So, my inaugural post of 2016 is going to be about a dragon. Are you surprised, dear reader? You really shouldn’t be. Today, I present unto you the Dreamwrath Dragon, Io-Vol.
When I got the 4E book, Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons, I was thrilled. It was, yet, another jewel in my relatively extensive hoard of tomes. It held the two lost metallic dragon-types that I love the best (the brass and the bronze). It had draconians. It had a cool dragon-led organization that attempted to control the portals to Sigil. But the pièce de résistance was the picture of an artifact on page 79: the flask holding the Blood of Io.
The Blood of Io was held in a flask shaped like a sitting dragon with it wings folded at its back and its tail wrapped widdershins around its base. The stopper of the bottle was a horned dragon that had two faces. It appeared that the head of the dragon was going through mitosis and had yet to form two distinct wholes. I loved it.
Now, I do not use the dragon creation mythology of the Forgotten Realms setting, so I had no use for the artifact as it was written. The image was so compelling, it nigh demanded to be used in a game and since I could not use the artifact as it was, I took to looking for other ideas to help me use the Blood of Io (Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons PP 78-79)) in Rilmorn. After much thought I added the Blood of Vol (a religion from the Ebberon setting (Eberron Campaign Guide, PP 248-251) and the dreambreath dracolich from Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons (PP 78-79). With all three parts, I crafted the history and powers of Io-Vol the Dreamwrath Dragon and her blood.
Io-Vol is a dragon, now, long lost to time, but age ago, she tormented her foes and terrified her children and allies by her power over dreams. Io-Vol had the power to manifest in any of her descendants (literally, in anyone who bore her blood), as long that being was dreaming. In addition to this power, Io-Vol was a powerful dream mage and had access to spells that could force her targets into REM sleep when ere she chose. This gave her the ability to appear anywhere in the world at any time.
Only Io-Vol remembers who or what brought about her downfall, because only she is left. Whoever or whatever killed all the beings that bore any kinship to Io-Vol. While she was still a powerful spellcaster and enchanter, Io-Vol was rendered weak with her ability to travel freely and safely about the world taken from her. Io-Vol knew it was only a matter of time before her enemies came for her, so she began to craft a magic flask to act as her touchstone to reality and a backup plan.
When Io-Vol finished her crafting, she filled it with her blood and sent it away. She then began casting a series of spells and rituals that would render her immortal. Before she finished her work, her enemies found her. While they slew Io-Vol, theirs’ was a pyrrhic victory. Io-Vol lived on in a dreamscape of her own making and was able to manifest in the material world once again, when beings began to use the artifact containing her blood, the Blood of Io-Vol. With this power, she destroyed the last of her enemies, but lost the flask holding her Blood. Io-Vol fell into a dreamless sleep and remained there, until the Blood of Io-Vol reappeared in the world.
The Blood of Io-Vol appeared in my game and was used by Feldspar, a shifter warden. When he used its powers in combat, the Blood compelled him to eat the hearts of his fallen enemies. In time, he and his fellow adventurers slew a dragon and Feldspar ate its heart. Feldspar transformed into a dragon and became subject to Io-Vol’s dream magics when he fell asleep. After an encounter with faery magic Feldspar shed his dragon form and hid the Blood of Io-Vol, but not before Io-Vol discovered and freed one of sons who had been trapped in a mirror of life trapping for centuries before Io-Vol fell to her enemies.
Io-Vol is becoming more active in the world of Rilmorn. She is being drawn to Lord Doresh of the Fading Dream on Zentlan and to Metabular, a dragon in the dreamscape known as the Isle of Celstia. Soon, she may make a new bid for power on her old home world.