OD&D Wilderness Campaign: Hired by a Dragon at a “Generous” 15% of Treasure Found
Just before my OD&D group took our holiday break last year, they had managed to get on the wrong side of a (fortunately not too bright) young red dragon. They had stopped in a village for the night and learned that one of the village maidens had just been put out as a sacrifice to a red dragon that afternoon. The characters decided that this could not be allowed and slipped out of the village to try to free the girl before the dragon ate her.
Unfortunately, they arrived just as the dragon did. The dragon was fairly young and (as its reaction rolls to what the party did indicated) not too bright. The dragon assumed the PCs were there to serve him the sacrifice and ordered them to feed her to him. The players hesitated and the dragon got upset, threatening to burn “their” village to the ground if they did not feed him the girl now. One of the players had an idea and told the dragon that he had arrived too soon as they had not had a chance to cook the girl so that she would be not only more tasty but so that he could not catch any diseases from her. I rolled a great reaction roll. The dragon thought this was a wonderful idea and demanded that they cook the girl for him immediately. This reaction roll basically told me that this fire-breathing dragon was not very bright and I played him as pretty dumb from then on. They took the girl away “to cook her” — after telling the dragon that she had to be slow-cooked for extra taste — and fled. The session ended some game hours later with the dragon finally deciding that he had probably been had and starting to search for them.
The first session after the holiday break had the party and the very thankful sacrifice fleeing in the general direction of the City-State (which had been the PC’s goal since the start of the campaign). Near the end of this session, just after a battle with an orc patrol, they sighted the dragon and hid in a cave.
Last session started with the dragon trying to figure out how to get into the cave as its opening was too small for him to fit through. After wasting one fire breath, he decided he should talk. The party convinced him that they had simply taken his sacrifice to this cave to properly cook her. While this discussion was going on, Geenglo (the party’s magic-user) was studying his spell book to learn a phantasmal force spell. He used this to cast an illusion of the girl, cooked well done, on the body of an orc. They disguised the real sacrifice in a hooded robe then presented the orc version of the “sacrifice” to the dragon. The latter ate it in a couple of bites. Then he just sat there.
When the party tried to leave, he would not let them. He asked if they were adventurers as well as cooks. After some delay, they said they were cooks out looking for adventure. The dragons eyes lit up. “Very well,” he said. “I need treasure to get any respect from other dragons. So I will hire you to help me get a huge pile of treasure and to cook my sacrifices. I’ll give you 15% of any treasure you find me.” The dragon would not take no for an answer, so the party is now the dragon’s official treasure finders and sacrifice cooks. They are going along with this for now — as they have no choice. Of course, they are already plotting to try to subdue the dragon the first chance they get and sell him in the City-State. The dragon is young and really dumb, so they might even be able to pull it off. Future sessions will tell.
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