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Durzibethinus: Difference between revisions

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Durian, son of the high sorcerer and presumed next in line for the position, stepped out of the temple with hopes of showing the realm that the [[Dragonborn]] are just as much victims of the [[Dragon|Dragons]]' ransacking ways and are united in the fight against them.
Durian, son of the high sorcerer and presumed next in line for the position, stepped out of the temple with hopes of showing the realm that the [[Dragonborn]] are just as much victims of the [[Dragon|Dragons]]' ransacking ways and are united in the fight against them.


== Motivations ==
== The Story So Far ==
{{Infobox_character|affilliation=[[Harbingers of Sardior]]|name=Durian Grunwald|image=Durian.png|caption=His [[Dragonborn]] form, prior to his rebirth.|relatives=|languages=Celestial, Common, Draconic, Dwarvish, Elvish, Infernal, Primordial, Telepathy, Wiki|alias=|marital=|birthPlace=[[Jadenhill]], [[Isonhound]]|deathDate=|deathPlace=|species=[[Dragonborn]]|gender=Male (he/him)|height=6' 4"|weight=260 lbs|eyes=Emerald|field1=Class|value1=[[Sorcerer]]|playerName=Jeff|birthDate=806 [[PR]]}}Durian did not ask for explicit permission to leave [[Jadenhill]], but after the dragon attack and theft of the [[Selune Splinter]], he felt an obligation to protect his home and find a new way of defending his people from annihilation. He wore his Wood [[Elf]] disguise everywhere early in his journey due to fears of hostility towards [[Dragonborn]], but dropped this precaution soon before arriving in [[Synàra]] to gage how people would respond. Sensing no immediate animosity, he ceased the pretense of a disguise but still remained guarded about the hometown of [[Dragonborn]] he heralded from.
{{Infobox_character|affilliation=[[Harbingers of Sardior]]|name=Durian Grunwald|image=Durian.png|caption=His [[Dragonborn]] form, prior to his rebirth.|relatives=|languages=Celestial, Common, Draconic, Dwarvish, Elvish, Infernal, Primordial, Telepathy, Wiki|alias=|marital=|birthPlace=[[Jadenhill]], [[Isonhound]]|deathDate=|deathPlace=|species=[[Dragonborn]]|gender=Male (he/him)|height=6' 4"|weight=260 lbs|eyes=Emerald|field1=Class|value1=[[Sorcerer]]|playerName=Jeff|birthDate=806 [[PR]]}}Durian did not ask for explicit permission to leave [[Jadenhill]], but after the dragon attack and theft of the [[Selune Splinter]], he felt an obligation to protect his home and find a new way of defending his people from annihilation. He wore his Wood [[Elf]] disguise everywhere early in his journey due to fears of hostility towards [[Dragonborn]], but dropped this precaution soon before arriving in [[Synàra]] to gage how people would respond. Sensing no immediate animosity, he ceased the pretense of a disguise but still remained guarded about the hometown of [[Dragonborn]] he heralded from.


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Durian spent the next month conducting research to track down the potential whereabouts of the '''Emerald''', '''Amethyst''', and '''Crystal''' dragons. He joined a party sailing up the '''Ssaphhibian River''' in order to follow a lead he found on the location of '''Feredemius, the Emerald Thane of Sardior'''. The expedition was contracted by '''Professor Wright''', a psionic professor from [[Katharda Academy]]. As they arrived at the fiery entrance to an underground lair and the professor sensed the psionic activity within, Durian and the professor realized that they were both on the same mission. Durian folded his wings and plummeted straight down into the lair, soon joined by the rest of the group. They negotiated their way through the lair, encountering major illusions and conversing with the disembodied voice of a gem dragon as it picked through the party's memories. They eventually found their way to the main hall where the dragon resided, but it was not '''Feredemius''', but rather [[Into the Greedy Green/The Story So Far#Session 61: Silent IV/Feredemius I|Smargarg the Emerald Dragon]]. It may not have been the '''Emerald''' dragon that Durian had set out to find, but it was still the first physical evidence he had encountered that '''Emerald''' dragons still walk the realm. He found the experience both incredibly validating and intimidating. '''Smargarg''' explained that all draconic '''Emerald''' beings trace their lineage back to '''Feredemius''', and that he could sense the psionic presence of '''Feredemius''' somewhere in [[Isonhound]]. Durian asked the dragon if he could be taught to sense '''Feredemius''', and he promised to grant the party this power if they could return an '''Emerald''' dragon egg that was stolen from his hatchery.
Durian spent the next month conducting research to track down the potential whereabouts of the '''Emerald''', '''Amethyst''', and '''Crystal''' dragons. He joined a party sailing up the '''Ssaphhibian River''' in order to follow a lead he found on the location of '''Feredemius, the Emerald Thane of Sardior'''. The expedition was contracted by '''Professor Wright''', a psionic professor from [[Katharda Academy]]. As they arrived at the fiery entrance to an underground lair and the professor sensed the psionic activity within, Durian and the professor realized that they were both on the same mission. Durian folded his wings and plummeted straight down into the lair, soon joined by the rest of the group. They negotiated their way through the lair, encountering major illusions and conversing with the disembodied voice of a gem dragon as it picked through the party's memories. They eventually found their way to the main hall where the dragon resided, but it was not '''Feredemius''', but rather [[Into the Greedy Green/The Story So Far#Session 61: Silent IV/Feredemius I|Smargarg the Emerald Dragon]]. It may not have been the '''Emerald''' dragon that Durian had set out to find, but it was still the first physical evidence he had encountered that '''Emerald''' dragons still walk the realm. He found the experience both incredibly validating and intimidating. '''Smargarg''' explained that all draconic '''Emerald''' beings trace their lineage back to '''Feredemius''', and that he could sense the psionic presence of '''Feredemius''' somewhere in [[Isonhound]]. Durian asked the dragon if he could be taught to sense '''Feredemius''', and he promised to grant the party this power if they could return an '''Emerald''' dragon egg that was stolen from his hatchery.


