Chapter 17: The Claws of Veeshan

No creature is as feared and admired as the mighty dragon. While the younger races of Norrath battle for lands, titles and treasure, the dragonkin have evolved as slowly as a mountain. Their power and their wisdom is the greatest known on Norrath. The following theories are taken from the loose scriptures of ancient texts. Our people have only just begun to understand the true power of these mighty beasts and it will be centuries before we stand a hope of truly discovering their mysteries. Our greatest hope is that we may one day stand side by side with the scaled children of Veeshan.

During the first days of Norrath, there was nothing. An entire world had been created capable of sustaining all life but it stood naked. The greatest of the Gods, the crystalline dragon Veeshan, swooped down from the plane of Sky and tore open the lands of Velious with one mighty swoop. She deposited upon the land the first of all races, her children, the dragons. For a millenia they ruled all of Norrath. Their mighty wings beat through the air, their great wisdom and intellect studied the mysteries of the land. They built great monuments to their goddess. They built a society of honor and justice. Thus began the Age of Scale.

Soon after, the other gods began populating Norrath. The mortal races were born, grew up, fought and died all in the blink of an eye to the dragonkin. The dragons evolved like Norrath itself, their children coming only within centuries and living thousands of years. While the other races scrambled to survive from the dangers of the worlds and from each other, the dragons spent their time learning what powers and wisdom the earth held. Then the races met. The younger children of Norrath fled in fear from the mighty dragonkind, spreading rumors of hate and murder.

It became known to the dragonkin that though they were much more powerful and wiser than the younger races, that their small numbers put them in danger. Two factions of the mighty dragons split apart. One, the Ring of Scale moved to the towering mountains of Veeshan's Peaks. The other stayed within the icy claws of Velious, isolated from the rest of Norrath.

The Ring of Scale began getting involved in the interactions between the younger races. The betrothed dragons, Lord Nagafin and Lady Vox built lairs within the lands of Antonica and sent out their goblin and giant armies upon the world. They were the first to have contact with the younger races who spent years hunting them down.

In the tropical lands of Kunark, the Ring of Scale sent forth a race of scaled humanoids, the Sarnak, to do their bidding. Along with the Sarnak, four dragons were sent out from the Peaks into the lands. The mightest of these four, the dragon Trakanon, had his spirit ripped from him by the earliest and most powerful necromancy. He took vengeance upon those who stole his life and ruled from within the ruins of their mightiest city. Another of them, the red wyrm, Talendar, stood guard outside the gates of Veeshan's Peaks. The other two, Gorinare and Solandar, wandered the lands learning what they could and sending back information of the races progress within the land. Within the Peaks, the mightiest of the Ring of Scale still commanded their agents and legions of troops within the societies of Norrath.

Back in their home of Velious, the Claws of Veeshan led by their mightiest, Vulak'Aerr, began construction of the Temple of Veehsan deep within the Western Wastes. Here they build the halls of testing, a place where mortals could be tested in order to prove their worth in the aid of the Dragonkin. The hall also became their place of worship to the goddess Veeshan and their place of work, unleashing the mightiest artifacts and spells ever known on Norrath. One such spell even unlocked a doorway to the Plane of Mischief, home of the insane god BristleBane. The protection of the temple itself was entrusted to Sontalak, a great wyrm known for his might and ability to sniff out the smallest attempt of deception. For centuries the children of Veeshan lived in peace. Many of the dragons wandered the Western Wastes, filling the breeding grounds with eggs that took centuries to hatch. The isolation of the land afforded them a protection even their own magic couldn't provide.

As the mortals grew stronger, reports of their expansion into the lands of Velious grew. Knowing that they could not remain isolated forever, the leaders of the Claws built a great city and entrusted its well being to one of their children, the dragon Yelinak. His minions, including great wyverns, wurms, drakes and their creations, guarded the city and established a level of commerce with the outside world. Though separated by the mighty giant city, Kael Drakkal, the Coldain dwarves and the city of Skyshrine shared a mutually beneficial trade for stone and metal. Deep within the city, Yelinak and his closest advisors continued to research the powers of Norrath. The city served well as a layer of isolation for the Claws of Veeshan and their home within the Western Wastes.

For a millenia the oldest of the Claws had kept a dark secret from even the younger members of their brood. Apparently the Claws had known of a great power, one darker and more powerful than any ever discovered. It was a power that could threaten the lands of Norrath itself if unleashed. Little was ever known about this power except that it was locked away inside of a tomb centuries before the dragonkin migrated to the Western Wastes. The tomb was sealed by the power of the mightest dragons, the Dar Brood, and sealed inside were the most powerful dragons ever to have lived. These dragons, the Warders, sacrificed their lives to help keep the danger locked from the rest of the world. To die for one's cause is considered noble. To be locked inside of a dark pit for an eternity is something above honor. This great danger was only known as the Sleeper.

As the mortals began to migrate into the lands of Vellious, some of the dragonkin felt that the sacrifice of the Ring of Scale was not enough to protect them, they felt that only a clensing of the planet could keep the children protected. One of these spoke louder than all the others. Zlandicar the Black felt that unleashing the Sleeper would wipe clean the planet from the menace that would surly come inside of their homes. Zlandicar had felt loss at the hands of the mortals and took a far stronger view than many of the others. One of the high council, a great and wise wyrm known as Jaled Dar attempted to calm Zlandicar and spoke against his theories but to no avail. In a horrible event that shook the very structure of the Claws of Veehsan, Zlandicar killed Jaled Dar and was outcast deep within a dark land known as Dragon Necropolis. There he would reside among the carrion that fed on the dead wyrms of old. But recently, rumors have heard a voice, that of the ghost of Jaled Dar whispering of revenge in their minds. Though nothing more than a spirit, it plots to destroy Zlandicar by using his own weapon against him.

These days the dragons have begun to recruit mortals into their fold, offering artifacts of power greater than any ever held by mortal in return for service against those who would hunt them down like dogs. They continue to research the most powerful lore ever known and share pieces of it with those they deem worthy. Their testing halls stand open to those who believe they have the strength to endure some of the greatest wrath ever felt. Those that survive are given great treasures those that don't are offered the void.

There is no creature on Norrath that is as mysterious as the mighty dragons. While once thought to be a scourge upon the lands and a menace to her people, history shows that these creatures have as rich a culture and as wise a mind as any society that has ever lived. It would be one of the greatest adventures for any people to gain their trust and open up the wealth of knowledge and resources that this noble tribe has to offer. To turn our backs, or worse yet our blades, upon these mighty beings is to throw our mightiest books, spells and weapons into the fires of Hate. To side against the dragonkin is to side against Norrath herself for they are the first children to walk upon the earth. Any that seek a union with the noble children of Veehsan would see the smiles of the Gods upon them.