Dragonbait, also referred to as Champion, was the finhead saurial paladin companion and the soul-brother of the adventurer Alias, who was transported to Toril, alongside a small community of his people, by the Rotting God Moander.
"You're not my bondservant, are you?"
Alias whispered to the sleeping lizard.
"You're my brother."
Dragonbait stood at 4 feet and 10 inches (1.5 meters) in height, not counting his single head fin, the telltale sign of him being a finhead saurial. His low height was due to his posture, canted towards his hips, and balanced by a long thick tail. His mouth was short, thinner, and more rounded than that of lizardfolk. Inside it was a row of powerful sharp teeth in front of the maw, and bull molars at the back. His body was covered in small smooth green scales. His eyes were lizard-like and yellow. He bore shimmering magical tattoos - azure bonds, similar to those his sister had on her forearm. The tattoos were the byproduct of Alias' creation and originally were adorned by glyphs symbolizing Alias' masters, but after their demise, the bonds transformed into a ring of blue ivy.
Dragonbait was adaptable and quite intuitive. Like many other paladins, he was good, caring, kind, and righteous, a being of a pure soul. That was the reason why he was chosen as a sacrifice to bring Alias to life by Cassana, and Phalse. Dragonbait always used his abilities to defend his friends, family, people, and a good cause.
Dragonbait preferred close combat because the felt that ranged weapons were dishonorable.
As a paladin of the god of justice of his realm, he had access to the divine spells he often used to heal his companions. While on Toril, his divine powers came from Tyr the god of justice. Saurial paladins possessed the ability called shen sight, somewhat similar to the ability of Toril's paladins - divine sense. This ability granted paladins a second sight, the ability to see the individuals' thoughts, feelings, desires, goals, the ability to see into the spirit and the soul. The soul is presented to the paladin in complex swirls of forms and colors, such as gray - the color of neutrally aligned creatures, purples and reds indicated the evil, the black void was indicating the evil undead creatures, blue for the powers of good, yellow indicated greed, and the clarity of the colors indicated the purity of the soul. Generally, Dragonbait could see using his shen within a 60 feet (18 meters) radius.
Dragonbait was a skilled combatant, his weapon proficiencies included saurial and regular broadswords, bastard swords, longswords, light crossbows, and battleaxes. He also possessed exceptional direction sense and endurance.
Dragonbait knew the ancient saurial close-combat tradition that utilized the race's natural weapons - their claws and tail. Like all saurials, Champion was resistant to sound-based attacks but extremely vulnerable to cold.
Dragonbait could not speak Common and communication was often difficult for him. Instead, he communicated using a complex system of clicks, chirps, whistles (often almost inaudible to the human ear). Another big part of the Saurial language was body language and scents emitted (that ranged from brimstone, to ham, to honeysuckle, etc.). Eventually, Alias taught him thieves' hand cant (to Olive's irritation). Eventually, Alias used the Finder's Stone to cast a permanent tongues spell on herself, enabling her to speak Dragonbait's native language.
For a period of time in 1357 DR, Dargonbait along with Alias' other companions were protected by a benevolent spell of Elminster’s Blessing that was cast by Elminster himself, unbeknownst to them.
Dragonbait was a capable juggler, laying on his back, he used all 4 of his limbs and his tail. He entertained Gaylyn's wedding guests in such manner to the stern disapproval of the bride's mother without dropping a single piece of the lady's fine crystal.
Before it was destroyed, he wielded a strange sword (saurial broadsword) named Hill Cleaver that featured a small hilt that was sized for his slender hands, with a blade that ended in a wide wedge with serrated teeth on the hiltward side. Hill Cleaver could negate magic on command.
Later, he came into possession of more magical items: a +1 flame tongue longsword, possibly a gift from Finder Wyvernspur (command word "toast"), +2 flaming burst longsword, a +3 cloak of resistance, a belt of giant strength, bracers of armor, a +2 ring of protection, and a handful of Keoghtom’s ointments.