A couple days later, Durian connected with another adventurer who had also been along to meet the '''Most Sanctified Disciples of Sardior''', who confirmed that her most recent party had come into possession of the missing '''Emerald''' dragon egg. However, the egg had been damaged and possibly possessed by '''The One That Waits''', so she agreed to bring the egg back to '''Smargarg''' in hopes that he could help repair and purify it. Upon the egg's return, '''Smargarg''' granted the party a ''Boon of Telepathy'' and tasked them with "searching the minds of men to see if you can discern the presence of the emerald '''Feredemius''', or maybe even '''The One That Walks Among You''', or the presence of other mental powers such as '''The One That Waits'''..." Durian accepted this assignment wholeheartedly and, now able to read minds like '''Smargarg''', he set his sights back on assembling the court of '''Sardior'''.
A couple days later, Durian connected with another adventurer who had also been along to meet the '''Most Sanctified Disciples of Sardior''', who confirmed that their most recent party had come into possession of the missing '''Emerald''' dragon egg. However, the egg had been damaged and possibly possessed by '''The One That Waits''', so they agreed to bring the egg back to '''Smargarg''' in hopes that he could help repair and purify it. Upon the egg's return, '''Smargarg''' granted the party a ''Boon of Telepathy'' and tasked them with "searching the minds of men to see if you can discern the presence of the emerald '''Feredemius''', or maybe even '''The One That Walks Among You''', or the presence of other mental powers such as '''The One That Waits'''" Durian accepted this assignment and, with his new mind-reading ability, set his sights back on reassembling the court of '''Sardior'''.


== Rebirth ==
=== Rebirth ===
Smargarg was supposed to meet them at the mountain peak, but as the Emerald team docked their [[airship]] into place there was still no sign of him. They unloaded the brazer and began carrying it towards the ritual site when all disaster broke. The frightening presence of Feredemius landed right in front of them, and in a booming voice demanded they hand over the Emerald Blade. But they could not dispense it even if they were charmed to, as Durian had grabbed the Blade and teleported high into the air, flying well above everyone’s line of sight. When the shadow-corrupted Dragon’s demands were not satisfied, he summoned all manner of monsters to attack the team before flying off to antagonize another of the five ritual sites.
Smargarg was supposed to meet them at the mountain peak, but as the Emerald team docked their [[Airship]] into place there was still no sign of him. They unloaded the brazer and began carrying it towards the ritual site when all disaster broke. The frightening presence of Feredemius landed right in front of them, and in a booming voice demanded they hand over the Emerald Blade. But they could not dispense it even if they were charmed to, as Durian had grabbed the Blade and teleported high into the air, flying well above everyone’s line of sight. When the shadow-corrupted Dragon’s demands were not satisfied, he summoned all manner of monsters to attack the team before flying off to antagonize another of the five ritual sites.


The ritual was already in motion, Durian could hear the incantations of the Amethyst Tome reverberate in his mind. It was now or never, they could not wait for Smargarg any longer. Durian let himself fall safely back to the ground and yelled out to the rest of the team, “I think I need to be the one to do it.” There was no protest…as an Emerald Dragonborn he was suited by blood to wield the Blade, but he was small and weak compared to the mighty Dragons it was intended for. He had been warned by Bleucorundum the Sapphire that the power of the ritual would undoubtedly kill him, hence why they’d recruited an Emerald Dragon to do it instead. But in truth, Durian hadn’t really felt alive anyway until learning of the Gem Dragons and their Ruby Court the year prior. He had set out to track down Feredemius the Emerald and ask him for a job, but from how things were going with the shadow monsters, Feredemius didn’t seem in any mood to be dealing favors.
The ritual was already in motion, Durian could hear the incantations of the Amethyst Tome reverberate in his mind. It was now or never, they could not wait for Smargarg any longer. Durian let himself fall safely back to the ground and yelled out to the rest of the team, “I think I need to be the one to do it.” There was no protest…as an Emerald Dragonborn he was suited by blood to wield the Blade, but he was small and weak compared to the mighty Dragons it was intended for. He had been warned by Bleucorundum the Sapphire that the power of the ritual would undoubtedly kill him, hence why they’d recruited an Emerald Dragon to do it instead. But in truth, Durian hadn’t really felt alive anyway until learning of the Gem Dragons and their Ruby Court the year prior. He had set out to track down Feredemius the Emerald and ask him for a job, but from how things were going with the shadow monsters, Feredemius didn’t seem in any mood to be dealing favors.
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=== Pre-Rebirth ===
=== Pre-Rebirth ===
Durian is sturdily built like most [[Dragonborn]], although he is not exceptionally strong. His scales are a shimmering emerald color with a fine, prickly texture and translucent at the surface. He has draconic emerald eyes and long head tendrils which hang down his back like a mop of hair. He also has a tail, uncommon but not unheard of amongst [[Dragonborn]]. His garbs forego the customary blue of most [[Bahamut]] worshippers, instead wearing assorted metallic hues to better resemble the metallic [[Dragonborn]] more often found in his clan. He outwardly proclaims his allegiance to [[Bahamut]], however, by donning a conspicuous pendant with his religion’s traditional symbol and color. He also wears a handmade necklace fastened with a [[Tear of Sardior]], symboling his mission to help resurrect the god of neutral dragons.
Durian is sturdily built like most [[Dragonborn]], although he is not exceptionally strong. His scales are a shimmering emerald color with a fine, prickly texture and translucent at the surface. He has draconic emerald eyes and long head tendrils which hang down his back like a mop of hair. He also has a tail, uncommon but not unheard of amongst [[Dragonborn]]. His garbs forego the customary blue of most [[Bahamut]] worshippers, instead wearing assorted metallic hues to better resemble the metallic [[Dragonborn]] more often found in his clan. He outwardly proclaims his allegiance to [[Bahamut]], however, by donning a conspicuous pendant with his religion’s traditional symbol and color. He also wears a handmade necklace fastened with a [[Tear of Sardior]], symboling his mission to help resurrect the god of neutral dragons.
=== Post-Rebirth ===
In his true form, he is a massive [[Dragon#Gem Dragons|Emerald Dragon]] with shimmering, translucent scales and two lengthy horns crowning the top of his head. Clusters of smaller crystalline protrusions encircle the rest of his head like a mane. His eyes glow with a pupil-less, emerald hue. Powerful, sinewy limbs match his long neck and tail while broad wings spread from his spiny back. Hard spikes stick out from each of his leg joints. His feet are adorned with razor-sharp claws.
Despite his imposing natural shape, he often favors disguises and will even polymorph into his prior [[Dragonborn]] form. In this shape, he appears nearly identical to how he looked before his rebirth, with the addition of wings which are similar to his old spectral ones except that they remain a permanent fixture.


