Posts Tagged With: Dragonborn

Dragonborn, the Drahk’la’darin

“I am Ardeth. and my word is my bond. So be warned, challenge me and your doom is certain.”

-Ardeth, Sorcerer and Warrior-Monk, interrupted in his meditations on the 17th Treatise of the Orm Bel Orm in comparison with the tenets of En Khoda Theos Kirk as described by the philosopher Yevaud while guarding the Wailing Bridge at Starfell Pass against the passage of Urmhaur the Insane and his warband.

The Drahk’la’darin as they are called by the Elves, but more commonly known as the Dragonborn, are a mysterious race whose origins are lost in the mists of time. They are found throughout the Mortal Realms and are known to infrequently travel to both the Faerie and the Shadowlands. Existing over the ages in splendid isolation they have begun to travel and settle close to the lands of men for unknown reasons and despite the fears on the part of humans everywhere. Deeply respected by the wise for their knowledge and insight into arcane matters, as well as for their deeply honorable and traditional natures, the Dragonborn find themselves to be objects of curious apprehension by many. They often have a manner that many view as formal or reserved, and while often eloquent though far from anything that could be described at garrulous, but they form deep and abiding friendships and relationships with people of any race if they find a connection there.

Statistic Bonuses: +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, +1 Charisma

Languages: One Local Human Language, True Speech, Demonspeech (on touch)

Size, Speed, and Appearance: Dragonborn stand 5′ 6″ tall (+2d8), and weigh 175 lbs (x2d6) lbs. Their Size is Medium and their Speed is 30 feet per round. They appear much like tailless, wingless bipedal dragons or drakes standing upright, easily taller than the largest of men. They are covered in fine scales of a combination of vibrant, metallic hues such as rusty-iron, scarlet-gold, copper-green, and polished brass. Less commonly hues of graphite, silver, platinum and electrum are found – the Dragonborn themselves lay no significance on the color of their scales. Their feet and hands are strong, with three fingers and one highly flexible and rotational, opposable thumb (Dragonborn feet are quite prehensile, and this is often a surprise for those unfamiliar with Dragonborn) – the strong talons grant +1 Damage in hand-to-hand/unarmed combat. They all have tawny, yellow-gold eyes with slit pupils, with double eyelids that protect from both wind and water. Dragonborn also have prominent horns, with ridges and frills that many humans almost mistake for some sort of hair.

Common Dress: The most common form of dress among Dragonborn “in the wild” is a combination of harness and straps to attach equipment to. For Dragonborn among other races robes, surcotes, or greatcoats are popular merely to avoid a certain amount of staring. Dragonborn generally prefer Light or Medium armor, though some warriors prefer Heavy armor.

Lifespan: Dragonborn mature quickly, they are considered young adults by age 10 and mature adults by 15. They are known to live up to 500 years of age though there are rumors of Dragonborn of exceedingly ancient age that make the oldest elves seem babes in arms. They generally begin play at the 10 + 1d4 years in age.

Common Culture: One of the most particular aspects of the Dragonborn is that they have no known history of organized settlement or organization – though some obscure legends suggest a presence in the First City. They seem to have always lived fundamentally simple lives either in solitary contemplation or as part of a small village. Those Dragonborn who are interested in a more “civilized” life have traditionally travelled to live with other races – though no race has proven to be more or less popular than any other with the exception of the Serpent Folk of Ith (who have an atavistic fear of Dragonborn and Lizard Folk due to their vague similarity to the Serpathians). Life among the Dragonborn is governed by group council and accord, with the most important social unit being that of the Gens (or clan). The threat of being cast out from the Gens and access to the rights and rituals that come with that is one of the greatest that can face a Dragonborn.

Common Backgrounds: The Acolyte, Hermit, Outcast, Outlander, Sage, and Soldier Backgrounds are most appropriate for Dragonborn.

Naming Conventions: Dragonborn have exceedingly simple names using merely a given name followed by their Gens using the following nomenclature.

<Given Name> Gens <Name of Clan/Gens>

Commonly Dragonborn only use their Gens among other Dragonborn, or among those educated enough to know the significance of the Gens (which is quite rare among non-Dragonborn). Use the examples given in the Player’s Handbook.

Common Alignments: Dragonborn prize and honor tradition greatly, as such they are primarily of Lawful ethics. Morality, as might be suspected from such a alien race, is far more variable, and it is not uncommon to find Lawful Good and Lawful Evil Dragonborn living and working together, side by side.

