Dragonstar. It was three days before I got my first glimpse of the invaders: great monstrous, manlike machines that strolled through the city like they owned it. The Dragonstar SRD is based on the Dungeons and Dragons SRD & the Gaming Content from Fantasy Flight Games "DragonStar" campaign setting. Home › Ron's RPG Stuff › Shades of the Dragon Empire Dragonstar is a unique space-fantasy campaign setting for the d20 PDF Button.
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Fantasy Flight Games is pleased to present. Dragonstar, a unique space fantasy campaign setting for use with the d20 System. This book, the Starfarer's. Dragonstar: Starfarer's Handbook - Take your adventure to the stars! DriveThruRPG: Your One-Stop Shop for the Best in RPG PDF Files!. Fantasy Flight Games is pleased to present Galactic. Races, a new sourcebook for the Dragonstar space fan- tasy campaign setting. Galactic Races contains.
Petersen d20 System and the d20 System logo are Trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast and are used with permission. County Rd. B2 1 Roseville, MN All rights reserved. This book, the Guide to the Galaxy, is the second of two volumes that together define the core rules and setting of Dragonstar.
Blessed with practically immeasurable lifespans. The yellows had never been major players in dragon politics. In the year 12 AE. The system has been rendered completely uninhabitable by the rift. The elder of one clan would rule for a thousand years and then pass the crown to the successor clan. Khelorn also knew that the evil clans would only agree if they were allowed to share rulership of the new realm.
Despite these continuing problems. One second it appears to have negligible mass and gravitational pull. During the battle. The planet Krellis. Their artifacts and machines of war were simply too powerful and their hatred for each other too deep.
Some have suggested that antimatter weapons were responsible for the destruction. Many of the leaders of the other races. Khelorn admitted that the war was ultimately his fault. While the debates and political battles over the line of succession lasted for years. When viewed from a vantage point well above the galactic plane. The tone of the newscasts is darker than before. By the terms of the Imperial Charter.
Houses Deserene. Mezzenbone failed to satisfy the predictions and prophesies of the doomsayers. The lords of the powerful houses often grant territory within their domains to dragons of other houses. Even under the rule of the Red Dragon. The three-dimensional topography would look rather like an orange. Upon assuming the throne. For the first time in history. While the Empire under Mezzenbone has a nasty edge it never had before.
The often-ambiguous borders and the conflicts they led to played no small role in the events that ignited the war. As a product of compromise. Forty years ago. The most powerful clans got the most favorable locations and applied pressure to the other clans to accept the arrangement. The borders of the imperial domains were drawn during the decade of negotiation and compromise between the ceasefire and the founding of the Empire. As with many aspects of the current political order. With near-absolute rule invested in an evil dragon for the first time.
He did not declare himself emperor for life. In this era. The Emperor has channeled trillions of credits into the Imperial Legions and launched a widespread campaign in the Outlands to bring dozens of new worlds under imperial rule. The Empire. The borders of the imperial domains. The holdings of the various dragon clans.
Scion III. The vassal lords gain valuable alliances with more powerful houses and new holdings with possibilities for expansion that are. It is designed to provide comfort and efficiency for the imperial government in peacetime and impenetrable security in time of crisis or war.
Draconis Prime With the founding of the Empire. Rumors have surfaced that permanent teleportation circles at secret locations in the palace network link to corresponding structures on the capital planets of each of the royal houses. Its sole purpose is to provide a central location for the imperial government and bureaucracy. The existence. It is also completely lacking in any kind of industrial or commercial development. Unlike the throneworlds.
While it is not connected to the Long Road. The overlords gain the gratitude of other houses and the service of new vassals. This network includes massive.
The end result is that a given royal house may have at least limited authority over systems in several different domains. Draconis Prime is the administrative and political seat of the Empire.
The Imperial Palace and offices of the Imperial Council are both located on the verdant world. A visitor might be walking down a corridor in one of the great vaults on Draconis Prime only to discover that. The overlords may further grant these vassals the right to expand their holdings into neighboring systems in the Outlands. This highway serves as the main commercial artery for the whole Empire. Massive commercial. The Long Road links the throneworlds in order of the line of succession.
These planets have truly ancient histories. The Long Road is 20 lanes wide and runs for about 10 miles on each of the throneworlds. This immense increase in efficiency makes interstellar trade in the Dragon Empire financially viable. But the greatest concentration of political. It does present some security concerns. The imperial domains. House Deserene is linked to House Sarava.
