Daily Archives: March 13, 2017

Domina Cultures – Dragons

Every flame has a dawn.”

Io, the Concordant Dragon

After the Big Three (fels, lupes, and ursas), the laces were one of the first kemo cultures to arise. While they were initially as confused and chaotic as the rest, they were soon brought to heel by their Animal King. This was Io, the Concordant Dragon, who knew that the toy maker was not powerful enough to give him what he really wanted—the body of a dragon. Io did his best regardless, giving himself scales and fangs, and eventually a long snout and curling horns. He even tried some Canian fire-breathing buffs, with little success.

Under Io’s rule, the laces flourished, even with the war between the crocs and the gators. His ten sons and daughters became general-purpose warlords for the culture, keeping them strong despite outside threats.

However, soon after the Rampage, Io died. His massive body finally overpowered his weak, mortal heart, and he passed away in his bed. Only one of his children was present at his last moments—along with a witness from Necessarius and a small horde of nurses—and heard his last request. Io wished for his dream to not die with him.

His son left his side and did as he ordered. The son was baseline at the time, but he had himself heavily modified using a ‘sarian toy box in a way that mirrored his father: Thick scales, strong claws and a long snout, and even a tail and wings. He put his own spin on the package, however, choosing bronze scales and decorative webbing on the ears and running down the back.

He named himself Chronepsis, the Silent, Wyrm of the Dispassionate Watchers, second of the dragons. While his siblings warred, he met with Necessarius and officially founded the culture, with the signing witnessed by the Paladins. Only Lendys, the Balancer, joined the initial signing, but it did not take long for the others to put aside their petty feuds and sign as well. Their pride would allow nothing less.

The ten children of Io always had their share of followers among the laces, but becoming their own culture changed things. Suddenly they were free to recruit from pools of people who did not want to associate with the kemos. Tiamat and Garyx recruited from the Acheroni demons, while Bahamut and Tamara found allies among the younger angels. Baselines who had never been interested in any of the cultures suddenly found one they were willing to join, and the dragons accepted them with open arms.

Io’s children still fight, but nowhere near to the extent as before. Lendys works to keep everything nonlethal, and Chronepsis and his Watchers take note of those who break pacts and alliances. Slowly, grudgingly, the dragons are moving towards peace.

Things are not perfect, however. Many laces see the existence of the dragons as a betrayal, and have launched raids against the new domains. Other kemo cultures think the dragons are trying to dodge old debts by rebranding themselves, and are willing to fight for what they are owed. And the fey, for unknown reasons, are gleefully finding every excuse to attack the dragons at any opportunity. Feyborn Princes lead raids on dragon supply trucks, and supposedly wild monsters continually slip past dragon security to wreak havoc.

Now, the entire city holds its breath, waiting to see what the newborn dragons will do. Will they fight for vengeance against those who have wronged them? Accept fault and pay retribution? Or will they simply splinter into civil war, brothers and sisters unable to accept their father’s plan for them?

Dragon honored are called dragoons, while their deviants are known as linnorms. Their warlords are called Wyrms, and their novices wyrmlings. Their subcultures are called clans, while their microcultures (the sub-subcultures) are called blazes.

Subcultures:

Adroit Appraisers of Astilabor

The followers of the Acquisitor, the Appraisers are working hard to build a real economy for the dragons. They have done their best to open up trade with other cultures, but are still having difficulty due to misunderstandings with the kemos. They have made some progress with several demon clans, however, such as the Mammonites. Their domain is Hoardkeep, in West Middle.

Beatific Dancers of Hlal

The artists and performers of the dragons and followers of the Keeper of Tales. As expected, they are in charge of theaters, libraries, and all other forms of entertainment under dragon control. The fact that they can name a number of famous actors and artists in their clan gives them more popularity than most of the dragon clans. The Appraisers have repeatedly attempted to use them to make deals and establish trade, but the Dancers have little interest in such things. Their domain, such as it is, is the Laughing Lizard in West Inner. It is little more than a bar with some rooms above that the Dancers are free to use.

Compassionate Healers of Tamara

The medics, doctors, and nurses of the dragons. They also have a large number of scientists and researchers among their number, working closely with their counterparts in the Dispassionate Watchers. They follow the Mercy, and she personally trained most of them. They have begun building hospitals in their territory, which has made them the most popular of the newborn dragon clans. Their domain is Quellar di Irisvari (often inaccurately just called Irisvari), in North Outer.

