When one looks to find them, their place is empty, their lands despoiled, their cities looted, their people scattered, their lives embittered by adversity and death. Such is the curse of our terrible world upon any nation who finds itself in a state of vulnerability.People introduced to the Lizardkin of Dreandril are often puzzled by their clan system whereby each family belongs to a greater social structure of history and blood. The confusion is mostly when they hear of nine clans, but the histories lost eleven. The two oddities are Clan Pekhar, whose treachery during after the Rising is well known, and Clan Mosinar. Mosinar’s rise and fall is not nearly as ancient…which only the heightens the tragedy of its demise.
From the dawn of time…The first written accounts of the Lizardkin are the Clan Tradition Hymns, which were evidently already told orally before the invention of writing. Mosinar’s patron Masiran was a generous figure whose love of precious things drove her to venture out of Tailhome and across the surface of Vesrae. The Wanderings brought her descendants to the Desert of Haltar, where trade with the local Smoothkin and Lithekin was plentiful and their skill in water magic eased living. Some say that Atankor was the first of the cities to be founded, but others maintain it was Ferakhknor, the religious pilgrimage site being the reason they came to the region to begin with. In either case, Mosinan-speaking Lizardkin quickly settled the inhospitable desert, building their complicated magical Erakagruhn to provide water to the parched landscape. The next major event was the development of the nations of the region. The Vitlesh formed their Princedom of the Steppes, the Entilans the routes of their Nineteen Boulder Lords, but the first time the words “Empire of Seral Fakhnata” appear is the first treaty of what would become the Triumvirate of the Wastes. The Sapphire Throne traveled between its two capitals of Atankor and Ferakhknor over the course of the year, a cycle that would dominate the cultural landscape of the desert for centuries to come. This alliance was mainly one of necessity. The various nobility of central Vesrae chose union over absorption by the Zaraz-kin as the Zarkul Empire began to lay claim to the deserts. The Rising played out with the Zarkul Empire and its sympathizers among Clan Pekhar on one side and the forces of the Triumvirate on the other. The end result was the eradication of Clan Pekhar and a period of great peace where Seral Fakhnata became an influential centre of learning.
…to the end of daysThe first sign of the Empire’s waning influence appeared when the death of Eldranil VI led to a crisis of succession among the nobility of Atankor. This developed into a full civil war that dragged on for two decades. Even once the power of the Sapphire Throne was re-established, the pretender Ardasil the Landless turned the Empire's mountain colonies against them, leading to their declaration of independence as the Union of Free Peldokar Holds in 294 PR. One other result of the Interregnum, as it became known, was the concentration of the power of the imperial family in Atankor. While Ferakhkor continued to be a religious centre, the Sapphire Throne travelled no more between the two cities. Peace and a blossoming culture returned to the region, but the tension between the Interregnum's surviving factions remained for the rest of the Empire's life. Toward the end of the Second Shining Age in the sixth century PR, the imperial family had a procession who made decisions with more and more dependence on a Grand Councillor. Overseeing the imperial bureaucracy, as time went on it became more and more byzantine, causing immense delays in rulings. In 592 PR, the Grand Councillor dispelled the current imperial family altogether and claimed the throne for himself. This led to another half-decade of war that crippled the Empire's hold on the independent cities. A feudal structure arose around the Skylancers. This lasted until the Empire's fall to the Vitlesh in 731 PR following the Blue-Wound Plague which killed most of the clan off. The ensuing years saw many flee their homelands, become Clanless or die trying to restore the Sapphire Throne. The Viceroyalty of Versal Phanta replaced Seral Fakhnata, a puppet state of the Princedom that marionetted over their ruins.
Culture and LegacyDespite its murky origins and tragic end, the Mosinan Lizardkin forever marked the Desert of Haltar and central Vesrae as a whole. For one, while the clan itself is gone, the many buildings they constructed in their cities still house people to this day. The enigmatic Erakagruhn still yield water for the thousands inhabiting the desert, not to mention their crops and animals like Feramegrin. Great academies from the Shining Ages still house libraries and community centres. The other great gift of Clan Mosinar is in the realm of art. The Shining Ages produced some of the most well-known poetry, paintings, architecture and especially music that Vesrae has ever known. Droves of people the world over would travel to Ferakhknor or Atankor to learn in their premier universities; a handful of them are still key centres of learning. Lastly, there are rumours that Clan Mosinar members who survived the Blue-Wound Plague and are in hiding. These rumours are accompanied by flashed sapphires and whispers of "May their descendants rule from the dawn of time to the end of days," the coronation refrain of the emperors. Whether these are legitimate members of the imperial family remains to be seen.
Cultures spect centuries trying to pass on music to their descendants. All of that came to be for naught when the Mosinar - may their souls rest easy - introduced their form of musical notation to the world. Now, it is the most common method for recording and learning music across Dreandril.
Never underestimate the power that the Sapphire Throne holds in death. It may be the last thing you think before the bandits get you and banish you to whatever hell the Lizardkin believe in.
All images in this article were created by me, EmperorCharlesII, unless otherwise indicated.
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