Rather than transport a shipment of darkwood across the Empire from the Canatar system to the Harbor system. House Sarava is linked to House Handor. In many cases. The checkpoints controlling the portals between the planets Meneer and Arangorn and between Rilion and Galador are among the most heavily policed and secure locations in the known galaxy.
Using the Long Road to transport both cargo and passengers is vastly more efficient than starships. The hoarding instinct is. On at least one occasion. For further information on the throneworlds. Despite the commonalities of life throughout the known galaxy.
First contact with Asamet is usually a more difficult and disruptive event for the Outlands worlds within its zones of influence. If someone else already claims it. Some know little of the arcane arts or divine magic. As their names suggest. Isolated colonies and outposts in the Rimward Barrens are some of the loneliest places in the known galaxy. Full contact follows only after it has been determined that it would benefit both Qesemet and the Outlands world.
The experience of Outlands worlds that have made contact with the Dragon Empire varies greatly. The characteristics of these worlds are often generalized and simplified in imperial records.
These worlds support many races. Dwarves dig shallow holes in the mountains with flint tools. The greatest civilization on the planet Nenlach in the Kalban system is an elven empire many thousands of years old. In general. The Outlands are divided into two hemispherical sections: This prestigious organization has strict rules and procedures governing when.
In most cases. Others are teeming with plant and animal life but not a single sentient race. The Royal Exploratory Service is responsible for most of the first-contact operations in regions controlled by Qesemet. Simply put. In practice. In some cases. Others are dominated by theocracies in which arcane magic is punishable by death.
Their most common tool is straightforward military conquest. Some of these worlds are home to civilizations that predate the Star League. Most of the Outlands worlds. The borders of this frontier are constantly being pushed outward. And in most evil dragons.
Some are incredibly rich in magic. The Dragon Empire. The borders of the nebula are somewhat indistinct. The crews of those rare ships that have entered the dark nebula and returned describe it as a terrifying place of eternal blackness. The Dark Zone cuts across the top of Beyond the Deep Outlands and the black curtain of the Dark Zone lies a galaxy of inscrutable mystery and limitless possibilities.
And throughout the Empire. The result is an intricate feudal game of obligation and privilege. When an Outlands world is formally colonized by the Empire. The viceroys are. The Primogen System.
Scientists believe the mind flayers originated in the Dark Zone. There are rumors of ISPD teams charged with penetrating the Dark Zone and gathering intelligence on the starfaring mind flayer civilization it conceals. These campaigns may last decades or even centuries. Explorers have been testing the Dark Zone since the first days of star travel. The viceroy maintains the authority to step in and take control if necessary.
While their activities are never proven publicly. On Primogen II. ISPD agents operating covertly on Outlands worlds have assassinated kings. Within the borders of the Dragon Empire. All of the evidence points to a technology that is very different from the standard of the Empire. In the domains controlled by the royal houses of Qesemet. Based on the accounts of survivors and rare encounters. The arch-wizards of the Imperial Society of Arcane Magic use powerful technology to advance their art.
In reality. On these worlds. On planets annexed by Asamet. Few of these expeditions have returned. The dark nebula is less than light years wide where it intersects the Empire. This regime. King of Asamet. Immediately below the kings of Qesemet and Asamet in the imperial hierarchy are the grand dukes and duchesses.
Chapter Two 17 17r17 The Dragon Empire The Dragon Empire is a semi-feudal state that unifies two politically distinct kingdoms under a single sovereign authority: The Empire therefore has an established political hierarchy. Mezzenbone is Grand Duke of House Mazorgrim.
By tradition. The dragon lords were willing to sacrifice some of their individual sovereignty in exchange for a permanent end to the great war. House Osorus. The legendary rivalry between Lazalius and Mezzenbone highlights a fundamental problem with which the Kingdom of Asamet has always struggled. Immediately below the emperor in the feudal hierarchy are the kings and queens of Qesemet and Asamet. These leaders are drawn from the most powerful families within each house.
A dragon can hold the titles of both grand duke and king at the same time. Lazalius was succeeded as king of Asamet by Mezzenbone. Asamet was originally founded by the blue wyrm Lazalius. House Mazorgrim. While the grand dukes of each dragon clan are ultimately answerable to the emperor. While the emperor is responsible for making all laws. Most houses have additional ranks and titles that refer to specific positions or responsibilities.
Since the imperial councilors almost always vote in accord with their houses and kingdoms. It codifies the rights and obligations of the emperor. Imperial Law The Imperial Charter. Half-dragons who are recognized by their draconic parents are given the title of lord. The council is comprised of one representative from each of the royal houses.
