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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

1255 Posts

Posted - 16 Mar 2019 :  03:14:27  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Some weeks ago, Erin M. Evans shared these diagrams with me on Twitter. She says those aren't canon, that are from her home campaign. But coming from her, for me this as canonical as any material from her novels.

To clarify, Erin is not the artist who drew these diagrams. She just added the piercings. Credits for this delightful dragonborn art to the artist who drew them.

Anyways, in the Brotherhood of the Griffon (BotG) and the Brimstone Angels (BA) series (the main sources for dragonborn lore in the Realms), we learn that the Vayemniri (the dragonborn of Tymanther) use special piercings to show their clan allegiancies. Those piercings are really important for them, are marks of their devotion to their clan's honor. Dragonborn that are exiled from their clans lose honor and thus are stripped from their right to use such piercings and their clan names (poor Mehen, really).

Anyways, here is the link:

Link to imgur

After she shared this with me, I did a quick reading of the relevant novels to get all the Realmslore about the clans depicted there.

Verthisathurgiesh is one of the main clans in the BA series. Is the clan the dragonborn protagonist, Mehen, is a member of. Its basically one of the oldest dragonborn clans, if not the oldest. They took their name from the Battle of the Crippled Mountain (Verthisathurgiesh literally means "Crippled Mountain" in draconic), the decisive battle were the dragonborn slaves from Laerakond won their freedom in ages past. Once one of the most powerful clans, now in decline because the former patriarch was an abusive tyrant that destroyed the clan's reputation. The current matriarch is trying hard to restore the clan's good standing, but that isn't an easy task. Verthisathurgiesh are the guardians of an artifact known as the Eye of Blazing Rorn (seems to be related to the primordial Rorn of the Rages), that can create heat-waves powerful enough to kill a great wyrm red dragon that was for all intents and purposes the most powerful dragon of Abeir of his time (his title was the Tyrant of Tyrants). Thanks to Mehen, the dragonborn gained a reputation of honorable and skilled warriors in Cormyr (as Mehen was the bodyguard of Brin, the fiance of princess Raedra -- currently Queen-- in Fire in the Blood), and now all Cormyrian nobles want a dragonborn bodyguard (and a tiefling lover... Don't ask. Go read the novel if you want to know. Full of quality Realmslore about Cormyr).

Daardendrien is the clan of the dragonborn protagonists of the first novels of the BotG series, Medrash and Balasar. The Daardendrien are one the most powerful and influential clans of Tymanther, renowed for their physical prowess and battle accumen (to the point they are compared to Chessentans in their obsession with sports, military strategy and their love for battle in general). They are also the only known major clan that encourages dragonborn to worship the gods (though only because they see the gods as useful allies rather than supreme beings), making them to be looked down upon by the more traditionalist clans, that mistrust the gods because they believe the gods are not unlike the dragon tyrants or the Dawn Titans of Abeir.* Daardendrien is the only dragonborn clan that is famous across the Realms (because of Medrash and Balasar's victories in the dragon war of 1479 DR - heck, those two were vital to kill Skuthosiin, Gestaniius, Tchazzar, Alasklerbanbastos and a few other powerful dragons around the Sea of Fallen Stars).

Prexijandilin is one of the minor clans from the BotG series. There is not much lore about them. We only know that they are among the most warlike dragonborn clans, something ironic seeing that their clan symbol is a flower. It seems that by 1486 they became an important clan, as they got the command of the military forces of Djerad Kethendi (as per the Devil You Know).

Linxakasendalor is another minor clan from the BotG series. There is no lore about them. In Whisper of Venom is said they have both piercings on their left cheek, so I guess their diagram here is non-canon.

Kepeshmolik is another main clan from the BA series, and is another of the older and most powerful clans of Tymanther. Basically, they are the founders of Tymanther, as it was a member of this clan, Thymara, who re-founded Djerad Thymar in Faerûn (Djerad Thymar means "Fortress of Thymara", in draconic). She was also blessed by Selûne, and some paragraph in Ashes of the Tyrant hints that she inherited the Black Axe of Nanna-Sin from Ningal (the genasi cleric of Selûne in the 3e FRCS). Their piercings are a reference of their covenant with Selûne. Kepeshmolik is a really powerful and influential clan. I guess we can say that is currently the most powerful dragonborn clan. The fomer Vanquisher**, Tarhun, was a member of this clan. Dumuzi, the first cleric of Enlil after the Second Sundering and current wielder of the Black Axe, is also a Kepeshmolik.

Khotararirilim is a new minor clan, founded post-Second Sundering in the BA series. Is the only clan exclusively made up of Mulani humans. These humans are Untherites who rebelled agaisnt Gilgeam in The Devil You Know, and helped the dragonborn to defeat Gilgeam's demon army when he tried to conquer Tymanther. As a reward, they were allowed to become citizens of Tymanther with full rigths, on the condition that they followed Vayemniri traditions. So, technically speaking, they are Vayemniri even if they are humans and not dragonborn. Khotararirilim means "Enemies of Demons" in draconic.

