Dragon of the Marchen Wood
Fate was friend and foe to me—I found Thander in that cavern, but worse befell me. He was prisoner to a terrible dragon. Its scales were emerald plates of armor, its teeth yellow spears, its breath a cloud of poisonous death, and its eyes mirrors of dread. Thander told me his caravan was waylaid by the beast, and though it devoured all his compatriots, it snatched him and flew back to its den. In a massive cavern the beast lay for hours while Thander captured its likeness on a canvass as large as a ship’s billowing sails. When the portrait was done, the dragon would devour the artist, and hang it on its lair wall to admire itself.
Of all creatures upon the land, that sail the sky, sleep beneath the earth or dwell under sea, none are so feared or storied as dragons. They came to the world in a time of great need, forgiven their sins forgotten by time itself to deliver the Dawn World from the Infernal hordes.
Worshipped by the Ten Tribes of Okarthel,, feared by giants and fiends, hunted by Raivinith in the time of heroes, after the Second Dragon War dragons are few to be found. One there is who fled the wake of Chaun’s destruction, and even as Galadron collapsed into misery made himself a home. In the bewitched hinterlands where the Bale and the power of Ri Earraigh clashed, a place haunted by darkness and twisted by faerie magic, the young wyrm found a secluded gully. There it rested and hunted and grew strong.
That dragon lies dead, but its offspring, young when Gloriana was new, still roosts in the Hinterlands. Shrouded in treacherous dragon magic, Dragon’s Defile is shunned by all good folk. Zonthul’s mystic snares and soft, luring voice have brought many travelers to their doom.
Zonthul is served by the beasts of his domain, who fear him as the Great Hunter. His magic can make slaves of mortals, beguiling and luring them into doing his will. As a beast of the forests, other powers over nature are also at his beck and call.
Zonthul is old and clever. He admires himself above all other beings, craves worship and praise, and delights in twisting the minds of mortals with fear and magic.
Scarce few know the location of Zonthul’s den. His domain, Dragon’s Defile, is surrounded by a veil of enchantment. Through a valley full of briars, a swamp where the willow trees sing a mournful lullaby, and a great stone arch carved out by the river, all paths lead to Zonthul’s cavern, hidden behind a beautiful waterfall.
Enchantment and illusion bewilder those who try to flee, causing them to become lost. Only a few—the painter Thander, the princess Helena Von Borgondhi, and the cursed huldra prince Nabac, are known to have fled, aided by Nabac’s draconic spells.