Lost And Found – An Unfinished Draconic Compendium

You happen across a strange compendium seemingly left behind in all haste, its exterior does not give much of an impression, being a simple, untitled black leather bound tome.

Upon closer inspection, it appears to be some manner of scholar’s notebook, containing intricately drawn, colorful pictures and visual studies of a particular red-colored species of dragon, full of lengthy, organized scribbles about history, culture and personality. Reading through it all would take quite some time, this was clearly a literary work only for those sharing the same insatiable lust for knowledge as the unknown author. Who could have written this..?

The compendium seems incomplete halfway through and had many missing pages.
It lacked any signature of any sort as to whom its original author was.
No one would probably come around looking for it, given the state of the book and the strange place in which you found it. But looks can be deceiving and you could be mistaken.
Still, it could be an interesting read to pass the time…

Should you choose to open the tome and read through its contents, you turn your eyes onto the first page of the compendium to learn what lies beyond it’s humble exterior.

[Chronicles and Research of a Red Dragon]
Dragons of all kinds have always been infinitely fascinating creatures.
Their tremendous might, legendary ferocity and devastating elemental breaths.
They appear as timeless and repeated depictions in our history, legends, propaganda and coats of arms among countless other things.
Dragonkind carries on a legacy far more ancient than we could possibly ever fathom.

Between all the tales and legends, little is truly known about their kind outside of superstition and fiction, many assume all dragons are simply evil and carry nothing but ill will against all life and seek to hunt them down in search of treasure and fame.

I rejected those answers in pursuit of the truth.
I believe we have much to learn from these living legends, should we find it in ourselves to cast our prejudice and fear aside and embrace them with greater understanding.
I realize this is no easy task, for dragons do not take kindly to our presence.
No matter the trials ahead i must do them justice and seek answers so that we may better comprehend and co-exist their kind.

In order to seek knowledge of legendary things, i began my search in legends involving dragons.
I came across a fascinating story once told to me in detail by a retired old man telling of a terrible fate befalling a young dragon, one i shall recite here in full as it was told to me.

[The Legend of the Dragon]
The dungeon of Destard has long been renowned for Dragons of all kinds taking residence within, many adventurers have sought to challenge the mighty beasts, for we all know well the fame, glory and fortune often associated with the felling of a dragon.

There once was a local lord from the city of Trinsic, a wealthy, ambitious and powerful man. Despite his great wealth, he had incurred debts so great not even he could pay. Standing at risk of losing his title and privileges, it was a fate he would not gladly face.

He knew well of Destard and the dragons within, but also knew well he would not survive to face all of them. The lord sent out scouts to determine if any dragons lived apart from those of Destard, believing they would make a much more manageable a target so that he may line his pockets with the dragon’s treasures.
If events could be orchestrated to brand him a hero as well, that was very desirable.

The lord’s efforts proved fruitful, an isolated lair had been found by his scouts on a high mountaintop north from the city itself, a small family of red-scaled dragons made their living there.

(A small illustration depicting the entire family of dragons taking residence within the lair, as it may once have been.)

Before long, the lord used his vast influential power to raise a small army. An army fit to slay the dragons alongside with him.

He enacted a bold plan to win the favor of the people, if the people feared the dragons then his campaign would be easy to justify, and he would return a great hero of his people.

He sent out his scouts, who brought with them a large piece of delectable meat instructed to use it’s alluring scent in a daring plan to draw away one of the dragons from its lair towards the town gates so that they may claim the dragons from the mountaintop lair sought to bring the city death and destruction.

To their dismay, only one of the young wyrmlings within the lair picked up the scent and followed them, but they had to make do with what they had, leading it towards the gates…

Once within distance to be seen by the men of the watch, they signaled to sound the alarm.
Immediately, the bells started to ring wild, the people panicked in the streets and sought shelter as the lord’s men ran around the streets shouting that a dragon was attacking the city!

A large group of knights and soldiers gathered at the gates, watched by countless citizens who believed themselves safe in close proximity to them, a horn was sounded as the gates were opened.
The scouts being chased by the small dragon kept on luring it towards the gates, now running as fast as they could whilst keeping the meat in tow, well concealed from any citizens prying eyes to not arise suspicion.

The dragon, unknowing of what it was being driven toward, started to grow desperate with hunger and fear as it caught sight of the town and charged in, hoping to snatch the meat and then escape back to the shelter of its home.

