Time for an intriguing preview from our upcoming Scion: Dragon Companion! The Companion introduces the Flight of the Returning with the following introduction:
The Returning all stood astride the earth (or curled around it, or slithered upon it, or swam in its seas) as members of other Flights. They gathered with others according to their morphology or homelands, had their own Heirs, their own lairs in the abyssal waters and deep caves beneath the earth, they swam in the clouds high in the sky…
… and they all died.
Not just died, no. The vast majority of the Returning — with a few extremely notable exceptions covered below — were abused, vilified, hunted, and killed. Some died more than once: Heroes have hunted Reincarnations of some of the Returning across the generations, and as soon as a new Isa Bere rises, another Demigod starts an eight-year battle.
Heroes with swords and fire, with arrows and javelins, hunted the Returning. Their divine parents demanded the subjugation of the draconic figures, either to test the mettle of their children, to protect their followers from the perceived (or real) depredation of the Dragon upon their lands, or sometimes in an attempt to rid themselves of a pest of a kid who might rise to take their place. Whatever the reason, these Dragons — moreso than every other Flight — have suffered.
Why have they returned now? Why have they risen from the earth again in these nights as opposed to any other?
Some of them have returned before, over and over, and some have only returned now. The Vishapakar — the priests of Vishap, who have sought her Reincarnation for centuries upon centuries — lay the credit for this at the feet of their draconic mother. But they would, wouldn’t they? They claim that Vishap’s long-awaited reincarnation has brought back the Memory of the other Returning, permitting their reincarnation in new Heirs, or for Chosen Heirs to find the pathway to ascend to full dragonhood. Her first death shattered the memory of dragonkind, they believe; therefore, her return has sparked not only the return of long-dead Dragons, but the birth of a plethora of new Dragons for the first time in ages. Nessie ascended less than fifty years ago, and since she — a daughter of Fáfnir and from the same Flight as their beloved Vishap — ascended, many others have followed in her footsteps.
Whatever the reason, the Returning are, well, returning.
And they’re angry.
Along with providing everything you need to play one of the Returning, the book also profiles several prominent Dragons from within this Flight including none other than everyone’s favourite wyrm:
Tiamat, the Glistening One
Aliases: Bis-Bis, Mammu-Tiamat, Thalátt?, Thalassa, Ummukhubar
The Draq raise Tiamat above all others: Mother of all Dragons, the Glistening One. They revere her and have loved her since she slithered free from the primeval salt-tears of a birthing world. She loved Abzu of the sweet waters and worshipped him and the waters in which he swam. From the amniotic salt of her ocean and the commingling of Abzu and Tiamat rose many Gods — this, the Draq know. They know, too, that Tiamat died when the loss of her husband drove her past the edge of sanity, and no one could stand before her anguished destruction. When Abzu’s paranoia led to his downfall, her grief literally transformed her from loving mother into force of destruction. The new-made Dragon birthed eleven monsters, two of whom remain as Dragons in the Draq Flight (see Scion: Dragon, p XX). She died, martyred to her grief, her tears at her loss spilling to create the foundational rivers of civilization, her tail curling across the sky in the scatter of stars which became the Milky Way.
She returns as not a martyr, but a problem — at least, a problem for the Draq who believed her one of them even in her returning, and a problem for the Heirs who the other Draq have folded into their clutches. Tiamat’s return signals something momentous, but even the other Returning aren’t really sure what.
The reincarnation of Tiamat conceals her human origins, aided by her new beloved. Vishap protected the Heir who would become Tiamat, and her Heirs and cults have rather successfully occluded the birth name and pre-Inheritance timeline of the returned Glistening One. Why, precisely, Vishap felt it necessary to carefully shred all the evidence of Tiamat’s mortal life remains a mystery.
She welcomes any of her Heirs who come to her now, no matter their past loyalties, and has become rather profligate in choosing new children, as if making up for lost time. Her new Heirs carry both the vivid memories of the regal woman with her hair piled high and the majestic Dragon she became, her scales shimmering like salt waves crashing on a crystalline shore. Tiamat chooses both those who understand loss and those who fight to protect others. Her new children may have grown up in orphanages or been widowed, but none of them come to her without a defiant streak, which she nurtures as long as they don’t direct it at her.
Callings: Judge, Ruler, Primeval
Memory: Devotion to one’s loved ones and partners; defending those you love; a memory of betrayal by a loved one; an overpowering grief to the point of incoherence; the burning desire to rise again
Dragon Magic: Elemental Manipulation (Fire), Flight, Fear, Understanding
Expect to see a lot more in the book to come!