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My only question is, what does it actually look like, it was pretty unclear. I've seen the 5th edition stat block so I know, but I mean for people who aren't familiar with this creature.
Added the image and the link to the original post that generate the story of the False Hydra with all the informations

@Beefermatic @Upper_Krust question: a Quintessence Elemental leave some remains when slay (a water elemental become a puddle, an earth elemental break down in dirt and rocks, etc,)?

Coincidentally enough, back in my 4E days I was planning a quartet of Quintessence Elementals, with each being linked to one of the core elements. Lets see how good my memory is...

Divine Wind (yes Kamikaze)
Holy Mountain
...had to look up the last two:
Sacred Flame
Blessed Waters

I had penciled down Boreas, Asag, Mimir and Charybdis as touchstones, though not sure whether I would have used those even indirectly.

(Since I looked it up) Just noticed under the elementals I also had three listed Quintessence Archons: Soul-crusher, Soul-shard and Soul-stealer. Elements (no pun intended) of those are folded into the new 5e Sinistrals (who are neither elementals nor archons*, but luminous 4D Beings).

*Now the servants of the Demiurges.

So to answer your question of course residue of Quintessence Elementals could 'touch' the four elements.


I would absolutely, I'd say that a deity should absorb a fraction of the Quintessence Elemental's energy. I think also killing a Quintessence Elemental would be an easy way to ascend a mortal being too.
My insecurity was about giving an epic spell I was writing as a material component the residue of an Elder Quintessence Elemental and I was wondering if they "physically" left something that you could collect.


Another epic class, this time a revision of the Athasian Dragon, modified so that it is not a pain for players to use (who the heck wants a player in the party who risks going crazy at any moment and trying to kill the other members?) "the dragon is so wracked by pain that he can think of little else to do but lash out and cause as much destruction as possible. This constant pain drove the first dragon, Borys, into an insane rage.
During this time, a DM might opt to take control of the Athasian dragon occasionally, reflecting the lack of self-control the dragon suffers during the transformation process"

Athasian Dragon

The Dragon of Tyr is a creature feared by all Athasians. A reptilian beast that leaves death and destruction in its wake, it visits the city-states every year, claiming a levy of a thousand lives to fuel its powerful spells. While legends only speak of one Dragon, in truth Athas has several powerful villains undergoing - or seeking to undergo - a metamorphosis that culminates in dragonhood.

Athasian dragons are arcane spellcasters and psionic manifesters. The majority of known dragons multiclass as wizard/psions, while others live as psychic warriors. It is not unusual for an Athasian dragon to possess levels in other classes that augment its already impressive mental abilities.

Powerful beings who scheme and work to achieve more power, the existing Athasian dragons guard their positions fanatically, and upstart fledgling dragons rarely risk attracting their wrath. Occasionally, an Athasian dragon manipulates adventurers to fulfill its goals, or sometimes it does so simply to amuse itself.


Hit Die: d8.


To qualify to become an Athasian Dragon, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.


Feats: Automatic Metamagic Capacity and any two metapsionic feats.

Skills: Knowledge (arcana) and Spellcraft 24 ranks.

Spellcasting: Ability to cast 9th level arcane spells and manifest 6th-level psionic power.

Class Skills

The Athasian Dragon’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: Athasian Dragon
Base Attack
Fort Save
Ref Save
Will Save
Spells per day/Powers Know
Dragon magic, epic caster, metamorphosis​
Bonus feat, claws​
+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/
+1 level of existing manifesting class​
Ageless, draconic endurance​
+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/
+1 level of existing manifesting class​
Bite, growth​
+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/
+1 level of existing manifesting class​
Burrow, tail​
+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/
+1 level of existing manifesting class​
Bonus feat, frightful presence​
Breath weapon​
+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/
+1 level of existing manifesting class​
+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/
+1 level of existing manifesting class​
+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/
+1 level of existing manifesting class​
Bonus feat, epic dragon, growth​

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Athasian dragon.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Athasian dragon do not gain proficiency with any additional weapons or armor.