Kanjentellequor is another of the minor clans from the BotG series. According to the novels, arcane spellcasters among the dragonborn were extremely rare in Abeir, becoming more common after they came to Faerûn. Yet their numbers are still quite few, and their arcane practices are so unorthodox that mages from other races would cringe only by seeing them (at least by 1479). Yet, they had potential to become really powerful spellcasters (in the novels, Ananta, a dragonborn wizard, was able to rival Brimstone --one of the dragons who beat Sammaster-- in a magic duel). I guess is because of their draconic heritage. While there are a few dragonborn mages in all clans, Clan Kanjentellequor is the one that has the most numbers of spellcasters among their ranks, making this clan one of sages and lorekeepers.***

Ophinshtalajiir is another main clan from the BotG. There is no much lore about them, sadly. We know they are old (their ancestors fought at the Battle of the Crippled Mountain, as per Ashes of the Tyrant), and that they have secret teleportation rooms in Djerad Thymar, so perhaps they were among the builders of the city?

Churirajachi is a minor clan from the BA series. There is no lore about them.

Yrjixtilex is another minor clan from the BA series. They are a clan of farmers, fairly unimportant but really big. They lost many of their numbers during the Second Sundering, as most of the lands where their farms were located where displaced to Abeir the last time Toril and Abeir exchanged lands. But, there are a lot of Yrjixtilex out there in Faerûn, so the clan is in no danger of dying. The current Vanquisher, Kallan, is an Yrjixtilex, raising the clan status a little bit. However, the most infamous villain in recent story, Nala (the Tiamatan priestess in the BotG novels) was also an Yrjixtilex (though she was exiled for worshiping a dragon god).

Shestandeliath is another main clan from the BA series. Is also one of the oldest and powerful clans. They own a lot of establishments in Djerad Thymar, have a lot of farms and ranches to breed the special Tymantheran warhorse, horses big and powerful enough to carry dragonborn in battle****. Shestandeliath seems to not have a stigma agaisnt the gods, as they didn't exiled Patrin after he became a paladin of Bahamut in the BtoG novels. But this can also be because they really hate Tiamat. Shestandeliath are the guardians of the powerful artifact known as the Breath of Petron, that can control elemental earth (althought using it is usually fatal for the user). Djerad Thymar (a fortress that awes even dwarven master architects) was built using the Breath of Petron. A few male Shestandeliath tend to use their chain piercings as fake, baddass beards.

Clethtinthtiallor is another minor clan from the BA series. This clan is relatively new (by 1486 DR)*****. They are also farmers and horse breeders. They also lost a few of their numbers during the Sundering.

Fenkenkabradon is a main clan featured in both the BotG and BA series. Few is known about them, but it seems the have a big influence in the dragonborn army.

Tlassian is a minor clan from the Living Forgotten Realms. They are farmers and staunch allies of Kepeshmolik. They also have gained a reputation of smiths of great skill. Ludovick, a Tlassian, studied under famous and skilled dwarven smiths and armorers in the Great Rift. Then he returned to Tymanther and made a name for his clan and himself. Ludovican armor is still highly sought after by dragonborn and dwarves alike.

There is an unnamed clan's piercing in Whisper of Venom. Kriv, one of Tarhun's wizards, has an onix ring in his left nostril. I guess you can give this piercing to one of the clan's from the 5e PHB.

There is another minor clan from the LFR that is not featured in Erin's diagram, Clan Jalt. This clan is in charge of Ruinspoke, the village where the regional adventures centered in Tymanther takes place, so its perhaps many people knows from the adventures. All this clan is made up of members of the Platinum Cadre, yet they are in good relationships with many clans, and the Vanquisher. Their clan piercing seems to be a copper dragon claw.

Clan Jalt is a puzzle to me, because it contraditcs way too much was its said in the novels about Vayemniri culture—however, such contradictions make sense as the adventures were published two years before the novels were written, and the novel authors (Erin and Richard Lee Byers) didn't took into account anything from the adventures for the novels' backstory. So, it may be necesary to some homebrewing to fix it and make it felt more like a Thymari clan (or if anyone wants it, I can provide my fixed version from my campaign).

The last LFR clan is Vkriss. Once a powerful clan, it fell into disgrace for its relationship with the cult of Tiamat. Currently a den of criminals. The adventure doesn't mention its piercing.

Piercings are gained after reaching biological adulthood, that for dragonborn is 10 years old (at that point, the body of a dragonborn has reached its full biological development).

Seems that farmers aren't required to use their piercings, not even as adults (guess the same applies to dragonborn who were born in another kingdom); Kallan, for instance, wasn't pierced until he was crowned Vanquisher. However, if they go to the Vayemniri big settlements, they are looked at as if they were aliens.

*Having said this, all the dragonborn of Tymanther do venerated the comatose Nanna-Sin as the hero who saved them during the Spellplague, and enshrined him in Djerad Thymar, claiming him "clan-kin to all dragonborn"; though they didn't understood that Nanna-Sin was actually a god, and were shocked when they discovered it during the Sundering Guess their views about the gods must be changing nowadays.

**The Vanquisher is the ruler of Tymanther. Is like a mix of dictator, monarch, general and a president.

***Of the clans that were named in the novels, Shestandeliath and Yrjixtilex are also known for having a fair share of arcane spellcasters.

