Of all the Elder Races, the Dragonewts are perhaps the most strange and the least understood even though a fair amount of has been written about them. Many songs, stories, myths, legends and tales have been composed about them. This is my humble attempt to describe them more fully, because the truth about Dragonewts is too important to be left in a number of separate, unrelated and often contradictory sources.
Who and what exactly are the Dragonewts? The race of dragon-men are something of a mystery. When they die, they are reborn within hours or days at most. If they led a good life, they are reborn at a higher station in life. Those who are truelt enlightened are reborn as Dragons. But those dragonewts who live a dishonorable life are reborn at a lower status level. Some are so disgraced, they are "Lost Dragonewts." A Lost Dragonewt is outside the Dragonewt Rebirth Cycle, when a Lost Dragonewt dies, he stays dead. In some cases Dragonewts are reborn as lizardmen, newts or other...
When the Deities of the Celestial Court began experimenting with Runes, they created Form Runes and populated the world with many creatures. The first Rune they created was the Dragon Rune and they filled the world with reptilian and draconic creatures. Many became extinct, but some survived. One of these early races was that of the Dragonewts, bipedal almost humanoid reptiles, born (is is said in legend) from the eggs laid by immature True Dragons.
While Dragonewts took some part in the earlest of myths and actions of creation, most of their actions from those times remain a great mystery. It is known that the Dragons and the True Giants (or Titans) fought a War before other things existed, but very fews details are known. Presumably the Dragonewts played some part in this war. Apparently some of the first Dragonewts matured into True Dragons around this time, although most of their brethren remained as they were before, normal Dragonewts.
After that war, in early history, the Dragonewts were involved in the First Council and in the God project when the new God Nysalor was created. Nysalor tried to curse the race when they left the Broken Council, but a Dragon awoke and swallowed the curse whole. Nysalor enslaved the Dragonewts until the first Dragonewt King sacrificed himself, allowing the Dragonewts to escape and fight for their freedom.
During the Second Age, the Dragonewts taught their secrets to humans and formed the Empire of the Wyrm. This political entity was geared up to recreating the Primal Dragons and had some early successes when they awakened some new True Dragons. However, in trying to achieve their aims, they ignored the people who were helping them. As the people became dissatisfied, they turned against the Empire of the Wyrm. Some of the Empire's Council made the error of coming down and helping the common people of the Empire, rather than strengthening the Dragon Project. For this reason, the project failed and the Dragonewts allied with the Trolls of the Dark Moon and slew all the major humans in the Empire of the Wyrm. The peoples who had been conquered by the Empire of the Wyrm then turned against their oppressors and invaded.
Especially hostile and strong were the people of Dara Happa, in Peloria, who had been ruled by the Sun Dragon or Emperor Dragon. They sent many tens (and perhaps hundreds) of thousands of their warriors to Dragon Pass to destroy the remnants of the Empire of the Wyrm in a great army called the True Golden Horde. This combined with armies from Prax and the South to try and destroy the Dragonewt Nests.
As they started to raid the Nests, the Dragonewts called on all the True Dragons and their Kin for help. What followed was the "Dragonkill War" (which described what the Dragons did to the enemies of the Dragonewts. Dragons came from all corners of the world, from the Spirit Plane and even the God Planes, together with Dream Dragons and dinosaurs and creatures which had not been seen for many Ages and killed and ate their (mainly) human foes.
Reports vary widely, but best estimates are, of the 750,000 enemies of the Emipre of the Wyrm, less than 1 in 20 survived. Many common people believed afterwards that the Empire of the Wyrm was just a massive ruse designed to give the Dragons a great feast.
While the Empire of the Wyrm was growing strong, a group of "God Learners" from Jrustela invaded the Kralorelan Empire and formed the False Dragon Ring. They took the Dragon Magics and used them in their own way, corrupting the magics and abandoning the normal rituals and restrictions applying to them. After many years of abuse, the mages of Kralorela performed many rituals, moved some stars to create a new constellation and to bring about a prophecy and awakened their Dragon Emperor. The Dragon's Awakening Shudder was powerful enough to destroy the False Dragon Ring and to free Kralorela.
