trying to figure out mechanics for “stealing the essence” from other dragon types for Onaga to incorporate into himself, becoming a Multi-colored dragon type, gaining breath weapon type and elemental immunity’s.
Using said abilities can be similar to a Lycanthrope’s shapeshifting, but changing elemental types. Eventually, after gaining enough experience in handling different elemental types, he can upgrade the “type-shifting” ability to allow him all absorbed essence’s at once, becoming something like a mini-Tiamat.
On watch one evening, Onaga spends his shift doing what anyone unfortunate enough to share that chore with Dregnoth does : keep one eye trained on the mad alchemist and the other senses tuned outward at the surrounding area. And hastily shift position to keep the safety of the campfire betwixt themselves and the 3-eyed insane dwarf… one could never be too careful !
This evening, as most, found the draconic caster focused on the woods surrounding his side of the burning logs and trying to tune out the prodigious snores of Kargin and Rorik - whom he was CONVINCED could outsnore any ogre easily 3 times his size. Across the smoky flames, Dregnoth looked to be studiously engrossed in some frightening tome bound with still-twitching skin - while atop his bald pate sat a quasi-living mindflayer head that the alchemist insisted was a “hat”, staring backwards as a pair of its equally dubious brothers looked on from either shoulder. All 3 had tentacles sunk rather painfully-looking into the dwarf’s skull - yet somehow seemed not to bother the squat figure one bit.
“Dregs, can you actually SEE from all directions like that ?” Onaga wondered aloud.
Without glancing up from his book, the mad dwarf replied with a grunt. "Kinda sorta. The hat sees normally, just passes a confusing feed of shadows and movement back to me via the tentacles.
Everything gets a lot clearer when its excited, during battle for instance. Bumps the resolution up about tenfold !"
“Why do you always wear the yellow one at night ?”
That question earned him a smirk from the alchemist, who reached up to tap it along side its head - getting an annoyed slap by a free tentacle. “This one augments my memory functions and recall. Kinda like a Helm of Total Recall, but not as powerful… yet. He’s also the telepathic one, so i can listen to thoughts floating around - watch what Kargin is dreaming about making back home, laugh at Rorik’s plans to kill me, go strolling around Pandemonium riding the memories of a giant blue frog, things like that.”
Eyes going wide, Onaga wondered how many of his own plans were easily evident to the insane dwarf across the fire. “What do you know about Tiamat ?”
Dregnoth’s third eye opened, glowing like an ember from the fire. Seemingly of its own accord, the dwarf’s head twisted around 360 degrees, neck bones popping like popcorn - then snapped back to normal as the third eye closed. Cracking his neck in discomfort, the dwarf responded “Which world’s Tiamat are you talking about ? Cuz’ the Krynn one and the cartoon one are vastly different from the rest !”
“Uhh… the first one ?”
The alchemist smiled with genuine warmth and slid a long, sinuous tongue into his tome as a bookmark. “Oho !! HER. Grandfather believes that she was spawned by a half-demon abyssal wyrm, who conquered 5 different races of dragons and devoured their eggs whole - all to give birth to a draconic hybrid we call Lady Tiamat. Sadly for her mother, the poorly understood hybridization wasn’t perfect and so her offspring couldn’t breed true - only able to spawn lesser kindred. Prolly a good thing for the rest of the races tho ! Still, it’d be rather exciting if she located a true blooded male pentadragon !”
Mind awhirl with unforseen dangers, Onaga went silent for a long time. “Err… Dregs, how would YOU go about creating a pentadragon ?? If YOU were so inclined ?”
Glancing up from his book once more, the alchemist chewed over that idea. “Well, i suppose i’d start out with something like a Chimera or Hydra. Replace and graft extra heads on to the first, or upgrade heads of the second… suss out how complex the problem really was before diving deeper into actually shifting the entire nature of a thing. Spin up some lesser hybrids, use them to troubleshoot issues and get a handle on where things’ll go wrong. Then i’d shift to undead for a while - put together a few bone golems and dracoliches, take notes and whatnot. That’d get me ready to work on the real deal - building the massive body that’d support 5 separate but interlinked minds. 5 elemental accumulators channeled thru specialized organs i’d harvest from each dragon subrace. Kind of a complicated, biological version of the Tiamat forge i’m building back home !”
