Dragonborn

The Dragonborn of Everhelm

The Dragonborn Race is an extraordinarily varied one, it’s peoples divided by homeland, religion, and looks.
The Dragonborn on the Everhelm continent of Garrow consider themselves to from one of two very distinct cultures. These are the Okarthel, or “homeland” Dragonborn, so called because they are native to Garrow, and the Woari or “lost” Dragonborn, so called because they are refugees from a distant continent, and were citizens of an empire destroyed many years ago.

The Okarthel and Woari Dragonborn

The Okarthel and Woari differ in looks, language dialect, and culture, but are fundamentally members of the same species.

The Okarthel are the western Dragonborn. They are essentially the Players Handbook interpretation of Dragonborn. Their cultural values’ are chivalric in nature, and their warriors are likely to dress and act like a European warrior or knight.

The Woari are the eastern Dragonborn. They tend to be more serpentine in appearance than their western counterparts, and tend to have long “whisker mustaches.” In addition, rather then sprouting spines or spikes like the Okarthel, they tend to grow antlers on their heads, if they grow anything at all. Their cultural values are similar to Japanese Bushido and similar eastern codes of honor, and their warriors are more likely to dress and behave in a manner similar to a Japanese Samurai or similar Asian warrior.

Dragonborn shogun by peachyco d3faxoc
A Woari Dragonborn Noble

RACIAL TRAITS

Average Height: 6´ 2˝–6´ 8˝
Average Weight: 220–320 lb.
Ability Scores: +2 Strength, +2 Charisma
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Normal
Languages: Common, Draconic
Skill Bonuses: +2 History, +2 Intimidate

Dragonborn Fury: When you’re bloodied, you gain a +1
racial bonus to attack rolls.

Draconic Heritage: Your healing surge value is equal
to one-quarter of your maximum hit points + your
Constitution modifier.

Dragon Breath: You can use dragon breath as an
encounter power.

Dragon Breath Dragonborn Racial Power
Encounter * Acid, Cold, Fire, Lightning or Poison
Minor Action Close Blast 3
Target All creatures in blast
Attack Strength, Constitution, or Dexterity vs. Reflex
Hit: 1d8 + Constitution modifier of acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison damage.

From The Ecology of the Dragonborn by Chris Simms, published in Dragon Magazine in July 2008. <—-Great Article http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/dreo/20080709

History

Myths speak of the birth of the dragonborn, though they differ in the telling. Tales, awe-inspiring and terrifying, tell of the rise and fall of dragonborn empires, the greatest among them lost to a war that is still remembered. And modern dragonborn live according to their heritage, more than one aiming to carve an eternal story into the world’s chronicles.
Several legends say that Io, the greatest dragon god, shaped the dragonborn as servants to dragons at the same time he created the first dragons. Elemental essence and astral spirit went into the making, as with all worldly creatures, but like their greater kin, dragonborn were given a balance favoring the elemental.

Other tales claim that Io died in the clashes
between the gods and the primordials. The draconic
gods Tiamat and Bahamut emerged from the halves
of Io’s sundered corpse. Dragonborn sprang, ready to
serve dragons, from Io’s spilled blood.
Timing of dragonborn genesis aside, Tiamat and
Bahamut were instantly at odds. As soon as the war
against the primordials ended in the gods’ favor,
these siblings began a struggle for dominance over
dragonkind that has lasted into the present age. Many
dragons and dragonborn took sides. Some turned to
Tiamat’s ways, others to Bahamut’s, but a plurality
walked a path between the two extremes.
Dragonborn families formed clans, extended
groups unified by geographic proximity and similar
temperaments. A large number of clans dedicated
themselves to serving dragons. Many of these dragons
belonged to bloodlines on one side or the other of
the war between Bahamut and Tiamat. Others were
autonomous wyrms who guided and nurtured their
dragonborn followers. And still other dragonborn
families, sometimes after the loss of a dragon patron,
formed clan ties independent of dragons. These unified clans had military discipline in common, which
was a trait needed in ongoing war or for mere defense
in the elder world.
From within this clan structure, the dragonborn
and their dragon lords formed centralized, cooperative states. They developed codified laws, as well as
civic and religious institutions. War and diplomacy
further unified realms. Dragonborn nations waxed
and waned. All along, the conf lict between the
dragon gods did the same.
Historians, dragonborn and otherwise, differ on
the subject of the outcome of the draconic conf lict.
A few claim that Bahamut’s forces won in that early
age. More say that moderate dragonborn came to the
fore, forcing divine agendas into a secondary position
related to worldly matters. The likeliest scenario is
that the unaligned among the dragonborn showed a
preference for heroic and kindly values, as common
folk often do. This esteem placed Bahamut’s followers
in an advantageous position, allowing them to persevere over their adversaries. At the same time, the
needs of mortal creatures took precedence over the
machinations of immortals.

