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The Serpent's Spine

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The Serpent's Spine

Post by Ronson on Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:20 pm

When the great dragon Veeshan laid claim to Norrath and set her brood of dragonkind upon it, she entrusted a very powerful gift to them -- one of her scales. This single scale was imbued with a powerful magic that ties all dragonkind on Norrath to Veeshan and her bloodline. This artifact of Veeshan was treated with great respect and reverence and was placed in a great shrine called the Reliquary of the Scale in the dragon's Nest where it stayed protected and guarded by five Scale Guardians. Many dragons visited the shrine knowing that the magic of the scale could grant them greater wellbeing and longer life. Many even laid their eggs there for a time.

For many years, the dragons kept a protective shroud over the Nest while the lands around them became filled by races fashioned by the first gods to arrive in Norrath. The Elddar elves created by Tunare, the goddess of Nature, settled near the Nest and built a city named Takish-Hiz. The Elddar elves prospered in their lush forest city and soon drew the jealous eye of Solusek Ro, the Prince of Flame. He greatly resented Tunare's elves and chose to ruin them. He raised the spine of the world along the Serpent River that ran through the elf city, creating the Serpent Spine Mountains in that single act. Over a short time, the Elddar forest withered and burned, becoming a vast sea of sand.

Solusek Ro's act affected more than just the elves. The great shrine where Veeshan's scale was held was near the banks of the Serpent River and was violently hoisted into the sky beyond the protective veil the dragons used to hide their precious Nest. Lethar, a black dragon and the strongest of the five Scale Guardians, always had great selfish ambitions, as dragons often do, but was held in check by the elder dragons. As soon as Lethar and the scale were beyond the Nest, Lethar claimed Veeshan's scale for himself.

There was little resistance to his claim as two Scale Guardians, Sothgar and Glenicae, were crushed to death as the shrine was twisted and rent by the vicious upheaval of the land beneath them. The other two guardians were dealt with cruelly and were both banished from the shrine. They did not defy him as he threatened to destroy the scale.

Over time, the scale and Lethar became bound to one another and, now outside of the veil, Lethar learned to use the scale to draw power from any dragon that came near it. No dragons sent to retrieve the scale could defeat Lethar or break his bond with it. Even so, the dragons continued over centuries to attempt to return the scale home.

After a decade of being the sole guardian of the scale and fending off hundreds of attacks from the Nest, Lethar realized he required an agent to do his bidding while he remained on guard. He traveled the lands and found a young, wandering female Elddar elf named Veldyn who mourned the loss of many of her kin as the forest died. She was seduced by Lethar who greeted her with an illusion -- appearing as an Elddar elf himself. It was not long before Lethar's son was born and named in part after his father and his mother -- Dyn`leth, the first elf-dragon child.

Dyn`leth grew and his character became darker than his father's, no matter how hard his mother tried to guide him. He, much like Lethar, became obsessed with Veeshan's scale and the mystery of the power it possessed. After watching his father for many years, Dyn`leth made a discovery about the scale -- that he had been created from it in some way. He realized he was forever bound to it and able to control its power to some degree. He also recognized that anyone who controlled the scale controlled the dragons -- creatures Dyn`leth had no great love for.

Since the Rallosian giants and ogres were driven out of the eastern lands by a curse of the gods, Dyn`leth held sway over most of the inhabitants of the regions surrounding Spine Peak. His charm and threats forced almost all creatures to obey him. And so it has remained for centuries.

One year ago, six dragons born in the Nest but living beyond it, returned home to see the devastation the curse brought to their birthplace. While surveying the damage, they were told the tale of the elf-dragon in the nearby mountains who controlled the scale and could bend dragons to his will. It was clear to them that the future of Veeshan's bloodline on Norrath was threatened and they sought a solution that would protect dragonkind.

In a matter of days, the six dragons proposed a solution to the elders of the Nest which caused a great conflict. While the elders watched them in disgust, they explained their plan to create a new race of humans touched with dragon's blood.

The six dragons believed that if Lethar created a being of his own blood -- an elf-dragon -- they could also. The dragons promised the elders that this new race of mortals could strengthen Veeshan's bloodline on Norrath, represent them to all races, and grow powerful enough to restore Veeshan's scale with the help of other mortals. This race would be self-sustaining and each would be born much more quickly than the 100 years it takes to hatch a dragon egg.

The greater dragons of the Nest, Rikkukin, Yar`Lir, and Tirranun especially, vehemently opposed the proposal and called the six dragons extremists who defied their laws and cast them out of the Nest.

The six dragons left, undeterred, and settled in the lowlands of the Serpent Spine Mountains in a grove within an old abandoned ogre city called Nokk. They decided to carry out their plan to create a race they would call 'drakkin' -- a human-dragon race. The six called themselves the Circle of the Crystalwing and felt they were the only hope of a future for dragonkind.

The six dragons of the Circle are Venesh the Greenblood; Draton`ra, Master of the Void; Keikolin, Bringer of Enlightenment; Mysaphar, Seeker of All; Atathus the Red Lord; and Osh`vir the Windspirit. Venesh, Draton`ra, and Atathus share similar philosophy and differed from the other dragons. Their plans for acquiring humans for the new race did not involve cooperation. They would selectively steal away the humans they felt had what they desired in their new offspring. Keikolin, Mysaphar, and Osh`vir chose to cooperate with humans and have their blessing when it came to selecting humans to be touched by dragon blood. It was only days before each dragon began the rituals to infuse the humans with their blood. They delivered the humans home after the ritual and waited for the day when the dragon blood in them awakened. On that day, they would make their pilgrimage to the mountains. It took only two months for the drakkins to slowly fill the old ogre city. The firstborn of each of the dragons formed the Scions of the Six and acted as the council for the city, which they renamed Cresent Reach.

Dyn`leth's scouts reported the appearance of the first drakkins back to Dyn`leth and for the first time he felt a threat in the mountains he believed he controlled. But, as he often did, he looked for opportunity in every danger. The drakkins quickly became prey. Using the controlling power of Veeshan's scale, the knowledge he'd gained from his father, and the understanding gained from being born of the scale, Dyn'leth found a way to tap into the dragon blood coursing through the drakkin. It wasn't as strong a connection as with a dragon, but he found he could influence them in subtle ways -- enough to use them in an army.

But Dyn`leth's tyranny was about to be challenged.

The sheltered mountain path the drakkins used from Highpass Hold to the Serpent Spine Mountains on their pilgrimage became well-worn and visible to all. Norrathians would soon pour into the mountains.

Together, drakkins and other mortal races would band together to bring balance back to the mountains.


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