Saturday 4 May 2024

Scroll Dragon...!


MOVE: 10"/26"
HIT DICE: 12 (96 hit points)
% IN LAIR: 80%
TREASURE TYPE:  Special (see below)
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1-8, 1-8, 2-12
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Breath weapon and possible magic use
ALIGNMENT: Lawful Good
SIZE: L (50' long)
                Attack/Defense Modes: Nil
                Speaking: 100%
                Magic Use: 100%
                Sleeping: 20%

Scroll Dragons (sometimes also known as Parchment Dragons) are usually encountered deep within ruined castles, dungeons and similarly large structures. They prefer temperate areas that are not too cold or hot or damp, as the contents of their lairs may be ancient and fragile.

These creatures have an intense fascination for scrolls, books and other examples of written material, especially those dealing with magic and potions. They can freely use Polymorph Self when roaming the outside world and may be encountered in the guise of a sentient being when searching for objects to add to their lair. In both their natural and polymorphed form they possess an item that resembles a pair of eyeglasses with metal frames frames and thick, almost spherical lenses although, as the dragon possesses acutely sensitive faculties, it is not known why they choose to use them.

Whether in their natural or some other form, Scroll Dragons are normally friendly, talkative and erudite. If encountered in their lair, they will be found curled around a vast pile of books, scrolls, potions and similar items. Visitors will be permitted to peruse and read anything within this pile, but the dragon will never allow anything to be taken away. At any given time there is a 10% chance that the dragon is being visited by 1-3 magic users of at least 3rd level and these will protect the dragon and the lair if the need arises. Otherwise, they may or may not engage the adventuring party in conversation (at the Dungeon Master's discretion). The dragon will permit an adventuring party to stay at their abode (but not within the lair itself) should it deem that they are trustworthy. It may also send the party on quests, usually to gather information or to find an item it is interested in. In return, it will be more than happy to teach spells or pass on knowledge on all manner of subjects, and thus prove of great use to those wishing to train in order to rise in experience level.

Scroll Dragons are usually loathe to commit themselves to something as frivolous and barbaric as combat, but if pressed will use their claws (1-8 points of damage) and teeth (2-12 points of damage). However, it will much prefer to use breath weapon: a cloud of choking abrasive dust 6" long, 4" wide and 5" high. Creatures within this cloud must save vs. Dragon Breath or fall unconscious for 1d100 rounds. This cloud is also capable of extinguishing any fires, magical or mundane. It is impossible to Subdue these creatures, although they may be coerced (or at least bargained with) if the adventuring party possess an item that the dragon may have some interest in adding to its lair. All encountered Scroll Dragons are Ancient and know two of 1st to 6th level spells, as well as Polymorph Self.

There is a small cult associated with these dragons, albeit one which is very secretive and whose members are always magic users, clerics,scholars, librarians, teachers and those of similar professions. This does not worship the dragon but instead sees it as a font of great knowledge and magical power. Any Magic Users encountered in the dragon's lair will be cult members on pilgrimage.
The treasure the dragon possesses is primarily made up of the books etc mentioned above, although in amongst this are coins and other valuable objects equivalent to Treasure Type F. It covets all of these but will be willing to part with coins and jewels as payment for some task, service or object it might require. Stealing anything from the lair will immediately draw the ire of the dragon and it will always know if something is missing, however small.
Numerous legends and rumours have attached themselves to the dragon. One states that its eyeglasses can see into other planes or allow it to read any kind of writing. Another says that these dragons are extremely old and that its skin is covered in strange writing and symbols which foretell the future; perhaps even the end of the world. Opinion is divided as to whether there is only one of these creatures or that it is part of a small group.

Description: Scroll Dragons, as their name might suggest, have long flat bodies greatly resembling a roll of aged vellum. This is whitish-yellow in colour and is covered by indistinct traceries and patterns. Its four limbs are small and clawed, while its head is quite large and flat with a small mane which resembles a mass of smaller scrolls. Its large eyes resemble orbs of onyx veined with red and gold.

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