****As a curious trivia, in the BtoG novels is revealed that horses are super rare, almost non-existant on Abeir. Dragonborn first meet horses when they came to Faerûn, and they fell in love at first sight with them. The Tymantheran warhorse is known as Ishen-Charac in Aklave.

*****Uadjit (Dumuzi's mom) said that recently (as of 1486) a group of dragonborn from Laerakond went to Tymanther to join up with the Tymantheran clans. As Clethtinthtiallor is a "new" clan, is safe to assume this clan is made up of Laerakondan dragonborn.

BTW, in the diagram the clan name is misspelled.

EDIT: minor grammatical corrections.

EDIT 2: seems there was a bit of lore about clan Ophinshtalajiir I was leaving behind.

EDIT 3: More info about Ophinshtalajiir.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 20 Mar 2019 07:37:42

Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 16 Mar 2019 :  14:35:36  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another aspect of the dragonborn identity is the size of their swords. According to the Captive Flame (from the BotG series), all dragonborn carry swords. No matter if an individual dragonborn is a mage or if she is proficient with another weapon, they also carry a sword. If the piercings are the clan identifiers, the swords are their rank identifiers. Those swords are oficially named "Status Blade", and (according to Ashes of the Tyrant -- from the BA series), a dragonborn gains his or her Status weapon only after reaching legal adulthood* (as opposite to biological adulthood).

The sizes are:

—Fullblade: Only the Vanquisher can carry this super big sword.

—Greatsword: For knight (equivalent) rank. All clan leaders are of this rank, though this rank is not exclusive for them. Decorated heroes also earn this rank.

—Broadsword: For squire (equivalent) rank.

—Longsword: For soldier (equivalent) rank. Traditionally, you needed to kill a dragon, or help to kill one, to earn this rank, but since dragonborn came to Toril, this is not necessary. You need to do some kind of adventuring instead (kill a dangerous beast at the farms, or an ash giant, and the like).

(RP tip: there is no rank for the short swords given in the novels, but I guess those weapons can be given to apprentices or a similar lower-rank)

Dragonborn without a rank cannot carry swords of any kind (by law); they can only carry short bladed weapons (such as small daggers or knives) or blunt weapons (the Captive Flame).

*In the eyes of the dragonborn, you only become legally an adult after you've served your two obligatory years in the Lance Defenders, the army of Tymanther.

The Lance Defenders originally had only infantry and air cavalry. They are trained to fight with weapons with reach, such as lances (hence the name), or halberds or glaives, etc, because those kinds of weapons are more effective when fighting dragons than a sword. That doesn't means that Lance Defenders aren't trained to fight with other weapons such as swords or axes. In fact, they are trained to fight with different kinds of weapons (and, if you're from clan Daardendrien, also trained to fight without weapons), just that their army specializes in reach weapons.

Their air cavalry uses specially trained giant bats for mounts (if you've played Warcraft, think on the trolls racial flying mount). Those bats are trained to be useful in both, night and daytime. And are powerful enough to carry up to two passengers at the same time, and have been trained to fight on their own if needed (though are super clumsy at it).

Their use is exclusive for Lance Defenders. There are only two non-Lance Defenders in the novels that have gained the rigth to use one of these bats, and they first had to earn "national hero" status in Tymanther to be able to earn this right.

While originally they didn't have it, the Lance Defenders also has a few land cavalry units, using the aforementioned Tymantheran warhorses. It was implemented fairly recently, in the Dragon War of 1479. They didn't had implemented this land-bound cavalry before because they really love their horses and didn't wanted them to die in some battle, (and this is legit -- in Whisper of Venom, the horse breeders only reluctantly allowed the horses for war use after Tarhun ordered it, and only after half of Tymanther was devastated by Skuthosiin's army)

They also have a navy, but they suck at it, really. Unther originally was winning the war because of their superiority in this regard, and nowadays they still depend on Vivesh Nannari (the giant, immortal dragon turtle that lives in Djerad Kethendi --formerly known as Nanna Sin) for protection in naval fights (DM tip: Chessentan mercenaries can offer their services to the Vayemniri for their naval expertise).

The leadership of the Lance Defenders is fairly simple. There is a Lead Commander, that is the overal learder of the army (currently, Fenkenkabradon Dokan), and then there is the Field Commander, the leader of a given Cohort (platoon). That's all. The Vanquisher outranks the Lead Commander.

A few members are promoted into the elite Lance Scouts. Members of this group are trained to work alone or as part of small teams, and are expected to go into Faerun to investigate the new world and track dragon lairs (RP tip: a dragonborn adventurer/NPC can be a member of the Lance Scouts under cover).

There is at least one Cohort that is made up only by spellcasters. And, after the Second Sundering, the human Vayemniri have their own Cohorts as well.

The Vanquisher is also the supreme war leader of all the other Tymantheran military forces (private clan's armies, independent forces such as the Platinum Cadre, and mercenary forces), though this leadership is only enforced in times of war (so, currently, if you're playing in post-Second Sundering Tymanther). The Vanquisher has his or her own private army, the Adjudicators, that serves as Tymanther's secret police (Ashes of the Tyrant).

