Author Topic: Drakes, Blue Spirits, and Aadelea  (Read 847 times)

Reshy

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Drakes, Blue Spirits, and Aadelea
« on: (18:24:18/12-04-16) »
Way back quite a long time ago Drakes were first introduced in Earthdawn.  They were more fully fleshed out in the Book of Dragons which was released in 1999, and updated in 2004. Drakes were first described as being magical constructs invoked through the Dance of the Blue Spirits, a blood magic ritual designed by Ghost Walker (Back then Icewing) and Yuichotol.  They were used to replace the Dragonkin, who werenít viable servants (Some went on to become the Immortal Elves weíve seen in Shadowrun, though the other metavariants of Dragonkin seemed to be conspicuously absent).  The process to create a drake was highly involved, and required a sacrifice from the dragon creating it such that it was only common for Great Dragons to possess Drakes.  Sometimes a normal dragon might possess a single Drake, but even that was exceedingly rare.  Generally speaking these Drakes would live for centuries before eventually falling apart as the magical enchantments that held them together unraveled.

In essence Drakes were more or less permanently manifested blue spirits that were formed by the dragon essence of the dragon that invoked them.   They appeared to be totally subservient to the dragon that created them, making them reliable servants; they were also able to be endowed with a metahuman shape that was difficult to assense the true nature of.  However the process was so difficult that few were ever made, the most were owned by Ghostwalker and numbered about 30 in total (Funnily enough despite creating the original drakes, he never treated or understood them well).


The entire game changed in the Earthdawn adventure module Infected when a young human girl by the name of Aardelea found the Book of Blue Spirits, an archival tome explaining how the Dance of Blue Spirits operates.  The book, however, had a Drake Spirit bound within it in an attempt to make the item persist beyond the Scourge (The Horror Invasion).  Even with this spirit, the book wasnít able to withstand the elements and as the spirit was bound within it was slowly rotting away with the book itself.  When Aardelea found the book, it latched onto her in a desperate bid to preserve itself and the knowledge it possessed.  This manifested in strange, but fairly minor waysÖ at first.  Besides some minor talents the only thing different about her was that her pattern had developed an innate masking, but when assensed well enough appeared to be that of a magical creature, not a mere awakened mage or adept.

When we next see Aardelea again in Barsaive At War, she acts vastly different than before.  She appears to have aged to her late teens, despite there being only a short amount of time having actually passed leaving her emotionally still a young child.  Her personality, however, has shifted greatly from before with her having become highly temperamental and paranoid, as sheís been kidnapped, smuggled, examined, abused, rescued, and nearly killed several times by the ample factions trying to acquire her.  She also speaks of dreams that are Ďas vivid as waking lifeí in where she transforms into a scaled beast with wings, and soars into the night to hunt, rend, and devour live prey. 

Eventually these strange powers are made far more apparent after an assailant attempts to subdue her to take her away.  The assailant is not only unable to fall this young girl, but she pivots around and slams her hand into his chest.  When she draws her hand out of his chest, itís transformed into a giant reptilian claw, having apparently disemboweled her assailant.  After this Aardelea appears to go into a frenzy, killing any of the assailants within sight, even ones that are running away or cowering on the ground.  Once all the assailants are dead, Aardelea appears to regain her senses, looks around, and starts to sob.  She curls up into the fetal position and rocks back and forth while cradling her head in her gore-splattered hands.  When she recovers she says how sheís afraid that sheís slowly being overcome by bloodlust.  The ultimate result, between the nightmarish dreams of feasting on living flesh, and the inexplicable transformations, she believes that sheís becoming a monster. 

Eventually Aardelea is brought to Ghostwalker, and the dragons begin to study her and her situation of being Ďbondedí with one of Ghostwalkerís blue spirits.  A dragon called Vasdenjas (decreased now) attempted to replicate the process of merging a blue spirit with a human vessel, but the results were only Ďtwisted mockeriesí of true drakes, rather than his intent of a Ďhuman-drake hybrid.í  They also speak of the possibility of using her for breeding purposes in order to create self-propagating race of drakes.


