|Aliases||Emerald Thane of Sardior, Durian Grunwald|
|Date of Birth||826 PR|
|Place of Birth||Northern Snowy Mountains, Isonhound|
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 town 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[edit | edit source]
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.
Adventures in Quelmar[edit | edit source]
|Languages||Celestial, Common, Draconic, Dwarvish, Elvish, Infernal, Primordial, Telepathy, Wiki|
|Affiliations||Harbingers of Sardior|
|Date of Birth||806 PR|
|Place of Birth||Jadenhill, Isonhound|
Mayoral Hoarder[edit | edit source]
Durian leaves home for the first time and meets a Silver Dragon with a peculiar hoarding habit and ideology, causing him to have a crisis of faith…
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 clan 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?
Surprise Sapphire[edit | edit source]
Durian discovers the existence of Gem Dragons and attempts to befriend one of them, leading him towards questions about his own identity…
Not yet convinced that fighting was the best solution for his clan, 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 clan 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?
Sardior Secrets[edit | edit source]
Durian's questions would remain unanswered until he 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.
Splintered Priorities[edit | edit source]
Durian joins a guild in order to reacquire the Selune Splinter, an artifact of tremendous significance that had been stolen from his clan…
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 clan. 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 clan 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 helped him to 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.
Jeered Tears[edit | edit source]
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 type for this lost sixth Gem 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.
Sanctified Machines[edit | edit source]
Not long afterward, 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 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.
Emerald Epiphany[edit | edit source]
Durian tracks down the lair of an Emerald Dragon who teaches him how to read minds in exchange for helping to return one of his eggs…
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 after the same thing. Durian, hovering over the entrance, folded his wings and plummeted straight down the hole leading into the lair, soon joined by the rest of the group as they each jumped in. It was immediately apparent that they were being watched as Durian spotted a clairvoyant eye peering from a nearby lava pillar, which disappeared after its owner was taken aback by being spotted. The group negotiated their way through the lair, encountering major illusions and conversing with the disembodied voice of a Gem Dragon as it picked through each of their 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.
Fairly Devious[edit | edit source]
Durian uncovers the true identity of The One That Waits and weighs the consequences of sharing his revelation with any other adventurers…
As the party left the lair of Smargarg, something that the young Emerald Dragon said continued to echo in Durian's mind: "I can feel Feredemius' presence…everywhere…he is still alive somewhere, somehow, in Isonhound." It seemed like such a strange thing to leave on. After all, had Smargarg seen everywhere lately? Isonhound was falling into disarray, being slowly overrun by shadow monsters. If Feredemius was truly so omnipresent, why had all this looming chaos not yet lured him out? How could his psionic presence be so strongly felt without leaving any physical trace? Durian returned to his research and combed through it closely, looking for anything he may have overlooked. He came across a piece of information that he had previously regarded as insignificant, namely, that Dragons could achieve a form of immortality by allowing their soul to repeatedly possess an egg of their same or similar type. This tidbit seemed to be backed up by the Most Sanctified Disciples of Sardior's mission to resurrect Tushello using a Gold Dragon egg. So why would The One That Waits want to possess an Emerald Dragon egg with his corrupting shadow energy? Durian had a silent epiphany. "Fuck, The One That Waits is Emerald…" he thought to himself while flipping through his notes, praying to Sardior that he had missed something. It had made so much sense for The Once That Waits to be the forgotten Obsidian Dragon, but was it possible that Durian had unintentionally misled his guild and the other adventurers? And if what Smargarg said was true about all emerald creatures being descended from Feredemius…could Durian really be descended from such a sinister being? He wanted to broach this newfound revelation with the rest of the adventurers in Seglock, but he felt he needed to handle it delicately…lest he earn the their wrath and they turn against all emerald creatures. The realm had already attempted to massacre the Dragonborn race only a few decades ago, it seemed foolish to think the masses would be above taking up arms against emerald Dragonborn specifically. Durian decided to bide his time with revealing The One That Waits' true identity, holding out for an opportunity to share the truth with a reliable group of people in hopes that he could mitigate the fallout for himself and any other emerald creatures.
