|The Forgotten Tyrants|
|Habitat||Northlands, Vynland, Askrae|
|Status||Borderline extinct, scarce|
- “I have found it rather harrowing to complete this entry of my research, nominally the history of these magistral monstrosities we call Drakkon. Our people have, of course, made a tradition of hunting these creatures. Yet the consecutive culling of the scaled tyrants in our earliest days have led to a severe dwindling of their sparse kin, leaving only the idiotic and beastly wyverns in their wake. (Even then, those pests are on a severe and steady route to complete extinction). Nonetheless, as commissioned by the Tome-Bearer, my toils shall be immortalized in the finest basalt.”
- Thorimgrim Drakonspear,
- On Drakkon, or an Enlightened Study of a Fallen Nemesis.
The truth about dragons is a blurred one. So many legends, tales litter the knowledgeable minds of Astra, that to pinpoint an origin to these mythological beasts is often regarded a fruitless endeavour. Nonetheless one can draw parallels between each tale, and draw facts from which an origin story can be compiled. However, from such tales, many contradictions are bound to arise.
Esh’hakar (Dragonkin) and Mankind have similar beliefs when it comes to dragons. The former believe that the spirits of their departed come together in times of strife, to protect their tribes, as a gift given by their mythological progenitor: Nar’lekk. The latter hold the firm belief - namely those of the Golden Faith - that the Wyrm are an embodiment of their sins, and that overcoming the destruction they bring is to abolish one’s own faults in Auros's name. Gallanists often see them as demons who come to torment the wicked, whilst Huranism holds a belief closer to the Elrathyr (Elves), that they are ancient beings, closest to the gods, gifted with infinite wisdom. The similarities between man and elf end there, however, as the Elrathyr hold the firm and stalwart mythos that they have descended from the stars during the Age of Dusk.
Dorrin (Dwarves) are perhaps the closest to the truth - as their explanation is widely accepted as gospel by scholars -. To the stout folk of the Four Kingdoms, these beasts were to the Elder Races what Elves were to Mankind. Tyrants, kings, masters and teachers of the mind and body - with fractured territories and vastly different mentalities: capable of great power, horrifying devastation and wisest counsel; yet temperamental and territorial in their emotions, befitting of the most zealous despot.
Recorded Draconic History in the Northlands, and the Brazenmark Empire: The first recorded sighting of a dragon was during the formation of the Four Kingdoms, by Dwunn Verse-Maker around the years 3200 - 3000 BE. ‘Recorded’ onto the large basalt doors of the Drakonspear Keep, as a token of gratitude in return for their hospitality. The gilded runes and silver engravings depict the tale of Beo, son of Bran and the ten year siege laid by the tyrant Yaggfarnir. From then on, a constant and nigh religious record of every dragon attack by the dwarves has been kept engraved into solid stone, stored safely within the deepest archives of the Ingrakkar Vaults. Wyrm hunts amongst the northernmost reaches of the Four Kingdoms had been a consistent and progressive culling, a war for survival that endured from 3000 BE to early as 350 BE; with the latest and recent most sighting in 1356 AE, shortly after the coronation of High King Bosrir ‘the Short-Lived’. This prompted Thalma the Dragonslayer to take on a three year quest to avenge her monarch, and fell the Wyrm in his honor.
In Edriel, records of dragons have been sparse, often times with a millenia between each iteration. The details are diverse, salvaged from the ruins of ancient devastated cities, or testimonies from survivors. Within the Brazenmark Empire, scriptures on Tyrants have been burned in massive pyres (deemed heretical by the Golden Faith), or spared an ill fate by covetous scholars and open-minded ministers. Rumours whispering of underground libraries dedicated to the study of dragons underneath Niros and Lanth circulate still. Nonetheless, there still is a traceable history within the mainland, with many events that have left their mark on the western world.