== Personality ==
== Personality ==
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=== Pre-Rebirth ===
=== Pre-Rebirth ===
Durian’s prior knowledge of what exists outside [[Jadenhill]] had all been secondhand, so he looks upon the world with wondrous eyes. He asks lots of questions, seeking knowledge and solutions to problems that may not have even occurred yet. He has a deep appreciation for his own mortality, but he’ll go all in for a cause he feels is just. He tries to fall back on the teachings of his temple when confronted with a new quandary, but privately struggles to fit all things into the good/evil paradigm that [[Bahamut]] espouses. He hoped that joining the fight against [[Dragon|Dragons]] would help bring clarity to his religious anxieties. However, the realities of the conflict have only further muddied his outlook.
Durian’s prior knowledge of what exists outside [[Jadenhill]] had all been secondhand, so he looks upon the world with wondrous eyes. He asks lots of questions, seeking knowledge and solutions to problems that may not have even occurred yet. He has a deep appreciation for his own mortality, but he’ll go all in for a cause he feels is just. He tries to fall back on the teachings of his temple when confronted with a new quandary, but privately struggles to fit all things into the good/evil paradigm that [[Bahamut]] espouses. He hoped that joining the fight against [[Dragon|Dragons]] would help bring clarity to his religious anxieties. However, the realities of the conflict have only further muddied his outlook.
=== Post-Rebirth ===
Becoming a [[Dragon]] has altered his mind in ways that even he does not fully understand. Emotions feel larger than before, for better and worse. He is more confident and curious, but also more paranoid and mistrusting. It’s difficult to discern if these changes are entirely the result of his new form, enhancing traits that were already there, or if they are in part due to [[Sardior|Sardior’s]] influence. When he begins having an intrusive or self-doubting thought, it’s as if another part of his mind rushes in to squash the thought before it can fully form. He is persuaded to his core that this is what he was meant to become…and yet he sometimes feels a dissonance between mind and body, as if he’s merely the same insecure [[Dragonborn]] piloting this huge, powerful creature. He quietly hopes and trusts that these incongruent feelings will dissipate as he acclimates to being a [[Dragon]].


== Abilities ==
== Abilities ==
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Following his reacquisition of the [[Selune Splinter]], Durian used it as an opportunity to practice some of the ranged illusionary magic that he was only just beginning to learn before the artifact was stolen.
Following his reacquisition of the [[Selune Splinter]], Durian used it as an opportunity to practice some of the ranged illusionary magic that he was only just beginning to learn before the artifact was stolen.


After tracking down the lair of [[Into the Greedy Green/The Story So Far#Session 61: Silent IV/Feredemius I|Smargarg the Emerald Dragon]] and requesting his help in locating '''Feredemius, the Emerald Thane of Sardior''', the dragon taught Durian the ''Boon of Telepathy'' which strengthened his existing psionic abilities and empowered him to read the minds of other creatures.
After tracking down the lair of [[Into the Greedy Green/The Story So Far#Session 61: Silent IV/Feredemius I|Smargarg the Emerald Dragon]] and requesting his help in locating [[Sardior#Prehistory|Feredemius, the Emerald Thane of Sardior]], the [[Dragon]] taught Durian the ''Boon of Telepathy'' which strengthened his existing psionic abilities and enabled him to read the minds of other creatures.
 
=== Post-Rebirth ===
[[Sardior|Sardior’s]] [[Sardior#Ruby Court|Thanes]] are meant to be [[Quelmar Deities#The Servants: Exarchs|Exarchs]] for their gem types, so Durian’s psionic and psychic powers were radically amplified by his transformation as well as his physical size and strength. He has unmatched prowess in telepathy, clairvoyance, and illusions (skills which he can further project using his gem artifact, the [[Selune Splinter#Emerald Splinter|Emerald Splinter]]). He is able to exhale a disorientating breath weapon of psychic dissonance. He has a powerful bite and claw attack. He can also fly, teleport and change his shape at will.
 
His psychic presence seeps into his surroundings over time, a trait which he can use to purposefully imbue certain items and even other creatures with his own emerald essence. He used this ability to transform [[Rooney]] into his first [[Sardior#PR Era|Harbinger]], forging a patron-like relationship and psychic link which allows him to see through the [[Ranger|Ranger's]] eyes as well as telepathically communicate.


