Scales

Scales
Dragonborn. Lizardfolk. Kobolds. Troglodytes. To the typical human of Q’barra, they are all the same … derisively referred to as scales. Even those who know that dragonborn and lizardfolk are different species rarely care; at the end of the day, they are still scales. Three cultures have played in the history of Q’barra. Three forces threaten the settlers in different ways. Adventurers must understand each if they are to protect the nation from the darkness that lies ahead.

The dragonborn of Q’barra call themselves Trothlorsvek, “the defenders of the Prophecy.” The Trothlorsvek live in the ruins of their empire, where they are bound by duty to fight a battle that cannot be won. They are split into clans, each of which can trace its lineage back to one of the regiments that came from Argonnessen and each of which once held greater territories in the fallen empire. Each clan is assigned to guard a site touched by fiendish power and to battle demons and corruption. What humans see as the “holy lands” of the dragonborn are actually the cursed sites they are charged to guard. They keep outsiders from these places lest strangers cause the ancient evils to rise again.

The lizardfolk of Q’barra call themselves the Masvirik’Uala. The direct translation of this is the Cold Sun Federation, but the settlers who interact with the lizardfolk have long misinterpreted this name. The Masvirik’Uala aren’t the Federation of the Cold Sun — they are the league that stands against it. Their shared dreams define their culture, and they stand ready to face the overlord should he rise again. They fight the Poison Dusk whenever their paths cross. The lizardfolk of the Masvirik’Uala are a loose alliance of small tribes. They are hunters and gatherers who split to form new tribes any time their population grows to a level that cannot be supported by local resources. Many tribes are nomadic, but those that live in the areas rich in natural resources have established permanent villages

The Poison Dusk is comprised of kobolds, lizardfolk, troglodytes, and dragonborn. The settlers of Q’barra have never truly understood the Poison Dusk. The majority of settlers still believe that the Poison Dusk is one of the tribes of the Cold Sun federation and that the different species comprising it are all just different forms of lizardfolk—that the kobold, troglodyte, and blackscale lizardfolk share the same relationship as a goblin, hobgoblin, and bugbear.

Those who have studied the Dusk more closely recognize that it is an alliance of different species but have still drawn flawed conclusions. The most common among these is that the Poison Dusk are a cult that worship the dragon Rhashaak. It is true that Haka’torvhak is the stronghold of the Poison Dusk, and that they pay homage to the corrupted dragon, but this is because Rhashaak is the voice of the overlord Masvirik. The Poison Dusk is the harbinger of the Cold Sun.

Excerpts from Poison Dusk, Black Sun, written by Keith Baker.

Scales

The Chronicles of Q'barra Drabix