Most present-day dragonborn are integrated into
mixed societies and are living in lands they cannot
claim as their own. A few clans, as well as many
individuals, roam in search of worthy causes, or
simple wealth and personal glory. All continue to
venerate the dragonborn model set forth in centuries gone, making their way according to a high personal standard.

Physiology

Imposing, strong, and draconic, dragonborn cut an
impressive figure among other humanoids. An average dragonborn is tall and strapping compared to the
normal human, although the basic shape is the same.
Also distinctive from human counterparts is a dragonborn’s dragonlike head, scales, fangs, and claws.
Despite a passing resemblance to reptilian creatures, dragonborn are warm-blooded beings rather
than cold-blooded reptiles. Their bodies are hot
enough to seem feverish to human sensibilities. This
keeps a dragonborn more comfortable in cold
temperatures. A lack of body hair coupled with a large
mouth that can be opened to release body heat means
that a dragonborn is no more vulnerable to hot
temperatures than a human.
The scales that cover a dragonborn are tougher
than human skin. Although these scales make a
dragonborn less susceptible to small, incidental
wounds, they don’t protect against damage dealt by
weapons and similar purposeful attack. Dragonborn

also typically lack the inborn elemental resistances

true dragons might possess.
Like true dragons, however, dragonborn hatch
from eggs, usually laid singly or, more rarely, in a
pair. Hatchlings are quickly capable of standing
and walking, but their teeth take a few months to
come in. During this time, the mother nurses her
offspring. She slowly weans the child to soft and then
normal food, which for dragonborn is usually more
meat than other edibles.
By the end of the first year, a dragonborn hatchling has the mental and physical development of
a 3-year-old human child. A dragonborn matures
quickly throughout his or her youthful development.
At about 12 years of age, the dragonborn is a lanky
version of his or her adult self. Over the next 3 years,
he or she fills out into an imposing adult form.
A likeness to dragons gives dragonborn physical
might. Dragonborn also carry an almost supernatural bodily potential to tap into and develop draconic
traits. Most develop a breath weapon, which is
dangerous by the time a dragonborn reaches adulthood. Still, an individual dragonborn might manifest
more draconic traits than another. One might do so
at birth. Such a change could instead come as the
dragonborn’s soul quickens in the crucible of a
spiritual path or as the body adapts in the wake of
mighty deeds.

Psychology

Dragonborn psychology centers on a draconic nature
tempered by strong cultural ideals. The inner draconic spark is expressed as intensity coupled with
a well-developed sense of self. From this sprouts a
resolve born of an honest desire to be the best one
can be and to be worthy of one’s heritage. Tradition focuses the dragonborn ego with principles of personal excellence, accountability, honor, and wisdom.
Strongly emotional, dragonborn approach life
with a natural enthusiasm. Passion comes easily, and
dragonborn readily invest themselves in the tasks set
before them. At its simplest and perhaps basest level,
this fervor expresses itself in extremes of feeling—
dragonborn don’t hide anger or joy. Such emotion
also surfaces as ferocity in battle, especially when
dragonborn feel their resolve faltering. When failure
comes into view as a possibility, dragonborn become
more tenacious.
This is partly because a healthy self-image is
common among dragonborn. Few dragonborn are
timid or reserved, except as a matter of showing
proper respect to others. Guided by personal morals,
dragonborn look out for themselves, along with those
creatures and items they value. They have no trouble
asking for what they need or taking time to improve
their abilities. And they expect others to do the same.
How else can associates and friends rely on one
another? In what other way can society be expected
to function?
The paradox in the dragonborn belief in a strong
group dynamic is that, like dragons, all dragonborn
are fiercely independent. They learn to be so in their
upbringing, focused as it is on individuality. So this
conviction is an outgrowth of personal pride. Dragonborn see the strengths of a group they are part of
as an expression of their own strengths. The group’s
failures and successes become those of the dragonborn members within it, ref lecting on them and their
choice to be a part of the group.
Coupled with such pride, dragonborn carry a
high personal standard. When a challenge comes,
dragonborn rise to it. They set their sights on success
and keep going until no options remain to prevent
failure. This trait isn’t as simple as a disdain for f laws
and lack of success. Dragonborn want to contribute
and to be seen as valuable by those they value. The consistently want to show that their confidence in
themselves and the reliance others have on them isn’t
misplaced. Consideration of how they can become
better at whatever they do, whether by further fortifying assets or shoring up weaknesses, is part of
dragonborn thinking.
Responsibility is also a piece of the dragonborn
mindset. This can be an expression of their attachment to others involved in a situation. It’s also
attributable to the cultural value placed on respect,
for self and others, and good judgment. No dragonborn gives his or her word lightly. In fact, dragonborn
often value honoring their promises and fulfilling
their obligations more than their lives.
Good judgment is, therefore, required of dragonborn. They must assess the options before them
and make the best choice. A failure to do so is just
that—failure.
As an expression of all these personality aspects,
any dragonborn aware of his or her abilities might
realize he or she can’t hope to succeed in certain circumstances. Dragonborn show wisdom by not giving
their oaths to accomplish what they know they can’t.
They show virtue by admitting their sense of the state
of affairs and offering to help as best they can. They
show courage by trying to accomplish the impossible
anyway, when the cost of inaction would otherwise be
too great.