At the indicated levels, an Athasian dragon gains new spells per day as if he had also attained a level in any one arcane spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class. He gains additional power points per day and access to new powers as if he had also gained a level in any one manifesting class he belonged to previously. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of either class would have gained (bonus metamagic, metapsionic, or item creation feats, psicrystal special abilities, and so on). This essentially means that he adds the level of Athasian dragon to the level of whatever other arcane spellcasting class and manifesting class the character has, then determines spells per day, spells known (if he is a spontaneous spellcaster), caster level, power points per day, powers known, and manifester level accordingly.

If a character had more than one arcane spellcasting class or more than one manifesting class before he became an Athasian dragon, he must decide to which class he adds each level of Athasian dragon for purpose of determining spells per day, spells known (if he is a spontaneous spellcaster), caster level, power points per day, powers known, and manifester level.

Dragon Magic
By combining his knowledge of psionics and arcane magic, an Athasian dragon learns how to use the energy of those around him to aid his epic spellcasting. When casting an epic spell with the backlash mitigating factor, the Athasian dragon can drain up to 10 hit points from one living or undead creature per Athasian dragon level as a free action. The creatures drained must be within close range (25 feet + 5 feet per 2 spellcaster levels). If the spell takes more than 1 round to cast, the Athasian dragon may select different creatures to drain each round. The total number of hit points drained in this manner cannot exceed the amount of backlash damage dealt to the Athasian dragon by the epic spell.

If the 10 points of damage kills a creature and it is brought back to life, it automatically takes at least 1 negative level, regardless of the spell used to return it to life. If the spell used to return it to life normally penalizes the recipient one or more negative levels, a creature killed by this ability takes a negative level more than normal (2 for breath of life or resurrection, 3 for raise dead, etc.)

For example, a 6th-level Athasian dragon casts an epic spell dealing 10d6 points of backlash damage and takes 55 points of backlash damage. He may drain up to 60 hit points, spread among six creatures in close range, each creature taking 10 hit points. The Athasian dragon offsets 60 hit points, with 5 drained hit points dissipating. If there were only three living creatures within range, the Athasian dragon could only drain 30 hit points and would take 25 hit points of backlash damage.

Epic Caster
At 1st level, the Athasian dragon gains Epic Spellcasting and Polyglot as a bonus feats without the need to meet their prerequisites.

Metamorphosis (Ex)
Upon beginning the transformation process, the Athasian dragon takes on some aspects of the dragon type. He gains the dragon senses ability of a True Dragon. In addition, he becomes immune to magical sleep and paralysis effects, and he gains a natural armor bonus and a DR/magic equal to his Athasian dragon level.

Bonus Feat
At 2nd level, and every four levels thereafter, the Athasian dragon gains a bonus epic feat from the following list: Arcane Augmentation, Armor Skin, Damage Reduction, Epic Fortitude, Epic Psionic Focus, Epic Skill Focus (Knowledge [arcana]), Epic Skill Focus (Knowledge [psionics]), Epic Skill Focus (Spellcraft), Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Toughness, Fast Healing, Great Constitution, Great Intelligence, Great Strength, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Manifestation, Improved Spell Capacity, Improved Spell Resistance, Metamixture, Penetrate Damage Reduction, Power Knowledge, Spell Knowledge. The Athasian dragon must meet any prerequisite of the selected feat.

Claws (Ex)
At 2nd level, the Athasian dragon's hands harden into claws. The Athasian dragon gains two claw attacks as primary natural attacks. The Athasian dragon's claw attacks deal the same amount of damage as those of a true dragon of the same size.

Ageless (Ex)
Beginning at 3rd level, the Athasian dragon no longer age. He no longer takes penalties to his ability scores for aging (any bonus to mental scores still occur), loses any previously accrued penalties gained by aging, and cannot be magically aged.

Draconic Endurance (Ex)
At 3rd level, the Athasian dragon ignores the effects of a hot climate as if using endure elements. He also gains the Hibernate, Incorruptible Body, Inedia, and Insomnious as a bonus feats without the need to meet their prerequisites. He still must have 8 hours of restful calm before preparing any spells or regaining his power points.

Bite (Ex)
At 4th level, the Athasian dragon's face extends into a pronounced snout. He gains a bite attack as a primary natural attack that deals the same amount of damage as that of a true dragon of the same size plus 1-1/2 times the dragon’s Strength bonus (even though it has more than one attack). An Athasian dragon’s bite attack has reach as if the creature were one size category larger.

