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Dragon Kings

From DivNull RPG

Art by Ross Campbell

From the ruins, you have managed to discover the following about the Dragon Kings.

When Creation was new and less stable, millennia before the gods overthrew them, Primordials created the Dragon Kings. In the earthquakes, volcanoes and hurricanes of early Creation, only the toughest creatures could survive. Creation was filled with life, but not thought. The Dragon Kings marked the Primordials’ first experiment at creating thinking beings that were fully a part of the physical world. Four breeds were created, all humanoid dinosaurs, and each was sent to populate a corner of creation while the Primoridals’ immortal creations, the gods, ran the world from what is now called the Blessed Isle. Dragon Kings can evidently use some kind of magic to enhance themselves.

Four Breeds[edit]

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An aquatic breed ruled the West. They appeared to be social, living in large settlements both above and below the waves. Meat eaters, they hunted in both fresh and salt water. While they are large and very wide-bodied compared to other Dragon King breeds, with thick flat tails and other largely crocodilian features, evidence suggests they were adept at magical disguise and stealth. Their large, crude, webbed hands seem to be less agile than the other breeds, making them more suited to using their own bodies instead of tools.

A winged, flying race controlled the North. They appear to have been the most scholarly of the breeds and are often depicted interacting with spirits. A couple of mosaics appear to show members of this breed using sorcery. This breed clearly favored intricate, precise design. They also appeared to treat combat, particularly aerial combat, as an art form. Their brightly feathered bodies are built for flight, with long, sharp heads and long, thin tails with a rudder-like flap on the end; however, their leathery wings could fold back to allow them to use tools are weapons. Unlike the other breeds, they are not shown using their claws or tails as weapons, but had sharp teeth and could buffet opponents with their wings.

http://tn3-1.deviantart.com/300W/large/indyart/fantasy/Rathess_02_eastern_dragon_king.jpg http://tn3-2.deviantart.com/300W/large/indyart/fantasy/rathess04_southern_dragon_king.jpg

An agile, colorful breed populated the East. They appear to have been the most urban and conventionally civilized of the Dragon Kings, taking pleasure in music, art and, as the only breed that ate plants as well as meat, food. While all the breeds were capable of shaping wood, this breed appears to have had a greater mastery of the various vegetative technologies used by the Dragon Kings. Obviously the diplomats of the Dragon Kings, this breed were also savage warriors. One mural shows three such Dragon Kings discussing art over wine while cleaning the skulls of their enemies. Slender and graceful, this brightly feathered breed cannot fight with their tails, but have savage claws and sharp teeth. Ranesk is of this breed, which he calls the “raptok”.

A hulking, sturdy breed held sway over the fiery South. Of the breeds, they are least evident in the ruins you search. Evidence paints them as solitary, honorable warriors. Largest and most muscular of the breeds, they have thick armored hides, viscous club-like tails and wicked teeth. Ranesk refers to this breed as the “anklok”, and he and Adrios can attest to their fighting ability.

History[edit]

Eventually, the world became a less violent and deadly place, and the gods created humanity. Because they were both weaker and more numerous than the Dragon Kings, the Primordials made the Dragon Kings their overlords. The humans served the Dragon Kings, the Dragon Kings served the gods, and the gods served the Primordials. In this era, the chain of Creation was perfect and unbroken.

In the West, amphibious Dragon Kings ruled the islands. They hunted kraken and other deadly sea beasts of the oceans and came on shore to command the islanders to build cities and temples. In the North, winged Dragon Kings were the lords of the upper air and the icy wastes. They ruled the North from their elegant mountaintop fortresses and used the mortals they ruled in complex status games. In the savanna and deserts of the South, huge and deadly Dragon Kings hunted prey and left enigmatic rock paintings and stone sculptures that humans still marvel at. The Southern Dragon Kings had the least contact with their human subjects. These Dragon Kings lived in the harsh deserts and only rarely came into the human cities on the coast to order their humans to build temples or hold a festival to honor the gods. The lush forests and verdant jungles of the East were the heart of the Dragon Kings’ civilization. Here, tall and elegant Dragon Kings with brilliantly scaled hides built great cities, worked powerful magics and created wonders that rivaled the glorious Celestial City of Yu-Shan. These were the most numerous Dragon Kings and had the most contact with the mortals they ruled. They were also the only Dragon Kings who lived in the same cities as the humans. The greatest of their cities was Rathess, which was the capital of the Dragon King’s Creation-spanning empire.

When the gods created the Exalted and warred against the Primordials, the Dragon Kings fought alongside gods and helped to slay the Primordials and their allies. While the Primordials underestimated the threat that mortals, even exalted ones, posed, they were well aware of the Dragon Kings abilities, and slaughtered them by the millions. All but the Dragon Kings of the east were nearly exterminated by potent energies. Those that survived fought hard; however, the gods favored the Exalted and, after the war, gave them dominion over Creation, ending the rule of the Dragon Kings. They became a valuable part of the Solar Deliberative, but their numbers were greatly reduced and their influence was far less than it had been. Exalts were now the lords of Creation, and the Dragon Kings were only a minor adjunct to their power. As the First Age progressed, the Dragon Kings became increasingly isolated and took an ever-decreasing role in the affairs of mortals and Exalts.

In the first days of the Contagion, many Dragon Kings blamed the traitorous Dragon-Blooded’s murder of the Solar Exalted for the ravages of the disease. Groups of Dragon Kings left their cities to hunt down members of the Dragon-Blooded to sacrifice upon the Dragon Kings’ altars to restore the favor of the Unconquered Sun and end the terrible Contagion. Although nearly 100 of the Dragon-Blooded had their still-beating hearts ripped from their bodies in this vast orgy of blood, not even these sacrifices satisfied the Unconquered Sun, and the plague continued.

After this, the Dragon King civilization just seems to stop.

Religion[edit]

You didn’t concentrate on learning specifics of the Dragon King religion, but some things were obvious:

  • Dragon Kings were extremely devoted to the Unconquered Sun, sacrificing hearts of humans and other Dragon Kings to him, often at the top of large pyramids.
  • Dragon Kings believed in a soul and reincarnation.
  • Possession by spirits played some kind of role in their religion.
  • One of the Unconquered Sun’s lieutenants, Leeayta, was widely regarded by the Dragon Kings:

http://tn3-1.deviantart.com/300W/large/indyart/fantasy/rathess08_leeayta.jpg

Life[edit]

You didn’t concentrate on learning specifics of how the Dragon Kings lived either, but the following were obvious:

  • Honor was clearly important, and duels were common.