Age of Dragons: Pure Dragons
The Firstborn of the Goddess
The Pure Dragons claim that when the Mother Goddess birthed the dragons, the first that she created were the Pure, and that she tasked the Pure with rulership over the rest. They also tell that the Mother herself was white of scale, and that the Pure were made in Her own image. The others (they say) are merely facets of a whole... only the Pure Dragons are born complete.
Given this belief, it is somewhat unsurprising that the other draconic breeds often regard the Pure as haughty, and that many dislike the air of superiority that the Pure adopt. However, even the most anarchic and disrespectful of dragons cannot help but grudgingly accept that there is a certain something to the Pure. As a breed, they seem to have an aura of holiness and mystic strength about them, which lends credence to their claims of greater divinity.
Character Creation: Game Rules
- Soma 4
- Sophia 6
- Pneuma 5
Pure Dragons value scholarship and intelligent discourse, and pride themselves on their strength of will and self discipline. Because they are perhaps a little less brawny than some draconic breeds, the Pure tend to eschew violence when possible.
The Blessed Form - Pure Dragons say that their form is one of blessed perfection, and that any who would change it would have to overcome the will of the universe. Whether this is true or not, all Pure Dragons seem to be naturally resistant to magics that change their form. Any magical effect that would directly change a dragon's form (for example polymorphing, mutation, etc.) is automatically resisted and dispelled. Even beneficial effects are resisted in this way. Note that non-magical effects and damage from magical attacks are not resisted.
Aegis of Faith - Pure Dragons believe they have the blood of the Goddess in their veins, and that together with faith that this gives them great strength of soul. Any magical attempts to control or influence their thoughts, sanity or emotions is automatically resisted and dispelled. Even beneficial effects are resisted in this way. Note that this birthright gives no special protection against non-magical effects. Also, this birthright does not give any protection against magical illusions.
Mark of the Gray Apostate - A Pure Dragon is bound by mystical forces to speak only truth. Should he intentionally lie, his skin will become marred by patchy grey blotches. The Pure refer to these marked ones as Gray Apostates, and regard them as sinners of the worst sort. It is not uncommon for more zealous orthodoxists to attack Gray Apostates on sight, and slaying a Gray Apostate is seen as a holy duty rather than a sin. Gray Apostates also lose their Blessed Form and Aegis of Faith birthrights. Note that the Mark does not manifest if the Pure Dragon is mind-controlled into lying, or is not aware that he is lying at the time of the lie, but it does activate even with "white lies" and with obvious fabrications (such as nonsensical statements, telling of made up stories, etc.)
GMs should note that by instinct, Pure Dragons will avoid lying, so it is hard for a Pure Dragon to activate this flaw by accident. If a player character inadvertantly has his character say something that would activate this, the GM should warn him and give him a chance to take his action back, and say something else instead.
Pure Dragons have flawless white scales, as well as white eyes and ivory-white claws. Male Pure Dragons also sport white horns, which tend to run long and straight parallel to the length of the head, and which are circular in cross-section. The Pure demonstrate closer uniformity of appearance amongst themselves than most other breeds, and it is not uncommon for one Pure Dragon to be briefly mistaken for another at first glance. Pure Dragons describe their form as being especially noble and regal, with clean curve of upper jaw and a slight beak-shape to their noses. Others regard these features as undeniably aristocratic, but perhaps a little haughty in expression.
Society and Culture
The primary domain of the Pure Dragons is in the southeast, where they rule over the desert land of Kalarn. Kalarn is a theocracy, ruled by a human priesthood that worships the Mother Goddess, and reveres the Pure Dragons as Her angelic emissaries. Pure Dragons are accustomed to deference and respect from the mortals that surround them, and see their rightful place as rulers of the lesser species. They do not doubt the divine nature of dragonkind, and see themselves as the closest of all breeds to the Goddess.
This tendency towards religion and theocracy means that within the Alliance, the Pure Dragons have gravitated towards control of the Draconic Priesthood. The Orthodoxy is their religion, and they are recognised as the spokespersons of the Faith.
Pure Dragons also tend towards the scholarly, for it is well known that the Mother Goddess loved learning and wisdom. They treasure truth and the recording of truth, and are in control of the White Archive, which is the largest library in the realm. Because Pure Dragons are bound to truth, only truth has any place in the White Archive. The Archive never records fiction, opinion or unsubstantiated hearsay.
This is not to say that the Pure Dragons are all priests and sages - for their religion they are more than willing to take up other lifepaths, and their order of Bright Crusaders have acted as the tooth and claw of the faith for millennia, leading and supporting the million-strong mortal armies of Kalarn.
