Quanun (Orizon Supplement)
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Quanun, the Empire of Dragons, is a place of turmoil, oppression, and disparity between the rulers and the ruled. Sitting at the peak of the pyramid, sometimes literally, are the dragons, the massive winged tyrants rule over their empire with an iron claw, though they fight among each others as often as they fight others.
Beneath the dragons are half-dragons and dragonborn, they act as the intermediaries between dragons and their subjects and believe themselves to be inherently superior to other humanoids because of their draconic blood.
Beneath them are the other humanoids, all of whom are considered to exist in servitude to the dragons, though they are ostensibly protected, provided they keep their lords happy with tribute. Highly positioned humanoids decorate themselves with jewelry with draconic motifs to emulate their lords. Beneath them are two groups of people, the dregs and the slaves, or as the dragons consider them, snacks. Slaves enjoy protection from those who own them, but may still be eaten freely by dragons, though repayment is expected. Dregs are people who have been cast aside by society, they have no home, they have no protections and are frequently hunted and consumed.
The nation of Quanun is occupied and ruled over by both major types of dragons, the chromatic and the metallic. Both genus' of dragons enjoy an uneasy truce and frequently argue between each other over philosophy, law, and religion. The metallic dragons frequently advocate for the humanoids beneath them, but rarely consider them anything more than servants or novelties.
The Dragon Kings
The highest positions of the draconic empire are the eight seats that form a parliament. Each seat is occupied by one of the dragon kings and each king controls their own territories within the empire and are responsible for collecting taxes and enforcing the laws within their territory, also for providing defense for the country and their region. 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.
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.
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 - Red Dragon
- 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 final city that held out against the expansion of her empire.
Nabol - Black Dragon
- 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 Dragon
- 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 her "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 Dragon
- 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. Though winning a bet with a bitran is one of the surest ways to riches. Bitra is also famous for her taste in slave goods and oversees the largest operation for the buying and selling of people.
- Bitra lairs within the former elven city Kinver, located on the top of a broad, flat, skyland and surrounded by floatwood forests.
Telgar -gold dragon
- 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, which was constructed on a skyland.
Benden -silver dragon
- 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 shapeshifted 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 overeaches 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 - Brass Dragon
- 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 - Bronze Dragon
- 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.
Each of the dragon kings dress themselves in lavish displays of jewelry as symbols of wealth and status. The kings enjoy privileges unique to themselves, though the most obvious are the taxes their subjects pay to them. Within a king's territory they are the final arbiters of law, though they must still obey laws laid down by the assembled parliament, outside of those laws the dragon's king word is law.
Lesser dragons that are beneath the ruling party are essentially nobility. They are required to be utterly obedient, a dissident or rebellious lesser dragon is dealt with harshly if caught. Subordinate dragons often act as agents, generals, or governors under the dragon kings, and in those positions add small amounts to their own hoards.
"Lesser" species are expected to obey orders given by a dragon with haste and provide for a dragon's needs. Many peasants work as herdsmen to provide food for the dragons, only the kings are not expected to pay for their food, though many dragons simply take what they desire, another action that can wake the ire of the dragon kings.
Survival is difficult for the lesser dragons, any that seem too competent may have assassins sent by a rival dragon king to weaken their lord, any that seem too ambitious may have assassins sent by their own lord. Few dragons entertain the concept of trust and all walk a political tight rope. Minor dragons are also not bound by the formalities that govern the dragon kings and often war between each other, raiding the territories of rivals or battling for favor with their king or for gold or goods. Another danger is the occasional revolution that springs up among the populace that attack any dragon they can get their hands on.
Dragonborn and half-dragons hold a special position among the society of Quanun. They can occasionally hold positions of power that would otherwise be occupied only by full dragons and serve as intermediaries between the populace and their draconic overlords.
Most other humanoids can never advance beyond middle class, some run mercantile operations, others govern communities and answer to dragons to whom they pay taxes and tribute. Most are simple peasants or slaves that produce goods for the dragons to take. All humanoids within the nation fear the very real prospect of being devoured by a dragon.
There is a robust criminal underworld within the humanoid populations. Since the dragons don't much care for the going-ons of the people, so long as it seems like business as usual, the thieves can conduct raids on collected taxes and even, if they are especially ambitious, on the hoards of dragons themselves.
Criminal and rebellion organizations have built a massive and intricate network of tunnels below major cities, these tunnels are designed to be too small for the dragons to enter, and too complex for the dragon's minions to reliably navigate. These tunnels are filled with twists and traps, but they are a blessed refuge for those who feel they are too far underneath the dragon's claws.
The dragons do not encourage magic use among their humanoid subjects. Those that display aptitude are taken and taught in universities controlled by the dragons and enter into direct service to the dragons. Those who display magical talent and have even the potential of desire to resist the dragons are usually eaten.