How to Kill a Dragon: In 3 easy steps

In order to earn the next of my 'Mystery Cult' clan virtues (dream magic), I have to reproduce an epic feat performed by a Bjornear hero.

The feat my clan leader has set me, is to slay a dragon.

So i was wondering.. any suggestions? :slight_smile:

My arts scores aren't great, so lvl 25 spells are about my limit, altho I do have the life boost virtue, so could add about 50 points to the casting total, but this would incapacitate and injure me in the process.. so it's a one shot spell and would have to be effective!

My usual combat technique is to drop a herd of elephants on the target, turn into a 20 foot bear (or a 60 foot shark) and start disemboweling people, not sure that'd be the most effective technique against a dragon tho..

I don't know much about dragons in Ars, but it was specified it is a Great Wurm I need to kill, so I probably can't get away with killing a newborn. (unless i could design some spell to accelerate it's growth to adulthood without accelerating it's abilities - but it doesn't seem likely I'd be lucky enough to track down a baby dragon).

Right now I don't know of any living dragons, altho I do know where there's a dead skeletal one at the bottom of a lake, so maybe there's something I could do with that...

I am allowed to take others with me, but no Bjornear, and I have to be instrumental in the kill (so can't just hire a band of mercenaries).

Any dragon slayers out there with good advice? (other than "dream magic is a bit pants and not worth the risk!")

How "directly" do you have to kill the dragon? Does it specificly have to be your weapon/spell? Can you kill it indirectly? How about convincing others to help you kill it?

*And more specificly, whats your Re/Vi casting score like?

I can take others with me, I just have to be an important part of the kill. Killing blow doesn't have to be me, but i can't just stand and watch.
It should be known that I, Ryce Mageslayer am the dragon slayer, but the fact that I'm the one recruiting and leading the expedition should make my name the prominent one in what would be a group kill.

From memory Re/Vi scores aren't great, add up to 15ish.

Lab total for Re/Vi is about 50 so I can invent more powerful spells and cast them using life boost. Or commission high level spells from elsewhere.

Or can spend the next seasons doing intense Re/Vi training.

First thing I would suggest is think outside the box.

Does the dragon live inside a cave?
If so, you could rig a trap. As it leaves, you could drop a herd of elephants on the trap, putting the extra weight on it....
The trap could be a landslide, a spike trap, a noose...etc
Also you could, as a 20' bear, bury the creature in its lair. As it digs its way out, you could bite his head...
Your elephant spell could also be used to knock the dragon out of the air. Depending on his height and what he lands on, this could be quite injurous to the creature....

Unless you have a low level spell that you know will effect him (blindness,cripple a wing?), you are going to have trouble penetrating if he has a high might score....even with an additional 20 from fatigue...

The first question you need to ask yourself is, how well do you know the dragon? That's important for two reasons. Firstly, you need to know what you're up against - what you need to defend against. Secondly, you need to know its habits, its wants and needs and ultimately its weaknesses.

Once you know that, you need to build your penetration total against the dragon. Remember, this is a big task and don't go anywhere near the killshot until you are confident that you can carry it through.

You may need to spend seasons in research (could involve travel and so other stories). You might need to spend time creating a one shot device so tailored and specific that it can kill only that dragon (think of an arrow, its head crafted from a discarded scale dropped by your prey, so enchanted that it has a huge penetration but is effective only against the one who first bore the scale).

So in short, you can think of all the nifty big bang/crafty spells you like, but you need to know what you're up against and how to exploit its weaknesses.

My players totaly blindsided me withthis last game.

OK, if your lab total is around 50, invent a level 50 ward against dragons. Comming up with the 50 penetration to cast the thing is going to be tough, but do able. See if you can grab a scale or something from the dragon, do your homework as well, for a horroscope. You're gonna need the sypathetic bonus to penetration. Life boost should help, I would also sujest trying to find some magi with Wizard's communion. You'll also need Vis, and alot of it to boost your casting total.

Next, you'll have to find a suitable place for your ward. It will of course need to be large enough to hold the dragon, but also in a place where natural occurances arn't going to break your circle. Deep in a cave would be good, in a regio would be better.

Finaly, you need to lure the dragon into your trap. Since you have to draw the circle as you cast the spell, you'll need to imobalize the dragon for a while. I would sujest putting it to sleep (nice low level spell, make sure it will penetrate). Draw your circle with something permanent, like a Pe/Te spell. Once you get the ward up, your golden. Its completely unbreakable by the dragon, and your completely safe from the dragon. Kill it at your lesiure or let it starve to death. Just gotta ensure that circle remains unbroken, hence traping it in a regio or other undisturbed place.