Harbinger Havoc[edit | edit source]
Festive Fall[edit | edit source]
Slight Sworn[edit | edit source]
By this point, Durian had gained a reputation in Seglock as the go-to expert for any information pertaining to Sardior. Other adventurers both in and outside the Iron Hawks were routinely directed to him to answer any gem-related inquiries. For a long while, he gladly accepted this role and did his best to assist anyone who requested his expertise. But with the quantity of questions he received, it eventually started feeling like a chore and it became difficult to rise above the feeling that he was being used. After being called upon by multiple parties all at once to answer some oddly similar lines of questioning about Gem Dragons, he asked one of the questioners if there was anything more going on. They revealed their plan for a so-called “alliance of the guilds” which they had dubbed the Lightsworn in order to deal with the shadows which had overtaken Isonhound. They made Durian an offer to come on as an Advisor and help lead their “research department.” Knowing what he knew about The One That Waits’ true identity and still hoping that Feredemius could be redeemed, he agreed to help them on the condition that he would have an equal say in any group decisions pertaining to Sardior and the Gem Dragons. They agreed to these terms, and Durian was initially relieved that he’d be able to safely disclose his knowledge of Feredemius to the leaders of this new group. Since they were amicable to giving him a say in decision making, they weren’t simply going to turn around and vote to slay his ancestor without his knowledge…or so he’d thought. The next day, he accidentally overheard a conversation amongst this new group’s leaders, which included several Iron Hawks, calling the Advisor title a “hollow role.” Durian confronted them and they immediately swung into damage control, but the harm had already been done. Feeling betrayed, Durian questioned why the Harbingers of Sardior had been excluded from this supposed guild alliance in the first place and argued that the only fair path forward would be for them to give him an equal council vote so he could represent his group’s interests. They condescended and lashed out at him in response, accusing him of being “overly possessive” of all the information he’d acquired about Sardior. They scolded him for “making demands” and “bring ungrateful” after the Iron Hawks had helped him reacquire his ancestral artifact…as if he was supposed to be perpetually indebted for this and tolerate blatant deceit. After this fuming back-and-forth which went nowhere, Durian decided that if he was going to help these adventurers going forward, it was going to be on his own terms. He broke ties with the alliance and, in the dead of night, packed his things and departed the Iron Hawks’ guild hall. He had allied himself with these Dragon slayers long enough, especially if he was going to help resurrect an ancient Dragon god.
Amethyst Altercation[edit | edit source]
Durian joined a party that was venturing into the Shadowfell-infested forests in search of a city whose name could not be remembered by anyone. As they delved deeper into the gloomy woods, they spotted the head of The One That Waits peeking out from the forest ground as the creature seemed to swim towards them. The group found themselves grappled by his shadowy tendrils, and they would need to pull out all of their tricks to escape his grasp as he crept ever closer, eager to assimilate them into his hive-mind. Some used magic to teleport away, others used brute strength to rip out of his clutches. Any attempt to communicate with The One That Waits was met with the same word being echoed in their heads: “FALL!” This was all they could hear repeated from him until Durian attempted to read his thoughts, demanding to know “where’s Feredemius?” The One That Waits fell quiet at the mention of this name, turning with his head cocked to stare directly at Durian. Unable to tell if this expression was one of being pleased or of animosity, Durian shook his head in frustration and fled with the rest of the team.
Eventually the party came to the Ssaphhibian River where some of them heard yet another voice inside their heads, beckoning them into the river and offering them sanctuary. The voice was familiar to Durian: “…Bleucorundum? How do we know it’s really you?” She responded, “surely you don’t expect me to reveal myself?” With that, Durian waded into the river. The rest of the party joined in and were swept downstream into the protected underground lair of Bleucorundum, cluttered with a magnificent hoard of weapons and other such trophies of battle. Bleucorundum continued to speak to the party while remaining invisible to everyone except Durian, who had learned to see invisibility following his first near-death encounter with the Sapphire Dragon. She explained how her lair was shielded from the shadows which had overrun the outside world, gesturing to a quartz-looking gem egg which Durian recognized as the one which he’d helped save nearly a year prior. Durian inquired, “is this egg one of the Keys to the Court?” Bleucorundum narrowed her eyes at him and said with a smile, “you’ve clearly been doing your research, you seem to know more than you let on.” It was funny to think that a year ago, Durian hadn’t even known what a Gem Dragon was before being nearly eaten by her invisible gelatinous cube.
