Worlds of the Nether: Ivarind

BoliviaMy name is Boliviadori, and I wasked to speak about my world, the one my kind calls Ivarind. You may not be able to tell, but I’m actually a dragon. I represent violet dragonflight, the guardians of magic of our world. Although researching magic and making sure mortals do not abuse it is our primary task, we are otherwise usually neutral and unaffiliated. We accept any jobs that come our way, as long as they do not collide with our greater duties. Some time ago, when our world started contacting other worlds out there, my kind was one of the first to visit these worlds and represent ours. For that reason, many think Ivarind is a world of dragons, or mercenaries, but it has quite a bit of its own, unique civilizations.

Let me first speak of dragons, for they are what I’m most familiar with due to my origins. There are six dragonflights on Ivarind – violet, golden, silver, black, red and green. Thousands of years ago, we were but proto-drakes but the Titans found us and changed us into the dragons we are now. The price of our transformation into larger and smarter beings was upholding certain principles and qualities of Ivarind, as well as treasures they hid in their great vaults. As I already said, we violets are the guardians of magic and arcane lore the Titans left us. The golds are guardians of justice, silvers are guardians of weather and seasons, blacks are guardians of earth, reds are keepers of change, and greens are keepers of nature.

The violet dragonflight is headed by Aspect Ataviadori the Omniscient. Although many mortals try to plead with her to increase their power, thinking her to be so easily bribed, few actually see any results, maybe except for being vaporized with an arcane blast. Ataviadori treats her charge very seriously and spends most of her time away from the affairs of mortal men, and even most of our flight. She is a hermit and a scholar who prefers to occupy her time by studying the vast knowledge of the Titans and trying to learn even things beyond it. Like all of our flight, she is impartial and amoral, always doing what she can in the name of progress and her charge. My flight likes to take the mortal form of gymnar, of which I will speak more later.

She is the second oldest of the Aspects, the oldest being Bahamut the Indormitable, the gold aspect of justice. Let me tell you, golds are boring. I don’t even know why the Titans felt it’s necessary to leave a guardian of a concept as nebulous as justice. They like to transform into human or van paladins (with unmistakably golden hair) and seek out injustice – which means harassing every petty thief and delivering him to authorities. But what they love doing most is persecuting tyrants – whenever a mortal ruler has no regard for his people, the golds will first plead him to change his policies and if that doesn’t work, they arrive in force to depose him. And then leave. I know, it’s not very responsible, but few mortal rulers are tyrants because they fear the gold dragonflight’s retribution.

The third is Ithirimos the Stormwatcher, the capricious silver Aspect of Weather. The Titans charged them with making sure Ivarind remains livable, despite the extremes it’s naturally predisposed to. Without the silvers, winters on our world would last years or maybe even decades. The silver dragonflight controls the weather and makes sure everyone has time to harvest food and develop before a new, harsh winter arrives. They also maintain several separate climates, which would normally degenerate. Unfortunately, a group of mortal-loving silvers is also responsible for the origin of the van race, which changed the political landscape of our world. Naturally, the silvers take the shape of silver-haired vans most of the time.

Then there is Artharion the Wise, the black Aspect of Earth. Guardians of the land itself, they make sure no one abuses the world and its riches. They commonly hoard vast stores of gold and precious minerals, and because of that most mortals believe them to be greedy. However, all they do is make sure the rich don’t get too rich… but they mostly fail at that task. They’re better skilled at their main task, protecting the deep places and keeping some dangerous things locked. Artharion in particular is known for his wisdom which many mortal sages seek, and some others of his flight look for wisdom as well and take shape of dark-skinned humans.

The last two aspects are least respected. The red Aspect, Nirnathis the Tumultous, was tasked with change and boy, did he embrace it. In the claws of the reds, it’s more like “chaos”. Often, reds do things for no others reason than to shake up things. Highly irresponsible and dangerous, they’re commonly considered a wayward flight that will one day bring us all doom. Nirnathis’s clutch sister Maerygona the Cannibal is only marginally better. Tasked with nature, her greens embraced their wildest instincts to the full. They eat the flesh of mortals and other dragons, and stop their settlements from encroaching on wilderness. They are no friends of the Star Gods, but they should be treated like animals.

But dragons aren’t everything on our world. The race most violets took a liking to can be rather violent (see what I did there?). They’re called gymnars, and I they’re very similar to what you know as vrykul. When the vrykul of our world were affected with the Curse of Flesh, they first shrank and most of the original vrykul are now dead or still stone. The human-sized vrykul, now called gymnars, spread around the northern regions of the world where they’re fishermen, traders and raiders. They are a proud, war-like race which takes only what they need, and what some others hoard without need.

