The Doragon Corridor is a thin land bridge that links the northern and southern halves of the continent. Only ten leagues wide (30 miles) and forty leagues (1290 miles) long, it is truly an inhospitable land of deep chasms and low, crag filled hills that link the Kilan and Ironspire mountains. Only a thin pass along the northern coast barely half a mile wide is open enough to allow easy travel through the corridor. Known as the Road of Truce and Prosperity, the open land is guarded to the south by the Mil Tanor Triglomerate city of Lal Zad and to the north by the Parthenian fortress and trading post, Hittigar. To facilitate trade and to ease tensions the Empire and the Triglomerate have signed treaties that forbids placing armies into the Corridor.
Bleak and treacherous, storms from the Far Seas and Crimson Ocean frequently slam into the hills and stunted forests. The land rises sharply and the high altitudes produces short summers and long, hard winters. Lifesuckers, manx, ramhorns and omnivrax are among the few that live in the hills year round though many species pass through during their yearly migrations. Only one intelligent species dares to live between the low mountain peaks, the strange and shy race known only as the Doragon.
The Doragon are a mysterious, secretive race that hides in temporary villages throughout the mountains. They are a small race with scaly, snakelike skin and long, almost deer-like faces. Long onyx black horns grow from their foreheads in slow graceful curves. Their legs are thick and strong with their feet ending in a tuft of thick dark hair and black cloven hooves. They dress only in loose, warm clothing and use only naturally occurring wood and stone for their tools. They travel together in small groups of ten to fifty individuals, never building permanent homes. They sleep in quickly assembled lean-tos and in the small caves that dot the mountain sides.
The Doragon's territory used to extend down into the southern half of the continent, and they were peaceful farmers, known to be active trading partners with the Kilan. The first Anasar invasion was particularly harsh on the Doragon and their numbers were so decimated that they could not hold onto their land and they fled for the safety of the mountains in the corridor. There they successfully avoided the next two invasions, making them the only southern race on to have successfully done so.
From deep within the cliffs they watched the
rise of the Parthenian Empire and Mal Tanor Realm and avoided both, having
grown fearful of outsiders and keenly aware of their environment during
their centuries hiding among the hills. For the most part they have been
left alone, the Parthenians attempting only one conquest of the hills.
The armies returned battered and decimated in number. The troops claimed
that they never saw a living soul, but told tales of fierce storms and
terrible fires that would rip through their ranks as they slept. Soon after
the armies had returned to Hittigar a group of Doragon shamans walked to
the gates and called up a mighty tornado that razed the city to the ground.
The Parthenians attempted a few retaliatory strikes into the hills but
each time they would face fierce storms and natural disasters before the
armies even reached the hills. Over time the Parthenians and their subjects
have developed many myths about the mysterious race hidden in the hills
and Parthenian caravans pass quickly through the corridor.
During the negotiations for the Road of Truce and Prosperity, a small band of Doragon walked into the tent were the diplomats were staying. They stated that they would allow the truce to be signed but that no one was to venture into the hills. After politely stating their demand they left without further discussion. The Parthenian delegation agreed without comment, but the Tanor sent a team of diplomats after the Doragon. They were returned a week later, naked and hungry to the edge of the camp. A second team consisting mainly of soldiers did not return at all. The Tanor, after prompting by the Parthenians, eventually and reluctantly agreed. Since then, all ventures into the hills return quickly complaining of lethal storms and creatures.
The Doragon live in small nomadic clans, based on their overwhelming instinct for companionship. They travel in small groups, each member contributing food and resources and guarding the young from predators.
Despite their powerful magic, the Doragon tend to live dangerous lives. The hills are filled with predators waiting for an infirm elder or unwatched youngster. The climate is brutal with constant storms and few edible plants. The Doragon are constantly on the move searching for food, consisting mainly grasses and leaves. They eat mostly by browsing, only storing and preserving food in the caves for the long winters.
In early fall the tribes begin to gather, the younger males competing in contests of strength and skill, trying to impress the watchful females and win a mate, usually mating for life. Leader of the tribes are also chosen in this manner, watched over and picked by the tribal shamans.
Just before the first snows these larger groups then begin to converge deeper into the hills. This annual meeting of the tribes, known as the ‘Yarding' is a time for trading and community sharing. By now most of the females are pregnant and the distribution of resources helps those from poorer tribes survive through the winter. In the spring just before the young are born, the tribes spit up again, often taking new members as young Doragon decide to leave their family groups. They move back into their foraging territories to give birth in secret caves, out of the reach of most predators. The young spend their first year on the backs of their parents, until their legs are strong enough to run from most predators.
The Yarding is also a time when the tribal shamans choose apprentices from the gathered tribes. These males and females draw power from the mystic forces around them, drawing upon the raw elemental forces that surround them every day.
The magic they practice is a base, powerful elemental magic that focuses on the unrestrained powers of destruction and change brought by the elements and the shamans wield it with broad strokes. The tribes consider shamans to be as much part of the environment as the trees and the rain and give them a wide leeway. The shamans can become the head of a tribe, life a solitary life as a hermit or wander away to explore the continent as they wish.
The shamans work with each element like a thread, weaving them together to form powerful, if rough spells. They revere life but respect nature's cycle rarely interfering with natural predators unless the problem becomes severe, only killing when necessary. The one exception being slavers, who rarely survive the passage through the corridor.
The Sanctum Alcedon
Shigata Ga Nai High