Many Dragonewts now serve in the armies of the Lunar Empire as Mercenary Units. It is not known why they choose to do this, but it could be a reflection of the Nysalor.Dragonewt pattern. Recently, the Dragonewts holed up in their cities and carried out a ritual which resulted in the phenomena known as the "Dragonewt Dream." Many ghostly Dragonewts carried out rituals and ceremonies over a number of years, dressed in costumes from the Empire of the Wyrm. Some of these rituals seemed to have no effect, but others had physical effects such as when the ghostly Dragonewts forced open the gates of the Big Rubble in Prax. No non-dragonewt knows what purpose the Dream was supposted to serve, or what the final result will be.
All Dragonewts believe that the first of their ancestors were born when they hatched from the eggs laid by immature dragons. Many of those first dragonewts were taught by the dragons and managed to progress until they matured and became True Dragons. The others, far slower than their brethren (and of their decendents down to the present day), remain in Dragonewt form and try to progress without the aid of the Dragons to move them along.
It is said that the True Dragons took pity upon these, their lesser kin and working great Dragon Magic managed to bind their souls in order to give the Dragonewts the gift of reaching their full potenial. From that time to this, when a Dragonewt dies, its soul moves back to the egg that it was born from. A new body is hatched after a certain number of days, enabling the Dragonewt to be reborn. The number of days taken to be reborn depends on the spiritual purity of the Dragonewt. Impure Dragonewts may take several days to be reborn, Pure Dragonewts will be reborn in a single day.
Dragonewts can only be reborn when they have an Dragonewt King in existence from their nest or group of nests. If the Dragonewt King is dead and has not been replaced, Dragonewts who die will not be reborn - they are out of the Draconic Lifecycle. Such a thing happened during the Gbaji Wars. Some Dragonewts live in colonies which have no Dragonewt King or have voluntarily distanced themselves from the Draconic Way, these are called "Lost Dragonewts" and they will not be reborn - when they die, they die. Occasionally, a Dragonewt will be converted to worship of a GOD or GODDESS and be be removed from the Cycle. Such a "Lost Dragonewt" can be subject to Resurrection as any other person, but cannot be reborn. If a Dragonewt becomes so Impure as to be dominated by one of his emotions, it will mutate into a Dinosaur and will be removed from the Dragonewt Cycle.
Dragonewts are first born weak and immature. As they progress in life they mature, slowly changing form and gaining powers and abilities, progressing until they mature as True Dragons. This whole process may take millennia to complete. As many Dragonewts are still in the first stage, they will take a long time to mature. When a Dragonewt has become mature enough to progress to the next form it will change form gradually and will slowly take on the attributes of its new form. Dragonewts Serfs do not suddenly grow larger and stronger when they become Beaked, but grow slowly. Dragonewt Lords are reborn with their wings but these are quite small, even though they are functional, and Dragonewt Lords will grow in size and might as they grow older.
All Dragonewts are left handed by birth.
A Dragonewt Warrior is small, has a short tail, is vegetarian, has drab colour markings and has a crest on its head. It is a follower and has very little mind of its own, being spiritually weak. It is normally trained to be a slinger and is taught to be a scout and a skirmisher, but is expected to follow orders and serve other Dragonewts.
Scouts cannot learn Dragon Magics but may learn conventional magic. Before it becomes a Dragonewt Knight, a scout must forget all its non-Dragon Magic.
As a Dragonewt Warrior scout progresses, it becomes larger and stronger, its tail lengthens and its head changes. It gains a pronounced crest, its jaw lengthens and it becomes stronger and toughter with larger teeth able to strip bark. Eventually, once it has gained the necessary skills and spiritual maturity it will become a Dragonewt Knight.
A Dragonewt Knight is larger than a human, with a long tail, reaching to the ground. Its skin is scaly and thick, acting as armour and often having spikes, knobs or horns, becoming more extravagant as the Dragonewt Knight progresses. It is carnivorous and is a fearsome warrior.
