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Ancient Red Dragon

Ancient Red Dragons stand as one of the most fearsome and revered creatures within the D&D universe. Their sheer power and fiery dominion place them at the pinnacle of draconic hierarchy. Dwelling within the heart of towering mountains or the depths of scorching deserts, these colossal beings shape their realms with flame and iron will. Their scales, a brilliant and intimidating crimson, shimmer with the heat of their inner fire, radiating an aura of untouchable majesty and terror.

These dragons are not merely brute forces of destruction; their intelligence is as sharp as their claws, and their cunning knows no bounds. Ancient Red Dragons are strategic thinkers, capable of planning and executing complex schemes over centuries. Their love for treasure is legendary, amassing hoards that are envied across the lands, each piece a story, each gem a conquered foe.

Their lairs are volcanic fortresses, labyrinthine complexes carved from rock and magma, reflecting their master's fiery heart. Here, amidst the glow of molten rock, the Ancient Red Dragon sits atop its treasure, a monarch in its fiery court. To challenge one is to invite the wrath of a being that can melt stone and scorch the earth, whose breath is a cataclysm.

Orkydian, the Last Ancient Red Dragon of the Borderlands

In the 5e Borderlands setting of the Arcverse (unofficial), Orkydian stands as the last of the Ancient Red Dragons. Unlike his kin, Orkydian's story is one of survival against all odds, living through epochs to become a legend whispered in fear and awe. His scales, dark as the blood of the earth, hold the sheen of countless battles and the heat of an unquenchable fire.

Orkydian, the Flameheart

Orkydian's wisdom and power are as vast as his cruelty. His life has been shaped by the fires of vengeance and the ashes of betrayal. Having witnessed the fall of his kind and the rise of new powers, he harbors a deep-seated rage against the changing world that has marginalized the ancient dragons. His lair, hidden within the infernal depths of the Borderlands' most treacherous volcano, is a testament to his might and his connection to the primal forces of fire and destruction.

The Flameheart's Quest

Orkydian's existence is now centered on a singular, burning purpose: to reclaim the glory of the Ancient Red Dragons and ignite the world in a fire that will herald their resurgence. He seeks the Emberstone, an artifact of ancient power believed to control the very essence of fire. With it, Orkydian aims to raise an army of fire creatures and lay waste to the territories that once dared defy the dragons' reign.

Orkydian and Ascorian: A Fiery Alliance?

As the Arcverse unfolds, whispers of a potential alliance between Orkydian and Ascorian begin to surface. Such a union would bring together the powers of fire and time, creating an unprecedented threat. Yet, both dragons, driven by their own ambitions, know that this alliance would be one of convenience, fraught with mutual distrust.

Incorporating Orkydian into Your Campaign

Introducing Orkydian into a campaign invites players into a saga of epic proportions, where the stakes are nothing less than the fate of the Borderlands itself. His story intertwines with the broader narratives of betrayal, power struggles, and the quest for redemption or domination. Players may find themselves caught between the fiery wrath of Orkydian and the cold scheming of Ascorian, navigating a landscape where ancient powers awaken to claim what was once theirs.

Through Orkydian's eyes, adventurers explore themes of survival, legacy, and the indomitable will to reclaim lost glory. His presence offers not only a formidable challenge but also an opportunity to engage with the ancient lore of the Arcverse, where every decision can tip the scales in a battle that spans ages.

The Scourge of the Dragonspine Mountains

Ancient Red Dragon

Overview: The party is summoned to the town of Redhold, a fortified settlement nestled in the heart of the towering Dragonspine Mountains. The townsfolk speak in fearful whispers of a great, crimson-scaled beast that has been terrorizing the region, laying waste to entire villages and demanding ever-increasing tribute. Desperate for aid, the people of Redhold beseech the adventurers to venture into the mountains and slay the ancient red dragon that plagues their lands.

The Plot Twist: As the party investigates, they discover that the ancient red dragon, known as Infernus, is not simply a mindless destroyer. Rather, the mighty wyrm has been driven to its violent rampage by a cabal of power-hungry warlords who seek to harness the dragon's destructive might for their own sinister ends. These warlords have been using dark ritual magic to manipulate Infernus, subtly guiding the dragon's attacks and demands in a calculated bid to weaken the surrounding settlements.

Additional Monsters:

- A pack of fire giants, elite warriors who serve as the warlords' enforcers and champions

- Hordes of hobgoblin raiders, dispatched by the warlords to pillage the dragon's targeted villages

- Swarms of magma mephits and salamanders, conjured by the warlords' dark sorcery to terrorize the populace

- A nightmarish blue dracolich, a powerful undead dragon bound to the warlords through necromantic rites

These diverse monstrous threats are all tied to the machinations of the power-hungry warlords who seek to control the ancient red dragon, Infernus. The fire giants act as the warlords' elite enforcers, leading the hobgoblin raiding parties and providing brute force to supplement the dragon's destructive might. The swarms of magma mephits and salamanders, summoned through dark rituals, serve to further demoralize and weaken the targeted settlements.

Most chilling of all is the presence of the blue dracolich, a powerful undead dragon bound to the warlords through necromantic rites. This undead horror acts as a trump card, ready to be unleashed should the party prove a threat to the warlords' plans.

The Location: The Dragonspine Mountains are a harsh, rugged range, with towering peaks, treacherous passes, and vast cavern systems honeycombing the stone. Infernus, the ancient red dragon, has made its lair within the heart of this forbidding landscape, in a cavernous chamber deep beneath the mountains.

As the party ventures into the Dragonspines, they'll have to contend with the warlords' diverse minions, as well as the unpredictable and deadly terrain. Rockslides, treacherous trails, and gouts of volcanic activity all pose constant threats, while the warlords' forces harry the adventurers from every angle.

Finally, the party will reach the ancient red dragon's lair, a vast, smoldering cavern filled with the dragon's accumulated wealth and the remains of its victims. Here, they must confront the mighty Infernus, as well as the warlords and their monstrous champions, in a climactic battle to determine the fate of the Dragonspine region.

If successful, the party not only frees the land from the ancient red dragon's scourge, but also uncovers the warlords' broader plans, potentially leading to further quests to dismantle their power and restore peace to the mountainous realm.

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