Free Module: Dueling Dragons

A young copper dragon believed it to be funny to steal an object from the hoard of a chromatic dragon and hide it in the another chromatic's hoard, laughing as the two chromatic drakes do battle over the landscape. Unfortunately, this causes heavy casualties amongst the poor people that are helplessly stuck between them.

Rumor: A pair of adult chromatic drakes are seen fighting over the landscape. Villagers are scared, and it's believed the dragons are fighting over a treasure dispute.

The players will be able to see the dragons as they fight above a lair. Some villagers will be fleeing destroyed homes, while others speak of it nervously at the tavern.

Dueling Dragons

Eventually a young copper dragon confronts the party, polymorphed as a halfling and freaking out. He tells the party how he swapped the treasure as a joke, but things got way out of hand and now they're causing lots of damage and hurting people.

The copper dragon's name is Ildrex Ophinshtalajiir. Like other copper dragons he's a born trickster and jokester, deviously clever but with a benign intent. He didn't want to harm any lesser creatures, but wanted to prove his intelligence and wit against older and more cunning dragons. Unfortunately things got out of hand and now he needs help to get it back. He'll offer them a reward to help him out, but if the party seems uninterested then he'll threaten to send a telepathic message to the two adult dragons and frame the party.

In either case, Ildrex will want to lead the party to the dragon's lair (if to just keep an eye on them). The lair is in a hidden valley in the savannah. The plants are all white, creating the illusion of a snowy wonderland.

“A copse of trees leads down into a hidden valley, tucked between the slopes of two mountains. Above one of the mountains the two dragons can be seen battling, their snarls and brutal attacks echoing all around. The valley is filled with plants, creating a little oasis of foliage. Except every single leaf of every single plant is completely white, creating the illusion of a snowy wonderland hidden away in the warm climate.”

As they travel you can have a wild encounter. For a group of 5 level 3 adventurers I'd recommend 2 Jupiter Bloodsuckers (Fifth Edition Foes pg 152), 3 Pyrolisk (Fifth Edition Foes pg 188), Fungus Gargoyle (Fifth Edition Foes pg 114). You can make your own for any other type of group with the Encounter Generator.

“Eventually the winding deer trails of the heavy brush slopes upward and into the side of the mountain. The entrance is quite large, easily seen from afar, and leads into an even larger cavern. The tunnels leading out from this initial cavern are big enough to support comfortable passage of any large beast, and a fully-grown dragon would have little trouble navigating. Despite its scale, it's just as dark as any other cavern.”

Upon reaching the caves the party will need to make their way through while avoiding detection from sentries and dealing with all manner of hazards. Have the players encounter a series of sentries, traps, hazards, and other obstacles where they'll need to make skill checks to proceed. On failure they'll trigger an encounter or take damage as they make their way through the cavern.. The inside of the cavern is dark so they'll need either a torch or darkvision, but if you're playing 5th edition I doubt that'll be an issue. The more skill checks you call for, the harder it will be, so adjust it accordingly to what you think your group needs. 3-5 is a good starting point.

Patrols: 2 Firenewt Warlock of Imix (Volo's Guide to Monsters pg 143)

Possible Traps: Spiked Net Trap, Thunderstone Mine, Guillotine Blade

Possible Hazards: Brown Mold, Green Slime

After passing the skill checks and taking their licks, the party will at last come upon the massive treasure hoard. Sounds of the two dragon's battle can be heard above, which shakes the cavern and causes debris to fall from the ceiling.

“Around another bend of the tunnel you come to a massive treasure hoard. Coins, gems, and other valuables all glitter in the bio-luminescent cavern, creating a shiny kaleidoscope of gold and silver on the walls. The piles of treasure are immense and stacked in great piles, some reaching up to the stalactites on the ceiling. Sounds of the two dragon's battle can be heard above, which shakes the cavern and causes debris to fall. Sometimes coins, sometimes dust, and sometimes a whole stalactite comes loose.”

The copper dragon warns them that touching any of the treasure will alert the two adult dragons to their presence, a nearly assured death. They need to carefully navigate around the gold to get the correct treasure. Ildrex will stay back and watch, pointing out which one they need to get. Your party may realize he can polymorph back into a dragon and fly over to it, which he may be willing to do with appropriate persuasion.

If the party tries to get the treasure themselves then have them make a skill check or two, but don't punish failure by having them disturb the treasure. Just make it a close enough call that they sweat a little.

Once the party takes the treasure and starts to leave, they're ambushed by the treasure guardians.

Encounter: Cimota Guardian (Fifth Edition Foes pg 59), Skulk (Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes pg 227 ), Midnight Peddler (Fifth Edition Foes pg 170), Mantari (Fifth Edition Foes pg 169)

Cavern Map

After combat ends, they'll hear and catch glimpse of the adult dragon returning to her lair, with the other dragon following behind. They'll argue about the stolen treasure, with this lair's owner stating that she felt her treasure disturbed. They'll conclude that a thief may have taken the other dragon's treasure, and start to search.

The players must escape as the dragons start to look around the lair for them. Have them go back out the way they came, dealing with the same traps and hazards as before but this time in reverse and with a time pressure. Hopefully some of their solutions were permanent. As they near the entrance and the two searching dragons start to close in on them, the copper dragon will make a distraction so the PCs can escape.

Once safely out of the cave and back into the valley, the copper dragon will catch up with them. He'll thank them for their help and give them their reward before taking the treasure back to the other dragon's lair. With the treasure back in its rightful hoard, the two dragons will cease their battle and peace will return to the countryside.

To put a bow on things, once they return to town have a dockworker accidentally drop a net on them as he works in the docks. They can either be covered or avoid it with no penalty.

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