Tieresia : The Seven Year War
The dragonborn are a race with a long memory — mostly because they are quite literally descended from the first dragons of the realms.
Or at least, their nobility is. While the Noble Houses of the dragonborn civilization are descended from the great wyrms themselves, the rest are more a collection of banner houses and sworn swords. How does one tell a true noble of the dragonborn race from one of his bannermen? It’s in the horns — for only one bearing true blood of the dragon develops the so-called ‘draconic crown,’ and those destined to rule are said to even grow wings as they age.
Long ago, the dragonborn race subjugated the Eastern continent and each Noble House took a region for its own. The Noble Houses are descended directly from every individual type of chromatic and metallic dragon, and while they aren’t exactly in a civil war it has been aeons since the Noble Houses flew their banners together.
The documented Noble Houses of the dragonborn are: (translated from draconic, of course)
- Crimson Princes: The blooded of the red dragon, the absolute sovereigns of the East. The Emperor has always been of this House, and some even claim that the current Emperor is in fact the very first; supposedly his draconic blood is so strong that he has achieved full draconic immortality. While the Houses are too scattered across the continent to be in this House’s absolute grip, it is known that none can override the Red Law when it is invoked. The red-scaled rulers say that there is only one stratagem they employ: “I win.”
- Azure Riders: Those of blue descent took advantage of their breed’s predisposition to the desert, and rule the wastelands of the Eastern continent. They are a harsh folk, grim of aspect and rare of humor, plundering what free cities they find out there and enacting the ‘steel toll’ on any who would dare pass through their lands.
- Silver Wavemen: In ancient history, the silver dragons were known to be the most adept at relating with the ‘mortal’ races. The dragonborn Empire translated this into creating the greatest traders of the East, for this Noble House conquered the coasts and have the prestigious duties of maintaining trade and securing allies from beyond the continent.
- The Black: The mystics who were the spiritual heart of the Empire in ages past, they were wiped out by their rulers for harboring forbidden magicks within their swampland hideaways.
- The Gold Claw: When the black-of-scale failed in their duty, the red rulers tasked their foremost advisors and messengers with maintaining the Empire’s faith. Thus from being the second-in-command of the entire Empire, the gold-scales were elevated to being its keepers of philosophy and religion. Notoriously pacifistic, they are the Noble House that most often hires (or enslaves) nondraconic races to handle the dirty work; all the better to preserve their image of being the calm center of the entire Empire’s religion while lesser folk do their bloodletting.
- White Guard: Though still bearing the blood of a true dragon, the white-scaled ones are the lowest in the hierarchy of draconic nobility. For this, they were sent to conquer the inhospitable realms of the North, and forced to erect a wall to guard the Empire from any would-be invaders. That was in the past, for a horde hailing from distant Kestari had breached the Wall and nearly eradicated the White Guard; eventually the invaders were put down by other nearby Houses, and the Red Law summarily decreed that the Wall’s former defenders be hunted down like wild dogs.
The Western continent knows very little of the other Noble Houses.
From the dragonborn who’ve crossed the sea into Tieresia, the Westerners have learned that every House has a specific motto. It begins by identifying one’s House (or oneself via an epithet or honorific, if the speaker is distinguished), then proclaiming one’s draconic elemental affinity via a two-phrase sentence, and during battle ends with a fighting tribute to the respective element. The rigid feudal culture of the Empire has each and every House following the exact same structure with their mottos.
Generally dragonborn recite the house motto without the final battlecry when being formal. Proclamations in entirety are made while forming up before charging into war, and during smaller skirmishes they tend to simply cry out the ending battlecry.
A few example House mottos are:
- “I am a Crimson Prince. Flame is my mate, the blaze is my hearth. Ash is my wake!”
- “I am a Silver Waveman. Cold is my brother, the storm is my bed. Ice is my blade!”
Dragonborn in Tieresia could be on the Western continent for a number of reasons: greed, wanderlust, youthful exuberance and so on. Regardless of motivation for sailing all the way here, all of these travelers from the East have one thing in common: they bring with them their sense of honor and justice, as well as an attitude of arrogance; after all, those bearing the blood of the dragon are meant to inherit the world, and all beings are beneath them. At least, that’s what the dragonborn think; while they may have carved out a mighty Empire to the East, the reality of it is that beyond their lands they are little more than foreign mercenaries. Mercenaries with brute muscle and elemental breath, yes, but hired swords just the same. Many of them use words like ‘adventurer’ or ‘warrior-pilgrim’ to sugarcoat it as a result.