Draconic Rune Magic

The Dragon Empire deploys rune magic on a scale heretofore unseen in the known world. The best known examples are the Boundary Monolitths that surround and protect the entirety of Darastrix Tolgalen, the Dragon Isle. These rune-carved monoliths surge with power, destroying any who come too close to them and preventing conjuration and divination magic from penetrating them. Our arcane researchers study them from afar, but have yet to come close to duplicating their methods.

The wizards are impressed by the big fancy monoliths, but I'm more concerned with what I see on their troops. There are quite a few defectors from the Empire here in the Zone: dragonborn, lizardfolk, and the odd tortle and grung. They've all been carved with draconic runes. Some of them use the runes to create magic armor or blow things up. But I'm an orc, and I know one draconic rune that's on every single one of them. They're all marked with the rune for slave.

When the Dragon Empire disappeared at the end of the Age of Monsters, they were known to be masters of elemental magic. The Giant Tribes, who also disappeared at that time, were the masters of runic magic. When Darastrix Tolgalen, the Dragon Isle reappeared on the Day of Dispelling, the wizards and mages of the world were shocked to discover that the dragons had also mastered rune magic during their exile.

Rune magic allows a mage to unlock power imbued into a language of symbols and sigils. The correct assembly of words and materials allows a rune carver to charge the symbols they create with magical power that can harness the elements, tame minds, or alter reality itself.

When the Dragon Empire disappeared under the Red Dome of Heaven, they also had a population of giants who preferred to live under the rule of Emperor Harmonic Horizon rather than the authoritarian Thanes of the Giant Tribes. Modern arcane scholars believe that the advances in draconic rune magic can be traced to those giants.

Monolithic Rune Power

A few years after the Dragon Isle reappeared, a parade of enormous stone Boundary Monoliths emerged from the sea surrounding the Empire in a slowly moving parade of rune-powered magic. They are full of burgeoning elemental powet that is unleashed on anyone trying to enter, or leave, the sub-continent.

The monoliths are currently used for defensive purposes, but their offensive power has been noted by members of the Vigilance. They fear the day when the Dragon Empire turns its gaze outwards and turns the power of their rune magic outwards.

Rune Carved Warriors

When the Dragon Empire reappeared in the Talinian Ocean the world shivered in fear. They anticipated that flights of dragons would emerge to conquer the world as they had in the Age of Monsters. Instead hordes of scalykind refugees fled Darastrix Tolgalen seeking a better life for themselves free from the subjugation of the dragons. Each of them bore a mark of runic power carved into their skin or hide. The runes command obedience from those who bear it. Those who escape were able to suppress it by damaging the rune or removing its magic through a complicated ritual.

Not all of the runes were designed to suppress the will of the carved. Some runes allow the bearers to wield magical power they would not otherwise have. Some rune carved warriors can grow to giant size, imbue their strikes with fiery power, or armor themselves with magical force. The mightiest rune warriors combine the power of dragons and giants to devastating affect.


Cover image: The Dragon Empire Generic Header by Chris L

Comments

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1 Aug, 2022 21:35

A nice read! I do like how you make it sound like a big deal and have scholars already try and investigate how these runes work. While I assume the monoliths might need some research, have any of those wizards tried to reverse-engineer the runes on the warriors for their own usage?

1 Aug, 2022 22:16

Thank you! They've definitely figured out the rune warrior magic outside of the Empire. The monoliths don't let researchers get close enough to figure out how they're made.

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9 Aug, 2022 13:56

I love the versatility of these runes, especially in the rune-carved warriors! A very fun idea to explore, and one I'd love to read more about in the future :)


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9 Aug, 2022 16:54

Thank you!

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