Dragon Empire Setting: A Non-"Chromatic" Look at The Three

Written by Grimcleaver.

I've been working on some ideas for the chromatic dragons. There's a lot to juggle here--I want to be able to keep as much of the good story stuff they've come up with for 13th Age (like blue sorcerers) but try and get rid of as much of the D&D notion of color coded dragons as I can.

In a long ago age, the world was dominated by the multi-headed black Void Dragon, an incarnation of darkness and evil that created a Sauron-like structure of assassins and fortresses that held nearly every inhabitant of the world in terror and slavery. The world itself was unable to endure the devastation and birthed a race of guardians to defend it--hordesong dragons that came from the riches beneath the earth, cenotaph dragons that came from places where many had given their lives, arcane dragons from the magical energies of the world, and druidic dragons from the few unspoiled places of dense wilderness left in the world.

They warred against the Void Dragon, and it knew it was beaten if it had to fight all of them at once, so it led them on a merry chase across the world, attempting to separate them to attack one by one or to lose them in the deep places of the world. This time of peace allowed the early races of the world to create a champion out of master artifice the likes of which the world today has no equal. They hammered and breathed life into a dragon of their own made of gleaming metal--A Great Gold Wyrm. By the time the flesh and blood dragons returned, the Wyrm and his legion of freshly minted progeny stood waiting, denying any of them entrance.

Suddenly the dragons of the world found themselves being treated no differently than the original Void Dragon. They retreated together in bitterness.

The Void Dragon cursed them, a curse meant to gradually turn them away from each other:

The Hoardsong became obsessed with gold, believing she could hear it singing beautiful music, her breath weapon became a stream of molten gold.

The Arcane wanted nothing but magic, eventually taking to rulership of a city beneath the Imperial crown and acting like a human in order to stuff her mattresses with spell tomes. Her brilliant blue breath weapon of pure magic has caused her to become known as the Blue.

Cenotaph became enamored of the dead, squatting on vast cemeteries, inventorying the bones, pouring over the names and histories, becoming a sickly pale and ashen creature. Jealousy over the dead drew it into conflict with the Lich King and it was destroyed. The Void Dragon smiled. Now the progeny of Cenotaph serve the empire, guarding the bodies of the dead and looking to avenge their progenitor. Like their parent, the cenotaph dragons breath a churning storm of whirling bone fragments and crematory ash.

The Druidic loved unspoiled places and tended and slinked silently through their quiet miles, body clung with mosses and patches of mushrooms. He would kill any invader regardless of their purpose. His breath weapon, a torrent of new life--moss, branches, and glowing glittering insects engulfs and consumes his foes, recycling them into other forms. Eventually for the elven nation to be safe, they needed to dispose of him. They captured and caged him in a titanic battle, but the least expected of all things happened. He fell in love with their Elf Queen as the embodiement of the unspoiled wild. She finds she loves him too, but for appearance sake must never let anyone know that he is anything but her prisoner. The druidic dragons continue their founder's solitary ways.

For now the Void, the Arcane and the Hoardsong are jointly known as an Icon known as The Three--but the Void forsees the coming of a new age soon, when the fates of the two lost Dragons are made sure, when he can begin turning the Arcane and Hoardsong against one another--and he then consume both, and rise once more. With the Gold Wyrm lodged in the Abyss, there is none to stop him. Once more the world will have a single master!

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