Common Religions: Though it is not well known (or at least confirmed rather than suspected), the Dragonborn are the originators of the En Khoda Theos Kirk, or the Church of the Great Elemental Dragons. This religion still commands the majority of the Dragonborn’s faith, though an ancient cult following the Primordial Dragon Orm is also venerated. Similarly, those Dragonborn who have fallen to evil and chaos often follow the Forsaken (Typhon and Tiamat).

Common Classes:  Preferred — Fighter, Monk, Sorcerer; Common — Barbarian, Paladin, Wizard; Uncommon — Bard, Cleric, Druid; Rare — Ranger, Warlock; Very Rare — Rogue

Common Professions: Dragonborn seem to be drawn in two opposite directions, one of combat and the other contemplation. Most Dragonborn pursue both at different times of their life. In general, Dragonborn are capable of taking care of themselves in isolation as well as a living in small groups, as a result no profession is generally more common – though they are rarely overly concerned with money. Because of this, both merchants and thieves are rare.

Racial Traits

Extraordinary Senses: Dragonborn have keen vision and senses. They can see in dim light up to 60′ as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light. They cannot discern colors in darkness, merely varying shades of grey. They also have Blindsight within 20′.

Breath Weapon: Dragonborn have a Breath Weapon of Flame. It can be used in either a line (5’x30′) or a cone (15′), the line requires a Dexterity save, the cone a Constitution save (DC = 8 + Con Bonus + Proficiency Modifier). Damage is 2d6, then 3d6 at 6th level, 4d6 at 11th level, and 5d6 at 16th level. Once it is used it cannot be used again until after Short or Long Rest.

Dragonhide: Dragonborn may always add their Constitution modifier to their base Armor Class.

Draconic Constitution: The Dragonborn have Advantage against Poison, and Resistance to Fire, Cold, Acid, and Poison.

Draconic Appetites: Dragonborn are, as might be expected from their size and heritage, not just omnivorous but generally require prodigious amounts to eat and drink (though they can adapt to any clime). As a result, their requirements and costs for sustenance are five times that of a human (this also applies to Lifestyle expenses).

Arcane Blood: Due to the Arcane Energies flowing in their blood, Dragonborn never have need of an Arcane Focus no matter what their class (Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, or Wizard – or Eldritch Knight or Arcane Trickster).

Special Vulnerabilities: Born of arcane energies, the Dragonborn are always considered magic-using creatures when considering the effects of Orikalkum.

Psionics: Reserved

Death: Upon death, the spirit of a Dragonborn returns to the Maelstrom where they wait to be reincarnated. They may not be Raised or Resurrected, only True Resurrection (and Revivify) works. If Reincarnated they invariably come back as an Dragonborn.

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A Short Synopsis & Minor Treatise On the History & Nature of Creation (Part 2 – The Antediluvian Era)

(Estimated Timeline -250,000 to -5000 RA)

Rise of the Elder Kingdoms

In the Mortal Realm, new life sprung up in the wake of the destruction wrought by the War. The Fae live a life circling around their Great Tree hidden in the center of the Golden Woods, the Dragons sought out place wild and desolate and beautiful to contemplate Creation and the nature of the Thirteen Great Gods. But new life also arose, echoes of dead Gods, influenced by the memory writ upon the world by what had happened. So there came forth the Serpent Kings, the Weavers of Spells, the Dragonborn, the Consanguinity, the Bringers of Fate, the Gatekeepers, the Ichneumon Vorre, the Wind Giants, the Deep Ones, and many more besides.

The First City

It is the Serpent Kings, the Serpathians, who truly dominate the Mortal Realms in the Antediluvian Era. They create the First City, living what was at first a deeply contemplative life in the warm sun. A wondrous edifice that sprawled across leagues of land and sea, the First City was the first hub of mortal civilization. But with the cycles of light and darkness, the Serpathian’s began to delve into matters better left untouched, uncontemplated, and unexplored. Slowly as the Serpathians gave themselves over to longer and deeper periods of hibernation and sleep, aided by sorceries and alchemy, ever-seeking more truth and more power they inevitably begin to become infected with the Dearth, the dream-taint of the memory of the unmade Great Old Ones.

The War in Heaven and the Fall of Angels

Ever vigilant, the Celestials experiment in the Vale of ‘Aden, and create new life in Their own image, Humans, trying to find a new tool, a new weapon in case some new threat emerges that threatens Creation. There grows to be discontent in the Eternal City and greatest among the Celestials, the Morningstar, argues about the role of the Sarim in the Mortal Realms. The Lightbringer, as the Morningstar is also known, seeing what is occurring amongst the newly born races advocates for active engagement and even rulership among the mortals. The opposing side, does not wish to get involved in affairs of mortals and instead advocates for a continuation of passive guardianship. Stealing into the Vale, the Morningstar convinces the First Man and the First Woman to leave, setting them loose upon the Mortal Reams after teaching them much lore, more, it must be said, than he intended. This is the start of the War in Heaven and the Fall of the Angels. The Lightbringer and his angels take up residence opposite the Eternal City in the great Abyss maintaining watch over the great gate of the Void. The Celestials decided to spread the children of the First Humans across the Mortal Realms to see how if they survive and if they will thrive despite adversity.

