Tales of New Camelot
Invoke the Dragon
RATIONALE: The Changeling 2e rules introduce the Dragon’s Ire as a combat boost for wimpy Kithain. However, the rules seem undecided whether this is an ability possessed by all Fae or a special skill taught to warriors of certain noble Houses. These rules propose that the ability to invoke the Dragon is the birthright of all Fae and usable by any with the slightest magical lore. However, it is now a more versatile power and one changelings call upon at their own risk.
‘The Dragon’ is the Kithain term for the active, purposive aspect of the Dreaming. Some Fae believe it to be conscious, but any Fae with dots in Remembrance can call upon it… at a price. Anyone who invokes the Dragon’s power must stand exposed before the Dragon’s breath.
Invoking the Dragon is done by spending a point of Temporary Glamour then rolling Permanent Glamour, with a difficulty based on the character’s Permanent Banality [cf C:tD 2e p243-4]. Remembrance dice can be added to this roll.
There are several different aspects of the Dragon and most changelings can only invoke one (chosen at character generation) so long as they have at least one dot in Remembrance. Storytellers may restrict this to the Kiths and Houses listed below and/or rule that only character’s with high Remembrance can Invoke other aspects of the Dragon, one aspect per dot above three. The ability to Invoke any aspect of the Dragon would be a 7-point Merit.
Each success on a roll to Invoke the Dragon adds a point of Bedlam to the character’s total. The Dragon’s gifts are far more effective when the Changeling is in one of the stages of Bedlam (typically, the successes rolled are doubled), but do not automatically cause the character to cross the next Threshold: instead, just add the new Bedlam points at the end of the Scene.
- 1st Threshold invokes the Dragon of Burning Gold: the character’s body is surrounded by a golden nimbus
- 2nd Threshold invokes the Dragon of Madness: the character’s eyes reflect the energies of the Dreaming
- 3rd Threshold invokes the Dragon of Doom: the character becomes an empty silhouette revealing the mind-shattering vistas of the Dreaming – at the end of the Scene the character is devoured by the Dragon, lost in the Dreaming forever, regardless of Bedlam Points
Changelings in their Spring Hallows are able to choose how many successes on the Dragon Dice they want to use, which also limits the Bedlam they gain. This choice is made before multiplying so a character in 2nd Threshold might choose to use 2 successes, which would then be doubled to 4 successes and 4 Bedlam Points.
The Dragon’s Eye (Eshu, House Leanhaun)
Each success on the roll increases the character’s connection to a mortal Dreamer, speeding up the time needed to create a powerful connection or increasing the base Glamour reaped from a Reverie, Ravaging or Rhapsody.
Eye Dice can be used only to affect a single Dreamer but the Glamour reaped can be used in Epiphany or to create a Wassail.
- Orb of Burning Gold: double the Eye Dice; double the Bedlam gained
- Gaze of Madness: double the Eye Dice and Bedlam gained; the Dreamer is touched by Chaos and inflicts Bedlam on other Fae who muse/ravage her – typically, the Dreamer also goes mad
- Vision of Doom: triple the Eye Dice and Bedlam; anyone musing/ravaging the cursed Dreamer is sucked into the Deep Dreaming unless they roll Willpower (difficulty 8) – the Dreamer goes completely insane
The Dragon’s Flame (Pooka, House Fiona)
Each success on the roll increases the character’s Temporary Glamour by one – or converts a point of Temporary Banality into a Nightmare Die.
Flame Dice can be used only to recharge the character’s own Glamour pool but points in excess of the character’s Permanent Glamour can be worked into Dross by making a Attribute+Crafts roll, with the number of successes being the limit to the amount of Dross created.
- Blaze of Burning Gold: double the Flame Dice; double the Bedlam gained
- Forge of Madness: double the Flame Dice and Bedlam gained; Dross created is touched by Chaos and inflicts Bedlam on other Fae who use it
- Crucible of Doom: triple the Flame Dice and Bedlam; anyone using the doomed Dross is sucked into the Deep Dreaming unless they roll Willpower (difficulty 8)
Example: If Guinevere invokes the Dragon’s flame and rolls 5 successes she regains 5 points of Glamour. If 3 points refill her Temporary Glamour pool entirely she can try to craft the remaining 2 points into Dross. She rolls Dexterity+Crafts to sew them into a handkerchief; 1 or 2 successes would craft a 1-point or 2-point Dross but any additional successes would be wasted, bringing no extra benefit.
