Name: Gerthanarlish, Brass Dragon
Age: Great Wyrm 1,200 + years
Description: Gerthanarlish’s warn and burnished scales are crisscrossed with a latticework of scars from past battles. A few of his horns are cracked and have rounded points, but he is still a commanding and regal sight. When not in his natural form, the ancient wyrm often mixes amongst his servants in the guise of a learned High Elf or as a simple elderly male servant.
Personality: Gerthanarlish is like most brass dragons and loves to talk, and flex his intellectual muscles. Unlike others of his kind, he has learned over the ages to keep an audience, one must allow them a chance to interject before disagreeing with them.
Gerthanarlish has turned his love of ancient knowledge and ancient texts into more than just a hobby; the dragon has set himself up as a prophet of sorts. Gerthanarlish welcomes all to his lair that seeks his sage advice, and all he asks in return is a gift and their company. The gift must have emotional worth to the presenter; otherwise, Gerthanarlish will not accept it and bid them farewell.
Gerthanarlish is vain and haughty, but he is still kind to those who show proper respect. Deep down, he desires to help those who need his assistance. However, those who seek out his aid for evil or nefarious reasons soon find themselves being fed to his pets and guardians of his lair and archive.
Location: Gerthanarlish lives in the southern Vaar Highlands in the Beylik of Kalereem. The entrance to his home looks out across the rugged plains that stretch out to the horizon to the southeast. Gerthanarlish can be seen soaring above the Vaar Highlands occasionally, but usually, he can be found sunning himself upon the mountain slopes. A worn path leads out of the plains blow to his lair.
Lair: The simple cave that Gerthanarlish chose as his lair when he first moved to the Vaar Highlands has grown into a massive complex. The cave entrance has had a facelift. A complex of stairs carved into the rock leads to a small plaza and a façade exterior that resembles a modest monastery.
The cave itself has been excavated extensively. Chambers, upon chambers, added to house Gerthanarlish's massive collection of books, manuscripts, and scrolls. In addition to the libraries, there are vaults of gifts presented to him by those seeking his aid. A small army of servants, dwarves, and custodians also live here and call the lair their home. The chambers dug out to create the complex have connected with a natural cavern system where his followers grow food for themselves and raise fish.
Relations: Gerthanarlish is well known in the region by the rulers of the kingdoms surrounding him, and even the lowliest of peasants in cities to the nomadic riders of the Paynims have legends of this great drake. The Brass dragon has become a mythical creature that has worked its way into the mythology of the region's people. Everyone knows about the wise old dragon Gerthanarlish that lives in the Vaar Highlands and how you can seek his advice.
This fame has brought many to the dragon's door seeking his knowledge and his treasure. Gerthanarlish has fought off armies, rival dragons, and many others that have sought to challenge him.
History: The dragon that would become the Vaar Highlands legend moved to the region around -302 CY. At the time, he was already an adult dragon. Gerthanarlish came to the area in hopes of finding remnants of the once-fabled Baklunish empire. Over the next 300 years, he spent his time combing the region, searching for lost knowledge, and gaining a reputation for himself in the process.
What bits of knowledge he did find have been locked away into his ever-expanding lair. He gathered several groups of dwarves from the Saulhaut and Crystalmist mountains that survived the Invoked Devastation that were hanging on within their once former kingdoms. These dwarves he employed in mining out his cave into the massive complex it is today. The descendants of those dwarves have become their own clan, renaming themselves the Burnished Scale Clan.
Over the centuries, Gerthanarlish has watched the crushed, and scattered remains of the once-great Baklunish empire claw their way out of the cataclysm that created the Dry Steppes. He's watched these survivors forge new kingdoms and empires only to see them crumble and fall apart again. He has sworn that if they ever regain such power, he will be watching them, and if they misuse it, he will tear it down with his own claws.
In more recent history, Gerthanarlish has cultivated a special relationship with the rulers of Zeif, beginning with the founder Ozef himself. There are several myths about the horse warrior having visited Gerthanarlish to have his fortune told, but whether this myth is true or not, only Gerthanarlish knows. Regardless if Gerthanarlish met with Ozef, he has sent each subsequent ruler gifts and an open invitation to visit him. Some have accepted his invitation, but most do not. It is rumored that those who rule the longest and are the most prominent have done so with the dragon's blessing.
Adventure Hooks: Characters might be hired by one of the dragon's agents to guard a sacred tome or artifact being delivered to him. The characters might not even know their final destination until they make their way along the ancient path that leads up into the Yaar Highlands and the dragon's home. Once introduced to the dragon, provided he is sufficiently impressed with the adventurers, Gerthanarlish might become a patron to them. A dragon as old and powerful as Gerthanarlish could have many errands for the right adventurers.