The Vanquisher and the Adjudicators use different piercings than those of the clans: three square bits of gold under the eyes, that look like tears.

According to Erin, the Adjudicators are some kind of secret (or, more like, open-secret) group that operates in the shadows of Vayemniri society. They are outside of the clan ranks (in fact they don't belong to any clan; they are given to be part of the Adjudicators as children) and act as the Vanquisher's spies, agents and sometimes advisors (think of War Wizards). This didn't get published in any novel (sadly), just in Erin'a notes. So, take it as non-canon.

Talking of wizards, the Vanquisher also has his/her own group of casters that answers only to him/her.

All Vayemniri are expected to fulfill their two years of obligatory service, but not all remain to become permanent, professional soldiers. This does mean that ALL Vayemniri have soldier training (even that elderly grandma farmer, or this young potter). By law, once a Lance Defender returns to civilian life, is expected from them to be ever-ready to take up arms again should their country be threatened. This means that if you’re planning to invade Tymanther, you’ll have to face a country that has an army of about a few hundreds of thousands of soldiers with professional training. Gilgeam learnt it the hard way.

Edit: Grammar. Sorry, I was thinking in Spanish.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 18 Mar 2019 03:22:24
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Great Reader

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Posted - 16 Mar 2019 :  18:47:22  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hey, Zero, don't have time to read through this at the moment (going somewhere), but I do WANT to read it. However, the twitter link above, I couldn't easily get the picture to resize. Any chance you can get the original image jpeg?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

1255 Posts

Posted - 16 Mar 2019 :  22:54:55  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by sleyvas

Hey, Zero, don't have time to read through this at the moment (going somewhere), but I do WANT to read it. However, the twitter link above, I couldn't easily get the picture to resize. Any chance you can get the original image jpeg?


Next, we have the ancestor stories. These are songs about certain deeds of a revered ancestor that shaped the clan’s history or even the Vayemniri culture as a whole, some stretching as far as back to ancestors who weren’t actually part of a clan yet, such as the dragonborn rebels who founded Tymanchebar (the original nation of the Vayemniri in Abeir). The Vayemniri tell their hatchlings with such stories since an early age (the translation into common is “nursery tales”), to instill and reinforce “omin’iejirsjighen” (we will get into this in another post). Those stories are crude and hard, and shape the identity of a Vayemniri on a fundamental way. All of what they do and will do is influenced by those stories.

The few stories that we have in canon sources (scattered in Fire in the Blood, Ashes of the Tyrant and The Devil You Know) are mostly about ancient ancestors, but this is not a rule. A more recent ancestor can also have a song about his or her deeds. Kepeshmolik Thymara, for instance, has one. I’m pretty sure Daardendrien Medrash must have one by now (1490+), as in Whisper of Venom he is compared with the “dragon-killing rebels who shaped the history of the dragonborn". And Namshita, the founder of the Khotararirilim, will have one in the near future as well, for having saved her people from certain death at the hands of Gilgeam and his demons.

Here is a small recap of the few songs we know:

  • Clever Nala and the Ten Thousand Shadows

  • A Verthisathurgiesh song. Is about how Nala Who-Would-Be-Verthisathurgiesh (meaning, a distant ancestor from before the time of Tymanchebar) tricked the dragon Morthongiarimyth, the Starshine Duke, into fearing “shadow creatures” by playing with lights and shadows until he went mad, allowing her to free her family and another two from slavery.

  • Khorsaya and the Thigh Bone Sword

  • Another Verthisathurgiesh song. In this one, Khorsaya Who-Would-Be-Verthisathurgiesh killed the favored offspring of Emycharianatrys, the Jewel-Born Empress (a gem dragon?) by using a blade made from her father’s thighbones and a bowl of her own fermented blood to fuel her magic. Khorsaya is Mehen’s great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother.

  • The death of the elders in Raurokh

  • A Kepeshmolik song. Shaspur Who-Would-Be-Kepeshmolik was raised in Raurokh*, the fortress of Raurokhymdar the Golden, a gold dragon who conducted experiments to breed better dragonborn slaves. Shaspur was one of her best specimens, and he was raised by seven wise dragonborn elders so Raurokhymdar could use him as the new father of a better, stronger dragonborn slave clutch. One day, Shaspur devised a plan to flee Raurokh, but the plan has a big fail: the elders won’t survive it. The elders told Shaspur that he should go on with the plan, saving the younger slaves, while they sacrificed their lives to buy Shaspur time. The song ends with the tale of how many years later, after the dragonborn founded Tymanchebar, Raurokh was destroyed by Shaspur's descendants, avenging the dead of the elder ancestors.

  • The Many Esham-Ana

  • An Yrjixtilex song. Esham-Ana Who-Would-Be-Yrjixtilex was one of the guards of the slave pens of Gauwervyndhal, the Empress Dragon of Skelkor. He used his position to bring food and other commodities to his fellow slaves. Ororonymilith, the Vizier of Broken Thorns, a copper dragon, was tasked by Gauwer to find the one who was stealing her food, and the copper dragon went to the slave pens to investigate, using a clanless dragonborn to discover that Esham-Ana was the culprit. The next day, he went to the mines and demanded the slaves to bring Esham-Ana to him to face “justice”. However, all the slaves began to say that they were Esham-Ana—they never would hand over the one who sustained them to the Foul Empress Dragon—, startling the dragon long enough to lower his guard. Ororonymilith’s skull was the first dragon skull claimed by the first Who-Would-Be-Yrjixtilex.