Growth (Ex)
At 4th level, and again at 10th level, the Athasian dragon grows by one size category. He gains all bonuses and penalties inherent to the size transformation. Damage dealt by all natural attacks also increases. An Athasian dragon growing gains +8 Strength and +4 Constitution, his natural armor bonus increases by +2, but his Dexterity drops by -2 (to a minimum of 10).

Burrow (Ex)
At 5th level, the Athasian dragon can burrow. Its burrow speed equals half its base land speed.

Tail (Ex)
At 5th level, the Athasian dragon also grows a tail. A Large or larger Athasian dragon also gains a secondary tail slap attack. A Gargantuan or larger Athasian dragon gains a tail sweep attack. The Athasian dragon's tail slap and tail sweep attacks deal the same amount of damage as those of a true dragon of the same size plus 1-1/2 times the dragon’s Strength bonus (this is an exception to the normal secondary attack rules).

Frightful Presence (Ex)
At 6th level, the Athasian dragon gains the frightful presence ability, as a dragon. This ability has a radius of 30 feet per Athasian dragon level and affects creatures with fewer Hit Dice than the Athasian dragon. A creature that succeeds on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 character level + Charisma modifier) becomes immune to that Athasian dragon's frightful presence for 24 hours. On a failure, creatures with 4 or fewer HD become panicked for 4d6 rounds and those with 5 or more HD become shaken for 4d6 rounds. Athasian dragons ignore the frightful presence of other Athasian dragons.

Breath Weapon (Su)
At 7th level, the Athasian dragon gains a single breath weapon: a superheated cone of sand that deals 1d6 points of damage per character level. The damage dealt is half fire and half piercing and count as magic for overcome DR. The area of effect is equivalent to that of a true dragon of the same size. Creatures caught in the area of effect can attempt Reflex saves to take half damage (DC 10 + ½ character level + Constitution modifier). Just like a true dragon, the Athasian dragon can use his breath weapon at will, but he must wait 1d4 rounds between uses.

Wings (Ex)
At 8th level, the Athasian dragon sprouts wings and gains a fly speed. An Athasian dragon has a fly speed of a true dragon of the same size. Regardless of size, the Athasian dragon has goodr maneuverability. In addition, he gains two wing attacks as secondary natural attacks. The Athasian dragon's wing attacks deal the same amount of damage as those of a true dragon of the same size.

Resistance (Ex)
A 9th level, the Athasian dragon gains spell resistance and power resistance equal to 11 + its character level.

Epic Dragon (Ex)
A 10th level, the Athasian dragon type change to dragon (augmented). Do not recalculate BAB, saves, or skill ranks. He also gains some traits of the epic dragons:
  • his DR from metamorphosis lose magic and gains epic as the condition for overcome it.
  • he gains a deflection bonus to his AC equal to his Charisma modifier.
  • He gains immunity to ability drain, disease, death effects, energy drain, and nonlethal damage. He is not at risk of death from massive damage.
  • He lose dragon senses and gains the keen senses of an epic dragon (maintain the blindsight of dragon senses).
  • He gains the terrifying presence of an epic dragon (radius of 60 ft. per Athasian dragon level).

The Change
Upon performing the ritual that starts advancement as an Athasian dragon, the character begins a process of growth and change that culminates with the character becoming a full Athasian dragon at 10th level. At each level, the dragon molts, shedding his old skin and emerging in his new, larger form.

The exact transformation that each dragon undergoes varies. The first four stages are usually marked by dramatic change, where the dragon becomes less and less recognizably humanoid. His neck stretches and lifts his head far from his body, his limbs lengthen, and his face becomes a long snout. Scales gradually appear all over the new dragon's body, and a tail begins to form.

The period of growth begins at 4th level and end at 10th level.

At 10th level, the transformation is complete.

The transformation stages based on level are the following:

1st: Physically, the newly formed dragon changes very little, save normally doubling its mass. You may retain its original height and simply gain bulk, may also in height, or may simply grow denser. Physical changes are uncontrollable and unpredictable. Though you retain humanoid characteristics, your face elongates slightly and your nostrils lengthen. Your spine becomes more pronounced, and rudimentary scales appear on the shoulders and back. Example: A human mass may increase up to 350 pounds.

