by Carteeg Struve & Joe Mashuga
Glastious (Glahs’-tee-ous) is the insane Green Elder Dragon of Drejor. Of the five elders, Glastious may have been the one most severely affected by the Graygem during the chaotic corruption of the beasts. Originally a common evil green dragon, now Glastious has been permanently fixed to a single spot in the forest which is his home, and his mind had been dislodged from its set state of cunning evil to a split personality of extreme good and extreme evil. Only after the Days of Darkness has his mind begun to heal, but even that is questionable.
Born very early in the Second Age if not during the First as some claim, Glastious was a very elderly dragon when the Graygem came to Adlatum. After a long life working to protect his own lair and lands, after subverting humanoid settlements forming too close for his tastes to his home, Glastious came to terms with the fact his own life was soon to end. Sensing the danger this gem represented, he volunteered to investigate it up close. If he survived, which he doubted, he would report to the others what he could figure out from this strange item of power.
He found the Graygem as it moved through the skies and approached it. A light glowed from the item, and Glastious was entranced. The green dragon didn’t just approach the gem, but he laid a clawed paw upon it. At that moment the green dragon’s mind shattered, and the dragon himself vanished for decades.
Glastious had no knowledge of time passing or being gone. He landed feeling regret for all actions of evil he had done throughout his life. The guilt was too much to bear. Instead of returning to the other chromatic dragons to inform them of the danger, he flew to a town in which he manipulated the populous into murdering the young lord who would had built their town into a nation to stabilize the region. The town, sixty years after the incident occurred, panicked at the approach of the enormous beast. Landing with the intent to confess, no dragonfear repelled the townsfolk. Any words Glastious said were ignored, and the humans attacked with a variety of makeshift weapons. The old creature began to collapse, as several were able to stab up and through the ragged old scales. The pain of old wounds reopened erupted. Glastious snapped and breathed. Instead of chlorine gas, a different type of green mist poured out. Humans began to scream as moss and random plant-life burst from their skin. Many of the townsfolk tried to run, but many fell to the ground as they decomposed and fed the trees, shrubs, flowers, mushrooms, moss, and everything else that grew from them. Even the weapons and the buildings themselves broke apart and became covered in growth. In a matter of hours the maddened dragon left nothing left of the town. Even the histories had forgotten its name. Glastious’ calm returned, and he flew away wailing tears for the murders he committed.
Eventually the other dragons discovered Glastious’ location, starting with his own granddaughter Emphrosh. Unable to get a consistent story from the old insane creature, all of his words were discounted. Only the white dragon Heriacious seemed to take his state as evidence that the flying gem was an artifact best kept distant. In the end, the truth came too late. The dragons slowly became bounded to their lairs. The wars with the bipeds erupted. Stories of Glastious’ actions are inconsistent at best. Some stories said Glastious fought the dragons and dragonkin to help humans, dwarves, and elves. Others say Glastious orchestrated mad schemes that lead the dragon’s enemies to self-destruct their own defenses. Eventually the dragons assault collapsed, and all dragons receded to their lairs and slept.
After the Sleep
When the call from Takhisis woke the sleeping dragons, she purposefully excluded the insane and unpredictable Glastious. In order to remove the unpredictable creature, she ordered several dragons to gather forces and hunt down the sleeping green. Word of the plot was not kept quiet during the period in which many of the dragons still followed the queen. Emphrosh knew where her grandfather retreated and learned of the plot. Proving her loyalty to blood, she sent her own servants to Glastious to wake and warn him. The green woke to the sound of combat within the forest he had slept in, but he discovered he was unable to move. The chaos-taint changed him much more than any other elder.
Asleep in the forest, his body had turned harder than stone. A green hint remained, but otherwise his body looked like rock covered in grass and moss. He had been asleep for millennia standing tall in a sitting position, and he could not move. However he also felt the forest around him. He felt connected to it, and soon he could see the battle going on a short way from his hardened body through the eyes of the animals nearby. Soon the attacking forces of the dragon’s loyal to the dragon queen had to deal with the trees and roots coming alive. The branches swayed, striking them hard. Vines wrapped around throats. Even the earth beneath their feet fell away entombing them. Only those defending the green survived.