  • Haizverad and the Breath of Petron

  • A Shestandeliath song. It tells the story of how Haizverad Who-Would-Be-Shestandeliath stole a small fragment of Petron’s corpse, when Versveshardinazar, the Opaline Terror, was defiling the corpse of the primordial to create magic items. This small fragment of Petron’s lungs was used to create the artifact known as the Breath of Petron.

  • Hazor and the Jet-Boned Tyrant

  • Clan unknown (the novel doesn't says - RP tip: if you chose a clan without a known ancestor story, you can use this). This song is about how a dracolich known as Daelfyrthimachian, the Jet-Boned Tyrant, constantly raided Vayemniri tombs to raise them as undead, forcing the Vayemniri to kill their dead until they defined their funerary customs. This song is also the reason dragonborn don't fear the Wall of the Faithless ("Better oblivion that apart from our clans. Better an end than a perpetuity in bondage...")

  • The Battle of Arambar Gulch

  • Another Verthisathurgiesh song. It tells the story of how Shurideh and Iksdara Who-Would-Be-Verthisathurgiesh (sisters and descendants of Khorsaya) killed Asativarainuth, the Silver Death, a silver dragon, to steal from his treasury the artifact known as the Eye of Blazing Rorn.

  • The Battle of the Crippled Mountain

  • Though this is a Verthisathurgiesh song, is also a Shestandeliath song and a general Vayemniri song. It tells how Shurideh and Iksdara Who-Would-Be-Verthisathurgiesh, their kinsman Reshvemi Who-Would-Be-Verthisathurgiesh, and Thuchir Who-Would-Be-Shestandeliath (descendant of Haizverad and bearer of the Breath of Petron) infiltrated the Celestial Mountain, the volcano lair of Rhodrolytharnestryx, the Tyrant of Tyrants, while the red dragon and his dragon army fought against the army of dragonborn rebels. Shurideh, Iksdara, Reshvemi and Thuchir infiltrated the volcano using the Breath of Petron, and then used the Eye of Blazing Rorn to trigger an eruption so powerful that killed Rhodrolytharnestryx (and miraculously, all four survived). The ash from the eruption rained for 40 days, and the dragonborn survivors of the battle took it as an omen. They renamed themselves the Vayemniri (the Ash-Marked Ones), no longer slaves but free. A few years later, they would found Tymanchebar.

  • Kepeshmolik Thymara and the Gift of the Moon

  • A Kepeshmolik song about Thymara, founder of Djerad Thymar (and basically, of Tymanther). Though Kepeshmolik Ashoka, the last surviving daughter of Thymara (as of 1486), said that the song is also a general Vayemniri song. This song tell us how a pregnant Thymara (about to give birth at any time), a descendant of Shaspur, was saved by Selûne from certain death and led to the God-Tomb of Nanna-Sin to give birth her children in peace. When Thymara recovered, she thanked Selûne and asked her for a way to repay the favor. Selûne said that she should take the Black Axe of Nanna-Sin, reunite the dragonborn survivors and then rebuilt Nanna-Sin’s tomb as their home. Thymara answered that this only would make her debt to Selûne even bigger. So Selûne asked her to take care of the Black Axe until the true bearer appear to claim it.**

There should be at least a song for Nerifar Who-Would-Be-Kepeshmolik (a female, according to the novels) and for Mirichesh Who-Would-Be-Ophinshtalajiir, who fought at the battle of the Crippled Mountain as well (and Mirichesh had killed a dragon tyrant known as the Frostborn Duke before that), as they are also mentioned in the Tale of the Crippled Mountain. There is also Nilofer, another notable Kepeshmolik ancestor, who was good with the bow. And Akkadi, another Kepeshmolik ancestor, who was Tarhun's notable ancestor. And there is also Caysh, who is the ancestor of Mirichesh and therefore the first notable ancestor of the Ophinshtalajiir.

Namarra is one of the notable ancestors from Clan Prexijandilin.

Nerinal is another Yrjixtilex notable ancestor.

*Raurokh is currently (as 1479) known as Firetrees (isn’t there a place in old Unther named the same?), and you can read its description on page 207 of the 4e FRCG. Curiously, before being conquered by Raurokhymdar, the place was a dwarven fortress named Durlyndbold. Dragonborn share many traits of the dwarves (honor-bound, reverence for clans and ancestors, etc…), and they get along well almost instantaneously (see the novels of the BotG). Raurokhymdar experiment to bred dragonborn slaves there… you get where I’m getting at, right?

