Friday, September 13, 2013

Sovereign Dragon

Sovereign dragons, the mightiest of the imperial dragons, are all about balance—lordly creatures that sit at the fulcrum point of history and guard against the fortunes of war, technology, or philosophy tipping the scales too far to any one side.

(Speaking of which, the power of sovereign dragons is likely to be a bit of an existential rebuke to metallic dragons and the forces of good, who are used to their side at least having the upper hand in terms of stat blocks (gold dragons vs. red, solars vs. pit fiends and balors, etc.), if not numbers.  To have such powerful neutral beings remain skeptical of the value of their grand benevolence must be highly aggravating.)

Give their lofty perches and remote throne rooms, sovereign dragons aren’t likely to interact with PCs on a regular basis—your average adventurer is simply beneath their notice.  But when they do, they’re likely to drive your PCs nuts.  Sovereign dragons’ powers are all weighted toward avoiding extremes (detect evil/good, dogmatic discordance, calm emotions, etc.) or frustrating action (calm emotions again, golden armor, master counterspelling, violent retort, moment of prescience, and so forth).  Even their sonic breath weapon and prismatic spray seem calculated to knock out all assailants equally.

If sovereign dragons have a flaw, it’s that they’re far too invested in the status quo, and their natural hesitancy is so profound as to almost be a gravitation force.  When they do act, it should be as if heaven and earth is moving into alignment, bringing the divine judgment of the gods, the sun, the moon, and the stars all bearing down on those who have upset the natural order of existence.

Long tormented by an autocratic governor, a cell of rebellious peasants abduct a very young sovereign dragon.  They hope to convince it that aiding their revolt will serve the Balance.  Meanwhile the young dragon’s mother is beside herself with worry and wounded pride.

A sovereign dragon leads a team of proteans and entropic chimeras to destroy an axiomite mathematicyst.

The golden-armored paladins of St. Crucien are stunned to discover that the wizened dragon matriarch who has been their sponsor for so many generations is no gold dragon at all, but a sovereign dragon.  Worse yet, while she has rallied them to snuff out evil and chaos, she has also at times allowed and even encouraged rebellion, lawlessness, and wickedness behind their backs so that the Balance would be maintained.  This revelation causes a schism among knights who want to continue the sovereign dragon’s mission, knights who seek to convert her to the side of good and order, and knights who wish to put the wyrm to the sword.

Pathfinder Bestiary 3 100-101

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