Dragon Priest Empire

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The Dragon Priest Empire grew out of the Dragon Priest religious movement, which was founded by Sh'kial in 255 BV. They first appeared in the Wyvern Mountains of Ilithi. When his protégé, Dzree formed a Sect and began teaching others to sacrifice Humans, Elves, and sometimes even S'Kra Mur. Dzree's sect held the belief that "those who were fashioned in the shape of the Great Dragon should hold power over all others." When Sh'kial learned of this, he ordered them to cease and was immediately named a heretic by Dzree. In 205 BV, a student of Dzree's stabbed Sh'Kial in the back as he was bending to pick up a baby from a cradle. The Sect of Sh'kial all but disappeared and Dzree's Sect greatly expanded, becoming an empire with a strong militant arm. The empire conquered Shard during Corik's reign, but eventually crumbled following Dzree's death in 1 BV.

Beliefs of the Sect of Dzree and the Empire

Dzree began with a doctrine that stated "those who were fashioned in the shape of the Great Dragon should hold power over all others." Before Dzree fell to madness, the beliefs of the empire were that only through the sacrifice of Humans, Elves, and in special circumstances, S'Kra Mur, could the World Dragon be appeased and a time of great Peace would come to the land. After her death was prophesized, Dzree's sermons took a turn. No longer did she teach the empire that an age of Peace would come, but that a time of terrible war would come, in which the World Dragon would wake and consume Elanthia.

Followers of this sect also took on the sacrifice small children and whole villages in the name of waking rather than appeasing the great devourer.

Major Events

The Elanthian Timeline provides an account of major events during the approximately 200 year rule of the Dragon Priests.

The first known attacks were in the mountain villages of Ilithi, two years after Sh'kial was murdered. The Sect of Dzree spent six years growing into the empire it would become known as and began sending missionaries into Qi'Reshalia to convert more S'Kra Mur. In the same year, the empire began their assault on Shard. The assault on ended one year later when Corik fled.

It was this first major assault that the Priests first began branding their sacrifices with the Dragon's Claw. This brand was placed on the foreheads of any that dared to fight back against the Dragon Priests.

Following this victory, the Dragon Priest Empire started experimentations on Gor'Togs and S'Kra Mur with the intent of "purification" and expanded their sacrifices to the other six races. They also established the Dark Hand as a breeding ground for the Adan'f and their other foul experiments. This area would later be the final tool used to bring down HighHold, theDwarven capital of Adamantia. (Note: There is some discrepancy about this, due to conflicting information between A Tale of HighHold and The Silver Key of Artifacts.

As the Dragon Priest Empire marched north, the attacks on Crossing began and the genocide of Bards began. Once the empire defeated the Hounds of Rutilor, the empire quickly moved to take Riverhaven. House Theren managed to hold off the empire for three years before fleeing. Here, the Empire held positions in Ilithi, Zoluren, and Therengia hostage for five years.

The last of the Ru'atin Peri'el fled to Aesry Surlaenis'a, hiding away in a compound. Around this time, the empire also seized control of Qi'Reshalia and worked for eleven more years to take control over most of known Elanthia. Thus began the height of the Empire under Dzree. The Dragon Priests began confining non-S'Kra Mur to prison islands and held the world captive for nearly one hundred and sixty more years.

As the empire attempted to take Leth Deriel, the entire army fell to "twisted, Fae-like creatures" in a darkling wood, save for one S'Kra Mur who returned with the tale. Dzree sent more armies, each larger than the last. Each were destroyed with only one member sent back with a tale of horror and destruction. It was soon after these failed attacks that Sithsia, the mad mage of legend, appeared in the citadel as an amber-eyed raven and spoke to Dzree, who attempted to have her arrested. Sithsia turned the guards to ash and with a smile, gave a prophecy of death to Dzree.

"I prophecy this, fool priest. In a years time, a warrior shall come who shall smite you where you stand and destroy you and your empire. All you have done will be as your former guards there -- ashes to the wind. This I promise, and this I say to be, I, the mage Sithsia."

The fall of the empire began roughly a year after Sithsia gave this prophecy. During this last year, Dzree drove herself insane with paranoia. She recalled her armies into the citadel and closed the gates. Her sermons changed from the promise of an age of Peace to a time of terrible war, where the World Dragon woke and consumed all of Elanthia. She slaughtered any she suspected of being the assassin. In the end, she died alone, atop the corpse of a guard after over exerting herself.

