Showing posts from December, 2019

New Dragons!

(This one's out of character, to record my new thoughts.)

I'd always known that dragons represented sins, which a medieval viewpoint. I always knew that the church literally prohibited dragons, but that the current leaders say the passages are meant to be taken metaphorically. 
But there are seven sins and only five dragons!
As a result, Tirenia welcomes its new draconic overlords! Two more good and two more evil dragons, from some of the supplementary material not yet converted to 5th Edition, are joining the ten established dragon broods. The evil Brown Dragons live in Felsina (Bologna) - they promote the greatest university in Tirenia, and are famous gourmands. The good Mercury Dragons are in Trion (Turin), where they serve the bronze dragons and are great alchemists. The evil Grey Dragons fought as condottieri, before becoming lords of Pirusi (Rimini); so did the good Iron Dragons in Matauro (Urbino), and they are now deadly rivals.
That's 150 posts achieved before the…

Dragons and Sins

Do not trust the dragon of wrath, for he brings bloodshed, destroying reconciliation. Do not trust the dragon of gluttony, for he consumes rapaciously, leaving nothing for others.  Do not trust the dragon of envy, for he turns brother against brother. Do not trust the dragon of luxury, for he desires all things for himself. Do not trust the dragon of greed, for he sells anything so as to buy everything. Do not trust the dragon of sloth, for he quells good deeds through inaction. Do not trust the dragon of pride, for he would set himself equal to the firmament itself.
These words from the Storia are officially taken by the church as metaphorical. The 'dragons' are the seven sins that can stain the soul so direly that it remains affected beyond this lifetime. A soul that is too stained may damn itself to Inferno, never again to be reborn. However, there are some who believe that these lines should be taken literally: as an exhortation to beware dragon-kind itself. Certainly, each broo…

Cities of Tirenia: Staglia

Population: 150,000

Dragon: Staglia has been ruled by bronze dragons ever since the fall of the Auromian Empire. Imperatore Achille is the current leader of the bronze dragons.

Politics: Staglia is a benevolent fascist military dictatorship. The bronze dragons believe that the world was better off when under the control of the gold dragons. Other bronze dragons are generales, who are advisors to the Imperatore. While the bronze dragons do not see themselves as being as wise or capable as the gold dragons, they are a better alternative than anyone else. Should a new gold dragon emperor appear, it would destroy the Staglian empire.

Economics: Staglia was the first city-state to develop its own merchant navy. It is strongly in favour of private enterprise for public good. Merchants are taxed to enrich the state coffers, but those who suffer hardship can apply for support from the state. There is virtually no unemployment: state-owned enterprises and the army mean that everyone has a job. Th…

Carlo d'Orso

King Carlo of Orso was a historical king who united much of northern Tirenia during his lifetime. After the fall of the Auromian Empire and the establishment of the Church, there was considerable civic disruption. The Church did not want to take temporal power, and this resulted in a power vacuum. Carlo was a minor landowner and military leader whose use of heavy cavalry and skillful diplomacy led to him carving out a realm of his own. He took great care to promote the interests of the Church, and the High Ordinarch legitimized him in turn, eventually crowning him as Emperor of Tirenia and Defender of the Faith. Carlo spent a lot of time on campaign. When word reached Orso that he had been killed in battle, his son Moderio took the crown. Carlo was not dead, however: when he returned, Morderio refused to give up the crown and the two killed each other in battle.

Carlo spent considerable time strengthening the key city-states in northern Tirenia and weakening the power of the nobility,…

Character Creation: Personality Traits

All things in Tellaia are connected to the elements of reality. People believe that all living things are made up of the elements of air, earth, fire and water, and that this determines their personality. Aether is not included - it is the element that tethers the soul to the body, and it is what makes it possible for humans to use magic.

Instead of having personality traits based on their background, a Tirenian character may instead wish to derive their personality from their elements (or 'humours'). Some people will have traits from different elements, while others will be strongly focussed on a single element. It is believed that a person's elemental nature also determines what sort of magic they will use, though there are no rules for this. Some character races and classes lend themselves to particular elements as well - many barbarians would have a strong connection to the element of Fire, which is related to anger, while an element-touched (genasi) character might ha…

Mercury Dragons and the Magic of Trion

Trion is a city of about 30,000 people situated in the foothills of the White Mountains, about 200 miles north-west of Staglia. It was founded by the Auromian Empire after an important victory against the orcs in the mountains. Since then, it has had many rulers: it was part of Carlo d'Orso's empire, was ruled by the Ordinarch-Princes of the church, was conquered by mercury dragons and finally annexed by the bronze dragons of Staglia, who still rule it.

All of Tirenia is highly magical, due to the convergence of ley lines there, but Trion is particularly magical. The ruling mercury dragons princes have many magical advisors, and have created palaces attuned to the five elements - earth, fire, water, air and aether. There are rumours that some great alchemical secret is buried in caves under the city, but no one knows what. Certainly, the aetheric currents in the city means that it is closer to Heaven and Hell than usual. It is rumoured that the lost caves may lead to the Under…

The Ruins of Auromia: Session Three - The Cavaliere Rosso

When the roof fell in, Forza and Sorrel realised they were in a tight spot.

The dragon-souled knight and the itinerant herbalist-musician had met on the road months before. Forza was seeking the man who had killed his mother so he could get revenge, and Sorrel decided to accompany him - it sounded like an interesting story, and ever since her father had retired, she had found herself at loose ends. They travelled together, following the trail of the man. At last they lost him, but then heard rumours of a Red Knight in the outskirts of Auromia who was brutally taking over the bandit gangs there, who wielded an antique two-handed sword like the one that had been stolen from Forza's mother. The two wanderers went to Auromia. The outskirts of the Cavaliere Rosso's territory was marked by the crucified bodies of his enemies, and birds feasted on their remains. The pair located a sentry post, in an ancient thermopolia (fast-food restaurant), and clambered on to the roof to eavesdrop…

Elements of a Dragon Princes adventure

Every good Dragon Princes adventure should feature most of these following elements.

1. A mysterious world

Tirenia is a world where everyone has a hidden motivation, and nothing is as simple as it seems. There should always be some sort of mystery for the players to uncover, or a twist that changes how they view what has been happening.

2. An imperfect world

Characters in Tirenia often have lofty goals, but reality means that they will be forced to compromise. Whether choosing the lesser of two evils, or deciding what they will sacrifice, players should be struggling to get the best possible results.

3. A changing world

The world is on the cusp of the Tirenian Wars, and nothing will stay the same ever again. Every adventure should upend the status quo, and have lasting changes. Whether it's political upheaval, new discoveries, new inventions, or something else, characters should be able to see how the events that they have been involved in will have effects on future games in Tire…