Black Dragons Pt. 4

As we reach old age, these dragons are suitable as antagonists for an entire epic saga. They rival the power of most militarizes, and the unfortunate souls they have chosen to lair near can’t do much aside from hope to stay under their notice.

Vage, Very Old Black Dragon, CR 18

Vage has outgrown his swamp, and is looking for the next place to call home. He travels the swamps in search of the perfect blend of backwoods isolation, and wealth (to demand as tribute).

Combat Statistics
Size/Type:Huge Dragon (Water)
Hit Dice:28d12+168 = 350 HP
Initiative:+4
Speed:60ft, 150ft fly (poor), 60ft Swim
Armor Class:10 Size – 2 Size + 27 Natural +4 Armor = 39
Base Attack/Grapple:+28/46
Attack:Bite +36 4d6+10
Full Attack:Bite +36 4d6+10, 2 Claws +34 2d8+7, 2 wings +34 2d6+7, and Tail Slap +34 4d6+22
Space/Reach:15ft/10ft (15w/Bite)
Special Qualities:Water Breathing Ex, Blindsense 60ft, Darkvision 120ft, DR 15/Magic, SR 23, Endure Elements, Nondetection (as per spell)
Immune:Acid, Sleep, Paralysis
Saves:Fort – 16 + 6 Con = 22 Ref –  16 + 0 Dex +2 = 18 Will – 16 + 3 Wis = 19
Abilities:Str 31 | Dex 10 | Con 23 | Int 16 | Wis 17 | Cha 16
Skills:Listen 34, spot 34, knowledge geography 34, knowledge the planes 34, move silently 32, hide 23, Intimidate 34, use magic device 34, Search 34
Languages:Draconic, Common, Elven, Goblin, Giant
Feats:Flyby attack, multiattack, improved natural attack claws, improved natural attack bite, ability focus breath weapon, improved initiative, Practiced Spellcaster, ability focus frightful presence, improved natural attack wings, improved natural attack tail slap, lightning reflexes
Alignment:Chaotic Evil

Because he is mobile and active, Vage is rarely ambushed, and never unprepared. He always has the following spells cast; mage armor, endure elements, and nondetection. This is reflected in his stat block. He prefers to avoid combat if he can, but is not opposed to a fight. He will utilize Greater Invisibility at the start of every fight to ensure maximum defense. This is followed up by repeated castings of enervation spread against a few powerful foes. It’s unusual for Vage to have multiple fights in the same week, let alone day, and he has no concern for reserving spells. After enervation’s, if his foes attempt to flee he allows it and does the same. If not, he will land and engage in melee.

He generally uses his breath weapon to harass anyone he believes is following him. He will strike without warning while his targets sleep with a few strafing flyby attacks of his breath weapon and then fly off. This is generally done while invisible and flying, making him very hard to detect.

Breath Weapon SU: as a standard action, once per 1d4 rounds, Vage can breathe a line of acid 100ft long dealing 18d4 acid damage reflex save DC 32.

Frightful Presence EX: Vage can unsettle foes with his mere presence. The ability takes effect automatically whenever he attacks, charges, or flies overhead. Creatures within a radius of 270ft are subject to the effect if they have fewer than 28 hit die. A potentially affected creature that succeeds on a Will save (DC 29) remains immune to Vage’s frightful presence for 24 hours. On a failure, creatures with 4 or less HD become panicked for 4d6 rounds and those with 5 or more HD become shaken for 4d6 rounds.

Corrupt Water SP: 1/Day Vage can stagnate 10 cubic feet of water, making it become still, foul, and unable to support animal life. The ability spoils liquids containing water. Items, Magical or otherwise, in a creature’s possession must succeed on a Will save 20 or become fouled. This ability is the equivalent of a 1st-level spell with a range of 270ft.