The party inquired about what it meant to be a Harbinger, and the Sapphire Dragon did her best to draw upon ancient memories…from long bygone times when she sat on the Ruby Court. She recalled that a Harbinger was a position in the court, typically held by younger Gem Dragons but could also be held by gem Dragonborn or really any creature who possessed some trace essence of the Gem Dragons, tasked with taking the place of their respective Gem Dragon's court seat on occasions when their Thanes could not be present for meetings. She pondered, “it’s been so long since I’ve had a Harbinger, I don’t know what I would even do with one now.”
By this point, the rest of the group began to reconvene, chiming in with their own questions about the Ruby Court. Durian asked if she has had any contact with Feredemius. She said no, but that Feredemius is a master at hiding, protecting his location by dispersing his essence amongst the Weave. Echoing what Smargarg had described prior, “I can feel Feredemius' presence…everywhere, he is still alive somewhere, somehow, in Isonhound.” She asked Durian, “you’re an emerald Dragonborn, can you not sense his presence everywhere, as well?” He responded, “I guess, but…have you seen everywhere lately?” He then asked about Kristang the Obsidian Dragon, to which Bleucorundum began to loudly laugh. “For as much as you seem to know, it’s funny that you would still believe in a boogyman like Kristang!” He questioned why Kristang had been given a Harbinger if he wasn’t real. Bleucorundum theorized that since it had come from the Topaz Astrolabe, it was likely merely a tribute from Tushello the Topaz Dragon who had something of an obsession with Kristang. But Bleucorundum was adamant that there had only ever been five Thanes on the Ruby Court, never six. Durian insisted that, even if not Kristang, there was at least some sort of Obsidian-looking Dragon terrorizing Isonhound on the surface. But Bleucorundum was entirely certain, “shadow and Obsidian are different,” and whoever The One That Waits really was had merely taken the form of a Dragon as a means of intimidation and that they seemed to have a vendetta against all Gem Dragons for whatever reason. Durian replied how that seemed accurate, seeing how Smargarg was having a similar rough time trapped underground in his hatchery of Gem Dragon eggs. At the mention of there being more Gem Dragon eggs in danger, Bleucorundum’s face filled with surprise and worry before slowly recomposing herself; “no…Amethyst first, then we can focus on saving the hatchlings.”
She told the party that if they could arrange to rescue Smargarg and his hatchery, she would provide him sanctuary in her lair. But in the meantime, her priority was trying to locate her friend the Amethyst Thane. She described rumors of an Amethyst Dragon in a nearby city with no name that was also being protected from the shadows (presumably by one of the Gem Artifacts), and she offered the party shelter in her lair if they agreed to venture into this city in search of the supposed Amethyst Dragon. The team readily agreed, as the city is why they had come out there to begin with…but there was also a catch: the city had been overtaken by the cult of Att-Annalo who were keeping the city heavily guarded and under quarantine. Bleucorundum granted the party one of her Boons of Neutrality, rendering them invisible to the cultists so long as they don’t harm any of them (since Bleucorundum’s boons do not stack, Durian opted to keep his existing boon of invisibility to dragons, reassuring the group that his normal invisibility spell would be sufficient for him to avoid detection by the cultists). So after resting off their head-on encounter with The One That Waits, the party ventured back to the shadowy surface of Isonhound in the direction of this unnamed city.
As the team made their approach, Durian imparted his knowledge about Amethyst Dragons being the most powerful type of Gem Dragon due to their ability to deal force damage and manipulate gravity. Just then, they got close enough to take in the entire city, portions of it being torn apart and lifted upwards into the sky. The cultists were alerted to the approaching party members by the sound of clanking armor and turned invisible to try and engage them. Having a visual on the invisible guards, Durian leapt from the rooftops to try and help escort the rest of the party through the inconspicuous chaos while taking four direct hits of necrotic damage from the cultists. Still managing to retain his invisibility, he teleported out of that mayhem and into the nearest floating building he could spot in the distance. Despite immediately recasting invisibility, he was briefly spotted by a crazed Halfling known as Father Mel who launched into a long villainous speech and challenged Durian to strike him down. Not being one for obvious bait, Durian chose to hide. At the first opportunity, Durian leapt from the floating building, narrowly avoiding landing on the rest of his party as they all regrouped on the rooftops.
