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Offline [NPC] The Librarian

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Draconis Spiritus
« on: July 25, 2016, 10:19:55 PM »
Draconis Spiritus


When the lands of Entar were still virginal, when the earth had not yet felt the feet of the common races tread upon it, and when the gods could still be seen and touched, there were dragons already ancient by the reckoning of both Man and Elf.  No element held sway over them, for they were as old as the elements themselves.  They bowed to no god, and their mightiness in the young days of creation was nearly equal to that of the greatest of entities.  They were, in a way, the progenitors of all dragons.

Few now know of the true race of dragons, and even fewer know of the obscure lore that surrounds their mysterious beginnings.  In the young days of creation there were many gods that held dominion over specific aspects of existence and life.  However, not all gods were equal.  There were gods that possessed such great magnitudes of power that all others paled in comparison, and there were gods that were as every bit as vital to the functioning of the universe as the great ones, yet their powers were less magnificent to behold and far more restrictive in its uses.

It is unknown when the rift of contempt and jealousy appeared, but its appearance was as every bit as swift and certain as a flood's passing.  There ran a deep bitterness amidst all the gods, as each one digressed towards envy of the other.  The great gods thirsted for the lesser gods' freedom, their responsibilities fewer and leaving more time for whimsical delights.  The lesser gods craved for the power and glory of the great gods, and their hearts burned bright with the desire to create and destroy as easily as their more powerful siblings.

Nevertheless, there remained a few select gods that did not succumb to these weaknesses.  These few looked upon their fallen brothers and sisters as they waged war across the heavens, weeping at what they knew must be done.  The corrupted gods, both great and small, had fallen from the place of grace they once rested within, their own selfish desires slowly twisting their very core until they were unfit to be either overseers or bear any form of responsibility.

In the end, these corrupted gods were cast down from the heavens upon the newly created world of Eldanar.  They were become deific dragons, already ancient and powerful with no true creator or god.  Instead, they were the embodiment of the capricious deities themselves, though in a very different form of manifestation now.  No longer had they the powers previously possessed, and no longer was omnipotence at their beck and call.  These fallen deities were now bound to their mortal coil of flesh and bone, graced with everlasting life and cursed with a true death should it ever claim them.  There was to be no Afterlife, no returning to the heavens as gods for them. 

It was a harsh punishment that was dealt upon these once all-powerful entities, and yet the newly created dragons did not revolt.  They were the very first race to live and breathe upon all of Eldanar, and it did not take them long to appoint themselves as lords and rulers over the other races that came afterwards.  This new existence was fully embraced, and yet again their arrogance knew no boundaries.  Brother murdered brother, sister betrayed sister, and it was not long before the great numbers of the mighty dragons had dwindled to but a few... and still they warred.

The gods once more looked upon their former siblings as they waged petty wars over land and rulership, their hearts heavy with shame and grief.  It was evident from the large swathes of destruction and mayhem the deific dragons were creating that their lust for power would never be assuaged, and so the gods had mercy upon the lesser races that had come into existence and bestowed upon their fallen brethren a state of deep slumber.  Never again would these merciless creatures be awake at the same time, and their hibernation would span centuries with only brief periods of awakening.

The lesser dragons, created in the image of the deific ones by the all powerful gods in hopes of granting their fallen brethren a sense of mercy and kinder temperament, were not afflicted with this magical slumber.  However, neither had these lesser beings been granted the kind of power the greater dragons possessed, all too fearful that this new race would be tempted to pick up where the fallen deities had left off, wreaking havoc unto the lands wherever they may go.  Instead, their existence came to depend upon the consumption of a specific element, and many came to be blessed with a sense of responsibility towards guiding and protecting the mortals of Eldanar.

The gods, though, did not take into account those born from the coupling of a dragon and human or elf.  The fallen deities had been unable to produce offspring amongst themselves, so why should it be any different with the coupling of another race?  It was a very rare occurrence, but sometimes a dragon would become so entranced by a certain characteristic of a human or elf that they would take on a form in the likeness of that race, bewitching them beneath their spell and taking them for themselves.  It is never known just what allure the dragon might find in a human or elf, but one thing is certain: once ownership is claimed over the human or elf it shall last till death has come to claim their soul.  They are viewed as a treasure much akin to what they prize in their hoards, and the person is never given up willingly.

