Urur (Orizon Supplement)
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Urur’s dominant geographical feature is the massive desert that takes up much of the continent’s southern half. The continent’s northernmost regions are mostly temperate, but the continent as a whole is characterized by hot weather. The people of Urur make a great deal of effort to accommodate the overbearing heat and the blazing sunlight.
The draconic empire of Quanun is the largest organized nation in the world of Orizon. It occupies nearly half of the entire continent of Urur and it is respected and feared by nearly the entirety of the world.
The empire of dragons began with the red dragon Ruatha. At a young age she uncovered and developed a magic item, the artifact of the dragon crown, built up from the remnants of the old world she survived. With the power of this construct, she seized her territory from what was once a powerful kingdom of dwarves and then decided to expand. With the crown’s power she was able to take command of other dragons and turn them towards a military campaign that would put the entire continent under their sway.
The draconic empire is ruled, as is in the name, by a coalition of powerful dragons and overseen by the humanoid sycophants and bureaucrats under the dragon’s direct command. The dragons wear great gaudy displays of jewelry to display rank and wealth when away from their hoards. Their subordinates wear lesser imitations of the dragon’s jewelry, their horns and their scales. The value of the metal they wear indicates their rank in the Dragon’s nation.
The draconic lords rule over their subjects with an iron claw. They impose order and law with fire and fang, breaking any subjects who resist under their claws. Though the dragons are quick to strike against their enemies and against any who resist, they are just as quick to fight amongst each other, a trait both encouraged and opposed by their empress Ruatha.
The most politically powerful in Quanun, beneath the dragons, are the dragonborn and half-dragons. These subjects believe themselves to be inherently superior to the other humanoids in the empire because of their draconic blood. Most of the high-level sycophants in the empire are these draconic half breeds. Beneath these draconic peoples are the other humanoid peoples, all of whom are considered to be in servitude to the dragons. This consideration is inherent to simply not being a dragon in Quanun. These people are ostensibly under the protection of the dragons, this protection is the reward for generous service and tribute to the dragons. Should the tribute stop, the dragons revoke these protections. The sycophants are the highest positions beneath the dragons, and deal with the lords directly, these people are considered to be the same level as dragons who are not lords. Beneath them are magistrates, who oversee the dragon’s laws and collect taxes. Sitting below them is the general population, peasants, merchants, craftsmen, the people who simply operate in the world. At the lowest level of this draconic society are two groups of people the dregs and the slaves, or as the dragons call them “snacks”. Slaves are property, a dragon taking them is considered making tribute to the dragons or theft. The Dregs are people cast aside from society, they are broken down and branded to be marked as dregs forever. Anyone marked as a dreg is free to be eaten by dragons at any time. The dragons hunt the dregs for sport.
The ruling power of the dragons is pushed with a relaxed attitude. So long as their laws are enforced and their taxes are delivered, the dragons are content to let their subjects mostly be. People can enjoy peace and prosperity in Quanun, many do, but only so long as they respect the dragons. However, in the event of uprising, dissent, or a failure to pay, the dragons will react quickly and violently. Entire cities have been razed in draconic fury, then rebuilt by a veritable army of slaves and workers. With these methods, and with their numerous spies and fearful informants, the dragons are able to nip most rebellion in the bud. Despite this though, there are many rebellions, mostly from dragons hoping to unseat the current lords, but also ordinary citizens hoping to throw off their yoke. The latter almost never succeeds in killing more than a few weaker dragons, but the two combined means that the seats of the draconic lords do occasionally change.
Both major types of dragons, both chromatic and metallic rule over the various states of Quanun. Both genus’ of dragons enjoy a kind of uneasy truce in their rule. They oversee the laws within their territory and agree on the laws that will be enforced across the country in their great conclaves. The choice to include metallic dragons in her conclave was a deliberate choice on Ruatha’s part, they serve to temper the mad ambitions of the chromatic dragons that could fragment the whole nation. The two sets of dragons frequently argue with each other over philosophy, law, religion, and anything else they can decide to argue about. The metallic dragons frequently advocate for the humanoids beneath them, but rarely consider them anything more than servants or novelties.
In Quanun and the regions around it, the underground is a refuge from the dragons, a place where they are too large to give chase. Many major cities have numerous small tunnel networks underneath them.
