In the Pursuit of Greatness
“I was born for the Clan. I live for the Clan. I will die for the Clan.” -Barash, Red Warrior of Clan Torran
(Mostly) From PHB: Dragonborn resemble humanoid dragons. They’re covered in scaly hide, but they don’t have tails. They are tall and strongly built, often standing close to 6½ feet in height and weighing 300 pounds or more. Their hands and feet are strong, talonlike claws with three fingers and a thumb on each hand. A Dragonborn’s head features a blunt snout, a strong brow, and distinctive frills at the cheek and ear. Behind the brow, a crest of hornlike scales of various lengths resembles thick, ropy hair.
A Dragonborn’s scales can be the color of any chromatic or metallic color, but are never as vibrant as the scales of the dragons they relate to. A blue Dragonborn’s scales will never match the intensity of color you might see in an actual blue dragon, for instance. Scale color does tend to reflect the kind of breath weapon a Dragonborn uses; a red Dragonborn will almost always breathe fire, while a black Dragonborn typically breathes acid or poison. There are, of course, exceptions, but they are rare.
Most Dragonborn have very fine scales over most of their body, giving their skin a leathery texture, with regions of larger scales on the forearms, lower legs and feet, shoulders, and thighs.
Dragonborn in Ashara
Dragonborn are not an extraordinarily common sight in Ashara, but they are far from unheard of. Most Dragonborn are martial in nature, tending toward careers in warfare and battle. As such, they make natural soldiers or adventurers. Clan life is extremely important to Dragonborn culture; if a Dragonborn is an upstanding member of a clan, he or she has a duty to serve the clan’s interests before his or her own. Exile from a clan is considered a fate worse than death, and many exiled Dragonborn commit suicide, rather than try to live a clanless life. Those Dragonborn who do accept exile tend to be bitter, hardened individuals.
Dragonborn are most common in Pelira, where a few clans have risen to prominence and been granted Houses. There, Dragonborn can be found in all walks of life, from soldiers to merchants to politicians. Of course, there are also several clans that remain nomadic, generally roaming in the mountainous northern region.
Dragonborn are also common in the Holy Empire of Vecora, which takes great pride in its Knights of Vecorim, a military contingent composed entirely of Dragonborn. The Knights of Vecorim have gained a reputation for being utterly ruthless in battle. Many of the Dragonborn currently in the contingent were soldiers in the army the Deva Adara led against King Leoras during the coup that birthed Vecora.
In the deserts of Hash-I’sah, Dragonborn clans are very rare. Instead, most Dragonborn in Hash-I’sah are exiles, banished from their home clans in the other kingdoms. These exiles tend to join companies of sellswords, though there have been a few cases where exiles have banded together to form unrecognized clans.
Andorian Dragonborn are extremely rare. Most Dragonborn in Andoria are independent adventurers or mercenaries, though a few have joined the army.
Playing a Dragonborn in This Campaign
Playing a Dragonborn presents a large number of possibilities. You must consider several aspects of your character; it might help to start with questions like the following:
- Where is your Dragonborn from? Use the descriptions above to get a feel for how Dragonborn fit in the various regions.
- Is your Dragonborn a member of a clan?
- If so, why is your Dragonborn in Andoria? Are you on some sort of quest for your clan? Or maybe your clan traditionally sends its members out to adventure for a while upon coming of age?
- If not, why isn’t your Dragonborn a member of the clan anymore? Were you yourself exiled, or were you simply born to exiled parents? Do you hope to regain status as a clan-member someday?