Dragonborn

The Lost Children. Qiendil's Curse. Dragonborn.

At a time synonymous with the end of the Dragonhold on Drm, Oriund was ruled almost entirely by the parchments. (Emperi, Visaous and Master were the only exceptions to this; and there were seven parchments, rather than the modern day number of four.) The most powerful of these parchments, once-Kingpriests of the Drala, was Qiendil, who ruled much of the southeast of Oriund, his borders extending from the Gray Basin out to the Eastwind Oracle.

Qiendil was the Master Parchment. His nation was preeminent among the nations of the day. Proud and imperious, Qiendil ruled from the Stararch Citadel, served by ten thousand slaves.

These slaves were unique. They were among the last of their race, all other members in hiding in the farthest reaches of the Gray Basin. These were the duruban, victims of millennia of suspicion and genocidal campaigns. Perfectly loyal, the duruban believed Qiendil to be their savior as well as their rightful master, for he had intervened to bring them from their homeland, when a major hobgoblin tribe was poised to wipe them out.

As the Dragonhold ended in Drm, Qiendil's might was challenged. Not by one of the other parchments, nor by the puissance of Aemmoral, nor by the powerful armies of Emperi or Visaous. The challenge came from the East, from Eastwind, where all feared to dwell. Etheryl the Lost, whose fate it was to be unbeatable within the sphere of Midlorr, flew from her guardianship at the Oracle, and set upon the lands of Qiendil. Day after day, she would fly and ravage town and countryside. In the midst of the destruction, she would keen and wail, as if a great pain was upon her. Thus began the Dragondearth.

Qiendil, in his pride, first attempted to drive Etheryl from his lands by his own might. But even his possession of a piece of the Godspell proved insufficient, and Qiendil's duel ended in his fleeing the field, close to death. The lost dragon was beyond him alone. Returning to the Stararch Citadel, Qiendil waited for his strength to return, as Etheryl ravished his lands unchecked.

After many weeks, Qiendil, not entirely healed, but recognising that his dominion was about to collapse, left Stararch Citadel. Accompanied this time by his duruban slaves, the Master Parchment marched on Eastwind Oracle itself. It was his intention to destroy his own loyal servants, and utilize the power borne in such a ritual (coupled with his own power) to take control of the Oracle, and use it to cow the mighty dragon.

However, Eastwind was feared for good reason. Malicious and hateful, it delighted in the dark and terrible. Drawn inevitably to the evil mood upon Qiendil, the Oracle read his intentions, and took a hand in proceedings. The ritual went awry, and the Oracle siphoned the power off for itself. Etheryl returned during the conflict, fully under the thumb of the Oracle and its enhanced power and sentience, to battle Qiendil again. Some few duruban remained, still immobilized for the now-ruined ritual, and they fell steadily as dragon and parchment wielded death among them.

Despite injury, Qiendil fought fiercely, recognizing that he was overcome if he could not conquer in that place. He matched the dragon's magic and talon, blow for blow, but he could tell that he was weakening, and Etheryl seemed unharmed. Desperate, the parchment called deeply on the magic of the godspell, riving the very elements in the area. The last shreds of his humenity seemed to slip away under the might that he channeled, and the words under his skin broke apart and reformed under the immense pressure. Though unable to slay Etheryl, Qiendil's Blow was formed of might beyond the world, and she broke the chains of dominion that Eastwind had over her, fleeing the field. In a rage, Eastwind itself amplified the spellbreaking, sending a shockwave of terrible energy over the entire field.

Perhaps because the broken was infused with the power of the Master Scroll, it was enough to grant life to the broken bodies of Qiendil's betrayed slaves. Perhaps because the broken spell had held the most powerful dragon in Midlorr, it carried some of her draconic nature into the twisted frames of the duruban. Perhaps because Eastwind saw all too clearly the consequences of such an action, the dead and dying duruban were transformed. There, on a field of betrayal, blood, and power beyond that of gods, a new race arose.

No longer was Qiendil their savior. He was the Despairmonger, the Cursebringer, the Treacher of Hope. Eastwind whispered to them insistently, and their hatred fanned into a mighty rage. They set upon the most powerful man in Oriund, slaves-no-longer on master-never-deserving.

Qiendil's pride had not diminished, and he set about to destroy his former slaves. But in this he was frustrated, for Eastwind had laid a doom on the dragonborn: that the power of a parchment could not harm them, and that no defense wrought of such power could withstand them. Almost too late Qiendil recognized his danger, as he was thrust to the ground, the tooth-filled maws of several mighty dragonborn closing in on throat, chest, legs and arms. A final, desperate spell teleported the parchment from the field, and the dragonborn were left frustrated.

The mighty dragonborn have dimished since that great day, but for several centuries, their puissance as individuals was beyond that of any other race in Oriund. Though few in number at first, they marched to ancient homelands in The Gray Basin, rescuing what remained of their once-kin, and conquering the hobgoblins of the steppes. Not content with the dreary lands they had been forced to, a great many of the dragonborn crossed the mountains west, and wrested mighty mountain cities from the dwarf lords of the Pillars.

The dragonborn still consider Eastwind to be a holy place, the place of their liberation, though they do not approach beyond a certain spot many miles away, for it is sacred. They worship both the Oracle, and Etheryl, it's dragon guardian, as gods - the Oracle as the Awakener, and the dragon as their Mother. This religion is so deeply ingrained in the dragonborn culture that only a relative few have ever shown an interest in the religions of Emperi or Visaous.

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