== Trivia ==
== Trivia ==


* Durian’s family is primarily of gold [[Dragon]] ancestry, hence why his simpler sorcery spells tend to be fire-based. Exhibiting gem features seems to be a recessive gene, as Durian’s immediate family are all gold sans for him, his mother, and grandmother.
* Durian’s family is primarily of [[Dragon#Metallic Dragons|Gold Dragon]] ancestry, hence why his simpler sorcery spells tend to be fire-based. Exhibiting gem features seems to be a recessive gene, as Durian’s immediate family are all gold sans for him, his mother, and grandmother.
* Despite knowing that he differs from his siblings in a major regard, Durian identified as a gold [[Dragonborn]] until his encounter with [[Into the Greedy Green/The Story So Far#Session 5: Bleucorundum|Bleucorundum]]. Now faced with the existence of gem [[Dragon|Dragons]], he is unsure what to make of himself.
* Despite knowing that he differs from his siblings in a major regard, Durian identified as a gold [[Dragonborn]] until his encounter with [[Into the Greedy Green/The Story So Far#Session 5: Bleucorundum|Bleucorundum]]. Now faced with the existence of [[Dragon#Gem Dragons|Gem Dragons]], he is unsure what to make of himself.
* Durian was one of very few telepaths at home and took extra coaxing as a child to verbalize his words, so he is overly eager when meeting other telepaths on his journeys and tries using telepathy as the primary means of communication with them.
* Durian was one of very few telepaths at home and took extra coaxing as a child to verbalize his words, so he is overly eager when meeting other telepaths on his journeys and tries using telepathy as the primary means of communication with them.
* Durian was not familiar with the fruit of his namesake before leaving [[Jadenhill]]. A single durian fruit once came through the town as a gift from an overseas diplomat, but it just ended up used as a kickball.
* Durian was not familiar with the fruit of his namesake before leaving [[Jadenhill]]. A single durian fruit once came through the town as a gift from an overseas diplomat, but it just ended up used as a kickball.
* Durian once questioned his mother about his name’s meaning and she replied that he is “spiky on the outside, with innards that need an enlightened palate to fully appreciate.” Durian did not understand this answer.
* Durian once questioned his mother about his name’s meaning and she replied that he is “spiky on the outside, with innards that need an enlightened palate to fully appreciate.” Durian did not understand this answer.
*In 820 [[PR]], visiting representatives attempted to scout Durian for [[Katharda Academy]], a proposal which his mother outright refused as he "has a purpose here" and stated that the school "cannot accommodate our unique situation." The representatives spoke of the escalating dragon war but, after implying that they could see through her Wood [[Elf]] disguise, she angrily dismissed them, exclaiming "this is your fight, we're just trying to survive through it."
*In 820 [[PR]], visiting representatives attempted to scout Durian for [[Katharda Academy]], a proposal which his mother outright refused as he "has a purpose here" and stated that the school "cannot accommodate our unique situation." The representatives warned of the escalating [[The War of Many Names|War of Dragons]] but, after implying that they could see through her Wood [[Elf]] disguise, she angrily dismissed them, exclaiming "this is your fight, we're just trying to survive through it."
*While visiting the lair of [[Into the Greedy Green/The Story So Far|Smargarg]], Durian came across the amethyst dragon egg which had been stolen from the [[Jadenhill#Court of Quartz|Court of Quartz]]. He left it alone as he could not tell it apart from any other gem egg, but ship captain [[Harold]] managed to swipe the egg and fled before anyone could see as it almost immediately hatched into a newborn amethyst dragon.
*While visiting the lair of [[Into the Greedy Green/The Story So Far|Smargarg]], Durian came across the [[Dragon#Gem Dragons|Amethyst Dragon]] egg which had been stolen from the [[Jadenhill#Court of Quartz|Court of Quartz]]. He left it alone as he could not tell it apart from any other gem egg, but the party's ship captain managed to swipe the egg and fled before anyone could see as it almost immediately hatched into an [[Dragon#Gem Dragons|Amethyst Dragon]] wyrmling.


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Revision as of 23:14, 17 September 2023

Durzibethinus
Moments after his rebirth as a Dragon.
Relatives Feredemius, Smargarg
Affiliations Ruby Court
Aliases Emerald Thane of Sardior, Durian Grunwald
Date of Birth 826 PR
Place of Birth Northern Snowy Mountains, Isonhound
Species Dragon
Gender Male (he/him)
Eye Color Emerald


Durzibethinus, also known as Durian Grunwald, is an Emerald Dragon and, as of 826 PR, the Emerald Thane of Sardior. He had originally been born in Isonhound as a Dragonborn, son of the high sorcerer in a hidden city called Jadenhill. After leaving home with the hopes of finding a way to protect his clan from hostile Dragons and Crusaders, he discovered the existence of Gem Dragons and learned of his own Emerald heritage. This sent him down a path towards helping to resurrect Sardior, the Ruby King of Gem Dragons and defeating his disgraced ancestor Feredemius, who served as the original Emerald Thane before the dissolution of the ancient Ruby Court. Durian’s role in the ritual to resurrect Sardior caused him to be transformed into an Emerald Dragon, thus empowering him to sit on the reassembled Ruby Court as the new Emerald Thane. Following these events, he took to using the name Durzibethinus, a Draconic name his father had given him, in order to protect his identity as well as his clan.

History

Durian was born at the Temple on Jadenhill, a small community off the southern coast of Isonhound. Its population is primarily metallic Dragonborn and was settled by a clan of devout Bahamut worshippers who emigrated from Pteris in the early PR era to escape the chaos of the Cavalry Rush. The town of Jadenhill consists of little more than the temple, which is partially built into the ruins of an ancient abandoned mining project.

The temple practiced its worship in relative peace and seclusion for nearly three centuries, finding ways to honor Bahamut while they awaited his inevitable return, such as studying the Way of the Ascendant Dragon. However, they would fall victim to the Razing of Isonhound in 700 PR, flattening most parts of the temple that were not housed in the repurposed mining tunnels. Most lives were spared, but it was a devastating loss that would prove too difficult to build back from without outside help. They began tiptoeing back into the outside world to attempt trade and other forms of participating in greater society.

Blaming Tiamat's Dragons for this misfortune, they wrote letters declaring their loyalty to the church of Kragnux the Dragon Slayer, adding the god to their pantheon of deities. Around this same time, a few of the children in town had been born with brilliant, gemlike scales and proved to be gifted with psionic powers and sorcery. The origins of this gem ancestry was unknown, but the temple's priests interpreted it as a blessing from Bahamut as proof that they were on the most noble path.

This interpretation would prove regrettable as the growing church of Kragnux became radicalized against not just Dragons, but against all draconic races. The temple heard word of the Dragonborn being slaughtered in the Second Draconic Crusades and quietly dissolved their allegiances to the church, but it was too late to recluse their community again. They had rebuilt and thrived with the benefit of outside trading partners who knew of the temple and would soon be visiting in greater numbers.

The temple leaders devised a system for receiving guests, erecting a mage tower dubbed the Court of Quartz to serve as a visitors center as well as house many of the artifacts pulled from the former mining tunnels over the years, including a large amethyst gem shaped like a Dragon egg. They also appointed a high sorcerer, one of the gem-touched Dragonborn, to reside in the tower and perform an essential part of their plan using one of the few rocky relics in the collection brought over from the old continent.

