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The Skull of the Dragon King

by Robin

It was centuries ago when there was the Overlord—a strange, alien draconic creature with a crystalline structure, which had evil intent. The Overlord was shielded from Immortal magics by the protection that some Entropic Immortals secretly gave him, so the only way some information could be gathered about him was direct investigation on Veydra. The Great One charged with this duty the faithful Star Dragon and a squad of his Dragon Guardians. They went on Veydra and learned some information about the Overlord. But when those Dragon Guardians came back to the Draconic Cluster to tell what they had discovered, no one suspected they were being controlled by the Overlord’s mental powers.
These Dragon Guardians then caught the Star Dragon by surprise in 420 AC and aided by some Gemstone Dragons in disguise, they managed to defeat and kill the Star Dragon in its own plane, effectively destroying it.
During the following century, the Flaems and the Dragons waged a cold war and competed over the Radiance. The Dragons had already discovered Radiance when the Flaems arrived, but they refrained from using it, for they feared its corrupting power, after one of them, a particularly power hungry Green, had been transformed into a horrible undead creature
The Flaems, on the other hand, had been sent on Mystara by the Overlord to watch over the Radiance itself and study it, and were also drawn to it by the Dragon’s innate attraction for magic. They quickly gathered many clues about the mysterious energy, which led them to believe that the Dragons owned the key of the great magical power. The Dragons feared and hated this type of magical researches, because the spells which it led to discover leeched the power of the Dragon Souls from the Draconic Cluster, thus weakening as well Dragonkind as a whole; moreover, it seemed that Dragons had no way to resist many of the powers of those dracologists.
It was the beginning of a half-century of skirmishes known as the Dragonwars. The war was always fought by Dragons through mercenaries, especially humanoids, or through intrigue, espionage, and assassination. The Dragonwars culminated during the Time of the Second Dragonlord. During the wars of the Flaems against the Dragons first, and then against the Overlord, the hate between the Dragons and the Flaems reached its climax. After the ascension of Diamond, the Dragons decided to leave the humans to their devices, and to send only a few spies to report on the Flaems’ magical progresses, and eventually to murder those wizards who went too far.
After the earlier destruction of the Star Dragon, concern about the Overlord among the Dragons of the Draconic Cluster was great. It was very likely—given its enslavement of the Gemstone Dragons—that the Overlord had some plan regarding Mystara. The Great One thought that an invasion coming from Veydra could be likely, but was unable to discover just how, when and why. Only a mortal could bypass the entropic protections against Immortal magic of whom the Overlord enjoyed; only a mortal at the end of his path toward Immortality could have had a chance to survive a battle against the Overlord; only someone who had enough authority and power could unite the Dragons and the other races in the joint defence of Mystara against the Overlord’s invasion. Thus, the Great One decided to put his hopes to defend Mystara on a mortal, one which would wear both the Dragonlord Arms and the Collar of Dragons and be hailed as Dragonlord and Dragonking, one who could therefore unite the Dragons and the other races, one who could embark on the path of Immortality and try to fight and defeat the Overlord. But time was short. Then, with the consent of other Immortals interested in opposing the Overlord’s threat to their favourite Prime Plane world, the Great One decided that some of his personal power had to be poured in the birth of a spawn of him which, thanks to being the son of the Greater Ruler of Dragonkind, could swiftly complete his path toward Immortality.
Meanwhile, the Gemstone Dragons had succeeded in bringing through a gate in the Adri Varma’s plateau the huge army of the Overlord—perhaps even two millions in number—, which started to march toward the Highlands. The Dragons of Wyrmsteeth faced the army in a huge battle on the Adri Varma’s lands, trying to bring down the Gemstone Dragons in order to leave the Overlord’s army without leaders. The advance of the army was halted, but the Gemstone Dragons which were still alive used all their magical might to summon the physical form of the Overlord on Mystara.