The Royal Conclave of Dragons
The highest positions of the draconic empire are the eight seats that form into a parliament. Each seat is occupied by one of the dragon kings, each king controls their own territories within the empire and are responsible for collecting taxes and enforcing law within their territory. The lords are also for providing defense for their region and the country as a whole. Twice a decade, the kings meet in a mandatory conclave where they debate legislation. This conclave also serves as an official forum for the dragon kings to settle disputes that cross the borders of their territories, in a process that involves a lot of claws and teeth. Failure to attend this conclave is grounds for a dragon’s dismissal from their seat.
The conclave also hosts an event called the “arena of kings,” held within a massive crater with a Colosseum built around it. The arena is one means for ambitious dragons to seize the power of a dragon king. It begins with a tournament between dragons with various challenges of strength, intellect and hunting ability, the final victor can face the current king to seize their seat and their territory.
Outside of the conclave, the dragon lords do still meet, visiting each other. They know that the structure of their conclave offers them protection in their position and territory, making it safe to make social calls to the other lords of Quanun.
Ambitious dragons can also take a gamble by warring against a dragon king and killing them. Once a king is dead, the conqueror can petition an emergency session of the conclave to take the empty seat. Dragon kings may also step aside and appoint their successor, though this almost never happens. The only standing rule for membership is that there may be no more than one of each color of dragon sitting on the conclave.
The Dragon kings each command armies of humanoids and even other dragons, each has a specific group under their command that they train above the others, specifically bringing them up as dragon slayers to send them against upstarts or rivals. These elites serve numerous other tasks, they are some of the few members of the draconic armies that travel overseas.
Ruatha, the Ruby Empress
The oldest dragon of the royal conclave and the founder of Quanun, Ruatha holds the greatest seat on the conclave, the grand throne of the empress, and wears the powerful crown of the dragon empire atop her leathery head. With the artifact she was able to exert her control over other dragons and demolish the nations that once occupied the region.
Ruatha is an adept player of politics, she maneuvers the rest of the council against each other, playing them into war and peace. She’ll secretly back potential threats to the other council members, only to pull the support when her goals are met. She twists the other council members around her thumbs, keeping them strained and distracted to keep them from organizing against her, something she desperately fears.
Ruatha’s main focus of her political strategy is long-term. She founded the empire and she believes that so long as she plays her games she need never fear losing her position. Her influence over the other dragons has kept taxes low and actually increased oversight on the actions of other dragons, a policy she considers to be an “investment.”
Ruatha lairs within the former dwarven city of Lytol, the first major city that she took in the expansion of her empire.
Nabol, Black Onyx
Nabol encouraged mining within his territory, tribes of kobolds control numerous slaves within labyrinthine mine complexes. Nabol is a sadistic hedonist and is famously greedy, even for a dragon, his greed has led to dangerous mining practices and exorbitant prices, his mines are the most feared destination of any slave. Nabol is often contrary, acting as an opposition voice or devils advocate simply for the joy of gumming up the works.
Nabol lairs above a huge seam of raw gold that he intentionally left unmined, his lair is guarded by the a massive gated keep at the entrance to the mine.
Nerat, Blue Sapphire
Nerat rules over a coastal territory. He rules over fishermen who fish the deep oceans. His keep is decorated with trophies from massive sea creatures he’s hunted. Nerat also secretly rules over a pirate fleet, run by proxy through his “estranged” half-dragon daughter, this clan terrorizes the coasts of Urur and other nations. Nerat’s pirate fleet is also one of the largest organizations responsible for smuggling out the humanoid political opponents of the other dragon kings; at a crippling expense.
Nerat keeps his lair within a carved out skyland named Ciparis that overlooks the oceans he believes he rules.
Bitra, Green Emerald
Queen Bitra is an incorrigible gambler, famous for the exorbitant stakes she wages in her gambles. She encourages similar habits within her subordinates. “Never bet with a Bitran” is common advice, as debtors who fail to pay are enslaved or consumed. Bitra is also famous for her taste in slave goods and her eye for quality. She oversees the largest operation for the buying and selling of people in Quanun, if not the world.
Bitra lairs within the formerly elven city Kinver, located on the top of a broad, flat, skyland and surrounded by floatwood forests.
Telgar, Glittering Gold
Telgar rules over a diverse mining territory, mining for minerals, metals and quarrying stone. He encourages the arts and skills within his subjects and fine art and jewelry is presented as tribute to the king. Telgar approves of Ruatha’s “generosity” among the citizens of Quanun and the two enjoy an uneasy alliance. Telgar often steps in to mediate Ruatha’s decisions among the metallic dragons.