Dubbed the Selune Splinter and described as a fragment from an ancient moon crystal imbued with peculiar paranormal properties, it is able to amplify illusionary magic to increase its effect and distance. Wielding this artifact, the high sorcerer could cast a spell over the entire temple to disguise its Dragonborn residents as Wood Elves, the primary inhabitants of the Woldlin region. This ruse was successfully kept up for the remainder of the century, and the monotonous high sorcerer position would be passed between gem-touched Dragonborn before reaching Durian's mother.

Ironically, the long-awaited return of Bahamut in 795 PR would also soon signal the end of this ruse. As Dragons were now free to wreak their will on the realm, the temple came under attack by an unidentified Dragon in 825 PR and the Court of Quartz was robbed of its collection, including the Selune Splinter which they had depended on for decades. Its residents were sitting ducks in a world finding itself at odds with the Dragons for the first time in over a century. How long would it be before the rest of the realm grew frustrated and turned its sights back on what was left of the draconic races?

Durian, son of the high sorcerer and presumed next in line for the position, stepped out of the temple with hopes of showing the realm that the Dragonborn are just as much victims of the Dragons' ransacking ways and are united in the fight against them.

The Story So Far

Durian Grunwald
His Dragonborn form, prior to his rebirth.
Player Name Jeff
Languages Celestial, Common, Draconic, Dwarvish, Elvish, Infernal, Primordial, Telepathy, Wiki
Affiliations Harbingers of Sardior
Date of Birth 806 PR
Place of Birth Jadenhill, Isonhound
Species Dragonborn
Gender Male (he/him)
Height 6' 4"
Weight 260 lbs
Eye Color Emerald
Class Sorcerer

Durian did not ask for explicit permission to leave Jadenhill, but after the dragon attack and theft of the Selune Splinter, he felt an obligation to protect his home and find a new way of defending his people from annihilation. He wore his Wood Elf disguise everywhere early in his journey due to fears of hostility towards Dragonborn, but dropped this precaution soon before arriving in Synàra to gage how people would respond. Sensing no immediate animosity, he ceased the pretense of a disguise but still remained guarded about the hometown of Dragonborn he heralded from.

It was in Synàra where Durian experienced his first crisis of faith in the teachings of Bahamut after witnessing Sro the Silver Dragon, seemingly allied with a red and black dragon, attacking the town and attempting to abduct its mayor. Why would a child of Bahamut conspire with spawns of Tiamat to commit such a seemingly evil act? To find out why, he joined a rescue party that was on its way to confront Sro at his lair. The silver dragon was receptive to them, explaining that he was not allied with the chromatic dragons and that he had been abducting mayors in order to better prepare humankind to battle dragons again. Durian was not impressed with this answer but held his tongue, knowing better than to fight or argue with one of the children of his deity. Still he could not shake his worries, was it really wise to be raising armies of dragon killers only a few decades after the heedless genocide of the Second Draconic Crusades? How long would it be before a new generation of crusaders rose up to finish off the remaining Dragonborn?

Not yet convinced that fighting was the best solution for his people, he found himself in the town of Tsoljcanth where he was intrigued by the unique problem plaguing its residents: they were being rendered invisible to one another at seemingly random intervals. Durian joined a search party in following clues to the potential source of the problem: a stolen dragon egg, strange in appearance and not dissimilar to the "egg-shaped gem" that had been stolen from Jadenhill. The party tracked the egg into the forest and found themselves battling invisible monsters. In a last-ditch attempt to shake them off, Durian shouted at the monsters that "I need to protect that egg!" In that moment, the monsters became visible to him and a brilliant sapphire dragon appeared flying overhead. Durian had never heard of a gem dragon before. He called out to her "who are you, who do you follow?" before witnessing her fly off with the egg, questions unanswered. Shortly thereafter, the party heard a voice in their heads declaring them friends of gem dragons and being granted the Boon of Bleucorundum the Sapphire Dragon, a protection which would render them "invisible to any dragon who would hurt you, so long as you don't shed any dragon's blood." Possibilities raced through Durian's mind, could this boon lead to the solution for his people that he'd been looking for? What is a gem dragon, could this be the reason he looks and feels so different from the other metallic Dragonborn at home?

These questions would remain unanswered until Durian met Yggwilv, a powerful witch possessing ancient powers and knowledge. Durian asked her about the gem dragons, to which she unfurled the story of Sardior the Ruby Dragon, the lost third pillar of dragonkind. She explained that he was an ancient god of neutrality who once had a court consisting of each type of gem dragon, but that he had died sometime before prehistory. She told Durian that Sardior was his god, and that if gem dragon eggs are suddenly appearing in the realm, it may be a sign that this forgotten pillar of neutrality is needed once again. Durian left Yggwilv's Hut, unsure of what it means to worship Sardior but determined to do all he could to find out.

However, before he could put any more legwork into following this Sardior path, a loose thread from Durian's past made an unexpected reappearance in his life: the Selune Splinter. Unbeknownst to him, the Wold Order had taken possession of it sometime after it had been stolen from the Court of Quartz, using it in one of their training grounds to create the illusion of a red dragon's lair. Even more frustrating, another adventurer had stolen it away from the Wold Order but refused to even hear Durian out about the importance it carried to his people. Durian kept close tabs on the Selune Splinter, awaiting an opportunity where he could negotiate for this artifact that, as far as Durian was concerned, was the only thing standing between his people and certain annihilation. After three months and aiding in some confounding battles over a Shadow Forge, he learned that the Selune Splinter had traded hands once again. After formally meeting the Band of the Iron Hawk at the battle of the Shadow Forge, Durian was invited to join their guild, who granted him the title of Psionic Sorcerer and graciously helped him negotiate for the reacquisition of the Selune Splinter. At last having finally recovered this coveted artifact, Durian spent some time on his own practicing illusionary magic with the Selune Splinter, trusting that it would not be long before he could arrange for its safe transport back to Jadenhill. In the meantime, however, he turned his attention back towards uncovering all that he could about the god of gem dragons: Sardior.

