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Dragon's Egg RPG - Background

Discussion in 'Dragon's Egg RPG' started by Steerpike, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    Most magic in the world of the Dragon's Egg is dangerous and not meant to be wielded lightly. For this reason, most people are superstitious and fearful when it comes to the practice of magic, and many a person seeking to dabble in the arcane arts has found himself hanged from a tree by frenzied villagers.

    There are basically three types of magic: earth magic, which the dwarves knew of old; life magic, given to the elves; and then a sort of residual background magic that permeates the universe (humans and others can call on this, as can dwarves and elves). Any divine magic that is life-giving, positive energy is treated a bit differently from other magic. Elves gifted humans with the secret of this magic ages ago, and it can be used in relative safety. Only dwarves can use their rune magic, though the arcane magic humans and others typically call on can replicate some of the effects (though it isn't as flexible).

    Some one-thousand years ago, Aeron, also known as the Lord of Tel's Hall, raised an army for the purpose of conquering all of Mathera. This has become known as the Great War or (for reasons made clear below) the War of the Dragons. Some believe Aeron was mad, others that he was demon-possessed, for his army included not only those humans who would join him, but vast numbers from among the evil races - goblins, hobgoblins, giants, and other fell creatures who have no love of the goodly races of the world and no love of peace. These he brought under his banner, assembling an army more vast than any that had been known previously. With this army he spread chaos across the face of Mathera, but though he made gains at the outset, when men, elves, dwarves, and others were yet insulated from one another, concerned with their own affairs and their own protection, Aeron's fortunes turned when these races came together to present a unified defense. Men, elves, dwarves, halflings, centaurs, and others stood together for the first time, side by side. They fought, killed, and died together. Aeron's army was turned.

    But Aeron was not finished. In a most foul turn of events he struck a bargain with the evil dragon Sleeth. Dragons, who had, good and evil alike, held to an ancient vow not to interfere in the affairs of mortals, rose from their slumbers and took their places at the head of Aeron's army. The details of the bargain between Aeron and Sleeth have been lost to time, but the results were disastrous. None could stand before the combined might of Aeron and the evil wyrms. Men died by the thousands. So, too, did the other races that stood against Aeron. Mathera was truly in danger of falling into darkness. And so it might have except for the Council of Mages.

    In those days magic was not to be immediately feared. Respected, to be sure, but at that time those with the talent to practice the arcane arts could do so with much less danger than is associated with the craft today. The Council met within their chambers in the depths of Blackshard Mountain to devise a strategy for defeating Aeron. For months they conferred while the war raged around Mathera and the good races were driven to ground. Nothing they could devise was sufficient, in their estimation, to overcome Sleeth and the other evil dragons who had risen to fight beside Aeron. The Council realized their only hope lay in seeking the aid of the good dragons of the world, those who had remained secreted in their lairs despite the actions of their foul brethren.

    A group of mages, emissaries, made the long journey from Blackshard Mountain to the Rim of the World, where lies the lair of Bahamut, highest of the good dragons. They asked Bahamut to call forth the good dragons and to fly to battle against Sleeth and his kin. Bahamut refused. The good dragons would not violate their oaths and become directly involved in the affairs of mortals.

    All might have been lost, except that Bahamut, while refusing to become directly involved, gave to the emissaries a bit of lore. What precise knowledge he gave them has been lost to time, but when the emissaries to Bahamut returned to Blackshard Mountain the Council was able to use the knowledge they had acquired to construct a powerful artifact - the Dragon's Egg.

    Not a true egg, but so-called because of its shape, this artifact gave the Council the power it needed to overcome the dragons. The Egg allowed the Council to control the dragons in some way, and they were helpless to stand against it. One by one the evil dragons began to be banished to their subterranean lairs, forced into an ageless slumber - and thus they remain to this day, or so it has been believed.

    But Aeron, Sleeth, and the other dragons did not go passively. As the Council began banishing the dragons to their lairs one by one, Aeron and Sleeth saw what was happening and divined the source of the power that was set against them. They converged on Blackshard Mountain with the full might of their army and those dragons who had not yet been banished. Thousands upon thousands of goblins and other foul beings marched upon the mountain, and many thousands of men, elves, dwarves, and others met them there to do battle. The Council met them as well, bringing the power of their magic to the battle. It was not enough. The Council was able to prevent outright slaughter of their allies by the dragons, but they could not turn back Aeron, Sleeth or the attacking army. Slowly, the armies of good were losing. Those members of the Council who retained the Dragon's Egg could not work quickly enough, banishing the dragons one by one, to turn the tide of the battle.

    The Council retreated within its mountain. Aeron thought he had won, and so too did Sleeth. But the Council was not finished. They formed a chain, a magical linkage of their powers meant to allow control over an amount of magic never before known to mortals. Having thus linked, they reached out across Mathera, seeking other mages with whom to link. Mages from all across the land reached out and lent their power to the Council from a distance, pushing what magic they could toward the linked mages at Blackshard Mountain. The linked Council then channeled this magic into the Dragon's Egg, attempting to banish in a single, powerful act all of the remaining evil dragons. It worked, but the cost was dear.

    As the dragons fled the field of battle under the compulsion of the Egg, to sleep deep within their lairs, a wave of magical energy blasted across the battlefield, emanating from the mountain itself. Foe and ally alike were torn apart, men as easily as goblin, giant as easily as elf. Across Mathera, mages linked to the Council fell where they stood, screaming in agony. Some were torn apart, others simply died writhing. Most of the Council perished as well. In a single instant, the vast majority of mages in the land were dead. The area around Blackshard Mountain remains devastated to this day, a barren plain of wild magic and strange creatures.

    After this eruption, Aeron was not seen again, and it was widely assumed that he perished with his body. Given the carnage of that day, finding his body among the wreckage of life on that plain would have been impossible. The evil dragons were no longer to be seen either. One dragon did appear after the battle, however. Bahamut. He came to retrieve the Dragon's Egg, but the remnants of the Council refused to surrender it. They retreated into their mountain and Bahamut left, making no attempt to pursue them and take the Egg by force. None of the surviving members of the Council were ever seen to emerge from the mountain again.

    And so the years have passed. The War of the Dragons, and indeed dragons in general, have fallen away into myth. But the war had another consequence. Scholars debate the reasons why, but both dwarven earth magic and the background magic that permeates all things have become dangerous to tap. Some theorize that the act of the Council at the end of the Great War affected the barrier between our world and the source of this magical energy. Any manipulation of those energies now operates across a thin membrane of separation that is highly unstable. Elven life magic, being from a different source, was unaffected.

    Two things of importance resulted from this: 1) it made clear that the background magic that any race can tap is tied to the earth magic of the dwarves, while the elven life magic is much less tied to the other two; and 2) it made magic dangerous to mess with. The reasons for this are also debated by scholars, but the upshot is that any magic other than life magic is dangerous to people, and especially to those who aren't trained to deal with it.

    The background magic can be tapped by anyone, of any class, who takes the time and follows the proper procedures. Spell casters are trained to deal with it and can do so with much less risk.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  2. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

    This is awesome. :D If centaurs were available as a character type, and if we were allowed more than one character at a time, I bet those'd be fun to play.

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