Nine Falling Suns & Nine Dragon Sons

January 16, 2009

What happens when a sun falls?

And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. (Rev 8:10-11, KJB).

Sounds like a massive natural disaster to me, devastating an entire region of the kingdom. I should probably reference Bruce R. Cordell’s When the Sky Falls, even though I can’t quote anything directly from it, due to the current GSL restrictions, but it is definitely inspirational in several regards.

Also, I need to do something really different with dragonborn and tieflings (especially; I need to do something with almost all the player races), considering the way I want to portray dragons and demons. Right now I’m pondering dragonborn being based on the “nine offspring of the dragon” (qilin, pixiu, taotie, etc.) and basically embodying the will of the earth (compatible but not entirely the same as the will of heaven). However, over time, associating with mortals — who do not normally intuitively understand the will of earth and heaven — causes their racial traits to shift from being more-or-less dragonborn to being more-or-less tieflings. Physically, their transformation could resemble how people lose their feathers and beaks as they grow older. Perhaps they gradually lose their scales and horns, looking more and more human and less like dragons. Maybe they trade one of their dragonborn traits for a tiefling trait each time they gain a level? Something like that. Of course, I probably can’t call them dragonborn if they’re mechanically different from WOTC’s dragonborn, because of the GSL, but that shouldn’t be a problem. The dragon children should probably have some sort of fae step-like teleport power, to indicate them disappearing into the natural world (probably not usable in urban areas, but I’m not sure how urban you can get in the post-neolithic, early bronze age).

I also want to figure out a way to make the “X-origin” traits really important. If humans in this setting are all part-crow, to varying degrees, there’s probably interesting stuff to be done there. Likewise with dragonborn. I’m thinking about having the human / half-elf / elf / eladrin range of racial traits all describe the “standard” part-crow people that compose the setting, with a few other new crow-oriented racial traits thrown in. Building a character, involves a bit of mix-and-match from that pool of traits, based on how crow-like they are and such. Some traits may be reserved for nobles or royal family members. Not sure.

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