Haunted Dragon Bones

Image by Freemdeem from this reddit post.

hard landing

Theme

Fire

It is a bringer of death and a funereal rite. Fire destroys but the ashes are often fertile ground for future planting.

  • What is some destructive metaphorical fire that your treasure-hunter suffered through but found something fertile in the ashes after the fire had been extinguished?
  • Is there anything in your life right now you need to set fire to?

Sometimes I forget to ask questions during the encounter/adventure. That is okay. The results of the adventure and treasures will stay with the players for a while. When it comes up or when they are remembering back on this, keep the questions in your pocket and use them to make the adventure relevant to that very moment.


Title

Haunted Dragon Bones

Dragon-lore players might not know is in italics. Perhaps they do know some dragon-lore. If so, ask how they learned it. Was there home village burned by dragonfire? Was their wizard-teacher a dragon-mage? Did they steal a book on dragon-lore from a mage’s library?


Set Goal

Get out of there with the rare dragon bones without bringing dangerous dragonfire ghosts along with them.


Moments

  • The feeling that someone’s gaze is on you and that this gaze has a palpable heat.
  • Birds chirping cheerfully in the distance but none getting close to the dragon’s corpse.
  • The smell of something burning, an inferno, even though your other senses say no such fire exists.

Props

  • Dragon Bones: Brittle and brown, covered in muck and mud, they seem like normal bones.

Do the players know their dragon lore? Once treated with intense white-fire heat the bones will become harder than steel.

  • Dragonfire Ghosts: The ghosts are off in the distance, just out of sight, only able to manifest when a fire is lit near the dragon-bones.

Dragon-lore: Dragonfire ghosts manifest through fire – night or day is the all the same to them.


Traps

  • The dragonfire ghosts will come if the players light a campfire or torches of any kind.

Dragon-lore: There is one dragonfire ghost for every tooth in the skull. The ghosts can be put to rest by burying the teeth in a formal funeral ceremony (even if the teeth are dug up later). Or they can leave the teeth here and the ghosts will stay with the teeth.

Dragon teeth can cut ghosts.


Dragonfire Ghosts, 4

dice-six-faces-one Scream and writhe as if burning

dice-six-faces-two Poltergeist-move fires towards anything flammable

dice-six-faces-three Share their memories of fire and blood

dice-six-faces-four Babble in draconic about being unable to reste

dice-six-faces-five Cut themselves on the dragon’s teeth while pawing at the skull

dice-six-faces-six Insert themselves into memories of fire and doom

Defenses: Noncorporeal , physical weapons have no effect

Weaknesses: Prayers of mourning and funereal rites, need a fear to be nearby in order to manifest


NOTES

If you need this to be more recent, have the players see the dragon fall to the ground. The encounter doesn’t change much.

How much are the dragon-bones?

I’d roll 2d6 and keep the highest to see how many of the bones are useful. If they think to grind the bones into dust and sell it to alchemists, roll 3d6 and keep the highest.

If they use it for their own shenanigans, have fun making up uses for dragon-bones.

Encounters like this, mini-incursions are great if you are using these travel rules.

Wouldn’t it be cool to have a whole pdf or book of one-set mini-incursions for when the treasure-hunters run into dangerous things out in the wilderness? Yeah, I’m thinking about that. Maybe I’ll make something once the Village… is done.

If you use this in your game I’d love to hear how it goes.

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