Their emergence in Edriel cannot be accredited to any certain date, some reports saying that the Wyrms had always been present throughout history, triggering or ushering events of grand importance. Western folk have often been said to worship these beings, bringing offerings and following their teachings, but also appeasing their wrath. Some dragons have even gifted power to their most faithful, granting them an elongated life and archaic power.
Somewhere around the year 1730 BE, the Elrathyr attempted to learn more on the Tyrants. Later on in that year, the Elves successfully engaged in conversation with one of the dragons, leading to a series of recorded texts that are now deemed either apocryphal, priceless or heretical by the many: the Dralrymnir Codices, a series of a dozen scrolls reporting the truths discussed between Elrindyr IV and the dragon Dralrymnir. These texts are now lost, some say burnt, others say hidden or simply rotten away.
In 1600 BE, during the Age of Elrathyr Hegemony, the name “Brazenmark” was adopted by the Heartlands after a draconic catastrophe. Following a steep error of judgement from the Elrathyr (the details are inconsistent and hazardous), a council of dragons soared across the Heavens and set the country aflame. Humans and Elves alike to ran for their lives, congregating along the western shores. From 1621 - 1682 BE, the Brazenmark was terrorized by the apocalyptic event, forcing those that could not run to hide from the tyrant’s wrath. These years, were brought to an end by King Elrindyr V “the Reclaimer”. The phenomenon has seared a permanent barren scar across the northern part of the Heartlands, dubbed “the Mark”. The Elves and Humans took it in stride and adopted the name Brazenmark a few decades later.
Then in 51 BE, the province of Mar’zuun was witness to the last recorded draconic manifestation in Western Edriel. In the earliest years of the new century, a bright light - akin to a star - shone through the desert. Explorers and nomads discovered this was a burning Wyrm, immolating itself before disappearing into ashes. The next day, a comet crossed the sky for a month. Astrologers and seers surmised it as a sign of ill omen, whilst farmers made quick work of their harvests, and Elrathyr Kings took it as a warning. Soon, their eyes took to the Heavens.
From here on, draconic related history takes a step back, fading slowly into the background as greater figures take center stage. Their existence is not refuted, however it is never properly attested either. Deep within the Duchy of Verlaines, Andlemire and the edges of Mar’zuun, rumours of dragon worshipping cults, and shrines have seeped through the cracks, however Auros’ Arrival in 3 AE forced these faiths into a heavy decline.
Recorded Draconic History in the Yan Kingdoms and Beyond: Dragons in the eastern portion of Edriel benefit (or suffer) from a similar disparity of belief. Much akin to their western brethren, their activities have decreased throughout the years. However, compared to their absence in the west, the Oriental Kingdoms often see their influence. The Zhuansun, for instance, have been struggling against wyverns and other forms of lesser draconids since 500 AE - with some of their people taking the wyvern as their spiritual god (see Borodai of the Wyvern).
The Dragonkin’s relationship with history being a faded one, it is most difficult to even pinpoint any form of draconic history to their people; as they never write anything down. Their origin story however is most interesting, and relates to a dragon often spoken of in the southern regions of Edriel: Nar’lekk the Creator. The dragonkin hold the belief that they are issued from this patriarch’s blessing. Furthermore, in the years before the Fall of Eyrm, the drakes of the south often spoke of their Ancestor’s appearance every hundred years or so, on the 5th of Maius, taking to the skies and granting fertility to all. “A gift from the spirits,” they retort.
Finally the distant lands of Kyosin, from which many tales of horror and wonder emerge, speak of the “Prince from the Skies”, an undying spirit who protected the Kyosari from harm at sea and from the demons that scoured their lands. Its presence was often seen during noon, soaring ahead through clouds and azure skies, even after the Fall of Eyrm. Its last appearance was shortly after the crowning of Emperor Otori Takanata, upon who it imparted great advice. Those laws and counsel, shaped as scrolls ornamented in gold and sapphire ink, are part of the Divine Treasures of Kyosin, handed down to the next emperor alongside the other Divine Treasures.
