Rise of the Ashen Crown
Defining Features: Dragonmarks
Defining features is the segment where I go into greater detail about feats and class features and how they affect the game, as well as new features and feats that may be added. In this post we discuss a favorite of another setting: Eberron’s Dragonmarks.
It is easy to forget in a history written by the Metronians that other great civilizations existed, many for centuries, if not thousands of years before Metroniel descended. Two such civilizations that are remembers are the empires of Bael Turath and Arkhosia. The two had been in conflict for nearly a thousand years by the time Metroniel descended and some heretical historians argue that it was only the weakened states of these mighty empires that allowed them to be defeated by Metroniel’s hosts.
In their wars against each other and later against the Hosts, the empires came up with new and interesting ways to war with each other. While the Infernal Empire sought to strengthen the might of its most powerful weapons and manufacture new demons from the souls of the wicked, the Dragons – led by Io – took a different approach.
The dragons sought out an ancient race of powerful and immortal magicians and implored with these creatures, seeking a way to make all of their forces stronger. The dragons knew they could best any of the demons in one on one combat, but their enemies were legion, and powerful as well. The dragons knew they needed stronger foot soldiers.
The ancient magician thought and then revealed to them a solution. There was a way to bind their individual powers into magical symbols that could be bestowed upon their greatest champions. These symbols or marks would grant the user great power, but at steep cost; the one making the mark would need to give up some of his life force to power it. It was a form of magic that no dragon had ever seen before, beyond arcane or divine, one that was unique only to dragons to be able to perform due to their close ties to magic power. While many in council blanched – even Io, calling it necromancy – 13 agreed to undergo the ritual that would allow them to grant marks.
They were as follows:
Cannith was a Copper dragon obsessed with knowledge. It was his home, the sands of Ja’Rad that the demons first invaded on. While he himself was not an excellent combatant, he did have knowledge of war machines and magical items. Thus it was that his was the Mark of Making.
Deneith was a Steel dragon like many of his kind, he was a soldier, a guardian, a protector. Always on the front lines, it was only a savage injury to one of his wings that rent it clean from his body that made his stopped fighting on the lines and make a mark. His was the Mark of Sentinal.
Ghallanda was another draogn at home in the desert who had her home stolen from her. A Brass dragon, she always valued good conversation and entertainment. And it was she who often mentioned the value of keeping morale high with those things. And hers was the Mark of Hospitality.
Jorasco loved all life and all creatures, as do most Bronze dragons. She especially was known for reaching out to the injured and beleaguered and aiding them, even the early dwarves and elves, who had no part in the war, but still suffered. So hers was the Mark of Healing.
Avaricious and greedy even among his kind, Kundarak the Adamantine dragon always felt that what was his was intended to stay his and would lock down his possession deep in the earth. He only agreed to the Mark out of fear that the demons would win and take it all from him. He made the Mark of Warding to protect his own interests.
Lyrandir the Blue was also called Queen of the Sky. She would engage every battle from the air, her brilliant blue hide seeming like the sky itself was hurling deadly lightning bolts down on her foes. But after demon magic stole her lightning breath, she felt vulnerable, and felt that surrounding herself with her marked ones would make her feel stronger. The Mark of Storm is her gift to the dragonmarked.
Medani already knew how the conflict would end. He was a Mithral dragon, and was prone to acts of foresight. However, he also knew that it was inevitable and that the only way to ensure the survival of his people was to make the mark, no matter how flawed the idea. His was the Mark of Detection
Orien of the Sand ws a Brown dragon and a rival and companion of Lyrandir. He was prone to racing her, ground against sky and seeing who was faster and better. While she cared about freedom, he cared about her. The Mark of Passage represents his intent to chase her always.
Sivis the Silver, also called the Chronicler was the one who kept records of the council’s decision. When war broke out, Sivis sent coded messages, kept safe from the prying eyes of the demons. It was this that his was the Mark of Scribing.
Tharashk was a Grey dragon, the pursuer, the hunter. When he got your sent, you were doomed. His ability to track his foe to the ends of Arkhosia and even beyond was only matched by his ferocity in combat. The Mark of Finding represents that tenacity.
No one trusted Phiarlin and as he was a Purple dragon, he trusted no one, so in his eyes everything was in balance. His men were the spies and the thieves, the secret force fighting the secret war against imps and shadow demons. He gave birth to the Mark of Shadow.
Vadalis was rare for a Green dragon, in that his fascination with creatures and beasts of the field was not limited to taste. He found them interesting and was fascinated in how they grew and evolved and how they could be trained by lesser races as dragons trained the lesser races. Thus his was the Mark of Handling.
Vol was the youngest and most impetuous of the dragons to agree to the process but also the one who lost the most. The demon lord Orcus had taken her entire clutch and then her flight, leaving her alone and filled with murderous hate. So it is no wonder that she bore the Mark of Death.
After the ritual the dragons marked their most blessed champions and taught them to mark others. Soon, while the dragons themselves were growing weaker, their armies grew stronger. However, the weakness of the dragons was shared. During one such battle, the green dragoness Vol, whom had decided to use her mark for the purpose of death, was struck down by none other than Orcus. With her death, all her marked died as well. Then in an act of horror, Orcus raised the dragoness; and all her marked rose as well.
It was now that the dragons saw the true price of the Dragonmarks; if they died, so did all the ones they had marked. So they once again went the the ancient magician. And the magician said that in order for their Marked children to survive, they had to survive. So he offered them a solution. Each of them went into hiding, affected by a ritual that would make them live eternally. Unfortunately, they would also sleep eternally.
The dragons, for the sake of their offspring, agreed. The marking continued and the war waged on, right up until Metroniel stomped down and ended the war and destroyed the dragon race. The secret of the Dragonmark was lost with the culture of the Dragon, lost to the ravages of conquest and time.
But somewhere in the multiverse, 12 dragons yet live, in eternal slumber. And from them, if the rituals could ever be learned again, great power could be gleamed…
Mark of the Dragon
Cost: 15 gp plus exotic component, special
Market Price: —
Time: 1 Hour
Key Skill: Arcana
The caster enscribes an arcane and esoteric pattern onto the
flesh of a touched individual. This symbol is escribed with
special herbs and inks costing 15 gp. Further, blood of a true
dragon is required to grant the mark its real power. Without, the
blood, the mark is permanent, but cosmetic, giving no change
Even the blood is not entirely enough. One was also satisfy the
spirit of the dragon from whom they are receiving the mark. When
the Mark is finished, it opens a link to the dragon who’s mark
they are receiving and during the recipient’s next extended rest
they will be visiting by the dragon and asked to prove themselves
worthy of the Dragonmark.
If the PC has already performed sufficient deeds to satisfy the
Dragonmark Patron, then the mark activates first thing the next
morning granting the user the appropriate Dragonmark Feat. If
they have not, then the Patron will give them some task to prove
themselves. Once they have completed their task, after their
next extended rest they will gain the appropriate Dragonmark Feat.