The Grand Fate
The cornerstone of the Dragon philosophies, the Grand Fate is the supposed purpose for the universe and existence itself. When the first Dragon was exalted by the gods, it asked of them the reason for the universe and the canvas upon which it was drawn. They could not answer, because purpose had been given to the Gods by design, and the Ancients that came before them were now long gone.
Draco was returned to the realm of mortals, the Gods now busied with their next acts of divinity and the process of laying the first humanoid races upon Kharlia. He had become burdened by doubt in coming to know so much, and at the same time, so very little. To what purpose did he, or anything, serve? He wandered the great expansive plains, the high mountains, and the seas, lost both physically and mentally.
He had become burdened by doubt in coming to know so much, and at the same time, so very little. To what purpose did he, or anything, serve? He wandered the great expansive plains, the high mountains, and the seas, lost both physically and mentally.
He wandered in this way for many years until one day the first of dragons spotted what appeared to be a great island adrift upon the sea. He flew to the island and when he landed upon it, to his surprise, the island spoke to him. The island made itself known to Draco that it was a child of the god of the lands and the goddess of the sea, a fluke of creation born of their interactions while creating Kharlia. Named Bork, it also wandered the world devoid of purpose, and found itself empty. The two creatures became commiserated for hours, then days, and eventually hundreds of years.
The two shared in their experiences and grew wise in their interactions. In their sleep, in dreams, the two saw visions that the Gods did not. Their souls called out for understanding, and in quieting their senses and allowing themselves to listen they could perceive a far off prophecy. In truth, history was not merely a line that would continue until no creature nor god could see it further, but that all actions and all days lead up to one event, a culmination of all things. The truest end of Kharlia and the Universe.
They came to know this concept as the Grand Fate. Their prophetic dreams gave them increasingly vivid details of the future to come, and at the furthest distance there shone a light so pure as to make the heavens of Setengar seem dim. He knew that through enlightenment a pure and truly powerful soul would one day find this light and by claiming it they would fulfill the true purpose behind all things.
Ascension of the Dragon Spirit
The two had grown wise, and although Draco was but a mortal, the depth of his wisdom staved off the coming of death for what seemed like eternity. When finally his days came to an end, Draco's soul ascended to dwell in the beyond, deep in the realm of dreams. The Dragon Spirit would in time harbor the spirits of many dragons, and offer its wisdom to those that followed Draco's path.
Bork, now alone, turned back to the roam the sea. Immortal, he would spend the vast majority of the years to come in dreams, fondly remembering the time he spent with the God of Dragons. The children of Draco had settled upon his back and finally departed when they were ready to live without their father's direct guidance.
The firstborn of Draco, Meridiallas, best resembled the touch of Saurvold upon the Dragon race. Her scales were of perfect crimson and her breath was molten as the sun's surface. In her was a drive, a passion, that could not be rivaled. In following in the footsteps of her father's greatness, she grew in terrible pride and greed, believing that Kharlia was hers not only to guide, but to conquer.
All Dragons would come to know of Draco's wisdoms. Discovering the truth in the legend of the Grand Fate was the subject of all their waking moments, and all the same did they see their own visions of the future in their dreams as they rested upon their piles of material wealth and treasure. Many Dragons wished to follow the example of their highfather, believing that the Fate was waiting for them to find and that through community they would foster the one who would bring them all to their glorious future.
Meridiallas, however, saw the Grand Fate as something else. That instead of an enlightened one leading many through a door as equals, the contents of the door instead belonged to the one who would open it, ascending them to absolute divinity over all things in the realm beyond. A rift in the beliefs of Dragons had formed, the pride and determination of their race driving them to splinter, forming the Metallic and Chromatic orders.
The Exalted and the Damned
In myth, Dragons are hungering beasts of unequal ferocity, destroying at whim and consuming freely. In contrasting legend, Dragons are elders of great accomplishment, creatures of peerless grace and compassion. The name of Dragon, in truth, is deserving of both.
To one order, Dragons seek and share wisdom. They collect wealth in the form of priceless scrolls, tomes, and objects of historical significance. Their homes are great temples of hewn stone walked not only by a single Dragon but by many dragons and all their pupils who serve them willingly and with devotion. The pupils of these dragons defend their masters with great fervor, prepared for combat against any who would dare disturb not only the sanctity of their order, but also injustice in the world that could endanger the coming of the Grand Fate. These warriors, born of the lesser mortal races, are given the honorary title of Dragoon.
In the opposing order, Dragons must conquer. They plot in secret, considering all ways to obtain power and progress the Grand Fate as not only moral, but necessary. In devouring the mighty, these Dragons progress the Grand Fate, uniting the misplaced strength of many into their singularly powerful being. In rare cases these Dragons take on servants of their own, 'Dark' Dragoons, that act as assassins and hunters of their kindred on their behalf.
Meridiallas reigned throughout many times in Kharlian history. She grew near to godhood often and each time had her chances stolen away. Openly, she consumed her lesser cousins and siblings, taking their share of the Grand Fate each time. This had endured all the ages of Kharlia until the last, whence finally she was slain by the combined efforts of mankind in its most desperate hour. Her blood stained the land, and as it dried it formed into jagged crystals, Oungmund, that still hold her perverse will and greed for magic. Where the blood of Meridiallas stands, all are twisted and shift physically unto her draconic appearance and mentality.
Modern Dragons, both those similar to Meridiallas and nothing alike, continue to hide in the high mountains and caverns of the world in the wake of her existence. A moment comes ever nearer when they will return, free to guide the lesser races or to torment them. To the order of a shared Grand Fate, All are One. To the order of a conquered Grand Fate, One above All.
In following the teachings of Draco, at the guidance of a Dragon or otherwise, the lesser mortals of the world can grow figments of their own divinity. In this, the Dragoon learns to utilize their great Willpower to overcome their physical limitations, tapping not into the might of their god, but with his guidance a divine might of their own. It is by no accident that the tenants of meditation and enlightenment are shared between Dragoon and Surikuin Monk: Both understandings are born of the same ancient wisdoms, shared between the God of Dragons and the God of Balance.
Traditionally, when faced with the task of fighting an enemy Dragon, the Dragoon armed himself with heavy armor inset with the imagery of his Dragon elders. He takes up a spear and, though his enemy may fly, he overcomes his physical capabilities and leaps to meet them head on. His spear pierces the scaled flesh and gives him the foothold he needs to draw his sword. The battle ends as the Dragoon rides the falling corpse of his enemy to the ground, his death narrowly avoided as he leaps from it at the last moment.
Dragoons are also known to travel the world. In ancient times, this was in effort to find Dragons that endangered the prophecies. In modern times, this is more often the case of a Dragoon now lacking an order or masters to protect. Regardless of purpose, wandering Dragoons forsake wearing their armor and some have learned to manipulate their willpower to grant them flesh as tough as dragon scales to defend themselves in moments of danger.
Wicked Dragons are not the only creatures capable of ascending along the Grand Fate by way of stolen power. Several men born of the lesser races have aspired with the direct intent of godhood to slay men and Dragon alike, and infamously this calls to a figure named Tarus, who almost rose to divinity at the cost of the near eradication of a great Dragoon order.
Lineage of Dragons
Even without the explicit direction from Dragons, the lesser races continue to find their ways to the tenants of the Grand Fate. A long and difficult road, people aspire to understand the vague images that appear before them in dreams, in portents of futures that may or may not come to pass. A time nears when heroes will rise, and coinciding this age will return the Dragons.
Until then, the only trace left behind are their crumbled orders, their ruined temples, and the Dragoon pupils orphaned by their deaths.