It was a dawn of Courga's Mourning as a red sky peaked over the Aston hills, silhouetting the redfallian "locals" that had cultivated too much self-worth for their own good. Spitting on the image of our great Holy King was too far, after months of seeding unrest in our great southlands.
And then contrasting against the grim grey sky, the Dragon Banner was unfurled. The image of the Frigid Doom lit up and came to life over the fabric. It was hungry for rebel blood just as us, it was bound to our very souls as we benefitted from the power of the Dragon.
These faithless apostates would curse the day they antagonised the great Rivercrown. If they would survive at all.
The Great Hunt
The passing between the Second Era
is believed to have been marked by a legendary event known as the Invasion of Mortis Realm
, where the Dragons
united with the Celestial Gods
to descend into the underworld in an attempt to defeat the Great Hag Throff
and her growing number of Fiends
transformed from Souls
. When both Mercphobia
were captured and slain in Mortis Realm by Giants
who had stayed loyal to Throff, a mass retreat took place back to the Mortal Realm
. The remaining dragons convened on the Mortal Realm and came to two different ideological outcomes, with half following Igneel
in seeking revenge against the Giant-kin
. Thus, a Great Hunt
was declared to scour the Mortal Realm to wipe out any and all traces of their cousin race.
While the Great Hunt's forces were filled with warmongering veterans dragged away from Mortis Realm, they could not realistically meet their aims alone despite their power. According to cultural legend, kings and queens from all across the Realm travelled to the court of Igneel offering gifts and fealty to prevent their wrath from being directed upon their lands. During this time, the dragons individually favoured some of these lords and chose from their number a champion each.
These champions were granted a Dragon Banner
each, with Finlay Fooarsbane
being the first champion and offered the Banner of Igneel himself. These champions would actively partake in the Great Hunt without stealing bloodshed from the Draconic Crusaders
, using the Dragon Banners as a symbol of domination over others.
The Imperial Banner
The end of the Great Hunt appears to have followed directly into the Renaissance of the Dragon Age, where the Empire of Midland reached its height in peace, prosperity and influence during the early mid-Third Era. As the Empire expanded, the Emperors started conquering lands that had passed down the Dragon Banners into the late Third Era. To depict the unifying power of the Empire, these Banners were stitched together into a Grand Imperial Banner, which was flown during the coronations of the emperor, as well as whenever the emperor themselves appeared on the battlefield. This Banner managed to form all magical abilities of the individual Banners into one, with each Legion benefitting from its effects when their Emperor joined them.
However, the Midlandian Empire only managed to collect three out of the five Banners. The Green Dragon Banner
granted to the Fisher King of Arannas
had been lost during the Invasion Cycle
, and legend tells of the green fabric drifting out into the Silverlight Sea
only to be found again at the end of a hook by the next true Fisher King that will lead Arannas back to glory. The Kingdom of Analand
always remained outwith the grasp of the Empire, always keeping the Imperial Legions
close to the Jewels
mountain range that split the two. For morale, the Analanders flew the Silver Dragon Banner
whenever they sallied out to war during the Third Era, with all depictions of ancient kings having the banner present somewhere in the artwork from the creation of the Coronet of Jabaji
to the arrival of whisky from the Fairweather Heist
The Dragon Banners
In time, the Empire fell and splintered leading to a dark age of the Warlord Period named not so after the invaders and rebels carving up the imperial territories, but after the loyalists who became warlords using the remaining legionnaires to enforce the von Apollyon will. The most powerful warlords could not agree on the true successor to the von Apollyon's and in going their separate ways split back up the Imperial Banner and would be incorporated into each of their cultures that survived to the Fourth Era.
The Imperial Palace at Doldrey was populated by the von Prometheus successors and kept the Bronze Dragon Banner as a symbol of their legitimacy. As the warlord states evolved, the Promethean Empire over time became the Kingdom of Buerach. As peace settled back over the Mortal Realm during the Fourth Era, a second pro-Midlandian sentiment has risen in Buerach culture, with the Bronze Banner being used as a symbol of Buerach to unify Midland and hold dominion over the Heldenmarch. Since the Archbishop of Doldrey took control over Buerach, this underlying cultural supremacy has been exploited for anti-Helden sentiment.
The Red Dragon Banner was taken back by the Imperial Governor of Wallatoria, hoping to use the banner in combat against the extreme unrest occurring in their lands. Frost Giant raiders still remained in isolated pockets of the Wallatorian Lowlands, the Highlands had reformed the independent barbarian state of the Hinterlandic Kingdom, and the great city of Yorgrim had become Ignia; the conquered lands of Igneel from his mountain home of Ben Wyvern. However, before long the draconic warriors of Ignia captured the governor and stole the Red Banner. To this day, it is believed Igneel has retaken the Red Banner and keeps it in his Unseen Hoard.
The Grand Duchy of Rivercrown
took the remaining White Dragon Banner
, and remains the symbology as a foretelling of death and suffering, to only be unfurled when all other options are exhausted. It has only been used twice in recorded history since the fall of the Midlandian Empire. Once during a Redfallian
uprising which culminated in the infamous cavalry charge during the Third Battle of Aston
. And a second time against their greatest rivals the Wallatorian Confederacy
in 4E 296
with an event known as the Curling War
which its unfurling forced the Arcane Council
to step in and force peace before an actual pitch battle took place for fear of what the Rivercrowners would do under it.
Analand still remained in the possession of the Silver Banner, though its usage waned over the decades and centuries as culture shifted. Its last official use was during the Great Purge, and has since become associated by King Faust Arkle as a symbol of returning back to Analand's golden age and reforming the Kingdom of Analand & Jabaji.