Following the battle of the Shadow Forge, its Curator offered a favor of information to those who aided in the battle. Durian used his favor to ask the Curator about Sardior, but he was unable to provide any new leads except to reaffirm all that Yggwilv had already said. He suggested seeking out the gem dragons for more answers, a recommendation which Durian felt very intent on following. He spent six weeks conducting research on Sardior and the gem dragons, using bribes and favors in order to compile a list of nearly everything ever put to paper about the ancient ruby god. It was not a terribly long list, which is predictable when conducting research on prehistory beings, but Durian was confident that it was at least comprehensive. One particular find caught his attention: stories of an unknown sixth type of gem dragon. He immediately connected this sixth type with The One That Waits, a mysterious dark entity who had recently began plaguing Isonhound. Durian surmised that Sardior must have casted this sixth gem dragon out of his court and that they had returned to exact revenge on the reemerging gem dragons. He felt further supported by this claim after some other adventures turned up a gem type for this lost sixth dragon: Obsidian.

Around the same time, a handful of adventurers returned from visiting Sro with six ancient artifacts called the Tears of Sardior. Durian was shocked by the possibility of a physical remnant of Sardior still existing on the realm. He attempted to leverage his research in exchange for one of the artifacts. He soon felt guilty for withholding information and apologized for attempting that trick, freely sharing the research with the Band of the Iron Hawk as well as his theory about the identity of The One That Waits. Durian would eventually acquire a Tear of Sardior by bartering with someone outside of the guild. Being the only artifact of Sardior that he knew, he fastened it into a necklace to wear as a holy symbol in the same manner as his pendant of Bahamut.

Not long afterwards, Durian accepted an invitation from the Wold Order in Synàra who proceeded to grill him on how he was able to remain invisible to dragons. He was familiar with the Elves of Woldin, having dealt with their diplomats frequently at the Court of Quartz, but he could not discern what their intentions would be if they found out about the gem dragons. Durian pretended not to know anything, but they still asked him to join a search party to track a Warforged-Centaur back to a mine inside the Northern Snowy Mountains. Deep inside the mine, the party discovered the base of the Most Sanctified Disciples of Sardior, an alliance of Warforged bearing gem names and colors, who explained their mission to resurrect the Topaz gem dragon from the court of Sardior. Durian was ecstatic to learn of another group who shared in his goals, as it had felt like an uphill battle at times trying to convince other people that Sardior was important. He bombarded the Warforged with questions and showed them the Tear of Sardior, which they excitedly verified to be a genuine artifact. After departing the base, Durian was determined to do all he could to support their efforts in locating the missing members of the court of Sardior.

Durian spent the next month conducting research to track down the potential whereabouts of the Emerald, Amethyst, and Crystal dragons. He joined a party sailing up the Ssaphhibian River in order to follow a lead he found on the location of Feredemius, the Emerald Thane of Sardior. The expedition was contracted by Professor Wright, a psionic professor from Katharda Academy. As they arrived at the fiery entrance to an underground lair and the professor sensed the psionic activity within, Durian and the professor realized that they were both on the same mission. Durian folded his wings and plummeted straight down into the lair, soon joined by the rest of the group. They negotiated their way through the lair, encountering major illusions and conversing with the disembodied voice of a gem dragon as it picked through the party's memories. They eventually found their way to the main hall where the dragon resided, but it was not Feredemius, but rather Smargarg the Emerald Dragon. It may not have been the Emerald dragon that Durian had set out to find, but it was still the first physical evidence he had encountered that Emerald dragons still walk the realm. He found the experience both incredibly validating and intimidating. Smargarg explained that all draconic Emerald beings trace their lineage back to Feredemius, and that he could sense the psionic presence of Feredemius somewhere in Isonhound. Durian asked the dragon if he could be taught to sense Feredemius, and he promised to grant the party this power if they could return an Emerald dragon egg that was stolen from his hatchery.

A couple days later, Durian connected with another adventurer who had also been along to meet the Most Sanctified Disciples of Sardior, who confirmed that their most recent party had come into possession of the missing Emerald dragon egg. However, the egg had been damaged and possibly possessed by The One That Waits, so they agreed to bring the egg back to Smargarg in hopes that he could help repair and purify it. Upon the egg's return, Smargarg granted the party a Boon of Telepathy and tasked them with "searching the minds of men to see if you can discern the presence of the emerald Feredemius, or maybe even The One That Walks Among You, or the presence of other mental powers such as The One That Waits…" Durian accepted this assignment and, with his new mind-reading ability, set his sights back on reassembling the court of Sardior.

Rebirth

Smargarg was supposed to meet them at the mountain peak, but as the Emerald team docked their Airship into place there was still no sign of him. They unloaded the brazer and began carrying it towards the ritual site when all disaster broke. The frightening presence of Feredemius landed right in front of them, and in a booming voice demanded they hand over the Emerald Blade. But they could not dispense it even if they were charmed to, as Durian had grabbed the Blade and teleported high into the air, flying well above everyone’s line of sight. When the shadow-corrupted Dragon’s demands were not satisfied, he summoned all manner of monsters to attack the team before flying off to antagonize another of the five ritual sites.

The ritual was already in motion, Durian could hear the incantations of the Amethyst Tome reverberate in his mind. It was now or never, they could not wait for Smargarg any longer. Durian let himself fall safely back to the ground and yelled out to the rest of the team, “I think I need to be the one to do it.” There was no protest…as an Emerald Dragonborn he was suited by blood to wield the Blade, but he was small and weak compared to the mighty Dragons it was intended for. He had been warned by Bleucorundum the Sapphire that the power of the ritual would undoubtedly kill him, hence why they’d recruited an Emerald Dragon to do it instead. But in truth, Durian hadn’t really felt alive anyway until learning of the Gem Dragons and their Ruby Court the year prior. He had set out to track down Feredemius the Emerald and ask him for a job, but from how things were going with the shadow monsters, Feredemius didn’t seem in any mood to be dealing favors.

Half the team was already engaged with the monsters, while a couple others stayed close by, casting wards of protection and healing around the site. They lit the brazer and, as per the ritual’s instructions, Durian held the Blade over the flame to heat it. He closed his eyes, attempting to block out the chaos around him and focus on attuning to the Blade. What should have only been six seconds felt like an eternity as he took a few heavy blows from monsters who snuck past the wards of protection, but his trance-like concentration and the wards of healing helped him endure through the pain.