As the team investigated another floating building, they located a humanoid figure with dark Amethyst-looking skin and pitch-black eyes sitting in a trance on the bed. They repeatedly warned, “you shouldn’t have come here…they know you’re here…you need to leave.” The party questioned them about the Amethyst Gem Artifact as they seemed to struggle for control, but they replied that it was safe and deep underground. It was then the group realized that there was no Gem Artifact protecting this city, but rather, it was the sheer force of will from this Amethyst Dragon constantly pushing the shadows away with gravitational force. The group began discussing other ways of extracting the charmed Amethyst Dragon, but they refused to leave so long as there were people in the city. Meanwhile, Father Mel discovered the rest of the party’s presence and began sounding alarms across the city.
Finally, the Amethyst Dragon lost control and transformed into their Dragon form, rapidly launching the room high up into the air. Most of the party was able to jump out, but one teammate got caught in the Dragon’s grasp. Seeing his friend get launched ever further into the sky and panicked by his inability to reach them, Durian casted a major image of The One That Waits to try and briefly distract the Amethyst Dragon. This would prove just barely enough assistance for them to wriggle free and feather fall 120 feet from the skyward room.
Meanwhile on the ground, another teammate kept Father Mel at bay by darting through the streets of the city and making as much noise as possible to lure him away from the rest of the party. This gave everyone enough opportunity to successfully escape and report back to Bleucorundum, confirming the presence of an Amethyst Dragon within the city.
Kill Durian[edit | edit source]
Durian resists The One That Waits as his true identity is confirmed and he unleashes an army of shadow monsters to take out his uncooperative descendent…
Green Tech[edit | edit source]
Chronoseptic Antics[edit | edit source]
Divine Rebirth[edit | edit source]
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 god 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.
Emerald Atonement[edit | edit source]
Adventures in Lyaphaire[edit | edit source]
|Date of Birth||806 PR|
|Place of Birth||Jadenhill, Isonhound|
Prologue[edit | edit source]
Adrian finds himself dropped into a strange new realm, having been radically altered and left to wonder whether Sardior's resurrection ceremony had actually worked…
Adrian Grunwald was born a half-emerald, half-gold Dragonborn at the Bahamut temple of Jadenhill, a community of Dragonborn who sought refuge from the Second Draconic Crusades. His mother, Jadenhill’s high sorcerer, forsook most elements of draconic culture out of fear of persecution by crusaders, using sorcery to disguise their entire clan as Elves and even giving her hatchlings Elvish-sounding names. His father, however, was a practicing Way of the Ascendant Dragon Monk from the temple and gifted him a draconic name—Durzibethinus—so he could quietly retain some connection to his roots.
While all of Adrian’s clutchmates sported gold scales the same as their father…Adrian looked just like their mother, exhibiting a confounding emerald color and even displaying her same prowess for psionic sorcery. But unlike their mother, Adrian longed to leave Jadenhill and discover why he looked and felt so different from the rest of his clan.
Attacks by evil Dragons and Shadowfell monsters were on the rise across the realm, and he used one such attack as a pretense to leave home in search of answers…also taking on the name Durian, a portmanteau of both names his parents had given him. His travels led him to discover the highly reclusive Gem Dragons—psionic creatures with deep ties to the multiverse—who divulged the truth of his emerald heritage as well as their plans for a ceremony to resurrect their god Sardior, the ruby king of Gem Dragons. Durian identified with these Gem Dragons and joined their cult of Sardior, convinced that the return of this ancient Ruby Dragon god could push away all the Shadowfell monsters still attacking the realm.
Durian helped the Gem Dragons prepare their resurrection ceremony—which required a representative for each type of Gem Dragon—under heavy duress from the monsters attempting to halt Sardior's return. When Smargarg—the cult’s Emerald Dragon—failed to arrive, a presumed casualty of the Shadowfell monsters, Durian volunteered to take his place as the emerald representative…despite warnings that he was too weak and the power of the ceremony would kill him. He was willing to make that sacrifice if it meant saving the realm.