Only true dragons can ever become grand dukes. The Imperial Council chapter two: Nonvoting representatives of other groups are named by the emperor to fill advisory seats on the council. These landless lords are considered the lowest rung on the aristocratic ladder. In principle.
At the very least. Imperial Charter says very little about the rights of the common folk or laws governing everyday life and activities in the Empire. Each house represents thousands of families and millions of dragons.
Family Home System: Arlant Throneworld: Galador The royal house of the gold dragons is perhaps the most powerful in the Empire. The district is nestled in a wide mountain valley. Galador is one of the most technically advanced planets in the known galaxy. Most dragons mate very rarely. A lord might enjoy great status and prestige within a family. It was responsible for establishing and building the Kingdom of Qesemet. From a great palace in this exclusive sector of the city.
King Khelorn still rules his realm. Many thousands of years before the birth of King Khelorn and the founding of Qesemet. His homeworld was renamed in his honor shortly after his death. Frequent travelers. Whether in the Domain of Deserene or the Domain of Mazorgrim. The Arlant system is the largest single producer of chapter two: House Deserene has played a crucial role in imperial and pre-imperial history. The latter is especially true on the frontier: In most domains.
Despite these quirks. The throneworld of House Deserene is the third planet in the Arlant system. Their political and military supremacy has remained unchallenged for thousands of years. The silver spires of steel. Even the emperor himself could not challenge the might of a royal house without at least enjoying the backing of his own.
Their wealth and assets are literally immeasurable. The principle of active morality SHB The result is that. Khelorn is the sixth-generation descendant of Galador. With less capable hands at the helm. Grand Duchess Daernatha.
Factories on Aelding produce state-of-the-art aircraft and starship components. The cloud city of Vespar. House Sarava was the second to inherit the Golden Throne. The skyhook is a foot-thick cable constructed of carbon fiber and reinforced with magic. House Sarava has major interests in countless industries. A small power-generation facility near the Ambrant Gate was attacked by a kraken more than a hundred years ago. The damage was so extensive that the Long Road was actually closed for repairs for several weeks.
In the years leading up to the great war. Vespar is one of the greatest achievements of arcane technology in the Empire. Home System: Idradon Throneworld: Most of its industry is located in the orbital stations that ring Galador. Casenore Throneworld: Aelding The silver dragons of House Sarava are justifiably proud of their long and illustrious history. Othilian transformed the planet into the economic powerhouse it is today.
The skyhook allows cargo to be transported between the planet and orbit at very low cost. Less public but perhaps even more influential. Many of these cities extend as far below the waves as above them. This space elevator. Endagar boasts the most advanced deep-sea engineering and industry in the Empire. Endagar is best known for its aquaculture. At an isolated island and seafloor complex on Endagar. Endagar Pearls are among the most sought-after precious stones in the Empire. The secluded mountain eyries of Aelding offer some of the most breathtaking vistas in the Empire.
It was both his triumph and tragedy that his reign proved that even an imperfect sovereign could rule the Empire. When the silver dragon took the throne. Scientists claim that the creature was attracted to electrical emissions from the plant. It runs from Mount Rimidil. Admission is typically granted only to the aristocracy of Qesemet. While the InfoNet does not allow faster-than-light communication over interstellar distances.
Many of these facilities are clustered along the Ambrant stretch of the Long Road. The throneworld of House Aranath.
The basic structure of this worlds-spanning information network was designed and developed by House Aranath engineers. More brass dragons can be found among the courts and backrooms of Draconis Prime than those of any other clan. Grand Duchess Perlion. The dragons of House Aranath are not the great warriors of their kingdom. The one notable exception is information technology: House Aranath is an imperial leader in the design and manufacture of computers and information networks.
Relations between House Aranath and allied houses are sometimes a bit strained. Rumor suggests that these records are more extensive than those on the houses of Asamet. It is a hot.
Magrant Throneworld: Ambrant The brass dragons of House Aranath have a legendary reputation as the information brokers. Visitors to Arangorn often wonder why the red dragons.
The copper dragons work with elven biologists and ecologists on terraforming science. All five of the emperors who ruled during this term used their position and power to reform imperial law.
The truth is. The planet is also extraordinarily rich in precious metals and minerals. House Golion has forged professional alliances with several other races to pursue long-term projects.
