Saturday, January 25, 2014

White Dragonkin, the "Patient Faithful"

The White Dragonkin, or Metal Dragonkin, are native to the western reaches of the world, the lands around the elemental pole of Metal.  Many also live in the Metal Desert in the southwest.  The White Dragonkin are a people in exile, both physically and spiritually.

In ancient times the Great Divine Guardian Dragon of Metal spawned her immortal dragons into the world and they possessed all the lands of the west.  In time they birthed mortal dragons and the dragonkin.  All loved the Great White Mother and did her homage.  But during the War of Angels and Demons the mortal dragons and dragonkin were inevitably drawn into the conflict.  The immortal dragons saw how the Angels and Demons became as gods and goddesses against all tradition.  They were powerful and the immortal dragons became envious.  The Divine Dragon warned them to remain true.  But one by one they arrogated to themselves similar powers of worldly divinity and demanded worship from the mortal dragons and dragonkin.  The Great Mother raged and wept but could not bring herself to harm her first-born.  Instead she punished them with a curse, binding them in incorporeal form to their various abodes.  In fear the remaining mortals below fled into the wilderness.

Today the White Dragonkin live only in the wild places, such as the Metal Desert.  All the old inhabited places are taboo, because most are the binding-places of ancient immortal dragons.  So they wander as nomads on an endless pilgrimage.  They make prayer and sacrifice outside the binding-places for their lost deities and curse the Great Mother for her cruelty.  Thus they have no priests or paladins amongst them.  Instead they rely on the wisdom and arts of many oracles in their tribes.  They see themselves as true believers who know the way, patiently maintaining their faith until the day their gods are freed once more.

Despite being taboo, many of the old cities, temples, monasteries, and other places have inhabitants.  There are covens of witches bound to the immortal dragons who secretly make sacrifices and magicks seeking break the curse of their particular patron.  These witches are the closest thing to priests the immortals have, because they lack the mana to empower mortals as the clerics of other deities.  The witches and their coven-broods scour the land for victims to sacrifice and magical things and knowledge which will further their work.  Also living in the taboo places are small cults of demon worshipers.  While the Great Mother has her face turned away from her children and the immortals are powerless, demons are free to seek followers and wreak havoc.  Finally there are bands of heretics, usually followers of undragonly foreign gods.  They reject the old ways of worship in favor of these strange gods and goddesses from far away who are nothing like a proper dragon.  These heretics form small villages and towns amidst the old ruins, trading or raiding as suits them.

The nomadic faithful are not only strong in their faith but well knowledgeable in the lores and sciences of their land.  They have among them many alchemists and makers of weapons which shoot fire and thunder using an arcane dark powder.  They trade in the metals, gems, acids, and other natural products of their lands, as well as items and materials made with them.

Although the Great Mother turns her face from her ungrateful children, yet does she love them.  When she senses among them one whose heart is open she sends an avatar to call them to her.  Those who answer become her priests, priestesses, and holy paladins.  These she cultivates, and sends out to battle the covens, cults, and heretics.  But more importantly she guides them in the dangerous work of returning to her wayward children and preaching her worship.  The nomad exile tribes hate these so-called holy followers of the Cruel Mother and eagerly execute them as sacrifices to their bound gods.

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