Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Iaurdin: Gods Save The Queen (The High Elves)

A long, long time ago, the elves were said to be one people.

They were the Iaur. They were descendants of the family of elf gods and gifted with a most beautiful, magical and protected home. The Isle of Saesun. They were guarded over by wise and powerful metallic dragons. They lived in a paradise free from strife or woes. They were innocent. They were children. Then, some of these children left home.

The children discovered evil. A few generations enslaved by the Naryan giants cut these elves off from nature, from whimsy and from innocence. In the hellish crucible of slavery, a blade was forged in the mines by an elven blacksmith. The blade was taken in the hands of the blacksmith's daughter. She used it in her escape from the Golden City, she wielded it in her duel with the Bjergfolk chieftain, and she raised it above her head when she led Bjergfolk back to the Golden City to free her people.

It is said that the blade has no magical qualities and is not beautiful to behold. It is a rather dull and uninspiring weapon. And yet, in the hands of the elven maiden, the blade forged by one in chains, the blade that broke the chains, the blade that freed a nation, the blade became legendary. Today, the blade hangs in the throne room of the Palace of Grand Saeffura on the wall behind the throne itself. The blade is called Chainbreaker.

The blacksmith's daughter became Queen Tytanya.

Queen Tytanya may be the most powerful mortal being in all of Sublanarya, if not Narya. After returning to Saesun, she was made queen of the iaurdin. The iaurdin are called "high elves" by themselves , "great elves" by their allies and "pointy ear bastards" by their enemies. And they have many enemies.

By allying themselves with the chromatic dragons to form the Tytanyan Pact, the iaurdin have become the most powerful empire in Sublanarya. From the Isle of Saesun in the Northwest to the conquered Thule territories, Albyon, to tropical colonies of Nuar in the South, the high elves ambitious expansion is impressive for such a contentious region. Viewed as invaders by their enemies, rebels sprouting up all along their outer territories, and held in contempt for their practices, the high elves are not well liked by other Sublanaryan factions. Their actions have caused great instability in the geopolitical landscape. And yet, the irony is that, within the borders of this empire, life is more stable than anywhere else in Sublanarya.

While the rest of the land sees them as conquerors, the iaurdin do not see themselves as saviors.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Dragonkind: The Pyramid of Power


Chromatic dragons are lazy, greedy and arrogant: that comes with being incredibly powerful, both physically and magically, and thus being able to coerce lesser creatures to serve you, it comes with filling a lair with an increasingly impressive treasure hoard proportional to how much much one can coerce the creatures around them and it comes with thinking of oneself as the apex of creation.

It comes with being a dragon.

But these qualities has several drawbacks too: they don't like to work hard, preferring to rely on their power and cunning to make other creatures do their bidding, only throwing their power around for pleasure and profit rather than as strategically as they should. Their greed overrides their better judgement, making them vulnerable to manipulation, and blinds them to obvious danger. And, most importantly, dragons don't like other dragons. Other dragons are competition for territory, for property, for breeding, and so on, and every other dragon is a challenge to a dragon's superiority complex. The only thing a dragon hates more than weak dragons are dragons that are more powerful than themselves.

So how do you get dragons to work together?

Red Typhon.

Red Typhon is a red dragon but not just any red dragon: he's older than the earliest civilization of Narya, so massive that his shadow sends entire nations into a panic, so clever that he has gotten chromatic dragons of every color to conform to his wishes, and so powerful that only Queen Tytanya herself gives him pause.

Red Typhon was one of the attendants of Tiamat, the evil draconic goddess supreme, and served her for eons as her most beloved "groom". But, after Bahamut's sacrifice & Tiamat's defeat trapped him for millennia, he became desperate to escape the Prison of Bahamut. That was when he heard the siren call of Tytanya and she made him an offer he couldn't refuse. With his dragons, she was able to defeat her enemies and he was rewarded with a kingdom of his own.

But what do dragons do with their own kingdom? How do you keep them content? How do you keep them under your claw?