Corrupt Horrors of Falazure

The vampires of the dragons. Not only do they get nighteyes in addition to the standard dragon package, but they emulate the terror tactics of the earliest vampires. While so far they have kept from becoming unreasonably violent, there are still many eyes on them, wary of another Striga and her Bloody Thirteen. They follow Falazure, the Night, a lithe beast with jet-black scales and the ability to teleport through shadows. Their domain is hidden and unknown, if they even have one.

Dispassionate Watchers of Chronepsis

The first dragon clan, they would be the masters of the culture if their wyrm, the Silent, was at all interested in ruling. Instead, he prefers to simply observe and record everything and everyone. While technically the Watchers are the dragon’s spies, they do so little with the information they collect that it is difficult to call them that. They are better known as librarians, as their outposts always have massive book libraries in addition to the data archives that nearly everyone else in the city uses. Their domain is the Observatory, in South Central.

Merciless Justicars of Lendys

The police and judges of the dragons. While the other clans have their own security and enforcement personnel, the Justicars are the ones called in whenever anything gets even the slightest bit complicated. They are of course still too young a clan to have a proper history of trials and precedents, but they are quickly gaining a reputation as being fair, if harsh and humorless. Necessarius has even called them in to help adjudicate a minor dispute. The Justicars follow Lendys, the Balancer. Their domain is the Hall of Justice, an old court house in North Central from the early days of the city.

Sacred Warders of Bahamut

One of the primary branches of the dragon army, the Warders are more interested in defense and fortification than aggressive actions. They consult with every other clan on domain defenses, and are hired far and wide as guards and security personnel. They have even begun to find work outside the dragons, thanks in no small part to their wyrm’s old security connections. The Warders follow Bahamut, the Platinum, a man of shining ideals that might eventually be tarnished by Domina. Their domain is simply called Bahamut’s Palace, and is in East Outer, right up against the wall.

Screaming Destroyers of Garyx

The wild berserkers of the dragons, the Destroyers are known for a complete lack of fear, a bloody and merciless approach to combat, and a shocking loyalty to all dragons. While the Destroyers are far too wild to be a standard part of the dragon army, they make excellent shock troops, and have proven their worth several times against fey attacks. They follow Garyx, the Firelord, but he generally leaves them to their own devices. They have no domain of their own, but they are usually welcomed at any dragon domain.

Unholy Ravagers of Tiamat

Despite their disturbing name, the Ravagers are a calm and controlled clan who serve as the offensive branch of the dragon military. They believe strongly in first strikes and offensive deployment, and specialize in lightning-fast attacks that leave the enemy decimated before they even know what is happening. While they have undeniable friction with the Sacred Warders, in the end both sides grudgingly admit that the other is necessary for the continued safety of the dragon culture. Their wyrm is Tiamat, the Chromatic, one of the most dangerous of all dragons. Their domain is Azharul, in West Outer.

Unstoppable Messengers of Aasterinian

The Messengers are, of course, in charge of all forms of communication among the dragons. In addition to couriers and delivery drivers, they also have telecommunications specialists, social media experts, and programmers dedicated to keeping everything running smoothly. It is widely agreed that they are the most valuable of the dragon subcultures, and the culture would quite likely already have died an ignoble death without their assistance. Their wyrm is Aasterinian, the Messenger, who is rumored to be a changeling bruscar. Their domain is Brassberg, in North-West Outer, but it is often referred to as simply the Post Office.

Blazes:

Bahamut’s blazes:

Falx Templamut’s blaze

Falx Templamut was moderately famous even before he became one of Bahamut’s first dragoons. He is seventy years old, which makes him one of the oldest people in a city where it is very rare for anyone to live past fifty. He was also completely baseline, without any health buffs to help with his failing age. Now that he is a dragon, he has embraced the opportunities of the toy maker, and he is as lithe and fast as any wyrmling. Members of his blaze tend to be on the older side, but he does not discriminate by age. Instead, he looks for wisdom and patience in his recruits—things far more difficult to teach.

Saint Leomar’s blaze

As his name implies, Saint Leomar was once an angelic Saint, a Dawn-caste working closely with Sealtiel. Outsiders often refer to him as “Bahamut’s greatest catch,” but Bahamut himself insists that Leomar is simply a close friend who decided to join him when the dragons were founded. Leomar’s blaze is still small, but counts many former angels among its number. Leomar drives them hard, trying to prove his worth to the clan.

