Age of Dragons: Ambassador-Courtier

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Age Of Dragons: Main Page -> Age Of Dragons: Lifepaths -> Ambassador-Courtier


Words cut deeper than claws[edit]

It had been an interesting month for the Solar Ambassador-Courtier called Voice-of-Reason. He'd convinced a belligerent Argent Dragon to lend his armies to defend the borders of a neighbouring Pure Dragon, and convinced that same self-righteous Pure Dragon to accept that help. In doing so, he'd had to convince both that they were doing him a personal favour, which he in turn would repay by persuading a visiting Ashen Dragon scholar to share the scrolls of lore that he had researched. Of course, this meant giving the Ashen Dragon what he wanted, which was help in getting a pack of Hunter Dragons to lay off harrying his cities. This would be achieved, of course, when the Hunters saw a mass of Argent War Dragons setting up a wayfort on the edge of their sky tribe's territory. Of course, once the Ascendancy threat was dealt with, the Solar could earn a favour off the Hunters by "arranging" for the Argents to go home.

Everyone would benefit, and the only reward for Voice-of-Reason would be the general goodwill of all parties, and the satisfaction of coordinating the war against the Ascendancy. That, of course, and the small measure of wealth that the Solar could earn by having his merchants supply the moving Argent army, the sale of the fort building materials he'd been assidiously stockpiling and the opportunity to converse formally with the Ashen Dragon, and plant some seeds of ideas there to be used and abused in a decade or two once they had time to germinate.

Most importantly, the Argent response would lead to the assured, painful and violent death of Hungry-for-Battle, the Ascendancy general in charge of the assault. That Blood Dragon had duelled with Voice of Reason no less than one hundred and fifty years ago, and left a nasty claw-scar on the Solar's left cheek. It had taken a lot of work to see the Blood Dragon moved up the list of generals to lead this raid, to assure that the Ascendancy force would be inadequate for the job, to make sure that the Argent had a pathological hatred of Blood Dragons and to position the surrounding factions so that the Ascendancy would be cut off from retreat after this attack. It had been a lot of work, but it had been worth every iota of effort.

Negotiation, persuasion and the art of manipulation - these were the tools and weapons of this Ambassador-Courtier, and as Hungry-for-Battle would soon discover, words could cut far deeper than claws.

The Ambassador-Courtier Lifepath[edit]

Dragons are socially adept creatures, with even the most brutish of dragons able to play games of intrigue and manipulation at a level far beyond those of mortals.

Whereas a human might be pleased to persuade an adversary to adopt a certain course of action for the next year, or to socially outmanoeuvre someone in court, Dragons play out their social conflicts on far greater levels. With words in the right places, a dragon can cause kingdoms to topple or enemies to be ostracised from society. They can smear the most loved hero as a traitor, or bring the most unlikely allies into the fold. Likewise, a Dragon will happily work over much larger timescales to achieve his goals, recognising that a major victory that takes one hundred and fifty years is likely worth a lot more than one hundred and fifty trivial victories that take a year each.



Courtier's Charm[edit]

This Lifepath Skill adds the Dragon's Arete in Ambassador-Courtier when calculating Technique for the following types of tasks:

  • Most aspects of spoken conversations, negotiation, persuasion, seduction, intimidation, diplomacy.
  • Written communications, subtle finesse and technique with regards to this.
  • Manipulating others in conversation or in writing. Preventing being manipulated yourself.
  • Maintaining composure in face of social strategies, defending yourself against social manipulation, intimidation and trickery of all sorts.

Charisma of Kings[edit]

This Lifepath Skill adds the Dragon's Arete in Ambassador-Courtier when calculating Technique for the following types of tasks:

  • Addressing crowds, oratory, working the morale of armies or groups of soldiers.
  • Inspiring courage, loyalty or excellence in those under your command.
  • Appearing majestic, regal or noble. Playing on your reputation, or defending your honour.

Political Intrigue[edit]

This Lifepath Skill adds the Dragon's Arete in Ambassador-Courtier when calculating Technique for the following types of tasks:

  • Understanding politics, bureaucracy and webs of intrigue.
  • Working blackmail, indirect manipulation, information management and the like.
  • Being subtle, cunning or indirect in social and political arenas. Defending yourself against the intrigues of others.

Consummate Traveller[edit]

This Lifepath Skill adds the Dragon's Arete in Ambassador-Courtier when calculating Technique for the following types of tasks:

  • Learning new languages, or mastery of known languages.
  • Knowledge of foreign cultures and also of the manifold subcultures of your own region.
  • Absorbing foreign cultures and fitting in with them.


This Lifepath does not have any special Powers associated with it.


