Dragon of Barsaive


Charcoalgrin is a fairly typical example of her race: arrogant, haughty, and apparently disdainful of “the lesser races”. But beneath this facade she actually has a deep fascination with other Name-givers, and a desire to extend her influence into their affairs. For some time, this desire meant that she was considered immature by the Great Dragons of Barsaive, despite her age and experience. For a while, this suited her and she pursued her own interests. However, after the death of the Great Dragon Vasdenjas, she decided she deserved a greater place in dragon society, namely the position of Loremaster, formerly occupied by Vasdenjas. To prove her worth in this position, she decided to “clean up” a situation left dormant by the other Great Dragons – the machinations of Denairastas. However, she needed a suitable set of pawns in this game, and the wretched Name-givers that formed her tiny gang in Parlianth would not do.

Then came the day that the Passion’s Champions paid her a visit, asking for her aid in protecting the city of Jerris from the Iopans. They brought with them a powerful gift – The Sword of Vargas. It was immediately clear to her that the Adepts in front of her were unaware of their true potential. Nazeer did not know who he was, or what he was giving her, or he would never have done so. In time she also realized that Denairastas must have seen their potential as well, for as she moved onto the playing field she saw his own pawns already gathered in place. Thus began the great “chess game” between Denairastas and Charcoalgrin, using the Passion’s Champions as their pieces.

When Mara Corovan magically brainwashed the Passion’s Champions to believe they were actually Iopans, Charcoalgrin intervened, wiping away the magic and it’s effects and returning Serpentsbane to Nazeer, advising him that “he would need it for the coming conflict.” Later, when the Iopans managed to capture and imprison the PCs, she arranged for The Heart of Gold to be nearby when they broke out, and aided in their subsequent recovery. She advised them to leave Barsaive then, knowing that Denairastas would try to capture them again but knowing his influence outside Barsaive was very limited. She told them to gather their strength and return again, and when they did she was ready, having spent the intervening years strengthening her own position and preparing for the conflict to come.

When Icewing and Mountainshadow discovered her machinations, they initially allowed her to continue, thinking she was merely trying to extend her influence. When they finally realized that she was moving subtly against The Outcast, they called her to a council, intending to order her to stop. To their surprise, she presented them with a cunning plan to oust Denairastas and eliminate his forbidden bloodline – a task they themselves had not deigned to undertake. They chose instead to allow her to continue her efforts, and see how far they could take her. They gave her the aid of two of their drakes, Rosper and Lathann, to recover the Passion’s Champions magical treasures from Iopos after their escape.

In the end, Charcoalgrin’s plans bore the fruit she wanted, and Denairastas was slain by the power of Serpentsbane. His children were slaughtered, their influence broken and the survivors scattered to the winds. Icewing & Mountainshadow were impressed with her success, and the irony of the instrument of Denairastas’ death was not lost on them. They agreed to let her undertake a trial to prove herself worthy of the title of Loremaster, and granted her access to one of Vasdenjas’ old lairs and it’s trove of draconic knowledge. The price she paid for this opportunity was that she discard all connections to the Name-givers that once served her, and retreat into study for a period of centuries. She abandoned her lair in Parlianth, dismissed her servants, and has retreated to pursue her chosen path. There may come a time when Nazeer will see her again, but until then she has vanished from the world.

Charcoagrin’s Name-giver form is portrayed by Summer Glau.

Charcoalgrin is from the EarthDawn 1st Edition main book by FASA Games.

GM Commentary:

Charcoalgrin was, for a long time, the only dragon the PCs trusted, and it wasn’t even a complete trust. She was overbearing, bossy and even rude, but she saved their bacon twice, and helped them keep their heads above water until they could swim on their own. But like all dragons, she was out for herself, first and foremost. Given her history in the Dragons sourcebook, I figured she was the best patron the players could have because of her fondness for Name-givers. In the end, I removed her from the game to illustrate that they were now on their own, and had to fight their own battles.


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