Dungeons & Dragons
Born of dragons, as their name proclaims, the dragonborn walk proudly through a world that greets them with fearful incomprehension. Shaped by draconic gods or the dragons themselves, dragonborn originally hatched from dragon eggs as a unique race, combining the best attributes of dragons and humanoids. Some dragonborn are faithful servants to true dragons, others form the ranks of soldiers in great wars, and still others find themselves adrift, with no clear calling in life.
Proud Dragon Kin
Dragonborn look very much like dragons standing erect in humanoid form, though they lack wings or a tail. The first dragonborn had scales of vibrant hues matching
the colors of their dragon kin, but generations of interbreeding have created a more uniform appearance. Their small, fine scales are usually brass or bronze in color, sometimes ranging to scarlet, rust, gold, or copper-green. They are tall and strongly built, often standing close to 6 1/2 feet tall and weighing 300 pounds or more. Their hands and feet are strong, talonlike claws with three fingers and a thumb on each hand.
The blood of a particular type of dragon runs very strong through some dragonborn clans. These dragonborn often boast scales that more closely match those of their dragon ancestor—bright red, green, blue, or white, lustrous black, or gleaming metallic gold, silver, brass, copper, or bronze.
To any dragonborn, the clan is more important than life itself. Dragonborn owe their devotion and respect to their clan above all else, even the gods. Each dragonborn’s conduct reflects on the honor of his or her clan, and bringing dishonor to the clan can result in expulsion and exile. Each dragonborn knows his or her station and duties within the clan, and honor demands maintaining the bounds of that position.
A continuaI drive for self-improvement reflects the self-sufficiency of the race as a whole. Dragonborn value skill and excellence in all endeavors. They hate to fail, and they push themselves to extreme efforts before they give up on something. A dragonborn holds mastery of a particular skill as a lifetime goal. Members of other races who share the same commitment find it easy to earn the respect of a dragonborn.
Though all dragonborn strive to be self-sufficient, they recognize that help is sometimes needed in difficult situations. But the best source for such help is the clan, and when a clan needs help, it turns to another dragonborn clan before seeking aid from other races—or even from the gods.
Dragonborn in Faerûn
Draconic humanoids from another world, the dragonborn of Faerûn are proud, honorable, and relatively rare. Slaves to dragons on their world of origin, they are now a free people looking for a place and purpose in their new world.
As with all stories of the ancient past, tales of the origins of the dragonborn are hazy and sometimes contradictory. Each reveals something about the dragonborn in its telling, however. One story relates that the dragonborn were shaped by the ancient dragon-god Io at the same time that Io created the dragons. In the beginning of days, Io fused brilliant astral spirits with the unchecked fury of the elements. The greater spirits became dragons— creatures so powerful, proud, and willful that they were lords of the newborn world. The lesser spirits became the dragonborn. Although smaller in stature, they were no less draconic in nature. This tale stresses the close kinship between dragons and dragonborn, while reinforcing the natural order of things—dragons rule and dragonborn serve, at least according to the dragonborn’s former masters.
Another legend asserts that Io created the dragons at the birth of the world, but dragonborn did not yet exist. Then, during the Dawn War, Io was killed by the primordial known as Erek-Hus, the King of Terror. With a rough-hewn axe of adamantine, the behemoth split Io from head to tail, cleaving the dragon-god into two equal halves, which rose up as new gods—Bahamut and Tiamat. Droplets of Io’s blood, spattered across the world, became the first dragonborn. For some who believe it, this origin story supports the view that dragonborn are clearly inferior to the dragons that were made by Io’s loving hand, while others emphasize that the dragonborn arose from Io’s own blood—just as two draconic deities arose from the god’s severed body. So are the dragonborn not, therefore, like the gods themselves?
A third origin story posits that dragonborn were the firstborn of the world, created by Io before the existence of other humanoid races, which were pale imitations of dragonborn perfection. Io shaped the dragonborn and fired them with his breath, then spilled his own blood to give them life. The first dragonborn served Io as companions and allies, filling his astral court and singing his praises. The dragons he made only later, at the start of the Dawn War, to serve as engines of destruction. This view of dragonborn history is shared by those who believe that dragonborn are superior to other races and thus should be the masters of dragons and not the other way around.
Despite their differing conclusions, a common theme binds all these legends together: the dragonborn owe their existence to Io, the great dragon-god who created all of dragonkind. The dragonborn, all legends agree, are not the creations of Bahamut or Tiamat—and so they have no predetermined side in the conflict between those gods. Every individual dragonborn, regardless of one’s particular draconic ancestry, makes a personal choice in matters of ethics and morality.
The Fight for Freedom
Dragonborn hail from Abeir, the primordial twin of Toril. On that world most of the dragonborn are slaves to their dragon masters, though many won their freedom and formed nations of free dragonborn. During the Spellplague, the two worlds intersected and one of those free dragonborn nations, Tymanchebar, was transported to Faerûn. It displaced the nation of Unther, and out of the ashes of these two kingdoms, the surviving dragonborn formed Tymanther, a new dragonborn nation in Faerûn.
