Dragonborn History

The history of the dragonborn on the Sunset Isle begins nine hundred years ago in an isolated mountain valley in the Godbarrow range. According to the chroniclers of the race, it was then that their Queen descended from the heavens upon her holy purpose. A small tribe dwelling in the mountains received her as their leader, and she gave birth to five daughters sired by the strongest and noblest of the tribesmen. The chroniclers cannot entirely agree on the race of the tribe- most say that it was a band of humans inexplicably trapped within the orc-infested mountains, though some insist that it was actually an orcish tribe that received the Queen. Those that do so claim it quietly, however, for ever since the time of the Five Daughters, orcs have been the bitterest enemy of the dragonblooded.

The Queen had a purpose for her new offspring. They were to provide the purified and perfected souls of newly-fashioned dragons, celestial servants of the gods and caretakers of the seasons and natural world. Dragons, the Queen explained to her daughters, were not born as other creatures were born. They were fashioned out of the raw substance of the world by the gods, and had frames too great and terrible for any mortal creature to birth. Therefore, it was necessary that souls of fit purity and strength should be found for them, and these souls would be provided by the greatest of her newfound children.

This tribe was not the first to be chosen by the gods, nor was the Queen the only god to descend and mother offspring among mortals for this purpose. Other communities of dragonborn existed, each with their god-king or god-queen and each giving forth their own variety of dragon-soul. But a new community was required, and so the Queen came down to this isolated and desolate land to fashion a fit people for the new work. Those who served her loyally and well would pass from life at the end of their days and be embodied in a new dragon, there to serve the gods in glory for a thousand years to come.

The orcs of the surrounding mountains were less enchanted by this mission, and saw in the new tribe only a new source of odd-looking slaves and meat. The Five Daughters petitioned their mother for the strength to drive back the orcish hordes, but the Queen's power was limited; the orc witch-priestesses were very strong in their worship of Shakun, and the force required to drive them back would destroy the Queen's children as well. Instead of summoning celestial fire to smite the orcs, the Queen wove a spell about the borders of the mountain valley, rendering it impossible for orcs and other goblinoids to find their way in. The mountain tribes soon abandoned their efforts to kill the new dragonborn, counting the land around the valley to be cursed earth that drove scouts mad.

Within the vale, the new dragonborn had trials enough from the other creatures that found the hidden valley and the wild predators of the mountains. Many of them died, but the Five Daughters were blessed with abundant fertility, and it was no more than two or three centuries before the celestial bloodline they embodied was spread widely through the tribe. A small city was raised in the valley for purposes of shelter, worship, and defense against those threats that made it past the valley wards. Known simply as the Throne, the great temple of the Queen was raised as its heart and its center of rule.

Every so often, some sentient would find his or her way into the valley. While orcs and other goblinoids were banned by the goddess' writ, dwarves, humans, elves, and other species were under no such confusion, and while the surrounding orc tribes made the mountains lethally dangerous for most, there was always some luckless survivor or wanderer to stumble across the hidden city. Early on, it was decided that such visitors could not be permitted to leave. Knowledge that there existed a valley in the isles forever safe from orcs and goblins would result in a crush of refugees or invaders that the dragonborn could not hope to answer. Dangerous sentients were killed out of hand and the rest 'guested' for the remainder of their lives.

The dragonborn were not cruel by nature, and the ruling priestesses recognized that the tribe needed fresh blood every so often if they were not to become dangerously inbred. As such, it was common for these 'guests' to take dragonblood mates once they had reconciled to their new life, and their children joined in the lineage of the Queen. Their appearance was often far more after their outsider parent than that of the old-blooded, however, and these "thinbloods" often were treated with a certain dismissiveness as a necessary evil. Few were ever given posts of authority in the Throne, and it was ironically difficult for them to marry outside their kind. Thinblood families remain a small but distinct minority in the Throne.

For the past seven centuries, the dragonblood have faced few direct threats. There have been influxes of dangerous beasts, the occasional small raiding band of non-goblinoid invaders, and other threats that were consequential, but not such as to imperil the race. Their attention has been chiefly on their religion and their internal politics. Their religion demands obedience to the Queen and adherence to her principles so that they might be reborn as celestial servants. Their internal politics involve the intricate tangle of alliance and rivalry that arrange the distribution of resources within the valley and the amount of food, space, and privilege accorded any particular dragonborn. The presence of the Queen has prevented any serious social ruptures, and while divine guidance was limited, it was enough to check the worst dangers of tyranny and civil disorder.

This has changed in the past few months. Dragonblood scouts cannot determine precisely when the wards fell around the valley. The orcs had avoided the land for so long that it wasn't until a desperate band of refugee orcs plunged into the middle of the Throne that the realization was made. The orcs had been fleeing the swarms of Tide spawn generated by the blue crystals that had recently sprouted on the island, and they weren't the first to stumble over the valley. Had the mountains held the numbers of orcs that they once did, the Throne would have been buried under their bodies, but the Tide spawn had slain so many that the valley remains defensible against the few remaining. How long it will remain defensible against the Tide spawn is another question entirely.

Some sages speculate that it was the destruction of the first crystal that created the ethereal flux that brought down the wards. The prophets of the Hell Kings claim that it simply is a sign of the gods' abandonment of mortals. The Queen is not answering- her priestesses can acquire no guidance and no explanation of what has happened. Left to their own devices, they have agreed that it is time to make contact with the rest of the island. The new arrivals that landed a hundred years ago might well be the salvation of the Throne, if they can be convinced to help the dragonblooded defend them. Emissaries have been dispatched, and a steady flow of curious young dragonborn follow, seeking to experience the wonders of this strange new world.

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