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When the Desert of Thunder came into its own as a true nation, its founder, the dragon matriarch Thurangax decided that humans were not good enough as her most favored servants. Instead, she set out to sorcerously create a new races - the dragonkin. Enhancing the base human form with a small fraction of draconic power, a new humanoid race with reptilian features came into being. She did not have to search long for volunteers, for she made clear that the dragonkin would be the mortal elite of her realm - her envoys, senior bureaucrats, and most powerful warriors. Seeing the success of her experiments, the other draconic rulers of the Desert of Thunder imitated her and soon a dragonkin aristocracy governed the realm under the dragons, creating a society built on honorable conduct and loyal service to their overlords.

This lasted for two centuries. But then suddenly Thurangax turned on them and started to systematically slaughter every dragonkin within reach, without bothering to explain herself. After the first dragon who dared to defy her on this issue was slain by her, none of the other dragons dared to openly oppose her - but their resentment was great enough so that they ignored or even encouraged it when many dragonkin escaped from the Desert of Thunder. Those survivors scattered over the Known Lands, vowing never to forget this "Day of Betrayal". Though Thurangax died 10 years later and her successor welcomed the dragonkin into the Desert of Thunder again, few took up her offer, preferring to live as far away from the dragons as possible. Since then, other dragons have learned the rituals required to create dragonkin, leading to a variety of bloodlines with different scale colors and breath weapons, although blue scales and lightning breath are still the most prevalent (though thanks to intermarriage between the various lines, blue scales is not an indicator of lightning breath, and vice versa).

Today, most dragonkin prefer to live in small communities, or even to constantly travel from place to place - to their mind, if they live in any place for too long, the odds will increase that outside forces will attack and destroy them. This has given them a reputation as homeless vagrants among humans, but it did protect them from a number of pogroms that more sedentary races living in human cities have experienced.

As it is to be expected, dragonkin living in human cities tend to rent apartments instead of building their own home, and thus there cannot truly be said to be a "typical" dragonkin dwelling. However, they usually try everything they can to make their rooms as warm and dry as possible - in the more northern climates, this often means that a hearth fire burns constantly when they are at home except at the height of summer. Furthermore, if they can afford to they will often throw certain alchemical powders on the fire which will produce a spicy scent - which smells pleasant to them but can be irritating to human neighbors. If possible, several dragonkin will attempt to share a dwelling. Even if they have never met before, dragonkin will almost always invite other dragonkin they encounter to live with them for a few days. In such cases, they will usually exchange stories of their travels and of old legends of their people after night falls. Skillful storytellers at such communal gatherings will receive high praise.

A pragmatic approach towards their migrant lifestyle has ensured that they have few truly fixed gender roles. While male dragonkin will almost invariably move to protect any females in a group if they are being threatened, each dragonkin realizes that he or she might have to survive on his or her own at some point, and ignoring certain skills that might be vital to survival later on merely based on gender bias would be foolish.

In recent years, there has been a growing movement among dragonkin to establish a homeland of their own, where they would be safe from persecution. A leader of that movement, one Tagash Firetongue, is currently organizing the First Dragonkin World Congress, which will take place in Hagenzell in the Siebenbund later this year.

List of Articles about Dragonkin

Adventure Ideas

Designer's Notes & Resources

With the change from Dungeons & Dragons 3E to 4E, I was suddenly confronted with a bunch of new player character races - including the dragonborn (now renamed dragonkin). Urbis had already been in development for five years at that time, and I didn't want to remove an existing region and add an entirely new dragonkin homeland. Thus, I made them nomads similar to real world gypsies - which often have legends about a homeland they can never return to. So I came up with their origin as creations of the blue dragons of the Desert of Thunder, and added the attempted genocide as a reason why most of them have stayed away from there since then.

Furthermore, the "lost homeland" reminded me of pre-1933 Zionism, so I added a dragonkin movement to either reclaim or establish a new homeland of their own (if anyone has a good, snappy name for that movement, please contact me and tell me about it). This can serve as an additional motivation for player characters, and helps dragonkin to get involved in political intrigues and wars.


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