Okay, now that the history lesson is out of the way, what does everyone make of this?  Because it sounds a whole like the blue drake spirit had inhabited Aardelea, which of course has a whole lot of implications for Bred Drakes in general if their ďmotherĒ was created through a spirit inhabiting a human vessel, a blood spirit of dragon essence specifically. 

Furthermore, even in Shadowrun similar things happened to Drakes shortly before or after they underwent dracomorphosis in which some would go Berserk (Such as what happens in Year of the Comet), most appear to be in incredibly pain (Year of the Comet and Threats 2), and in Threats 2 the Drake that undergoes dracomorphosis starts having nightmares of turning into a drake, and then waking up to find it all actually happened.  In all demonstrated cases the drakes often show fear and reprehension at whatís happening to them, not unlike Aardelea.  Furthermore, knowing the origin of Drakes are the blue spirits, it makes indoctrination make much more sense as to why itíd work.  Itís essentially binding the blue spirit thatís part of every drake to a great dragon and forcing subservience as well as allowing the dragon to mold the Drake in the process. 

[spoiler=Year of the Comet]ÖNow, the veil is some sort of magical protection the Tir uses to keep intruders out of their land, and all I can say is that it severely messes with your mind.  Not only do you find yourself going loopy and unable to tell up from down, but all the instrumentation goes whacky, itís impossible to track another ship into the Veil.
Sure enough, we came out of the veil about 12 clicks southwest of our last recorded position.  But while we were in the thick of it MacDougal suddenly went crazy.  He was running around on deck, screaming and tearing his clothes off.  Me and some of the crew tackled him, but while we were holding him down, he started to change.  His skin suddenly turned scaly, and his neck extended, and his face transformed into this wicked beat with small horns on the side.  In only a few seconds, he had torn through his clothes and pushed all of us off of him like we were rag dolls.
I was one of the lucky ones who didnít go over the side and I got a good view of himóor whatever bloody monstrosity he had turned into.  If I hadnít seen the size of Dunklezahn on the trid, Iíd have said he transformed into a dragon.  He had scales, claws and wings of a dragon, but he was only about 2.5 meters tall.  Now I suppose he could have secretly been a dragon all along, riding around in human form, until something about the Veil disagreed with him.  But I got the sense he was as surprised with the change as we were, and that he never expected to turn into some mini dracoform.
In any case, MacDougal didnít stick around to explain, probably because the deck-mounted Vindicator was already swinging around to bear on him.  He put those new wings to use, and off he went, never to be seen again.  Was this just the most wicked SURGE expression seen so far, or was something even stranger going on?  You tell me.
ē   George

I donít know, I heard a similar story about some guy who turned into a small dragon down in Jakarta.  The first report I saw mentioned the guy had gone on a rampage, and it mysteriously ended when a larger dragon appeared on the scene. 
Oddly enough, when I went back to retrieve the news article after reading Georgeís post, I couldnít find ant record of it.  In fact, Iíd be willing to say someone had deliberately arranged for that little news item to disappear.
ē   Pink Eye

Not all of these creatures work for dragons, though the dragons wish this was not the case.  Many of these creatures have their own agendas and goals, and walk their own paths.
ē   Quicksilver[/spoiler]