**This true bearer is Farideh, the tiefling protagonist of the Brimstone Angels novels. In one of the visions Dumuzi had when he used the Axe (that he currently owns, IIRC) in the Devil You Know, a blue female was the bearer of the Axe before Thymara took it. I guess this blue female is Ningal, from the 3e FRCS.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 20 Mar 2019 05:57:44
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 17 Mar 2019 :  01:35:57  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just to clarify, I've made a few updates to the info.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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Zeromaru X
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Posted - 18 Mar 2019 :  01:01:45  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Had to re-read Ashes of the Tyrant to get the names of some songs, so I’ve edited my last post. I’ve also updated the info about the Lance Defenders. Now, we follow with Tymantheran culture. Or, as the Vayemniri call it, Thymari culture.

Although the Vayemniri trace their modern cultural leanings to their lost Abeiran nation of Tymanchebar, were their strong clans arose and formed ties that yet endure among dragonborn bloodlines, the Thymari culture as we know it on Toril started after the Spellplague, when the dragonborn survivors of Tymanchebar founded the nation of Tymanther.

The Thymari culture was tempered by war. It was war what brought the Vayemniri together to found Tymanchebar and overthrow the dragon tyrants that enslaved them on Abeir, and then defend their realm from flight after flight of dragons. It was war what birthed Tymanther, when the Vayemniri had to fight against the plaguechanged creatures who assailed them during the Wailing Years. It was war what allowed them to defend their homeland from the Untheran God-King’s ambitions and to remain on Toril in the final phase of the Second Sundering. For them, war has always been a way of life. As such, their “lords and ladies” are those dragonborn who have proven themselves capable of leading their fellows in battle. Theirs is a harsh and unforgiving meritocracy, and while each of their great clans are roughly equivalent to the nobility of other nations of the Realms, they are organized more like an army than a noble house. Their clan leaders (known as Matriarchs or Patriarchs —if you have the skill, your gender doesn’t matter) are more like commanders than nobles. Vayemniri are never conscripted into the army. Each and every one of them gladly submit themselves into the service of the Lance Defenders, and later their private clan’s army* with the willingness to fight. It is not only an honor to be able to serve in the battlefield but it is also a great opportunity to improve one’s skill, all meant to bring glory to the clan first and the individual second.

Their relationship with the gods is complicated. They do not understand the gods, as is something to be expected. They lived in a world that before the Spellplague had NO gods at all (or at least, the gods there didn't care for mortals at all until that point). So, they have some misconceptions about the gods. Some mistrust them, others cannot understand why someone will shackle themselves into the service of another being that can potentially be a tyrant as well, in exchange for something you can do on your own (healing magic? Dragonborn have a really good medicinal body of knowledge—it should be better than any medicinal science in the rest of the Realms, because they didn’t rely in magic. Protect you from your enemies? They freed themselves from slavery, thank you). Others simply cannot understand the concept of the gods at all (to the point that they didn’t understood the difference between the power of Tiamat and Bahamut until a dwarf explained it to them in 1479; not even Patrin, a paladin of Bahamut, understood such difference!).

This doesn’t mean that dragonborn go around saying that the gods don’t exist. They don’t deny their existence. That’s stupid, the gods are clearly there. So they acknowledge and respect their existence and power. But they don’t have any interest in them. They are the closest to a real world atheist the Realms can get. Mehen describes the gods at one point as being like beggars—you give them a little attention and they’ll be after you and your coin purse for all your days. So, they don’t worship them as a societal norm. Becoming a god worshiper usually means exile from your clan (this is why Daardendrien stands out: they encourage god worshiping and don’t exile theirs because of this, something that the other clans frown down upon; Daardendrien call this flexibility, the gods are useful allies to have around).

Which means most dragonborn ought to end up on the Wall of the Faithless.**

A few Vayemniri, however, choose to believe in the gods because that gives them a sense of purpose many of them feel they lack. Usually, they follow war-like gods such as Torm, Tempus or the Red Knight, though a few revere Kelemvor (they care a lot for their dead, so it makes sense that they’ll be interested in the god of the dead). A significant group of them revere Tiamat, due to the influence of Untherite survivors that were members of a group known as the Knights of the Five-Thorned Rose (this cult is secretive, and at some point tried to steal the Breath of Petron but epic failed at it and the cult of Tiamat got declared illegal in Tymanther). However, the largest group of god worshipers in Tymanther is the Platinum Cadre.

These Bahamutan cultists believe that dragonborn are the children of Bahamut*** and that not all dragons are tyrants, that at least the metallic dragons of Toril are good guys, and that the Vayemniri should become, if not allies, at least friends with them. This is blasphemy, of course, to a people that hate dragons because of thousands of years of history of enslavement and other abuses. Not only they are god worshipers but also wyrm-lovers! These Bahamutan cultists receive the scorn of the traditionalist Vayemniri not only because they willingly shackled themselves to the service of a god, but also because this god happens to be a dragon (the same applies to the worshipers of Tiamat). So, becoming a member of the Platinum Cadre (or a Tiamatan) means your exile is almost guaranteed (that’s why is surprising that a traditionalist clan such as Shestandeliath didn’t exiled Patrin when he became a paladin of Bahamut).

However, since the events of the Second Sundering (when Enlil took the form of a Vayemniri and proclaimed himself their protector and ally, helping them to remain in Toril when the worlds exchanged lands for the last time; and Asmodeus and Azuth played a vital role in the victory against the Untherite invaders), perhaps the Vayemniri views about the gods may have begun to change. Ed said that the current time of the Realms is a time of changes, after all.

