Changelings are subtle shapeshifters capable of disguising their appearance. They evolved through the union of doppelgangers and humans, eventually becoming a separate race distinct from either ancestral tree. Changelings do not possess the full shapechanging ability of doppelgangers, but they can create effective disguises at will. This ability makes them consummate spies and criminals, and many changelings live up to that potential. In general, changelings are prudent and cautious, preferring to take risks only when they feel that their chances are good or the payoff is worth it. They appreciate the finer things in life and take great pleasure in the comforts of a wealthy lifestyle when they can obtain it. They avoid direct confrontation, preferring stealthy strikes and hasty retreats whenever possible. In conversation, they are soft-spoken but have a gift for drawing out more information than the other party usually plans to reveal.
Things to note:
- Changelings rarely hold cities of their own, and instead live in the dark corners of human, goblinoid, or settlements of other races.
*Changelings are most commonly found in large cities, where they form the backbone of the criminal underworld, though many find more respectable work as entertainers, government agents, and sometimes adventurers.
*Changelings currently hold no power within Iomandra, and hold no lands of their own.
Descendants of the Drath’Hakin with a rich history. Dragonborn have a sturdier, more muscular build than that of their ancestors. As of recent, have tried to atone for crimes of their forefathers and have cast away slavery, and in some cases accepted other races into their cities. Dragonborn currently hold most of the power in Iomandra.
During the Dawn War when the gods fought the primordials for dominion over the world, Io dueled the King of Terror, Erek-Hus, in single combat. The primordial’s ensorcelled axe caused the Dragon God grevious wounds. As droplets of Io’s divine blood fell to earth, a new race emerged from the blood-soaked elements of the battlefield. The Drath’hakin, or “dragon blooded”, were born.
They were given every advantage, and with the help of the dragons they conquered and enslaved Iomandra’s other sentient humanoid races. The humans of Iomandra proved the most difficult to enslave; one kingdom in particular forged infernal pacts with devils in return for great power, thus birthing the tiefling race. However, even such desperate measures could not protect them from the awesome might of the Drath’hakin and their dragon masters. Their empires stretched across the vast continents of the world. The covetous empires eventually turned on one another. Petty rivalries and territorial disputes led to wars and horrible bloodshed. At the same time, slave revolts threatened to break the dynasties’ hold over the “lesser” races of Iomandra. To maintain order and restore paradise, Io sent his godling children to rule the great continents on his behalf, but they too became corrupt and tried to usurp each other’s power. Three of Io’s children perished in this world-shaking feud. Furious, Io recalled to the heavens his two surviving children—Bahamut and Tiamat—and unleashed a maelstrom that would sink the continents of Iomandra beneath the sea. Not everything was destroyed, however. In defiance of their father, Bahamut and Tiamat intervened and prevented the lands from sinking completely. Their intervention created islands around the globe where the world’s remaining inhabitants could survive and prosper. Moved by his children’s demonstration of unity, Io left the world in their custody. However, Bahamut and Tiamat would never again see eye to eye, and to this day, each seeks to break the other’s influence. Iomandra of the “modern day” is a watery world peppered with islands of every size and ecosystem. Some of these islands are hundreds of miles across; others are barely large enough to support a single structure. Trade links many of the “civilized” islands, but countless more have yet to be explored. Beneath the waves lie the remnants of ancient, sunken empires and the treasures of the ages. In this, the modern day, scores of vessels ply the Dragon Sea. They include heavily laden merchant ships, well-armed warships, swift privateer vessels, and fleets of marauding pirates. An intricate net of trade routes link the civilized islands, and ships that stray from these routes do so at their own risk. The only surviving nation of consequence is Arkhosia, ruled by a decadent and corrupt dynasty that reveres Bahamut and Tiamat, fears Io’s wrath, and regards true dragons as divine exarchs. The humans, elves, dwarves, tieflings, and other “civilized races” that inhabit Iomandra are no longer bound by draconic law. Having long since freed themselves from the bonds of slavery, they have charted their own destinies and spread across the world. These descendants of the ancient slave races bear no animosity to modern-day Drath’hakin, most of whom regard slavery as abhorrent under the teachings of Bahamut.