[spoiler=Threats 2]ÖOkay, first off, let me tell you that Iím more fragging scared than I ever been in my entire life, and Iíve seen some things that still give me nightmares years later.  I donít scare easy, but whatís happening has me freaked out.  So Iím doing my best to keep things together and coherent, and trusting to the deck a friend of mine set me up with to help clean up this post and make sure everythingís readable.  Second, Iím not a bigot and I donít buy into any Humanis drek.  If you do, then you can just skip this post (and what the frag are you doing on Shadowland, anyway?).  I donít need to hear about how Iím buying into the SURGE hysteria or any of that drek, okay?  If Iím delusional (and I donít think I havenít considered it) then all of this isnít going to matter anyway.  So letís just assume that Iím not crazy and I am telling the truth for the moment, okay?
The short version is that something is happening to me.  Iím changing, and I donít know into what.  Yeah, I know, itís happening to a lot of people these days.  I catch the news.  I donít live in a cave (at least, not yet).  Iíve checked out all that shadowland and the rest of the Matrix has to offer about SURGE, but I donít think this is the same thing.  Iím not just getting scales or funky colored skin or eyes that glow in the dark.  Itís like Iím changing into something completely different.  Not only that, but it seems like I can change back, at least for a little while.  But I donít know how much longer thatís going to last.
The First Change
[..]
I got this burning sensation all order, not painful at first, more like a really bad itch or sunburn.  One of my chummers noticed that I was looking kind of flushed.  Then the muscle cramps hit me like a trollís fist in my gut.  I doubled over right there on the floor of the van, trying my best to keep from screaming.  They tell me our chaman took one look at my aura and told our wheelman to get me to this street doc we know in Denver.  I guess she did some healing magic on me that helped with the pain.  All I remember is seeing the skin on my arms starting to change, hardening, and cracking, like dry leather or scales.  Then I must have passed out.
I woke up the next day at the street docís place and I thought that what Iíd seen and felt was just some kind of hallucination at first, until I talked with the rest of my team and with the doc.  They told me that my metamorphosis got even worse than I remembered, but that somehow it reversed itself less than an hour after it started and I changed back to normal.
The doc said she ran some tests but couldnít find anything wrong with me, but she also pointed out that there wasnít anything ďwrongĒ with the other people undergoing SURGE, either.  It wasnít a disease, but a genetically triggered change, like being an ork or troll.  Truth was she didnít have any idea what happened to me, but chalked it up to the SURGE.  Sheíd never heard about a case of SURGE going into remission, but then a few months ago nobody had ever seen SURGE before, so who knows.  Our shaman said she couldnít detect any outside magical influences that could have caused what happened, and she didnít have any more idea than the doc about what happened to me.
[Ö]
The dreams
Crawling into a bottle may have been a mistake.  I donít know what triggered what happened next, but I can tell you that I havenít touched a drop of booze since then.  The night I got hammered I somehow managed to get back to the doss where I was crashing.
The rest of that night, I had bizzare nightmares like you wouldnít believe.  I tossed and turned, feverish, on the temperfoam padding, feeling my muscles ache like from a long, hard workout.  I felt a jolt of pain and stretched out as far as I could, then kept on stretching.  I donít know if the tearing sound I heard was my clothes or my skin as my arms stretched out, the fingers hardened into claws.  I crouched over, my neck stretching out, feeling the bones in my face shift.  My jaw elongated and my tongue flicked out over razor-sharp teeth.  I lashed the air with my tail and the ache in my shoulders gave way as I spread leathery wings out to catch the air.  I roared to the sky and launched myself at the dirty plexiglass skylight overhead. It gave way as I soared into the night.
Everything after that is a confusion of images, but I know that I swooped down on something and there was a struggle.  When I woke up, it was to the sun streaming through the broken skylight overhead.  I was lying across what was left of my foam sleeping pad.  It was torn up pretty bad. The first thing I noticed was the dried blood smeared across my chest and hands.  The second thing was that my clothes were scattered in scraps all over the floor.
What happened to me that night wasnít a dream, it was real.  Somehow I turned into some kind of dragon-like thing, then changed back.  I know it sounds crazy, but think about some of the things that have happened lately and itíll sound a lot more believable, I need to know whatís happening to me.

[Ö]
ē   Drake
All right, then.  Cards on the table.  The attached file should explain some of whatís going on.  Iíve edited out references to the authorís identity for his own protection, but the rest should be enough.  Drake, if youíre scanning this, contact me offline at the number I gave you.  Trust me, chummer, weíre the best change youíve got, and thatís the truth.
ē   Jane-in-the-Box
//Begin Download//
The Drake Awakening