The Queen was greatly displeased. Using her divine will, she freed three dragons less tainted than most from their lairs. They besieged Emphrosh in her lair. With her dying breath she cursed the Queen to forever lose her hold of Adlatum and Krynn. The goddess in turn cursed her spirit to never find rest beyond the mortal realm. A short time later many of the dragons appointed to act as Takhisis’ proxies in Adlatum concluded the goddess was of no use to them. Their followers were their own, and with the chaotic gift to bestow them magic, the Elder Dragons became their gods. As a further insult to their former mistress, Glastious himself began to gather influence and followers.
The shifting mind of Glastious was now forever erratic: sometimes bent on pure destruction of his enemies; sometimes striving for redemption; always feeling a renewed youth and strength from the nature around him. Unlike other Elder Dragon, Glastious came to love his present bond state. He may have been bound within his forest and never able to see beyond it or even move his actual body, but he both of his minds were in agreement that there was a great feeling truly being one with nature.
A New Faith
The followers of Tashramadic faith gathered. Of the most loyal of followers, those who loved nature respected his unpredictable mind. Some preferred one of his states to another, but they accepted both. Many of the lesser followers were still allowed to worship directly before the dragon himself. But being changed as he was, even those who did not know that dragons were the true power of Tashrama did not believe the statue to be anything more than an idol to the deities of nature themselves. At times he could even speak to them, and they would not know the wiser.
Always would Glastious protect his homeland, although his method would vary depending on which of his two personalities was in control. This more than anything else brought those wishing to defend the wild to him. Even rare fey races and other intelligent creatures of the woods fled the troubled lands to find protection under the lands of Glastious. Around the statue of his body, soon Glastious discovered he could use the free leaves, loose vines, and other vegetation to gather into a moving dragon form. The statue itself is now the center of a grand shrine many of the green branch of the Tashramadic faith come to pay their respects at. Even though the soul of the dragon resides there, the pride of the evil Glastious and the humility of the good Glastious allow his followers to continue such reverence.
When Adlatum was assaulted by the beings the Adlar released upon the world, Glastious suddenly felt his own mind snap back together as one. His mind was different than it had ever had been before. He realized that true free will was not a gift given to dragons, but the gem had dislodged his mind from its always-evil bent. He also recognized it had destabilized his thoughts into two personalities of opposing extremes. But for the first time in his life, for these moments, he had the ability to choose freely on his own. For the first time he felt truly freed from the fate the gods had put down on him and his kind long ago.
This elation quickly died as the minions and beasts of Chaos charged into his forest. Trees and animals were set ablaze, and the fires became alive, burning everything under its own will. Glastious felt the pain, and in anger unclouded by insanity he gathered his followers together to launch assaults against the unholy legion. The forest itself sprung alive and tore at the invading darkness. At first the forces of Chaos were repelled, but then a long mist sprang up out of the ground and swept over a swath of forest. Once it retreated, the forest that was there was gone. Only dead earth and stone remained. Glastious’ reach was cut off, and as more of the forest vanished, more was Glastious unable to add his faithful. Soon the mist began to gather around his stone body, and the plant formed projection of his body was quickly destroyed.
Moments before the mist covered the stone that housed his soul, the spirit of Emphrosh flew down from the sky, her translucent body shining in the dark night as if made of pure emeralds. The ghost dragon breathed, but not on the mist. The light from her mouth covered the stone statue, filling life within him once again. The statue moved, and Glastious roared. Everything that was left of the forest roared including the land itself. The mist, for but a moment, knew the aspect of Creation known as fear. The spirit that was Emphrosh flew into the hardened bones of Glastious, and her energy became his. The forest itself re-grew from nothing but from rock and dust as it had during the days of Krynn’s first making. Glastious’ reach enveloped around the mist and breathed it in. What was pure chaos became made into substance, feeding the forest and strengthening it. The land grew wild and reached further than it had before the assault began. Soon the forces of Chaos vanished, and Glastious returned to his eternally frozen stone stance.
Time of the Prophet
Since then many of his closest followers, survivors and new, have come to believe that Glastious can still move on his own but chooses not to, instead wishing to focus his being throughout the woods. But this may be only a rumor. What is known is that since Emphrosh sacrificed what was left of her afterlife by giving her energies to him, Glastious can project the image of an insubstantial great wyrm green dragon into the clearing where his body stands. This form can project a strong dragonfear if it wishes to, but Glastious must use the nearby plant-life to form the nature-made dragon shape if he truly wishes to use a dragon form to interact with others.
