This plot is good for fantasy RPGs (designed for AD&D, approx. 6
characters of 6th-8th level)
A small farming community several miles from where the characters are
based has made an appeal to the mayor of the village to put an end to
what are described as "dragon raids". The mayor, who is coming up for
re-election, has heard of the fame of the heroes and comes to them for
help in slaying the dragon that has terrorized his constituents.
What the heroes are told:
Recently (in the last few weeks), a dragon with green skin has
shambled up out of the nearby marsh and carried off livestock in its
mouth. The farmers are upset at this loss of their resources. A group
of the farmers held a meeting and sent two volunteers out into the swamp,
but they have not been heard from since.
What the heroes will find, upon investigation:
Large, muddy footprints on the grounds of the farmers whose livestock
have been stolen--mostly those living right next to the marsh to take
advantage of the fertile ground--ostensibly "dragon tracks". If they ask
questions of the right people, they will find someone who swears he saw
the dragon change into a dragon-man and walk off into the swamp. The
rest of the town thinks this old guy is nuts. The dragon has not been
spotted any farther away from the swamp than about 30 yards. None of the
townsfolk remember seeing any wings on the creature.
Some information the heroes might be able to discover:
Green dragons do not, by habit, live in marshland areas. They prefer
the serenity and relative abundance of game supplied by verdant forests.
Green dragons also delight in deceiving and controlling human operations.
A green dragon without wings is an oddity, to be sure.
In fact, the kind of dragons who DO live in the swamp are black
None of this information should be available without sage
What is actually going on:
A little ways into the marsh is a small settlement of lizard men.
These are not the ordinary warlike race, but rather a pacifistic
offshoot... deadly when necessary, but downright friendly otherwise.
They are, in fact, farmers themselves, cultivating nutritious plants and
fungi, and keeping their own herd animals: giant lizards.
The harvest has been bad this year, and feeding the giant lizards has
become second priority. So the lizards, starving, wandered off towards
the human village in search of food...and found it.
The human farmers wouldn't know a dragon from an oversized water
snake, so they naturally panicked. No farmer in his right mind would go
dragon hunting in a swamp, nohow. And the story grew a little more
fantastic with each telling....
Once, the lizard men followed one of the lizards toward the human
farms. It was near dusk, and visibility was poor, so it was an easy
mistake to say that the "dragon" had changed into a "dragon-man". But
overall, the lizard men have avoided the humans for fear of prejudice and
misunderstanding. If approached peacefully, and the situation is
explained, the humanoids will be willing to pay restitution for the
animals. They are also willing to open a trade avenue with the humans,
if such an idea is acceptable, but that is up to the farmers.
Elsewhere, deeper in the swamp, lairs an old black dragon. He
sleeps, unaware of the turmoil occurring in the nearby village. In fact,
the last time his sleep was disturbed was a couple of weeks back, when
two lanky humans intruded rudely upon his nap. Fortunately for the
dragon, he happened to be mildly hungry at the time.
[The Net Book of Plots Home Page]
Email: Alexander Forst-Rakoczy