Humans are probably the most populous, like on many worlds. They evolved from gymnars some time after their original evolution and quickly migrated to warmer lands in the south. Unlike highly migratory and war-like gymnars, the humans are sedentary and prefer peace, although they have a fair share of wars. They frequently argue between each other about some silly things like inheritances or escaped spouses, or some blood feuds that originated in a murder everyone has since forgotten. Humans on my world are much like those of other worlds – short-lived, short-tempered but highly curious of the world around them.

There are also the vans. They are not modes of transport, as I was once asked, but a race of beautiful, silver-haired, pointy-eared humanoids with a blood of silver dragons in them. They came to be due to certain independent silvers breeding with humans in their favored mortal form and siring children that looked a lot like that form. Although not very populous, vans are usually fast and clever and very ambitious. Because of that, they led multiple empires, with mostly human subjects, that quickly fell due to competing ambitions. Ever since the Silver Peaks where they originated were destroyed in a natural catastrophe, they’ve been a slowly dwindling species.

The last of human-related races out there are troglodytes. They’re not troggs, but might be to humans what troggs are to your dwarves. They’re large, brutish humanoids with little concept of property or honor, mostly living on their own or in small, primitive clans that hunt animals for food. They rarely eat plants, as they prefer the feel of flesh and bones in their mouths. They have very limited intelligence and the biggest role they had in history was as minions of a van warlord who attempted to conquer the gymnar.

There are obviously also various dragon-related races. Drakonids, bipedal draconic humanoids, live along most deserts of our world as semi-nomadic cultures. Sometimes, they create short-lived kingdoms whenever they can find a land that can support them for longer, but after a while even those kingdoms usually fail. A few drakonid kingdoms existed for multiple generations now, due to living on the borders between deserts and jungles on the coast of Zaeren. Finally, there are kobolds, which are much unlike your kobolds, I hear. They’re a small, draconic creature with a humanoid body, which mostly live by plundering unsuspecting travelers. They’re not evil – they’re just very uneducated, and kept in check by the constant threat of the Primals in our jungles.

Those are all of the native races of Ivarind, but they’re not the only ones. Several hundreds of years ago, a large meteor fell towards our world, only to explode before reaching the surface and destroying vast acres of land in east Zaeren. As it turned out, it was no meteor but a capsule sent by the Nethersages, whale-like alien creatures that serve the Star Gods, the necrophotic symbiotes that plague the cosmos. The Nethersages emerged from their capsule with a host of ooze-like servants who began preaching the religion of the Star Gods. Although most people rejected them and slain those creatures where they could, a group of humans and vans converted and established a Cult of the Star Gods, with a capital and cult center in the barren wasteland left by the Fallen Star. Some older members of the cult were rewarded by the Nethersages with a transformation into Faceless Ones. Those creatures and their worshipers have been a thorn in everyone’s sides since, seeking a way to end our world.

There are four major continents on Ivarind. Zaeren is biggest by far, stretching from snow-covered plains far in the north, where gymnars reign, through a temperate zone dominated by a huge vanish kingdom (with human subjects), through deserts where drakonids maintains their nomadic clans, up to the vast jungles in the tropical zones, infested with the Primals. The chain of islands at the southern tip of Zaeren connects it to a second continent, a small and mostly barren Acatok, where dark-skinned humans live in fear of red dragonflight. The other two continents are further out and poorly known by the mortals. A selection of human and gymnar tribes lives on the western continent of Magog, with a quickly changing political make-up. Finally, in the tropical continent of Izot to the east live only Primals, lemurs bigger than humans and almost as smart and a few tribes of green drakonids.

As you can see, Ivarind is a vast world with many different cultures and races. I would say it certainly rivals your Azeroth, despite of the rumors it’s the mystical “Primus”, first world ordered by the Titans. As far as I can see, Ivarind is just as special.

About Arakkoa

Verroak Krasha, an Arakkoa druid with over 50 years of experience. Formerly from Farahlon, during the Orcish expansion relocated to Skettis, then to Sethekk Halls, then to rebuilt Shattrath, following the heresies in each of those places. Finally, he founded his own succesfull alchemy business and set out into the wide cosmos to explore strange new worlds and seek out new life and boldly go where no bird has flown before. View all posts by Arakkoa

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