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Ossavitor

“Wyrms of the North: Eldenser: The Worm Who Hides in Blades” by Ed Greenwood. Dragon #237, pp.33–37

Ossavitor was—or is (it is now either dead or dwelling on another plane)—a dragon of forgotten breed, who achieved something very important to all dragonkind some 20,000 years ago: his Way, or magical process for achieving immortality.

Humans are warned that betrayal of any knowledge of this process (even mentioning its name in “confidential” inquiries at Candlekeep, for example) will attract the attention of both the Cult of the Dragon (who are anxious to eliminate rivals in their bid to influence dragons into achieving dracolichdom) and powerful dragons of all sorts.

Ossavitor’s Way is a long, exacting, and difficult process, the details of which remain secret to this writer (i.e., Volo couldn’t discover anything more about it, and Elminster refused to). Khelben “Blackstaff” Arunsun, the Lord Mage of Waterdeep (and presumably certain other powerful mages of his acquaintance, such as his consort Laeral and perhaps others of the Chosen of Mystra) has the entire process somewhere in one of his hidden libraries. Ambitious adventurers should take note that dragons—after a long and increasingly impressive death-toll mounted alarmingly—long ago gave up any hope of getting the secrets of Ossavitor from the Blackstaff.

What I have learned thus far is the end result of the process, and certain of its ingredients. The end result is practical immortality: it gives the dragon’s sentience three bodies to inhabit (the unused two are in stasis, and typically hidden away in remote mountain caverns, buried under sand in the hearts of such vast deserts as the Plains of Purple Dust in Raurin, and so on), and allows the dragon to select the size and ‘age’ of these bodies. The dragon retains its magic resistance and spells regardless of the apparent age of its form, but its size, hit dice, breath weapon, and the like vary with the age chosen. All of these newly created bodies are vigorous and have the power of regeneration (3 hp per round). How the dragon’s sentience can move from one body to another also remains a mystery as of this writing, but the written evidence suggests that this can be done as often as desired, and with ease.

The process itself has been the hardest thing to unearth. I suspect that dragons or their agents, and folk of the Cult of the Dragon, have set about stealing or destroying as many references to the Way as possible. I’m confident that it involves gathering many draconic components, including: the talon of a topaz dragon, a scale from a silver, some blood from a bronze, and so on. (Note: this confidence is Volo’s, but Elminster did not correct this statement.)

Eldenser can be presumed to know (or to believe he knows) the entire Way, and to be pursuing the collection of components in a patient, almost leisurely manner. Certainly he has often influenced individuals who are wielding a blade he is part of to attack and slay dragons—and if they are successful, to sever certain of their body parts which vanish at the blade’s touch (presumably teleported away by a magic launched by Eldenser, to some secret hiding place).