During his travels through Chult with Artus Cimber, Dragonbait carried several swords, such as a simple dwarven iron longsword forged in Hrakhamar, a thin steel longsword, a sword designed after those used by the yuan-ti, an enchanted longsword of the righteous useful against the undead, and a holy avenger blade. He also owned several mundane and magical shields. Some of them were: a simple wooden barrier made out of driftwood that reeked of mold, a bronze-trimmed shield of black wood, a fire-resistant suth shield, a powerful mithral shield, and an enchanted magic item known as the Wall of Faith. During the same period of time, Dragonbait was known to wear a simple scale armor, a chunky brushed steel chain harness, an expensive-looking masterfully crafted amethyst-encrusted gold-plated chainmail, an enchanted hauberk of divinity, and a powerful enchanted radiant vest of heroism. In Chult we also wore several types of bracers: simple large and sturdy copper ones, tight citrine-inlaid bracers, posh expensive amethyst-encrusted bracelets, enchanted bracers of retribution, and powerful iridescent armband of Tyr.
Dragonbait's closest friend, his soul-sister was Alias, who was brought to life using a splinter of his own soul. How it was possible remained a mystery, even though both Alias and Dragonbait felt a close kinship towards each other. Their sibling relationship has reinforced the gods when Alias became a soul singer, a saurial gift that apparently followed genealogical lines.
Dragonbait's past mate Coral was enslaved by Moander, forcing the saurial paladin to kill her. That loss weighted heavily on Dragonbait, and only reinforced his commitment to defending the saurial community of the Lost Vale. Eventually, Dragonbait met his second mate Copperbloom with whom he settled and fathered offspring.
Other friends and companions of Dragonbait's were Akabar Bel Akash, a merchant and a mage from Turmish who joined Alias on her very first adventure, Dragonbait grew to care for, and respect the mage. Olive Ruskettle was a bard who Dragonbait often teased, Olive lost her trust in the saurial after she found out he was a Paladin, but they reconciled eventually and remained friends after surviving much together. Mintassan the planeswalker was a one-time ally of Dragonbait and Alias. And lastly, he was old friends with Grypht, a saurial wizard, who knew and respected Dragonbait. They went back together all the way to the time before Moander's corruption and transportation to Toril.
Before his arrival on Toril in 1357 DR, Dragonbait's true name was Champion. He, along with his fellow saurials hailed from an alternate Material Plane. Before his life was uprooted, he was a part of a peaceful community, he served the god of justice of his world, he was in love with a cleric Coral who worshiped the goddess of luck. Dragonbait's pious and righteous nature brought the lover to arguments over their faiths. Dragonbait did not approve the ways of the goddess of luck, he did not like Coral blessing the undeserving. Coral refused to leave her goddess for Dragonbait's deity and in fear of being tainted by the love for a worshiper of the unjust god, he left his tribe on a holy quest to the plane of Carceri.
Wandering the infinite worlds of Carceri, Dragonbait was captured by the fiend Phalse. The creature recognized the paladin's goodly pure soul and it was exactly what he needed to create his perfect assassin and servant - the construct woman who will later become known as Alias. During the time Dragonbait spent in Phalse's dungeon, the Saurial goddess of luck appeared in front of him. She told the paladin that the Sauril god of justice implored her to save Dragonbait's life, and she offered the paladin a deal, freedom in exchange for an unspecified service. Dragonbait agreed to it, serving both gods of Justice and Luck.
Dragonbait's life was saved by luck. The construct awoke too soon, before the saurial's sacrifice was completed. By luck, or an error, or divine intervention, a splinter of Dragonbait's soul was transferred into Alias, igniting the flames of life and consciousness. Alias' "father" Finder Wyvernspur witnessed her newborn self cradling and singing to a gravely wounded Dragonbait. Finder realized that competing ritual would turn the new pure soul into a slave, and he decided to help them escape. Alias was given potions of healing which she selflessly used on her soul-brother. Finder pleaded with the paladin to take the newborn woman as far from Westgate as he could. The saurial fled with the woman all the way to Suzail.