Dragonewt Knight often ride reptilian creatures called Lizard-Birds. Lizard-Birds are beaked, feathered and lay eggs but are not true birds, being more reptilian, but having features of both bird and reptile. They are fierce creatures, fearless and carnivorous and are fearsome mounta and partners for the Dragonewts Knights.
A Dragonewt Knight uses Dragon Magic and so cannot use normal magic. It has special weapons peculiar to dragonewts, namely:
Klanth, an obsidian-edged dragonbone club sword, used mainly as a ceremonial weapon
Korff, a curved dragonbone sword doing the same damage as a Bastard Sword
Gami, which is a dragonbone parrying weapon with sword-breaking capabilities
Utuma, or short sword, used mainly in ceremonial suicides but also used for combat
Samarin, a dragonbone thrown weapon similar to javilin
Chokin, dragonbone Longbow with the range and damage than a long composite bow
As a Dragonewt Knight progresses, its ornamentation becomes more elaborate until it becomes very decorative and ornamental. It becomes only slightly larger as it progresses to the next stage. When it has progressed enough both spiritually and physically, it is reborn as a Dragonewt Noble.
A Dragonewt Noble is still roughly the same size as a large human. Their scales are highly decorative with frills, spines and pouches with enhanced scent glands and with vivid scale colors and patterns. They are omnivorous and sometimes gain a reputation as gourmets.
Dragonewt Nobles are the leaders and communicators of the Dragonewt race - they often interact with members of other races and often have reputations as being friendly, reasonable and fair. A Dragonewt Noble can use all the weapons of the earlier Dragonewts but can also use a Dragonbone Mace. All of a Dragonewt Nobles' weapons can be considered fine and the more powerful of the Dragonewt Noble's weapons may be magical in nature as well.
Once a Dragonewt Noble has mastered certain mental and physical skills and has progressed enough spiritually, it will be reborn as a Dragonewt Lord.
These are far larger than humans, being similar in size to Great Trolls or Ogres. They have regal scales and are more richly ornamented and decorative than Dragonewt Nobles, and they can easily identified as the Dragonewt Lords have small wings which are capable of flight. As they progress, their wings grow larger and stronger. A Dragonewt Lord can use all the weapons of earlier Dragonewts but can also use a Dragonbone Two-Handed Mace. All their weapons will be of very finest Dragonbone and will additionally be magical in nature.
One Dragonewt Lord will be present in each small nest and maybe a few Dragonewt Lords in a large nest or a clusters of small nests. Dragonewt Lords prepare themselves for the day when they progressed enough physically, mentally and spiritually, it will be reborn as either a Dragonewt King or a True Dragon. A Dragonewt Lord will often go on Quests to gain the skills, abilities and wisdom which they will need. A Dragonewt Lord will in time become a master adept in the use of Dragon Magics and in rare cases they have even been known to transform themselves into Dragons in defence of their nests. A Dragonewt Lord is a fearsome foe, but can be hospitable and friendly.
When a Dragonewt King progresses fully, it will be reborn as a True Dragon and will be taken out of the Dragonewt Cycle. Very rarely, an exceptional Dragonewt Lord will be reborn as a True Dragon.
There is only one Dragonewt King in a traditional Dragonewt society. While the Dragonet King is alive, Dragonewts will be reborn as normal. However, if the Dragonewt King dies then there will be no rebirth until a new one is created. In this case, a Dragonewt Lord which has progressed far enough to become a Dragonewt King will ceremonially kill itself and be reborn as a Dragonewt King, thus allowing the Dragonewt Cycle to be restored.
Although there is only one Dragonewt King in any society, there are more than one Dragonewt King alive throughout the Known World. The Dragonewts of Dragon Pass have a Dragonewt King at Dragons Lair, but the Dragonewts of Kralorela have their own Dragonewt King. The Dragonewts of Ralios do not currently have a Dragonewt King, but if one were to be manifested, they could rejoin the Dragonewt Cycle.
