The Let's Play Archive

King of Dragon Pass

by Haifisch

Part 13: Empire of Wyrms Friends 2

Mors Rattus posted:

Eventually, a man named Vistikos Left-Eye, an Orlanthi who had converted to Malkionism, achieves an understanding that brings peace. He claims he has spoken with the Cosmic Dragon, who gave him wisdom. He forms some missionary groups that head out and use dance and drama to try and convert people to the new draconic religion. This is the beginning of the Empire of Wyrms Friends.

They invent the cult of Orlanth the Dragon, which reinterprets the Orlanthi myths and Storm Pantheon in the context of all of the gods actually being dragons. Those who resist this new religion are killed or exiled. Due to various events, they become very powerful. Their magic is dragon magic, taught by the dragonewts, and they have draconic allies, including the Dragon Sun, a dragon which took over the Dara Happan Empire of Yelm-worshippers.

Some additional information and supposition on the Empire of the Wyrm's Friends:
Seshnela, the naval power and home to the Godlearners, opened up most of the world to their people, who were western sorcerers. Vistikos Left-Eye and some of his followers would have had access to the same kind of multicultural information that the Godlearners took up and decided to exploit and experiment with.

In particular, the ways of Kralorela, that place (based loosely on China and Japan) with the dragons where they worship dragons. There's a mystery cult there called the Path of Immanent Mastery which sees dragons as perfect and which concentrates on achieving perfection through transformation into a dragon.

One of the big problems with dealing with dragons and dragonnewts is that they're alien. To the extent that their main language can't usually be learned by human beings at all. One of the secrets, upon which the Empire of the Wyrm's Friends was founded, involved the secret of the forked tongue... but which certainly led to or involved what could be termed the forked brain.

None of this is clearly explained in any of the sourcebooks I've read (though Mors Rattus is considerably more up-to-date than I), but my supposition proceeds as follows:
1. You can't truly communicate with dragons because they have a radically different relationship to Time.
2. A modification of the magics associated with the Path of Immanent Mastery (which involves trying to duplicate draconic ways to become a dragon, not trying to be both human and dragon at once) might allow for brain modifications allowing human beings to change the way in which they perceive Time.
3. These modifications were at the center of the Empire of the Wyrm's Friends, but they produced something neither draconic nor human.
4. The end result is something like the Godlearners, only instead of using sorcery to mess with the Godplane, they're messing with the draconic eternal Now.

There are other instances of hybridization and all the ones that spring to mind are associated with the EWF.

Dragons don't act or think particularly quickly, and their main "interface" with the world is the Dream Dragons, who as has been pointed out tend to express unconscious desires or emotional aspects reflective of only fragments of the draconic whole. Also, I strongly suspect that until the modifications had progressed far enough, the humans at the center of the EWF remained human for the most part, and the dragonnewts working with them were working to promote understanding between the two races, not to create a new hybrid race.

Once the hybridization process had progressed, those undertaking it became closer to insane human/dragonnewts and could be judged according to draconic standards, at which point it would have been extremely clear that the whole proceeding was Wrong action. And the very difference in how the two peoples relate to Time would have made it impossible for the dragonnewts to realize that any earlier/later.

As an aside, the Dragonkill War didn't just involve the EWF. A bunch of Orlanthi and a bunch of Sun worshipers banded together (largely for reasons related to what Mors Rattus said about rewriting Orlanth and Yelm as dragons), raised the largest army in history, stormed down into Dragon Pass... and were wiped out. 10% or fewer survived. Legends suggest the possible involvement of one or more Ancestral Dragons in these events.

Remember all this background on the Godlearners and the EWF. If we're lucky enough to get the event chain which will allow me to talk more about that necromancer in the swamp, it'll come up again.