Start researching legends on dragon slaying prophecies and make it come to pass =)

A group of friends and wizard's communion can really boost penetration through the roof.

If you have the choiuce of which dragon, kill a metaphorical one, like a dragonfly, or a Welshman.

Couple things to remember:

  1. Dragons are Animals, so the Form is Animal. Even if it can talk or something it is an animal.

  2. Dragons are very big, the majority of spells are not going to be able to target it unless its size is taken into account. Any spell with Target: Individual will not likely work at all. Extra magnitudes need to be put into the spell to take this into account. Figure the Dragon's size is going to be +5 or greater. You might be better off with spells that have a Target of Part or some other target where size isn't an issue.

  3. Its senses are really strong. Sneaking up on it will be very difficult.

  4. There is a very good spell that your House has access to as a Bjoarnaer. It's a minor Mystery with a Target of sense (Taste). Anything that bites you suffers damage/a wound. It might be a good idea to get that, as it can also help with the problem of its size.

  5. Penetrating its Might is going to be hard, try to get it so that you have a Penetration of 40+ before the spell casting roll is made.

  6. You can make a spell that works like Demon's Eternal Oblivion against creatures with Magic Might. It uses Perdo Vim. Why is this effective? It actually lowers the creature's magic resistance and can prevent it from using some of its powers. I initially thought the spell didn't lower MR, but the Infernal book confirms that it does.

  7. Creating a magic item that has a huge Penetration can be easier and safer than getting an Arcane connection to the dragon. Once you are fighting it, a Grog or yourself can get an Arcane Connection to provide more bonuses. But if someone tells you they got a dragon's scale I'd make sure to test it, because it's probably as authentic as a piece of the True Cross.

  8. Don't believe what you see. Dragons can use some magic too, including illusions, and those get through Parma unhindered. If a guide is leading you to the dragon, the guide might be the dragon.

  9. It might not be alone. If it isn't, find another dragon.

  10. Its Might is not automatically Magic, it could be one of the other Realms.

Hope this helps.

I would suggest lots and lots of very personal Arcane Connections, and getting them could be something you totally use a mercenary group for.

Also, since you're a Dream Mage, can you enter the Dragon's dreams and plant some kind of fear of elephants into it? Or fear of you? If after a long interesting adventure to access the Dragon's dreams and a clever planting of the seed of its defeat there-in, maybe your Storyguide will just let you walk up to it, in the real world, and it will surrender.

Probally easier to defeat it than kill it.

Hope this helps!

Here's an alternative. Don't try to use magic offensively. Use magic defensively. Perdo imaginem yourself so that the dragon can't detect you, and creo corpus yourself to protect yourself from random flame. Maybe perdo ignem yourself for the same reason. Carry fine, but non-magical, weapons. Get, especially, some sort of climbing spike that you can jam into the dragon and stay stuck to. (Think of the Fremen riding the sandworms of Arrakis.) Perhaps see to it that the dragon has eaten a hunk of meat (Village maiden needed: Dangerous job with high bonuses!) that's full of a powerful, but non-magical, soporific or hallucinogen. Sneak up on the dragon and beat it up the old-fashioned way, possibly with a team of mercenaries or grogs to help.

Another thought. How thoroughly do dragons chew? Would a dragon swallow a coffin-sized object whole? If so, arrange to get swallowed. (Major research bonus for finding out what happens inside a dragon's stomach!) Cast a whole bunch of serious protective spells on yourself first, and make it so that you don't need to breathe. Take in some sort of hook, so that you can't be upchucked. And then carve him up from the inside out.

A maga of mine was toying with this idea as a way of killing a certain beastie she expected to have to fight. She didn't know so much as whether the beastie was faerie or infernal, much less anything else about it other than that it liked to eat and could be harmed from the inside.

Admittedly, these lack the charm of killing a dragonfly and claiming victory, and they require that your character wield mundane weapons, which might not be up his alley. On the other hand, from inside the dragon, you should get a pretty sizeable to hit bonus.

I like the defensive position myself.

I agree with the premise that given it's size, it's might, and your general stats, the likelyhood of you hurting it is nil.

However one could get it to hurt itself. Using magic defensively combined with trickery will detail that one need not be a statistically powerful magus to perform powerful endeavors. The true power of a mage lies in his wits, the application of what he has.

Setting up traps, disguiseing them, staying out of harms way, and getting the dragon to more damage to itself than your character could ever do seems like the course to go.

