Pel

Physical Description: Pel is a paragon of draconic superiority, the iconic image which justifies all the fear and awe attributed to reds in particular. His shield-sized scales are a vivid crimson, and his claws, fangs, and horns a uniform obsidian, smooth and flawless. His entire body is covered in rippling slabs of muscle beneath his nigh-impenetrable armor, and his lashing tail bears a unique spiral pattern of spikes. These spikes begin at the midpoint of the tail and descend to its tip in a double helix. His wings are vast and heavily scaled as well, showing very little of the rents and tears which typically mark dragons of his advanced age. Every inch of Pel’s length is pure, elemental horror.

Personality: Pel is a master of the game. He has spent literal centuries honing his skills, and at this point the ancient dragon rarely speaks, or even remembers, anything else. Conversations with Pel often drift into inexplicable side topics, the dragon’s words wholly indecipherable as he expounds on strategies in long-dead languages. He never jokes, never smiles, and never threatens. Those who displease him are reduced to ash without preamble.

Preferred Lair: Pel is a unique mix of paranoid and all-powerful. He knows that there is little to fear from almost any foe whom might locate his lair, but he hardly grew this powerful by taking needless risks. Pawns and allies report that he lairs in a vast volcanic cavern, where the intense heat and choking air make prolonged exposure fatal. However, divinatory attempts indicate that the entire lair is not underneath the earth, but apparently actually under water. How this is possible, and where the lair is located, are two great mysteries.

Preferred Troops: Pel’s troops are numerous, varied, and subtle. He’s known to employ a large army of hobgoblins, all bearing the same black and crimson breastplates with ebony chain sleeves. An even larger tribe of goblins, Pel’s Tinder, are the forerunners of his forces and sent into areas that do not merit his full attention. Pel also has dominion over a number of red-skinned dragonspawn, as well as dragons and dragonspawn of other colors.

Notable Tactics: Pel’s tactics are not notable. That is because they are either never noticed, or they leave no survivors to speak of them. The latter is no exaggeration; where Pel has descended on a city, nothing grows for years. Feszir Altahan, an Efreeti scholar who has watched Pel play the game for centuries, speculates that the red’s lair commands sufficient troops to secure any objective, and possibly subjugate every other player, within hundreds—even thousands—of miles. If this is the case, the red has become so wholly engrossed in the game that he actually sustains it for his own amusement. Taken in this light, the tales of Pel displaying unexpected benefience to some young draconic upstart take on a sinister tone; in essence, he’s grooming them for destruction at his hands.

Means of Communication: Pel’s instructions are generally delivered by a crippling blast of mental noise, his great voice roaring through his pawn’s skull. The conversation may seem to take hours, but mere seconds pass in reality. After being contacted by their master, many of Pel’s pawns report bleeding from the nose and ears, and their clothing reeks of smoke.

Pawns: An accepted aphorism when dealing with Pel is “Anyone could be working for him. Some might even know it.” The great red wastes no talent, overlooks no opportunity, and let’s nothing slip past his unblinking gaze.

Granted Domains: Pel grants his worshippers access to the War, Skill, Tyranny, and Civilization Domains.

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Pel

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