Dragons arrived with the opening of the Gates of Thelus. How the two are linked is a continuous debate held by scholars who care for such things. What is known is the dread a nation feels beneath the shadows of a Dragon Swarm.
The color of a dragon’s scales ties it to an aspect of nature. A red dragon, for instance, will have flames trail along its tail or drip from between scales. These elemental manifestations intensify proportionally with their disposition.
Dragons vary in size and proportions. Why some have longer necks while others have larger wingspans is unclear. Although the proportions vary, their overall lengths are consistent, and range thirty to fifty paces from tail to nose. Wingspans have been estimated to range between eighty to a hundred paces.
Despite their animal appearance, dragons are sentient and intelligent. They communicate through telepathy. However, unlike other forms of telepathy, the ability to deny communication does not exist. If a dragon is near, you will hear madness tumble through your mind.
If the dragon actively communicates with an individual, they can focus the torrent into a coherent rumble. These encounters are rare, brief, and agitate the dragon.
When a Dragon Swarm is formed, the torrent alters into devastating chaos. Pressure builds in the head and demands release, debilitating those stricken. The affects can range from nausea to unconsciousness.
Without provocation, the dragons will gather and attack a city for an undefined period of time. The degree of damage depends on the length of their assault. There have been six such Swarms recorded. Of those, two cities were left in complete ruin: Callidin in Ellias, and Leshna in Kovadan.
Scholars have devoted their lives to identifying the catalyst for the Swarms. Nations have ended wars on the rumor of dragons taking wing. Fortune seekers have braved unknown parts of the land in hope of finding a power strong enough to contend against a Swarm.
The Third Dragon Swarm focused on Sicia, the capitol of Darcia. After a month, the dragons departed, leaving the people to rebuild what little remained of their city. Unlike the previous Swarms, the affliction encouraged a segment of the survivors to ponder their existence in relation to such an awesome force.
Soon after, Sendeism, the worship of dragons, spread through the people of Darcia. They created a military branch, named the Dragon Guard, that accompanied future Dragon Swarms. The Dragon Guard wielded shield, sword, and a strange power. The Sendeists claim it is a manifestation, and proof, of faith.
As a result, the nations have sworn retribution against Darcia, who claims the Sendeists and Dragon Guard are acting independently from the throne.
Those who have witnessed a Dragon Swarm will attest to the overwhelming power they wield. Dragon scale colors appear tied to a specific aspect of nature: red for fire, black for lightning, white for ice, brown for earth, etc.
Dragon powers operate outside the known natural laws. They can create and wield the element associated with their scale color over a large area. In one example, Aharouk, a red dragon, sent a wall of flame three hundred paces in all directions.
Besides their innate elemental control, they also possess a breath attack. This strike is not limited to a specific element or known force. It changes with the desire of the dragon. A strong, piercing sound, thought to be a stun, accompanies such attacks. It will leave anyone within range temporarily deaf. If the ears are unprotected, multiple exposures to this sound blast will cause permanent deafness.
There are fifty-one dragons known to be in existence. According to the Sendeists, each has a name,but the knowledge of which is guarded. The Sendeists claim it is to protect the unbelievers from the attention of the named dragon, although scholars have been able to acquire a handful of the names and have spoken them without the named dragon’s retribution.
The same can’t be said of the Dragon Guard. They will hunt and execute anyone who whispers a dragon’s name. Because of this, and other savage practices, members of the Dragon Guard are not welcome in most nations.