ZEITGEIST Player's Guide: Drakr




ZEITGEIST Player's Guide: Drakr

This page is a chapter in 'Books:ZEITGEIST: The Gears of Revolution Players Guide'

Before the rise of the kingdom of Triegenes, dwarven warlords in Drakr subdued the undead titans of the land, encased them in crystal, and buried them deep beneath the earth. The dwarven warlords made alliances with the demonocracy in the east, trading the lives and souls of their mostly-human subjects for infernal power. Each warlord erected a tower as a symbol of his power, and from these bases they marched unnatural armies to battle for territory and supremacy.

Later Triegenes marched upon those towers, toppling each as a stepping stone toward the demonocracy itself. The tyrants fell, and dwarves became an oppressed minority in what had once been their homeland.

When the Great Malice shattered the kingdom of Triegenes, several clans of dwarves overthrew the priests who had ruled over them. They prepared for war, intending to recreate new dwarven kingdoms, but the deadly threat from the Malice Lands forced them to band together, even unite with humans to keep newly-birthed abominations at bay. The dwarven clans and fractured human provinces that survived the collapse of the kingdom of Triegenes created a loose federation that has grown ever more united. Regional governors, mostly human, handle normal farming and trade, while dwarven lords direct grand mining operations and command the nation’s army and navy.

Once again the nation has grown fond of towers, not just as symbols of power but as strongholds against intermittent waves of monstrous incursions from the Malice Lands. Dark magic is not precisely endorsed, but it is tolerated as a necessary evil for the nation’s defense. Criminals convicted of any great crime vanish into mountain prisons to serve in hellish mines, until the day they are sacrificed to empower a magical ward or weapon.

Metal and Magic

Unsurprisingly, Drakr has taken easily to alliances with Danor, both military and economic. In particular they helped build and still today defend the Avery Coast railroad, and are in the process of building their own rail lines. Their trains, however, are powered by arcane furnaces that burn blood red yet whose metal skin feels eerily cool to the touch.

Similarly, the Drakran military has embraced firearms, and several companies have become famous for slaying implacable malice beasts which previously would have taken an army to defeat. The finest guns come from Drakr, and many of those are enchanted. Unlike Risur, however, Drakr has not rushed to develop steam warships. They have limited interest in naval matters, and prefer to defend their coasts with forts and cannons, though a few Drakran shipyards do construct ironclad vessels for Danor.

The capital city of Trekhom is a major hub of industrial trade, as well as a nexus for several rail lines. Every day countless tons of refined steel arrives by train from the northern forge city of Mirsk, high in the snowy Shawl Mountains. It is said that giants work some of the mines in those frigid mountains, lending their physical might in exchange for enchanted weapons and armor.

Where the Avery Coast railroad crosses the border into the Malice Lands, a steel spire rises five hundred feet above the desolate landscape, guarded by a battalion of soldiers and mages. Its purpose is unclear, but some suspect it is enchanted to drive away malice beasts, or to help mend the tear in the fabric of magic.

The Philosophy of Governance

Though intellectuals of the rest of the world are quick to disassociate themselves with some of the darker trends in Drakran philosophy—those grounded in the power of the old warlords—many heap great praise on the wise and open deliberations in the nation’s parliament.

The old ecumenical tradition of the Clergy survived the Great Malice in the form of schools of philosophy. Often each clan or township would have its own line of local philosophers. Their ideas would influence local leaders and businessmen, who would in turn spread them through the rest of the nation, with the most successful and intriguing philosophers earning their home prestige and profit.

Today the most visible philosophy is Heid Eschatol, which focuses on proper endings to all of life’s affairs. But other ideologies still battle in the marketplaces and academies of Drakr, and any successful federal representative has to be a studied philosopher, or else espouse wild teachings that will get him noticed.

The Lost Riders

After most of the dwarven tyrants had fallen to Triegenes, the last five warlords gathered at a fiery tower in the Shawl Mountains to discuss a plan for war. As they camped and planned, one of their archmage servants warned that a winter storm stronger than any in history was approaching. Afraid of being stranded from their battle, the five warlords mounted their various dread steeds and rode forth. But when the storm fell upon them, they lost their direction.

Too cruel and convinced of their invincibility to die, the five continued riding until they vanished forever into the blizzard. For over a millennium the dwarves of Drakr have told tales of the lost riders, continuing to search for the battle that they should have fought and won. Folk tales warn never to offer aid to lost travelers, lest you anger their pride and earn their wrath.

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