Nobody knows the powers or abilities of a Dragonewt King. It is rumoured that one has all the powers of a True Dragon, a master of Dragon Magic and able to shape the very land with but a thought...
When a Dragonewt is first born it has a normal personality and is ruled by instinct. As it progresses, it tries to master its personality so that it can exerise its Free Will and act through informed choice and not through simple instinct. Once it has mastered all it has to at a particular stage it will progress to the next stage.
Dragonewts have a Code of Honour which is unique to them, which is known as "Right Living." It is the way of living correctly according to the dragonewt's level of understanding of the world. As the Dragonewt progresses, it gains more and more knowledge of the world and must live responsibly according to the new responsibilities it has gained.
If a Dragonewt act dishonourably (i.e., fails to "Live Right"), its honor is tarnished and the dragonewt will be reborn late. For each day spent in the egg, the Dragonewt loses skills and abilities (in game terms the character looses additional character points each day), the more dishonour, the longer the time spent in the egg and the greater the skill (and character point) loss. It is very possible for a Dragonewt to lose status in this way, being reborn in a lesser stage of development.
If a Dragonewt acts through wise choice and "Lives Right," then it has reacted honourably. If it reacts through instinct it has reacted dishonourably, even if it does the right thing afterwards. The more dishonourable acts it performs, the greater the time spent in the egg during rebirth.
Dragonewts have several duties according to their Honour. These include Duty to The Ancestors, Duty to One's Lord and Duty to Repay Favours. As Dragonewts, they have to act according to the teachings passed down from the Dragons, their Ancestors. As Servants of their Lords and Masters, they must obey those who are farther advanced in development. As creatures removed from the world, they believe that any favours owed to others must be repaid otherwise they will become entangled with the world.
When a Dragonewt is put into a situation where it must act in one of two ways, the player can choose which course of action to take, "Living Right" (.i.e., honourably).
For example, Skin of Green is a Dragonewt Knight (guarding a watchpost) when he is confronted by a human who gives the correct passwords to pass. Skin of Green must decide if he will let this person past. Skin of Green decides to be Suspicious and demands more proof, when the human tries to push past. Skin of Green decides that the human must be a foe, so he kills the human. Afterwards, Skin of Green finds out that the human was a friend and an ally and should have been let through...
How would this affect Skin of Green's development. This GM would rule, that Skin of Green was being wise to seek further prove that the human was a friend, but not wise to kill the human on a vague suspiction. But this GM is not basing his ruling on wisdom, the question is was Skin of Green "Living Right?" If Skin of Green were a True Dragon instead of a dragonewt, would the dragon have reacted differently? GM knows his NPC Dragons are usually very Suspicious, and if someone attempted to push themselves past a Dragon...
This GM would rule that Skin of Green behaved honourably (in Dragonewt Terms, he "Lived Right") and so Skin of Green's development at his next rebirth will not be affected...Please note, that Dragonewts have an alien outlook and their actions often are misunderstood and often seem very strange. Remember that their goal is to perfect themselves by becoming as dragon-like as possible. More than one Dragonewt has been heard to say, "Hmmmm.....now what would a dragon do in this situation?"
Each Stage of Development has certain requirements which must be met and mastered in order for the Dragonewt to advance to the next stage.
The requirements for advancement are as follows:
DR 4 At least 1/2 point in one of its weapons, IQ 9 and Living Right Code of Honor (-5 points) The following quirks: Agressive, Brave, Lazy, Stubborn. Average wealth or greater. Character is at least 100 points. (Please not these are the minimums if the dragonewt fails below these mimimuns, he becomes a lost Dragonewt and on a critical failure mutates into some other form, mutate or not, character is out of the Dragonewt Cycle).
Status 2, IQ 11, Living Right Code of Honor (-10 points) PD 4, DR 6 greater, mastery of all racial weapons (13 skill level) in all, 1 point in riding, The following quirks: Curious, Leader, Impulsive or Cautious, Nervous or Calm and Suspicious. At least +1 level of wealth. Character is at least 150 points.
