Age of Dragons: Blood Dragons
Lords of Slaughter
While the Ghost Dragons are obsessed with the death-realm of the Void Beyond, and the Sable Dragons are loremasters of death and ending in the world, Blood Dragons approach their study of death in a much more literal fashion: they learn to kill.
To a Blood Dragon, slaughter and murder are fields of expertise to be mastered. They take pride in being the best killers in the realm - warriors without peer, war-generals of strength and prowess, magi dedicated to the most destructive arts and ruthless assassins who have mastered their art. Whether using steel, flame, sorcery or sheer physical might they are truly the Lords of Slaughter.
Character Creation: Game Rules
- Soma 6
- Sophia 4
- Pneuma 5
Blood Dragons are kings of the battlefield, revelling in slaughter - a role which their potent physical power lends well too. Despite having strong pneuma they generally eschew more complex social interactions, preferring instead intimidation. Their strong pneuma also makes them potent sorcerors. They may be less knowledgeable than other breeds, but they know how to kill, and for a Blood Dragon that's enough.
Eyes of Murder - If something can be killed, the Blood Dragon knows how. Just by looking at a target, the Blood Dragon will instantly be aware of all the methods through which that creature can be killed, as well as being aware of any methods that would not work. For example, a Blood Dragon looking at a human would recognise that the human can be killed by physical damage, can be drowned, burnt, suffocated, starved, poisoned, etc. In contrast a Blood Dragon assessing a potent demon may instantly realise that the entity is immune to physical damage of most sorts, but can be killed by weapons made of silver. This Birthright does not offer specific plans for murder of course - it merely provides an assessment of immunities and broad vulnerabilities.
Blood Frenzy - During conflicts the Blood Dragon may decide to enter a blood frenzy, allowing his rage to direct him. If he does so, then for the rest of that scene he gains +1 to physical Technique, but -1 to mental, social and arcane Technique.
Fiery Hearts - Blood Dragons are short tempered and prone to following their emotions rather than their common sense. In social and mental conflicts and challenges where their temper puts them at a disadvantage they are at -1 Technique.
Blood Dragons are red-scaled, with dark crimson on their back plates and bright scarlet on chest and ventral surfaces. They are physically heavy built, have curved horns with underside serrations, and often have chitinous blades protruding in lines from their back armour plates. The entire appearance of the Blood Dragon lends to a sense that they were built for war and slaughter, from their squat bulldog-faces, to their powerfully muscled upper limbs. Blood Dragons regard other breeds as weakling cousins, and their blustering and brutish behaviour mirrors their physical appearance. Blood Dragon eyes are solid black, save for a pin prick of yellow in the centre.
Society and Culture
The self-proclaimed Lords of Slaughter have existed in much the same form since the beginning of the First Age, more interested in the glory of destruction rather than in creating Empires or a grand culture.
While individual Blood Dragons will often establish domains (through force of arms) and may raise armies and war-hordes, it is uncommon for them to oversee the building of cities or nation states. More often they will lead their followers in war after war, till they meet their ends in battle.
Before the Ascendancy, Blood Dragons would be as likely to war against each other as to cooperate, and the Blood Dragon dominated lands would often be little more than ruin-studded wastelands. With the rise of Endless Night, however, the Blood Dragons have found new purpose.
Now the Blood Dragons have been told that they are not just warring because it feels right, but rather because they are Holy Avatars of Destruction, and Priests of Slaughter. They now know that in war they serve the rising god that is Endless Night. Those that have looked upon Endless Night with their Eyes of Murder ability have stated that he is a perfect being, without any weakness and with no means to be killed. This in itself has convinced many Blood Dragons of His divinity. As servants of the Ascendancy they now have considerably more focus, and though still prone to the occasional short-tempered battle between brothers, they now follow the Ascendancy's grand war-plan. The breed are the warlords and warriors of the Ascendancy, with almost every Blood Dragon tying his fate to the success of the Ascendancy.
Lifepaths and the Blood Dragons
Without a doubt, Blood Dragons are most inclined to be Warmasters. The art of war is one that is second nature to a Blood Dragon. Within the Ascendancy, the majority of Warmasters fall into two camps. On the one hand, there are the Lords of Slaughter, who pride themselves on personal strength of arms, and whose baroqued blacksteel armour is a mark of martial honour. On the other, there are the War-Priests of Endless Night who raise and command vast hordes, leading them into battle against the enemies of the Ascendancy.
Many War-Priests will also study as Demonbinders and Sarcomancers in order to add summoned creatures to their war-strength. Indeed, in the study of these Lifepaths, the Blood Dragons consider themselves to be unmatched experts.
In contrast, a Lord of Slaughter is more likely to seek additional battle techniques, perhaps as a Redtooth Berserker. The Lords of Slaughter refer to their berserkers as Knights of Bloodfury, and respect them as being amongst the greatest warriors in their number. A small number of Lords of Slaughter pursue the Lifepaths Scholar-Sages, but focus on the war-magics of the Battlemagi. Finally, a minority who are interested in the more artful forms of murder will pursue the Lifepath of the Physical Adept, and use the skills acquired to specialise as Redknife Assassins.
Caress-of-Sanguine-Steel is a Lord of Slaughter, and she speaks of the weaker breeds:
- Pure Dragons - "We have never worshipped their Goddess and we never will. Endless Night is my Lord, and the Death God is my patron."
- Argent Dragons - "These are foes worthy to be met in open battle. I salivate in anticipation of the taste of their blood."
- Solar Dragons - "Weaklings, especially at night time. The only mercy I offer them is quick death."
- Hunter Dragons - "Brutal creatures! I envy their claws and teeth, but ultimately I am the better Warmaster."
- Forest Dragons - "Mere numbers do not compensate for their physical weakness. We win every fight against them."
- Storm Dragons - "Hard to fight, if only because the cowards hide underwater. Still, they bleed as easy as any other once you catch them."
- Ashen Dragons - "Tricksy bastards, with more surprises in battle than you'd credit them for. All's fair in murder and war though, so I bear no grudge."
- Velvet Dragons - "A Velvet stole my sister's heart once, and laid a Harlequin seed in her belly. I repaid him with bloody castration."
- Chimerical Dragons - "They are blessed with insanity, yet theirs is the weak sort of madness, rather than the strong storm of unfettered rage. They are easily killed."
- Ghost Dragons - "I never trusted the Ghost Scholars. I am unsurprised that they betrayed the North, but my steelclaws will wreak revenge on their feeble flesh when we catch them."
- Sable Dragons - "Endless Night has given us purpose and unity, and for that I am forever grateful. The Sable breed are his children, and they are worthy of our deference."