​
x32​
x12​
Awesome
x32 2​
x16 2​
x64 2​
x16 2​
1 Divide armor bonus by 2.
2 Or more.

Attack Bonus
SizeSize ModifierSizeSize Modifier
Awesome
-16 1​
Medium
+0​
Colossal
–8​
Small
+1​
Gargantuan
–4​
Tiny
+2​
Huge
–2​
Diminutive
+4​
Large
–1​
Fine
+8​
1 Or more as the situation warrants.
Description of Creature Size Categories

Awesome: –16 AC/attacks or more
Dimensions: 128 ft. or more
Weight: 2,500,000 lb. or more* (250 tons or more)
*Assumes that the creature is roughly as dense as a regular animal. A creature made of stone will weigh considerably more. A gaseous creature will weigh much less.
Farrag weights at least 25 million pounds (more than 2,500 tons).


Creature Size and Scale

Creature Size
Space1
Natural Reach1
Fine
1/2 ft.​
0​
Diminutive
1 ft.​
0​
Tiny
2-1/2 ft.​
0​
Small
4 ft.​
4 ft.​
Medium
5 ft.​
5 ft.​
Large (tall)
10 ft.​
10 ft.​
Large (long)
10 ft.​
5 ft.​
Huge (tall)
15 ft.​
15 ft.​
Huge (long)
15 ft.​
10 ft.​
Gargantuan (tall)
20 ft.​
20 ft.​
Gargantuan (long)
20 ft.​
15 ft.​
Colossal (tall)
30 ft.​
30 ft.​
Colossal (long)
30 ft.​
20 ft.​
Awesome (long)
50 ft. 2​
30 ft.​
Awesome (tall)
50 ft. 2​
50 ft.​
1 These values are typical for creatures of the indicated size. Some exceptions exist.
2. Depending on the specific creature and the adventure’s needs, space can be as large as the whole map area. Most awesome creatures and objects are bigger than the play area.




Creature Size and Vertical Reach

The maximum vertical reach (height the creature can reach without jumping) for an average creature of a given size is shown on the table below. (As a Medium creature, a typical human can reach 8 feet without jumping.) Quadrupedal creatures don’t have the same vertical reach as a bipedal creature; treat them as being one size category smaller.
Creature Size Vertical Reach
Awesome256 ft.
Colossal128 ft.
Gargantuan64 ft.
Huge32 ft.
Large16 ft.
Medium8 ft.
Small4 ft.
Tiny2 ft.
Diminutive1 ft.
Fine1/2 ft.




Carrying Capacity
Bigger and Smaller Creatures:
The figures on Table: Carrying Capacity is for Medium bipedal creatures. A larger bipedal creature can carry more weight depending on its size category, as follows: Large x2, Huge x4, Gargantuan x8, Colossal x16, Awesome: x32. A smaller creature can carry less weight depending on its size category, as follows: Small x3/4, Tiny x1/2, Diminutive x1/4, Fine x1/8.

Quadrupeds can carry heavier loads than characters can. Instead of the multipliers given above, multiply the value corresponding to the creature’s Strength score from Table: Carrying Capacity by the appropriate modifier, as follows: Fine x1/4, Diminutive x1/2, Tiny x3/4, Small x1, Medium x1-1/2, Large x3, Huge x6, Gargantuan x12, Colossal x24, Awesome x48.


Grapple
The special size modifier for a grapple check is as follows: Awesome +32, Colossal +16, Gargantuan +12, Huge +8, Large +4, Medium +0, Small –4, Tiny –8, Diminutive –12, Fine –16. Use this number in place of the normal size modifier you use when making an attack roll.


Hide
A creature larger or smaller than Medium takes a size bonus or penalty on Hide checks depending on its size category: Fine +16, Diminutive +12, Tiny +8, Small +4, Large –4, Huge –8, Gargantuan –12, Colossal –16, Awesome –32.


Moving through a Square
Creatures of any size smaller than Awesome can move into or through a square occupied by an Awesome sized creature.


Breaking Items
SizeAC Modifier
Awesome
–16​
Colossal
–8​
Gargantuan
–4​
Huge
–2​
Large
–1​
Medium
+0​
Small
+1​
Tiny
+2​
Diminutive
+4​
Fine
+8​




Improving Monsters: Changes to Statistics by Size

Old Size*New SizeStr
Dex
Con
Natural Armor
AC/
Attack
FineDiminutive
Same​
–2​
Same​
Same​
–4​
DiminutiveTiny
+2​
–2​
Same​
Same​
–2​
TinySmall
+4​
–2​
Same​
Same​
–1​
SmallMedium
+4​
–2​
+2​
Same​
–1​
MediumLarge
+8​
–2​
+4​
+2​
–1​
LargeHuge
+8​
–2​
+4​
+3​
–1​
HugeGargantuan
+8​
Same​
+4​
+4​
–2​
GargantuanColossal
+8​
Same​
+4​
+5​
–4​
ColossalAwesome
+8​
Same​
+4​
+6​
–8​
*Repeat the adjustment if the creature moves up more than one size.
Open Doors

Larger and smaller creatures get size bonuses and size penalties on Strength checks to break open doors as follows: Fine –16, Diminutive –12, Tiny –8, Small –4, Large +4, Huge +8, Gargantuan +12, Colossal +16, Awesome +32.


Epic Dragons
COMBAT

Epic dragons share all the combat characteristics of standard dragons. Even wyrmling epic dragons are Huge, however, and are capable of making tail sweep and crush attacks. The oldest epic dragons have a greater reach and deal more damage with their attacks than other Colossal dragons, as shown on the Epic Dragon Space and Reach and Epic Dragon Attacks tables below. In addition, the breath weapon of the oldest epic dragons is a larger cone than most Colossal dragons possess. The size modifier for these dragons remains –8.

Some few other dragons, called elder dragons, have achieved an even larger size category; most such creatures will be of deific power. The size modifier for these Awesome-size dragons increases to –16.


Epic Dragon Space and Reach
Size Space/Reach
Huge15 ft./10 ft.
Gargantuan20 ft./15 ft.
Colossal30 ft./20 ft.
Colossal+30 ft./20 ft.
Awesome50 ft./30 ft.
Epic Dragon Attacks

Size
1 Bite
2 Claws
2 Wings
1 Tail Slap
1 Crush
1 Tail Sweep
Huge
2d8​
2d6​
1d8​
2d6​
2d8​
2d4​
Gargantuan
4d6​
2d8​
2d6​
2d8​
4d6​
2d6​
Colossal
4d8​
4d6​
2d8​
4d6​
4d8​
2d8​
Colossal+
8d6​
4d8​
4d6​
4d8​
8d6​
4d6​
Awesome
8d8​
8d6​
4d8​
8d6​
8d8​
4d8​
Epic Dragon Breath Weapons

Size Cone* (Length)
Huge50 ft.
Gargantuan60 ft.
Colossal70 ft.
Colossal+80 ft.
Awesome100 ft.
* A cone is as high and wide as its length.
 
Last edited:

Advertisement

Top