From within the city, the knights, soldiers and crossbowmen charged out from the gates to meet the beast, the people witnessing the event shrieked and despaired for what was to come, all they could see was the dragon coming towards the town at full speed!

Too frightened to continue chasing the sizable, ambrosial hunk of meat, the small dragon stopped in its tracks and turned about, only just now realizing it had been led into a trap.

But it would prove too late, the troops had been ordered to strike without mercy.
A well-aimed crossbow bolt struck the dragon through the tendon of its hind leg, making it fall over in its retreat. The knights and soldiers drew ever closer, swords drawn…

Before the eyes of the people of Trinsic, they swung their blades ceaselessy, vanquishing the dragon.
In a final cry of defiance, the creature yelped out for help before it was silenced for good by the lord driving his blade through its neck.

He ordered the troops to back up, before pulling his sword out and beheading the beast underfoot before his people, calling out victoriously that they were safe for now, the monster was vanquished.

His troops and the people cheered in celebration of their swift victory as he held the head aloft for all to see.
But it would be a short-lived celebration…

A much larger, dark shadow loomed over them. The lord and his men barely finding the time to turn their attention towards the sky before a much older, much larger dragon thunderously slammed down in front of them. It was wrought with rage, teeth bared, steam and fire flaring from its nostrils, roaring furiously, most like the parent of the wyrmling they had just slain.

(A two-page illustration of the enraged dragon, as probably seen from the eyes of the lord and his soldiers.)

At once, the lord ordered his men to attack with a quivering voice, raising his sword at the colossal dragon! In the blink of an eye, a quarter of his men lay dead or dying, burned by dragonfire, evicerated by tooth and claw, or smashed to pulps by its tail. The lord himself was sent flying back from a mighty sweep of its tail, wounding him greatly.

His troops were ordered to regroup and spread out, a long and arduous battle took place, morale started to falter. They started to flee the battlefield, fearing for their lives as more than half of their numbers had perished and victory seemed impossible, the dragon’s anger could not be stopped!

Just as it would seem the lord’s ambitions turned against him, the table was turned.

A band of seasoned, travelling adventurers had come responding to the commotion, they knew the dragon’s vulnerability to cold and ice.
A magical spell whizzed through the air, freezing the dragon where it stood for a short time.
But a short time was all it took for the soldiers to regain faith, aided by these powerful heroes.

The mighty dragon was soon made vulnerable, weakened and spent, it tried to shake off the many assailants coming from all directions, but ultimately fell to their sheer numbers and powerful magics bypassing its defenses, collapsing lifeless upon the road.

The people saw the lord as a great hero, and his soldiers as the most noble and honorable of men who sacrificed themselves to defend the town, the adventurers were justly rewarded and welcomed into the lord’s court.

In the wake of his newfound popularity, people rallied to support the lord in the next stage of his plight;

To eradicate the remaining dragons within the lair.

In mere days, his numbers were replenished, bolstered with more than mere soliders.
Mages from Moonglow heeded the call.
The best archers Yew had to offer responded in kind.
Jhelom’s most valiant fighters sought to bathe their blades in dragon’s blood,
and the Paladins pledged their allegiance to the lord in his divine task.

They marched as one towards the lair atop the mountain, determined to end the dragons reign once and for all for the continued peace of the realm.

Within the lair now resided five dragons in total, all five mere juveniles, all gathered in close proximity to an impressive hoard of gold and treasure.

The sizable force marched inside with weapons drawn, without hesitation cutting down each and every one of the young dragons which responded to their unwelcome presence with territorial hostility and loud cries for help.

One by one was silenced, until only two, the youngest of the clutch remained, the both of them escaped deeper into the caverns in the midst of the slaughter.

The lord reassured his troops to feel no remorse, each and every one of these beasts would only grow adult to revisit their nightmares upon the land and its people.
They had to be completely eradicated for Britannia to be safe.

But it would not be so easy, barely finishing his sentence his men called him to attention, another great dragon was coming at blinding speed towards them!
Once again, the lord and his followers steeled themselves for combat.