In the eastern part of Edriel, dragons have seen a greater influence than its western part - the history, albeit hazier for lack of clarity and proper recording, still has shown a more sympathetic interaction between mortals and dragons. And if not, greater tolerance towards one another. Dragons have had an important influence over the Orient, as much as they have in the West, shaping the ways of living, worship and traditions - and in one unique case, a whole race.
Still to this day, dragons are spoken of, sought after or even hunted. Worshiped by some as primordial gods, or terrifying beasts as others, the tyrants of ages long gone inspire fear and mystery in the minds of children, awe in the eyes of poets and valour to the hardy warrior. Their dwindling has had beneficial and detrimental effects to all, and yet astrologists and prophets ascertain that their return will preceed Astra's sundering.
- “I had never seen such a creature before, and yet the records were true. My ancestors had felled it once, yet before me it stood. Tall as a mountain, ghosts of smoke and mist mingled with the tearing blizzard that swept throughout our lands. Eyes like specters, pierced through the veil of sleet and frost, large pulsing scars gleaming through the scales that armored its body. Its claws - larger than entire ships - had sunk into the hard rock, whilst two large wings erupted, imperial, from its jagged back. Yaggfarnir, Scourge of the Dorrin, stood before my father and I with blood curdling wrath. As I rose my hunting horn to my lips, the very air I breathed choked in my lungs. My chest was pierced with terror, and refused to blow. I could feel it, sinking into my skin, his gaze and his intent… foul murder.”
- Thorimgrim Drakonspear,
- On Drakkon, or an Enlightened Study of a Fallen Nemesis.
Immense, gigantic, massive, imposing; are all adjectives to describe these might beasts. It is known that every dragon is unique, each in their appearance, abilities and mentalities. That said, this is only true for the known tyrants of Astra, whose actions have been recorded and have had a tactile impact on its landscape and history. The dragon spoken of in the extract above, whose name is claimed to be Yaggfarnir, resembles a gigantic lizard bearing wings and four legs which end in a set of five to six large claws, about the size of a medium-long sailing vessel. Most dragons hold common characteristics with one another, as when observed.
All dragons are of gargantuan size, possessing six limbs: a pair of large wings, webbed and often times twice or thrice the wyrm’s length, and two pairs of large legs that end in a set of claws. Some dragons have a single pair of eyes, whilst others are known to have two or three. They are armoured in a series of diamond tough scales, segmented here and there by large bone spikes that protrude across theirs, back and heads. Their faces and noses are often crooked, angular, with a large maw that bears an innumerable amount of teeth. Measurements are rather difficult to take, mostly because of the danger that comes with such an endeavour, and the rarity of a dragon’s appearance. The closest estimate one could come with, is by referring to the Drakonspear’s dining hall, above which hangs the full skeleton of a young dragon (or so they say) from large iron chains, the bones are fastened together with metal clamps and ropes. However, it is often said that most dragons cannot be kept within a hall, or any building for that matter. Those wyrms who have been made common knowledge are often said to be nearly as tall as a mountain, often times taller.
Dragons are said to bear children, however no more than once a few centuries, whether they lay eggs, or give birth is uncertain. Myths about dragon eggs bearing miraculous qualities have often been disproven, most of the time because of the “egg” itself were jewelled rock carvings. The dwarves have records of slaying petulant and arduous younglings, often in hopes to cull the potential danger, or in retaliation for the destruction of an emerging settlement.
From previous records, we know dragons to be gifted with speech and sapience. Capable of advice and curses, however we also know that dragons are often capable of great prowess. It is said that the wyrms of the far north can spew torrential fire, yet most dragons also make use of abilities that are closer to divine magic than any other beast found within the rest of Edriel. Whether they draw this power from themselves, or an unknown draconic deity, is up for debate. They are said to raise the dead, speak prophecies, see into the past and future, turn into humans, wrap themselves in the elements, enthrall the mind or grant wishes…
Surprisingly, and perhaps much to the dismay of dragon hunters and/or enthusiasts, these creatures tend to gather flocks of [[Wyvern|wyverns] around them; sometimes by the hundreds, other times by the thousands, they act as servants and guardians, almost as if compelled by some primal law, or mentally enslaved. When confronting a tyrant, wyverns are often the first step to reaching the creature, or the first wave to sack a city - the true terror hitting with aw inspiring devastation.
