Dragon Pass in The Second Age


Before Arkat left in 450, he placed his troll friends into positions of leadership. The Only Old One was reinstated, and Dragon Pass became part of the Shadowlands. The Heortlings chose a new king, although his powers were more ceremonial than mundane. Their troll overlords collected a tax called Arkat’s Command. For a century, the trolls appeared regularly at certain places and collected great heaps of foodstuffs and lesser amounts of human-made goods.

In 562, an army of Yelmalio worshipers settled a temple city in Holay. The overlords in the Shadowlands sent an army to drive them out, but the army was betrayed and destroyed. A large part of the Shadowlands army was made up of Heortlings who subsequently balked at further aid to the Only Old One, and eventually broke into open revolt and overthrew their troll overlords in 578 in the Tax Slaughter. The Heortlings formed a new Kingdom of Dragon Pass.

The people of Dragon Pass learned to speak with the dragons, and learned to do new magic from them. Many people wanted to do this, and did. The ways of the dragon thinkers spread and the Kingdom of Dragon Pass came to be called the Empire of the Wyrms Friends, and eventually covered much of the continent. They lost much of their ancient culture during this period of dragon worship. The splendid and colorful age combined many parts of many ideas to make a new wholeness.

The Empire of the Wyrms Friends lasted for centuries, establishing trade with other continents, and covering the land with contented peace. Generations of misunderstanding and historical prejudice have heaped that time with rubble and abuse but the fault of the Empire did not lie in its misuse of power, but in a misunderstanding of it.

As time went on, the new generations of leaders were insolent and arrogant of their positions. By nature of the system in motion, the leaders grew at the expense of the rest of the world. Some of those did not move along the evolutionary chain, but gloried in the manipulating parts of the world themselves. Thus those leaders became conquerors when they demanded more materials to feed their projects. Their followers were the ones who carried these projects out.

In 826 the rulers of the Empire of the Wyrms Friends altered their government to a magical theocracy bent upon re-establishing the magical powers of the Gods Age in their land through the manipulation of the unusual Dragon Magics. They called their new organization the Third Council. For some time this succeeded, but internal dissension began in 889, when the rulers ordered their subjects to worship them as gods. This brought protests, rebellion, and eventually collapse.

In 1042 the Third Council was ended by Dragonewt betrayal. The Dragonewts launched a great offensive against the heart of the council as invaders battered the borderlands, destroying armies and liberating the lands. The council fell and the lands were left to the Dragonewt natives. In the Elder Wilds old antagonisms broke out anew, and the humans were hard pressed to keep their lands because of many successful troll and elf ambushes in the wilds. Corrupt remnants survived, like Delecti and the Tusk Riders, but the Empire of the Wyrms Friends.

The peoples of Peloria turned covetous eyes towards Dragon Pass and the dragonewt nests. The natives of Dragon Pass found allies and defended stoutly until their foes finally united to destroy all bodies and eggs of the ancient race.

The invaders massed and called themselves the True Golden Horde. They approached from several routes, thinking thereby to gain enough entry to suffer some defeats and some victories, overwhelming the Dragonewts by sheer numbers. However, they had not counted on the help which Dragonewts could muster from other realms. As the armies closed and entered the pass they were met by hundreds of dragons of all types, returning to protect their ancestral home. Dragons fell, both dream and true, but no army could withstand them. Thousands of people were slain in the war later the Dragonkill War. Less than a hundred people survived.

The event is called the Dragonkill War because of what the dragons did, not what happened to them. Most people alive today feel it was a long‑term trick which the dragons played on humans to get enough of them together in one place to be a great draconic meal.

The shock of these losses was so great that all the people around Dragon Pass feared the region for generations afterwards, and most of them who were close moved far away.

The dragonewts wanted to keep them away, and they erected a deadly invisible wall around their homeland. In the north, the edge was called the Deathline. In the south, it was called the Crossline. A series of crosses, each topped with a different beast’s sculpted head, reached east to west. Even without these barriers the superstitious awe and fear which humans held for the pass were enough to keep even the boldest adventurer out for over a century.