For a time, the dragonborn of Tymanther sought to integrate with their new world while maintaining their own traditions and culture. These efforts gave the nation and its people a reputation for being honorable and worthy of respect. Only a few generations later, however, the events of the Sundering returned Unther to Faerûn, and the formerly displaced land sought to reclaim all it had lost to Tymanther. Reeling from this disaster, the remaining dragonborn in Faerûn now find they must work even harder and with fewer resources to find their place among the people the world.
Honor and Family
In dragonborn culture, the family is made up of one’s direct relations, while a clan is a collection of families brought together by alliance, intermarriage, or shared history. Although they are rarely forced to choose one over the other, the clan’s welfare is more important to most dragonborn than the family’s. The promise of honor within the clan drives them to acts of heroism daring, or excellence, all meant to bring glory to the clan first and the individual second.
The aftermath of the Sundering has tested these principles, leaving some clans fractured and decentralized. Some dragonborn in Faerûn seek to recapture the sort of connection they had with a now-lost clan or family by forging new relationships among their non-dragonborn allies and companions.
Philosophy and Religion
Their code of honorable behavior and unswerving loyalty serves the dragonborn as a kind of faith, and, according to the traditionalists among them, that outlook is all the religion they need. Because they were forced to worship their draconic masters in times past, dragonborn are generally skeptical about religion, seeing it as a form of servitude. The skeptics believe that no matter how their original god, Io, brought them into being, that ancient deity is either long dead or uncaring about their fate, and the dragon gods that supplanted Io seem primarily interested in amassing soldiers for their ages-old conflict.
Still, some dragonborn do hear the call of the gods of Faerûn and choose to serve them, and are as loyal in this faith as they are to any other cause. Bahamut and Tiamat have dragonborn worshipers, and both Torm and Tyr appeal to the dragonborn sense of honor and order. Similarly, Tempus and the Red Knight appeal to the warrior spirit in some dragonborn, and Kelemvor speaks to some of the inevitability of death and the need to live well in one’s allotted time. Religious belief is an intensely personal thing the dragonborn who espouse it, some of whom are as devoted to their faith as they are to their family and clan.
Dragonborn have personal names given at birth, but they put their clan names first as a mark of honor. A childhood name or nickname is often used among dutchmates as a descriptive term or a term of endearment. The name might recall an event or center on a habit.
Male Names: Arjhan, Balasar, Bharash, Donaar, Ghesh, Heskan, Kriv, Medrash, Mehen, Nadarr, Pandjed, Patrin, Rhogar, Shamash, Shedinn, Tarhun, Torinn
Female Names: Akra, Biri, Daar, Farideh, Harann, HaviJar, Jheri, Kava, Korinn, Mishann, Naja, Perra, Raiann, Sora, Surina, Thava, Uadjit
Childhood Names: Climber, Earbender, Leaper, Pious, Shieldbiter, Zealous
Clan Names: Clethtinthiallor, Daardendrian, Delmirev, Drachedandion, Fenkenkabradon, Kepeshkmolik, Kerrhylon, Kimbatuul, Linxakasendalor, Myastan, Nemmonis, Norixius, Ophinshtalajiir, Prexijandilin, Shestendeliath, Turnuroth, Verthisathurgiesh, Yarjerit
Your draconic heritage manifests in a variety of traits you share with other dragonborn.
- Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2, and your Charisma score increases by 1.
- Age. Young dragonborn grow quickly. They walk hours after hatching, attain the size and development of a 10-year-old human child by the age of 3, and reach adulthood by 15. They Iive to be around 80.
- Alignment. Dragonborn tend to extremes. making a conscious choice for one side or the other in the cosmic war between good and evil (represented by Bahamut and Tiamat, respectively). Most dragonborn are good. but those who side with Tiamat can be terrible villains.
- Size. Dragonborn are taller and heavier than humans, standing well over 6 feet tall and averaging almost 250 pounds. Your size is Medium.
- Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
- Draconic Ancestry. You have draconic ancestry. Choose one type of dragon from the Draconic Ancestry table. Your breath weapon and damage resistance are determined by lhe dragon type, as shown in the table.
- Breath Weapon. You can use your action to exhale destructive energy. Your draconic ancestry determines the size, shape. and damage type of the exhalation. When you use your breath weapon, each creature in the area of the exhalation must make a saving throw, the type of which is determined by your draconic ancestry. The DC for this saving throw equals 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. A creature takes 2d6 damage on a failed save, and half as much damage on a successful one. The damage increases to 3d6 at 6th level. 4d6 at 11th leveI, and 5d6 at 16th level. After you use your breath weapon, you can’t use it again until you complete a short or long rest.
- Damage Resistance. You have resistance to the damage type associated with your draconic ancestry.
- Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Draconic.