The Land of Scorched Earth
Dra’anan is a land of scorched earth, a nation known for its cruelty. With neighboring nations like the elven lands of Deleran and the august kingdom of Ivirial, Dra’anan has managed to stay within its boundaries though rumors of the Dranir (those from Dra’anan) preparing for war in secret locations where scrying cannot penetrate have begun to circulate to the surrounding areas.
Given Dra’anan has the negative reputation of being the killers of the last dragons, their might precedes them. They have no qualms with eradicating anything. Truly, Dra’anan is a land of an oppressed people with dead earth under their feet. Others outside of Dra’anan cannot begin to fathom how they feed themselves so stories of cannibalism and other horrors surround the land.
No fence nor wall prevents anyone from walking in to the country, only border patrols that kill any they don’t recognize keep the security. Its citizens are all conscripted to the country’s military, everyone serves for life and often ends their life in its service.
Dra’anan wasn’t always so, of course. It was once one half of the Wiseate of Deleran, the isolated elven nation where magic floats in the air and the fantastic is everyday occurrence.
It is said Inaralaal the Wise, an ancient elven magus from Delaran, journeyed to its eastern borders into the lush landscape known then as Lyr’ani, or Lands of Green. He had done this for countless centuries as a retreat and in this particular year — though no one knows for sure, loremasters believe it was when Sythlia, the Goddess of Evindale, walked the earth freely and publicly — entered the mountains in the land’s north central region.
The mountains were rumored to be one of the last bastions of the ancient dragonkind, massive beings who could grow so large, their wingspan stretched across the borders of multiple countries. Indeed, the Empire of the Spine is said to have been fashioned from the bones of but one dragon while the Gelehinde Bay between Cultrek and Mutvia was where one dragon had fallen and created a great depression in the ground, allowing the ocean’s waters to pour in.
Inaralaal is said to have found one dragon, a regal creature known only to the elves as Al’raxis, and spent centuries teaching one another their kind’s magics. Inaralaal would one day return and release the magic into the lands of the western countries, creating all at once fantastic beings of incredible power, a land living with magic and a nation more powerful than ever.
Elves are wise, however. With longspans, they understand that overtime power may corrupt over time and under the guidance of Inaralaal, the Wiseate of Deleran was formed, a council of ministers from all walks of life that were considered the wisest of their region. Inaralaal was appointed the Wisest of All and tasked with guiding this new council to ensure the land remained uncorrupted.
Deleran would indeed prosper and become a powerful nation of natural magics. The land and its people prospered but Al’raxis grew lonely once more without its friend Inaralaal with whom he had grown accustomed to sharing.
Inaralaal was not the only one with knowledge to share with or gain from dragons, however. From the lands to the southeast came Vaurain, a relatively young but very experienced adventurer, one of Evindale’s first ever. Many stories were written and told about him for countless generations of creatures from all over. So much time has passed since the time of Vaurain that each species claims him as their own.
Vaurain had found a wondrous artifact from lands beyond the reach of most mortals and having heard of the endless wisdom of Al’raxis, he journeyed into the eastern lands of Deleran to seek out the dragon’s wisdom of how this object can be used for the betterment of all. Though it took many years, Vaurain eventually did find Al’raxis. At first, the dragon was leery of this newcomer just as he had been with Inaralaal several centuries earlier. But eager for companionship, Al’raxis agreed to speak with Vaurain about the artifact.
Many years passed and knowledge was shared. Word of the artifact’s presence in eastern Deleran piqued the curiosity of the Wiseate and before long, Inaralaal journeyed once more to his old friend’s home.
When he arrived he found both Vaurain and the artifact were gone, that Al’raxis had already given the younger one the information he needed about the artifact. Inaralaal asked what the artifact could do but Al’raxis would not answer. Inaralaal where Vaurain and the artifact had gone, but Al’raxis would not answer. Inaralaal asked where Vaurain had come from but again, Al’raxis would not answer. All the dragon replied with was “For the betterment of all.”
Self-tasked with this same mission to protect all, Inaralaal and the Wiseate sought out Vaurain and the artifact but they lost his trail in the mountains of what would be Dra’anan.