The Dragon’s Fury (Trolls, House Ailil)
Each success adds to a pool of Temporary Willpower points that can be spent on any actions during the Scene; only one Willpower point can be spent on a single dice roll and each point is lost after it is spent. These Fury Dice can also be used up to lower the difficulty of a Willpower roll by 1 or cancel out the effect of a botch.
- Brow of Burning Gold: double the Fury Dice; double the Bedlam gained
- Mind of Madness: double the Fury Dice and Bedlam gained; foes must roll Willpower (difficulty 8) or gain Bedlam equal to the original roll
- Resolution of Doom: triple the Fury Dice and Bedlam; anyone touching the character is sucked into the Deep Dreaming unless they roll Willpower (difficulty 8)
The Dragon’s Guile (Sluagh, House Eiluned)
The successes rolled can be turned into dots that replace the character’s Realms for the duration of a Scene, usually enabling a character to cast Cantrips more effectively and on targets that would not usually be affected (or open Raths or Trods, for example).
Guile Dice can be used only to boost the character’s own Realms. Each dice becomes a new dot in a Realm; the character must build the Ream up from nothing (they don’t just add on to the character’s own score) and these dots are lost as soon as they are used – though the character could build the Realm back up again with unused points or assign the points to a different Realm. The number of points the character can keep “unused” is limited to the successes on an Attribute+Gremayre roll and all points are lost at the end of a Scene, applied or unused.
- Aura of Burning Gold: double the Guile Dice; double the Bedlam gained
- Song of Madness: double the Guile Dice and Bedlam gained; the character’s voice becomes that of the Dragon and anyone listening must roll Willpower (difficulty 8) or gain Bedlam equal to the original roll
- Rune of Doom: triple the Fire Dice and Bedlam; anyone who has a Cantrip successfully cast on them disappears into the Deep Dreaming unless they roll Willpower (difficulty 8)
The Dragon’s Heart (Boggans, House Liam)
This creates a dice pool that can be rolled to heal damage.
Heart Dice can be used to heal your own chimerical damage every round, but each wound healed reduces the total pool by one. The healing power can be used on others but an Attribute+Medicine roll is needed and the number of successes is the limit to the wounds that can be healed.
Heart Dice can be used to heal real damage but only if the character Calls on the Wyrd. As usual, Temporary Glamour must be spent to heal each point of aggravated damage.
- Blood of Burning Gold: double the Heart Dice; double the Bedlam gained
- Soul of Madness: double the Heart Dice and Bedlam gained; Bedlam is passed on to other characters for each wound level healed
- Ichor of Doom: triple the Heart Dice and Bedlam; anyone else healed is sucked into the Deep Dreaming unless they roll Willpower (difficulty 8)
The Dragon’s Ire (Redcaps, House Gwydion)
As described in the 2e rules, p243-4, this power creates a dice pool of ‘Ire Dice’ that can be added to combat rolls each round.
Ire Dice can be used for initiative rolls, rolls to hit and dodge rolls. Each successful Ire Die is removed from the total pool afterwards, but unsuccessful dice can be rolled again next round.
- Mien of Burning Gold: double the Ire Dice; double the Bedlam gained
- Gaze of Madness: double the Ire Dice and Bedlam gained; foes must roll Willpower (difficulty 8) or gain Bedlam equal to the original roll
- Visage of Doom: triple the Ire Dice and Bedlam and immunity to all attacks except cold iron; foes must roll Willpower (difficulty 8) or be sucked into the Deep Dreaming
The Dragon’s Scales (Satyrs, House Dougal)
Each success adds to a pool of armour dice that can be used each round.
The Scale Dice drop by one with each chimerical wound they soak. If they are used to soak real damage, the changeling must Call on the Wyrd; the scales can soak aggravated damage but three armour dice are used up to soak a single ggravated wound.
- Byrnie of Burning Gold: double the Scale Dice; double the Bedlam gained
- Mail of Madness: double the Scale Dice and Bedlam gained; foes must roll Willpower (difficulty 8) or gain Bedlam equal to the original roll
- Aegis of Doom: triple the Scale Dice and Bedlam; anyone touching the character is sucked into the Deep Dreaming unless they roll Willpower (difficulty 8)
The Dragon’s Trove (Nockers, House Balor)
Each success creates one dot of Chimera that the character can summon from out of the Dreaming for the duration of a Scene (for animate chimera) or a Story (for inanimate chimera).
