Quests:Dun Barethsol:Blood of the Vine

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Albrecht possesses a Book of Dragon Lore that he arranged to have stolen in Cirdanth, but it contains only part of the runeset that could be used on the dragon, and no references to wine or animal blood. He also has the most of the book stolen from Forenos doDrec. (The dragonhunter wrote his true name on the most important page before he died). The book stolen in Cirdanth explains the need for blood, but does not specify all the runes that could be used. The dragonhunter's page explains that witch's blood is not strictly necessary. Forenos has been using wine mixed with the blood of animals in his quest to hatch his dragons. The first time, Forenos used a bear's blood. The second time, he used a lion's blood. The third time, he used the blood of a year-old stag. For the fourth and final dragon, he intended to use the blood of a badger.

Based on his sources, Albrecht believes that in order to bring the baby dragon under mortal control, the blood of a witch is required. If the witch is dead, the magick will work, but not well. The state of the witch's heart at the time of her death, for evil or good, for peace or wrath, will shape the dragon's own soul. If the witch lives, the magick is more potent. The dragon, in drinking of the blood of the witch and being runemarked by it, will take on some hint of her personality and intentions toward the world.

According to this theory, if Marcella murders Ella and takes her blood, and surrenders it to Albrecht, Albrecht gains control of the dragon. If Marcella dies, Albrecht gains control of her blood and the dragon. However, if either Marcella or Ella offer their blood willingly, Marcella will gain control of the dragon and be able to use it in the almost inevitable battle with Albrecht. Of course, Marcella gains the greatest degree of control over the dragon by willingly offering her own blood. Albrecht knows this, having read as much as he can of the Lore of Dragons, so Marcella would have to be sly to take control of the dragon - perhaps even doing it by allowing herself to be bitten or stung.

The truth is somewhat more complex. The blood of a witch is not strictly required. What is required is the "Blood of the Vine." The most common interpretation is of course that the blood of the vine is the blood of a witch. A less common but more accurate understanding of the formula is that the blood of the vine is actually wine mixed with animal blood. This is the formula that the dragonhunter Forenos doDrec has been using. It is less powerful, but does not require harming or killing anyone.

If Marcella has come across this truth in the course of her service to the Abbey of Shining Mist, she would be able to come to the Tower armed with one of the bottles of Elven wine available for sale or as a quest reward. The use of a mixture of wine and her own blood willingly given would be the most powerful mixture of all.

Once she gives the blood to the dragon, she must also runemark its head, using either good runes (Rune of the Anvil, Axe, or Spear) or evil ones (Fallen Axe or Broken Hammer) that she has learned from various places, including runes etched on the dragonhunter's chest, the Halls of Uzdun'kal, and the books that Albrecht keeps in his Laboratory.