The searched for him and asked of their barbarians neighbors to the east. They said “No, we’ve not seen such a powerful being pass through here.” They continued further into the lands of wolves and they said, “No, but if we did, we’d keep him as ours.” They continued to the sands of the east and inquired of the dunes traders and they said, “No, but we have not seen such on our journeys.” And so to the north and south, further east and west did the Wiseate search. They never found Vaurain.
Now, though, the people of the world were informed of Vaurain’s powerful item so they sought its knowledge as well. From all over they traveled to the eastern lands of Deleran, stumbling into the mountains in search of a dragon with answers. Inaralaal and the Wiseate turned many of these people away from the lush lands but the more they turned away, the more came. Neverending waves of people came, many of whom did not understand the precarious nature of the land he had helped create. They carved new paths in the mountains to evade Inaralaal’s magical borders. They dug under the land to escape the eyes of the Skywarders. Inaralaal knew nothing could hold them back so he commanded the land to turn against the invaders. The mountains rose and crushed the people, the rivers swelled and grew light so everything was drowned. The earth erupted and dragged surface creatures under.
Al’raxis felt the earth soak up the blood of so many. He looked down under his mighty paw and saw the ground turn rusty red. He looked out and saw across all that the land and the people who had come to see him dying.
When the dragon took to flight, the sun was blocked out and darkness enshrouded the land. He saw Inaralaal and his Wiseate sending legions of people to their death in the plains and fields, mountains and hills of the very land he swore to protect. He asked the elf, “why have you done this?” Inaralaal responded, “because they are destroying the land.” The dragon looked around and saw the destruction the elf and his kind had caused. “You must stop this at once,” he commanded. But the elf continued to weave the magic of dragons to cause the land to heave up and swallow all unfit for Deleran.
Al’raxis knew what he must do. He flew to the skies and summoned the power of the sun on the land itself. As he dove back to the earth, the breathed out a gout of sunfire that no mortal — elf or not — could withstand. The people no longer had a land to cross and were therefore safe but Inaralaal and the Wiseate were now nothing but ash and grease. Deleran lost much of its power and the lands of the Dra’anan — “dead soil” in ancient Ivirial — remain scorched to this day.
Some say the power Al’raxis used came from the artifact the mighty Vaurain had brought him. Others say Vaurain and the dragon became one, for no other story about him exists beyond this point in time.
The elves of Deleran recognized their leader’s folly and swore to never abuse magic again. They would keep to their lands to the west, the lands of Deleran. But out of fear of their own power, Deleran never ventured back into Dra’anan to restore the land to a healthy state and because it became a place of death, no one ever set foot on the lands of Al’raxis again.
More time had passed and as nature does, Dra’anan found life once more. People who had been banished from their own homes for whatever reason found solace in the dead soil of Dra’anan and one by one, communities rose up. Where they could, they fed off of unusual creatures and drank from unusual waters. The land started to take on a life of its own. Time had passed and massive cities sprang up in the mountains, finding underground rivers for their water supply.
From a terrible land rose a terrible power. Called Thri’drill (“twice lived” in Ivirial), it tapped into the land’s memory of death and destruction. Under its command, Dra’anan quickly rose in power until it became a nation unto itself.
Thri’drill sent emissaries to the leaders of surrounding nations, twisted beings whose forms were a mockery of their former race. They delivered the message that Dra’anan would rise to power one day and claim all lands surrounding it. They would say nothing more.
No one knows what this Thri’drill truly is or what it wants. But the nation now prepares for a war unlike the world has ever seen.
Dra’anan was said to be populated mostly by humans and elves in the early days and now we see humans with elven features and elves with human features but not quite the equal mix needed to create a half-elf.
Regardless of their lineage, though, most Dranir have darker flesh tones like that of the Talan but their elven lineage is pronounced with angular and chiseled features.
Another race is said to exist within Central Barrens of Dra’anan, the slave race of The Rech. Misshapen in body and deformed in spirit, dull of wit but of hearty constitution, the Lords of the Dranir push them mercilessly onward as slaves in the construction of the Dranir cities, tunnels and more.
Others within Dra’anan come from all over, seeking refuge from their country’s laws. Others still only have the hope of one day the land returning to its former glory.