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Dragontouched Races in the Realms
By Jared Rascher
Between Races of the Dragon and Dragon Magic several creatures have been introduced to the Realms that are “dragontouched,” creatures that have dragon ancestry in their blood line that may not be recent, but is strong enough to alter the intrinsic nature of the creature. Dragontouched creatures are in many ways like planetouched creatures, creatures that have the blood of outsiders of various types in their lineage.
Silverbrow Humans, Deepwyrm Drow, Forestlord Elves, and Sunscorch Hobgoblins (all races detailed in Dragon Magic) can be introduced into the Realms with relative ease, and Spellscales (from Races of the Dragon) can also be utilized, with a few notes on exactly how the race is viewed and fits into the Realms. Furthermore, there is also a feat, Dragontouched, which essentially allows a character to tap into other draconic feats even if the character isn't a member of one of the standard Dragontouched races.
Spellscales in the Realms
Unlike the manner in which spellscales are presented in the book Races of the Dragon, spellscales in the Realms are a fairly rare species in Faerûn. There are no “spellscale neighborhoods” and there is no commonly held beliefs or stereotypes regarding them in Faerûn. Very few spellscales are the result of the union of two other spellscales, and most spellscales are children born to two sorcerers, or to a sorcerer and a bard that might have both had draconic blood in their families. Most sages believe that spellscales result not just from human families that have draconic blood, but from those humans that have multiple types of dragons in their bloodlines, on both sides, and that the reaction of the various bloodlines, however distant, causes the manifestation of the spellscales new state.
Most people in Faerûn don't see spellscales, but those that do often seem them as either having the blood of any number of fiends or reptilian creatures, or as cursed individuals or as unfortunates that might have been affected adversely by spells. Even among sages, some mistakenly have ascribed the development of spellscales from those sorcerous mothers that might have used magic incautiously during pregnancy.
The term “spellscale” is also very rarely used in Faerûn. It actually derives from an insult common among full blooded true dragons that view such creatures with disdain, dismissing them by saying that, “the only good thing they inherited from their ancestors is their spells and scales.” More commonly, spellscales are simply known by the general term “dragontouched,” even though that term applies to a variety of species (the rare spellscale that doesn't take a spellcasting class will almost never use the term spellscale, and are almost always referred to as dragontouched).
Many spellscales never fully learn to utilize their abilities. Those that do often do not associate the various mediation rituals that unlock their potential with draconic deities. While some draconic sages that have studied spellscales have indeed detailed the various rituals spellscales can enact with the names of several draconic deities, most spellscales learn to mediate on these abilities by picturing visions that they have of different types of true dragons. Thus a spellscale enacting the blood quickening mediation of Bahamut might simply picture a noble gold dragon during his meditation. The effects are the same. Many spellscales learn only a few of these mediations due to the visions and dreams they naturally have, but a few organizations (see below) have taken to training spellscales to fully understand their natural abilities.
Spellscales and Organizations in Faerûn
Several organizations in Faerûn know spellscales when they see them, and are capable of teaching them the full potential of their abilities. These organizations actively seek to recruit or ally with such characters, since they all tend to view spellscales as worthwhile allies given their abilities, and some of these organizations tend to see these characters as harbingers with potential religious ramifications.
The Cult of the Dragon
The Cult of the Dragon recognizes spellscales and will actively recruit them and train them as agents. They tend to view them as a sign that the great prophesy of the Sacred Ones will be coming true soon, and they believe that whatever ancient cosmic powers have decreed that “dead dragons shall rule the world entire,” have also set in motion the proper bloodlines that are needed for the development of spellscales.
Despite this, spellscales are not automatically given any more authority in the Cult. They are still part human, and thus flawed and less than perfect, but they are still seen as a sign of favor to be cultivated as a weapon for the cult, but at the same time, they are just as expendable as any other tool of the Sacred Ones.
The Cult of Tiamat
Much like the Cult of the Dragon, the Cult of Tiamat views spellscales as a sign of their patrons impending victory over the other gods, and the rise of her draconic children. While spellscales are seen as a good omen by the Cult, spellscales that are favored souls (see the Miniatures Handbook or Complete Divine) are seen as potential prophets of Tiamat.