The Rise of Man

Spread across the Mortal Realms by design, they wander freely curious and free of fear due to their birth in ’Aden, but eventually come together. To the great sorrow of the Celestials they also war amongst themselves and several tribes establish themselves, some say thirteen to match the Great Gods, but they found what was soon known as the Second City – an edifice that rivals the now lost First City of the Serpent Kings. Watching their pain and suffering, the Celestials take mercy upon them and some, known as the Grigori, come down to the Mortal Realms to teach and aid them. Unfortunately these Celestials are not suited for Mortal Realm and end up ensnared in their lusts of the flesh, not quite Falling, but still being cast out from Heaven. Out of their liaisons with humanity come the inhuman Nephalim who are still feared to this day.

The Decline of the Elder Kingdoms

Elsewhere, after millennia of exploration, contemplation, and growth, the Weavers of Spells destroyed themselves in a spectacular magical display, with only a few survivors now existing and trying to regain their lost glory. The Serpathians became lost in their hibernation and dreams and their slave-races and servants rose up to usurp their place and power until now only degenerate remnants of the once proud race exist, eking out a primitive existence in jungles and swamps across Creation. The other Elder Races see similar declines, some greater, some lesser, and many find their fates irrevocably linked to end of the Antediluvian Era.

The Thrice-Blessed and Thrice-Cursed

The Fae also meet the humanity for the first time as humanity matures and the Second City grows in power and influence. Ilhiedrin, the Thrice-Blessed, the first half-elf, is born to the King of all the Fae from his mortal lover. While this love child is a marvel, there are some within the Fae who are uneasy about the commingling of the blood of the two races. Ilhiedrin rises to be the greatest mage that the world has seen at this point but jealousy grows in his heart and he makes a great mistake as he descends into madness. Passing beyond the Veils, Ilhiedrin becomes the Thrice-Cursed when he breaks the great seal at the bottom of the Abyss and uncovers the truth of the Great Old Ones in his search for power.

Where there is memory, there is imagination;

where there is imagination, there is Essence;

where there is Essence, there is Form.

The War Without End

When Ilhiedrin unleashed the Great Old Ones upon creation again it was not complete, and what was able to manifest has become known as the Five Demon Emperors. They found Themselves greatly restricted by a multiverse that is far less fluid and They are barred from true entry. Even so, Their baleful influence spreads and the War Without End is rekindled as the Shadaoin are created and walk free within the Mortal Realms. Whole civilizations rise and fall during this time, shaped and wracked by the conflict. The Sorcerer-Kings of Engis-Erkrath rise up almost overnight and are destroyed from within, their own people rebelling against their domineering and tyrannical ways – and stand to this day as guards against such a thing occurring again, witnesses to the madness that is the War Without End.

Sundering of the Fae

After the loss of the Queen of Elvendome and her heir, the decision is made by the Fae to work a great enchantment and raise the Twilight Mists between the realm of the Fae and the Mortal Realm, creating a safe haven that can remain uncorrupted by the Dearth. This in turn is greatly contested by others among the Fae and causes the Sundering as the Sha’Achtar leave their brethren to pursue the War Without End in their own way, carving out their own Shadowlands on the edge of Death and Destruction so as to find and meet the Great Old Ones and the Lords of Dearth before they can corrupt reality even more than they already have. The effort is not entirely successful, and even in Faerie the Dearth has a foothold while the Shadowlands remain the first battleground against the Lords of Dearth as the Sha’Achtar intended even if the Realm itself is a darker and more dangerous place than was intended.

The Invoked Devastation 

After the Twilight Mists rise and the Shadowlands expand, the War Without End continues to raze the Mortal Realm without mercy or hope as the Dearth taints it and Creation rebels against itself. The Primordial Gods, finally roused from their contemplation, bring about the Invoked Devastation, destroying the Second City in Fire and Flood. Its status as a seat of goetic perversion in the wake of Ilhiedrin’s crimes a cancer on the face of Creation. While the Celestial Fires are specific, raising Thalath in a Great Flood is far from specific and much of the Mortal Realms affected, and the effects are felt even into Faerie and the Shadowlands.

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