The Hunt (3.5e Quest)
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Intended for four level 15-16 adventurers.
A green dragon ransacked a lizardfolk town in retribution for their over-hunting and its problems. The players are asked to assist the lizardfolk tribe in its hunt for the dragon. Where is the dragon? How powerful is it? Is the dragon right, and the lizardfolk are too numerous? Would a twist in the lands be better or can the players not let a evil creature that is more powerful than the lizardfolk town was, but could be a more powerful ally of theirs, reign?
- Prep Time 1+ hrs
- Play Time 1 ½+ hrs
For the DM
A green dragon has indeed ransacked a village in a rain forest, and has killed every warrior which tried to stop him, along with many civilians who were in the way. While he could have taken what little valuables the village had, he chose to take food instead, as much as he could carry. The chief of another nearby village knows why the dragon has attacked the village; it is because the lizardfolk in the region have been over-hunting the animals in the area which both they and the dragon depend on. Furthermore, the chief knows of the rich treasures the green dragon's lair holds. He wishes to use this tragedy as an excuse to rally the tribes of the region together and kill the dragon, then take the greater part of the treasure for himself; he doesn't care about the sacked village (in fact, he welcomes it because it means less competition for hunting grounds), but pretends to care so that he may enrich himself.
What the chief does not know is exactly why the green dragon has stolen the food. It is true that the lizardfolk were over-hunting, but not so much that there wasn't enough food left for a dragon who is able to hunt for it. The issue is that the dragon's sick mate is unable to fly, and as a result, she was quite hungry. To fix this, the green dragon was unable to hunt for enough food in the wild to feed both her and himself, and while he gave whatever food he caught to her, he himself now went hungry. So, he sacked a village to get enough to eat, and even gave some to his mate. To be sure, the green dragons are still evil, but they are lawful in alignment as well. This means that they have a sense of devotion to each other which goes alongside their disregard for all other forms of life. In other words, they care about their family, but everyone else in the world can hang for all they care; remember, even sinners love those who love them.
Now, the party approaches the village that was attacked. The village is badly damaged, with the smell of chlorine gas still hanging in the air. Injured civilians are visible in the village's small temple, which has been converted into a makeshift infirmary for the injured. A large host of angry lizardfolk warriors gathers outside of the village, and a Sauromancer is with them, along with a couple of shamans and several other mages. The party is asked to join the lizardfolk force in exchange for a fraction of the dragon's hoard. It is here the adventure begins.
Ending the Quest
To complete the quest, peace has to be restored to the region. This is most obviously done by killing the green dragon, but can also be accomplished by convincing the other lizardfolk that the chief who is leading the expedition is really just interested in his own greed. The rest of the lizardfolk know that there was over-hunting in this region, and while the sacking of a village is bad, it isn't so terrible if only food was taken. The lizardfolk fear that the green dragon is there to steal what little wealth they have, not that their food will be taken. It isn't worth risking warriors on an attack on a dragon just because some food was stolen. Under better circumstances, the green dragon would be held accountable for his actions, but in Paludia, justice is hard to come by. The final way to end the quest is to get the green dragon to make restitution to the village he sacked; this can only be done if the party itself is able to make or force him to do so, either by threatening his mate, curing his mate,... or by threatening the eggs she laid.
In simpler terms:
- Kill the green dragon.
- Convince the lizardfolk that the lead chief is greedy and doesn't care about the sacked village.
- Make/force the green dragon to offer restitution by:
- Cure his mate in exchange for offering restitution.
- Threaten his mate's life.
- Steal/Threaten the eggs his mate laid.
To reach each end, each section will be numbered according to the path one desires to take.
For the players
A village has been sacked by a dragon and has been badly damaged. The local lizardfolk tribes are outraged and have agreed to follow the lead of a single chief in his efforts to slay the dragon.
Culdvor: male mature adult green dragon.
Destymos: female adult green dragon.
Rakild: lizardfolk chief and level 14 fighter.
Stage one is the same, regardless of what path the party chooses to take. Hence, there is no enumeration of different ending paths.
The party begins in the damaged village. The smell of chlorine is still in the air, even two days after the attack. Rubble is still strewn all over the ground and the huts show obvious signs of a green dragon assault. A large crowd is gathered in the center of the village; The party will quickly be asked to join them. Judging from the display of weapons and the hawkish rhetoric it is immediately obvious that the lizardfolk intend to fight, and avenge the village. At the center of the crowd is a local chief, Rakild. Asking other lizardfolk (using a DC 5 gather information check) about Rakild will reveal that he is the chief of another village; a DC 10 check will reveal that his village is several kilometers to the east.
Rakild will conclude the meeting with the announcement that in three day's time, a host of lizardfolk with gather together in the village and attack the dragon. It will take them three days to gather together enough warriors, use scrying spells to determine the location of the dragon's lair, and prepare enough weaponry for what is expected to be a tough fight. The party is invited to join the army, and in order to continue to be welcome, the party must say yes, as the lizardfolk have adopted an "if your not with us, you're against us" mentality for the time being. The quest will end before it begins if the party says no (this represents the last easy chance to bail out if the party isn't ready to take on a dragon.)
Once the party agrees to join the gathering force, they will be welcome in the village and the surrounding settlements.
Stage two begins when the party is free to travel in the surrounding areas. This stage lasts for three days and ends when the army is gathered and ready to attack. As the party travels around the area, they will learn more of the setting, of the food situation, and of the chief's intentions. It will take a DC 10 gather information check after talking to a group of lizardfolk civilians to learn that there is a food problem, DC 15 to learn that over hunting is causing food problems, and a DC 20 check to learn of Rakild's love of gold and how he once sent his eldest son to his death in a fight for a valuable golden prize in an arena tournament (a tournament intended for the sons of chiefs to fight in), in spite of the fact that his son was no match for the opposition (and Rakild knew it.)
- To pursue the first path, the party ought to prepare for a fight, and once prepared, wait around for the army to gather.
- To follow the second path, the party has to have good diplomacy skills. The party needs to gather information and piece together a better picture of the scenario.
- To force the dragon to offer restitution, the party will have to take the risky step of going after the dragon before the army gathers. First, they must find the dragon's lair. This can be done using a scrying spell. Information on the dragon can be obtained from any shaman in any village, who can tell the party that the dragon is of the green variety and that he has been around since before most of the villages in the area were founded. A gather information check of 5 is all that is needed to find out the general location of the dragon's lair; it is in the mountains to the northwest.
Stage three begins when the party has completed the first step needed for each path.
- At this point, the army will be ready to go. Skip to stage four once the party sets off with the force to attack the dragon.
- Now that the party knows where the dragon lair is, they will have to reach it before the lizardfolk army can. The party should head northwest of the village, and up into the mountains.
- The trip to the Dragon's lair takes a few hours, and forces the party to cross rough terrain with the possibility of an encounter per hour. Similar to path # 2, the party must reach the lair ahead of the lizardfolk.
Stage four starts when either the army is heading for the Dragon's lair, or the party has reached the lair ahead of the army.
- If the party wishes to take the simple path and just join the army, a large force will be with the party. No encounters will interfere with the army, for few wish to get in the way of such a large force of angry warriors.
- By this time, the party will have reached the Dragon's lair ahead of the army. In order to be willing and able to convince the dragon to pay restitution to the village, the party must be aware of the villainous motives of the lizardfolk chief, must be aware of the food situation, and must make good diplomacy checks (DMs) discretion on exactly how this is to be done.
- The party may be interested in joining the dragon and wiping out the lizardfolk.