Currently there are only legally recognized cults by the goverment, the Platinum Cadre and the cult of Enlil (given legal status by Kallan during the war against Unther).

Finally, we’d talk about the Vayemniri Code of Honor. Is encompassed in three key precepts:
  • Omin’iejirsjighen (roughly translated in common as “Blood commands unity, clan earns it”):

  • The things dragonborn owe to their clans because they were taught their importance as children, such as defending your country or being a good host.**** Some would say this is the purpose of ancestor stories—to reinforce omin’iejirsjighen.

  • Omin’iejirkkessh (“What the clan writes in your blood”):

  • The things Vayemniri owe to their clans that don’t need to be taught because they are an intrinsic part of their culture, such as respecting your clan elders and knowing the importance of traditions.

  • Throtominarr (“The clan repeated”):

  • The honor individuals show to their ancestors by improving on what they did, such as increasing their clan’s status without undoing what their ancestors had made. The key point here is to add and improve, not to damage the clan’s reputation.

Failing at the second is worse than the first, and the third is kind of a specific application of the first two.

A curious way Vayemniri show their dedication to their code of honor is by criticizing or insulting without openly speaking ill of someone else. When they want to criticize something, they arrange their compliments in such a way that the insult somehow is omitted (such as congratulating a warrior who has bad writing about their “good penmanship”, because talking about their swordsmanship is a waste of time). They call this “art” the “sjashukri” (shadow speaking).

As the rest of the people in the Realms don’t practice this kind of subtlety, Vayemniri can be annoyed when talking with the “Maunthreki” (non-dragonborn). A Cormyrian adventurer may find that his dragonborn companion becomes very insulted by something he didn’t actually said or annoyed that he didn’t pick up on a critique the dragonborn deployed too subtly—but most understand that non-dragonborn don’t understand this way of speaking. They may abandon it altogether, use it solely when they want to insult someone but not damage a friendship, or over emphasize their honesty to make certain they don’t accidentally do it.

*I’ve already talked about the Lance Defenders before, but not about Tymanther's irregular forces.

All the clans have their own “war bands”, private small armies composed exclusively by clan members under the command of their clan leader. A few of the dragonborn that didn’t become a permanent Lance Defender usually takes up the path of the professional soldier within their own clan. These war bands act on behalf of their clans instead as on behalf of their country, and many of them also are posted to watch over the clan’s proprieties or to act as bodyguards for important clan members. They also serve as a police force, investigating and prosecuting crimes within their own clans.

Each clan polices their own, and when a dragonborn goes rogue is left to the clan leaders to deal with them as they see fit, as it’s assumed they can decide a fitting and just punishment for their own people. If there is a crime that a clan cannot solve for itself, or involves more than one clan, or implies a danger for Tymanther as whole, then the Adjudicators will take care of the situation.

There are also a few private forces that don’t belong to the Thymari government, but act on their behalf, such as adventuring bands and mercenary guilds, and the like. Canonically, we have information about just one, the Platinum Cadre. These Bahamutan cultists may be scorned and reviled by many among the Vayemniri, but there is no denying that they are one of the best military forces in Tymanther. They have a lot of seasoned warriors (exiles from many clans, many of them veterans of the Dragon War of 1479), as well as a huge advantage in their access to the divine magic provided by Bahamut, thus making them a great asset to the Tymantheran military forces. That’s why some cunning Vanquisher granted their cult legal status despite the loathing of the clans (Mehen blames Tarhun for this, but I'm not sure if it was Tarhun the one who gave them the legal status in Tymanther).

After the Dragon War of 1479, the Platinum Cadre was taken into the protection of Clan Daardendrien (as Medrash was officially made their protector), thus making Daardendrien perhaps the most powerful clan military speaking.

Despite their private status, all of the irregular military forces of Tymanther are under the ultimate command of the Vanquisher, who has the right to call them to arms during times of war.

**They do revere Nanna-Sin as the saviour of their race, though they didn’t knew he was actually a god, lol. Does that mean all the race is an unwilling worshiper of a dead god/Selûne?

***Members of the Platinum Cadre believe that the dragonborn race was not breed by dragons, but that they are ancient creations of Bahamut, enslaved by the dragons of Abeir. This makes a lot of sense, lorewise speaking. The dragonborn race debuted in D&D in a 3.5 supplement named Races of the Dragon. In this book, the dragonborn are not a true race, but some sort of artificial race. They were created when humanoid worshipers of Bahamut gave up their original biology and used a holy ritual, the Ritual of Rebirth, to be reborn as a draconic being. Dragons of Faerûn (3.5 sourcebook) confirms their existence in the Realms, saying that Bahamut created the first dragonborn during the Time of Dragons to fight against the dragonspawn of Tiamat. A few of these dragonborn of Bahamut appeared around 1373 in the Dales to fight against dragons afflicted by the last Rage of Dragons. Ed also confirmed the relationship between the dragonborn of Bahamut and the Abeiran dragonborn, but also said that only the oldest dragons know about this, and that whatever they know they didn’t shared it with him.