The Cult of Tiamat also sees spellscales that are part of the Cult of the Dragon, or that are trained and affiliated with the Church of Bahamut are considered traitors and are especially singled out for capture (if possible, for reeducation) or assassination (most likely).
The Church of Bahamut
The agents of the church of Bahamut that are active in the Bloodstone lands keep an eye out for draconic creatures. Although they don't view them as automatically a sign from Bahamut, they do recognize their value and the fact that agents of the Cult of the Dragon and the Cult of Tiamat may also be looking for such characters.
Agents of the church of Bahamut usually teach such characters about what they are, and about their meditative abilities, and allow them to choose their own course, although they usually let them know that they have a place within the Church of the Platinum Dragon if they so choose.
The Sisterhood of Essembra
Much as the Sisterhood seeks out dragonborn and gives them a community that allows them become comfortable with what they have become, the sisterhood also recognizes spellscales and knows that both the Cult of the Dragon and the Cult of Tiamat seek out such characters, and as such, they make sure to instruct such beings in their nature and powers, and they hope that introducing such characters to the dragonborn that such dedicated beings might be a good influence on the spellscales.
Other Dragontouched Races in Faerûn
The following races can be introduced relatively easily into Faerûn by tying them to existing Realmslore. This is not to say that other dragonborn races might not fit into the setting, but the following ones have the most immediate use for an existing campaign in Faerûn that features dragons and their influence.
Silverbrow humans are most common in the Silver Marches, but can also be found in various cities in the North, such as Waterdeep and Neverwinter. Alternately, there are other species of “silverbrow” humans that appear very similar to those of silver dragon lineage. Silverbrow humans from both steel dragon and mercury dragon stock exist, and they are common in some of the same places.
Silverbrow humans that are of steel dragon stock can use resistance instead of feather fall, but they may use this as a swift action instead of taking the full action the spell normally takes. Silverbrow humans from mercury dragon stock may use flare instead of feather fall as a swift action. Other than their innate ability to use certain spells, it is very difficult to distinguish the various kinds of Silverbrow humans from one another.
Deepwyrm Drow and Half-Drow
The description in Dragon Magic already mentions a bit about these creatures, and they can be found in many large drow cities in the Underdark, due to the fact that deep dragons often live in drow cities in their drow forms.
Drow dragons may actively seek to recruit Deepwyrm drow for their aims, but at the same time they are very cautious, because even a drow with a deep dragon in its bloodline can be very devoted to the Spider Queen.
Quamara Keleidsa is a moon elf renegade from a family that was split in half due to the acceptance of the N'Tel'Quess into Myth Drannor. Although she claims to be from “House Keleidsa” and has claimed ancestral territory in the Archwood, no record can be found of a “House Keleidsa” in any elven records, and it has been theorized that the house may have splintered even further after its initial split, and that the original renegades may have been further banished from the Eldreth Veluuthra after entering into pacts with green dragons and drow.
Quamara has allied herself with displaced “spider kisser” drow, and has taken one as her lover, and has begun to take on some of the affectations of a matron mother. These drow aid in trade missions into the Underdark with the various races there. Further, Quamara has found a way to infuse the essense of a green dragon upon herself, making herself into a half-dragon (though her draconic aspects are somewhat less than what other half-dragons might show).
Quamara has also infused many of the elves of “House Keleidsa” with lesser amounts of draconic essense, and thus has created a force of Forestlord Elves that are able to monitor the nearby dalesmen and scout and spy for the house, as well as performing various assassinations that she might deem needful to maintain her hidden fortress within the Archwood.
It has been mentioned in Dragons of Faerûn that first generation members of the Blood of Morume are half-dragon hobgoblins, and later generations are draconic hobgoblins (from the Draconomicon). Further generations might exhibit the traits of Sunscorch Hobgoblins. In addition to the extended generation of the hobgoblins interbred into the Blood of Morume, hobgoblin that were affiliated with the Red Flayers that managed to survive and managed to defect from their draconic masters before the Morume dragons slew the males of the Red Flayers might still have some of these traits and pass these bloodlines to other hobgoblins in the region.
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