Those born of this coupling did not enter the world in the form of a dragon, but instead were enshrouded in the form of the other parent's race.  They were the Draconis Spiritus; those that possessed a small fraction of their draconic parent's spirit.  It is unknown just why the dragon loses a small part of itself and transfers it to these children, but it is precisely this occurrence that allows for offspring to be born.  Nevertheless, even though but a small portion of itself is passed on, the result is anything but insignificant.

These children are generally raised by the elven or human parent, and in most cases do not display any trait hinting at their unusual heritage.  It is not until the offspring reaches maturity that sometimes the spirit of the dragon, which had previously been dormant, awakens and triggers a reaction within the body.  The person essentially undergoes a transformation that can take any where from a few weeks to several years.  In the end, the person ceases to exist as the being they had previously been, and instead fully transforms into a dragon that very closely resembles that of their deific ancestor.  Likewise, these transformations do not always occur in the first generation of the coupling, and have been known to still occur in far later generations as the spirit does not weaken in the least as it is passed on.

Lo should anyone cross the path of these childer dragons, for they are the favored of the fallen gods.

Offline [NPC] The Librarian

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Draconis Spiritus
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2016, 10:20:39 PM »
Becoming a Draconis Spiritus

One may not simply wake up one day and decide he or she would like to become a Draconis Spiritus.  In order to ascend to this new level of existence, a person must have been descended from one of the deific dragons.  Secondly, the person's starting race must be either human, elf, or half-elf.  The fragment of the spirit is unable to be passed on through the other races, and becomes irrevocably lost should a descendant of a dragon couple and bear offspring with any other race.  Third, the person must be a wielder of the arcane, as it is a catalyst in the final transformation.

Furthermore, and perhaps the main thing that sparks off the transformation, is to slay a lesser dragon in what is known as the Rite of Ascendance.  This ritual must be completed during the time that the draconic spirit has begun to stir within the person (ie once the person has begun to show traces of his draconic heritage such as a change in personality or appearance).  If the Rite is not completed within this period, the spirit shall eventually go dormant once more and wait to be passed on to the next generation.

In ages past the deific dragons warred amongst each other, and there was much wanton bloodshed between them.  They betrayed and murdered without mercy, and mirroring this behavior is the true step towards fully grasping the ancient birthright that lurks impatiently within the soul.  The person must slay a lesser dragon out of selfish motivation, and then use the spilt blood to paint runes upon one's own body for the Rite.  Likewise, a large circle and several more runes must be scrawled in the dragon's blood upon the floor.

The person must then stand in the middle of the circle, and recite an arcane spell of unsealing that is a closely kept secret amongst those families believed to hold ancestral ties to the ancient dragons.  Should the family not have passed down this spell to the next generation, then the person must quest to discover the spell.  Once the spell has been completed the draconic spirit within is finally unshackled, and consumes all other ties the person had to their original race.  They essentially become a dragon of old, far superior to the lesser born dragons that consume elements, and far inferior to the deific creatures themselves.

Traits of a Draconis Spiritus

The transformation to Draconis is different for everyone, and varies from case to case.  For some, the metamorphosis into a dragon may take years, while for others a few weeks may be all that is required.  There is one thing that remains in common with all Draconis Spiritus, and that is the many different stages one must experience before the change is rendered complete.   

Generally, the first change that manifests in the person is that of an altering personality.  The ancient dragons were wholly consumed by traits such as greed and vanity, and their descendants are no different.  Even if a person already had an envious and narcissistic nature, once the transformation begins, the personality traits are merely amplified until they reach the level at which their ancestor resided.  The person may also begin to have an overblown sense of self importance, as well as find himself impressively patient towards a certain situation.  Likewise, certain events may wear thin on the patience more rapidly than it once used to, and in turn spark off an unnaturally short temper.

Another change that begins to manifest itself in varying stages is that of the person's physical appearance.  All of the dragons had an unnatural allure to them, and this trait reflects just as heavily in their two-legged offspring.  Similarly, a person may find their nails lengthening and hardening until they more resemble claws.  The pupils may shift shape until their eyes more resemble that of a feline.  Hair and eye color may or may not change, and a person might even begin to sprout horns if their dragon form is to possess any.

