Dragonborn are a race of ruthless, magically sophisticated humanoids who live in the deserts of Xertos.
- Constitution +2, Intelligence +1 OR Charisma +1
- Age 15-80
- Size: Medium. Average 6.5 feet tall ~250 pounds
- Speed: 30’
- Darkvision 60’
- Languages: Common, Lexri, can understand Silit-Lexri
- Unusual anatomy: Dragonborn cannot wear boots. Greaves take up the boot slot, and are an appropriate replacement.
- Damage resistance and breath weapon based on ancestry. See Players Handbook, page 34.
Recommended classes: Sorceror, Wizard, Warlock, Bard, Paladin
Available backgrounds: Any (only race which can choose the Noble background). Noble Dragonborn must use the Retainer variant, as a PC Dragonborn noble would of necessity be an exile.
Government: The Dragonborn are ruled by the Dragon Lords, also known as the Assembly, and the Dragon Council above them. The Council is made up of 7 winged Dragonborn sorcerers of great power, and rule with unlimited authority. Below them, managing the day to day governance of the empire, is the Dragon Lords: 100 of the most ruthless and clever of their race. When a Council member dies, the remaining Council members vote on a replacement. Ties are broken by a majority in the Assembly. Whenever a Dragon Lord leaves office their seat is auctioned off. Any adult dragonborn not already a member of the Assembly is eligible to bid.
Consortiums often pool funds to buy seats in the Assembly, putting forward a candidate they can trust to protect their interests and follow their recommendations. This has led to a very complicated and opaque system of government. When things get too complicated, the Council steps in. This encourages the dragon lords to govern with efficiency, as the council will generally do what benefits them, not what benefits the members of the Assembly.
Culture: Greed is considered a virtue, as is ruthlessness. Children are raised by the state until they come of age, at which time they are chosen by an adult mentor who guides their development. Those not chosen after a period of time become menial laborers for the state.
Absolute obedience to authority is strictly enforced by the Imperial Guard, a branch of the military dedicated to keeping peace in imperial holdings. There are also persistent rumors of an order of secret police, but officially no such organization exists.
Magic users must register with the state; failure to do so is grounds for imprisonment or worse. Casters who are not dragonborn or visiting dignitaries are typically drained of their power, a slow and torturous process which is invariably fatal. Dragonborn and duergar casters enjoy a very high status. The vast majority of dragon lords are casters, mostly sorcerers, wizards, clerics, and bards. The Dragon Council is made up entirely of powerful winged sorcerers.
Religion: Most dragonborn venerate the Great Dragon, a mythical progenitor who supposedly created their race. There are many churches which venerate this deity, each espousing a different idea of what their god embodies. Their teachings and practices vary based on the personality and desires a given church attributes to their god. Religious groups are given free rein so long as they do not attempt to interfere in the governance of the empire.
- Orcs, humans, and dar are always slaves, with the rare exception of visiting representatives from Dar or Orcish trade partners.
- Lizardfolk living in dragonborn lands are an underclass, consigned to life as minor servants, message runners, entertainers, and the like. They aren’t slaves like the other races; they’re not considered to be worth the trouble. Some join the dragonborn military as scouts, but they’re treated even worse there: Lizardfolk in the military are typically given forward scouting assignments, with mind control magic used to prevent desertion or betrayal
- Duergar are rare, and are treated as foreign dignitaries even if just passing through.
(Picture from William O’Connor Studios)