PD 4, DR 7 Status 3, IQ 13, Living Right Code of Honor (-15 points), mastery of all racial weapons (15 skill level) and The following quirks: Honourable or Dishonourable, Greedy, Impatient or Patient and Introvert. At least +2 levels of wealth. Character must total at least 200 points.
PD 4, DR 8 Status 4, IQ 14, Living Right Code of Honor (-20 points), mastery of all racial weapons (17 skill level) and The following quirks: Clever, Conservative, Optimist or Pessimist and Destructive.At least +3 levels of wealth. Character must total at least 250 points.
PD 6, DR 9 Status 6, IQ 15, Living Right Code of Honor (-25 points), mastery of all racial weapons (21 skill level), mastery of all Dragon Magic Spells and The following quirks: Clever, Conservative, Optimist or Pessimist and Destructive.At least +3 levels of wealth. Character must total at least 300 points.
Some Dragonewts will regress to an earlier form through dishonour. Others simply mutate and leave the Dragonewt Cycle. This often happens when a Personality Trait becomes so pronounced as to be have a range of 1-100, obliterating the other trait in the pair. It may also happen when a Personality Pair has no Right Action, so the Dragonewt acts by instinct alone in that trait.
Some Dragonewts will mutate and become stunted forms, newtlings or lizard men. Others become Dinosaurs. When a Dragonewt mutates into a Dinosaur, the new form is carnivorous and intelligent, no matter what the normal types are, so a mutated Brontosaur will eat flesh and be intelligent, although its normal kin are herbivorous and not sentient. Such a mutation may take several years to complete - a Dragonewt will not suddenly change overnight., However, some physical changes will manifest fairly quickly. It can be quite funny for a GM to have the party meet an apparently herbivorous dinosaur only to have it turn out to be a mutated Dragonewt with an attitude who forces them to perform a task for it - have you ever tried to fight an intelligent Brontosaur with spells?
Some Dinosaurs are formed by the embracing of emotions as described earlier. Thus, Stegosaurs are created through Lust, Magisaurs through Greed, Allosaurs through Aggression and so on. As there are many more types of dinosaur, it is often worth jotting down what each emotion will create if overused.
Some Dragonewts will mutate into other forms - Wyrms, Wyverns and even Stoorworms, but such mutations are rare. If a Dragonewt Noble mutates, an almost unheard of concept, it will change into a powerful creature such as those described. Dragonewts will never mutate into other Dragonewts, save by regression, or True Dragons, save by ultimate progression.
Each Stage of Dragonewts, with the exception of the Dragonewt Serfs (or Crested Dragonewts), Dragonewts must gain access to certain Dragon Magics to progress. Often Dragonewts will have to quest for or research these Dragon Magic Spells.
Spells available are:
Dragon Armour, Dragon Claw, Dragon Strength, Firebreath, Growth, Scorn Wound, Sprout Wings, Sustain Life, Tattoo Matrix, Utuma.
Attune Landscape, Don Armour, First Strike, Heroic Leap, Soul Blast.
Energy Deflection, Summon Dream Dragon.
Dragon Magic is used at will, it does not count as an action or use mana points, nor does it sacrificed for, with the exception of having to pay the fee of whomever teaches the spell. However, nothing is without a cost and Dragon Magic is no exception. Each spell has an associated Character Trait and use of the spell increases that Character Trait, affecting the Dragonewt's spiritual progression, and normally reducing the chance of Right Action. For instance, a dragonewt succesfully uses Dragon Magic to cast the Dragon Claw spell. The cost for the dragonewt is an increase of its Aggressiveness. In effect the characters gains a -1 point "Agressive related Quirk" When the "Agressive Quirk Pool" reaches -5, the player must pick a -5 point "Aggressive disadvantage," Maybe OPH, "Agressive behavior."
When the dragonewt is reborn, these "aquired disadvantages," are used to determine the character's point total and then are lost. This may even result in the Dragonewt regressing to an earlier stage.
