For the Hoard

March 19th, 2015

Alex Riggs

Magic Market Archive

                This week is Dragon Week at Necromancers of the Northwest, which is perfect for today’s article, because everyone knows that dragons are all about treasure. In fact, it seems a little odd, since dragons in many fantasy games are depicted as being much more intelligent than the average person, and are certainly as vain, that so much of a dragon’s treasure seems to be… well, human treasure. Mountains of gold coins are all well and good, but you would think that a dragon—especially one with an army of kobolds or other minions—would treat itself to some art objects that were actually designed with a dragon in mind.

                But what kind of art objects would a dragon want, you ask? I’m glad you asked, because I just so happen to have spent some time thinking about that very question recently. You’ll find ten sample dragon treasures below.


    • An immense oak jewelry box. Three feet tall and six feet wide and deep, the outside has been stained and lacquered. The lid features a mosaic of a soaring dragon, made from highly-polished semi-precious gems, set into the wood. The underside of the lid features a full-size mirror, and the inside of the box is lined with soft red velvet (at the GM’s discretion, one or more pieces of oversized jewelry might be found in the box, as well).

    • A throne fit for a dragon. Resembling a nest more than a traditional chair, this throne is shaped like a low, flat bowl. It is somewhat oval in shape, and is 30 feet across at the longest point, and 20 feet across at the shortest, and about 5 feet deep. The bowl itself is made of gold, but is lined with purple silk and ermine furs, and has been stuffed with goose feathers, forming a massive pillow. One side of the throne features a high back, also made of gold, which towers some 40 feet tall, and is engraved to resemble a towering mountain peak, with three dragons perched upon it, at various heights.

    • A massive and highly detailed map. Beautifully painted on a massive vellum canvas six feet by eight feet, this map gives a beautiful (and very accurate, if somewhat stylized) view of the surrounding region, as seen from above. In addition to the things one would normally expect to be displayed on a map, it has detailed information about typical wind flow and thermals, making it exceptionally valuable for those who travel by air. Numerous places on the map are also denoted with small illuminated illustrations and captions, and depict places where the dragon has defeated a foe, captured a maiden, demanded tribute, and other things it is particularly proud of.

    • A giant bottle of perfume. This glass bottle is four feet tall, and two feet in diameter. It is fitted with a beautifully-crafted silver base and crown, both of which have been expertly engraved to resemble a tapering tower. A miniature princess, made of carved ivory, stands at the top of the tower, and serves as the stopper to the bottle. The perfume inside is a dark yellow-green color, and smells foul and musty to human sensibilities.

    • A large brass egg. This three-foot-tall egg is made of brass, though it is ringed with rubies and capped with an emerald. Immediately above and below each of the rubies that form a circle around its middle are small holes, and there is a removable lid, which the emerald is set in the center of. Inside is a relatively simple device, into which oil and water can be placed, in separate containers. If a flame is applied, and the egg closed, it produces a slow and steady supply of hot steam.

    • A huge tome. This nickel-plated, leather-bound book is ten feet tall and fifteen feet wide when fully opened. Its vellum pages aren’t just incredibly tall and wide, they are also quite thick, allowing them to be easily turned by even clumsy dragon claws. The book is beautifully illuminated, with illustrations on nearly every page, and is written in draconic (The exact contents of the tome are up to the GM. Depending on the dragon it belonged to, it could be anything from a glorious history of its own great deeds or those of its ancestors, it might be a book about arcane theory and practice, or it might be as simple as a storybook.)

    • A life-sized brass bull. More than just a beautifully-crafted sculpture, the insides of this unusual contraption hold extensive and finely-tuned clockwork (augmented in a few places by very simple magic) which allows it to be wound up (using its tail as the winding mechanism). Once wound, it shuffles slowly forward, raising and lowering its head, as though grazing, or threatening to charge.

    • A set of platinum jewelry for claws. Comprised of ten pieces, each of which is delicately inscribed with fanciful patterns and inset with emeralds and sapphires, these cone-shaped jewelry pieces are designed to be slipped over the wearer’s claws, and serve as a sort of sheathe for the claw. The insides are lined with black velvet, and each piece is specially sized to fit a particular claw snugly and securely. When worn, they also extend the apparent length of the dragon’s claws by about 30%.

    • A gilded figurehead, ripped from a ship’s prow. It is fairly plain to see that this life-size image once adorned the front of a rather large sailing ship, and a few pieces of the front of the ship still seem to be attached, making it clear that it was ripped violently from the ship’s hull. The entire thing is covered in a thin, not-so-evenly-spread layer of gold, as though it had been buried in gold coins which were then melted over it. The result has slightly warped the figure’s features, and, purely by happenstance, turned her smiling grin into a mopey grimace.

    • A set of matching tail bands, made of gold. These oversized pieces of jewelry much resemble human armbands, but are much larger in size. Each one is made of gold, which is engraved in such a way as to make it look like dancing flames, and is set with a single massive ruby. There are 12 in all, each of a different size, with the larger bands bearing larger gems. In order to be worn, they must be slid onto the dragon’s tail, one at a time, and pushed as far back as they can go, until they fit snugly.