Now, we know that Raurokhymdar the Golden (a metallic dragon, progeny of Bahamut) did breeding experiments to create dragonborn slaves in a dwarven fortress. We know Gilgeam said the dragons of Abeir “perverted the creations of the gods” to create their slaves. Does this means that Raurokhymdar steal Bahamut’s Rite of Rebirth and modified it to create slaves using dwarves…?

****Erin clarified that while the idea of dragonborn being taught to be good hosts doesn’t make sense at first glance, in fact is an important facet of Vayemniri culture. They survived thousands of years of slavery and rose up by brutal uprising and not by being friendly. But given that, and given the clan system, the Vayemniri would have to realize one thing above all: you need allies to get by. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. So anyone new is treated with cautious optimism in the traditional Thymari culture. They are kind and accommodating, while being kind of suspicious in their thoughts. Offer guests tea, but ask why they’re visiting. Give them a place to stay, because that way you are protecting them and keeping an eye on them.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 18 Mar 2019 19:40:12
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 18 Mar 2019 :  08:21:54  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Now we’d talk about the funny part: dragonborn marriage! Because, they are as legal as dwarves even in this regard.

Vayemniri seems to have a lenient opinion about sexual preferences. There isn’t a strong stigma against same-sex relationships or extra-marital relationships, and the elders usually see those relationships as “hatchling stuff”. Contraception is available, and if someone got gravid before marriage, well, everyone wants more eggs for the clan (though, in some instances this can hurt the reputation of a clan, so it depends) . Relationships with members of other races are considered “exotic”, but aren't particularly frowned upon.

All of this changes once a dragonborn has reached adulthood by Vayemniri standards (being over 15 years old and having fulfilled your obligatory service in the Lance Defenders and earned your status blade), as they have to fulfill their qallim agreement, a marriage contract. For Vayemniri, the main purpose of marriage is to get more eggs—and so, get new clan members—, and every individual needs to fulfill their qallim as a duty, regardless of their personal desires or opinions.

While Vayemniri can marry within their clans (though never with a member of their own bloodline—this means, their immediate blood relatives), this is something that happens in very rare instances. Vayemniri prefer to marry with members of other clans so that they can increase the status of their own clans or gain some other benefit from the marriage in addition to the eggs. The potential grooms or brides (qal in draconic; pl. qalli) are chosen by the clan’s elders from a pool of potential candidates (known as shuk-qalli, or "maybe- brides/grooms"), usually composed of individuals that the qal is fond of, or at least in good terms with. There are a few exceptions to this, however, such as instances where the qallim was arranged between two clans before the births of the qalli (old fashioned, currently), or when a couple decides to marry for love instead of letting their elders choosing their spouses for them (can earn you exile, though). In the homesteads and farms, marriage is taken more lightly than in the big cities, and usually the qallim agreements of farming clans are just to determine in which farm the children have to work on a given season.

Once a qallim agreement is accepted, there is no going back. Divorce doesn’t exist in Vayemniri society, and breaking a qallim agreement can affect the status of a clan, and therefore is frowned upon. However, as long as the agreement is fulfilled, the Vayemniri are free to do with their lives what they want (leave the city in search of adventures for a time, etc.)

There are two parties in a qallim agreement: the anurithominak (“under-clan”) and the svernominak (“over-clan”). The default assumption is that the svernominak has rights over the eggs—usually because they’re the more powerful of the two, or because they initiated the agreement (in cases where the two clans have the same status and influence). However, a few eggs are considered “koshqalli” (“cost of the bride/groom”, can be translated as dowry), and are set aside to the anurithominak . So, the percentages of how many eggs from each clutch are going to each clan, who gets to choose eggs, etc., are the bulk of the agreement.

All hatchlings stick with their parents in the svernominak enclave until they’re 10, old enough to get their clan piercings. The koshqalli then move into their lower-status parent’s enclave and become part of that clan.

Sometimes, one of the parents can re-negotiate a qallim agreement to ask for a child to be “transferred” from one clan to another, but those instances are rare.

While parents are the primary caregivers of their offspring, all of the clan is involved in the upbringing, so it’s not uncommon for uncles, aunts and cousins to watch over and taught their children communally.

This brings us to names. The formula is:

[clan name] + [given name] son/daughter of [your parent from your clan], of the line of [notable ancestor]

Kepeshmolik Ashoka, daughter of Thymara, of the line of Shaspur.

For non-dragonborn, the Vayemniri aren't as formal. Just clan name + give name. The full name is for other dragonborn, trusted friends, or super formal occations (going to the court of the Queen of Cormyr, talking with the Open Lord of Waterdeep, etc.)

For the humans/humanoids that are joining the Vayemniri ranks, they will said "claimed by the line of" the dragonborn that allowed you into his or her clan, instead of "of the line of". For instance, once Mehen was re-admitted by his clan, his adopted children full names are:

Verthisathurhiesh Farideh, daughter of Mehen, claimed by the line of Khorsaya.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 18 Mar 2019 18:14:59
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

1255 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2019 :  03:44:29  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've updated a few more stuff here and there. I'm preparing a final post, but I need to re-read the novels for that. So, I'll post the final post later this week.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 20 Mar 2019 03:53:12
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