consistently want to show that their confidence in
themselves and the reliance others have on them isn’t
misplaced. Consideration of how they can become
better at whatever they do, whether by further fortifying assets or shoring up weaknesses, is part of
dragonborn thinking.
Responsibility is also a piece of the dragonborn
mindset. This can be an expression of their attachment to others involved in a situation. It’s also
attributable to the cultural value placed on respect,
for self and others, and good judgment. No dragonborn gives his or her word lightly. In fact, dragonborn
often value honoring their promises and fulfilling
their obligations more than their lives.
Good judgment is, therefore, required of dragonborn. They must assess the options before them
and make the best choice. A failure to do so is just
that—failure.
As an expression of all these personality aspects,
any dragonborn aware of his or her abilities might
realize he or she can’t hope to succeed in certain circumstances. Dragonborn show wisdom by not giving
their oaths to accomplish what they know they can’t.
They show virtue by admitting their sense of the state
of affairs and offering to help as best they can. They
show courage by trying to accomplish the impossible
anyway, when the cost of inaction would otherwise be
too great.
Such positive expressions of dragonborn nature
are common especially among heroic dragonborn.
But, as with all fallible creatures, negative expressions also abound. Passion can lead dragonborn to
brutality, hasty decisions, and unrighteous vengeance.
Greed and worse forms of selfishness can grow from
a misguided ego. Blind ambition can follow a commitment to excellence, as can a willingness to evaluate
others severely or to undertake foolhardy deeds.
Although such twisting of virtue can be a seed of
wickedness, most of the time it never goes so far. An
individual dragonborn might not see some of his or
her failings, but such negative behavior never truly
descends into evil. And a lot of dragonborn villains
display a subset of dragonborn scruples, especially
courtesy and respect to enemies.

Clan

Clans and family bloodlines are still preserved among
the dragonborn, and both are important. The difference between the two is subtle. Family is defined by
one’s actual blood relatives as far back as records go.
Clan is a federation of families, unified in the annals
of time, often for forgotten ends.
All dragonborn revere their honored ancestors,
family, and clan. They perform their work with an eye
toward what their deeds say about their lineage. Such
ties can define peace and enmity, as well as cooperation or antagonism, among individual dragonborn.
Families and clans have reputations, good or ill,
that can have little to do with the living scions of the
bloodline.
The desire to live up to a laudable legacy or
overcome a besmirched birthright can define a dragonborn’s life. Some dragonborn instead embrace
infamy or f lee from the responsibility imposed by the
past. Others make their way according to personal
values, perhaps aiming at becoming the most capable
and admired dragonborn among the elders of a clan,
thereby becoming the clanmaster.
When doing so is possible, all dragonborn of a
particular clan look to their clanmaster for guidance.
Clan elders have ways to contact a distant clanmaster.
The clanmaster also has loyal dragonborn agents to
act in his or her stead, and to serve as messengers.
Keeping contact can be difficult, but dragonborn
of the same clan more easily form cohesive coalitions and enclaves. Marriages are defined by age-old
pacts among clans. Dragonborn parents with weighty
responsibilities look to such relations for help fostering children. A whole ward in a large settlement
might be filled with dragonborn from allied clans,
and each clan could have its own hall like in the old
days of Arkhosia.
Dragonborn have personal names, given at birth, as
described in the Player’s Handbook. They can also have
childhood names, family names, and clan names. All
these come according to a dragonborn’s heritage and
place in dragonborn society.
A childhood name or nickname is common. Such
a name is usually descriptive, and it serves as a term
of endearment or encouragement for a young dragonborn. The name might recall an event or center on a
habit. It could derive from an ancestor that acted similarly to a child, or a favored toy or item might be the
inspiration. Such names are seldom appropriate for
adults. For anyone to use such a name without proper
authority, such as that of a parent or elder, or without
permission is a sign of disrespect. A dragonborn’s
elders use a childhood name after that dragonborn
becomes an adult only to indicate disapproval.
Childhood Names: Climber, Earbender, Leaper,
Pious, Little Kriv, Shieldbiter, Zealous.
Family names are Draconic words, much like given
names, carried by a specific bloodline. They often
come from the deeds of an ancient scion of the family
line or an amalgamation of the names of notable
ancient ancestors. A dragonborn seldom identifies
itself by family name, unless specificity is required.
Dragonborn keep their family names private except
among close friends, and instead go by clan name.
Family Names: Alreja, Bhergav, Duggal, Garodya,
Iyotar, Letrah, Mulhotra, Odeyar, Pradhu, Reddyar,
Samanga, Tyagi, Ulharej, Vadula, Yadav, Zaveri.
Clan names are ancient titles that are frequently
taken from the names of dragon lords of old.
Those that aren’t dragon names are names of trade
associations or martial cadres, much like modern
guilds, arcane societies, or knightly orders. A dragonborn goes by his clan name, so his deeds are known to
reflect on that clan. Members of a clan fiercely defend
their clan name against misuse, and some dragonborn
outlaws are stripped of the privilege of using the clan
name.
Clan Names: Bloodbane, Drakerider, Flamebrow,
Hammerwing, Loremark, Moonscale, Peaceblade,
Redmark, Silverspear, Spellscale, Warbringer.