Immediately after Dzree died, the empire fell into chaos as factions formed, each supporting their chosen leader in a bid for the Blood Throne. Open warfare between the factions began in Qi'Reshalia and was quelled within twenty years by groups of wealthy merchants. It was another four years before the last of the factions were considered conquered and the merchant families formed the new ruling council of Qi'Reshalia. An uprising lead by Dzree's former slave, Neithrel and an Elven warrior named Savrin wiped out the remnants of the empire before both disappeared from the public eye.

More Information Dragon Worship

S'Kra Mur Beliefs and the worship of the World Dragon.
Dragon Priests
Isth'hhtaw'hhs Shh'oiyvh-ur - (The Traditions/Ways of the Dragon)

Dragon Priest Revivals

Over time, various groups have attempted to revive the Dragon Priest empire.

349 AV

Around the time of the re-founding of the Bard's guild in Crossings, Siryn and Silvyrfrost were attacked by members of a renewed Dragon Priest organization. A S'Kra Mur that identified himself High Priest of the Dragon Priests Tenebraus lead the attack that ultimately resulted in Siryn's death. The Bards turned their powerful magic against Tenebraus, forcing him to lose control of his magic and slowly die.

369 AV

A new form of Dragon worship also began to be practiced, and the ones formerly known as Dragon Priests began insisting on being called Servants of the Dragon, among other names.

More on the Servants of the Dragon can be found here
Servants of the Dragon
S'Kra Mur Beliefs

389 AV

In early 389, the Dragon Priest Empire surged to power anew under Empress Hhrsaraa. Hhrsaraa herself claimed to be descended from Dzree, calling herself Dzree's daughter. Together with Grand Arbiter Serzyn, General Shaarl, and the Adan'f, the empire lead attacks across major cities and ports. Hhrsaraa was first seen when the Ru'atin Peri'el opened their doors in Aesry. The Empire arrived via Moongates and promptly began a bloodbath.

Hhrsaraa died in 400 AV and the empire once again fell into disorganized bedlam.

Dragon Priests of this Revival
Hhrsaraa - Deceased Dragon Priest Empress.
Serzyn - Grand Arbiter to Hhrsaraa. Controls korograths.
Shaarl - Former General of Hhrsaraa's Dragon Priest Empire. Betrayed Hhrsaraa and Serzyn.
Shehhgi - Serzyn's brother and rumored to have been a S'Kra Kor. Claimed to follow Sh'kial's path of Dragon Worship.
The Adan'f
Fatave - Leader of the Blood Warriors.
Iszanua - Dollmaker.
Vaktarr - Leader of the Shadow Mages.
Valthyrz - Chief Intercessor.
Vigther - Leader of the Adan'f. Killed Zaevas.
Xerasyth - Former leader of the Adan'f, now a S'Kra Mur Necromancer.
Zaevas - Former Shadow General. Deceased.

401 AV

When the Dragon, Ael'tharaxus appeared in Ilithi and announced himself as Emperor, it brought about a stark change in the remains of the empire. Little by little, the remains of the Sect of Dzree began to disappear.

436 AV

The Sect of Dzree, or at least those that likely still follow the practice she left behind made an appearance in Aesry while a group of adventurers met with the Ru'atin Peri'el to discuss the plight of the kra'hei (beast people). Appearing from a single Moongate, the Priests slaughtered and injured many before being beaten back. This led to a later attack upon the Black Spire. Information gathered during this attack revealed that the Dragon Priests were using machinery of an unknown origin and purpose and were being led by an old crone.

More about this encounter can be found in publications from The First Land Herald
S'Kra Mur Investigate the Kra'hei
Assault on Dragon Priest Spire

439 AV

Suulnir speaks within the Temple at the Black Spire of an age of enlightenment that will begin, stating that the Dragon Ael'tharaxus has reached his ascendance.

More on this encounter can be found in publications from The First Land Herald
Dragon Priest Suulnir speaks


A Tale of HighHold
Elanthian Timeline
Forest of Night
History of Dertalriosh Endaertheal'a
History of Mer'Kresh
Isth'hhtaw'hhs Shh'oiyvh-ur - (The Traditions/Ways of the Dragon)
Kalag's Memoirs
Legend of the World Dragon
Religions of Elanthia
Restoration of the Bard's Guild in Our Time
The First Land Herald
The Ru'atin Peri'el
The Singers of Aesry Surlaenis'a
The Ways of the S'Kra Mur
Urshaanin's Singularity
World Dragon priest