I made a slight mistake when I created Black Fang’s background for my campaign. I didn’t know as much about Varisia as I do now. I placed Black Fang’s mother in the Mushfens, thinking it’d be a good place because it’s a massive swamp. I didn’t learn until recently from the Pathfinder Wiki that Black Dragons avoid the Mushfens because of their enslavement by the empire of Thassilon.
Then again, she’s an 801 year old Ancient Black Dragon. How does that joke go? She lives anywhere she wants to. 🙂
Placing her there is also an experiment for me. Before I did that, many of the encounters I’ve written were Easy for the party’s APL, because I was getting the hang of challenging them without killing characters off. This time the encounter is far above their APL. Their current APL is 6. She’s CR 16. It is possible to find out about her through the appropriate Knowledge skill rolls. If they try to go after her with their current strength, they’ll get curb-stomped. This is a callback to the early days of First Edition AD & D, where a Wilderness encounter could be too tough for a party and they had better learn to run.
My players have been good about not treating every encounter as a combat encounter. They have been willing to talk to creatures whose presence was non-hostile. I don’t think Black Fang’s mother would be considered non-hostile. They might be able to talk their way out of an encounter with her, but I don’t know what would happen until the encounter actually takes place.
Image Via publicdomainpictures.net
Image Credit: Piotr Siedlecki