Saturday Seed ~ 66 (Palladium)

This week’s seed is for Palladium Fantasy. It is just a seed, but is a borderline Infectious Plot. It requires virtually no setup, and can be timed to occur pretty much whenever you want it to happen, but can literally go on for ages. I used it initially with a party of characters in Tanis, but it could work well anywhere, either settled or not. I feel it made a bigger impact in an urban environment, but such decisions are up to you~

The Seed

The group encounters a dead dragon, and realizes a wounded dragon cannot be far away. If they are brave, smart, and prepared enough to act, they can prevent tragedy and possibly profit from it beyond their wildest dreams.

Planting the Seed

Literally out of the cloudy sky, right in front of the characters, a mauled dragon slams to earth, shaking people off their feet and demolishing whatever has the misfortune to have been underneath it.  Seconds later a similar impact is heard distantly to the North.

There is visible evidence of a titanic struggle with another dragon, as the dying one before the characters, a Fire Dragon of impressive size, bears massive bite and claw marks of draconic proportions, as well as flesh and bone in its own claws and mouth no doubt torn from the flesh of its attacker. For any with even passing familiarity with dragons, the huge bone horn in the slackening grip of the Fire Dragon clearly indicates the other aggressor in this fight was a Great Horned Dragon, and the scales and skin on the huge hunk of meat in the dying dragon’s maw works to confirm that indication.

As they watch, the dragon – its wounds failing to regenerate – expires. A magical effect is present should someone be able to detect such things and choose to do so, but of course it will be purely speculation if players conclude the lack of regeneration and that effect are related.

As you can well assume, in an urban setting the characters will not be the only group to witness the fall, and agents of the person in charge of that place will immediately roll up with all the requisite pomp to claim the spoils as belonging to their leader.  As legally they will be in the right, and as the families of the victims lying underneath it may also have some idea to claim reparations, the vast bounty of dragon lore and alchemical components laid out before the group will likely have to be written off.

However, rather than all being lost, there is much more to be gained. Somewhere nearby, the dragon which slew this one lies wounded – its fall was clearly heard by the characters, and no one else seems to be aware of that. If it too is having trouble regenerating, then…

The Details

The Fire Dragon and the Great Horned Dragon, both vile creatures of great age and duplicity, have been waging a covert war on each other and their allies for centuries. The collateral damage has been immense, but its attribution has always fallen on pawns and patsies, never on the two responsible.

Recently, both have learned that they themselves are pawns in a larger game, by powers greater than either of them. Attempting to forge an alliance to fight back, they organized a raid on the stronghold of their puppet master, stealing what they believed to be the source of its immense power. As they sought a place of isolation to assess their prize, their animosity got the better of them and they fell to savagery and bloodshed in the skies about wherever the characters are.

As they fought, their rage waxed, while their intelligence and higher order abilities waned. The result was the death of both… and the loss of the prize.

Finding the fallen Great Horned Dragon will not be hard, nor take long, but time will still be of the essence for it is unreasonable to assume that no one else in the surrounding towns and hamlets saw this great creature fall from the sky.

The dragon, when found, will be bleeding its last few drops of life, but still will be clawing and scratching at the ground, as though trying to crawl somewhere. – searching for something. Around one forearm, a huge chain is fastened, as though a decoration, and from it a similar chain suitable for suspending a pendant. This chain is broken, but still retains a sense of magic. In the palm of that claw, there is a searing mark in the shape of a large oval, almost the size of a man, as though something smooth and vaguely egg-like had been clutched tightly until it charred the flesh and bone black.

No sign of this object is visible, but a thin plume of smoke can be seen to the NW, and the dragon was clearly trying to drag itself in that direction when it died.

What’s going on

The object, a large magical crystal of great malevolence and chaotic power, has no purpose but to foster hatred, distrust, and brute retaliation against all life. The supernatural agent, from whom it was stolen, has played an elaborate trick to set up the deceased dragons, and have them transport the crystal here on their own, and die for it.

As long as the crystal is on this plane, it will spread its influence, until war spreads to every corner of the world….  No one alive knows what it is, or where it came from, and no one on Palladium knows what it does. One thing is certain, it is the start of a great quest, or a turning point in the characters lives.

What will make it perhaps too compelling to ignore, however, is that those who touch the crystal and allow themselves to be burned by it, will find they can draw PPE from the object as though it were their own, or draw upon other traits such as strength or intelligence. Over time, they will also learn that the crystal draws these things from them as well. For every being drawing PPE or a trait, the source is every other being; and the crystal – being somewhat sentient – often chooses to direct the greatest deductions so that they involve the closest of friends and enemies, and colours them with deceit and mistrust.

Will the characters’ involvement end with harvesting the corpse of a dragon, or will they rise to more heroic endeavours?

  I hope to hear about their choices, whatever they decide~

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