Telgar lairs within the lofted Sallah Castle on top of a high skyland.
Benden, Shimmering Silver
Silver Benden was the first metallic dragon to join Ruatha’s empire. She is a patient dragon whose plans and plots can take decades to bear fruit. Benden spends a great deal of time shape-shifted in the form of a lithe elf with silver hair, a form she uses to wander among her citizenry and travel incognito. Benden joined the empire as a way to oppose the plans and overreaches of chromatic dragons and will often take positions contrary to other members of the parliament simply to oppose chromatic colleagues.
Benden occupies the Safarn mansion, once owned by a powerful noble, that was modified with much larger main doors.
Igen, Bold Brass
Igen is nearly as old a dragon as Ruatha, making him one of the oldest dragons in the continent, indeed the whole world. Igen is a devout worshiper of the gods and encourages faith within his ranks. Many of his followers are clerics, healers and paladins. Igen most frequently pushes for devotion to the gods within legislature and many of his proposals are designed to protect the faithful.
Igen’s seat of power is an ancient citadel, built over the centuries to conceal the deactivated body of a titan beneath its walls. His guardianship of the titan is the result of an ancient oath he made to the gods.
Ista, Shining Bronze
The bronze dragon Ista rules over a coastal region with a number of small islands off the coast. His region is the seat of a powerful trade conglomerate that Ista indirectly oversees. He is interested in trade and the profits that can come from it, and often works with the other membership of parliament to ensure that trade and travel has little difficulty between different regions of Quanun.
Ista rules from Bitka island (a traditional island) off the coast.
The Dragon-Slayer Kingdoms
North of the northern mountain range that marks the edge of the dragon’s territory are collections of warrior tribes and barbarian kingdoms. The mountains at their border prevent the dragons from organizing a large scale invasion, and the rest of their power comes from the fact that these nations are home to some of the most adept dragon-slayers alive.
Giants hold a great deal of influence within the northern territories north of Quanun, as they are famous rivals of dragon-kind.
These regions take in many refugees that have fled from Quanun, often traveling through dangerous mountain passes to avoid discovery, and risking being devoured should they fail.
The warriors of this territory spend a great deal of time fighting dragons, either fending off military action or opposing dragons that seek to found a new territory or just feast. The greatest warriors of the dragon-slayer kingdoms are able to kill dragons with ease and skill.
The Vast Desert
Some people flee the dragon’s influence by retreating to the harsh desert. They move south into the massive desert, a blazing hot remnant of an explosion of elemental earth and flame during the breaking, though the dragon empress Ruatha encourages the rumor that she burned the grasslands to desert while she conquered the old civilizations that once occupied it.
The desert is home to roaming bands of nomads that travel between known oasis’ and natural stone caves that provide shade from the sun. These people are famously tough and ruthless and celebrated for their abilities with martial arts and spears.
Groups and Organizations
The groups on Urur are centered around the dragons. The upset around the creation of Quanun and the rule of the dragons has caused too much turmoil for it not to.
Taken aside from the ranks of slaves as children, the dragon claws are trained to be peerless warriors. There every moment is spent in combat. They are broken, tortured, and then pieced back together into loyal soldiers of their dragon to serve them faithfully and exclusively. The process is horrendous and few of those chosen survive the intense training. Those that do survive are peerless fighters, and will obey the orders of the dragon they serve even to their death.
A group of adventurers managed to steal a precious jewel from Nabol the black, they took their prize and fled for the north, but they were hunted by the dragon’s forces. Picked off one by one. Finally they had to make a last stand at the mountain pass, Nabol himself arrived to kill them. Fortunately they held long enough for reinforcements from the north to arrive. Few of the party survived, but they did manage to push Nabol back. They turned their success into a reputation and sold the gem to found the Harrowers. They are dedicated to keeping the dragons south of the mountains. Now they man defensive keeps at the northern border of Quanun and conduct occasional raids against the dragons. “There are two kinds of Harrowers; the tough and the dead.”
Inside of the draconic empire there are those who resent the rule, and there are some few among them who are brave enough to take action. These are connected to the thieves’ guilds, traveling through the tunnels and sub-cities where the dragons are too large to hunt them. They ply themselves to acts of sedition and sabotage, trying to undermine the dragon’s power from within.