Another idea is to use a vessel of somekind. For instance get a powerful companion to take on the dragon, but you 'power' him via spells, enchantments, ect.

One of the problems I see is in classic gaming style, the problem comes up and then one goes to the problem. Ars has seasons and is meant to be a saga. It would be nice to give your magus sometime to prep rather than just run out and use trickery. Do you have the time for a few Seasons of preparation or do you need to kill this thing tomorrow? If time is available other options open, such a finding dragon slaying spells/weapons, or of course, making your own.

How about burying it in stone?
Aim your magic at the roof of the cavern it sleeps in, and collapse the whole thing - have grogs keep him busy and be prepared to run...

Use its magic resistance against it. Shrink lots of sharp boulders into tiny pebbles with a good duration, but no penetration. Ingest these into a mundane cow bought for trap. Cause cow to wander near the dragons lair. Dragon thinks 'lunch', eats cow.

I don't know exactly when spell will come into contact with the magic resistance of the dragon and be cancelled. I would think only when the rocks come into contact with the dragon itself, so when the cow starts digesting in the stomach. Ie, after several hours at least, and too late for the dragon to try vomiting it out.

Big enough boulders in a great worm, would probably work like a brick in a humans stomach, you can't get it out through the mouth, and I don't see the dragon voluntarily cutting its stomach open to do the job, or punching itself enough times to shatter the boulder down to a size it can pass. And the more time passes the more boulders the magic is cancelled on and the more boulders spring back to full size in its stomach. Say one or two dozen boulders and its going to be dead within a day in extreme agony.

Magic resistance still doesn't cancel spells, unless you're using a special houseruling on magic resistance...

This sounds a lot like the turn poison to water in order to kill a mage routine.... (which didn't work)

Have you studied dragon lore? Are you certain dragons can't eat stone when hungry?

I keep getting confused about magic resistance doesn't cancel spells as various different posters seem to have completely different opinions on it.

As for whether dragons eat stone, sure some can. But I was talking about HUGE rocks, ones that couldn't fit in the mouth. Once in the stomach, there are no teeth to grind down, just stomach acid (or variations). Fill up anyones stomach to bursting with rough edged stone and that is going to do damage.

alas no ... when the dragon comes into (near-)contact with the magic of the altered stone (or whatever), its MR, just like a Parma, will push the magic stone aside so the dragon remains safely out of contact with it.

The magic on the stone will be unaffected - but so will the dragon be.

The only time MR or Parma "cancels" a spell, is when a new spell is cast: if the spell Target resists, the spell fails to happen.

(Aimed spell are neat in that, while you have to make a Finesse roll to plant them correctly, they start in the environment near the aim-point, and the MR of a target doesn't prevent the spell being cast successfully - though MR still blocks the effects of the spell from resisting targets.)

this is one of those RTFM issues - the Arm5 text on MR is quite clear and unambiguous about MR blocking effects or magical objects.
The spell-casting sequence is clear that if (and only if) the primary Target (the one with a T not a t) resists the spell does not take effect when resisted;
and the Aiming rules make it clear that Aimed spells are cast into an area and take effect there, typically "around" or "near" some aimed-at victim.

Dragons are magical ... I'd guess that any bad-ass dragon the eats stone has no problem with boulders. (It's likely got some PeTe magic anyway, to do the "eating"...)

ok, what if the dragon ate a handful of perfectly mundane rocks.. which I'd already taken arcane connections to

If I then use intangible tunnel to cast a fast growth spell on the rocks (using the arcane connections).. would the growth spell have to compete with the dragons parma/ magic might? Technically (via the tunnel) it's being cast from inside the dragon, and is being cast on items which are also inside the dragon.. does parma/ magic might come into this?

Also would the casting of intagible tunnel need to compete against the dragons parma / magic might?

Caribet, are you seriously saying that dragons with magic resistance cannot eat anything that has a spell on it. Or with my suggestion something totally mundane which has a number of tiny magically shrunk rocks hidden inside?

The point was that the rocks are HUGE as in individually as wide as its stomach and multiple rocks that big. The example I made was that a brick suddenly appearing in a humans stomach as comparison, to the size of the rocks incoveniencing the dragon. Twelve bricks appearing in the stomach would kill anyone. And while some dragons might have magical abilities that allow them to handle such an event, most dragons listed in the rulebook have very specific powers, not general powers to handle anything of an element.

If the issue is that the dragons parma would not cancel the spell, then just make the timing of the transformation less time, say 12 hours. So that the spell wears off while the rocks are still in its system.