What are we?  I donít know exactly.  Dunkelzahn must have known, and I suspect that the other great dragons do, but theyíre not talking.  Iíve heard the term ďdrakeĒ and it seems to apply well enough.  Apparently we seem human (or metahuman) enough on the surface.  After all, I never had any idea about what I really was for most of my life.  Odds are that others like me donít know it either.  Weíre like eggs that cuckoos leave in nests for other birds to raise or something like that, walking among the crowd, hidden.  But when enough magic comes along, the truth comes out, and we change.  We transform into something like a small dragon, not much bigger than our normal body mass, Iíd guess maybe two to three times at best, probably something like two or three meters in length.  Not much compared to your average western dragon, much less a great, but Iím told that itís still a pretty impressive sight.
So weíre shapechangers, of a sort, though not exactly like the other shapechangers Iíve read about.  They start out as animals and turn into people, we start out as peopleÖ and turn into drakes.  Why?  I donít know.  Maybe weíre just born that way, like other metahumans are.  Maybe itís some kind of magical talent weíve got, like the powers of an adept or the spells of a magician.  It seems so natural to me now that I just know itís a part of me, more than just a spell or outside force acting on my body.
The only things I know for sure are that weíre rare (very rare) and that the dragons are interested in us.  Dunkelzahn was interested in my long before I ever knew.  He must have known.  And the other dragons, they seem to know about us, too, like theyíve seen us before, though I donít think they were expecting us to show up so soon.  It looks like theyíre scrambling to catch up with how fast things are happening these days.  Must be tough for critters used to planning and working things out for years to have to move so quickly.  But experience shows that they learn fast.
What do they want with us?  Again, I donít know, but Iím not willing to walk into a dragonís lair just to find out.  The way I see it, if the likes of Lofwyr or even Hestaby want something from us, then Iím not all that inclined to just give it to them.  Naturally, they havenít been very forthcoming with answers, but I know they have them.  Maybe when we hold a few more of the cards, theyíll be willing to give us some of them.
Thatís why the Draco Foundation has to make it a priority to find others like me before the dragons do, so we can give them a safe haven and the time to figure things out and maybe pry lose some answers.  Going up against dragons is a dangerous business, but nobody ever said life was safe.  Iím not inclined to leave anyone to their tender mercies.
//End Download//[/spoiler]

lokii

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Re: Drakes, Blue Spirits, and Aadelea
« Reply #1 on: (09:02:44/12-05-16) »
The goal associated with studying Aardelea was to turn drakes into a para-natural species capable of procreation. At the very least that's what the drakes hoped for. Prelude to War, p. 70:

Quote
The drakes of Barsaive have their own reasons for wanting Aardelea safely delivered from her Theran captors. They want to be Name-givers in every way, capable of having children and experiencing the joy of family relationships.

I think the great dragons shared this goal in order to increase the usefulness and availability of drakes but with the important caveat of not repeating the mistake of creating servants that could turn against them.

Assuming they succeeded at least with the first part, I don't think it would be necessary for the parents of awakened drakes to still be changed, the drake nature would simply be transferred down the generations. I think the drake hunt after the Comet mana spike itself implies that dragons didn't "seed" drakes by merging spirits to metahumans. If they did so they would kept track of those born and not have to hunt them. Of course Ryan Mercury would be something of a counter-example as Dunkelzahn seems to have found him long before his drake nature showed itself. On the other hand Beyond the Pale meant for Mercury to be unique, his "goblinisation" said to occur too early in the mana cycle and the result of an enormous amount of mana channelled through his body. A bit of Comet mojo could do the same thing for lots of other people just three years later, so clearly that was changed (or not coordinated with Jake Koke in the first place).

Marzhin

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Re: Drakes, Blue Spirits, and Aadelea
« Reply #2 on: (11:49:44/12-05-16) »
Also it's worth remembering that Barsaive at War was part of Living Room Games' run of Earthdawn, which strayed away (sometimes pretty far) from what the original authors had planned post-Prelude to War.
So anything found in that book should be taken with a grain of salt (Earthdawn 4th Edition actually chose to retcon the story back to how Lou Prosperi and co had envisioned it, although there hasn't been any mention of Aardelea's exact fate yet -- it might be similar, or not).
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Mirikon

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Re: Drakes, Blue Spirits, and Aadelea
« Reply #3 on: (01:00:06/12-10-16) »
They were used to replace the Dragonkin, who werenít viable servants (Some went on to become the Immortal Elves weíve seen in Shadowrun, though the other metavariants of Dragonkin seemed to be conspicuously absent).
As far as I'm aware, there are only two metatypes that have had any significant numbers of Dragonkin born to them. The first would be elves. The Immortal Elves all either are the children of dragons, or are within the first couple generations from a dragon parent. Something about the dragon's magic and elves naturally being the longest-lived 'mortal' metatype made those Dragonkin immortal. It is unclear whether Dragonkin of other metatypes are immortal, but signs point to no.

