Darkness and Flames
The Old Dragon, some called him, since he seemed immortal and he only grew more cunning and powerful with age.
Decades ago, a warlord arose among the orc tribes of what is now Ragesia. Drakus Coaltongue, half-orc son of a human noblewoman, brought a level of patience and political cunning rarely seen among the savage orcs. He united many tribes, slew a gold dragon and took its child as a prize, and prepared his people for glory.
And then, to everyone’s surprise, he did not sweep into human lands for a bloody but ultimately short-lived rampage. Instead, Coaltongue allied with various poor human nations, helping them drive back the predations of the strongest country in the region, Morrus. Coaltongue even gained the aid of the insular elves of Shahalesti, until finally he was ready to lead a coalition army against Morrus. For this great assault, Coaltongue revealed a devastatingly powerful artifact that would lead him to victory, the Torch of the Burning Sky.
The power of the Torch was to call down fire from the sky, and to carry Coaltongue’s army hundreds of miles in an instant, plucking them up with one pillar of flame, and depositing them with another. Coaltongue and his allies easily defeated Morrus, and from the nation’s burning remains, Coaltongue created a new kingdom for himself and his orcish followers: Ragesia.
For a time, Emperor Coaltongue and his allies coexisted in relative peace. Coaltongue was content with his new homeland, and did not want to jeopardize it by reaching too far and falling before the might of many nations, as Morrus had fallen before him.
But slowly, almost surreptitiously, Ragesia expanded its borders. It took years for events to play out, and always in a way that made Ragesia’s imperialism seem justified: either as a response to enemy attacks, or in the name of providing aid to another nation that was being threatened. With the benefit of hindsight, many suspect that somehow Coaltongue provoked these conflicts. Finally, when Coaltongue was far older than any halforc had right to be, all the lands that had once belonged to his allies were his.
Recently, after nearly a decade of relative inactivity, Coaltongue offered to help the Exarchate of Sindaire put down a rebellion within its borders, and the nation nervously accepted, fearful of being swallowed up by another trick. What Coaltongue was planning may never be known, because a few weeks into his military campaign, something went wrong. Ragesia has not heard from its emperor in over two months, or if they have, they have hidden the news.
Some dread it, and some cautiously hope for it, but it seems the Old Dragon has been slain.