Tournament of Shadows
On My Own
This small outcropping and cave beneath it is the lair of the fledgling green dragon Lacertus. Lacertus has only recently flown from his nest, having been driven out by his mother, and is still looking for a more permanent home. While searching for a place to call his own he stumbled upon a resting dwarf who was severely injured in a recent pitched battle with a group of local goblins.
Although he had just eaten, Lacertus was not going to let a fresh and easy meal out of reach, so he waited for the Dwarf to pass out from his wounds, killed him quietly in his sleep and dragged his corpse to this handy location. He intends to store the body here for feasting while he continues his search for a more permanent lair.
Much to his joy, the corpse also had a decent bit of treasure, which Lacertus plans to count more completely once he has finished making a meal of its owner.
The lair is only a dozen or so yards from the main trail. It sits just out of sight from someone walking along the pathway in the depression along the edge of the hillside running perpendicular to the road and next to a spring fed pond. The trees provide plenty of shadow for Lacertus to watch the road from the edge of his lair or from within the pond. He has dallied here for several weeks, eating fish from the pond, which is now mostly depleted, and a large percentage of the local fauna – which explains the potential need for a dwarven snack.
There are several features that might attract the PCs to investigate the area. First, it is a perfect place to camp and rest given the fresh water, nearness to the road and defensible geography. Too, the dwarf is beginning to smell (notice on a WIS), and the stench might attract a curious party to investigate. A Ranger or character actively searching the area will notice (INT 12) the spot where the dwarf sat down to rest (blood, foot prints and lizard-like claw prints) and also potentially find (INT 10) the drag marks leading to the small cave.
When the PCs first approach this area, Lacertus is probably not at home (75% that he is not), and is off hunting further afield. If the party decides to bed down for the night without investigating the cave, he will return just after sunset and fully aware of the party unless they have taken great pains to conceal themselves and the fact that they have been in the area. If the party does decide to investigate further, he will return just as the party finds his cave and will immediately move to defend his home, food and treasure.
If he is present when the PCs arrive, he will be hiding in the pool (INT 20) and observing the party, looking for weaknesses and waiting for the correct moment to strike. If the party makes no move toward the cave mouth, Lacertus will wait until the party’s back is primarily to the water, or until they bed down for the night if it looks like they are going to stay.
Before closing within melee range, Lacertus will attempt to put the party into disarray by first using his breath weapon and frightful presence. He is least afraid of wizards and will initially focus on the strongest looking fighters of any group.