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Patina - One Angry Dragon

First off, next time we're going to dive a bit more into the mechanics of Dragons in PF2 and 5e (as part of the RPG Carnival hosted by Rising Phoenix Games), but that is still being worked on, as it's a little more complicated due to how the 2 games have (over)-simplified dragons since they originally got into the game. And I think that's a bit of a shame, as they ARE part of not only the legacy of the games but even in one of the names (it's called Dungeons & DRAGONS, after all, not Cellars & Overpowered Lizards).

We'll also dive into why I think that the spellcasting variants of dragons in the two games should actually be the STANDARD ones instead of the non-spellcasters, rather than the other way around.

Today though, we're going to dive into a specific Dragon though, similar to the Wyrms of the North Articles that I talked about last week.

So for this, I'm going to take one of the dragon types that seem to be overlooked a bit, namely the copper dragon - not only is it a metallic (good) dragon, but it rarely comes into conflict with the heroes of our shared stories, but it is also one of the least used ones, potentially along with the brass dragon. So please welcome Patina, a very old (more on that next week) Copper Dragon (5e/PF2).

Copyright Wizards of the Coast
Art by Antonio J. Manzanedo

Patina is a name given to her by the humans who fear her so much, for her real name Simerathurax is known to only a few, and unlike other copper dragons, her scales have a greenish tint to them, that makes casual observers think that she is a green dragon. She is also incredibly hostile to humans, due to her past.

Patina was born 562 years ago, living with her mother in the warm hills south of a great elven forest. Where they lived there was peace and they often interacted with the elves who lived in the forest, and even the occasional dwarf who traveled past their hill in great caravans paid homage to the wyrms.

For many years this was how things were, but at some point - even to Patina, it is no longer clear when as she is blinded with rage, when a group of human adventurers mistook her mother for a rampaging evil dragon and attacked. She was forced to kill them in self-defense, but the families of those adventurers would not accept that it was an honest mistake, and hired dragon hunters to find her and slay her - and they did.

Patina fled into the elven forest, where she was counseled by the elves that this was human nature and that they were not all bad. It was, in essence, a tragic mistake, but they advised that she let it be.

She did, much to her regret.

A decade or two after this, humans came to the hill where she had lived with her mother. And it wasn't long before the humans started logging the trees, and again she was counseled by the elves that these humans were different. They took only the trees needed, and only after consulting with elves and druids on which ones would be best removed to allow the forest to flourish. But a generation or two later, the town had grown voracious, and the logging expanded as they used slash and burn tactics to get more farming land, and to power their ravenous forges with wood, to smelt and forge the iron that they had started mining out of her old hilly home.

This time, when the elves resisted, the humans reacted with weapons, armor, and fire - all powered by the places that she had called home. She was not there to protect them, as she had been exploring coasts far away, but when she came home to find her friends and the people who had become her family slaughtered, she was consumed by rage.

She planned her vengeance for years, waiting for the most opportune moment, and in that time she smoldered, stoking her rage daily. She started by preying on adventuring parties and guards at night, swooping in at night every so often, making a guard disappear without a trace. None suspected a dragon, as she was very careful to mask her approach and never used the same approach twice. She waited for summer, drier than those that came before, and then she struck, appearing like lightning from a bright blue sky. She used her acid breath to destroy any concerted resistance, broke apart a foundry, and set the city ablaze, with little care to who got in the way. She had seen humans use these very tactics against others, and now they were on the receiving end.

In the end, the city was destroyed, and only a couple of handfuls of survivors made it out. They spread the story of the crazed dragon, and predictably, the slayers came. However, Patina was prepared for this and had planned accordingly. She had set up multiple false lairs, all filled to the brim with traps, and with each lair uncovered, more would-be dragonslayers died. And with each, she would trace them back to where they came from, and destroy their homes. She wouldn't always destroy the entire city they lived in - sometimes she would settle for their house or family, but there would ALWAYS be payback.

This pattern lasted for a century, and the humans came to fear her greatly, as did the other races, though she never touched them or their homes. Only humans were her target. But she finally realized that she had stepped too far when she attacked a city that was under the protection of a powerful gold dragon. The dragon fended her off, and followed her home, pinning her to the ground and demanding answers for her actions. Her rage and anger stunned the gold dragon — while she wanted justice, she had gone FAR too far.

The dragon decided to let her live, but for her to atone for her actions. Now, a year later, she is only just coming to terms with her defeat at the hands of the other dragon. But will she do as she has before and plan the destruction of the other dragon, or will she learn her lesson?

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