This is Getting Out of Hand

There is considerable debate among scholars and sages that pay attention to such things about why it is that dragons seem to turn up en masse at odd and irregular intervals. In any given area in Partum it might be years or even decades or more in between individual dragon sightings and then without any warning at all suddenly there are three or four dragons sighted a dozen times or more within a week’s time. Often these are referred to as “flights” but observers are frequently too frightened to investigate further and might even choose to leave that particular area before any answers present themselves.

Whenever there are flights of evil dragons it is a good idea to prepare for the worst possible scenario. A single evil dragon with mischief in mind is bad enough, but if there are three, four, or more of the monstrous winged beasts then it can spell the end of a city or even an entire realm. What the dragons don’t devour or haul off is left in ruin; red dragons setting fire to everything, green dragons blowing chlorine gas everywhere and poisoning the environment, that sort of thing. Worst of all these seemingly random flights rarely are comprised of just one type of dragon. While normally reluctant or hostile to cooperation amongst themselves these flights might contain red, green, black, blue or other chromatic dragons all looking to wreck as much as they can and claim as much loot as they can carry. Even if these horrors are going to fight and bicker among themselves later on the fact that they worked together during the flight is reason aplenty to be wary of future incidents.

While not as distressing to most people as a flight of evil chromatic dragons a flight of good metallic dragons is no less worrisome to the attentive citizen. Are they on their way to fight some unknown evil? If so, what could be that powerful to warrant such a response? If not, then what exactly are they up to? Metallic dragons are among the most intelligent and wisest of sentient beings and while they are famously curious it should still be alarming that something has caught the attention of multiple extraordinarily powerful entities.

However the flight is perceived and whatever its’ goals are it is important for the Game Master to have a reason for these gatherings. Dragons are ridiculously powerful and can throw a game or campaign utterly out of whack if not held carefully in check. And players need to understand that just because they might have access to friendly dragons (regardless of their alignment and abilities) it is a major chore to get a dragon to cooperate with any scheme that “lesser” beings might concoct. Unless the payoff is stupidly lucrative in the dragon’s favor it is highly unlikely that the dragon will show even the slightest interest. They may however find more mundane activities interesting, though. For instance a silver dragon might show up and decide to help a group plan the layout of a small castle. But that same dragon will have no interest in fighting a nearby clan of ogres because ogres are not all that tough to fight anyway and there isn’t enough loot involved to make it interesting. Feel free to explore the options, but bear in mind that a dragon might show up for awhile and then go back into hiding for months or years. They are powerful, yet difficult to deal with. Never forget that.