One should note, however, that the Dragonkin we most know about (the Immortal Elves) are mostly from the Second World, and are survivors of a war between the Dragonkin and their dragon overlords. Given that it is unknown whether other metatypes had Dragonkin in significant numbers, or whether they would be Immortal, it is quite possible to say that, perhaps, they died out in the intervening millenia. In the Third World, without magic, and without a tech level like we saw in the Fifth World, there are plenty of ways to find oneself getting dead. If there are any nonelf Dragonkin from this time, then they would have been only a handful of individuals, if that, by the time of the Fourth World.

The only other metatype we KNOW to have Dragonkin born to them would be Humans. The majority (read: all but MAYBE one or two, ever) of the known Human Dragonkin comes from the Denairastas clan of Iopos. The Denairastas clan is named after their patriarch, the exiled Great Dragon Denairastas (called the Outcast by other dragons). These human Dragonkin are longlived, and have extra abilities, but do not appear to be immortal, and the traits fade without a fresh infusion of dragon to the bloodline now and then. Since the Dragonkin revolt back in the Second World, this is one of the MAJOR taboos of dragon culture, and is the reason why Denairastas got exiled, and Mountainshadow (Dunkelzhan) and Icewing (Ghostwalker) busied themselves with making sure the Outcast didn't cause too much trouble.
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lokii

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Re: Drakes, Blue Spirits, and Aadelea
« Reply #4 on: (17:52:29/12-10-16) »
As far as I'm aware, there are only two metatypes that have had any significant numbers of Dragonkin born to them. The first would be elves. The Immortal Elves all either are the children of dragons, or are within the first couple generations from a dragon parent. Something about the dragon's magic and elves naturally being the longest-lived 'mortal' metatype made those Dragonkin immortal. It is unclear whether Dragonkin of other metatypes are immortal, but signs point to no.

Well at least it is said to be possible. Dragons PDF p.140:

Quote
Any Name-giver race can produce dragon-kin, with the exceptions of the obsidimen, who do not reproduce as other Name-givers do.

Also there seems to be no indication, that Immortal Elves have the physical deformities associated with dragon-kin, that's why I always assumed their immortality is explained by something beyond being (descendants of) dragon-kin and that dragon-kin in general are not immortal and might not even be particularly long-living.

The only other metatype we KNOW to have Dragonkin born to them would be Humans.

Again Dragons PDF p.140, there was a suggestion that there could be a line of t'skrang:

Quote
Legends among the t'skrang insist that members of House Syrtis are descended from a dragon, but the truth of these tales is not known.

But it's not surprising since the creation of dragon-kin had been forbidden at the beginning of the Age of Legends (likely after the discovery of dragons killed during downcyle hunting). So maybe the Denairastas clan are the only ones newly created and I concur dragon-kin from previous ages (with the one exception) likely died out.
« Last Edit: (07:55:10/12-11-16) by lokii »

Mirikon

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Re: Drakes, Blue Spirits, and Aadelea
« Reply #5 on: (21:51:51/12-17-16) »
Good points.

As far as the Sixth World goes, the Immortal Elves are the only surviving dragonkin that we KNOW of. My personal suspicion is that the Denairastas clan are behind both the various Dragonslayer orders (Order of St. George, etc.) as well as the Black Lodge. Especially the Black Lodge. The highest ranking member of the Lodge is the 'Penultimate Master', which basically says there is an Ultimate Master above them. Like with the Denairastas and their sire.