Medrinia’s blaze

Medrinia the Tearful is a former Rahab, recruited after she fled the worst parts of the merfolk culture. Rumors persist that Bahamut plans to send Medrinia and her blaze back under the waves to fight the Rahabs, but nothing solid has manifested yet. While most of Medrinia’s blaze does consist of former merfolk, none of them have returned to White-Cap Bay since their transformations. The blaze rarely leaves the Palace, and are only known by the rest of the city due to Medrinia’s public recruitment.

Vanathor’s blaze

Vanathor was once a generalist demon, with a few tribal tattoos showing allegiance to the Mother Monster, but little else. He is known for his excellent singing voice, and rarely leaves Bahamut’s Palace, as he is too busy organizing entertainment with his blaze. He and his blaze work with Hlal and her men on a regular basis.

Xathanon’s blaze

Xathanon the Energetic was once one of the most skilled Day-caste angels under Saint Nicholas. When he became a dragon, he made sure to include his dayskin in his new form. His golden scales often seem to glow with an inner light, and in an emergency he can unleash a Daybreak that even an angel would find impressive. Xathanon does not have dayeyes, though, instead relying on thick eyelids to protect him from his own light. For some reason, most members of his blaze are former vampires. While most of them have given up the nighteyes, they still prefer to stalk the streets at night, defending dragon domains from all comers.

Tiamat’s blazes:

Amduscias’ blaze

Like Malphas, Amduscias is a former Acheroni, but in his case he served under Hextor the Tyrant. While Amduscias hated Hextor’s wanton cruelty, he understands the important of discipline and punishment. He rarely leads raids, instead preferring to stay at Azharul with his blaze, policing Tiamat’s domain and maintaining the jails. His blaze counts many former slaves of Hextor among their number, but also a surprising number of former followers from Wee Jas, Maglubiyet, and Lei Kung.

Goap’s blaze

Goap was once an angel. What his name was, his caste, or anything else about him—these are all mysteries. Goap cut off ties with the angels, removing his dayskin and dayeyes, and refuses to answer questions. He has a number of former angels in his blaze, but none of them have kept any of their angelic toys. He spends most of his time launching raids on minor angel outposts, but it is a well-known fact that he wants nothing more than to attack one of the Heavens themselves.

Malphas’ blaze

Malphas the Heavy-Handed was once an Acheroni demon, a disgraced orc working under Gruumsh. He was personally recruited by Tiamat, who found his interest in monsters to be useful. Malphas spends most of his time researching fey monsters, sometimes even capturing and taming them. His blaze is one of the few groups of scientists among the dragons right now, though that will likely change as the other wyrms put more money into research.

Wyrms:

The Acquisitor

Astilabor, the Lady of Hoards, the Green-Scaled Heart, is the wyrm of the Adroit Appraisers. She is known for her shrewd economic insight, as well as a shocking lack of greed. Current estimates put her personal net worth in the neighborhood of several hundred dollars; she has sunk the rest of it into building the dragon economy. She is a harsh and no-nonsense woman who always seems to be rushing around Hoardkeep fixing something. Physically, her modifications are minimal. She has green scales and sharp teeth, but little more. Rumors persist that she has the ability to fly under her own power, but this is unconfirmed. While she is technically a chromatic dragon under Tiamat’s command, she prefers to be left alone so that she can do her work for the good of the culture as a whole.

The Balancer

Lendys, the Justice, the Law-Bringer, the Pure White Order, is the wyrm of the Merciless Justicars. She is a loyal chromatic dragon following Tiamat, and often personally presides over Unholy Ravager trials. However, she gives no special treatment to Tiamat’s men; all are equal on the Balancer’s scales, and she will even fight Tiamat if her judgment is controversial. She has worked with Necessarius several times, but normally through proxies. She seems to avoid getting within ten miles of NHQ if at all possible.

The Chromatic

Tiamat, the Queen of Chromatic Dragons, the Wyrm of Many Colors, Most Beautiful and Terrible. In addition to being the wyrm of the Unholy Ravagers, she commands the chromatic dragons, which consist of Astilabor, Lendys, Garyx, and Falazure. However, in practice, she avoids exerting her authority too much, as she is well aware that her siblings are not particularly fond of her. She is the oldest of Io’s children, though she only beats her twin, Bahamut, by fifteen minutes. She is large and imposing, with wickedly curved horns, a maw filled with dozens of razor-sharp teeth, wings, and scales blending beautifully between the five chromatic colors—black, blue, green, red, and white. On a more personal level, Tiamat is swift, merciless, and unimaginably destructive, but slow to anger and quick to smile. While she is slow to trust, her siblings all grudgingly admit that she would do anything for any one of them.