Overtime the blood of the Drath’Hakin and Dragovor Dynasty became polluted and eventually evolved into the present day dragonborn. In the current age of Io’mandra, the majority of Drath’hakin are born to clans lying outside of imperial domain. These clans are the direct descendants of the last pure-bred Drath’hakin clans of ancient Arkhosia. Betrayed by rival clans, they were captured and enslaved by the tiefling empire of Bael Turath during the War of Long Shadows. When the dragonborn legions finally cast down the last of the Turathi, the “Lost Clans” were freed from their dark servitude but where forbidden to rejoin the remainder of Arkhosian society. Many imperialists believed they may have been tainted by Bael Turath’s infernal lords. After centuries of forced slavery and exile, after having been betrayed by their closest allies, and even after helping bring the Turathi empire down from within, they were being turned away by their own kin. In their desperation, the clans prayed to Bahamut for guidance. Bahamut himself appeared before all assembled. The god of justice could see well that the hearts of these forlorn clans were not fully tainted by evil. It is said he brought them into his service, entrusting them with great artifacts to defend with their very lives. His exarchs led them to new lands outside of the Empire.
Things to note:
- To most races today, true Drath’hakin and Dragonborn are indistinguishable.
- Drath’hakin tend to be more sinuous in shape making them taller and leaner than Imperial Dragonborn. They still share the same innate strength.
- Dragonborn possess more mundane and general colorations. Drath’hakin possess the scale and color patterns of the different races of true dragons. black, green, red, etc.
- All Imperial dragonborn possess Drath’hakin heritage leading to potential ‘throwbacks’ within Imperial society
- Imperial Dragonborn are separated into castes.
The dwarves were slaves of the Drath’hakin. When Io submerged the continents of the world, the dwarves led a massive uprising against their oppressors and won their freedom. Their joy was short-lived, however, as they returned to their ancestral homelands to find all but one of their kingdoms wiped out. Some dwarves have committed themselves to rebuilding Gar Morra, but most dwarves are scattered across the Dragon Sea, living among the humans, elves, and other races.
Things to note:
- Dwarves have long memories and haven’t quite forgiven the dragonborn for the crimes of the Drath’Hakin, but they’re trying.
- Status within dwarven society is based on wealth; the rich lead, and the poor follow.
- Dwarves are elemental souls with as much fondness for the open sea as the land.
- Despise Orcs above all else, as they have murdered many of the dwarven kin
Thousands of years ago, when Io sank the continents of Iomandra to punish his children, the elves were forced to leave their primeval forests and flee to high ground. They sought sanctuary in dwarf mountain strongholds and elevated human settlements. Present-day elves are scattered across the Dragon Sea, sharing the remaining land with their human and neighbors, inhabiting forests wherever they are found, and seeding new ones.
Things to note:
- Present-day elves have no kingdoms or nations.
- They are geographically tied to humans and frequently breed with them, creating half-elves.
The half-elves of Iomandra are not a true-breeding race. They are, in fact, the offspring of elf and human parents. Consequently, they do not have a nation of their own but co-exist with elves and humans on many different islands across the Dragon Sea.
Arguably the most territorial and pernicious race, humans are masters of their own destinies. Still, many of them feel they deserve better. Once slaves of the ancient Darth’hakin dynasties, humans won their freedom after considerable bloodshed, only to have their nations and kingdoms wiped away by the cataclysm that sank the continents. Since then, they’ve been colonizing as much of the remaining land as they can, hoping to one day become as powerful as the empires of old. Many humans hail from the shattered baronies of Nerath, but they are found the world over in surprising numbers.
Things to note:
- Humans get along well with all the other races, including tieflings and dragonborn.
- Humans do not hold the greatest power in Iomandra right now.
- Humans come in two different heritages the normally light skinned Varni and the dark skinned Mwangi
The humans of Turath took desperate measures to escape the tyranny of the ancient Drath’hakin dynasties. The Humans chose confrontation over escape. They forged infernal pacts, transformed themselves into tieflings, and gained vast infernal power. Still, their newfound “gifts” weren’t enough to save the empire from the furious onslaught of the Arkhosian armies. The tieflings who survived were made into slaves. In time, they gained their freedom, but the empire of Turath has fallen into legend.
Things to note:
- Tieflings are scattered across Iomandra and don’t really have a home to call their own.
*Though Tieflings appear anti-social at first, they do enjoy the company of others, even the company of other races.