2nd: At this point, your physical form changes still further increasing in both height and weight. Your face elongates further and the first hints of scales appear on your lengthened snout. Your spine becomes even more pronounced, and the stub of a tail appears. Your wicked claws can now be used as weapons. Example: A human’s weight may increase up to 450 pounds, and their height can be as tall as 10 foot.

3rd: You continue to grow in weight and height. All limbs lengthen drastically, including fingers and toes. Your neck also lengthens, lifting your now reptilian head and face far above its shoulders; all hair vanishes at this time. Example: A human’s weight may increase up to 650 pounds, and they may gain another foot in height.

4th: Your humanoid origins can now hardly be recognized, as your weight and height continue to increase. Scales now cover every part of your body but the underbelly and the underside of your limbs, strengthening your natural armor. The legs become strikingly inhuman, developing huge thighs and a hard-angled, bony calf and taloned foot. At this point, you may also hunch severely at shoulder and waist, and can move either upright or on all four limbs. Tour dragon’s jaws protrude remarkably giving you a devastating bite. Example: A human’s weight may increase up to 900 pounds, and they may be as long as 12 foot.

5th: Now fully the double your original height in length from snout to growing tail, your weight and length continue to increase, mostly due to your full-grown tail. Example: A human would be now fully 12 feet long and weigh around 1,600 pounds.

6th: By this time, your form is completely hunched but you can still stand erect at your full height at times. Both your scales and hind legs have strengthened significantly. Example: A human at this point would be a full 16 feet tall, as well as weighing 2,000 pounds.

7th: You continue to gain in weight and length. Example: A human at this point would be over 20 feet long, as well as weighing 4,000 pounds.

8th: You continue to increase in length and weight and wings sprout from your back. Example: A human at this point would be around 25 feet long, as well as weighing 10,000 pounds.

9th: Your weight and length continue to increase. Example: A human at this point would be around 30 feet long, as well as weighing 20,000 pounds.

10th: At this, your final stage of the metamorphosis, you leave your original form completely behind in favor of that of a pure dragon. Example: A human/dragon at this point would be around 40 feet long, as well as weighing 50,000 pounds


Arcane Augmentation [Epic]

You can spend spell slots to augment psionic powers.
Prerequisites: Dragon magic class feature.
Benefits: You can spend an arcane spell slot to increase your manifester level for augmenting psionic powers during manifestation. Using Arcane Augmentation is a free action that does not provoke attack of opportunity. Add the level of the spell slot spend to your manifester level for a single power you manifest.

Metamixture [Epic]
Dragon magic class feature.
Benefits: Chose a metapsionic feat. You can apply the chosen metapsionic feat to spells in order to modify them as if using a metamagic feat of the same type. For example, you could use the Maximize Power to maximize the variable numbers of effects of a spell. Using Metamixture is a free action that does not provoke attack of opportunity. You must spend power points as normal when using a metapsionic feat to boost a spell. Treat the spell as a psionic power of equivalent level for the purpose of determine the power point cost. You cannot spend more power points in this fashion than your manifester level. If a metapsionic has the same effect as a metamagic feat already applied to the spell, there is no additional effect.
Special: This feat can be taken multiple times. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a different metapsionic feat. More than one metapsionic feat may be applied to a spell using Metamixture. You still cannot spend more power points than your manifester level when boosting the effect of a spell with multiple metapsionic feats affected by Metamixture.


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Is this modified from the athas.org writeup?

I think the Dark Sun advanced being transformations (defiler -> dragon, preserver -> avangion, cleric -> elemental, druid -> spirit of the land) are incredibly cool, but yeah, some aspects of them as originally written are pretty impractical to actually play. The dragon animalistic phase, avangion need for isolation, etc.

4E made them Epic Destinies, which is much more streamlined, but arguably doesn't reflect how out-of-scope with everything else & crazy powerful Athasian dragons are.

I think in 5E I'd personally make them sets of Epic Boons (IE you choose one every 30,000 XP, but from a limited set based on whether you're on the Dragon path, Elemental path, etc.) - but solve the scope/power issue by saying that you're only really going to the point that the most advanced sorcerer-kings are (still largely human) - full transcendence to Dregoth/Dragon of Tyr level is quite another thing, equivalent to full ascension to divinity on another world.

I've thought about creating Advanced Beings for warrior and rogue classes too (Deathless Warrior, Living Shadow).

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