The great dragon smashed itself into the thick of the army, its voice thundering out as it began to defend its lair. It began to speak in common tongue. "First, your despicable kind sees fit to slay my eldest son in cold blood! And as it was not enough, you took the life of my beloved mate as well! And now you seek to murder the remainder my brood and desecrate our lair!? Look upon yourselves, here you are, calling -us- monsters. Such cruel irony. I shall enjoy ending your lives… INSOLENCE! I am death incarnate! Come, and face me, then. Die with the dignity you never had in life!", the dragon’s words echoed across the stones, as if the entire cave itself spoke with utmost authority.

(A half-page illustration of just how terrifying the appearance and speech of this dragon must have been.)

The lord gave no quarter, ordering the attack to commence.
He urged his men not to listen to the dragon’s tricks and lies, it sought only to break their morale and that it knew well it would die this day, that the end of it’s terror was nigh.

Some did not know what to believe, but most remained loyal to the lord.
The battle was long, costly and arduous.

In the end, only the lord himself and a grand mage from Moonglow remained standing.
The others had either fled from the cave out of fear, mutiny, or died in the heat of battle.

Aided by the mage, the lord’s claymore was magically enchanted to bypass the dragon’s armor, and in a final, desperate charge, he thrusted his blade towards its chest, bypassing the creature’s plated hide and delivering a mortal blow to its heart.

The dragon clearly reacted to the strike, the claymore lodged in its chest, it’s body ravaged by deep wounds both physical and magical in nature.
It roared weakly as it fell over onto the ground, strength and life waning from its body as it spoke once again, "Am i… to die..? So be it, i hope your ill-gained victory was worth it, human…".
The great dragon ceased to move…

From the far reaches of the cavern, small claws clattered against the stone floor as one of the wyrmlings still alive pounced onto the lord, bereft of sense from its grief. It buried its teeth deeply into the lord’s arm!

He shouted out in pain, reaching out to reclaim his sword from the chest of the great dragon, aided by the Mage in disloding the juvenile from himself, then promptly impaling it with his sword.

The blade broke and shattered from the impact as it struck against the hard rock, the lord kicking away the small dragon as it lay dying before him, the base and pommel of his sword lodged through its back.

He cursed out loud, too injured to continue the fight… They looked around at the carnage before the mage told him they would need to return with more men to secure the remaining treasure, then opening a Moongate taking them back to safety.
As the magical gate sank back down into the ground from whence it came, the last surviving hatchling cautiously emerged from its hiding place, discovering the horror that had taken place. Desperately, it tried to shake its lifeless sibling into animation, but to no use, looking with sorrow and hatred upon the heritage sigil hilt of the blade thrusted through its spine, an image the dragon most like would not soon forget.

Wrecked by the loss, it ran to the great dragon laid upon the stone floor, close by their family’s hoard. As it nuzzled itself against its great head, it began to speak in an ancient and unknown language. The youngling listened intently, although clearly heartbroken by the emotional trauma which only seemed to worsen with each passing moment.

The great dragon spoke yet for a while, but ultimately no longer found the words to continue, it seemed he urged the young dragon to flee. Flee as far away as it could, far away from their lands. A very dangerous journey for a dragon so young and inexperienced.

It left the former comforts of its lair, and took off into the great unknown.
What became of that dragon, no one knows…
Most likely it would not be ready for the world it was plunged into and perished.
Or perhaps it yet lives.
We can only hope it does not return to exact it’s vengeance, centuries later…

Before long the lord’s men arrived with carts and more soldiers. Those who miraculously still lived after the battle had concluded were taken back to the healers in Trinsic, and the entire treasure hoard was claimed for the lord’s counting.

His ambition was complete. The dragons were no more and he was hailed a true hero of Britannia. With the dragons treasures now his own, he had attained wealth unimaginable. His debts were settled, and he lived a long and luxurious life of immeasurable splendour.

[The End]

This story intrigued me. The man who told it to me supposedly had some connection to the events which took place, but i could not manage to learn how exactly.

As any scholar worthy of his name, i checked to make sure such a lord ever did exist. He did.

If this dragon was still alive, it would make the perfect subject for my studies!

For many years my search for it proved fruitless, it seemed a fool’s quest to continue searching for such an elusive dragon.
Even if i found it, knowing the tale i was as likely to be killed before i would even have the chance to ask my first question, but i could not walk away from an opportunity such as this. I simply could not.

My fascination for the creature was too great.

And it was then that my long years of patience finally paid off!
My journeys took me back to Trinsic, in search of the very cave spoken of in the old man’s tale, and i think i found it!