The current warmachines often still mimic the one Pazbrok created so long ago.
513 AC There the Overlord—a strange, alien draconic creature with a crystalline structure—finally appeared. Aware of the danger, the Great One decided it was time to give Thelvaenir the powers he was born to bear, and summoned him in Dragonwatch Keep in front of a council formed by himself, and the Immortals Ilsundal, Terra and Kagyar. There, having completed his swift path toward Immortality, the Great One elevated Thelvaenir to the rank of Star Dragon, with the name of Diamond, and explained him his new powers. The consent of these Immortals (which were Hierarchs themselves or acting in their place) was needed because Thelvaenir was going to use Immortal powers in the Prime Plane—something Immortal law had always forbidden. With all the powers of his new Immortal form, Diamond then went to face the Overlord itself on the Adri Varma’s plateau, and in a huge, final battle ultimately destroyed the evil creature.
While the armies dispersed, nature took over the corpse of the leader. Much of the crystalline body had been plundered, and only its skull remained. It was Pazbrok, an intelligent Goblin warlord and engineering tactician who decided the skull could be used as a base for a warmachine.
The following centuries the settlements on the Adri Varma Plateaux, in Glantri, and finally even in Darokin fell victim by the raiding groups of these Goblins and its offspring. It is uncertain, how when and why the skull reached High Gobliny in the Broken Lands, but it can be best assumed, that the Goblins of the tribes united in forming a stronger and larger group, as a nation.
The last attack of the Skull warmachine was in Ethengar 800 AC during Orcwars. But they were overrun by the Ethengarians using the swift horses to make hit and run tactics, while the humanoids having no large targets to use the warmachine against. Then the grasslands were set aflame, causing the goblins to disperse quickly. Of this large raid, only a few goblins survived, and they also lost the warmachine.

It was not until King Thar united the Humanoids; the skull became again available to the Humanoids, and was returned to its current location.

Here shamans now tried to learn all they can about magic, in the hope to learn new spells or gain powers from the long gone Dragon King. The skull however has long lost any magic, which dispersed over the decades into oblivion.
The skull itself, however, became a sort of symbol. And today the location of the Skull of the Dragon King is the sole thing humanoids could offer in “being a magical university”.

Here all Humanoid Wicca, Wokani and even Shaman regularly come. Here they often make their rituals for new spells or spell levels. Thus here many new (often already known elsewhere) spells were learned, relearned and spread among they other humanoid spellcasters. Thus making the expanded spell list given here after;

There are spells learned here other Humanoid races do not neither know nor do share. Sharing is not something Humanoids do, however, the mutual discussions enables each race/tribe/horde to learn what desired.

Spells NOT found here are spells from non-humanoids (Humans, Elves, etc) and the Liquid spells of Jammudaru

New additional Humanoid Spells (adapted to Mystara basic D&D rules from Old Dragon Magazines and AD&D2 sources)

Chitin invented and often used by Orc mages with arachnids—945 AC
1st Evocation spell
Range: 10 feet
Duration; Instantaneous
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Negates effect
This spell turns the skin of the target into tough, articulated chitin for the duration of the spell, giving the caster a spider-like appearance. While the duration lasts, the target becomes Armor Value (AV as per Thyatian/Alphatian Gazetteer) 2 against hand hurled missiles (Axes, Javelins, Spears, etc.) and AV 3 against small device propelled missiles (Arrows, Bolts, etc.) and AV 4 against all other attacks. This spell also gives a save vs. spells against Magic Missiles, where normally non would exist. A successful save would negate that missile completely (additional saves against several missiles are penalized cumulatively by 1 per missile—1 =-0, 2=-1, 3=-2, 4=-3, 5=-4, etc.). This spell doesn’t have a cumulative effect with any other spell, be it Magic or clerical, from scroll, item, or cast upon. This spell is primarily used by Humanoids, and then mostly those who have to do with Spiders or other insects. Until recently, this spell was unknown to humans and demihumans alike.

Spiderbite invented and often used by Orc mages with arachnids—495 AC
1st Enchantment spell
Range: touch
Duration; special
Effect: 2d8+level or hit dice of the caster of hit dice of living creatures.
Saving Throw: None
This spell will enable the caster or another touched creature to induce a special sleep-inducing poison upon biting an opponent. This requires a roll to hit in combat. The caster can put (2d8+level or Hit Dice of the caster) Hit dice worth of creatures to sleep for 4d4 Turns (up to 2.5 Hours). It will only affect creatures with 4+1 Hit Dice or less—generally, small or man-sized (no being bigger than an ogre=10feet) and he must successfully bite them. When a creature is bitten that has more hit Dice the poison will still be used, but without effect (deduce the HD from the remaining HD that can be affected by the bite). All the creatures to be affected must be bitten. The spell will not work against Undead or very large creatures, such as Dragons. Any sleeping creature may be awakened by force (such as a slap or a kick), but not by vibrations, sound (except when the sound brings damage). A sleeping creature (excluding large beings) may be killed with a single blow of any edged weapon, regardless of its hit points. The total number of hit dice of monsters affected will be equal to 2d8+level or Hit Dice of the caster. These victims get no saving throw. Any unused poison disappears when the caster falls asleep or loses consciousness, or after 16 Turns. The bite will do no special or additional damage, other than the normal chance off infection as with most other wounds.

