Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Celestial Empire and the Green and the Gold

Easily Ishtean's largest neighbor, the 'Celestial Empire' was the alleged epitome of Elven cultural superiority. Given the large number of elves that emigrated/fled elsewhere, there is plenty of room for debate without even addressing the Drow...

Celestial Empire - The full name is 'The Eternal and Changeless Celestial Empire of Tranquility". An Elven empire that (they insist) existed since the dawn of time. Each Emperor would rule for 500 years before stepping aside. The empire valued perfection in all things, citizens would typically devote their lives to one and only one field of endeavor. Of course perfection became well documented, and so one's success is measured against the 'The Values',  a vast series of works describing in painful detail what every hour of every day of every year should look like for any given professional, the Emperor being the epitome of this. An exceptional Emperor may even add to 'The Values', but this has not happened in recorded history. 
The last known Emperor before the Collapse was loathe to part ways with the throne, and the Empire fell at the dawn of the 501st year of his rule.

The Dragonborn do not worship them as gods, but they both fear and revere them as their leaders.

The Green and the Gold - Two ancient dragons who rallied the Dragonborn throughout the continent ,started them on the path of Exile, found sanctuary for them on a volcanic island in the frozen north, and helped to train them for their crusade to bring order back to the world.

Why did the Dragonborn just 'up and move' to a frozen volcanic island?

The Exile - War was coming... again. The Dragonborn had always been a wandering people, with no real kingdom to call their own. Although they were quite like Humans in this one regard, humans had a remarkable talent of blending in to other cultures, whether the Dwarf and Gnome dominated Ishtean Enterprise or even the never changing blossom of 'perfection' that was the Celestial Empire.
Dragonborn on the other hand always operated at the fringes, valued for their skills as mercenaries during any of the multitude of wars waged by the multitude of lesser kingdoms, they could earn coin for their people fighting these wars, until a short lived peace would come.
The cycle of war and peace was unbroken, and rythmic. The Celestial Empire acted as a metronome for events, their predictable patterns swinging the continent into peace or into war, into feast or into famine with predictable regularity.
Two ancient dragons, known only as the Green and the Gold, knew this would soon come to an end when the Emperor would refuse to step down from his throne. 
Taking it upon themselves to reforge the world after it was broken, they rallied the Dragonborn on a march across the continent, adding to their numbers as they moved. 
When the multitude reached Derge, the Ishteans feared their great numbers, but also saw an opportunity for profit. Ships were sold to the Exiles, in most cases at a greatly inflated rate, and often with severe but hidden structural damage. If the fool Dragonborn wished to drown in the frozen sea, so be it, at least they would make some coin.
A quarter of the Dragonborn died at sea, and those remaining arrived at Dragonholme, a large volcanic island in the frozen north that would sustain life, but not comfortably.
The Exile was the anvil, and the Dragonholme would be the hammer that would reforge the Dragonborn into a force that could impose order on the world.

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