Time had humbled it, many of its chambers had collapsed through the passage of time, but upon the ground i found a small, single red scale from a dragon.

I inspected it closely, when i suddenly found myself caught in an ambush, could it be?
Indeed it was a dragon!
A magnificent red creature with an air of mythical legend about it, i was far too excited to even consider the mortal danger i had just found myself in, i gestured to the scale upon the ground, without a thought asking the creature if it was one of its own.

The dragon seemed amused by my question. Suddenly my senses came back to me. A gift! Yes of course, i had prepared well should this happen, and sat down a sizable bag of select gemstones where i stood. I kneeled down and proclaimed it was a gift to the dragon’s magnificence, and gave my humble condolences.

Somehow, i was still alive, against all my initial expectations of how a situation such as this could conclude.

The dragon questioned me thoroughly, leaving no detail untouched, but just as quickly introduced itself.
The name was beautiful and captivating, i will never forget the first time it graced my ears.


A female who carried herself with a thorough pride and vanity.
A trait i can only admire in a being so grand and glorious.
She looked fierce and terrifying, but yet somehow beautiful and gracious. A true marvel to behold.

She seemed to be rather intrigued when i explained my passion for dragonkind, about my desire to highlight and document this ancient and impressive race we know so little about, and proceeded to tell her the story i had heard so long ago.

Before long i knew i had found the very dragon i had sought.
The story must have been true! She was still alive… At first i did not know if that was such a good thing, but as i was given the honor of spending more time documenting all that she knew it did not matter much to me.
My discovery of her, and the potential of novel research held far higher priority than my common sense ever did.

The following chapter of this notebook are dedicated to that which i have learned about her kind and their culture as it was witnessed and told to me.

[Notes on Red Dragons]

(A full-page research illustration depicting an adult Red Dragon standing tall, compared in size to the average humanoid)

The most covetous of all true dragons, red dragons tirelessly seek to increase their treasure hoards. They are exceptionally vain, even for dragons, which is reflected in their proud bearing and disdainful expression.

Red dragons love mountainous terrain, but also inhabit hilly regions, badlands and other locales where they can perch high and survey their domain.

A red dragon seeks out a large cave that extends deep into the earth for its lair. Caves with some kind of volcanic or geothermal activity are the most highly prized.

No matter what its lair is like, however, the dragon always has a high perch nearby from which to haughtily survey its territory.

Red dragons are so rapacious, ferocious, vengeful, and avaricious that this humble scholar regards them as the archetypical evil dragon. Red dragons share this opinion of themselves.
They believe that, above all other species, they are the closest to the ideals of draconic nature and behavior, and that the rest of dragonkind has slipped from this purity.

Younger red dragons often find life difficult. Their vidid red scales make them dangerously conspicuous in most landscapes, and so they lurk underground by day and venture forth only at night.
Older red dragons, however, are both less vividly colored and more aware of their presumed status as the epitome of dragonkind.

Red dragons are the most obsessive treasure collectors among dragons. They covey absolutely anything of monetary value and often can judge a bauble’s worth to within a gold piece with just a glance.

Every red dragon knows the exact value of items in its hoard, along with exactly how and when the dragon obtained the item and each item’s exact location in the hoard. Bards tell tales of sneak thieves who ignite a dragon’s wrath just by stealing a single trinket.

Such tales are firmly grounded in fact, at least where red dragons are concerned. In some cases, in fact, the tales fall short of the mark. An adult red dragon can notice a single coin missing from its hoard, and its rage over the pettiest theft is legendary.

The dragon tracks down and slays the thief, if possible. If not, the dragon is sure to go on a rampage, killing anything it meets and laying waste to any town or village where the thief might have taken refuge.

All red dragons are solitary by nature and fiercely territorial; they keep constant watch for trespassers of any kind and for encroachment by other dragons.
Entering a red dragon’s territory uninvited is asking to be attacked.

For all their ferocious independence, however, red dragons always seek to know about events in the wider world.
They often make use of other creatures as informants, messengers and spies. The dragon invariably adopt patronizing attitudes toward these servants, and do not hesitate to slay and eat them when they bring bad news.

A red dragon is particularly interested in news about other red dragons, mostly because its own status relative its peers remain a top concern. A red dragon usually can recover some lost status by wreaking havoc.