On the other hand. House Mazorgrim Home System: Andragus Throneworld: Arangorn The throneworld of House Mazorgrim is the second planet in the Andragus system. House Mazorgrim is unquestionably the most powerful of the royal houses. Savain Throneworld: Meneer The copper dragons are still riding the wave of prestige they enjoyed during the imperial reign of House Golion.
Always considered the least powerful of the houses of Qesemet. He believes that if the Empire spirals into darkness as some fear. Arangorn is an infernally hot. There are also a few fully enclosed habitats scattered about the surface and the length of the Long Road. While it is little more than a figurehead organization. These efforts are designed to spread light throughout the Empire and the lives of its citizens and keep the darkness at bay.
The copper dragons are renowned architects and builders. They are treacherous. House Golion was. Grand Duke Kupric feels a great deal of personal responsibility for the fate of the Empire during the Red Age.
The red dragons typically live in vast underground complexes. While he willingly and peacefully surrendered the Golden Throne to Mezzenbone 40 years ago. The various branches of the University of Meneer support a student population of more than 1. Kupric has little love for war.
But they are also cunning. Wasted badlands and barren mountain ranges dominate most of the planet. It is true that most dragons of House Golion are little interested in politics and that they often seem to let their own domain run itself. No one in the Empire trusts them. It is well known that the red dragons care for little beyond accumulating wealth and power. With Mezzenbone on the Golden Throne. Arangorn is tectonically very active. It is believed that the Adamantine Order coordinates closely with.
Many believe that the red dragons are too selfish to ever concern themselves with the other houses or the overall welfare of the kingdom.
Ivaldor claims to have spawned more than a thousand offspring in her long life and never more than one clutch to the same mate. The blue dragons are certainly the most politically savvy of the chromatic clans. It is in Azalkar that representatives of other races and political groups must seek audience with the bureaucrats and low-rank- House Noros Home System: Kalain Throneworld: Morngond The throneworld of the Domain of Noros is the hot.
Both houses are political opponents of House Osorus: The blue dragon lords are both powerful and all too willing to restrict the activities of the other houses. These differences have created a long-standing division within the Kingdom of Asamet. It is said that hidden teleportation circles are scattered throughout Kazar. They value their house. Azalkar is also one of the primary commercial hubs of the Empire.
Its lush gardens and gilded palaces set the standard for ostentatious indulgence of aristocratic excess.
House Osorus has always been ready to step in and fill that void. Grand Duchess Doraith. House Altara often finds itself in the middle. On the other side are House Osorus and House Esmer. On one side are House Mazorgrim and House Noros.
Grand Duchess Ivaldor. House Osorus Home System: Heridor Throneworld: The blue dragons are natural leaders and faction builders. Formed during the great war. The red dragons supply everything from personal weapons to dreadnoughts to the militaristic houses of Asamet. While their allies in House Mazorgrim wield brute military strength and political power. House Osorus has been even more powerful and influential than rival House Mazorgrim.
In many respects. House Osorus has built its own economic empire on financial and legal services. Perpetually shrouded in thick cloud cover. Her massive. The Long Road does not approach within thousands of miles of Kazar. House Noros has historically been loosely allied with House Mazorgrim. House Noros is dedicated to intrigue. The Black Mother dwells in an ancient stone 23r23 House Mazorgrim is the largest manufacturer and distributor of defense industry products and services in the Empire.
They are outspoken opponents of awarding titles to non-dragons. The capital city. The ranks of the Adamantine Order are filled with the lesser nobility of House Noros. The warm. She occasionally visits the courts of the other throneworlds of Asamet in humanoid form, but otherwise rarely leaves her lair.
The only truly developed region of Morngond is the narrow corridor clustered around the Long Road. The superhighway runs along a flat coastal plain, and a huge, state-of-the-art spaceport adjoins it. Despite its torrid climate and dangerous jungles, Morngond is one of the leading distribution hubs in the Empire.
Rumors have circulated for centuries that the black dragons are the secret masters of the Black Hole Syndicate see Chapter 3: Organizations, page Parvan Throneworld: Malaval The throneworld of House Esmer is the beautiful forest world of Malaval. A young planet by cosmological.
From the dense jungles of the tropical climes to the vast deciduous forests of the temperate latitudes, the endless woods of Malaval are a natural paradise for the green dragon lords.
There are stories of a large, indigenous fey population on Malaval that the green dragons hunted down and systematically exterminated when they arrived on the forest world.