In time his mind began to split again, but through his will he often can bring his thoughts back to the stable state it was during the Days of Darkness. It is a constant struggle, and sometimes the weeping good mind or the vicious evil mind takes control. Yet there are also times his own free-willed mind comes to the forefront to preach to his own and bless the land. Even as one mind, Glastious believes himself to truly be a god.
As the nation of Drejor developed, friction grew between those who wished to build settlements close to the forest of Glastious. In 385 AC, several battles erupted as one town cut down trees to build more homes for poor refugees trying to salvage their lives after the Days of Darkness. Those cut trees were felt by Glastious, and he ordered his followers to give the Drejorans a single warning. Across the borders of the forest ‘druids,’ fey, centaurs, animals, and other followers attacked the settlements. The buildings were torn down, and although the townspeople were not initially targeted, those who defended their homes were often hurt or injured.
Loses mounted on both sides, and the Drejor government attempted to end the conflict with the “spirit of the forest” by sending representatives into the woods to make the claim that several towns were lost when the Glastious Forest expanded during the war and they were merely taking the land back to help those who had nowhere else to go. The head of the party fled the forest with several of his fingers cut off. Glastious had him deliver the message, “Whatever the circumstance is for your kind, it matters not to me. Trim back the forest, and this is what I feel. This forest is not of Drejor. Remain distant and live.”
Drejor initially ordered the towns not to use the forest for construction since the nation itself was still in the process of healing from the last war, but the situation changed when new trees began to grow near the border, expanding the forest. The nearby towns took this as a slow incursion by the mysterious being and hacked the forest line back. Every so often during the night other beings would raid the towns, and as so the fighting continued, albeit sporadically.
As Montegron’s power in the region grew, the Lord Sovereign suggested to Drejor post a strong line of sentries within and near the towns, and also along the roads running abreast of the forest leading north to their trading partners in Kedaltol. Over time incidents occurred: men venturing only a short way into the wood and disappearing, animal raids, etc. But also there were responses: tree clearing, forest fires, and also massive hunts just within the woods.
Glastious keeps a close watch on his woods, but he is at least pleased to see some of his own operatives have moved out into Drejor to encourage others to leave the corrupted civilization behind for the blessings of his woods. He is also aware that Montegron would be ready to march army upon army into his land with torches and blades once he gets the chance. The Lord Sovereign has exposed the powers behind the Tashramadic as dragons and not gods, but Glastious no longer sees himself as a dragon and many around him concur. His powers within the forest make him more divine than anything else, according to them.
The Green Elder Dragon is well aware war with the Midland Sovereignties is about to spark. He smells it in the air.
Glastious, the Elder Green
Male Elder great wyrm green dragon greenlich
CN Gargantuan plant (air, augmented dragon)
Init +4; Senses ambient sensitivity, blindsense 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., keen senses; Listen +49, Spot +49
Aura frightful presence (360-ft. radius, HD 37 or less, DC 35 Will resists)
AC 43, touch 6, flat-footed 43 (+37 natural, –4 size)
hp 551 (38d12+304)
Fort +29, Ref +21, Will +27
DR 20/lawful or magic; Immune acid; plant traits; SR 30
Weakness vulnerability to law
Spd 40 ft., fly 200 ft. (clumsy), swim 40 ft.
Melee bite +48 (6d6+14) and
2 claws +46 (2d8+7) and
2 wings +46 (2d6+7) and
tail slap +46 (2d8+21)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 15 ft. (bite 20 ft.)
Special Attacks breath weapon (60-ft. cone, 24d6 acid, DC 37 Reflex half), crush (4d6+21, DC 37 Reflex avoids), impede ambient magic, tail sweep (30-ft. half-circle, 2d6+21, DC 37 Reflex half)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 17th)
1/day – command plants (DC 20), commune with nature, control plants (DC 24), plant growth
3/day – dominate person (DC 21), speak with animals, speak with plants, suggestion (DC 19)
Spells Known (CL 17th, +48 touch, +34 ranged touch)
8th (4/day)—mass charm monster (DC 24), summon monster VIII
7th (6/day)—animate plants, project image, statue
6th (7/day)—antilife shell, greater dispel magic, move earth
5th (7/day)—baleful polymorph (DC 21), blight (DC 21), mind fog (DC 21), wall of thorns
4th (7/day)—confusion (DC 20), hallucinatory terrain, phantasmal killer (DC 20), solid fog
3rd (7/day)—plant growth, protection from energy, slow (DC 19), suggestion (DC 19)
2nd (8/day)—eagle’s splendor, elemental dart* (DC 18), fog cloud, protection from arrows, touch of idiocy
1st (8/day)—entangle (DC 17), magic aura, ray of enfeeblement, shield, true strike
0 (6/day)—arcane mark, dancing lights, detect magic, detect poison, ghost sound, mage hand, message, read magic, resistance
*From the Dragonlance Campaign Setting.