To the left of Onaga, Kargin’s snores were interrupted by a coughing snort - as if he’d inhaled and swallowed one of the moths fluttering about. The draconic caster looked askance at the mad alchemist. “You’re building a forge ?”
Dregs stuck his tongue half out and nodded merrily. “Yeah, i’m doing it to one-up and piss of Kargin ! Plus the mage school has been pestering me about getting them access to the dwarven manacite mines our island allies are so anal about. Figured a Tiamat forge oughta shut 'em up for a good long while. And chap most of the dwarven asses in town, who’ll have to work by the ‘thrice-damned wizard school’ when they wanna make something awesome !”
Tapping his chin, Onaga nodded and reassessed his opinion of Dregnoth - whom he suspected wasn’t always as mad as everyone believed. “So a forge with 5 different energy types - Acid, Cold, Electricity, Fire, and Poison ? Hmmm…”
The dwarf shook his head, still grinning. “Oh no, that’s only the first tier. Five energy types per tier, times five tiers. This bitch is gonna be something that makes Damar Himself stop by and
visit ! Betcher ass !”
Onaga blew out a breath. “Thats… ambitious ! These… elemental accumulators, i believe you called them ? And the dragon organs ? How does that work ?”
In response, the alchemist pointed at the campfire. “Over the course of an evening, a simple campfire converts combustible material to light and heat - consuming it in the process, along with small quantities of oxygen from the air around us.” Fumbling around in his backpack, Dregs drew out a simple magical sword and stabbed it into the ground. “INFLAGRANTE !”
The low-powered sword burst into flame, lighting up more of the camp with its bluish flame. “Does a whopping extra point or two or three of damage with each hit, depending on what kind of critter you are. More of a toy to adventurers of our caliber. But over the course of 24 hours, a single point of damage each round outputs almost 15,000 points of burn. I could stab you with it, right here and now - and it’d be little more than a sunburn. But if i gathered all that energy into one exquisitely crafted geode ? I could melt damn near anything or anyone. Turdvani might not even walk that off.”
Onaga ran the math in his head, as Dregnoth continued. “Dragons are innately magical beings, with access to an internal powerwell - often tuned to one or more elemental, quasielemental or
paraelemental planes. Its no accident that some dragons have dual powerwells - and have evolved an organ similar to my geode accumulator, giving them the ability to channel that energy as a breath weapon… or turn aside the effects on incoming energy of similar nature. As the dragon ages, either the powerwell gets stronger OR it learns how to channel and control it better. But what’s REALLY gonna bake your noodle is this : did dragonkind evolve this ability as a defense mechanism against some unbelievable larger foe… or did the various worlds across all the spheres evolve DRAGONS as a means to control random and wild microgates to the various elemental planes ?”
Something weird happened, and Onaga’s brain shorted out for a few minutes. Coming back to consciousness sometime later, he rubbed vigorously at his eyes and face. “Sorry about that, Dregs - guess i fell asleep for a few minutes ! What were we talking about ?”
The enigmatic alchemist smirked again. “You were about to ask me how best to steal and assimilate draconic breath weapons and immunities from your kindred.”
“I was ?? That sounds rather more brusque and direct than i usually like to phrase things… Sooo, any ideas ?”
Dregs nodded. “Several. But you should probably focus first on killing them and harvesting the individual and specialized organs each has evolved over the millenia. And we’ll need to start milking your blood - around 5 gallons should do, per organ you’ll want implanted. I’ll run it thru my genetic cleansers so it’ll act as a sort of detergent when you get a fresh kill. We soak it in your cleansed blood, coat it in illithid slime and use an inverted tentacle to implant it along your airway. Probably hurt like hell, but after a few days for your body to assimilate it - you should be able to start experimenting and figure out how it works !”
Onaga made a disgusted face. “Illithid slime ? Tentacles ? Yuck !”
The alchemist laughed. “Shortest and easiest path, i’m afraid. The slime will make the inverted tentacle recognize it and draw the organ along your trachea to the right location, then it’ll reverse its normal function of STEALING organs and implant the new one instead. As the organ will have been cleansed of its prior genetic owner, your biological systems should accept the imprint of your blood and treat it as ‘normal’ - then start hooking it into your circulatory systems and control nerves.”
The draconic mage just rubbed his head and sighed. “What the fuck am i getting myself into ?”