Once the transformation has fully completed its cycle, the person turns into a magnificent example of how the metaphorical Fathers and Mothers of all dragons appeared.  The Draconis Spiritus is by far the largest of any other dragon, save the deific ones themselves, upon Eldanar.  A childer dragon's maximum height can reach up to sixty-two feet, with a maximum length - from nose to tail - of two-hundred and fifteen feet.  Their wingspan, a truly impressive sight once unfurled, can reach up to four-hundred and forty-five feet long.  Every Draconis Spiritus varies in physical appearance however, and a myriad of colorations are possible; ranging from the deepest black to the purest white.

Once the transformation is complete, the abilities of the Draconis are fully realized.  Some may have surfaced during the transformation but only once it is complete will they be at their maximal potential.

The dragon is blessed with a myriad of racial strengths, and it is because of this that he has earned wholeheartedly the stories of awe and fright told across Entar by bards.  The dragon's entire body is covered from head to tail in hard, armor-like scales that are nigh impenetrable to mundane weapons.  It is very much akin to wearing a full suit of adamantiurm armor without the encumbrance that accompanies as such.

Every dragon has the ability to fly, unless of course his wings have been severely damaged.  This proves to be a very distinct advantage in combat, and is always used to its utmost potential.  As well, each and every Draconis has a distinct breath weapon they are capable of using: fire, ice, noxious wind, water, or acid.  Sometimes, this breath weapon may even be a mixture of two different attacks.  The teeth, claws, and tail also oftentimes prove to be a very formidable adversary should anyone ever challenge the dragon, and heightened eyesight, hearing, and smell help to alert the dragon in advance of an approaching enemy.

The Draconis is also gifted with the trait of ever-lasting youth; the fear of natural death is no longer a looming threat for this majestic creature.  The dragon is effectively locked within a state of agelessness, though after several centuries the dragon's scales may begin to harden further or his powers become even more advanced.  Secondly, the dragon does not need to eat, drink, or sleep as often as mortals.  The Draconis' digestion track has been completely altered, and need only consume meat once every month.  However, once the need to eat has arisen he must consume a fairly large quantity of meat, such as several sheep.  It is also possible to delay this hunger by consuming other various items since a dragon's digestion track can handle virtually anything.  It is entirely possible for a dragon to feast upon his own treasure hoard if he wishes to prolong an expedition out into the world for food, though eating one's own hoard is generally not a favored option.

When in humanoid form the Draconis still has several traits that carry over.  For one, the Draconis remains physically powerful while in humanoid form, though this is substantially less than what he would have in dragon form.  The primary senses of sight, smell, and hearing remain keenly acute even in humanoid form, and nails retain their hardened claw-like quality while in this form.

  • Shift Form: The Draconis Spiritus has the ability to revert back to humanoid form for an interminable amount of time should he so choose.  The humanoid form is no longer his true body, and is limited to only appearing as either a human, elf, or half-elf.  The Draconis most often chooses to remain with the appearance they had prior to the transformation, with the exception of altering minor traits for their own pleasure or amusement.  This transformation is magical, and therefore any equipment adorned upon the person will reappear upon the body once the dragon shifts back into humanoid form.  The entire body is consumed in an almost blindingly brilliant light as it either shrinks or enlarges, making anything distinct impossible to discern beyond a vague outline, and is a gradual process that takes somewhere around thirty seconds to complete.
  • Quickened Casting: Upon transformation, the dragon suddenly finds himself bestowed with the amazing ability to cast even the most complex of spells with a simple word, thought, or gesture.  It does not matter which form the dragon is currently residing within, this unique gift remains as every bit as potent and useful during heated combat.
  • Intimidating Aura: This aura is magical in nature, and impossible to fully resist.  Whether a person is naturally brave or even magically protected against fearful effects, a character will nevertheless feel varying degrees of either outright fear, intimidation, or awe.  This does not mean that a character will necessarily flee at the mere sight of the Draconis' true form, but it is highly likely.
  • Innate Telepathy: All Draconis, unlike the lesser dragons, have the capability to speak normally in whatever tongue they knew prior to transformation.  However, all Draconis are also blessed with the gift for telepathy.  This trait is not without its limitations however, and a person must be within eyesight of the dragon - which stands the chance of being a mile away considering their keen eyesight - for the telepathy to reach the intended target.