Animate Skeleton
2nd Necromantic spell
Range; 30 feet +10 feet per level of the caster
Duration; Permanent
Effect: One skeleton/level
Saving Throw: None
Components: special Deathmaster salve
Casting Time: 2 rounds per skeleton
Animate skeleton is simply a weaker version an Animate Dead spell that produces one skeleton for every level of the caster. The caster must prepare a special salve to rub on the bones to make the skeleton receptive. This takes one round per skeleton. The Magic to animate them then takes also one round to cast. The rubbed skeletons can be so animated anytime within 24 hours after their rubdown. The salve costs 10gp and 1 hour per skeleton to prepare. The Animation of Corpses is an Evil Act!!!

Animate Zombie
2nd Necromantic spell
Range; 50 feet +10 feet per level of the caster
Duration; Permanent
Effect: One Corpse
Saving Throw: None
Components: special Deathmaster salve
Casting Time: 2 rounds per Zombie
Animate zombie is simply a weaker version of an Animate Dead spell that produces one zombie for every level of the caster. The caster must prepare a special bath of special salts for 1 turn prior to the spell casting. Such a bath can soak ten corpses for a preparation cost of 200 gp. The corpses can then animate in 2 rounds at a range of 50 +10 feet per level of the caster. The (volcanic)salts must be collected and mixed, prior to the creation of the bath, The salts can be stored indefinetly, and 1 LBS is needed per bath.. Each LBS Salt is valued 2 sp to commoners, but to Necromancers, Embalmers, Deathmasters, and Gravediggers, the salts are valued at 50gp/LBS. The Animation of Corpses is an Evil Act!!!

Mudpack Invented By Borbash, a Red Orc Broken Land 777 AC
2nd Conjuration spell
Range: 30 yards
Duration: 4 rounds maximum
Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: None
Components: a fist sized ball of mud
This spell causes a small ball of mud to speed toward the target. If the target fails a saving throw vs. spell (modified by Dexterity), the target is instantly covered in a thick layer of mud. The mud covers all areas of the creature’s body including eyes, ears, clothing, armor and weapons. The mud makes manoeuvring in combat difficult and renders weapons unwieldy. Until the mud is removed, the victim is blinded and deafened, If the mud is removed from eyes/ears (1 round) He only suffers a -2 penalty to attack rolls and a + 2 to Armor Class, If wiped/scraped off (2 rounds)a -1/+1 penalty to the same rolls. After spending another 2 rounds clearing away the mud, the victim suffers no additional effects other than a filthy appearance. The mud remains, stay until thoroughly cleaned off with a good bath. This spell affects only creatures of human size or smaller (it simply fails on any person larger than 7 feet height and 3 feet diameter (including equipment). A mud covered creature gains 25% bonus to hide in the surroundings, due to the overall equal colourings.

Spider Climb invented by Krughrak –Orc Wokani in 785 AC in Thyatis
2nd Alteration spell
Range: Touch
Duration; 3 rounds + 1 round per level of the caster
Effect: creature touched
Saving Throw: Negates
Components; A drop of bitumen and a live spider, both must be eaten by the recipient.
A Spider Climb spell enables the recipient to climb and travel upon vertical surfaces as well as a Giant Spider, or even hang upside down from a ceiling. Unwilling victims must be touched and are then allowed to a save vs. spells to negate the effect. The affected creature must have bare hands and feet in order to climb this manner, at a movement rate of 60’/20’ and halve that if encumbered more than 800cn. During the course of the spell, the recipient can’t handle object that weigh less than 15 cn, for such objects stick to his hands and feet. Thus a Mage will find it virtually impossible to cast component spells if under a Spider Climb spell. Sufficient force can pull the character free; for example a creature with a Strength of 12 might pull the subject of the spell free if it fails a save vs., paralysis. The caster can end this spell with a single word. The recipient must eat the components, but no misfortunes of any form will affect him, (poisoning, stomach pain, or else) will affect the target if it would normally do so after swallowing the components. Krughrak used it on the many thief friends he had for 50% profit. Any oiled or slippery surface (including surfaces under effect of Slip, Oil Skin or similar spells) will be unable to be climbed, even if affected by this spell, you fall down.