Spell Like Abilities:

  • Darkness 3/Day – CL = 13
  • Plant Growth 1/Day – CL = 13

Sorcerer Spells – CL = 13

  • Level 0 – 6/Day – DC 13
    • Detect Magic, Arcane Mark, ray of frost, Mage hand, Light, mending, prestidigitation, ghost sound
  • Level 1 – 7/Day – DC 14
    • Mage Armor, Identify, Comprehend Languages, Magic Missile, endure elements
  • Level 2 – 7/Day – DC 15
    • Locate Object, web, see invisibility, shatter
  • Level 3 – 7/Day – DC 16
    • Displacement, Nondetection, Fireball
  • Level 4 – 4/Day – DC 17
    • Enervation, Invisibility Greater
Lair

Vage has no lair. He has given it up in search of a new home, and carries all of his belongings in his bag of holding. He flies from swamp, to bog, to marsh, to salt-flat looking for the perfect, secluded muck that he can hunker down inside. Vage can be found in the vicinity of swamp based cities scouting them to see if they could support him with tribute, and if so, do they present a threat.

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com
Horde

Vage carries his horde on him, in his bag of holding, making it incredibly hard to sneak in and steal from him.

  • Amber (100 gp)
  • Aquamarine (400 gp)
  • Azurite (10 gp)
  • Blue Quartz (8 gp)
  • Citrine (20 gp)
  • Coral (130 gp)
  • Deep Blue Spinel (400 gp)
  • Deep Blue Spinel (700 gp)
  • Deep Green Spinel (100 gp)
  • Emerald (600 gp)
  • Eye Agate (12 gp)
  • Golden Yellow Topaz (500 gp)
  • Hematite (10 gp)
  • Hematite (13 gp)
  • Jade (90 gp)
  • Jasper (40 gp)
  • Jasper (60 gp)
  • Jasper (70 gp)
  • Jet (80 gp)
  • Jet (90 gp)
  • Lapis Lazuli (14 gp)
  • Malachite (7 gp)
  • Moonstone (60 gp)
  • Moss Agate (9 gp)
  • Moss Agate (10 gp)
  • Moss Agate (11 gp)
  • Pink Pearl (110 gp)
  • Rock Crystal (80 gp)
  • Rose Quartz (50 gp)
  • Sardonyx (40 gp)
  • Star Ruby (1,100 gp)
  • Tourmaline (100 gp)
  • Bolt of Gold Cloth (1,400 gp)
  • Carved Wooden Staff studded with Copper Sized for a Large Creature (500 gp)
  • Chalcedony Vase inlaid with Gold Floral Patterns (6,000 gp)
  • Pink Coral Dice (pair) (100 gp)
  • Simple Ebony Ring (100 gp)
  • Ermine Talisman of a Fox (600 gp)
  • Peacock Feather Vest (20 gp)
  • Teal Fine Cloth Gown (140 gp)
  • Fine Steel Rapier inlaid with Copper (Masterwork) (1,100 gp)
  • Fox Fur Coat set with Deep Blue Spinel (1,000 gp)
  • Iron Dice (pair) (60 gp)
  • Iron Gauntlets (Ornamental Only, not for Battle) (10 gp)
  • Decorative Iron Hairpin, Shaped like a Flower (110 gp)
  • Iron Sundial (60 gp)
  • Leather Belt set with Obsidian (140 gp)
  • Decorative Leather Ribbon Depicting Woodland Animals (30 gp)
  • Marble Urn (Filled with Unknown Humanoid Ashes) (1,000 gp)
  • Platinum Cloth Cloak set with Alexandrite (6,000 gp)
  • Platinum Cloth Vest (700 gp)
  • Platinum Miniature of a Galleon with a Chest Filled with Miniature Copper Coins (800 gp)
  • Porcelain Statue (of a Lion) set with Golden Yellow Topaz (2,000 gp)
  • Rabbit Fur Boots (80 gp)
  • Red-brown Spinel Miniature Sunken Aquatic Temple set with Smoky Quartz (200 gp)
  • Small (3X10ft) Carpet of Red and Gold Fabric Intricately Woven (900 gp)
  • Small Vial of Perfume (Smells of Flowers) (130 gp)
  • +3 Breastplate (Small) (9.350 gp)
  • +3 Electric Resistant Chain Shirt (Medium) (A V section on the front and back is made of a yellowed chain giving the appearance of two lightning bolts) (27,250 gp)
  • Potion of Invisibility (300 gp)
  • Bag of Holding Type IV (10,000 gp) (Contains all items)  
  • Wand of Owl’s Wisdom (45 of 50 charges) (4,050 gp)
  • Coins    26,200 gp

