Acuakvacaesin, a Wyrm of the West

Dragon Magazine #356
By Brian Cortijo

Hidden on the isle of Gwyennath, in the Moonshaes, a rather peculiar being lives among the trees on the south-eastern shore of the Myrloch. Walking among the creatures of the Myrloch Vale, a wood elf known as Caesin is, of all things, a peculiar green dragon named Acuakvacaesin (LN mature adult green dragon sorcerer 8), drawn to the Moonshae Isles by the peace the lake and its environs promise.

Acuakvacaesin came to the Moonshaes in search of a quiet, forested area where he could safely abandon the natural depredations of his race and enjoy the beauty of the natural world. After a number of near-fatal encounters with both the Ffolk and Northmen of the Isles, he witnessed several parties of elves observing him from afar - but not venturing to challenge his presence directly. Following the fifth such spying, the dragon decided to turn the tables and spy on the elves himself.

Using magic to adopt the form of a young wood elf, he called himself Caesin - the Draconic word for "forest" - and approached the band that had been spying on him. Acuakvacaesin learned that the Llewyrr (as the elves called themselves) were observing the strange green dragon with great interest; although challenged by humans on several occasions, he had neither demanded tribute from nor slain any of the foolhardy lesser creatures. This led the elves to believe that, despite his evil nature, the dragon was at the very least disinterested in the sentient inhabitants of the Moonshaes.

After several seasons of discussion with the elves, Caesin learned more of their homeland and the band's leader, Numira. The elves hailed from just to the southeast, in the hidden kingdom of Synnoria. Numira revealed to Caesin that she had long since seen through his disguise but had concealed this from both him and the other elves, to prevent conflict and to safeguard him against attack from the secretive Llewyrr. Since that time, Caesin has been permitted to walk freely among the trees and homes of Synnoria, provided that he brings no other visitors with him.

Caesin makes his lair in a well-hidden cave within sight of the shore of the Myrloch. Keeping only a small mound of copper and silver coins as his hoard, he arranges his home more like a humanoid's than a dragon's. Using the coins as a sort of bed, he prefers to slumber in elven form, or in the form of one of the many woodland animals he often masquerades as while spying on human intruders in the vale.

Despite his poverty compared to other dragons, Acuakvaicaesin possesses a number of magic items. In addition to a cloak and boots of elvenkind, he also carries a +3 holy dragonbane longsword which he keeps both as a guard against others of his kind and as a safeguard should he ever fall back into the evil of his race. Numira and a few other Llewyrr have been fully informed of the powers of the sword, in case they ever need use of it.

Acuakvacaesin pays homage to neither Bahamut nor Tiamat, choosing instead to venerate the Earthmother aspect of Chauntea, both out of respect for the land he inhabits (and her undisputed mastery of it), and in the hope that in time, she might grant his heart's wish of a more permanent transformation to elvenkind. For years, he has harbored a secret love of Numira but refuses to introduce any draconic blood - to say nothing of the abomination of adding an evil dragon's blood - into the waning elven population of the Llewyrr.

In his various guises as a dragon, an elf, or as one of many fey and animal forms, Acuakvacaesin patrols the forests and foothills of the Myrloch Vale looking for hidden evil and nosy adventurers searching for a way into Synnoria. While he warns off seemingly weaker humanoids, any sign of drow, orcs, or evil dragons sends him into an almost blind rage, causing him to reveal his true form and unleash his spells, snatching up the offending parties and dropping them into the lake (this has happened twice). When fighting to subdue rather than to slay, Acuakvacaesin avoids lethal attacks as long as possible, preferring spells that tire opponents or deal ability damage, like ray of enfeeblement and waves of fatigue. If faced with more persistent foes he does not wish to kill, he uses enervation to cripple them without risking their lives.

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