12 Red Dragon Lair Sights & Sounds

Dragon lairs are not staid, unchanging places. While they might have only one resident, things of minor note still happen within. 

 

Use the table below, to add minor sights, sounds and events to the red dragon’s lair:

  1. The pungent smell of burnt flesh, wood and something else hangs heavily in the air.
  2. A distant roaring akin to a far-off powerful wind echoes through the air. The sound comes from deeper into the lair and subsides as quickly as it began.
  3. A bestial roar shatters the quiet. Whatever is making the sound could be angry or in pain, but it is hard to tell as the roaring quickly tails away into silence.
  4. A jet of (harmless) hot steam bursts from a narrow fissure in the floor catching the PC stepping over the crack by surprise. This can be nothing more than a minor occurrence or could be foreshadowing of a larger, more dangerous burst of scalding steam (perhaps #1 or #7 on Table 1: Red Dragon Lair Features). 
  5. Disturbed by a sudden gust of wind, clouds of billowing ash and soot swirl around the party; when the wind subsides the characters are coated in grey dust; it gets everywhere— including in their eyes, ears and mouths.
  6. The loud, harsh clatter of falling rocks sounds from elsewhere in the lair.
  7. It is particularly hot in this area. The turgid, close air seems to have an oppressive heat to it that saps energy and vitality from any who linger in the area for more than a few minutes. 
  8. Macabre decorations festoon the walls. Here, the decomposing mangled remains of the dragon’s slain enemies hang from ledges and outcrops. As the PCs observe the scene, the sinews in one of the bodies finally gives way and the two pieces fall to the ground with a disturbing double “splat” sound.
  9. Two glimmering lights—at about a human’s head height—appear at the extent of the party’s lights. The lights are catching shards of glassy rock set into the wall, although paranoid adventurers may initially think they are the dragon’s eyes.
  10. A deep, throaty chuckle redolent with evil and malice echoes through the lair. 
  11. Without warning, the cavern begins to violently shake, and small pieces of rock fall from the ceiling. Some PCs could lose their balance and stumble or fall. After a few seconds, the minor earthquake dies away. 
  12. Suddenly the heat in the area climbs to near-furnace levels. Jets of flame burst from a nearby passageway or fissure. This could be nothing more than an outpouring of flame from a volcanic vent or the dragon could be playing with its fiery breath. 

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This article appears in 20 Things #33: Red Dragon Lair. Members of our Patreon campaign got 20 Things #33: Red Dragon Lair completely free as a thank you for their awesome support. Join today!

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