Similar atrocities reportedly occurred during the great war, and the lords of House Esmer are legendary enemies of fey folk and elves throughout the Empire. The Elven Nation sponsors an ongoing program intended to relocate elves and fey from planets within the Domain of Esmer. The green dragons are rarely cooperative, however: Perhaps they wish to use their elven and fey populations as political bargaining chips, or maybe they simply like to keep them around as objects of their spite.
Regardless, life in the Domain of Esmer is difficult for the elves and fey, and the Elven Nation has turned to more covert means to liberate them. House Esmer is the.
The green dragon lords have been characterized as xenophobic with some justification, and they defend the borders of their domain with jealous zeal. Grand Duke Lemradon and his court live and work in Nashak, the capital city of Malaval and the heart of the Domain of Esmer. This small, exclusive city is located deep in a continent-spanning temperate forest clustered around the Rilion Gate of the Long Road. A sister city, Marak, is located at the Noros Gate. Marak is a much larger metropolis and is much more open to non-dragons.
While Nashak is the political center of Malaval, Marak is its commercial center. With the other four houses often balanced against each other, House Altara often prospers by sitting on the fence and seizing advantage as the situation dictates.
For example, House Altara has often been awarded disputed systems by default when neither side would agree to grant them to a more powerful rival.
The white dragons do not dominate any specific trade or industry. The individual lords pursue commercial interests suited to their natures and ambitions or inherited from their families. While it officially remained neutral and open to traffic from both houses, the quick-tempered commander of the patrol force interpreted the appearance of the powerful battleship group as an act of war.
The commander hailed the Asamet flagship, denying the fleet access to the inner system. The rest of the patrol attempted to withdraw to the Qesemet space station in orbit around Meniach IV, but it was pursued and utterly destroyed by the Asamet fleet.
The great war that followed this incident was the most destructive catastrophe the galaxy had ever knownor has known since. Great fleets of warships clashed above forgotten planets, whole continents were riven by powerful magics, and billions died as worlds were crushed under the clawed feet of the great dragon armies.
Most other races, nations, and worlds became engulfed in the conflict, allying themselves with either Qesemet or Asamet, usually along lines of alignment.
Before long, the terrible war had spread throughout the galaxy. In the year 12 AE, the consequences of war became so terrible that the tides of history were finally turned.
The planet Krellis, a haven for the minor clan of rare yellow dragons, was invaded by forces of House Handor and House Aranath, the brass and bronze clans. The yellows had never been major players in dragon politics, and they tried to remain neutral in the war despite their formal allegiance to Asamet. During the battle, a weapon of mass destruction was unleashed that completely destroyed the planet, reducing it to a chaotic field of tumbling, superheated rocks in a matter of seconds.
Some have suggested that antimatter weapons were responsible for the destruction. Others believe that a planar bomb was detonated on the surface of Krellis: an arcane artifact that channeled and combined energy from the positive and negative energy planes to create a titanic explosion orders of magnitude more powerful than anything mere technology could achieve. This theory is supported by the scar that now revolves in the orbit once occupied by Krellis: a space-time rift.
This tear in the fabric of reality emits lethal quantities of hard radiation, and its mass seems to constantly be in flux. One second it appears to have negligible mass and gravitational pull, and the next second its mass is greater than a colossal black holes. The system has been rendered completely uninhabitable by the rift, and scientists believe that its unstable orbit will eventually cause it to collide with the primary star, to uncertain but no doubt devastating effect.
In a moment of sublime humility and wisdom, Khelorn admitted that the war was ultimately his fault. When he founded Qesemet, hed known the chromatics would not participate, that they would be excluded and would inevitably feel resentment because of it. Despite their differences, dragonkind could only enjoy a lasting peace if a new kingdom were formed in which all were included: gold and red, silver and blue, good and evil.
Khelorn also knew that the evil clans would only agree if they were allowed to share rulership of the new realm. This time, the leaders of all the clansgood and evilattended.
All were wise enough to recognize that they faced extinction if they were not able to forge a permanent truce. Khelorn proposed the creation of an empire that would span the known galaxy. This empire would be ruled in a line of succession by each of the dragon clans.
The elder of one clan would rule for a thousand years and then pass the crown to the successor clan, who would in turn rule for a millennium. While the debates and political battles over the line of succession lasted for years, the leaders of all the dragon clans eventually accepted the proposal. The five clans of Qesemet would rule first, beginning with Khelorn himself. After 5, years, the elder wyrm of the red dragons would assume the imperial throne.