Family

All this focus on clan comes from the fact that, while
family bloodlines can be extensive, the dragonborn
family unit is very small. The typical one contains
only two dragonborn: a mated pair, or a parent
and child.
Dragonborn wed to procreate. Although notable
exceptions exist to this generality, wedlock ends as
soon as the offspring from a union is 3 years old. If
the parents have no reason to maintain proximity,
one of them, usually of the same gender as the child,
raises and trains that youngster in the ways of people,
family, and clan.
Honor demands that a parent teach a child well,
and that adults care for the young. Through storytelling, tutoring, and demonstration, the parent instills
virtues and skills in the child. Although this process
serves to educate, it also gives the youngster’s fiery
spirit a focus. Without such direction, the fierce
nature of a dragonborn comes to the fore, resulting in
feral savagery.
When rightly trained in dragonborn ways, however, a juvenile learns that honor requires respect for
elders and other worthies, focused and sincere effort,
reliability and fulfillment of oaths, and integrity.
At an early age, he or she understands that chosen
actions can bring credit or disgrace to self, family
and clan, and even all dragonborn. Even dragonborn
crafters and laborers grow up with discipline, play
inspired by lessons and tales of derring-do, and an
admiration for brave and principled deeds. All learn
a thing or two about fighting and soldierly ways. They
learn to be bold so that they can challenge themselves
and those who misuse authority.
Where dragonborn are a small portion of the local
population, which is the norm, such tiny families
are common. But where an integrated enclave exists,
the process is different, and some dragonborn claim,
resembles what life was like in Arkhosia. In such a
community, dragonborn foster children communally.
Adults watch out for and teach the young, and the
young enjoy a broader exposure to an array of dragonborn role models. A single parent still maintains
authority and responsibility for a youngster, but in
these situations, the other parent is often close at
hand and has some inf luence as well.
Adulthood
Independence is nurtured in dragonborn youth at
every turn. When, at 15 years old, dragonborn adolescents transition into adulthood, they are expected to
have integrated the teachings of their childhood into
their conduct. They have a healthy respect for capable
individuals of all races, even those they oppose. Their
esteem for themselves and their forebears guides
them in all they do. Responsibility for their actions
transitions from them and their parents to each
individual alone, even though a dragonborn’s deeds
ref lects on upbringing and heritage.
Principled behavior and instilled daring mean
dragonborn adults are different from their counterparts among other peoples. Dragonborn society
produces fewer petty criminals, but more outright villains—dragonborn are more likely to be bandit lords
than pickpockets. Conversely, dragonborn are numerous among adventurers. They also find places more
regularly in the company of those who have unusual
or specialized skills, artistic or venturesome.
Regardless of what they do, whether among other
dragonborn or not, dragonborn are conscious of how
they are responsible for what they do. A dragonborn
weaponsmith aims to be the best, to push the boundaries of his craft, to sell weapons in a scrupulous
manner, and to honor those who use his armaments
by creating implements of worth. The dragonborn soldier, in turn, honors armorer, commander, and clan,
by performing his or her duties well. He or she does
so by taking initiative in training and on the battlefield, and by helping comrades. Failing to recognize
such interconnectivity is a failing of character. This
system of honor with awareness and answerability
was the strength of the dragonborn when, in the past, they served dragons.