At last something happened with the Blade, as a wave of psychic energy jolted out from it and blasted everyone in its radius. Durian took the most direct hit but, having natural psychic resistance, maintained his hold on the Blade still. The sky glowed even redder than it was before and beams of Ruby light shot out and bounced between each of the ritual sites, strengthening their connection. The team just needed to hold out for a bit longer and Sardior the Ruby King would finally be resurrected. Durian wished he’d be around to see it, but took solace knowing he could at least serve Sardior in death.

Feredemius appeared again for one final confrontation, blasting the team with a breath weapon of necrotic energy. Fearing another hit like that may shatter the Blade, Durian prepared to teleport away with it again if necessary, but thankfully the team was able to knock the shadowy Dragon away with purifying magic.

Finally, another wave of psychic energy blasted from the Blade with twice the intensity as before, knocking back everyone in range…except for Durian. At first he felt nothing, but then began to feel a dull heat rising in his chest cavity. The warmth steadily grew and soon worked its way into every crevice of his body. He realized what was happening as the energy from the Emerald Blade flowed directly into him, and showed no signs of easing up. The warmth escalated into an intense heat, then into a white-hot inferno. His hands squeezed tighter around the Blade’s hilt as he was paralyzed by the seething pain. Durian could not even open his mouth to scream in agony as every fiber of his body was being burned away at the same time. It took no time at all for the power to eat through his physical form and, in another blast, his consciousness exploded out and suddenly he became hyper-aware of everything and everyone on the mountain. He could see the five ritual sites all at once, including the Corundum Egg which now glowed with a blinding Ruby light. His consciousness bumped into the other “Court candidates,” and in their momentary mind meld they saw each other’s similar ordeals. Their swelling consciousnesses hit their limits, and Durian felt a Ruby tether connecting him to the Blade as it pulled taut and began slipping loose. He knew in this moment he could choose to let go and have his soul carried to whatever peaceful afterlife awaited him. Screw that, he pledged his soul to Sardior…so he grabbed the tether and held onto it with all the strength of an incorporeal consciousness. The explosion began to subside, and his consciousness intermixed with the energy from the blast as it receded back to its origin point.

Durian felt himself yanked back to the ritual site. The immense psionic energy that had melded with him began clumping back into a solid, humanoid-sized mass, but the white-hot burning again returned and did not relent. The pain only seemed to intensify until, like a dying star revolting against its own collapse, the energy inside him pushed outwards in all directions, expanding his form and twisting it into a powerful new shape until his body grew large enough to contain the energy and the burning sensation waned. He should have been exhausted from the ordeal, but the psionic power which had been searing him moments ago now vibrated through every part of his being and even hummed in the air around him. He stood up, disoriented, his line of sight rising far higher than he recalled, despite feeling his feet planted firmly on the ground. Before he had any chance to process what had occurred, he heard a new yet familiar voice ringing a single command inside his mind: “fly.” Compelled to obey, he leapt from the mountain peak intending to summon his spectral wings but, strangely, he found them already protruding from his back as he flapped them with unfamiliar might. The Emerald Blade still firmly gripped in his hand, he flew towards the Corundum Egg with incredible speed before landing at the site with a ground-shaking thud. He knew from the Egg’s blinding Ruby glow that it was time for him to fulfill his role. He approached the Egg, recalling how intent he was on protecting it over a year ago…it felt poetic that he must be the one to break it. Wielding the Emerald Blade high in the air, he plunged the weapon into the Egg, splitting the shell and causing a brilliant Ruby light to shine forth. It glowed so brightly that he was at last forced to look away and noticed his other surroundings. He towered over the other adventurers as they slowly gathered and seemed to gawk up at him in awe. He felt the weight and power of his body as he lumbered back on four legs to give the Egg space to hatch. Four familiar Gem Dragons of differing types—Amethyst, Crystal, Sapphire, and Topaz—encircled the Egg with him, observing the final portion of the ritual. It finally began to sink in for Durian: he had been reincarnated into an Emerald Dragon. But not just any Emerald Dragon, he was the Emerald Dragon. The Emerald Thane of Sardior.

His conscious mind thought to panic, but a strange instinctual pride and reassurance grappled him in place. He found surface feelings of self-doubt were immediately snuffed out by something rooted to his new nature. “Was this not a mistake?—No, Sardior doesn’t make mistakes. But should this not have been Smargarg?—No, you are the Chosen, otherwise Smargarg would be standing here.” It didn’t sound like something he’d say, but his core commanded him to believe it. He found odd comfort in this overbearing confidence, and he understood now why Dragons seem to often behave in such arrogant ways.

A high-pitched hum accompanied the Egg as the brightness reached its final intensity. More cracks formed along the surface until, at last, the Ruby King burst apart the shell, scattering its remnants to parts unknown. For the first time since Prehistory, Sardior arose from the Egg and levitated into the sky to address his Court.

As the intense glow subsided, the crowd of heroes got their first look at the Ruby King. He was…humbler than any of them expected. Certainly nothing like the colossal figure woven into those ancient tapestries. This was Sardior, no doubt, his scales were a brilliant Ruby and he emanated an incomparable psionic power. But this King was sized to walk among men, appearing as a slim Dragonborn…even smaller than Durian had been prior to his rebirth. He spoke humbly to the heroes, thanking them, before flying away to leave the Court to their meeting. Of course he was small, a god’s power is linked to their followers…and the Ruby King had been a god nearly forgotten to history until now. Durian realized his next purpose with Sardior, it was the task of the Ruby Court to build him back up. Durian turned to the rest of the Court, including the crowd of heroes, for now they could all be Harbingers of Sardior and spread the word of his return. They pondered where to start…for their real work was only just beginning.

Appearance

Pre-Rebirth

Durian is sturdily built like most Dragonborn, although he is not exceptionally strong. His scales are a shimmering emerald color with a fine, prickly texture and translucent at the surface. He has draconic emerald eyes and long head tendrils which hang down his back like a mop of hair. He also has a tail, uncommon but not unheard of amongst Dragonborn. His garbs forego the customary blue of most Bahamut worshippers, instead wearing assorted metallic hues to better resemble the metallic Dragonborn more often found in his clan. He outwardly proclaims his allegiance to Bahamut, however, by donning a conspicuous pendant with his religion’s traditional symbol and color. He also wears a handmade necklace fastened with a Tear of Sardior, symboling his mission to help resurrect the god of neutral dragons.

