'Ware the Moloch
The Archon of Destruction
Physical Description: While Pel may be described as the paragon of draconic majesty, the Archon of Destruction is terror incarnate. Easily Pel’s equal in size, this hideous green dragon resembles its cousins only superficially. Its scales are a vivid green, like that of a vinesnake, streaked and smeared with whorls of purple, yellow, and red. Deep, sunken pits house the ominous red pinpoints of its eyes. It possesses the typical ridged scale rising over its snout, but lacks the standard green dragon crest. Instead, its skull, jowls, and neck are dotted with long, twisting barbs, like thorns or briars. Most memorable of all, however, are the dragons claws and teeth. Its claws are curving and scythe-like, so large it cannot close its hands without slicing through the palms. The dragon’s teeth are equally large, overlapping its lower lips in a perpetual grimace; a tusk on either side of its head extends easily two meters. Every sharp point on the Archon of Destruction’s body perpetually oozes a viridian fluid, caustic and extremely toxic.
Dozens of the Archon of Destruction’s qualities imply that it is a truly ancient dragon, perhaps some form of evolutionary throwback. Its name is derived from cuniform inscriptions on certain stone ruins found on an otherwise deserted island. The carvings were incomplete, but the creature depicted is unmistakably the Archon of Destruction, and crude translations to a form of proto-elvish indicate it was known as such by some ancient, long-forgotten, civilization.
Personality: It’s difficult to describe the Archon of Destruction as having a gender, let alone a personality. It never speaks, and rarely offers any form of direction to its followers. Instead, it rends, tears, and hunts. It decimates, descending upon targets in an orgy of unforgiving slaughter. It’s only the Archon of Destruction’s practice of months- or decades-long slumber that keeps it from utterly depopulating huge swathes of land.
Preferred Lair: The Archon of Destruction makes its lair wherever it happens to decide to sleep. Over mere weeks, plants and trees grow to phenomenal size around the dragon, shielding its body from prying eyes. Creatures brought to bear in such forests are larger and far more vicious than normal, and wherever the Archon of Destruction lays its head, Lionbite lizardfolk soon arrive to watch over their god.
Preferred Troops: Since the Archon of Destruction is so often slumbering, and wakes so rarely, it falls to the Lionbite lizardfolk to tend to the dragon’s interests. An offshoot of standard lizardfolk, easily as old as the dragon itself (and possibly its creation), there are multiple varieties of Lionbite lizardfolk. However, all share an unswerving loyalty to the massive green, having elevated it to the status of godhood within their culture. While some Lionbite are slimmer and swifter than standard lizardfolk, others are barrel-chested and draped in slab-thick scales. All, however, are vivid green, with their deity’s trademark venomous tusks. Intelligent, fanatical, and ruthless, the Lionbite clan infest every forest where the Archon of Destruction has ever slept, killing all intruders. The Archon of Destruction’s blood runs powerfully through these creatures, leading many to take up the Invoker or Sorceror path.
Notable Tactics: Tactics do not apply to the Archon of Destruction. If awake, it leads a campaign of slaughter and destruction, preceded and followed by its Lionbite army. When slumbering, it remains dormant, with its troops primarily holding defensive positions and acting to destablize any nearby civilization which might threaten the great beast.
Means of Communication: Lionbite shamen do most of the strategizing in the Archon of Destruction’s name. They claim to receive prophetic dreams from the slumbering dragon, instructing them to seize villages or artifacts. Occasionally, however, someone is selected for such a communication. This individual may not even yet be one of the Archon’s pawns, and is often several miles from where the dragon sleeps. The messages are an impossible jumble of vivid colors, scents, and physical sensations. Nonetheless, pawns coming to after such a visitation feel driven to perform new tasks, and are immediately recognized and respected by the Lionbite lizardfolk.
Pawns: The Archon of Destruction often selects its pawns from among great warlords or bandit kings; anyone who has committed truly spectacular massacres bordering on genocide. However, it’s just as likely to select a simple farm boy or scullery maid, empowering her with the ferocious strength and mind of a dragon, and sending him or her on a random slaughtering spree that depopulates entire villages or regions.
Granted Domains: Worshippers of the Archon of Destruction gain access to the Poison, Destruction, Life, and Wilderness Domains.