Ghislaine, Ancient Black Dragon, CR 19

Years back, Ghislaine discovered an aquaduct while surveying a new region to set up her lair. An aquaduct means a town, and this proved no different. She followed it to the high mountain peak where it filtered fresh water and discovered a cave with a natural spring pooling in the center. She realized immediately with delight what could be done here, and set about corrupting the water. Within a few weeks the first party of adventurers came to “stop the menace”. She flayed them with ease. After the 5th adventuring party came, she sent a message. Etched into the back of their barbarian and dropped into the town square. Now she sits fat atop the mountain spring collecting tribute annually, watching her horde grow with little to no effort on her part.

Over the years, an elaborate set of rituals and customs has developed around the delivery of tribute, and Ghislaine takes great pride in ensuring they are followed. Any failure generally results in a plague of locusts swarming the tribute bearer. Those who are overly successful in the delivery are very rarely given a special boon or gift from the horde.

Combat Statistics
Size/Type:Huge Dragon (Water)
Hit Dice:31d12+186 = 387 HP
Initiative:+4
Speed:60ft, 150ft fly (poor), 60ft Swim
Armor Class:10 Size – 2 Size + 30 Natural +4 Armor = 42
Base Attack/Grapple:+31/50
Attack:Bite +40 4d6+11
Full Attack:Bite +40 4d6+11, 2 Claws +38 2d8+5, 2 wings +38 2d6+5, and Tail Slap +38 4d6+16
Space/Reach:15ft/10ft (15w/Bite)
Special Qualities:Water Breathing Ex, Blindsense 60ft, Darkvision 120ft, DR 15/Magic, SR 25, Endure Elements, Nondetection (as per spell)
Immune:Acid, Sleep, Paralysis
Saves:Fort – 17 + 6 Con = 23 Ref –  17 + 0 Dex +2 = 19 Will – 17 + 3 Wis = 20
Abilities:Str 33 | Dex 10 | Con 23 | Int 16 | Wis 17 | Cha 16
Skills:Listen 37, spot 37, knowledge nobility and royalty 37, knowledge arcane 37, move silently 35, hide 26, Intimidate 37, use magic device 37, Search 37
Languages:Draconic, Common, Aquan, Elven, Undercommon
Feats:Flyby attack, multiattack, improved natural attack claws, improved natural attack bite, ability focus breath weapon, improved initiative, Practiced Spellcaster, ability focus frightful presence, improved natural attack wings, improved natural attack tail slap, lightning reflexes, improved flyby attack
Alignment:Chaotic Evil

Ghislaine is relatively at ease. She lives in a known location, and the town has accepted its lot in life. They send tribute annually, and she sleeps in her lair. Ghislaine is still a dragon, and doesn’t think much of keeping low level buffs up all day for the negligible price of some spell slots. she always has the following spells cast; mage armor, endure elements, and nondetection. This is reflected in her stat block. While she doesn’t stand guard, setting an ambush for Ghislaine is not easy. She has very high spot and listen checks, see invisibility, and actively scrys on the town below to make sure no one is trying to sow seeds of rebellion. She keeps an arcane marked stone hidden in the stone floor of each of the taverns, and in the courtroom of the royal family, all placed long before their current occupants were born. If she thinks that someone plans to rid the kingdom of her, she simply begins corrupting water. An envoy usually comes to investigate, and she has the guilty party drug before her. She then melts them in acid, consumes them and moves on with life.

In combat, her favored tactic is to use wall of force to section off portions of her lair, dividing adventuring parties and defeating her foes in single combat. Melee warriors receive enervations, webs and fireballs while casters and wizards are pounced upon.

Breath Weapon SU: as a standard action, once per 1d4 rounds, Ghislaine can breathe a line of acid 100ft long dealing 20d4 acid damage reflex save DC 33.