Their lack of appearance in the past few years has been theorized, with one prevalent speculation widely accepted. Some scholars believe that since the Fall of Eyrm, magic has taken a toll for the worst and had a significant impact on dragons, forcing them into a long hibernation. The rare attacks that have been made known, have been made by wyverns or within the Four Kingdoms of the Dorrin.
- “There stood before us Yaggfarnir, Scourge of the Dorrin, as fresh as he had been three centuries ago, when our ancestors had run a spear through his heart. Yet still, it stood. Incomprehensibly strong, brought back - surely - by some unnatural ritual, it had chosen its next meal, a passing wyvern from its flock. Its rage could be felt, regardless of its lingering silence, as we crept across the mountain pass. Since its appearance, we had been drowned inside a horrendous blizzard of impossible origin, the very winds that swept our faces and beards whispered ancient curses.”
- Thorimgrim Drakonspear,
- On Drakkon, or an Enlightened Study of a Fallen Nemesis.
There are many myths that have been said about dragons, some of which are well founded, others are born out of superstition. For example, in the Postavan Steppes, a child born under the light of a falling star will turn into a dragon after his coming of age. In the Yan Kingdoms, myths that the Kyosin sacrifice their firstborn daughters to the “Prince from the Skies” as wives, often to mock their eastern neighbours.
A long standing belief in the eastern Heartlands - at least amidst commoners - is that dragon bones carry the plague, and that bones found in the ground must be burnt. Some living closest to the border with Andlemire tend to share rumours of draconic remains amidst the swamplands, excavated by heinous Gallanists. At the cost of their lives, some adventurers or thrill seekers have attempted to wade through the murky waters, in hopes to confirm this, or loot the dead dragon’s hoard.
A common rumour - mostly constructed as an explanation for the dwarves’ mythological amounts of gold - is that dragons are attracted to coin, treasures and relics from bygone eras before the elves were young. One myth, silenced by the Ingrakkar, is the idea that the Dorraki’Kaz was inspired by draconic laws granted to the Four Kings upon its creation. This myth has been ruled out as a heavily heretical belief, only upheld by dissidents and anarchists so long as they still have tongues to speak.
More within the domain of mythology, legends have spoken of the potent effects of Dragon’s Blood, and their fabulous properties. Some say drinking their blood will grant infinite wisdom, whilst bathing in it will grant immortality. However sages and philosophers often remark that the gaining of such gifts is at the cost of something even greater.
As a last, wondrous myth surrounding the Tyrants many folk tend to believe, or have to come the seeming realisation, that dragons cannot die. Whilst their physical body may be slain by sword, spear and spell, (they can live on forever) they will inevitably return a century or so later, risen from Gods know where. Some say the only way to slay them for good is to burn their heart, some believe only they can choose when to die, or that the method of felling them for good has been lost to the ages. Rumours whisper that a wyrmslayer are reborn as the dragon they slew. Others speak of foul necromancy used to sustain their life in hopes to rule the world anew.
Of the many dragons that once ruled the world, very few have names who are known. A small list of those recurring names has been provided below:
- Yaggfarnir, Scourge of the Dorrin
- Kitakaze, Guardian of the Heavenly Shores
- Nar’lekk, the Spirit Father
- Dralrymnir, the Demented Philosopher
- Yddraig, the Carmine
|Creatures of Astra|
|Playable Races||Dragonkin • Dwarves • Elves • Humans|
|Non-Playable Races||Bristlefur • Centaurs • Goblins • Tuskers • Wraiths|
|Last editor: Markisbeest|
|Last edit: 30/03/2019|