“The Soul of the Dragon”
A submission to a comic company
A few years ago, I got word that Kenzer & Co., the comic-book
company that produces “KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE” and other comics
had landed the Dungeons & Dragons license for producing comics.
Being a D&D nut all my life, I decided to try submitting a writing
sample and a D&D series proposal.
I got a few nice responses from the folks at Kenzer, but ultimately, the proposal slipped off their radar.
Below is some of the material I sent to them.
Here’s my proposal:
“The Soul of the Dragon” is about a group of half-heroes who are
magically “quested” to go on an adventure together. Along the way, they
learn the value of doing the right thing and form a bond that even
One thing important thing included in this proposal is the fact that it
actually has to do with dragons and dungeons. In a published interview,
one Kenzer staffer said he was surprised how few proposals he recieved
contained dragons and dungeons. I’ve taken special care to bring these
two key elements of D&D. This time around, the dragon is good and
needs the help of the characters to overcome evil.
Lastly, I’ve devised a unique way to bring a diverse set of characters
together. There’s Jetton, a hero who doesn’t realize he’s one. At his
side is a hobgoblin holy man, a jolly barbarian, a scheming and greedy
warrior, and a distant and sullen elven sorcerer. Throw in the bad guy,
his minions and some monsters, and you’ve got one heck of a story!
“The Soul of the Dragon” is story with a humorous bent that can be told in eight issues.
The story opens as Jetton Varsnorth, a sly gnome armed only with a
short sword, sneaks around on the roof of a building high-above the
city. He’s heard that inside, in the study of Bergren the Bold, a
wizard of some renown in the city, is a vast treasure of gems and
plotted for weeks — He’s going to break in, swipe everything he can,
ride off to some exotic land and live a life of riches.
His plan is perfect, he thinks to himself, except how to get inside.
He mulls this a bit and decides. He picks up a loose brick, heaves it through the skylight and drops down into the study.
Finesse isn’t Jetton’s forte.
As he hits the floor, he triggers a glyph of warding that summons forth
a tiny fire mephit. The mephit calls out an alarm, and Jetton sees his
plan fall apart.
From a distance, he hears Bergren coming to see what the racket is and
Jetton realizes he’s got to escape. On his way out of the building,
while dodging blasts of fire from the elemental, he tells himself “One
thing, I gotta get one thing — no matter what!”
So he grabs the first thing he sees — a huge gem in a special silver
and glass case — and dives out a window, falling into the street
below. Thankfully, he manages to slow his fall, but not enough. The
case holding the gem breaks.
With some guardsmen on his heels, Jetton dashes into a crowd and disappears.
He ducks into an tavern where, knowing he’s likely o be followed, hides underneath a table.
There he studies the gem he’s snatched. It’s huge. It’s flawless. And strangest of all, it begins to glow.
The glow grows brighter and brighter until voice issues forth from the
stone. It tells how it isn’t a talking gem, but a soul of a dragon
trapped inside the gem, and it needs Jetton’s help to be released.
Jetton says he’s not the type of person to do this kind of thing, and the stone ought to look for someone else.
The gem says that isn’t possible, but it will bring Jetton some help.
With that, a blast of energy fires out from the stone in several
directions, striking four patrons in the bar.
The dragon’s voice tells Jetton that these four have now been magically
compelled to help Jetton on his quest — an adventure that will take
Jetton into the depths of the world where the dragon says he’s been
frozen in stone.
The four patrons are Foughe Mezzani, an elven sorcerer; Soun Trailwolf,
a human barbarian; a disguised hobgoblin named Ithic the Foul, an adept
of Maglubiyet — the demon prince of Hobgoblins; and Madelle Montoro, a
female human fighter.
Back at his study, Bregren knows that he’s in for trouble. He knows
that the gem houses the soul of a dragon — because he put it there. He
begins preparing to return to the dragon’s petrified body and destroy
It’s up to Jetton and his “team” to beat Bregren there first. To get
there, they’ll have to travel into a dungeon where they’ll face a
variety of monsters, such as a village of kobolds, a minotaur and a few
gricks. They’ll also have to avoid a few traps and dodge anything that
Bregren throws at them.
Jetton Varsnorth … A wiley gnome rogue. Jetton is impulsive,
brash and full of jokes. When he’s suddenly drawn into this quest, he’s
not at all interested. He like things quick and easy, and this isn’t
anything like that. As a gnome, he has a number of special powers that
he uses to his full advantage. He’s armed with a small sword and
dagger. He’s so ill-prepared for a lengthy adventure that he doesn’t
even have pants. Instead, he wears long, baggy shorts that are all torn
Bergren … An evil elven wizard with a nasty reputation.