Despite a tremendous battle, the resurrection ceremony proved successful and—to everyone’s astonishment—Sardior took Durian’s emerald essence and reincarnated him into a powerful Gem Dragon to serve the god on his Ruby Court…bestowing him the title of Durzibethinus, the Emerald Thane of Sardior. With their god resurrected and the Shadowfell monsters vanquished, Durzibethinus ascended with the other members of the Ruby Court to sow Sardior's influence across the realm and beyond.
But that was not all to Durian’s story as, despite leaning strongly into his emerald heritage…he was also part gold. This piece of him was presumably burned away during the ceremony, and it is true the last thing that he remembered was feeling an overpowering heat…followed by an intense cold…then just all-encompassing nothingness as he drifted for what seemed an eternity.
At last, he awoke near the peak of a mountain…not dissimilar to the Northern Snowy Mountains that the ceremony had taken place on. But where there had once been snow, this place was warm and wildflowers grew all along the slope. Even the sky was a different color. He wondered if this was death and tried to stand up, but his knees buckled as he was severely weakened. He eventually gathered enough strength to make his way down the mountainside.
He came across a stream and thought to follow it to civilization…but as he walked along it, he glanced his reflection and was shocked by the sight of his father staring back. But he realized as he peered closer that it was still unmistakably him, same facial features and all…but his scales from head-to-tail had all been turned gold. The only flecks of emerald that remained were in the irises of his eyes. He tried summoning a major image to act as a distress beacon and realized he could no longer tap into the pool of psionic magic that once welled within him. Devastated by the loss of his emerald essence, memories flooded back of his days as young Adrian living at the temple of Jadenhill…constantly plagued by questions about his identity and struggling for a sense of self.
Adrian carried on following the stream until it let out into a larger river, which finally led past a city where he was able to swipe a set of clothes and rest. He located a library the next day and searched for any keywords that would provide some familiarity. Jadenhill…Sardior…Gem Dragons…the Gem Dragons that existed here seemed just as elusive as they were at home—if not more so. But just as the Gem Dragons had spoken of planar echoes and other realms, this place—which he learned was called Lyaphaire—was a distinct world from the one he hailed from. Adrian couldn’t quite grip the concept of a multiverse…he could only process that the place he called home was very, very far away.
After some time spent in the city, Adrian found something familiar to latch onto when a resident mistook him for “one of those Dragon church people.” He learned of a temple that worshipped a Dragon god and journeyed there to request their help. The Monks there had never heard of a “Jadenhill” temple, but Adrian’s knowledge from a lifetime spent practicing draconic scripture and temple upkeep was enough to convince them of his authenticity. They offered him accommodations in exchange for physical labor, which he agreed to. In his downtime, he was permitted access to areas of worship, a library of religious scrolls to study, and even courtyards for physical training. It was in these courtyards one morning when Adrian witnessed some Monks practicing a fighting technique which he immediately recognized as the Way of the Ascendant Dragon…his father’s chosen martial art.
As a child, Adrian had only trained with his father and clutchmates for a short time before their mother swept him away to teach him how to be the next high sorcerer. He had always carried a chip on his shoulder for being separated like that and, having lost his psionic gem powers, a future in sorcery seemed closed off to him now. Still, he was determined to build back his strength and make something of himself in this new place.
He expressed interest in re-learning the Way of the Ascendant Dragon and, after a few years of training with the temple masters, he was able to pick back up the basics and build a foundation for future growth. For the first time since being dropped in Lyaphaire, Adrian’s prospects seemed bright. Still, he felt he could never truly come to terms with what he’d lost. He’d been content to die in order to resurrect Sardior, but to be left alive and stripped of his emerald essence…that was not an outcome he ever could have anticipated. And without a way for him to tell whether the resurrection ceremony worked, he couldn’t even know if his sacrifice had been worthwhile. With no clear answers to these thoughts in sight and no apparent means of returning home, Adrian did his best to keep his eyes set upon the future—at least for the time being.
