Last week, we asked you to vote on your favorite necromantic dragon. The results are in, with Lasserous moving on to the upcoming Creature Competition!
This week, we at last move to the ranks of the chromatic dragons: starting with the swamp-dwelling blacks. And for information on dealing with these foul creatures, be sure to consult today’s Tactics & Tips.
In the weeks ahead, we’ll be asking you to vote on your favorite entry within a given category (your favorite dracolich of the bunch, favorite brass dragon, etc.). Once we’ve narrowed the list of competitors, we’ll kick off the head-to-head bracket portion of our Creature Competition: Year of Dragons!
Aluxulinurilian, “Blackfire”: Black Dragon Cleric
Aluxulinurilian is a strange specimen: a black dragon that is not evil. A competing flight of copper dragons wiped out Aluxulinurilian's entire flight. When the winners went to salvage items from the black dragons’ swamp, they found many eggs; the leader of the coppers wanted to determine if an evil creature could be raised to be good, and brought the eggs back to their hills. Aluxulinurilian has since made many friends among the copper children too young to know about the war, and has grown to be, if not exactly a paladin, at least not evil. She found an aptitude for drawing upon her spirit and shaping the energy into spells, and now follows the path of a cleric.
-- Watchdog of Hades
Arakdhar: Mummified Black Dragon Swarm Shifter
Arakdhar was worshipped by an ancient, mysterious people, who revered him and showered him with lavish offerings; the dragon met his untimely end battling to defend these followers. His followers, in turn, mummified his corpse and buried him deep withinin a massive, trapped-filled tomb. When aware of intrusion by wealth-seeking adventurers, Arakdhar swarm-shifts into undead sand to lie in wait. Arakdhar, in dragon-form, looks very skeletal, his appearance accentuated by rotting flesh pulled tightly over jutting bones; he is covered in dirty, yellowed linen wraps inscribed with many magical runes; his horns are adorned in ornate gold ornamentation, made by his devoted followers during his lifetime. Arakdhar’s sole purpose in afterlife rather is to guard the treasures of his long dead followers, the last remnants of his previous days of glory and worship.
Drachstrusskul: Swamp Linnorm Blighter
Drachstrusskul is among the most cruel and evil beings on the Material Plane. His lair is a vast swamp that he continues to expand, destroying all animal and plant life in the process. The only other beings in this anti-paradise of death and decay are the hundreds of bog mummies that Drachstrusskul created with his dread decay disease and create undead spells. Although he doesn't need food or water, Drachstrusskul loves the taste of intelligent creatures; lizardfolk are his main prey, but his favorite meals by far are other (true) dragons. The sight of his kin makes Drachstrusskul mad with bloodlust and hunger, and he will do almost anything to capture these creatures and devour them.
Ebenales-strix: Great Wyrm Black Dragon
If black dragons are vain creatures, then Ebenales-strix is no exception to the rule. For many centuries, statues of her lined the streets in any village or town in her domain, with all metal polished to a high shine—so that if she flew overhead, she could see her own reflection at all times. Yet in a later attempt to prolong her life, Ebenales-strix drank a longevity potion whose effects went horribly wrong. She now appears halfway to the form of a dracolich: most of her scales have fallen away, her skin stretched tight over her bones, her wings tattered, and her eyes become like black pits. Ebenales-strix has since come to the decision that if she can no longer look perfect, then nothing can. She rampages through her former domain, destroying anything “more lovely than herself”.
Erzynthrakus, “the Pirate”: Fiendish Black Dragon Swashbuckler/Sorcerer
Figuring that it would be a good deed and a chance to insult her rivals at the same time, the bronze dragon Nostraminus cleverly pilfered a black dragon egg from the lair of its parents and undertook to raise the young dragon herself. The fiend Durokos, fearing the impact that a good black dragon could have, kidnapped the hatched wyrmling in return, and brought him to the Lower Planes where he was exposed to demonic rituals. It didn't take much of this treatment before the black dragon's hereditary instincts took over, and he became a fiendish creature himself.
Kikkericqqeua: Insectile Black Dragon
When a troupe of drow on a mission directly assigned by Lloth met an unfortunate accident at the hands of Kikkericqqeua, Lloth proved quite annoyed. She punished the dragon the same way she punished her drow… she made the dragon part spider. Kikkericqqeua now has a large red hour-glass shape on her belly, additional legs, and eight spider-like eyes. She also has the ability to spin webs nearly the thickness of a man’s arm. Aside from the acidic breath weapon, she now also has a poisonous bite attack.
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