Post-Rebirth

In his true form, he is a massive Emerald Dragon with shimmering, translucent scales and two lengthy horns crowning the top of his head. Clusters of smaller crystalline protrusions encircle the rest of his head like a mane. His eyes glow with a pupil-less, emerald hue. Powerful, sinewy limbs match his long neck and tail while broad wings spread from his spiny back. Hard spikes stick out from each of his leg joints. His feet are adorned with razor-sharp claws.

Despite his imposing natural shape, he often favors disguises and will even polymorph into his prior Dragonborn form. In this shape, he appears nearly identical to how he looked before his rebirth, with the addition of wings which are similar to his old spectral ones except that they remain a permanent fixture.

Personality

Pre-Rebirth

Durian’s prior knowledge of what exists outside Jadenhill had all been secondhand, so he looks upon the world with wondrous eyes. He asks lots of questions, seeking knowledge and solutions to problems that may not have even occurred yet. He has a deep appreciation for his own mortality, but he’ll go all in for a cause he feels is just. He tries to fall back on the teachings of his temple when confronted with a new quandary, but privately struggles to fit all things into the good/evil paradigm that Bahamut espouses. He hoped that joining the fight against Dragons would help bring clarity to his religious anxieties. However, the realities of the conflict have only further muddied his outlook.

Post-Rebirth

Becoming a Dragon has altered his mind in ways that even he does not fully understand. Emotions feel larger than before, for better and worse. He is more confident and curious, but also more paranoid and mistrusting. It’s difficult to discern if these changes are entirely the result of his new form, enhancing traits that were already there, or if they are in part due to Sardior’s influence. When he begins having an intrusive or self-doubting thought, it’s as if another part of his mind rushes in to squash the thought before it can fully form. He is persuaded to his core that this is what he was meant to become…and yet he sometimes feels a dissonance between mind and body, as if he’s merely the same insecure Dragonborn piloting this huge, powerful creature. He quietly hopes and trusts that these incongruent feelings will dissipate as he acclimates to being a Dragon.

Abilities

Durian providing aerial support during the battle of the Shadow Forge.

Pre-Rebirth

Durian is naturally gifted with psionic abilities, but the way he wields these powers is still lacking in finesse. Aside from communicating via telepathy, he can also psychically lash out at enemies like a mind whip and exhale psychic energy as a breath weapon. When dealt damage at close range, he reflexively retaliates with a burst of telekinetic energy to push away the aggressor. He can also summon temporary spectral wings which allow him to fly.

He can create fire at will, drawing upon the gold Dragon part of his ancestry. He was also taught a number of illusionary spells meant to prepare him for being the high sorcerer of Jadenhill, such as disguisement and invisibility. Additionally, he is very multilingual as a result of his upbringing as a courtier.

He finds new ways to utilize his innate magic abilities in order to avoid repeating previous close brushes with death. He figured out how to feather fall after being thrown from a crumbling balcony during his first encounter with Sro. After being nearly digested by Bleucorundum's phase gelatinous cube, he learned to see invisibility.

Following his reacquisition of the Selune Splinter, Durian used it as an opportunity to practice some of the ranged illusionary magic that he was only just beginning to learn before the artifact was stolen.

After tracking down the lair of Smargarg the Emerald Dragon and requesting his help in locating Feredemius, the Emerald Thane of Sardior, the Dragon taught Durian the Boon of Telepathy which strengthened his existing psionic abilities and enabled him to read the minds of other creatures.

Post-Rebirth

Sardior’s Thanes are meant to be Exarchs for their gem types, so Durian’s psionic and psychic powers were radically amplified by his transformation as well as his physical size and strength. He has unmatched prowess in telepathy, clairvoyance, and illusions (skills which he can further project using his gem artifact, the Emerald Splinter). He is able to exhale a disorientating breath weapon of psychic dissonance. He has a powerful bite and claw attack. He can also fly, teleport and change his shape at will.

His psychic presence seeps into his surroundings over time, a trait which he can use to purposefully imbue certain items and even other creatures with his own emerald essence. He used this ability to transform Rooney into his first Harbinger, forging a patron-like relationship and psychic link which allows him to see through the Ranger's eyes as well as telepathically communicate.

Trivia

  • Durian’s family is primarily of Gold Dragon ancestry, hence why his simpler sorcery spells tend to be fire-based. Exhibiting gem features seems to be a recessive gene, as Durian’s immediate family are all gold sans for him, his mother, and grandmother.
  • Despite knowing that he differs from his siblings in a major regard, Durian identified as a gold Dragonborn until his encounter with Bleucorundum. Now faced with the existence of Gem Dragons, he is unsure what to make of himself.
  • Durian was one of very few telepaths at home and took extra coaxing as a child to verbalize his words, so he is overly eager when meeting other telepaths on his journeys and tries using telepathy as the primary means of communication with them.
  • Durian was not familiar with the fruit of his namesake before leaving Jadenhill. A single durian fruit once came through the town as a gift from an overseas diplomat, but it just ended up used as a kickball.
  • Durian once questioned his mother about his name’s meaning and she replied that he is “spiky on the outside, with innards that need an enlightened palate to fully appreciate.” Durian did not understand this answer.
  • In 820 PR, visiting representatives attempted to scout Durian for Katharda Academy, a proposal which his mother outright refused as he "has a purpose here" and stated that the school "cannot accommodate our unique situation." The representatives warned of the escalating War of Dragons but, after implying that they could see through her Wood Elf disguise, she angrily dismissed them, exclaiming "this is your fight, we're just trying to survive through it."
  • While visiting the lair of Smargarg, Durian came across the Amethyst Dragon egg which had been stolen from the Court of Quartz. He left it alone as he could not tell it apart from any other gem egg, but the party's ship captain managed to swipe the egg and fled before anyone could see as it almost immediately hatched into an Amethyst Dragon wyrmling.
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