Session 1[edit | edit source]
Adrian feels like he has hit a wall with his Monk training and takes the first opportunity to leave the Deus Temporis temple and explore more of this new realm, eventually ending up in the small village of Terakai and getting recruited for a new job alongside an unusual band of characters…
There was a time in Adrian's life when he wanted nothing more than to be a normal gold Dragonborn like everyone else at home. Now it seemed as though he could finally have that while living at the Deus Temporis temple…but his ambitions had changed since leaving Jadenhill and it was clear that simply fitting in would no longer make him happy. Additionally, he had begun plateauing with his Monk training and was feeling a pull to explore more of the realm outside the confines of the temple. Adrian found his chance to leave after receiving a message from his acquaintance Ashe, a remarkably tall Monk who had visited the temple with her master for a brief time to learn draconic martial techniques. She was requesting Adrian's help providing protection for a transcontinental cargo delivery that was en route to her new place of work, a small-town tavern called the Grail and the Grave. Adrian seized the opportunity and joined the caravan headed towards the unfamiliar island kingdom, leaving the inlands of the Parluza continent and setting sail overseas for the first time in his life.
After a long journey from the Holy Kingdom of Islux, Adrian finally arrived in the village of Terakai—home to the Grail and the Grave. Despite a successful job, Adrian found himself substantially shortchanged by the coachman in charge of the delivery…meaning Adrian did not have enough funds to secure an immediate trip home. He wrote a letter back to the temple to inform them that his return would take longer than expected. Adrian knew he should feel agitated by the situation…but instead he felt some odd relief, no longer feeling pressured to depart so soon. He rented a room at the Grail and the Grave for a week, exploring what little there was to see of the village as he waited for a new job opportunity to arise. He spent early mornings jogging laps around the village square, the unkept greenery reminding him of the breezy mountainside that he first awoke on after being dropped in Lyaphaire. One morning late in the week, he was rustled from his reminiscing by the sound of a panicked mother emerging from her home shouting for her five-year-old son Osric. Adrian offered to help with her search, assuming the boy could not have wandered too far off…but alas, the child was nowhere to be found. Adrian circled back to the Grail and the Grave, confident that the boy would appear back home soon.
Adrian glanced around the tavern and spotted several of its regulars—Ashe was working behind the bar as usual, a short construct made of clay named Dave dutifully set about cleaning the tavern anytime they weren't painting, and an aquatic-looking Elf named Merys also sat at the bar as Adrian found a nearby empty seat. Ashe had just begun carrying out everyone's breakfast orders from the kitchen when a coin appeared from seemingly nowhere at the end of the counter, thus signaling her to wake up her boss Silence—a bubbly pink Tiefling covered in tattoos and co-owner of the tavern—to come down and deal with the situation.
Silence meandered downstairs, pulled out an ornate goblet and seemingly poured an invisible liquid into it. She took the coin and placed the goblet on the counter for an unseen patron. Adrian was intrigued by her interaction with the invisible customer and asked how she was able to see them, a question which perplexed her until she remembered "oh right, you all have normal eyes."
Shortly afterwards, the parents of Osric came into the tavern in a panic over their missing child…to which Silence immediately sprung into action ordering out coffee and comforting them. For all within earshot, she described the ongoing epidemic of children in the village going missing…and the few who found their way home refusing to speak about the thing that took them. Her partner Urzul—a physically imposing Half-Orc who often hunted dangerous monsters—had led several search parties to try and locate the missing children in the forests outside of town, but so far there had been no luck. Adrian and Merys offered to help with searching for the children, each being relatively new to town and in need of jobs. Silence also "fired" Ashe and Dave from their current roles at the tavern so that they would have time to assist in the search. With this new search party assembled, all they needed next was a lead on where to look first.
Session 2[edit | edit source]
Adrian awkwardly consents to play ghost host before setting out with the newly-formed search party towards the Pericles Hills in hopes of finding the missing children, but instead they get rained on and punch some face-sucking monsters to death after getting ambushed in a cave…
Silence offered the group ten gold pieces to uncover the location of the missing children and five additional gold pieces for every two children they are able to bring back. She then seemed to start conversing with another unseen patron in the corner of the tavern. Fascinated by the exchange, Adrian waved his hand around the area she was talking to in order to test if there was anything tangible. Silence rebuked him for being rude and warned him not to invade her guest's personal space, "unless you're volunteering to host." Adrian replied "sure, I guess…" not quite knowing what she meant by that phrase. Just then, Adrian felt a complete loss of control over his own body while still remaining conscious and a deep, unfamiliar voice spoke from him. The voice pointed the team towards the Pericles Hills, claiming it was the last location the missing children had been spotted. They responded to a few questions before vacating Adrian's body, leaving him feeling intensely cold and confused by what had just transpired. With this new information in mind, the team headed in the direction of the Pericles Hills.