Dragonbait left her semi-conscious body on the stoop of the Hidden Lady inn, making sure to leave a bag of coins so she would be given a room by the kind innkeeper. She woke up 3 days later, with false memories and a glowing magical tattoo. She thought her loss of memory of the recent events was a curse and she embarked on a quest to have them removed. Dragonbait followed the saleswoman, but when she was ambushed by the Fire Knives assassins, he aided her in combat and joined Alias on her journey. The name Dragonbait was given to the paladin by Alias in jest but he seemed to like it and it stuck. The woman felt an immediate closeness to Dragonbait, without being able to understand him as if they shared an invisible bond.
Alias was not sure how to treat the odd creature not knowing anything about Dragonbait's species. Together they traveled to the Dimswart Manor just outside of Suzail where they signed up for a rescue operation in exchange for the sage's expertise and research about Alias's magical tattoos. The rescue was of the famous bard, Olive Ruskettle. A Turmish magic-user Akabar Bel Akash joined them as he was part of the caravan that was attacked and the bard taken. Dragonbait stayed outside of the red dragon's lair together with Akabar, as Alias snuck inside and challenged Mistinarperadnacles Hai Draco to the Feint of Honor. The sellsword rescued Olive, and the women escaped with their lives thanks to Olive's bluffing skills.
On the way back to the Manor, Dragonbait and his new companions, by chance, stumbled upon a circle of stones erected by Zrie Prakis, one of Alias' creators. Dragonbait wandered away from the camp, gathering firewood, and was captured by a crystalline monster. Alias grew worried with Dragonbait being gone too long and investigated. The lich's mineral quasi-elemental attacked but was defeated by the adventurers, and banished from Prime Material by Akabar's magic. But that encounter alerted the villains.
The entertainment for the sage Dimswart's daughter's wedding was secured and Alais, along with Dragonbait and Akabar were all invited to the event as guests. Even though Dragonbait was treated as an oddity and a pet, he was absolutely delighted by the fancy colorful silken jingling jester outfit he was given to wear. Dragonbait managed to entertain the wedding guests by juggling Lady Leona's favorite crystal to her stern disapproving stare. But the event's fun was interrupted. The assassins planted the command for Alias to attack and assassinate King Azoun IV upon hearing his voice. One of the groom's family members Giogioni Wyvernspur imitated the king in jest. Alias lost control of herself and attempted to kill the poor nobleman. She was stopped when Dragonbait collapsed the wedding tent on the heads of the noble guests, and Alias fled the scene, still controlled by the bonds, she knew no place to run to so she returned to the Hidden Lady.
Dragonbait was was worried and distressed by Alias' disappearance. He, along with Akabar and Olive followed Alias after retrieving the information about the azure glyphs. Deciding to pursue one of the leads, the adventurers traveled towards Yulash. In reality, Alias' programming was luring her there, towards the prison of the avatar of Moander. They traveled through Shadow Gap, where Cassana, another one of the masters, tracked the group down while polymorphed into a robberwing. The group confronted and killed a monstrous kalmari, one of Caasana's summoned extraplanar creatures on loan to the Iron Throne. They used a sword that was left behind by the pass' inhabitants, devoured by the monster. Dragonbait followed his religion and performed the last rights on the sword, mourning the deaths of the kalmari's victims.
The group reached Shadowdale, a place from Alias' false memories. There, she and Dragonbait, on separate occasions, met Elminster Aumar who realized what and who Alias truly was. He gifted the woman with the Finder's Stone to aid her on the quest. Dragonbait was able to communicate with the old mage thanks to Elminster's magic. The conversation was overheard by Akabar and the Turmishman witnessed the all-too-familiar azure bonds that adorned Dragonbait's chest, the tattoos that the saurial kept hidden. This flared Akabar's mistrust of the lizard-man and he presumed Dragonbait to be working for Alias' masters.
