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Brave, New World

Chapter 3: Dwarven, Elven, and Dragon Kingdoms

by Charles Dunwoody
Dec 15,2004


Brave, New World

Chapter 3: Dwarven, Elven, and Dragon Kingdoms

By Charles Dunwoody

We have started working on the kingdoms of the world of Dragon Suns. I have included some ideas for a dwarven kingdom. Ace Calhoon came up with an idea about the kingdom of the elves of the world.

Dwarven Realms

The dwarves of the world of Dragon Suns are a race enjoying a resurgence of power and influence in the world. Living underground, the dwarves were hit less hard by the loss of the sun than many other races. They have become traders and noble warriors, supplying the surface races with weapons and food and engaged in war against the aberrations.

The largest dwarven nation lives in the square mountain range south of the largest lake on the Eberron map we're using. The Blight is right in the middle of the continent, just east of the dwarven realm.

Rule Option: Gold dwarves as described in the DMG are another common race of dwarves. Many become rulers and leaders in dwarven society. Many gold dwarves are paladins.

Elven Realms

Unlike the dwarves who weren't hit quite so hard as the humans by the world's change, the elves would have been hit much harder. Succumbing to grief at the disfigurement of the world's natural order, the once-proud elven nations have splintered into a multitude of fragments. These fragments can be divided into three main categories:

The scholars: in their sorrow, these elves have withdrawn to academia. Lost in their studies, they do not sustain themselves, producing neither food, clothing, nor shelter of their own. Most scholar enclaves are under the care of good-aligned dragons in their capital cities. Few scholars venture from their ivory towers to adventure.

At the direction of their dragon masters, the scholars are working with the dragons to elevate a dragon god to be the next sun god (any sun is better than the small dragon suns). This could create conflict between them and the humans. However, if they succeed it could bring them out of despair and apathy and back into the light. Use the gray elves from the Monster Manual.

The savages: these elves have lost themselves to savagery and grief. Casting aside the needs and cares of civilization, these tribal nomads pass from ruin to ruin in the wilds of the land. Despite their name, the savages are rarely a warlike or violent people. The rage many barbarians feel is for the savage elves more of a focused outlet for their grief, rarely displayed but dangerous when unleashed. More likely to join an adventuring group than the scholars, savages are still an uncommon sight away from their tribes. Use the wild elves from the Monster Manual but with favored class of barbarian.

The explorers: these often solitary elves seek to learn all they can about their new world, in an attempt to rebuild elven society. Some explorers believe that the key to this is to learn about the new circumstances of the world and adapt themselves to it. Others seek to bend the world back into the form it once had. Explorers often join adventuring parties to further their research of the land.

Rule Option: an explorer's favored class is ranger rather than wizard.

The Concept Behind the Elves by Ace Calhoon

In my experience, elves usually come through just about everything unscathed, or become really angry about it. I've tried to put a slightly different flavor on it, playing on grief and mourning instead of rage and vengeance. It also helps de-homogenize the race, pulling it closer to a mundane ("human") race, and further from a magical race (which tend to stick closer to a single alignment/culture).

I was sort of envisioning the scholars more as NPCs than playable characters. They're literally trying to lose themselves in studies, writings, etc. If the dragons and other races didn't provide food and shelter for them, they would die. They present a ghostly appearance, revenants of a by-gone age... And their attitudes tend to be horribly depressing. In short, if you want to know something, or hear a very good but depressing poem/song, go to the scholars. If you want fireballs, talk to someone who's still fully alive. 'Course, that's just my take on it. This is a group project, after all.

Drow in Dragon Suns

During a discussion about the elves, the idea of using the drow as an evil elven race worshipping the evil goddess was suggested. Ace suggested traditional drow, some type of aberrant elves, or slightly skewed variants of the drow.

Dragon Kingdoms Ideas

Here's a recap of some suggestions by Paul Mitchener on dragon kingdoms to get us started:

Two dragon nations, who are rivals but generally cooperate. Both contain under 100 dragons for ecological reasons that are easy enough to work out.

One of the two kingdoms is a complete Athenian-style democracy (easily possibly with such low numbers).

The other was stratified into castes based upon color.

Rule Option: Two dragons of different colors can interbreed (although this breeding is illegal in the caste-based society). Virtually any colored dragon could result from such a pairing; very few dragons are 'pure'.

More Dragon Kingdom Ideas

These ideas came from Entropist. He (or she can't tell from the signature!) also has some great discussion on the nature of the dragon suns. Check it starting here: http://www.rpg.net/forums/phorum/pf/read.php?f=148&i=29&t=12

Who is the leader of the kingdom? Usually a dragon but not always.

Is the leader always the creature that creates/controls the dragonsun? If not, that creature might not be the "official" leader, but would certainly wield disproportionate influence. I'm sure it would take quite a lawful good dragon to give up that kind of influence.

Can control of a dragonsun be transferred from one creature to another? I know you said the secret or creating one was possible for other races.

I would strongly recommend that no non-dragon would be publicly known to have created a dragonsun - at least at the opening of the game. A secret like that would be impossible to contain and it would completely change the face of the game.

Plus, the dragons would likely gang up to crush the upstart to protect their power immediately. They would probably try to prevent the spread of the knowledge, but borders would have to completely close off, which wouldn't be good for wandering adventurers. And it would just take one to get through - heck, they could even spout it off to their captors when trying to cross lines. Unless every border guard is 100% trustable (right..) it would get out.

Some non-dragon leader MAY have learned how to create one, but has realized all this and is trying to play off a facade of actually being a dragon him/herself while covertly organizing resistance. Dangerous game to play.

I'm assuming that not all these societies are entirely composed of dragonkind. Some may be, but I would assume that most would have a cadre of dragon rulers (or even a single one) with other races as subjects. I would doubt if a world would naturally support more than a couple thousand dragons.

Next Month

We start defining some of the dragon kingdoms. If anyone comes up with some ideas for halfling, gnome, half-elf, or half-orc kingdoms we may cover some of those ideas as well.

May you always roll a 20 when you need it most, Charlie

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What do you think?

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