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ZEITGEIST how did Gradiax fake his death? (spoilers!)


It is official history of both Ber and Risur that all the dragons are dead. Windrova of Seobriga was the last to fall. Ber has whole ministries dedicated to cataloging dragon-activity, and making sure that all dragon elements are accounted for. It's a paramount point of pride and of national security.

However, we know that at least two dragons survived the purge. (And one egg survived to be hatched later.)

I can't find an official explanation for how Inatch and Gradiax got away, but I can deduce that the official story is that Inatch was killed by a king of Risur. In said final fight, Inatch surrendered, and made a deal. So that ties up that loose end. But Gradiax? What is the official story on how he died? He couldn't have merely "gone missing", else his lair would have been searched, and his egg would have been found. He's too big of a liability to just assume away.

My party has just wrapped up the Cantabrilla Challenge, and artillery shells are dropping on the Summer Palace, and Pardo seems to have summoned them or something .... so lots of questions :)

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I honestly hadn't thought about it.

I figure he was getting nervous seeing all these other dragons getting offed, and he was preparing his gnolls to fight to defend him, when an emissary of Risur showed up and said, "Hey, we can put you in witness protection until this whole 'slay every dragon' fad passes. You in?"

And he figured yeah, he was in a good spot - with his cult who could keep his lair safe and hopefully would still revere him when he returned. So he took the offer, and they just told everyone that the king of Risur killed him.

Widoreva didn't take the offer, and she got killed.

Andrew Moreton

With high level spellcasters you can make it look like a big fight and then have him plunge into a volcano or soemthing in his death throes so no one looks for the body, or 'disintigrate' him combined with invisibility , lots of ways to kill someone without leaving a body in D+D.
Also because of politics among the Dragon Tyrants he probably had multiple lairs and kept the valuable stuff like the egg in a different one to the one he let the dragon hunters find


So is the idea that Risur intended to protect and shelter Gradiax? I don't quite understand what Risur got out of that deal. With Inatch, there was a clear quid pro quo. And now Inatch is bound in servitude.

I guess I assumed Gradiax had gone a more independent route into exile / fake death. Gradiax seems to have free reign without limitations. That's .... a major liability in the form of a 27 HD dragon.
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Nope, Gradiax lent some money to the Risuri treasury, took a geas to not harm Risur for a century, and got protected.

King Boyle just didn't want to exterminate all the dragons. You could think of it as a sort of environmentalist protection of a rare species, or you could see it as something more like the US bringing in Nazi scientists after WW2 and protecting them from justice. Depends on how dark you want to go.

Andrew Moreton

Plus ending the violence in Ber is good for Risur, the good rep for helping to kill the dragons helps Risur/Ber relations and trying to kill Gradiaa outside of Risur and the monarchs special powers is chancy unless the king had a high level combat team . Aodhan could not have done it.
Then Gradiax has never actually plotted against Risur , so he may still be obliged or at least feel he owes a debt. Inatch could have chosen not to be so loyal it is not clear that this was a duty required of him but one he chose, and there may be other dragons .
IMC there where three others and they and Inatch have all agreed to stand by Risur in the war, with some bribes and are being fitted out with Steam battle suits to make them more dangerous to the enemies of Risur, the potential gratitude of Dragons is a worthwhile boon


Interesting that Boyle only got two reds to go along with the plan. Not even a lawful dragon!

To that end: are/were there metallic dragons in this setting? I only see reference to chromatics:
Red: Inacht, Gradiax, Terakalir, Furioso, Rilego, Doverspike
White: Cheshimox
Blue: Widoreva

I guess I find it hard to believe that Gradiax got to keep his independence, his cult, and his iron-rich island, none of which would have been secret. :confused: He's evil! Oh well, I guess Boyle was a softie. Maybe I'll add a bit about how Gradiax "flipped" and somehow worked with Boyle to take out some of the other tyrants, either by revealing their secrets, or more directly. And these various freedoms were his reward. (Inacht just surrendered like a coward, and otherwise never helped Boyle prior to his submission.) That gives Gradiax a bit more agency, provides some nice basis for his rivalry with Inacht, and helps keep him in his role as someone who wants to conquer a country.

Which is exactly what he's doing in my session tonight!

Andrew Moreton

The Skeleton in the throne room is of a Bronze dragon , which was clearly evil. I would suggest that alignment is not linked to colour in this world , and you could even justify making abilities independent of colour. There seem to have been no good dragons or if there were they did not live in Ber so dead, the secret masters behind the clergy, living off the campaign map or all twisted to evil by the changing of their planar connections to evil.
Doverspike is not from this world so should be left out of considerations.

I moved Inacht to be a blue because the players came up with a detailed explanation of how he must be a blue based on his psychology so I let them be correct. He also has had an alignment shift to LN so dragons can change and to me it suggests that he was originally probably LE. Gradiax to me seems to be more LE , but genius level intelligence makes CE behave more sensibly so the difference is less clear

There is also plenty of room to make up other dragons who went along with the plan or survived independently, I think there is a gold or silver living among the clergy , Lord Kulp would make an interesting secret dragon (he may have just become one in my campaign) and the dwarven bosses of Drakr have behaviour consistent with a more lawful evil dragon or even a NE Nihilist . There is plenty of room for hidde dragons and their schemes, Too late owing to stabbing but it may have been interesting to make Komanov a White it would have spiced up the battle scene as a suprise for the players