Dragons

Today’s dragonborn serve dragons as an exception
rather than a rule. Some clans still remember the last
days of the Eastern Empire, when the selfishness and cowardice
of some dragon lords became all too visible. Dragonborn from these bloodlines might despise dragons.
Other clans still hold dragons in esteem, weighing a dragon’s worth by its actions. Most clans remain free
from draconic inf luence. Those few dragonborn who
serve dragons are often more barbaric than their kin
who live among humans and other races.
Magic
Dragonborn have ancient traditions of magic, focusing on war, as well as divine, draconic, and elemental
forces. As fierce as a dragonborn’s heart, magic
among the dragonborn is seldom bent to mundane
tasks. It is a weapon of the mighty.
Despite a natural talent for the arts of the warlock, typical dragonborn prefer an arcane path that
doesn’t tie them to forces outside themselves. Wizards
and sorcerers are notorious for their secretive and
eccentric ways, which makes the professions attractive to dragonborn. Further, the powers of the wizard
and sorcerer are dragonlike in their primordial fury.
Many clans have wizardly ways passed down through
numerous families among them since the time of
Arkhosia. These things said, sometimes the warlock’s
road is an acceptable expression of individualism or
the last resort of an outcast.
Dragonborn truly favor divine powers, especially
those of the paladin. Investing oneself in the tenets of
a faith gives direction and purpose, something many
dragonborn crave. Although doing so ties a dragonborn to a deity or church, it carries little to none of the
stigma attached to the eldritch ways of the warlock.
And the paladin’s obligation is to stand in the vanguard of a church’s defenders, which is the perfect
place for a being that has a martial spirit.

Religion

Faith is a personal matter for each dragonborn,
and it is an issue in which the dragon deities take
prominence. Bahamut is most important among
the dragonborn people, but Tiamat’s cult thrives
well in the hearts of avaricious dragonborn. Erathis,
Ioun, and Kord also remain important as symbols of
advancement and a progressive, fighting spirit.
Bereft of their own temples, most dragonborn
practice religion in churches within mixed communities. They participate in few rites, unless duty, such as
that placed on a cleric or paladin, or respect, such as
that for a devout friend, compels them to do so. Clan
elders preside over dragonborn marriages and funeral
rites, for instance; absent these, family and close
friends participate. Although gods might be invoked
at such ceremonies, to call such rites religious would
be a mistake.

Art

Dragonborn are practical and meticulous about
their crafts. Like dwarves, they create few items for
purely artistic reasons, preferring the coupling of
functionality and beauty. Strong individuality among
dragonborn causes them to focus more on personal
items, such as weapons, rather than those that can’t
be carried, such as architecture or statuary. One
exception to this generality of usability and beauty
exists in the case of jewelry

Crafters among the dragonborn take care and time
with their work. A finished work is an expression of
the nature and capabilities of its maker. Although
completed items are seldom as ornate as the work of
dwarves, a dragonborn item almost always has a distinctive f lare. Elemental, draconic, and scale motifs
are most common, as are bold colors and precious
metals.
The love of bold colors and precious metals
extends to jewelry, gems, armaments, and even coins.
Many dragonborn crafters are jewelers, gemcutters, smiths, or minters. Clearly an expression of the
draconic tendency to hoard valuables, dragonborn
adorn themselves with baubles of all sorts, and dragonborn warriors and adventurers seek out the finest
gear. Most dragonborn show reserve and taste in this
aspect of personal adornment, rather than garish
overindulgence.
Leisure
Improving abilities and competition take precedence
in dragonborn leisure activities. When dragonborn
aren’t honing their skills, they’re playing a game or
engaging in an activity to prove their grit—mental,
physical, or spiritual. Dragonborn don’t restrict their
activities to familiar skills. Part of developing oneself
is expanding one’s horizons.
Dragonborn do prefer competitive games.
Although team events are fine, contests that have one
clear winner are favored. Therefore, a dragonborn
hones skill at strategic board games, philosophic
riddle contests, improvised storytelling events, and
one-on-one sports.
The ferocity of the draconic spirit couples with
physical strength and militaristic culture, leading
dragonborn to create and participate in sports more
violent than many other peoples are used to. In fact,
numerous dragonborn—even nonheroic sorts—form
fighting or wrestling clubs, as well as regular contests
of weapon skill. Intrepid dragonborn try their hands at actual blood sports, such as gladiatorial matches, pit fighting, and dueling.

Dragonborn

Everhelm Pheonexking