As they set out on foot to try and rescue the children, their journey was slowed when it began to rain heavily and their path turned to mud. They decided to set up camp as it neared dark, but it was difficult to find any firewood that hadn't been dampened by the rain. The team gathered some wood and Adrian used his fire breath weapon to dry it off, while Dave casted a prestidigitation spell to ignite it. Adrian took fourth watch that night alongside Merys and the pair stayed awake discussing their pasts, sharing some things about their families but remaining purposefully vague on many details.
The team arose in the morning and finally made it to the Pericles Hills. They didn't spot anything that immediately stood out until they heard the whistling of a nearby cave. They stepped into the pitch-black cave and Dave casted a spell to create a copy of themself made entirely of light to illuminate the space. Dave, being unfamiliar with caving etiquette, also loudly announced themself to anyone in the cave who might be listening. The noise summoned two small, rubbery-looking monsters with tentacles to drop from the ceiling and latch onto Dave's face. Startled by the hideous creatures, Adrian fire-punched one of them off of Dave's face and stabbed the other one with his shortsword. As the monsters fell to the ground dead and burning, a quietness hushed over the team and they could hear the echoing voices of Goblins up ahead as the passage opened into a larger cavern. Just around the corner, an encampment of Goblins talked amongst themselves, "Bugbears hate Goblins, but Hags hate Goblins more." The team paused for a moment to quietly discuss their next move.
Session 3[edit | edit source]
Adrian learns the consequences of trying to sneak inside a cave without darkvision and the team is attacked by Goblins, then they learn of some Hags residing deeper in the cave and also meet some Bullywugs guarding a bright stone before the team decides to leave in search of a more definitive lead…
The team waited around the corner from where they could hear the Goblin encampment and debated what they should do. Adrian was confident that he could sneak closer to get a better count of how many Goblins they were up against, so he stepped farther into the cave before realizing it was too dark for him to see anything. Merys offered to accompany him, being a creature with darkvision. Despite Merys' help, they only got a few steps inside the cavern before Adrian tripped on a rock and faceplanted onto the ground. The resulting sound alerted the Goblins to their presence and they proceeded to launch an attack. The ensuing fight resulted in half the team getting stabbed by javelins, but they proved enough of a threat that the Goblins gave them an opportunity to "surrender." They agreed in order to let the Goblins save face, with Dave even offering to paint their portrait sometime back at their home cave. They asked the Goblins about the whereabouts of the Hags, to which they were pointed in the direction of a rippling pool of water that led deeper into the cave. The Goblins also pointed out another path which led to a Bullywug, so the team decided to visit the Bullywug first to ask if he had seen any children pass through the cave.
They took the direction towards the Bullywug and soon found themselves wading in shallow water. The path spilled into an area that was illuminated by a bright stone sitting atop a tall pedestal at the center of the cavern. The team approached the pedestal and debated standing on each other's shoulders to reach the stone before the Bullywug hopped out from beneath the water, warning them not to touch the stone as it was the only thing keeping the cavern from collapsing. They noticed numerous other sets of Bullywug eyes peering at them from beneath the water, so they decided to comply. They asked the Bullywug if he had seen any children pass through the cave recently, to which he denied seeing any. Feeling somewhat defeated and not wanting to confront any Hags without evidence of them being connected to the missing children, the team left the cave to search more of the Pericles Hills for any other potential leads.
Session 4[edit | edit source]
Adrian and the team return to the cave and get distracted by a gem-adorned tortoise before getting roped into a sisterly conflict between two Hags, then they almost successfully beeline past a Goblin encampment and Adrian nearly gets separated from the rest of the team by running way too fast…
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Durian[edit | edit source]
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.
Durzibethinus[edit | edit source]
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.