In Yulash, both Alias and Dragonbait followed the azure bonds' calling. Dragonbait's life energy was consumed leaving him helpless, as Alias unwittingly released the Abomination of Moander. It trapped her and revealed her true origins the sellsword woman. The monstrous pile of rotting matter, the Abomination of Moander, started its way through Cormanthor towards the city of his ancient enemies, Myth Drannor. Dragonbait, Olive, and Akabar were faced with another threat, the angry red dragon Mistinarperadnacles Hai Draco. Dragonbait was able to freely communicate with Mist, revealing his true nature to his companions. He challenged Mist to the Feint of Honor just like Alias did mere days earlier. The saurial paladin managed to deal some damage to the red lizard, but only with the help of Olive, was able to land the winning blow. In his kindness, Dragonbait used his divine powers to heal the dragon, who abided by the Feint's agreement and joining the group in the battle with the risen god. They pursued the Abomination through the gate where the Finder's Stone's magic guided the group through the swirling planes and other worlds. The final battle with Moander took place over Westgate where Mist ignited the combustible rot of the creature destroying both in the process.
In Westgate, Alias reunited with Dragonbait, Akabar, and Olive friends in the Rising Raven Inn. The reunion was shortlived as the masters now knew where Alias was. Cassana made an in-person appearance and used her wand to put Alias to sleep. Zrie subdued Akabar, and Dragonbait fell to the Fire Knives' poison, while Olive was taken in by Phalse. The second sacrifice attempt was about to commence on the Hill of Thorns outside Westgate. Dragonbait was strapped to the stone altar. With Olive's help, Finder Wyvernspur was freed from Casana's prison. The Bard told the origins of Alias' and his own past to Akabar and Olive while they healed up and prepared for the final confrontation.
To torture her puppet, Cassana forced the sacrifice to be done by Alias' own hand. The Cassana's power over Alias was broken by the pair's combined will. Alias plunged the sword into Cassana instead of Dragonbait, and Finder, Olive, Akabar joined the battle with the masters, cultists of Moander, and Fire Knives. Both Casana and Zrie Prakis perished in the combat by Alias' hand, while Phalse, with Cassana's wand, fled to the Citadel of White Exile. Alias confronted Phalse in his true form - a beholder-like creature with stalks that ended in mouths instead of eyes. When the creature attempted to control Alias with Cassana's wand, Alias overpowered the magical device shattering it and taking Phalse's hand with it. Alias defeated the demon in combat, destroying Dragonbait's Hill Cleaver in the process. Alias and Dragonbait promised to testify in front of the Harpers to reinstate her father's name whenever it was to happen.
The Ogre's Paw & the New Alliance
Following the masters' deaths, the adventurers went their own ways. Akabar returned to his life as a merchant, Olive went on with her own "bard" business, but Alias and Dragonbait stuck together. Adventure came calling again when Elminster tasked the duo with recovering a dangerous artifact called the Hand of Vaprak. The quest led Dragonbait and Alias to the city of Baldur's Gate, where they joined the crew of the Realms Master in confronting the original owner of the Hand, an ogre mage named Gornak. The monster had slain and taken the identity of the city's sage and his tower. Alias and Dragonbait fought Gornak, his skeletons, and a giant earth elemental to eventually recover the Hand and dispose of it, sending it into the Demiplane of Fear.
