Age of Dragons: Solar Dragons
One Sky, One Sun
Solar Dragons see all Dragonkind as a single race, and are fond of noting that while different colours of scale may exist, all dragons belong beneath a single sky and a single sun.
For the Solars, the disunity of dragons is a source of great frustration to them. They see that the Mother Goddess created each breed with a distinct role in mind, but that she never intended them to strive against one another.
The central paradox that Solars recognise, is that to achieve harmony, conflict may be required. To gain peace, the price may be war. The Solars were responsible for creating the Alliance of Light, and one day hope that all dragons can be united within this Alliance.
To this end, they will fight those who seek to divide. They will always try to talk and negotiate first, but if that fails their teeth and talons are always ready for battle.
Character Creation: Game Rules
- Soma 5
- Sophia 4
- Pneuma 6
Solar Dragons are socially adept, magically gifted and artistic. Generally they prefer negotiation to open battle, but should the need to fight arise they can still handle themselves. While they might not be as strong willed or academic as some dragons, they accept the blessings and weaknesses they have with equanamity, happy to be the Children of the Sun.
Children of the Sun - Solars have a natural affinity for the sun. At any time that there is sunlight falling directly on their scales they add +1 to their Technique level for all purposes.
Nocturnal Malady - Solar Dragons are creatures of light, and suffer a palpable weakness at night time. Between the end of sunset and the start of sunrise they suffer a -1 penalty to their Technique level for all purposes.
Solar Dragons have gold-scales, but their colouration runs through a range of metallic hues on a single dragon, from bright metallic yellow-white through to burnished bronze. Brighter colours tend to be found dorsally, with females more likely to have dappled patches on the border between the bands of light and dark shades, and males more likely to have smooth transitions of hue. Solar Dragons tend to have green or blue eyes, which are solid orbs of colour (without pupil or iris), but significantly brighter centrally than at the edges. Their body shape is slimmer and (in their opinion) more elegant than that of their Pure and Argent cousins, and their faces generally regarded as more open and friendly, though perhaps without the regal bearing of those two breeds.
Society and Culture
Solar Dragons maintain close ties to the Free Cities of the southern coasts. The cities are blessed with balmy climates, long hot days and gentle seas. To the north of the Free Cities is the Empire of Arrantis, and to the south is the Ocean of Dreams.
The Free Cities are each governed independently by their mortal populations, but rather than being ruled by kings and nobles are overseen by the powerful Merchant Guilds. The Guilds maintain their power through gold rather than force of arms, and the few instances of disagreement between Arrantis and the Free Cities have usually been resolved by negotiation, trade and diplomacy rather than in pitched battle.
Solar Dragons have no role in the government of the Free Cities, though more than a few have influence in the senior echelons of the Guilds. They recognise no central authority in their breed either, but have a general respect for age and experience. Pacts of friendship and ancient alliances tie the Solars to one another, but the breed as a whole places great stock in the right to individual autonomy.
As a result of this, Solars are often regarded as the "little brother" of the Alliance, incapable of raising great armies to wage war and with no true authority in their homeland. What these observers may not realise is that the Solars are the heart of the Alliance itself - they are the very glue that binds it together.
The Alliance exists only because of the Solars and all Alliance council meetings of any consequence are held in the "neutral territory" of the Free Cities. Through persuasion, intrigue, diplomacy and sheer wealth the Solars hold the keys to power in the Alliance of Light... and should politics fail, the Solars are fierce warriors in their own right: anyone thinking that the Free Cities have no protectors would be sorely mistaken...
Lifepaths and the Solar Dragons
When the Solars are mentioned, most dragons immediately think of the Solar Emissaries that follow the path of the Ambassador-Courtier. The Emissaries are the voice of the Alliance both at home and abroad, offering the hand of friendship to those who have not yet joined, and strengthening resolve and camaraderie within those who are already allied. Emissaries are renowned as peacemakers and expert negotiators, defusing disagreements between allies before they can escalate into division, and always seeking to strengthen the Alliance of Light from within.
There is, of course, a darker side to the Emissaries. Having recognised the Ascendancy as diametrically opposed to their core values, they are happy to lie, deceive and spread propaganda to weaken that enemy. For the Solars, the war against the Ascendancy must be fought with words as well as force of arms.
Despite the external perception of the breed as a collection of ambassadors and negotiators, for the Solars themselves the path they most readily identify themselves with is that of the Physical Adept. For Solars, this path represents the perfect combination of self-discipline, adaptability and expression of individual mastery. Solars also believe that you cannot understand a race unless you have walked in their skin, and as such are especially interested in the polymorph skills that are associated with this lifepath. A large number of Solars spend a good deal of their time in human form, walking covertly amongst the men of the Free Cities, and sometimes farther afield. These are known as Sun Princes, for their habit of posing as merchant leaders, and accumulating vast amounts of gold through their trading skills.
The Solars, more than any other Order-aligned breed, also recognise that individual dragons should seek to optimise their own strengths rather than adopting an archetypal role. The Solar Duellists, for example, are amongst the best equipped and most skilful Alliance Warmasters there are, concentrating as they do on draconic combat rather than mass warfare. Solar draconic Scholar-Sages have made the Free City Universities a place esteemed for its high learning, especially in the fields of mathematics and astronomy. Likewise, the Alliance Lifepaths of Far-Sky Ranger, Hatchery Guardian, Hallowed Chorister and Sky Dancer are well represented by the Solars, and those Solars that pursue these paths are well respected for their diverse skill sets.
Perhaps because of this freedom, there are fewer Solar defectors to the Ascendancy than from any other Alliance breed. Those that do go are seen as fools, but regarded as misguided rather than hateworthy.
Zenith's Blessing, a Solar Emissary of the Free Cities speaks frankly of the draconic breeds:
- Pure Dragons - "Their divinity is without question, but then so is the divinity of all dragons and all races. They are our friends and allies."
- Argent Dragons - "Proud soldiers and honourable dragons - they have our respect for their determination... though perhaps not for their lack of mental flexibility."
- Hunter Dragons - "Ah, the noble savage! They would be a welcome addition to our Alliance of Light, though they may need a little taming."
- Forest Dragons - "Harmony with one's environment is all very laudable, though perhaps not as important as harmony with one's brothers and sisters. Their society is primitive and insular, yet strangely fascinating."
- Storm Dragons - "They guard the dragonrealm from the dangers of the deep, and we are grateful to them for that. Each breed has its role to play, and this is theirs."
- Ashen Dragons - "They can never be true friends, till they are willing to see us as the same. Cast aside your paranoia and suspicion, Ashen one, or it will destroy you."
- Velvet Dragons - "They, at least, are willing to talk. However, be wary when you deal with them, for they are adept at deception."
- Chimerical Dragons - "Gentle souls, built too fragile for this rough world. We admire their beauty and wisdom."
- Ghost Dragons - "Poor broken dragons, you have our pity and our charity. We will protect you."
- Blood Dragons - "More beast than dragon, yet the Mother birthed them to be our race's greatest warriors. If only they were not so misguided..."
- Sable Dragons - "They seek domination, and that is wrong. They deal with gaunts and nightshades, and that is worse. Sable brother, why would you sell our race's birthright to daemons?"