Blessed with practically immeasurable lifespans, the chromatics were willing to wait and prepare for the day when they would rise to ascendancy over the galaxy. Many of the leaders of the other races, nations, and world powers were not entirely pleased with the prospect of subservience to a dragon emperor. Through a combination of political pressure, rewards, and outright threats, all but a few isolated frontier worlds eventually submitted.
The benefits of citizenship in the new empirepeace, security, and prosperitywere simply too enticing to ignoreand the price of defiance simply too high. Their artifacts and machines of war were simply too powerful and their hatred for each other too deep. The king realized that if he didnt do something drastic, all The Dragon Empire has endured and prospered for more than five millennia.
The Imperial Council is wracked by political infighting and intrigue, armed skirmishes often flare up along the borders of opposed royal houses, emperors have been deposedand if the rumors are trueeven assassinated. Despite these continuing problems, though, the Empire has to date succeeded at its primary objective: preventing a new outbreak of the 12 12l12 chapter one: the dragonstar galaxy total war that almost destroyed the known galaxy.
Forty years ago, the copper wyrm Emperor Kupric surrendered the Golden Throne to Mezzenbone, and even this dreaded event was not the catastrophe that many had feared it would be. With near-absolute rule invested in an evil dragon for the first time, the Empire held its collective breath and waited for disaster to strike on that fateful day. Upon assuming the throne, however, Mezzenbone failed to satisfy the predictions and prophesies of the doomsayers. He did not declare himself emperor for life, dissolve the Imperial Council, suspend all civil liberties accorded to imperial citizens, or impose martial law.
The dawn of the Red Dragons reign has brought changes to the Empire, but they have been of a more subtle nature. Mezzenbone appointed a drow to the Elven Nations advisory position in the Imperial Council and filled the ranks of his new Imperial Special Police Directorate with the dark elves. The Emperor has channeled trillions of credits into the Imperial Legions and launched a widespread campaign in the Outlands to bring dozens of new worlds under imperial rule.
For the first time in history, Mezzenbone is using conscriptions to expand the size of the Legionsmany of them displaced citizens of the Outlands worlds that have already been conquered. While the Empire under Mezzenbone has a nasty edge it never had before, most imperial citizens have experienced little or no disruption of their everyday lives. Even under the rule of the Red Dragon, the Empire is still wealthy, prosperous, and powerful, and the average citizen leads a comfortable, untroubled life.
The tone of the newscasts is darker than before, with reports of wartime atrocities in the Outlands and political dissidents kidnapped from their homes by ISPD agents, but these incidents have very little impact on most peoples lives.
The Empire, in turn, is subdivided into 10 imperial domains, each of which is controlled by one of the royal houses. Thus, the region of space controlled by the gold dragons is the Domain of Deserene, while the red dragons holdings are known as the Domain of Mazorgrim.
When viewed from a vantage point well above the galactic plane, these political borders would look like regular wedge shapes and the whole of the Empire something like a wagon wheel. The three-dimensional topography would look rather like an orange, with each of the sections representing one of the imperial domains.
The borders of the imperial domains were drawn during the decade of negotiation and compromise between the ceasefire and the founding of the Empire.
As a product of compromise, these borders are completely satisfactory to none of the parties involved. The holdings of the various dragon clans, of course, were not so neat and tidy prior to the war. In this era, a system controlled by House Sarava might be only a few light years from one ruled by House Noros.
The often-ambiguous borders and the conflicts they led to played no small role in the events that ignited the war. By the terms of the Imperial Charter, all of the royal houses lost some systems they had once controlled and gained some new ones. As with many aspects of the current political order, these compromises were eventually accepted simply because the alternative was unthinkable. The borders of the imperial domains, in principle, extend into the Outlands to infinity. This, of course, creates a political geography in which some domains are more strategically placed for long-term advancement than others.
Specifically, the domains facing coreward have much more room for expansion than those facing rimward. The dragons solution to this problem was fairly typical: The most powerful clans got the most favorable locations and applied pressure to the other clans to accept the arrangement.
Over the last 5, years, the houses have developed complicated structures of alliance and vassalage within the individual kingdoms of Asamet and Qesemet that have alleviated these political inequities in one sense and entrenched them in another. The lords of the powerful houses often grant territory within their domains to dragons of other houses, and these fiefs are often in 13 13r13 chapter one: the dragonstar galaxy strategically advantageous coreward sectors.
The overlords may further grant these vassals the right to expand their holdings into neighboring systems in the Outlands. The overlords gain the gratitude of other houses and the service of new vassals, as well as an increased capability to expand the holdings of their houses.
