In my world, dragons must faithfully guard their nest during the entirety of the eggs' incubation period (ie. no food/smoke/potty breaks). The reason for this is because the eggs must be kept warm with periodic blasts of dragonfire. Towards the tail end of the incubation period, I imagine that the mother would be somewhat weaker than usual due to hunger, but this is not dangerous to the dragon's health in the long term.
A thieves' organization finds the secret location of a dragon's nesting area deep in a cavern. Some things that make it tricky to steal this dragon's eggs:
- There is only one (natural) entrance to the area, making it easy to guard.
- The dragon has a good sense of smell and vision.
- As stated above, the dragon never leaves the area. However, the dragon must nap from time to time.
- If the dragon correctly identifies the location of a threat, she will incinerate that area.
- The dragon protects against magic with anti-scrying magic, but not necessarily anything else. Essentially security through obscurity.
- Dragons are intelligent creatures, at least on par with humans. This doesn't mean they can't be deceived or baited, but that they will see through simple tricks.
How could this organization steal one (or more) of the eggs without being killed by the massively powerful dragon? Tools that are available to the organization:
- Magic: I haven't defined this well yet, so there are broad possibilities. I assume that to any spell there's a more powerful counter. As I mentioned above, the dragon is more worried about people magically detecting the egg than other things. Teleportation or Levitation are interesting mechanics that might be useful.
- Classic Fantasy Races: Such as dwarves. Who could make tunnels and whatnot.
- Money: They can buy relevant and useful equipment. They plan on making a good profit margin by selling the egg anyway.
- Draconic lust: Dragons lust after treasure. However, during the incubation of eggs, this is a secondary impulse to protecting the young.