Trove Dice can be used to conjure chimerical items using the costs suggested in the 2e rules, p146 and p288; they can also repair damage to chimerical armour or equipment the character owns on point-per-dot basis. Chimerical money can be created with each dice becoming a dot in Resources; this becomes real money if the character Calls on the Wyrd but it will be swallowed by the Mists at the end of a Story. For chimerical creatures, each Trove Dice translates as 10 chimera points (p220). Chimerical Treasures can be invoked in 1st Threshold, but two Trove Dice are needed for each dot in Treasure. Like creatures, chimerical Treasures only stay for a Scene. No more than 5 dots (50 chimera points) can be assigned to an item or creature.
NB: If a character wants to conjure a specific chimera or Treasure, make a Manipulation+Lore roll with a difficulty based on the number of dice needed to summon it; the dragon Niddhog and the Holy Grail are not easily summoned from the Dreaming.
- Coins of Burning Gold: double the Trove Dice; double the Bedlam gained; however, up to 10 dots (100 chimera points) can be assigned to an item or creature and Treasures can be summoned
- Jewel of Madness: double the Trove Dice and Bedlam gained; Bedlam is passed on to chimera created (driving chimerical creatures insane or infecting characters who use chimerical items)
- Hoard of Doom: triple the Trove Dice and Bedlam; chimera created will drag victims, riders or owners back to the Deep Dreaming unless they roll Willpower (difficulty 8)
Changeling Society & the Dragon
The Dragon is not safe. Invoking its gifts drives you mad and in 2nd or 3rd Threshold the effects of this are contagious, affecting people nearby or creating cursed creatures and items that pass on Bedlam to others. This terrifies Kithain and so changelings who blatantly invoke the Dragon will attract hostility and worse.
In Seelie areas, even invoking the Dragon in self-defence is frowned on because you are selfishly putting your own safety before the safety of the community. Seelie rulers punish changelings who invoke the Dragon in public and Seelie commoners tend to shun anyone with a reputation for “plundering the dragon’s gold”. Punishments might start with a fine or a flogging but incorrigible “dragonizers” will be banished or even cast into the Deep Dreaming.
In Unseelie areas there’s less concern for the common good but dragonizers are viewed as rabid dogs that need to be put down before they bite. There’s an assumption that anyone invoking the Dragon is automatically in Bedlam and most Unseelie Fae aren’t interested in healing the sick – they quarantine or euthanatize them.
Invoking the Dragon in a duel or contest is considered by all Kithain as an admission of defeat. Seelie view it as dishonourable, Unseelie as weak. Invocation can be done secretly by characters who have not yet passed the 1st Threshold of Bedlam – onlookers can roll Perception + Kenning to detect the Dragon’s power, with a difficulty equal to the character’s Permanent Glamour. For characters in 1st Threshold or beyond, the invocation is physically obvious to everyone.
System: When character’s invoke the Dragon in circumstances where anyone else might learn about it, they must roll Appearance + Subterfuge to keep their reputation; the difficulty might be as low as 4 if the act was done in secret but will be at least 6 if other Fae were present. If these witnesses weren’t close friends or oathsworn to secrecy, the difficulty is more commonly 8. The difficulty is increased by + 1 if the invocation was for personal gain, reckless or harmed others. If the roll is failed, the character is viewed with suspicion (+1 difficulty on all future reputation rolls) and on a botch the character acquires the Flaw Notoriety (p166), with its 2 dice penalty on future rolls. Scathach already start with this penalty. Notorious characters who botch again will acquire an Enemy (probably the local lord) and need to start packing. Bad reputations can be worked off with good deeds and loyal service but Notoriety is very hard to shift. “Once you’ve plundered the dragon’s hoard,” the commoners say, “all your gold is tainted”. Of course, there are circumstances where invoking the Dragon is actually admired – heroic last stands, defending the realm, battling demons and other doomed endeavours.
House Scathach & the Dragon
House Scathach has a bad reputation in large part because these Fae defeated their enemies during the Interregnum by relying on the Dragon’s power. Sidhe of House Scathach may be more tolerant of characters who turn to the Dragon in need. Scathach characters start with the notoriety of being Dragonizers and suffer a 2 dice penalty on rolls to conceal/excuse their use of this power.
It is said that Scathach once knew another aspect of the Dragon’s power, but this was lost when they took the Changeling Way. Instead, Scathach characters with Remembrance can invoke any one aspect of the Dragon, chosen at character creation.