The Dragonborn of Al-Khosia are one of the elder races of Quoin. Once, they were considered the greatest race, blessed with power and wisdom by the Creator of All. However, that all changed after the Great Mortal War. After the humans of Tiev’na forged the Great Pact with the Infernals, thus altering their nature and ensuring the survival of Tiev’na, Cho’naam ordered the destruction of this new race of Tieflings. Thus, the Great Mortal War begun.
The War was terrible, and wrecked havoc on both sides. The final battle of the War resulted in the world itself shattering. A great earthquake occurred, devastating the landscape of Tiev’na and raising the Barrier Mountains between the fallen Tiev’na and the magically scorched Empire of Al-Khosia.
Rekkas, Goddess of Storms and the Sea, wept at the destruction of Tiev’na. Her tears swallowed up the ruined Kingdom, so that the Dragons could not do further harm. She shed no tears for the warriors of Al-Khosia, leaving their blasted Empire to become the Forbidden Desert. Since then, only the great city of Al-Khosia remains of the once proud Empire.
On the whole, the Dragonborn race tends towards lawfulness. As a culture, they have a strong sense of honor, but their personal codes and devotion to honor is of paramount importance.
Over the centuries, the Dragonborn have developed and adhered to a cultural organizing philosophy, which they call The Threefold Path. Adherents of the Path believe that there are three aspects which comprise all entities: Body, Mind, and Soul. Even as each being is comprised of these three parts, so too is Dragonborn society. The soldiers, artisans, and even buildings make up the Body; scholars, rhetors, and scrolls are the Mind; and storytellers, priests, and temples comprise the Soul of the Race.
On a personal level, each Scion of Cho’naam also pays heed to The Threefold Path. Dragonborn are expected to be mindful of their body, mind, and soul through physical training, rigorous study, and contemplation of sacred histories and guiding principles. Regardless of which aspect a particular dragonborn adheres to, they all must be mindful of the other aspects.
Outlook on Thievery
Thievery, as known to the rest of the world, was a relatively recent innovation as Dragonborn occupations went. The Dragonborn had their petty thieves and burglars just as any other race would, but they never approached the artistry of their counterparts until the Great War against the Tieflings.
Outmatched in raw might and numbers, the Tieflings used their rogues to devastating effect. They spied, laid ambushes and set traps. They consistently evaded capture, and were most of the few Tieflings to ever survive single combat against the powerfully-built Dragonborn. Notable casualties among the Dragonborn that were inflicted by Tiefling rogues included no less than five general officers, two viziers and one prince.
Quickly, the Dragonborn of Al-Khosia took up study of thievery and subterfuge. Borrowing from their Tiefling foes, and the then-disorganized bandits of the Yuan-Ti, Al-Khosia began to train its first professional rogues. They lacked the subtlety of their enemy counterparts, but were rapidly improving.
Then the world suffered The Fall, and the war was over.
As the Dragonborn empire quickly receded into desert, and in seeing nothing internationally worth infiltrating, the underemployed Dragonborn rogues brought daring new sophistication to petty crime. As time passed, they would identify and train aspiring thieves. A clandestine guild of rogues developed. After several decades, the rogues of Al-Khosia began to discreetly curate and circulate research, journals and literature, just as every other profession in the city did. Eventually, the thieves’ guild was an open secret, and they could be hired for a variety of intrigues. The backstabbing political climate of Al-Khosia was fertile ground for this.
Curiously, Dragonborn honor even permeated thievery. Upon capture and presentation to officials, a thief in Al-Khosia was often without remorse for his particular crime, but nearly inconsolable about the breach of the professional standard Al-Khosia’s thieves had quietly cultivated. To its delight, the government found that the thieves’ guild brutally enforced its professional standards; A thief who had been caught would be released into the streets untouched, only to suddenly disappear shortly thereafter.
Such ‘thorough peer review’ was often used as a lever to motivate rogues into assisting the greater works of Al-Khosia. Under threat of being turned over to their peers, Dragonborn rogues were frequently impressed into imperial service, and sent away on hazardous errands; the better connected a rogue was, the farther they’d be sent from their waiting guildmates.