Frightful Presence EX: Ghislaine can unsettle foes with her mere presence. The ability takes effect automatically whenever she attacks, charges, or flies overhead. Creatures within a radius of 300ft are subject to the effect if they have fewer than 31 hit die. A potentially affected creature that succeeds on a Will save (DC 30) remains immune to Ghislaine’s frightful presence for 24 hours. On a failure, creatures with 4 or less HD become panicked for 4d6 rounds and those with 5 or more HD become shaken for 4d6 rounds.

Corrupt Water SP: 1/Day Ghislaine can stagnate 10 cubic feet of water, making it become still, foul, and unable to support animal life. The ability spoils liquids containing water. Items, Magical or otherwise, in a creature’s possession must succeed on a Will save 20 or become fouled. This ability is the equivalent of a 1st-level spell with a range of 300ft.

Spell Like Abilities:

  • Darkness 3/Day – CL = 15
  • Plant Growth 1/Day – CL = 15
  • Insect Plague – 3/Day – CL = 15

Sorcerer Spells – CL = 15

  • Level 0 – 6/Day – DC 13
    • Detect Magic, Arcane Mark, ray of frost, Mage hand, Light, mending, prestidigitation, ghost sound, message
  • Level 1 – 7/Day – DC 14
    • Mage Armor, Identify, Comprehend Languages, Magic Missile, endure elements
  • Level 2 – 7/Day – DC 15
    • Locate Object, web, see invisibility, shatter, fog cloud
  • Level 3 – 7/Day – DC 16
    • Displacement, Nondetection, Fireball, Major Image
  • Level 4 – 6/Day – DC 17
    • Enervation, Invisibility Greater, Scrying
  • Level 5 – 4/Day – DC 18
    • Wall of Force, Teleport
Lair

Ghislaine discovered an aquaduct while hunting one day decades ago. She followed it back to cave with a pool or pure spring water. She immediately set about defiling the pool, and setting up her lair. After the 5th band of adventurers came to drive her out, she sent a message to the city at the base of the mountain. Pinned to the shirt of one of the adventurers, dropped during a fly by visit. The terms were simple. 1,000 gp (or equivalent in gems, and precious materials) per year, and she would not only stop defiling their water, but protect it from others who wished to do so. Failure to pay would simply result in a new fantastic home for Ghislaine, would destroy the town and move into its castle. She now guards their water supply, simply by virtue of living on top of it.

Horde

Over the years, Ghislaine’s lair has become a lavish abode. She has furnished it with all manner of exotic trade goods, and fine accouterments. Its also become quite eclectic, as some of the objects are less fine art, and more expensive and functional. During a few financially tight years, the town brought their siege equipment, explaining that they didn’t have the gold this year, but could provide twice its value by giving her their fortifications. At another point in years past, during a particularly harsh famine, after having given the defenses, the only thing of value was the only ship in their navy. She not only demanded the ship, but demanded it be drug to her cave by its crew, who she then ate. These defenses and the ship are arranged as a point of pride in an offshoot cave decorated with banners and trophies from slain adventurers. There are murmurs around town that this sort of consistent tribute is not sustainable, and Ghislaine has been very active of late seeking their sources out, and ensuring they are made example of.

