Tobias Sinthalel can be used either as a friendly faction that sends the PCs out on a mission, or as a foe that the PCs must overcome. This wealthy noble has managed to procure and hatch a dragon in secret, which needs copious amounts of food, and needs a certain proportion of humanoids in its diet.
As a friendly faction, Tobias engages the PCs to attack various orc and goblin encampments in a nearby forest, and deliver the corpses to a particular spot where a female ranger in his employ, Vialora, pays them. They both keep up the pretense that they need the corpses to verify that the PCs accomplished their task, though the bodies are actually used to feed a fledgling dragon that Tobias keeps in an abandoned dwarven mining complex nearby.
Plot hook: Eventually, the dragon escapes, and Tobias asks the PCs to recapture it without killing it. This can be a multi-session job, as the young dragon attacks small goblinoid encampments and humanoid villages far out in the wilderness and prefers to flee rather than fight. The PCs will have to figure out a way to corner it.
As a foe faction, the PCs hear of a hunter who was captured by a tribe of goblins and nearly fed to a young dragon they kept in their cave. He managed to escape, and the city watch offers a reward to anyone who can kill the goblins and the dragon. The PCs arrive to find a surprisingly well-supplied underground complex, which is also protected by a capable ranger–Vialora–who, if reduced to half Hit Points, surrenders and explains the situation. She’s not paid well enough to risk her life, has grown increasingly uncomfortable with her role, and will help the PCs clear out the rest of the goblins and kill the dragon.
Then, the PCs should probably track down Tobias in his mansion and confront him, but that’s a whole other session….
- Bats roost in the first room; the denizens have learned not to disturb them, but they will attack any noisy PCs. A cave-in has destroyed the southeast corner of the room, but from the remaining frescoes on the walls this appears to have once been a dwarven mining settlement.
- This room was once a guard room and resting spot for dwarves visiting the complex’s owners or just passing through. A large crack in the floor now splits the room in two. Two goblins crouch here, playing a dice game with a small pile of copper pieces. They’re supposed to be guarding the place and listening for disturbances, but they won’t even notice if the bats screech out. They are, however, attentive enough to notice the sounds of a pitched battle. If approached, the goblins will run down the hall and warn the others, but if the PCs can immediately engage them in melee the goblins will fight rather than flee.
- These chambers were badly damaged by whatever quake affected the first two rooms; now all that’s left are crumbled halls that six more goblins and Vialora use to fight intruders. They keep behind corners and fire at attackers from range, retreating to better vantage points rather than engaging in melee as much as possible. The corridor in the north end of the circle has collapsed into a pit; the goblins can swing from ropes across it as an action. PCs must make a DC 15 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check or fall and take 1d8 bludgeoning damage.
- The fledgling dragon lairs here, along with several goblins that attempt to entertain it. The dragon has the stats of a wyrmling, except 80 HP and the addition of one claw attack, multiattack (claw and bite), and an extra +2 damage on all attacks.