The Firelord

Garyx, the Destroyer, the Renewer, the Phoenix and the Flame. He is one of the most well-known of the dragon wyrms, as before Io’s death he was a famous party animal, inviting people from every culture to take part in his latest rager. His parties could last for days and were always legendary, though they did have an unfortunate tendency to leave the building a smoking ruin. Now that Garyx is officially a dragon warlord, he has tried his best to rein in his excesses. Parties are still common, but they are less likely to leave people in chem-comas or missing for weeks. He works closely with Hlal, who is trying to get him to control his clan, most of whom are violent berserkers. On a more personal note, Garyx is a small man with blue scales, a large maw with sharp teeth, and a huge horn almost like a rhino’s. The horn has become something of an unintentional symbol of Garyx, and many of his dragons have copies of it. It is almost more common than blue scales.

The Keeper of Tales

Hlal, the Jester, the Joker, is above all else a scientist. Her titles are something of a cruel joke from her siblings—Hlal loves all forms of storytelling and jokes, but she herself is absolutely terrible at them. Her clan is one-half scientists and researchers, one-half novelists and jesters. She struggles to keep both sides balanced, and has yet to find the proper equilibrium. Her people have flashes of inspiration, however, and her entertainment companies are bringing in enough money to keep the clan afloat. Hlal herself has copper-colored scales and large, webbed wings. Her hands are smaller and more delicate than most of her siblings, the better to perform her latest experiments.

The Mercy

Tamara the Silver is by far the kindest of the dragon wyrms. She cares for nothing but healing the sick and comforting the dying, and puts nearly all her money into hospitals. What little money she has left over goes to scientists and researchers trying to discover new medical techniques and cures. She works closely with Chronepsis and his researchers, and also Hlal—though Hlal’s researchers are rarely good enough to be called in on major projects. As her name implies, Tamara has silver scales, buffed almost to a mirror sheen. She is one of the few wyrms not to have wings, but she doesn’t mind.

The Messenger

Aasterinian, the Courier, the Messenger, the Runner. She is a talented programmer and a savant with social media, skills she cultivates in her clan. More than her siblings, her clan mirrors her almost perfectly. Every single Unstoppable Messenger is laser-focused on keeping dragon communications moving smoothly, and they often sell their services to outsiders, which makes them perhaps the richest dragon clan. Aasterinian’s skills are so impressive that it has been theorized that she is secretly a changeling bruscar. While that is unlikely, she does have a small number of bruscar among her ranks, perhaps making her clan unique across the city. Aasterinian herself is a lithe, sinuous beast with brass scales who rarely smiles, but if a joke can get past her defenses, it can leave her rolling on the floor.

The Night

Falazure, the Horror, the Terror, is a loyal servant of Tiamat and a powerful tool in her arsenal. As a former vampire, he is well-acquainted with terror tactics, and more than one enemy of the dragons has only known of his presence when all the lights went out and people started dying. Falazure is a strict, no-nonsense wyrm who refuses to compromise on anything for any reason. He is relatively small for a wyrm, but between his black scales and shadow teleportation, his stealth more than makes up for any physical weaknesses.

The Platinum

Bahamut, the King of Metallic Dragons, the Platinum Dragon, the Shining Ideal. In addition to the Sacred Warders, he commands the metallic dragons, which consist of Hlal, Tamara, Aasterinian, and Chronepsis. He has more authority than Tiamat, and is unofficially the lord of the dragon culture. He is well-liked by his siblings and his followers alike, and fights hard to keep the dragons together in order to honor his father’s dying wish. He once fought with Tiamat, his twin, almost constantly, but he has managed to restrain himself ever since Chronepsis convinced him that the dragons needed to stand as their own culture. While Bahamut himself has platinum-colored scales, the Sacred Warders prefer gold scales to show both loyalty and deference.

The Silent

Chronepsis, the Fate, the Reaper, the Judge. He was the only one of Io’s children present at his death, and the first to become a true dragon. Chronepsis is calm and composed at all times, always calculating the next move. While he himself prefers simple observation, he has invested quite a bit into research and science in order to advance the dragons and the city as a whole. Because of this, his clan is known mostly as scientists and librarians. He has a close relationship with his sister Lendys, who helped him found the dragons. Other than that, he is largely a mystery. He is so closed-off, even to his siblings, that it can be difficult to tell what he is thinking.

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