Bergren has built his power on being a bully, and that’s something he
prides himself in. He thinks its the only smart battle to enter — one
that he’s absolutely sure he’ll win. Now he finds himself forced to go
back to the site of his most dangerous battle — the Catacombs of
Carnis — and he isn’t happy about it. He plans to make those
responsible pay. Aside from his spells, the wizard has prepared for
this day. He’s become an expert archer and has an arrow of slaying, one
that’s attuned to the dragon he fought years ago.
The Dragon … The copper dragon is named Blazenigacultis
(Blaze-en-ig-a-cult-is), or Blazen for short. He’s a good-natured
beast, as most copper dragons are, despite being trapped inside the gem
for 100 years. He wants out though, and he wants revenge.
Foughe Mezzani … This elven sorcerer is a bit distant and
stony faced. He takes his magically-induced quest in stride, and
understands the give and take of the universe.
Soun Trailwolf … If Jetton had asked Soun to join him before
he had the quest spell cast upon him, he would’ve came on board anyway.
The spell, he thinks, just gives him additional blessing to do it. As
most barbarians, he’s always ready for battle and thinks combat is “a
good time.” His weapons include a bastard sword, a hand ax, a bow and
his own great strength.
Ithic the Foul … Ithic was entered the city under a disguise
spell. He had come gather some items for the band of warriors he lords
over, and then he was swept into this mess. As with most hobgoblins, he
lives for war. He finds this adventure a bit unsettling, because he’s
fighting for what he considers is the wrong side. As an adept of
Maglubiyet, he has the power to heal and the power to destroy. He
dislikes most of the rest of the team, and none of them trust him. He
carries a scimitar and wears heavy armor.
Madelle Montoro … Madelle is clever and crafty fighter who
uses her charm to win as many battles as she fights. Before being drawn
into this quest, she was just hired to serve as a bodyguard for a
merchant who was traveling out of the city. Madelle’s specialty is her
vast array of magical devices — especially potions. If she were
stripped of these items, she’d be an easy opponent. Besides a dozen or
so potions, Madelle carries halberd and a crossbow — weapons that keep
her enemies at a distance..
EXT. CAMPSITE AT THE WOODS. NIGHT.
Jetton, Soun and Ithic sit by the campfire. They all hold a hunk of
flesh. Madelle looks a bit sick to her stomach. Foughe stands off in
the distance, looking away.
What is this stuff?
Viper meat. You should feel lucky for such a meal.
(thumping his chest)
Meat is meat, you know. It makes for a strong warrior.
(Eyeing the flesh carefully)
But snake meat?
My tribe has lived on worse, much worse. You civilized folk eat cow,
fowl and sheep and nothing else. That’s why you run in fear of my kind!
(With his mouth full)
I fear no one!
I fear I’m gonna be sick.
Well, gnome, are you going to eat?
I don’t think so.
Maybe I can catch a bird or something.
(Seeing a tiny figure of a kobold in the distance)
There’s a creature approaching. It thinks its sneaking up on us.
(Wiping his mouth)
Well, I best go skewer the beggar!
(He stands up and waves his sword)
YOU THERE! COME OUT BEFORE I CUT YOU DOWN WHERE YOU STAND!
(Soun sees the kobold running, and charges after it!)
EXT. THE TRAIL
Jetton follows Soun, he meets up with Soun a distance down the trail, but the kobold has disappeared.
Where’d it go?
It was a kobold. Filthy creatures — Even more filthy than me.
It probably jumped into a pile of manure.
Kobolds, eh? Crafty things.
(A carefully concealed net tears up from the ground and captures the trio)
(A swarm of kobolds descend on the net.)
— Yip! Yip! Yip!
— Yip! Yip!
FROM THE NET
— My foot! (Soun)
— Yep, crafty! (Jetton)
— My foot! (Soun)
— Damn, stupid fools! (Ithic)
— Oh, there it is. (Soun)
— Hey, you can’t take that! (Jetton)
EXT. CAMPSITE AT THE WOODS
Foughe is helping Madelle getting into her armor.
(Looking down the trail)
I don’t see them. They’ve disappeared.
(Whispering as he looks from the side of his eyes.)
We’ve got trouble of our own. Get ready.
About two dozen —
(Kobolds stream in from the edge of the forest, wielding tiny swords and spears)
— Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip!
I don’t have many spells left!
(He casts a shocking grasp spell and grabs two kobolds at once and zaps them)
(Swinging her halberd, while getting attacked from all sides.)
There’s too many!
We just have to hold out until the others return!
(A kobold in the trees above sends a rock down on Foughe head.)
(Another kobold in the trees launches a rock at Madelle, it connects and she drops.)
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