Sunday, September 1, 2013

Dragons & Wizards

Located in the Coreward Reach, Rune is a world at a medieval level of technology, ruled by wizards and bedeviled by monsters--or so it appears. Though few visit due to the xenophobic nature of its inhabitants and its remote location (there is no reliable local gate), tales report that it bears an uncanny resemblance to fantasy sims, including the existence of what appears to be magic.

It's surmised that Rune was either modified as a pleasure world or as a work of art (ancient posthumans had both the technology and whimsy to accomplish such things). There are hints of this artificiality, though its biosphere is not as well-managed as it once was. Still, human diseases are fewer than on wild worlds and clerical authorities provide advanced healing through "relics" (actually well-disguised medical devices).

The magical powers of its ruling class of wizards are thought to be psi-talents, though they seem to exhibit some abilities uncommon (if not unknown) in the rest of the galaxy. Most of their power seems to lie in the ability to generate illusions. They also make use of allies like the fairy--who seem to be nothing more than local tribes of quicklings.

The most fearsome foes of the wizards and their people are the dragons. The dragons are large bipeds (about 3 m tall, with tails roughly as long), vaguely reptilian in appearance with psi abilities of their own. They are theorized to be the degenerate descendants of the stranded crew of either an exploratory vessel or a military scoutship. The adolescent dragons of today are social creatures most numerous in equatorial areas,  but older adults are mostly solitary and establish large territories. They are aware of humans' intelligence, but view them as animals and potential (though not preferred) prey. Periodically (Perhaps it relates to ancient mating cycles?) dragons become extremely acquisitive, gathering or stealing items of value, particularly shiny objects, and lining their lairs with them.

The humans of Rune try to kill or drive away any dragon near a civilized area. Despite the dragon's size and intelligence, the more populace humans might have driven them to extinction if not for the fact the wizard's value them for other reasons: Certain neuroendocrine glands of the dragons contain chemicals that they believe enhance their "magic"

Runic Dragons
No. Appearing: 1-4
AC: 3
HD: 8
Saving Throw: 11
Attack Bonus: +8/+8/+8
Damage: 2 claws (1d6), 1 bite (2d8)
Movement: 30’
Morale: 10
Special Abilities: psionics like a Psychic of 6th level.

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