Spider Eyes Invented by unknown Ogre Wicca 1001 AC
2nd Alteration Necromantic
Range: Special
Duration: 1 Round per Level
Area of Effect: Special
Saving Throw: None
Components: Any Living Arachnid
By means of this spell, a Wizard can temporarily see through the eyes of any living arachnid, which the caster must touch. Small, harmless living spiders are usually employed, the caster using them as spies to see things where the caster doesn’t dare to go. More rarely, this spell is used on a giant spider (successful attack roll is required if the spider is hostile and not surprised) to see through the eyes when battling it, so that its opponents can take advantage of striking from where it can’t see. This spell doesn’t give the caster any control over the arachnid nor even direct mental contact with it, merely a mystical linkage with its eyes. Most spiders have eight or even more eyes—simple eyes whose vision is readily understandable to most intelligent races, not compound eyes. The sight afforded by the spell has the effectiveness (range and possible infravision, second sight, etc.)of the spider, and unlimited range as long as the duration lasts—limited, of course , by how far the spider travels. Usually this spell is used to try to spy out a cave, hall, or other guarded area before the caster or companions enter or attack it—but often, frustratingly, the chosen spider refuses to cooperate and look where the caster wants it to, unless controlled or influenced by additional spells. Certain Magical barriers sever the link between the spider and the caster. The caster can’t continue to see through the spider’s eyes if it or the casters move to another Plane of existence

Spider Cord Invented by Orcs using Arachnids—944 AC
3rd Conjuration spell
Range: 5 yards per level of the caster
Duration: 3 Turns per level of the caster
Area of Effect: special
Saving Throw: Negates
Components; A strand from the web of a giant spider
This spell gives the caster the ability to project thin, sticky ropes of fibre reminiscent of a spider’s thread. The cord must be conjured so as to bind two objects or surfaces together. The cord is 1 inch thick, semi-elastic, and can be up 2 yards long/level. At caster’s option, the strand can be sticky or not. The caster can Conjure 1 cord per 2 levels but can activate only 1 each round. Activating cords after initial casting requires concentration and has an initiative modifier of -3.
This spell can be used to bind a human-sized or smaller creature to an object or surface in range. A target creature receives a save vs. Spells to avoid the effect. If successful, the cord fails to bind the target but remains attached to another surface. Such a cord can then be attached to another surface. The adhesion at the end of the cord remains full the duration. If it fails, the strand attaches onto the victim at a random location.
For humanoid creatures roll 1d100 and use the table. The caster can attempt to bind a cord to a particular part of the body. This attempt grants a bonus to the victim’s save as per table. If the caster desires to bind 2 creatures together, each must make a save. If one fails, but the other succeeds, one end of the cord is attached to the one that fails its save, but the other end appears near the 2nd victim unattached and fails to adhere to it, leaving the 2nd target free to move unhindered. If the caster wishes to bind the targets arms together, for instance, the target creature is entitled 2 saves, each with a + 3 bonus.
If weapons are used in an attempt to free a victim, each cord is treated as AC2AV0 and breaks after sustaining 10 points of slashing damage. Snapping a strand or pulling it free of an attached object requires a successful Strength check on 4d10. If a cord is exposed to a fire source, it bursts into flames that spread to any surface the strand touches. Creatures attached to a flaming cord suffer 1d6 points of fire damage, and if the area of their body is flammable (clothing for example) it ignites. A cord burns for 1 round, after which it crumbles to ashes. The caster can end the spell prematurely with a snap of his or her fingers. When the spell elapses, all strands dissolve and disappear.

Spider Cord Table

1d100 Affected location Save
01-15 Left Leg +3
16-30 Right Leg +3
31-76 Torso +1
77-87 Non Weapon Arm +2
88-98 Weapon Arm +3
99-00 Head +6

Other Humanoid spells which are rarely or never found with other races: spells of Slime Mages and Wokani Followers of Jammudaru the Slime lord