Adrian[edit | edit source]
Adrian is identical in appearance to his prior emerald Dragonborn form, except that all of his scales have taken on a metallic gold color. The flecks of emerald in his eyes are the last visual remnants of his gem heritage. He wears lightweight garb with accents of emerald hues to try and bring out the color of his eyes and bolster what remains from this side of his ancestry. He wears a pendent around his neck from the temple of Deus Temporis that trained him…specifically, a gold pendant shaped like Meozith—the Metallic Dragon head from the three-headed Dragon god of time.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Durian[edit | edit source]
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.
Durzibethinus[edit | edit source]
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.
Adrian[edit | edit source]
Being new to Lyaphaire, Adrian can come off as endearingly naive when encountering new things. He hides a chip on his shoulder due to feeling forsaken by his god, Sardior, after sacrificing himself for the Gem Dragon god's resurrection and being consequently discarded in an unfamiliar realm. He speaks about his past in vague terms and is often reluctant to talk about it since he is doubtful that anyone would believe him, yet alone be able to provide the sort of closure he desires. Optimism is a shaky habit to kick, however, so he hopes for a day when he is able to prove his worthiness to the Gem Dragons and reclaim his emerald essence…possibly even return home and learn if his efforts to revive Sardior had paid off.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Durian[edit | edit source]
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 spe ctral 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.
Durzibethinus[edit | edit source]
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.
Adrian[edit | edit source]
Adrian lost access to his psionic abilities after Sardior took his emerald essence, which initially left him severely weakened upon first landing in Lyaphaire. Over the course of a few years residing in this new realm, however, he steadily rebuilt his strength by training as a Monk in the Way of the Ascendant Dragon.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Durian’s family is primarily of Gold Dragon ancestry, hence why his simpler spells tend to be fire-based. Exhibiting gem features is seemingly 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 in Jadenhill 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.
- 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." Durian kept a longstanding grudge against his mother for not allowing him to go, and he likely would have gone himself had he not been a year short of fifteen (the age of adulthood in Dragonborn societies). His place was instead offered to Frances Langford, the next candidate on the school’s list.
- Durian's mother eschewed many aspects of Dragonborn culture due to the fear of her family being discovered by Crusaders. This included conventional draconic names, so she named her son Adrian at birth with the intent of making him sound more Elvish. His father, however, was far more relaxed and gifted him the draconic name Durzibethinus on his fifteenth birthday. Upon leaving home, he combined both names and began calling himself Durian in a halfhearted attempt to reclaim some part of his identity.
- Durian has never seen or tasted the fruit of his unintended namesake. Coincidentally, however, durians are one of the few known fruits that can be scavenged on the Dragon-ridden mainland of Kiston. Additionally, a single durian fruit once came into Jadenhill as a gift from an overseas diplomat, but it just ended up used as a kickball.
- 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.
Behind the Screen[edit | edit source]
- This character was created out of a desire to introduce Gem Dragon lore into Quelmar following the release of Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, as well as to help answer the question of why Dragonborn continued to sporadically appear after the point in the Quelmar Timeline when Dragonborn were presumed to have gone extinct (the implication being that a few clans managed to survive undetected through the Second Draconic Crusades). Some secondary elements from the character’s backstory, such as the Selune Splinter, served as callbacks to previous Quelmar campaigns that the player participated in.
- Several elements of this character drew upon themes of queerness, such as the power of language and its impact on identity when sufficient vocabulary does not exist to properly describe oneself. This manifested as a gem Dragonborn, ignorant to the existence of Gem Dragons, identifying as metallic as it was their culture’s closest (yet entirely inadequate) approximation for what they were. Other themes included masking to fit into a social order and how such forms of suppression can be multilayered, as in the case of an emerald Dragonborn masking as a gold Dragonborn masking as a wood Elf.
- Another one of the player’s goals was to test the outcome of playing a character whose motivations for learning new spells while leveling up were entirely narrative-based (specifically as a Sorcerer, a class whose playable spells are unable to be changed from day-to-day). For example, they learned Feather Fall following a session in which they nearly died by falling from a great height. At their next point of leveling up, they learned See Invisibility after being nearly killed by an invisible monster. The highest level this character reached as a PC was level 8 and the player concluded that this approach could be narratively gratifying if given the right campaign, but that it resulted in an arguably underpowered character.