Of course, that is shaky as hell on its own. But there's more. From everything we've seen, the Black Lodge has a few key points that stand out about it:

1) Secrecy. They love to keep out of sight. It is only recently that they've even been confirmed to exist by shadowrunners, and they're still invisible to the public.
2) High-power magic. The Black Lodge likely has some of the strongest individual casters (and ritual groups) outside of megacorporations, national militaries, and IEs (to say nothing of Dragons).
3) Long Game. They may be powerful magically, but they appear to be playing a generational long game consolidating power.
4) They HATE elves. You would think a high-level magic society like this would have at least one or two elves, but they're all human.
5) They HATE dragons. They've worked against dragons for years, even going so far as to attempt to kill Lofwyr during his fight with Alamais.

Now, while it is certainly possible for a group to have a generational plan, and work to carry it out, it is hard for such a group to go more than a few generations from the founders without some scatter. Either the group starts expanding as 'legacies' show up, or politics come into play and people start using all that power for their own ends. Without some kind of overriding authority, it is hard to get that kind of focus over generations.

This, in turn, would normally suggest either the Dragons or Immortal Elves, especially when you consider their penchant for secrecy and their extremely high magic talent pool. But since they are vehemently opposed to the IEs and Dragons, and seem to know more and deeper magics than the rest of the world at large, that suggests that there is a controlling influence that is also magically powerful and capable of teaching them. This influence would also have to be outside the general magical community, but especially outside the IE and Dragon societies. Further, it suggests an influence that carried over from the 4th world. The two main influences opposed to the dragons in the 4th world were Thera and the Outcast. Thera, however, was not xenophobic (they had all Namegivers in their ranks) while the Outcast's clan in Iopos was all human.

Naturally, this is all circumstantial, but that's why I believe the Black Lodge may be the place to find Dragonkin other than the IEs. The presence of the Outcast or dragonkin would further explain their secrecy and xenophobia because they know the danger of the dragons or IEs discovering the truth about their order.
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Crimsondude

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Re: Drakes, Blue Spirits, and Aadelea
« Reply #6 on: (23:15:05/12-17-16) »
The Black Lodge isn't that anti-elven. It just prohibits them above a certain level (I'll check when I can look at Threats) and it's only for the same reason Freemasons don't let in members of the International Zionist Conspiracyóthe elves have their own conspiracy, no need to let them in on the Lodge's. Some of their highest ranking members are metas like former UCAS Speaker of the House Joseph Ellis, a dwarf.


One of the people referenced as being behind the DIVE dragon hunters' name translates to "Oak Forest" in Loose Alliances, which just reinforces the point that the IEs were behind plenty of downcycle hunting all on their own.


It's worth asking, though, what happened to those greats if they weren't entirely "whole" when they were killed like how Ghostwalker's astral body was off in the metaplanes looking for Zebulon (We really need to give her proper name at some point) while his body was beneath the Rockies.
« Last Edit: (23:20:51/12-17-16) by Crimsondude »

lokii

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Re: Drakes, Blue Spirits, and Aadelea
« Reply #7 on: (13:15:57/12-18-16) »
According to Threats the Black Lodge doesn't recruit elves (it's adepts that cannot advance higher). Also the destruction of the elven nations is a primary objective.

You mean "Van de Eiken"? The wood part is missing, nonetheless interesting, especially since I can't find a reference to a historic Teutonic Order grand master, so the name should be invented.

I always wondered whether the Denairastas Clan/Black Lodge theory is really based on so little evidence. The connections from Threats mentioned are interesting but I wouldn't call them strongly suggestive. Anyway there is another piece of more recent apocryphal Shadowrun text that works with theory. A Loose Alliances outtake posted by Peter Taylor: http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=15332&st=150&p=472150&#entry472150

Quote
[...] the Lodge's founders were once the caretakers of one of the original Aquinae Vaults. Some time during the Middle Ages, a brief mana spike released something caged within one of the relics under the Vault's care. An ancient spirit was unleashed and insane from millennia of captivity went on a vengeful rampage, [...] the entity was forced to take refuge in one of the survivors by possessing him and merging their minds as the spike began to ebb.

During convalescence the man became privy to flashes of insight, memories of a secret history of the world. Visions of an Age when the remnant spirit had been a rebel, a Prometheus who had challenged the immortal powers that had then ruled the world and had been brought low and chained for eternity.