Str 39, Dex 10, Con 27, Int 22, Wis 23, Cha 22
Base Atk +38; Grp +64
Feats Alertness, Cleave, Flyby Attack, Flyby Breath*, Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Attack (bite), Multiattack, Power Attack, Silent Spell, Snatch, Still Spell, Track, Wingover.
* From the Dragonlance Campaign Setting.
Skills Bluff +47, Concentration +28, Diplomacy +31, Escape Artist +20, Gather Information +8, Hide +37, Intimidate +49, Knowledge (arcana) +27, Knowledge (local) +27, Knowledge (nature) +49, Listen +49, Move Silently +41, Search +27, Sense Motive +26, Spellcraft +18 (+20 decipher spells on scrolls), Spot +49, Survival +16 (+18 aboveground natural environments or to follow tracks, +20 to follow tracks in aboveground natural environments), Use Magic Device +27 (+29 use scrolls)
Languages Common, Draconic, Elven, Igurni, Sylvan, Terran, Trejori
SQ greenlich, metabolize ambient magic, water breathing, woodland stride
Ambient Sensitivity (Su) Glastious senses the presence of all ambient spellcasters within 12 miles of his physical body. He automatically knows the direction (but not distance) to each spellcaster within range, but does not otherwise know anything about the spellcaster unless further magic is used. Glastious’ ambient sensitivity is considered a form of scrying for purposes of determining if a spell or magic item protects an ambient spellcaster from detection. Greenlich Glastious’ body has petrified due to centuries of exposure to Chaos-tainted magic and has become a repository for his life-force, similar to the connection between a lich and its phylactery. The destruction of Glastious’ plant-form forces his spirit into his petrified draconic body for 1d10 days, after which time he can form another body. The only way to get rid of Glastious is to destroy both his plant-body and his draconic phylactery. His Gargantuan physical body has as many hit points as Glastious does at full health, hardness 20, spell resistance 30, and a break DC of 64. Glastious’ connection to the natural world has given him the following special abilities:
—Plant Type: Glastious is a plant creature with the augmented dragon subtype. His Hit Dice, base attack bonus, saves, and skill points are not changed. As a plant creature, Glastious is immune to all mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, polymorph, and stunning. He is not subject to critical hits.
—Skills: Glastious has a +8 racial bonus on Hide checks within any forested area (already figured into the above stats).
—Spell-Like Abilities: Glastious’ additional spell-like abilities are noted in the above entry.
—Spells: Glastious can learn and cast spells from the Animal and Plant domains as arcane spells.
—Woodland Stride (Ex): As the druid ability.
Impede Ambient Magic (Su) Glastious may impede all ambient magic within 1200 ft. of his physical body. To cast an ambient spell in an impeded area, the ambient spellcaster must make a Spellcraft check (DC 20 + spell level) or lose the spell he was trying to cast. The dragon may raise or lower this ability as a standard action.
Instead of impeding ambient magic, Glastious may prevent up to six ambient spellcasters (all of whom must be within 1200 ft. of his physical body) from accessing their source of ambient magic. Each ambient spellcaster must make a DC 35 Will save or be unable to cast spells for as long as he remains within the area of effect. An ambient spellcaster who remains within the area of effect must make a Will save every round.
Metabolize Ambient Magic (Ex) Whenever an ambient spell fails to penetrate Glastious’ spell resistance, he heals a number of hit points equal to twice the spell level. If he is already at maximum hit points, this ability has no effect.
Vulnerability to Law Glastious takes half again as much (+50%) damage from any spell with the lawful subtype, and from the bonus damage dealt by any weapon with the axiomatic property.
Water Breathing (Ex) Glastious can breathe underwater indefinitely and can freely use his breath weapon, spells, and other abilities while submerged.