Beyond Kalarn, scattered Pure Dragons tend to retain their disposition towards the intellectual and the pursuit of truth, if not their tendency towards faith.
Gray Apostates, naturally, are a completely different matter. Because they are hounded by the Orthodoxy, Apostates will often either flee into solitude, or defect to the Ascendancy.
Lifepaths and the Pure Dragons
Almost all Pure Dragons will spend at least some time as a Scholar-Sage, often serving the White Archive of Kalarn. The White Archive is recognised by all (even enemies) to be the greatest library in all the realm, and is both a centre of learning and also a temple to the aspect of the Mother Goddess as keeper of knowledge and truth.
Equally noble is the calling of the Warmaster, especially when in service of the faith as a Bright Crusaders or Templars of the Faith. Traditionally the Templars gather in citadels deep in the desert, hardening themselves and learning the arts of war. They know that they are not as physically strong as the more meat-headed breeds, so tend to favour weaponmastery and strategy over brute force. The elite of the mortal armies of Kalarn also train here as Swords of the Goddess - like their draconic leaders, they are not as great in numbers as some armies, but they more than make up for this in sheer fanaticism and zealous devotion.
Farsky Rangers are not uncommon, with many acting as Missionaries of the Faith as well as Alliance scouts.
Finally, Pure Dragons with an inclination towards creative expression will often join an order of Hallowed Choristers, raising their voices in prayer to the Mother Goddess. Though all Pure Dragons are considered to be Priests of the Orthodoxy, Choristers are considered especially pious and especially close to the Mother.
As with all breeds, Pure Dragons can be found in all walks of life. Mostly they will tie their life-roles in service to their homelands in Kalarn, or at least to the Orthodoxy. Few roles are seen as inherently unholy, though some appeal more to the Pure Dragon mindset than others.
A Gray Apostate that escapes the claws of his brethren will sometimes flee to the lands of the Ascendancy. Within the Ascendancy there is a small clique of Scholar-Sage Apostates that specialise in the writing of "shadow-scriptures" - revisionist histories, false truths and religious tracts created for the Ascendancy's propaganda campaign. The breed proper see these lie-mongers as both a blight on the breed's honour and as worthy of especial hatred.
Shield of Faith, a Bright Crusader of Kalarn, speaks of the lesser breeds:
- Argent Dragons - "If we are the crown, then they are the blade. They are the talon and claw of the southern hosts, and stalwart allies. Thanks to the proximity of our domains, we have clashed with them a few times in the past, but ultimately they are of a like mind to us."
- Solar Dragons - "While we respect their talents as diplomats and peacemakers, the Solars are sometimes too flexible and too willing to bend. Ultimately the golden dragons must realise that there is light and darkness in the world, and it is the duty of servants of light to fight the darkness. They are welcome in our alliance, however."
- Hunter Dragons - "The Hunters claim to revere the Great Mother, but they too often deny the authority of Her church here in the temporal realm. They are beasts, and no more, but even beasts have their uses."
- Forest Dragons - "The green dragons have their own heresy - an animist faith that perverts the words of the true orthodoxy. If they spent less time beneath the canopy, and more time in open sky, their hearts would be opened to the light of the Mother Goddess."
- Storm Dragons - "They are brave, to take the darks of Undersea as their domain, and they defend us from the daemons below the depths. I worry though that their time in the darkness has had an affect on the purity of their souls..."
- Ashen Dragons - "We hold back from war on them only because of the interests of the Alliance, and the greater threat of the Ascendancy. The Ashen espouse heresies, practice foul sorceries and are as unholy as they come. I look forward to the day when we can discard overtures of peace and burn them for the daemon-worshipping scum they are."
- Velvet Dragons - "They are enemies to truth: incubi and succubi who take joy in deception. The Mother Goddess created them only to test our Faith: we must prove ourselves by resisting their seductions."
- Chimerical Dragons - "Strange creatures, half-dragon and half-dream. I want as little as possible to do with them. Thankfully, the feeling seems to be mutual."
- Ghost Dragons - "We sheltered them as they fled the Ascendancy, but that does not mean we enjoy their company. They hail from lands of darkness, and carry darkness within them. I remain unconvinced that they are not spies and advance infiltrators for the Ascendancy. Handle them with care."
- Blood Dragons - "Mindless brutes, blind to the higher mysteries of existence."
- Sable Dragons - "When the Mother birthed the final children of winter, she had so little energy left she could not put any light into their scales or their hearts. Their birth killed the Goddess, and even though she watches and guides us now from the Sky beyond the Sky, this world is denied her living presence because of them. The Sables are unfinished, imperfect and empty. It is little wonder that they seek daemonic energy to fill the void in their souls. I pity them, I hate them and I would give them mercy by ending their existences."