For example, a Dragonewt character had used Dragon Claw enough times to end up with the following disadvantages: Berserk (-15 points), Bad Temper (-10 points) and a -4 reaction for have an Agressive reputation (-20 points). Since the Agressive Trait earned is -45 points (the total of the disadvantages), the Dragonewt character which was a 175 point character at death must be reduced a minimum of -25 points (standard character point penality for dying - Extra Life), -45 points for aggressive traits for a total of -70. So we end up with 175 points -70. Assuming the dragonewt was "pure" and reborn the same day, the player must design the new, reborn dragonewt character as a 105 point character. In this case the Dragonewt Knight must be regress to a Dragonewt Serf character....
rolls 3 on 1D6, increasing its Aggressive, so its trait becomes Aggressive 1-23, Right Action 24-60, Passive 61-100.
If a Dragonewt has used so much Dragon Magic that it will regress at its next rebirth, it may well continue to use more and more Dragon Magic to prevent its death (with the hope that it will be able to remove the Dragon Magic penality (by "buying off the disadvantage(s) with earned character points and/or by possibly learning an opposed Dragon Magic spell and casting it, but in this case there are no known Dragon Magic spell which would reduce Aggressiveness). If the Dragonewt chooses to use more Dragon Magic to prolong its life, then it may use the time gained to reduce the aquired disadvantages and then find an honourable death itself at a later date. More often, Dragonewts will not continue to use Dragon Magic if they are in danger of regressing next time they are reborn.
A Dragonewt which has conquered a trait (aquired -25 points in the trait and then buy off the disadvange(s) so when it dies and is reborn, it is at zero aquired points in that trait, the dragonewt is said to have mastered that trait).
The only exception to this is the use of the Scorn Wound spell to bring the Dragonewt back from death. Any other spell can be used without fear of spiritual impurity. In this way, spiritually mature Dragonewts can use some Dragon Magics willy-nilly. As only a few Dragonewts manage to conquer traits, this is very rare, although some Dragonewt Lords have achieved this in a few traits. The Dragonewt King has usually conquered many (or even most) character traits and can use Dragon Magics without affecting its spirituality.
I have taken the Dragon Magic out to a new web page so that it can be accessed by my article on Kralorelan Magic.
At various times during History, notably during the Empire of the Wyrm and in the False Dragon Ring, humans have gained the ability to use Dragon Magic. When this happened, they also gained the ability to use Right Action as does a Dragonewt, but they began with their own personalities and had to gain the Right Action.
For instance, Newt Dragonkind, a human, becomes a devotee of the Dragon Way. Since humans are normally not nearly as concerned with being reborn as a Dragonewt would usually mean that Draconic Humans are very unpredictable as they can often react impulsively in stressful situations.
As Draconic Humans do not need to improve their personalities in the same way that Dragonewts do, and thus they do not have the same restrictions on using Dragon magic. This means that a human can improve his Dragon Magic spell list far more quickly and is often far quicker to resort to using Dragon magic. Thus, the humans can use it more freely, and often do so.
However, if the human aquires disadvantages total -25 for a particular trait, it cannot be reduced and while the character must keep the aquired disadvantages, they do not effect the character's point total and in such a case, if the character died and was able to come back (via Extra Life for example), the character would keep all of the aquired disadvantages (or at least the point total, with GM approval the particular disadvantages might be changed or switched). This does not affect the use of Dragon Magic but does have a drastic effect on the personality of the human using too much Dragon Magic. There are consequences using Dragon Magic...
This is not meant to be an exhaustive commentary on Dragonewts, nor is it meant to be unique and original. It is based on the works of others, but with a slant peculiar to myself and myself. I have seen the descriptions of Dragonewts and have distilled those things which I have found interesting or satisfying. Thus, I have taken the Personality Traits from WF14, mixed them with the spell descriptions from Codex and changed the method of using Dragon Magic so that it retains the principle of Free Action, sadly lacking in the Codex article.
As far as I know, nobody has speculated on what happens to humans using Dragon Magics - something which stands out to me like a beacon. I thought it was about time that these things were put down and quantified.