The Lore of Words[edit]

The Lore of Words concerns itself with understanding and perceiving the magic inherent in language. Magics of communication and of naming are within the reach of lesser magi and with increasing mastery the lore allows for subtle magics that influence the speech or thoughts of others. Wiht increasing mastery, the Lore becomes less subtle, taking words and infusing them with the celestial power of the draconic elder. These suspires use words like swords, cutting deep into the conscious mind.

  • Arete 1+: Perception and Protection

The dragon can now use his suspires to tell truth from lies, to translate words spoken or written in any language, to spot the unintentional truths hidden behind spoken words, and to recognise spoken magics in all their forms. He can also now shield his mind and those of his colleagues to render them immune to the effects of the Lore of Words. He can use his spells to break existing magical influences on others.

  • Arete 11+: Communication and Naming

With a spell the dragon can send his words to a distant message recepient, with the message travelling as fast as the wind is blowing. The dragon cab also cast spells to name a creature within line of sight, immediately learning the calling name that the creature identifies himself with. Other magics might make your words heard above any background noises, or using mirrors or crystal globes to facilitate long distance conversations. He can also turn his spoken words into writing (by speaking over a prepared book or scroll), and he can make written words speak out loud.

  • Arete 21+: Subtle Influences

A dragon can now bind a target to speak only truth, though he cannot force a target to speak. He can make a target remember his words whether he wants to or not. He can make the words of another sound beguiling or discordant. He can make others feel a surge of emotion, though he can't force them to act on that emotion.

  • Arete 31+: Strong Influences

A dragon can now force a target to silence, or force him to answer a question that is asked of him, while bound to truth. He can empower his words so they have the weight of magic behind them, dramatically increasing his powers of persuasion.

  • Arete 51+: Invasive Magics

The dragon can now get straight into a target's mind with nothing but words. He can mind control, giving orders that cannot be refused. He can speaks mad words to inflict temporary insanity. He can shape someone's perceptions or memories by describing images to them. He can create written works that are so fascinating that the weak willed cannot do anything else till they are done reading.

The Lore of Binding[edit]

The Lore of Binding is the sorcery of social contracts and traditions. This Lore is considered weak by some sorcerers, as so much of it depends on the agreement and consent of all effected by it spells. Ambassador-Courtiers know better: agreement and consent are nebulous things, easily manipulated by a wily courtier, and the spells themselves enforce civilised behaviour with arcane power. With increasing mastery, a Binder can manipulate the celestial laws, working on agreements made by the gods and primordial forces.

  • Arete 1+: Perception and Protection

The Dragon can now perceive Contract Marks wherever they may be, and can interpret them to reveal exactly what bindings are in place. The Dragon can also shield himself and allies to ensure that they are protected from being marked against their will, and can never be affected by Binding magics unless he agrees.

  • Arete 11+: Consensual Bindings / Minor Punishments

The Dragon can now work with consensual contracts of all sort - he can turn a spoken word into an arcane oath, or a promise into a binding geas. Common effects include oaths of brotherhood, oaths of enmity and claims of hospitality. Those who transgress against such bindings are punished by the magics with minor effects - for example, visible and permanent brandings as an oathbreaker, being prevented from flying for a year or suffering moderate injuries. With magic of this level the parties must vocally agree to the conditions of the binding in the dragon's presence. Critically though, they need not be sincere in their agreement, or aware that magical enforcement is going to be placed. A would be poisoner who offers hospitality to his guests can be bound, even if he offered it with the plan to later break his word.

  • Arete 21+: Negation and Modification

The Dragon can now undo or adjust pre-existing bindings, though this usually requires a contest of arcane strength against the magus who first placed them.

  • Arete 31+: Forced Bindings / Major Punishments

The dragon can now force bindings on a target, for example forbidding them to enter a certain area, forcing them to obey a geas given to them or demanding hospitality where none is offered. Such effects generally require a contest of arcane power, however. The dragon can also append major punishments to any bindings he creates - for example, permanent blindness, severe injury, crippled flight or infertility. Needless to say, dragons do not force bindings on each other lightly... doing so is as harsh a crime as physical assault.

  • Arete 51+: Primordial Law / Divine Punishments

The dragon can now make judgments against those who have sinned against primordial law, and can hand out powerful and severe punishments. Crimes in the eyes of primordial law include kinslaying, the murder of hatchlings and sexual intercourse outside of Breed, as well as "lesser" crimes such as betrayal of hospitality and breaking sworn oaths. It is up the GM to deem what can be deemed a crime against Primordial Law, but it should be noted that it is not affected by te subjetcive judgment or morality of either the mage or the perpetrator. Against the lawbreakers, the mage can now inflict terrible punishments, including curses that are handed down through the generations, condemnation of the soul to hell, or infliction of madness or crippling disability.


This Lifepath does not have any special Techniques associated with it.