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Midgard Monday: Teeth of the Dragon Empire

Midgard Monday: Teeth of the Dragon Empire

It’s Midgard Monday! Each week, we visit a corner of the wide world of Midgard. Look for standalone content you can drop into your campaign—whether it’s in Midgard or your own homebrew. Find new inspiration each Midgard Monday!

The Mharoti Empire has a reputation as the most intimidating military presence on the land. Even kingdoms outside of the Empire’s front lines have heard of the power and majesty of the Armies of the Dragon.

Fewer know to look out for Mharoti’s extensive spy network, though. Previous articles discussed making an operator for your campaign, creating plots and schemes for them, and tools at their disposal. The Dragon Empire also equips its agents with creatures, items, and the cunning and training to succeed at their missions.

Creatures

The Empire breeds specific draconic creatures for use by its field agents.

Moontouched Tortoise

The moontouched tortoise is an adorable, pudgy tortoise ranging in color from purple to light and dark blue. It often subtly changes these colors to match the mood or clothing of its charmed target. Their big, bright eyes and seemingly grinning face make it particularly cuddly looking.

Moontouched Tortoise

Tiny Dragon, Any Evil
Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 17 (5d4 + 5)
Speed 20 ft., swim 20 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
6 (−2)10 (+0)13 (+1)13 (+1)12 (+1)15 (+2)

Saving Throws Con +3
Skills Deception +4, Insight +3
Damage Resistances cold, fire, lightning
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened

Senses darkvision 30 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages understands Common and Draconic
Challenge 1 (200 XP)

Too Cute. Any creature targeting the moontouched tortoise with an attack must succeed on a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw or be unable to target it.

ACTIONS

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +0 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 (1d6 − 2) piercing damage.

Draconic Charm. The moontouched tortoise chooses a humanoid target within 30 feet. That creature must succeed on a DC 14 Charisma saving throw or be charmed. The target may repeat the saving throw each hour. Regardless of success or failure, it does not know it was targeted with this ability. The Tortoise must complete a short or long rest before it can use this ability again.

Spineburst Salamander

A spineburst salamander can grow from tiny, pocket-sized creatures to towering guardians with little notice. They make great defenders and distractions for operatives. When tiny, they wrap around their handler’s forearm or back of the neck to stay warm. When grown, they position their spikes outward to defend their handler. They are often reddish brown, with striations of bright red, orange, blue, or yellow.

Spineburst Salamander

Large Dragon, Lawful Evil
Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 68 (8d10 + 24)
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft., fly 50 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
17 (+3)16 (+3)17 (+3)7 (−2)12 (+1)8 (−1)

Damage Immunities fire
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Draconic
Challenge 4 (1100 XP)

Spiked Defense. When a creature within 5 feet of the salamander hits it with a melee attack, it deals 4 (1d8) piercing damage to the creature.

Shape Change. As an action, the salamander can change its size to and from Tiny to Large. While Tiny, the salamander loses its Spiked Defense trait, its Bite attack, and its Spike Barrage action, but retains its AC, HP, and movement speeds.

ACTIONS

Multiattack. The salamander makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing damage.

Spike Barrage (1/Short or Long Rest). The salamander picks a point within 30 feet of it that it can see. Each creature within 15 feet of that point must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, the target takes 18 (6d6) piercing damage or half as much on a success.

Magic Items

The Dragon Empire manufactures items that help its operatives in the field, designed to draw little or no attention.

BRACELET OF BLADES

Wondrous Item, Uncommon (Requires Attunement)

This innocuous-looking beaded bracelet comes in a variety of shapes and colors and has seven charges. When you touch a bead, it produces a dagger in your for 1 charge which disintegrates after 1 minute. The bracelet can produce thieves’ tools for 2 charges which disappear after 10 minutes. The bracelet gains 1d4 charges at dawn each day.

FIGURINE OF WONDROUS POWER: JASPER CHAMELEON

Wondrous Item, Rare

This jasper statuette of a small lizard can become a chameleon for up to 8 hours. Once it has been used, it can’t be used again until 2 days have passed. The chameleon can telepathically communicate with you at any range if you and it are on the same plane of existence and allow you to see through its eyes and hear through its ears. Otherwise, it follows all the other rules for figurines of wondrous power.

Chameleon

Tiny Beast, Unaligned
Armor Class: 12
Hit Points: 1 (1d4 − 1)
Speed: 20 ft., climb 20 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
2 (−4)14 (+2)8 (−1)1 (−5)10 (+0)2 (−4)

Skills Stealth +4
Senses darkvision 30 ft, passive Perception 10
Languages
Challenge 0 (10 xp)

Sticky Pads. The chameleon climbs walls and upside down on ceilings without needing to make an ability check.

Natural Camouflage. The chameleon has advantage on Stealth checks.

ACTIONS

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage.

Downtime Activities

Sometimes non-magical approaches are warranted. Magical detection by security might be common, so operatives go back to basics with subterfuge techniques. Hidden blades, tools disguised in clothing, and other such items are staples of the spy genre and are important narrative options for your stories.

Craft Clandestine Device. (Costs 1 or 3 Infamy Points)

The character can convert an existing non-magical item to be impervious to Perception or Investigation checks to discern its actual purpose. For 1 Infamy Point, people wishing to detect the item for what it is receive disadvantage on the check. For 3 Infamy points, the item is completely indistinguishable from a regular item of its type. Perception and Investigation checks to identify the item as anything but what it appears to be automatically fail.

This downtime ctafting ability references the Criminal Enterprise in Chapter 5 of Tome of Heroes. For further information on Downtime Activities, see Tome of Heroes.


Get into Midgard with the Midgard Worldbook! This acclaimed campaign setting is rich and deep, with over a decade of support from Kobold Press.
Does a new setting feel like a big lift? Check out our intro article, Unpacking the Midgard Worldbook!


about Matt Dunn

Matt Dunn lives near Fredericksburg, Virginia with his wife and son, who he has written an adventure with. He works as a teacher, program manager, and part-time writer. Many of his outings have been with Eastman Dunn Press, writing for DMsGuild, Kobold Press, and Onyx Path Publishing.

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