Every red dragon firmly believes that no being deserves to keep anything it is not strong enough to defend. Red dragons apply this rule to their own kind. Occasionally, red dragons perceive weakness among one of their own, and the subject is not allowed to live. The victim is attacked, and its lair stripped.

Courtship among red dragons can be a perilous affair, because most would-be suitors are treated as dangerous rivals.
Successful red dragon courtship usually involves a younger dragon with fairly high status among its peers carefully approaching an older one. Females do most of the courting, but males are also known to do so.

After mating, the younger dragon is usually left to guard the eggs. Most red wyrmlings are left to fend for themselves. Occasionally, two parents of about equal age mate and tend their young together.

Red dragons rarely fight for mates. Most are wise enough to know that any battle will be fatal, and prudently quit the field when a superior rival makes a claim.

Red dragons are meat-eaters by preference and their favorite food is (according to Teralinné) human or elf youth. The dragon steadfastly claims such meat simply tastes better. Sometimes they force villagers into regularly sacrificing maidens to them.

Red dragons are confident fighters for whom retreat or compromise is not an option.
They spend years formulating plans of attack; upon spotting potential foes, they simply choose a strategy and immediately put it into practice.

Being swift but not particularly agile flyers, they often choose to fight on the ground when they can. There, red dragons often display considerable mobility and tactical savvy.

They are excellent jumpers, and often leap from place or take short flight to gain the most favorable position possible when using spells or breath weapons.

Any red dragon is well aware that its fiery breath can destroy treasure, and it uses its breath weapon judiciously so as to avoid incinerating the spoils of victory.

For all its legendary ferocity, a red dragon also knows when not to attack. If it recognizes a superior foe, it (reluctantly) withdraws to fight another day if it can do so without losing face.

Likewise, when dealing with a clearly weaker foe, a red dragon might attempt to bully or fool the creature into rendering it some service or supplying information. In either case, the dragon gets what it wants, or the creature dies. The dragon will accept no other outcomes.

Red dragons do not slay every foe they meet in battle. Always concious of status, they often allow a few survivors to escape and spread word of the dragon’s victory.

[End of Chapter]

Next i shall write down a few notes i have made of her own individual personality from my own perceptions, so that i do not forget them when it is time to present my complete works.

Teralinné herself has a remarkable personality, having witnessed her behavior for a time, she wastes no time in revealing herself to foes, usually by flying overhead to throw her shadow over a group or by perching in a high place and imperiously demand that the characters behold her magnificent self.

She usually expects creatures such as humanoids to lavish praise upon her and extol her beauty, strength and grace. If she fails to get the praise she thinks is her due, she often attacks.

Those who flatter Teralinné must still endure her demands for tribute, and even if they pay up, find themselves invited to flatter her some more.

Teralinné never tires of hearing about herself, and usually does not let her victims go until they have provided a sum of treasure or assured her that she is simply too magnificent for their small minds to describe.

She is far from the small wyrmling mentioned in the story of old, having grown into a wonderful dragoness.

Despite my best efforts, coaxing with treasure and tireless praise, she has not found it suitable to tell me any exact age, it has therefore become difficult to accurately assess a timeline in regards to the dragoness life thus far.

Teralinné is very fond of the intricate, colorful drawings i have a habit of producing to best capture the essence of my research. For days on end i find myself coaxed to transfer her magnificent grace onto parchments which she imperiously tends to keep to herself.

(A full-page illustration of present-day Teralinné, contently laying atop her treasure hoard with her usual posture.)

Luckily i got to keep my notebook after drawing this upon one of its pages! That by itself is a small miracle.

It has been some time since i first encountered her in that old cave that once housed her legacy, and she has since relocated her lair many times, so i am told.

She has revealed that the scale she left behind once was one of her own in her young days, a small remnant left behind of herself in respect to her fallen legacy. A memorial of sorts, for lack of a better explanation.

It seems she no longer desires my presence, after finishing my last notes she demanded my departure without delay. Should she summon me again, i would be delighted to continue my research, until th-
(The ink seems to fade out here, the remaining pages in the tome are blank or torn out. The last paragraph seems to have been written in a great hurry.)

Perhaps there are further appendixes to find somewhere in the world to make the compendium complete?
For the time being, this is all you could learn from the contents of this notebook.

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