Dragonborn

Dragonborn are an ancient race who once ruled the mighty empire of Abuz in the far south. Now, they are gathered for the most part in guarded enclaves, called eyries. In the North, they are known primarily as raiders, mercenaries, and, some say, slavers. Some live outside these eyries for one reason or another, but they are the minority.

Faithful and Blasphemers

As the story goes, dragonborn were created long ago to serve and worship the dragons, who were the first intelligent creatures to live beneath the sky. Most still pay homage to dragon-gods still living or long dead.

Some dragonborn, however, are known as Blasphemers because they deny the divinity of the dragons. Further, they claim that when the dragonborn, whom they call the the First People or Mahillutu, found the dragons, the great beasts could neither speak nor use magic. They learned these arts, say the Blasphemers, from the Mahillutu, and later used them to enslave the dragonborn and kill their old gods. Blasphemers – Eruit (“Those Who are Awake”), as they call themselves – have broken free of the tyranny of the dragons and instead worship the gods of humans, since their own were killed long ago. They live apart from the cities and eyries of the dragonborn, either in communities of their own or among younger races, nursing their resentment toward the dragon-gods that enslaved them and the blind fools who still follow them. The majority of dragonborn, for their part, are disgusted by Blasphemers and the more zealous among them go out of their way to kill them.

Racial Power Changes

Blasphemer dragonborn, for whatever reason, do not have access to the breath-weapon powers detailed in the Player’s Handbook. They claim that this is because the breath weapons are slavish and unnatural imitations of dragons, brought about only by dark magic. Most dragonborn, however, would read this as a sign of the dragon-gods’ displeasure with their wayward children.

Instead, Blasphemers gain superior resistance to mind-affecting magic because their culture emphasizes the virtue of an alert mind and independent spirit. They may take Unsleeping Mind as a racial power at character creation.

Unsleeping Mind

Encounter

Immediate Interrupt, Personal

Effect: When a power with the keyword “sleep,” “charm,” “illusion,” or “fear” successfully strikes you, force your enemy to re-roll the attack with a -2 penalty. The enemy uses the second roll.

History

Here is a history of the dragonborn in the words of a dragonborn living in Cantorhill:

I have been called dragon, slaver, monster. I have been spit upon, shouted at, hated. I have never lived in an eyrie or a tiered city. I have never taken slaves nor have I assaulted men for no reason. Yet there are still those who will say my name as a curse.

I have spent my life recovering the fragments of my people’s history that remain. To this end, I’ve spoken with the elder Dragon-kind and I have sifted through the ruins of our tumbled cities to find our history.

This is what I know.

The Dragons were first. It is said that in those days the three worlds were covered with darkness. When the Dragons came (Ed: The fact that the Dragons came seems to suggest that they were somewhere else originally, but our source has no real insight into this pre-mythical period) they burned away the cloying clouds of shadows. They fought the things that they found there, though from my understanding in no systematic manner like the Giants (Ed: The author is referring to the Gigantine Wars, which myth says is responsible for destroying the ‘dark things’ that inhabited the Middle World).

After the Dragons came my kind, the Dragon-born. I could not discover what the ancient histories had to say about the time between the birth of my kind and the other races. What I do know is that by the time they had emerged the empire of Abuz had already been founded.

Abuz’s capital was in the far south, in the steaming jungles beyond what you call the Glittering Lands. The empire was ruled over by the Dragons. They were mighty as gods to us, and we served as their priests and intermediaries amongst their captives. The Giants were ever an enemy of great Abuz, seeking to take territory that we had long held as ours. Abuz was not a strong empire; certainly they had warriors and magicians. Socially, the empire was weak. Each Dragon had his own cult, as many still do today. A conflict between Dragons could tear the empire apart.

Through years of warfare it wasn’t until the Wasting when the Giants became aggressive and dangerous enough to threaten what structure there still remained in Abuz. I don’t know what first caused the empire to fracture, but the Giants seemed determined to wage a war of conquest right into its very heart. Countless factions emerged all over Tamal. The unity of Abuz was shattered, and the Dragonborn were all that was left behind. One by one our mighty gods were slain or occulted into hidden places. They fled from the world, and we followed. Those who didn’t were slain by the change of the eras—they could not withstand the force of the tide.

The outposts of Dragonborn that still remain have hidden themselves away from prying eyes. Some of them go on as though there was no fall, no change from the ancient days. Some were altered by the upheaval in ways that no Dragon could’ve predicted.

Luckily, our very appearance and the memory of our might keeps too many people from making comments. Those that do think twice when my eyes fall on them and single them out in a crowd.

Most of the dragonborn in Arbellor are Blasphemers living a semi-nomadic lifestyle as tinkers and merchants or settling in ghettos within larger towns and cities. Since they worship the Floran gods and are generally honest – if standoffish – trading partners, they are generally accepted, and the distinctive long coats of the Blasphemers go a long way toward dispelling the fears of slavers that haunt the minds of northerners. The faithful Dragonborn of The Black Eyrie, however, are regarded with near-universal suspicion and hostility. Though theirs slavers have rarely ventured farther south than Riggsland in the past half-century, many towns in Arbellor have felt the fury of their raiders. These fierce warriors have a reputation for emerging suddenly from the night to take what they wish from a town and slaughter those who resist.

Dragonborn

The Record of the North Tuachell