The vassal lords gain valuable alliances with more powerful houses and new holdings with possibilities for expansion that are, in theory, unlimited. The end result is that a given royal house may have at least limited authority over systems in several different domains.
Scion III, the systems only habitable planet, was named Draconis Prime and became the imperial capital. The Imperial Palace and offices of the Imperial Council are both located on the verdant world. Draconis Prime is the administrative and political seat of the Empire, but in some ways, it is rather isolated and underdeveloped.
Unlike the throneworlds, it is not connected to the Long Road. It is also completely lacking in any kind of industrial or commercial development. Its sole purpose is to provide a central location for the imperial government and bureaucracy. The Imperial Palace is actually something of a misnomer, for it is not a single building as most races would use the term.
It is instead a sprawling network of structures that winds throughout the Imperial Rangea great mountain chain on Draconis Primes largest landmass. This network includes massive, vaulted chambers, open-air terraces, sprawling parks and gardens, several state-of-the-art spaceports, and innumerable underground bunkers, command centers, supply caches, and ship hangars. It is designed to provide comfort and efficiency for the imperial government in peacetime and impenetrable security in time of crisis or war.
While it is not connected to the Long Road, rumors suggest that the Imperial Palace may actually exist on or be accessible toeach of the throneworlds. Rumors have surfaced that permanent teleportation circles at secret locations in the palace network link to corresponding structures on the capital planets of each of the royal houses.
A visitor might be walking down a corridor in one of the great vaults on Draconis Prime only to discover that, at some point, he crossed into a seemingly identical structure on Galador, the throneworld of House Deserene. The existence, location, and linkages of these gateways are a closely guarded secret, though it is believed that the Emperor has access to a complete map of the teleportation network. This highway serves as the main commercial artery for the whole Empire.
The Long Road is 20 lanes wide and runs for about 10 miles on each of the throneworlds. Massive commercial, industrial, and distribution facilities crowd both sides of the highway all along its length. Using the Long Road to transport both cargo and passengers is vastly more efficient than starships, so the throneworlds serve as the commercial and distribution hubs of the Empire.
Rather than transport a shipment of darkwood across the Empire from the Canatar system to the Harbor system, a merchant or corporation can instead send the shipment by starship to Andragus, down the Long Road to the throneworld of the Casenore system by hovercraft or maglev train, and from Casenore to Harbor by starship.
In many cases, the Long Road cuts millions of credits off the price tag of cargo and passenger transport. This immense increase in efficiency makes interstellar trade in the Dragon Empire financially viable. The Long Road links the throneworlds in order of the line of succession. It does present some security concerns, especially on the border worldsthe planets where a throneworld of Qesemet is linked to a throneworld of Asamet. The checkpoints controlling the portals between the planets Meneer and Arangorn and between Rilion and Galador are among the most heavily policed and secure locations in the known galaxy.
But the greatest concentration of political, military, and economic power is found on the throneworlds of the royal houses of Qesemet and Asamet. These planets have truly ancient histories, and the various dragon clans rose to dominance over most of them centuries or millennia before the discovery of star travel.
As a result, they have been bastions of strength and security for the dragons for thousands and thousands of years. Nevertheless, while the dragons are preeminent on their throneworlds, these are cosmopolitan planets and systems, and their populations are filled with representatives of many different races. The imperial domains, systems, and throneworlds are listed below. For further information on the throneworlds, see Chapter 2: The Dragon Empire. Technically, any region of the galaxy not settled and developed by the Empire is classified as part of the Outlands.
In practice, the term refers to the frontier region surrounding the Empire. The borders of this frontier are constantly being pushed outward, and many formerly Outlands worlds are colonized and brought within the imperial fold. As a result, this indistinct region is constantly in flux. The Outlands are divided into two hemispherical sections: the Coreward Reach and the Rimward Barrens. As their names suggest, they each account for two halves of the outer shell that surrounds the Empire.
In general, the Coreward Reach has been more thoroughly explored and colonized than the Rimward Barrens, because the royal houses that control the coreward domains typically have more resources at their disposal to do so.
Isolated colonies and outposts in the Rimward Barrens are some of the loneliest places in the known galaxy. Despite the commonalities of life throughout the known galaxy, the planets of the Outlands are as varied as the stars. Some of these worlds are home to civilizations that predate the Star League. Others are teeming with plant and animal life but not a single sentient race. Some are incredibly rich in magic, dominated by wizards and sorcerers of astonishing power.