Some months later the heroes were destined to reunite once again. Dragonbait and Alias were contacted by a cleric of Helm named Mixilia who claimed that the Cult of Moander was back in Yulash trying to summon the god of rot. As Alias, Dragonbait, and Mixilia entered the destroyed temple of Helm, the same place Alias and Dragonbait unleashed the Abomination four months ago, the group was ambushed by a vegepygmy group and a shambling mound corrupted by Moander. Mixilia was murdered while the adventurers were busy with the vegepygmies. There Alias and Dragonbait were aided by a group of adventurers bearing the all-too-familiar azure bonds. Alias knew that her masters were back, or at least some version of the dark alliance. Together they ventured deep into the Temple of Moander, stopping the cult from bringing the god of rot back once again, traveled to the Zhentil Keep, where they reunited with Olive (under the name of Stevie Nickelplate), who was up to no good as per usual. The adventurers visited the Temple of Bane and the tower of Lord Fzoul Chembryl. They traveled to the Village of Hap where they reunited with Akabar, who was there on merchant business and defeated dracolich Crimdrac, a minion of a Red Wizard Dracandros. And ventured into Myth Drannor to defeat Tyranthraxus the possessing spirit.
The Song of the Saurials
A year after the demise of the Abomination of Moander, in 1358 DR, Dragonbait and Alias found themselves back in Shadowdale to attend the Harper tribunal of Finder Wyvernspur. Akabar and his new wife Zhara arrived the next day bearing troubling news. Akabar had been having dreams about Moander's return to the Realms. Dragonbait took the working seriously, while Alias dismissed them. Alias later left with the Turmishman to the Tower of Ashaba, where the tribunal was taking place, and Dragonbait stayed behind with Zhara, where they got attacked by Moander's magical device. Destroying the accursed thing, the pair rushed to find Alias only to find chaos and disarray that followed the unknown magic-user's attack and Finder's disappearance. Alias took Zhara and Dragonbait to the chambers where Akabar was recovering after the attack but he was already gone, only leaving behind the dead body of a Harper bard Kyre (who was secretly rotted from the inside and enslaved by Moander's vines).
Dragonbait and Alias were joined by a Harper ranger Breck Orcsbane on their search for the missing Akabar and Finder Wyvernspur. Zhara followed the group at a distance wearing a magical armor gifted to her by Dragonbait. While on the search, they were attacked by Moander's enslaved rotting treants, dispatched with the help of Dragonbait's flaming sword. Shortly after the battle, Zhara was discovered. An argument ensued but the group continued the search for Akavar. Soon after Alias and Zhara were reunited with Akabar, and Dragonbait reunited with a friend - saurial Grypht, who was responsible for the Harpers' perceived tribunal attack. Dragonbait found out, to his horror, that the saurial community he hailed from was enslaved by Moander and transported to Toril to help the rotting god to return.
Alias also recovered long lost Finder's Stone from the wizards and used its numerous magical abilities to cast a permanent tongues spell to be able to freely communicate her brother. Subsequently, Dragonbait realized Alias possessed a saurials' unique ability, she was a soul singer. The ability was hereditary and was passed along to Alias from Dragonbait's mother via their shared soul connection. Through this ability, Alias was able to determine the distressed saurials' location - the Lost Vale, building the new avatar for the rotting god, and Finder was there, a prisoner.
Alias used the Stone's stored magic to teleport Dragonbait and the group to the Stone's creator, Finder, who along with Olive was feining for his life against a Moander-enslaved beholder and his orc minions. Together they defeated the rotted creature and used the Finder's Stone's magic once again to reach the Lost Vale. Finder and Dragonbait made a plan to destroy the god and save saurials using the Finder's Stone's para-elemental ice core. While scouting the saurial village, Dragonbait smelled the roses, the scent of saurial emotion representing sadness. The smell led the paladin to Coral, his lost love. Realizing the saurial priestess was enslaved by the Seed of Moander, Dragonbait used his divine magic to cure disease. Thinking the magic purged the rotting god's vines, Dragonbait followed Coral back to the saurial village to retrieve an item of hers. It was a trap. Coral's insides had been replaced by the rotting vine of Moander a long time ago, and she was far beyond saving. She was the god's chosen servant, the Mouth of Moander. Dragonbait was captured by the enslaved saurials. The heroes set out to rescue their friend and defeat Moander once and for all. Olive used her "bardic" skills to retrieve Dragonbait's flaming sword, Alias used it to set strategic fires driving Moander's slaves into one spot, where Akabar and Grypht used cold magic to immobilize saurials. Alias and Akabar were captured but Dragonbait managed to escape. He came face-to-face with Coral once again. Faced with his friends' looming deaths and his old love's soul corrupted and enslaved, Dragonbait decapitated Coral, releasing her tortured spirit. He ended up rescuing Alias, but both Akabar and Finder perished destroying Moander.
