If you were going to compare the Black Dragon to any sort of real world analog, it would have to be someone along the lines of Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, or any number of psychotic serial killers. They are vile, evil tempered, sadists, who live for the torture and torment of their victims.
The Black Dragon has deep sunken eyes and wide nostrils, that give its face a skull like appearance. On either side of its head are segmented, curving horns that are bone white at the roots, darkening to coal black towards the tips.
As it gets older, the skin around its horns and across its cheekbones blisters and decays. It appears as if it has been eaten away by acid, leaving thin layers of skin that make it look even more like a skull.
The head is covered in horns and spikes and its flicking forked tongue drips acid smelling spittle that adds to the Black Dragon’s natural odor of rotting plant life and stagnant water.
Chromatic Dragons generally all have an evil slant to their natures. But Black Dragons are far and away the most sadistic. It fears and hates all other dragons, even those of its own species. They will hunt down other dragons that they consider weaker than themselves.
Black dragons have wicked senses of humor. They are self serving with egos that would shame the biggest Hollywood A Lister.
They breath Acid, with such potency that they can literally eat through the armor of most heroes. And though not the biggest in size, they are still strong enough to kill most of their foes with little trouble.
They are natural bullies. Always seeking to impose themselves on others through fear and torture. Black Dragons will always attack those they perceive to be the weakest first, ensuring a quick victory. Unless, their victory is already assured. In which case, they often continue to attack and torture their victims until those poor souls beg for death.
Black Dragons will kill in the most dramatic and grotesque ways in an effort to terrify and intimidate the remaining foes. If they sense that they are on the verge of defeat, they will do anything to save themselves short of giving themselves up to the mastery of others. Which it would rather die than do.
But like most bullies, they will avoid and hide from those they consider stronger than themselves. In fact, if a stronger dragon is threatening a Black Dragon’s territory, rather than face a stronger opponent, they will abandon their home and seek out a new one.
Black Dragons are loners. To the point of almost being hermit like. They are so suspicious of others, that they rarely have true minions. Evil Lizard Folk will serve Black Dragons and often worship them as gods. They raid surrounding areas to gather the Black Dragon food and tribute. Additionally, they build effigies of the dragon around its territory as a warning to invaders.
The Black Dragon’s lair is almost always infested by kobolds. And they are as nasty as the dragons that they serve. They often lower their captives and victims into pits filled with venomous centipedes and scorpions, in an effort to exact as much torture as they can before the victim’s death. Afterwards, they deliver the victims to the Black Dragon to ease its hunger.
It is so evil, that the Black Dragon’s very presence can cause the creation of Shambling Mounds. These mindless minions will then hunt down any beings they sense to be good that are approaching the dragon’s home.
The rest of its minions are made up of suicidal shock troops. The ranks of which are additionally filled with corrupted Dryads and hags. And the Blacks have even been known to make treaties with nearby Aboleth.
They hold little value in their followers. Often, the Black Dragons will make their minions fight in tournaments to the death simply for entertainment.
They cultivate the decay and breakdown of civilizations. And they make a hobby of collecting the tainted treasures of those fallen societies. Black Dragons hate seeing those that they consider “the weak” prospering and they take joy in seeing humanoid kingdoms collapse.
Black Dragons make their homes in crumbling ruins and fetid swamps. The lair, usually some dismal cave or rotting grotto, is filled with swarms of biting insects and mounds of fungus. The floor is littered with the bones of its victims, pitted from acid. There are pools in which it can throw the bodies of its kills until they have the chance to ferment, filling the lair with the smell of death and decay.
They can cause these pools to surge upward, catching intruders and pulling them back under the water to a drowning death. The Black Dragon can control the swarms of insects to focus on one area within its sight and have them bite and tear at a victim until it dies or escapes.
The Black Dragon can control Darkness in its lair. Even making it spread around corners, and blinding its enemies as they seek to attack it.
Within six miles of the lair, the plants will grow so thick and twisted, the mud so deep, and the waters so foul that the land takes twice as long to travel through. This same area is always shrouded a in light fog, as well.
Be careful that you don’t take these killers lightly. Or you might find yourself having to roll up a new character to finish this adventure.
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