  • Bolt of Copper Cloth (900 gp)
  • Bolt of Copper Cloth (1,100 gp)
  • Bolt of Electrum Cloth set with Chrysoberyl (3,000 gp)
  • Bolt of Fine Cloth (130 gp)
  • Bolt of Fine Steel Cloth (900 gp)
  • Bolt of Gold Cloth (1,500 gp)
  • Bolt of Platinum Cloth (1,900 gp)
  • Bolt of Silk (90 gp)
  • Bolt of Silver Cloth (1,400 gp)
  • Brass Spitoon (1,100 gp)
  • Bronze Cloth Hunter’s Cap (120 gp)
  • Carved Ivory Drinking Horn inlaid with Brass (600 gp)
  • Carved Ivory Drinking Horn set with Golden Yellow Topaz (4000 gp)
  • Carved Wooden Staff studded with Platinum (600 gp)
  • Carved Wooden Staff studded with Silver (1100 gp)
  • Chrysoprase Canopic Jar (1,800 gp)
  • Jeweled Copper Armlet (600 gp)
  • Deck of Ivory Tarot Cards inlaid with Silver (4,000 gp)
  • Ebony Ring set with Iolite (300 gp)
  • Electrum Cloth Gown set with Aquamarine (3,000 gp)
  • Ermine Hunter’s Cap inlaid with Platinum (1,200 gp)
  • Feathered Sash (70 gp)
  • Fine Blue and White Pennant threaded with Silver (110 gp)
  • Fine Blue and White Tabard threaded with Electrum (800 gp)
  • Fine Leather Belt set with Red Garnet (1,600 gp)
  • Fine Leather Shoes (300 gp)
  • Masterwork Gauntlets set with Golden Pearl (1,500 gp)
  • Masterwork Greatsword inlaid with Gold (2,000 gp)
  • Gilded Wooden Ewer wreathed in Continual Flame (1,000 gp)
  • Gilded Wooden Vase set with Black Star Sapphire (4,000 gp)
  • Golden Chest (2,000 gp) (Set out at the mouth of the cave on the eve of the New Moon for the town to take, fill, and return by dawn)
  • Gold Cloth Cloak (1,500 gp)
  • Iron Masterwork Quarterstaff (110 gp)
  • Ivory Statue of St. Cuthbert set with Deep Blue Spinel (5,000 gp)
  • Leather Belt set with Turquoise (10 gp)
  • Leather Boots with Copper Buckles (130 gp)
  • Leather Fingerless Gloves (60 gp)
  • Leopard Fur Boots set with Bloodstone (300 gp)
  • Ornate Silver Mirror (500 gp)
  • Ornate Silver Mirror set with Black Pearl (4,000 gp)
  • Painted Glass Comb (160 gp)
  • Painted Glass Jar (90 gp)
  • Pewter Ornamental Mace (150 gp)
  • Pewter Bound Spellbook (blank) (150 gp)
  • Platinum Wind Chime set with Rose Quartz (900 gp)
  • Platinum Purple and Green Tabard set with Jade (4,000 gp)
  • Platinum Font set with Blue Star Sapphire (6,000 gp)
  • Platinum Staff set with Black Pearl (4,000 gp)
  • Polished Stone Urn (20 gp)
  • Porcelain Orb Coated with Gold Inlay Resembling a Spiderweb (1,500 gp)
  • Rabbit Fur Choker (130 gp)
  • Sable Choker (1,200 gp)
  • Sable Fox Mask (900 gp)
  • Sable Ribbon (600 gp)
  • Silver Diadem (500 gp)
  • Silver Scroll Case (200 gp)
  • Small Bag of Religious Incense (50 gp)
  • Small Bag of Cinnamon (40 gp)
  • Small Carpet threaded with Platinum (3,000 gp)
  • Small Vial of Perfume (160 gp) (overpowering scent of Lilac)
  • Tooled Leather Choker inlaid with Bronze (1,300 gp)
  • Tooled Leather Pouch (800 gp)
  • Tooled Leather Shortsword Scabbard inlaid with Platinum (1,600 gp)
  • Tooled Leather Tabard (1,400 gp)
  • Arcane Scroll (False Life (150 gp)
  • Divine Scroll (Cure Serious Wounds 525 gp)
  • Arcane Scroll (Sleet Storm 375 gp)
  • Arcane Scroll (Stinking Cloud (375 gp)
  • +2 Longsword (3,315 gp)
  • Arcane Scroll (Mage’s Magnificent Mansion (total 2275 gp))
  • Chime of Interruption (16,800 gp)
  • Black Cloak with Silver Web Patterning – Cloak of Arachnida (14,000 gp)
  • Divine Scroll (Daylight (375 gp),
    Divine Scroll (Dominate Animal 375 gp)
  • Divine Scroll (Air Walk (700 gp)
  • +3 Half-plate (Small) (9,750 gp)
  • Platinum Helm resembling a catfish when the visor is closed. – Helm of Underwater Action (24,000 gp)
  • Ballista (500 gp)
  • Heavy Catapult (800 gp)
  • Light Catapult (550 gp)
  • Longship (10,000 gp)
  • 2 x Trebuchet (1200 gp)
  • Coins    6,601 pp, 9,000 gp

To follow along with this project as it goes on, entries have been tagged with the dragon tag.

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