Emperor Harmonic Horizon
Emperor Harmonic Horizon (he/him)
We all learn the tale of Harmonic Horizon as younglings. How the Dragon Emperor saved the Dragon Dauphin and let the Age of Monsters end so that the Age of Mortals could begin. It is sad to know what has become of him.
Good old HH is the prime example of both, "Don't meet your heroes" and "Don't overstay your welcome." By all reports from Dragon Empire refugees, the Emperor has gone nuts and is still incredibly powerful. He has the full "mad king collection" of secret police, a cult of personality, and a state of constant emergency.
At the end of the Age of Monsters, the Emperor of the Dragon Empire was the benevolent gold dragon known as Harmonic Horizon. While fully believing in the supremacy of dragon-kind, he still lamented the collateral damage from the ongoing War of the Burning Sky. The battles between dragons and giants claimed the lives of millions of the "small folk".
Shortly after the dragons retreated to their homeland, Darastrix Tolgalen, a mysterious red dome went up over the island and the island vanished from the face of Erathia. The entire island was drawn into a pocket dimension, and the waters rushed in to fill the void where it once was.
It reappeared, thousands of years later on the Day of Dispelling. Harmonic Horizon was still Emperor, but 100,000 years had passed for them instead of 6 or 7 thousand years outside the dome. A new race, called the dragonborn inhabited the island.
The Inevitable End of an Age
Harmonic Horizon was anointed as the 7th Emperor of the Dragon Empire at the end of the Age of Monsters. He inherited the War of Burning Skies from his Imperial Forebears and spent the centuries of his rule trying to end it. He ruled fairly and was a monstrous opponent on the battlefield. He accounted for many dragon victories through superior tactics or his own personal power alone.
When the Dragon Dauphin and the Storm Giant Princess were exchanged before birth, Harmonic Horizon initiated the treaty that ended the war. In exchange for peace and the return of their heirs, the dragons and giants were each given a homeland and the promise of a millennium of peace. The giants and dragons retreated to their respective homelands to rebuild after an age of war.
The Weight of Millenia
The Dragon Empire disappeared under the so-called Red Dome of Heaven at the end of the Age of Monsters just as the giants vanished with the Lost Valley of Sollo. Whether it was a curse from the gods or a mystical calamity remains a mystery. Regardless, while 6 or 7 thousand years passed for the rest of the world, 100,000 years passed for the Dragon Empire. Millions of years completely erased the Giant Tribes of Lost Sollo.
The Dragon Empire should have also been lost to the weight of years. The sub-continent provided a relatively small geographic area for a burgeoning population of gargantuan dragons. They were trapped in a pocket dimension under a red dome that dimmed and darkened to simulate day and night. Through arcane research, the mages of the Empire determined that only an outside force of tremendous power could release them.
Harmonic Horizon led them through the gauntlet. He ruthlessly applied the same tactical genius that he used against the giants to the survival of his people. He limited the population of true dragons to what the island could support, around 1,000 at any time. He used rituals to the Five-Headed Mother to convert any remaining eggs into a race that could more easily live on the island, the dragonborn.
He instituted a more rigid caste society in the Dragon Empire designed to use only as many resources as the land could generate. He encouraged intra-clan warfare to keep the population at a controllable level. He maintained an entire civilization through force of will for 100,000 subjective years, never letting anything fall out of order.
Then the Red Dome of Heaven fell and Harmonic Horizon's carefully maintained mind broke.
I remain through force of will alone. My children lost to the weight of time. My morals broken on the wheel of necessity. The Dragon Empire is all that is left, nothing else is real. It can't be. Or I have made a grave mistake. Potato. Fox. Potato. bzzzzzzzzz. Five-Headed Mother of us all forgive me.
Trouble on the Horizon
Today, the Emperor has somehow lived for more than 100,000 years and remains in control of the Dragon Empire. He was the most powerful dragon in the world when he went into exile an age of the world ago. He still appears to be so today. He remains isolated in his Aerie in Horizon's View Mountains except for his annual Imperial Progress.
From the Aerie, Harmonic Horizon makes confusing, sometimes conflicting, Imperial Proclamations that are taken as "Proofs of the Truth and Fallacy" and enforced as law by the Inquisitors of the Red Dome of Heaven. They range from the ridiculous, "Everyone must wear purple on the third day of the week." to the life-changing, "Your eighth child shall be given to me as a retainer or as a sacrifice."
The hidden subcontinent of dragons and home of the dragonborn. The fanatical armies of this island are restrained by their powerful religious beliefs.