Without a way returning home, the saurials were convinced by Elminster to stay in the Lost Vale to help it recover from the damage done by Moander's rot. Dragonbait and Alias stayed with the saurial community to help and defend them. Eventually, Alias went on adventuring on her own, growing more independent from her brother and father-figure. And Dragonbait started a family with a fellow saurial Copperbloom with whom he fathered offspring. Alias often visited her saurial family to Dragonbait's and community's joy.
Ten years passed since Dragonbait's arrival to Toril. In 1368 DR he reunited with his human sister on a mission back to Westgate to perform a magical item trade on behalf of Grypht. The trade was for a magical scrying device for the saurials of the Lost Vale's protection. The pair, joined by Olive, met a human wizard planeswalker Mintassan to finish the trade. Learning of the city's being in the hard cold grip of the local thieves' guild Night Masks the heroes decided to stay and aid the citizens of Westgate. Alias was considered a hero, thanks to her adventures a decade prior, so the adventurers were contracted by the leader of Westgate's trade guilds, Croamarkh Luer Dhostar to break the Night Masks' hold of the city. Croamarkh's son Victor Dhostar told the heroes about the Faceless, the guildmaster of the Masks, and that he sought the long-lost treasures of the city's previous rulers. During their investigation of the Masks and ensuing adventures, Alias developed feelings for the young Victor. It was later discovered that Victor, in fact, was the Faceless, and he used a magical amulet of misdirection to create the persona that Alias fell for. The adventurers found the entry to the extradimensional pocket that held the treasure, they battled the Faceless in the extradimensional vault, but there was the reason why the treasure was lost. The way back was blocked for those of strong feelings, like greed. Dragonbait helped Alias come to terms with her feelings of loss and betrayal that were keeping her away from escaping, while Victor the Faceless perished, trapped inside the vault. Dragonbait, Alias, and Mintassan returned to the Lost Vale together following the adventure in Westgate.
Tomb of Annihilation
Over a hundred years later, circa the 1480s DR, Dragonbait teamed up with an ex-Harper Artus Cimber after meeting him in Port Nyanzaru. Together they embarked on a quest through the jungles of Chult to the ruins of Orolunga, trying to reunite Artus with his wife, Alisanda Rayburton. The adventure took them to the ruins of Camp Righteous, the Heart of Ubtao where they spied on the nefarious Red Wizards schemes, Jahaka Anchorage where they tried to save pirates' prisoners, Kir Sabal meeting with the local aarakocras, and Orolunga. Eventually, they joined the group of adventurers to destroy the dangerous artifact Soulmonger.
Rumors & Legends
- There were rumors that Dragonbait accompanied Mintassan and Alias on their planewalking adventures. Some suggested they were looking for the saurials' home from which they were taken.
- Some said Dragonbait and Alias aided Harpers in missions across the Realms or tried to find lost sisters of the sellsword woman.
- Curse of the Azure Bonds • Tomb of Annihilation
- Azure Bonds • Song of the Saurials • Once Around the Realms • Masquerades
- Referenced only
- The Wyvern's Spur • Finder's Bane
- Converging Lines • The Great Game • Fools Rush In
- Video Games
- Curse of the Azure Bonds • Tales from Candlekeep: Tomb of Annihilation • Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms
- Card Games
- AD&D Trading Cards • Spellfire: Master the Magic
- Board Games
- Tomb of Annihilation • Dungeons & Dragons Dice Masters: Tomb of Annihilation
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