While the dragon is indeed a mighty opponent to be both feared and respected, it is not without its inherent racial weaknesses.  The dragon possesses a very immense frame that, while it allows for an impressive sight and use of incredible strength, does not allow for easy maneuverability in small spaces.  The dragon is fairly agile in both air and upon land, but one can only do so much with such a size.

The Draconis is also incapable of using faith-based or elemental magic.  Its pride makes it impossible for a god to be worshiped, and while the lesser dragons hold close ties with elemental magic, the Draconis does not.  Also, the underbelly is where the scales are less thick and hard, allowing for possible injury to occur to vital areas.  The wings provide a very large target once unfurled, and if enough damage is sustained it could make flight impossible.

Shifting forms is as well a delicate process to be handled if enemies are lurking nearby.  The brilliant white light that engulfs the person's body can often be a dead giveaway of their location if stealth was an element attempting to be used.  As well, the Draconis is unable to take any action during the thirty seconds it takes for the transformation to become complete, and should be considered highly vulnerable to attack during this time.

Another keen weakness of the Draconis Spiritus is its limitations to shifting forms after having flown a great distance.  Though the abiliity is rooted within magic it still requires a vast amount of energy to be drawn from.  After having undergone a long journey the dragon will find it difficult, if not all together impossible, to revert back to humanoid form without having rested first.  Likewise, if the dragon is exhausted within humanoid form he will be unable to shift into his true form.

Though the dragon is granted agelessness, this does not mean the dragon can not be killed.  This is, in fact, the exact opposite, and something the Draconis comes to greatly fear.  The Draconis Spiritus has inherited the curse bestowed upon his deific ancestors.  Once a dragon dies, he ceases to exist utterly.  For the Draconis, there is no Afterlife awaiting him.  He has been granted an eternity to dwell upon Eldanar, and should he not exercise caution he will be naught but a vague memory in the minds of mortals.

  • Narcissism: Just as the deific dragons were an arrogant and vain breed, so to have the offspring inherited such traits.  A Draconis Spiritus can as easily have his rage assuaged by receiving colorful compliments as have it inspired by a petty insult.  Reflective surfaces, such as mirrors or calm lakes, can often manage to ensnare the dragon's attention, luring them into a trance-like state as they gaze adoringly at their own reflection.
  • Greed: All Draconis Spiritus suffer from an intense need to gather treasure into a hoard that they inevitably guard with a keen sense of jealousy.  A dragon will notice immediately if any single piece of his hoard is missing, and will fly into a mad rage; oftentimes destroying half the countryside in his pursuit of the thief.  Likewise, treasure does not always come in the form of precious jewels and artifacts for a dragon, and may sometimes in fact be a person.
  • Temperamental: The dragon suffers from a very intense sense of arrogance and pride, which can oftentimes lead to a short temper being sparked off over a rather petty occurrence.  The Draconis can easily lose his temper during a battle over the smallest of things, and rather than concentrate on the larger picture he may instead choose to focus all of his ire upon a single, unlucky target.  This can, of course, oftentimes lead to the demise of allies in the vicinity.

Restrictions to becoming a Draconis Spiritus

Due to their heritage, there are a few prominent restrictions to becoming a Draconis Spiritus:

  • Racial: In order to become a Draconis Spiritus, the character's race must be one of the following: human, elf, or half-elf.
  • Arcane Knowledge: Characters wishing to become a Draconis Spiritus must be wielders of arcane magic, and demonstrably so, whether they began with abilities or picked them up later.

Additional Information

  • The youngest generation that is playable as a Draconis Spiritus is eighth.
  • Upon transformation into this prestige class, the character is no longer able to use faith or elemental magic if he was able to previously.

Credits

  • Original Concept and Write-up: Ataleu
  • Revised Edition: Davin Ragal & Zyrphath