Others are dominated by theocracies in which arcane magic is punishable by death. Some know little of the arcane arts or divine magic, but have built thriving civilizations based on science and technology. On at least one occasion, a slower-than-light starship launched from such a world made first contact with the Empirerather than the other way aroundat a remote outpost in the Coreward Reach. Most of the Outlands worlds, of course, are not as unified as the above might suggest.
These worlds support many races, cultures, and civilizations, each with different characteristics and different levels of development. The greatest civilization on the planet Nenlach in the Kalban system is an elven empire many thousands of years old. This realm is steeped in magicsome of it more advanced than the imperial standard. The rest of Nenlachs population, however, is remarkably primitive: Dwarves dig shallow holes in the mountains with flint tools, and human nomads hunt on the savannas with sharpened sticks.
The characteristics of these worlds are often generalized and simplified in imperial records, but visitors soon learn that the reality is always much more complicated. The experience of Outlands worlds that have made contact with the Dragon Empire varies greatly. Predictably, the royal houses of Qesemet are usually more delicate in their dealings with Outlands cultures than are their counterparts in the Kingdom of Asamet.
The Royal Exploratory Service is responsible for most of the first-contact operations in regions controlled by Qesemet. This prestigious organization has strict rules and procedures governing when, why, and how a new world is contacted. In most cases, extended periods of covert and non-intrusive observation are required before any contact is made.
Full contact follows only after it has been determined that it would benefit both Qesemet and the Outlands world. First contact with Asamet is usually a more difficult and disruptive event for the Outlands worlds within its zones of influence. Most dragonseven the goodaligned subspecieshave an innate biologically, magically, and spiritually driven greed often referred to as the hoarding instinct. Just as most species are driven by instincts of survival and reproduction, dragons are driven to acquire wealth, possessions, and power.
The hoarding instinct is, unsurprisingly, strongest in the dragons who rise to positions of leadership and dominance. And in most evil dragons, this instinct is often satiated through violence. Simply put, if they see something they want, they take it. If someone else already claims it, they are merely an enemy to be defeated in pursuit of the prize. As a result, the royal houses of Asamet have a long history of annexing Outlands worlds using all manner of violent means.
Their most common tool is straightforward military conquest, and the viceroys assigned to rule these worlds in the aftermath are typically ruthless in the measures they use to keep the native populace in line. In some cases, though, a planet is too powerful or a houses resources too limited for the military option to 15 chapter one: the dragonstar galaxy 16 16l16 be viable. On these worlds, the royal houses of Asamet often conduct extended campaigns of covert destabilization to break or corrupt their enemies from within.
These campaigns may last decades or even centuries, but the near-immortal great wyrms who direct these actions can afford to be patient. While their activities are never proven publicly, ISPD agents operating covertly on Outlands worlds have assassinated kings, wizards, and clerics and touched off devastating wars between rival nations to soften them up for eventual conquest.
On Primogen II, the ISPD secretly funnels high-tech weapons to both the good- and evil-aligned factions, simply to perpetuate the age-old conflict that prevents them from threatening the imperial presence on the planet see Chapter 4: The Primogen System.
When an Outlands world is formally colonized by the Empire, a viceroy is assigned as the imperial representative on the planet. In the domains controlled by the royal houses of Qesemet, the viceroy may be little more than an advisor, working with existing, traditional governments to facilitate the planets transition from fully autonomous Outlands world to imperial colony.
The viceroy maintains the authority to step in and take control if necessary, but otherwise interferes in the day-today government of the planet as little as possible. On planets annexed by Asamet, the viceroys typically rule with a tighter fist. On some worlds, the governments of the major nations have been wiped out entirely to paralyze any opposition to the viceroy and his rule.
The viceroys are, in principle, nominated by the leader of the royal house in whose domain a planet is located. For example, Khelorn, the Grand Duke of Deserene, is ultimately responsible for naming the viceroy of a new Outlands colony founded within the Domain of Deserene. Smuggler's Run. Galactic Races. Customers Who Bought this Title also downloadd.
Reviews 3. Please log in to add or reply to comments. Jonathan T June 11, Roger N. With Starfinder just announced, we can hope this setting gets a well deserved update.
James H. In the first book, the Starfarer's Handbook, a new set of possibilities are set before gaming groups never before considered. Michael T. The Dragonstar campaign is easily one of my favorite settings of all time. The main rules use the D20 3. All of the core races from the PH are available, plus several new additions: Drow, Orcs, Half [ See All Ratings and Reviews. Browse Categories.
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