Denairastas rebelled against the ban on creating dragon-kin imposed by his peers, he also seemed to have a vision of uplifting them which might be called promethian. It would suggest that there isn't a direct line from the Denairastas Clan to the Black Lodge but that they inherited their role.

Crimsondude

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Re: Drakes, Blue Spirits, and Aadelea
« Reply #8 on: (16:12:02/12-18-16) »
According to Threats the Black Lodge doesn't recruit elves (it's adepts that cannot advance higher). Also the destruction of the elven nations is a primary objective.
Ah, right. Regardless, it's not like they hate elves for being elves. They just don't want spies or competition. It never struck me as being malicious for the sake of holding some eternal grudge.

Quote
I always wondered whether the Denairastas Clan/Black Lodge theory is really based on so little evidence. The connections from Threats mentioned are interesting but I wouldn't call them strongly suggestive. Anyway there is another piece of more recent apocryphal Shadowrun text that works with theory. A Loose Alliances outtake posted by Peter Taylor: http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=15332&st=150&p=472150&#entry472150

Probably because the Black Lodge is controlled (so far as we know) by humans, and the Penultimate Master being human. Alongside that, the idea that the head of the Black Lodge is still called the Penultimate Master implies someone above him, which if you suppose it's the Denairastas Clan would mean Denairastas himself. The other explanation would be that the Master would be God given the original Knights Templar connection. The Denairastas Clan is a neat idea and it makes sense that of all the groups that would survive and continue through the Fifth World, the immortal humans would be at the top of that list, but if they are still around, who and what are they? Given the hierarchical structure of the Black Lodge, it also seems like a likely successor.

That all being said, as far as I know all of the conjecture that the Denairastas Clan became the Black Lodge is still just conjecture because there's not much if any actual references that link them. I know about the material Synner posted that didn't make it into Loose Alliances, but I can't say how much if any of that has become canon since then (It's not like he wasn't around to carry that forward in subsequent material, at least for a while).
« Last Edit: (16:23:18/12-18-16) by Crimsondude »

Dwagonzhan

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Re: Drakes, Blue Spirits, and Aadelea
« Reply #9 on: (06:34:37/02-17-17) »
-Necro necro knock on wood.-

Biggest issue I have with drakes and their lore, is their genesis.
The problem stems mainly from the fact that drakes were introduced right around the time FASA was collapsing financially in the late 90s.

Aardelea was barely introduced to Earthdawn before FASA dropped the game entirely.

So in addition to the problems already brought up with the change of authorship, there's also the problem that Aardelea's story didn't actually conclude definitively.
It's just kind of assumed that at some point, Ghostwalker and Dunklezahn got ahold of her, and eventually succeeded in recreating her condition in such a way that it was useful.
These new drakes became hereditary and genetically viable. (both with other drakes, and with non-drake metahumans)

It really makes me wonder what exactly is the true nature of a Bred Drake.
True Drakes are known: They are a combination of conjuring and blood magic.

If Bred Drakes are just like Aardelea, but more stable and viable, then they also the product of Spiritual inhabitation,
Thing about spirits is that they ALL have to be called into being. Either by a conjurer creating a spiritual formula (thus creating a new matching spirit on the associated metaplane), or by calling an existing spirit from its native metaplane.

Does a newborn drake do this innately? Or is the pre-awakened drake simply a regular metahuman until the right combination of mana and conditions allows the proper Blue Spirit to reach its intended host?
Is the condition purely genetic and how dominant are these genetics? Can drake genetics be tracked and/or coded since it is hereditary, and if so, how has a society that uses DNA encoding for SINs (held by the majority of people born in the Sixth World) NOT pinned down who is or isn't a bred drake already?

Magic and genetics is so inconsistent for metahumanity that there likely isn't any "mage gene" or combination thereof... but magic is perfectly consistent for dragonkind (all of dragonkind is awakened), and all drakes clearly are dragonkind at least to some extent (if not purely, post-dracomorphosis).

I realize that there is a lot of "It's magic, it doesn't have to make sense" at play here, but the magic in Shadowrun (and Earthdawn) does follow some rules.
"You haven't truly lived until you've had a Cortex bomb!" ~Former GM