Dragon Sea

PLEASE NOTE: All text in white boxes is from Christopher Perkins' blog posts on the Wizards of the Coast website. Archive link.


Although there are many named seas of Iomandra, all the water is referred to as the Dragon Sea. Many people spend most of their lives at sea, only stepping ashore when trading at the various ports or exploring new islands. This region reflects a character that has spent most of his time aboard the deck of a ship.



Despite its vastness, the Dragon Sea is surprisingly calm. Storms happen rarely, ensuring safe travel from island to island even across great distances. However, that is not true for all parts of the world.

No one power rules over all of the Dragon Sea. Kingdoms, realms and settlements are scattered throughout the islands and many more nations dwell beneath the waters.




Anchordown is one of the largest “raft towns” on the Dragon Sea, with a population of over 800 people. In lieu of islands to colonize, the people of Iomandra hit upon the idea of building mobile settlements atop large, interwoven rafts. These floating towns can be taken apart and relocated as needs arise.
Anchordown hasn’t moved in over fifty years, and its rafts are so decrepit and its buildings so ramshackle that the town would likely fall apart if any attempt were made to dismantle it. Like many raft towns, it is overrun with exiles, pirates, and other shady characters wanted by Arkhosian authorities.

(The floating city of High & Dry from the Magic the Gathering Ixalan setting could be used for pictures and ideas.)

The Banshee

The Banshee is a ghost ship commanded by the revenant Gareth Narborel. Captain Narborel sails his haunted vessel back and forth between the Shadowfell and the Dragon Sea, or so the legends say. According to these legends, Narborel has an agreement with the Raven Queen (goddess of death) that allows him to “salvage” souls lost at sea and return them to the land of the living. Why he would do such a thing is anyone’s guess.

The Black Curtain

A ship that travels east eventually comes to the Black Curtain, a miles-high barrier of dark mist that stretches across the horizon and envelops the world like a death shroud. Ships can’t sail around the Black Curtain without coming into contact with the Frostfell to the north or the Eye of Io to the south.
Within the Black Curtain, vision is limited to a few feet. This alone is enough to discourage timid seafarers, but some believe that the Black Curtain isn’t boundless—that it hides idyllic lands untouched by the wrath of Io. Many hopeful explorers have passed through the Black Curtain, hoping to come out the other side and see a vast, unclaimed paradise. None of them have ever returned.
The Black Curtain hasn’t always existed; it came into being some years after Io sank the continents, but its origin is unknown. It had already grown quite immense by the time the Arkhosian dynasties recovered from the worldwide devastation. Perhaps the most troubling thing about the Black Curtain is that it seems to be closing in. Islands on the edge of the black mist are gradually being swallowed up. It may take years, but the Black Curtain will eventually engulf the entire world. Consequently, many learned scholars have dedicated their lives to solving the mystery of this sinister phenomenon.


The Demonmaw Sargasso

Due west of ancient Bael Nerath and the islands of Arkhosia lies a vast stretch of the Dragon Sea called the Demonmaw Sargasso. The perimeter of the sargasso is so shallow that sailors can see the black coral that covers the sea floor. After a few miles, these shallows give way as the sea floor plunges into an inky abyss, where the waters are eerily calm. A lucky ship can use oars to cross the sargasso without incident. An unlucky ship finds itself inexorably drawn to a location where the watery horizon dips menacingly into a briny vortex. By the time one sees the vortex, it’s already too late: The hungry Demonmaw pulls the vessel down into its black depths, never to be seen again.

The Eye of Io


Swirling about the southern pole is a roiling storm held in check by the Thunder Lords. The storm is called the Eye of Io, and it measures nearly one thousand miles in diameter. Some say the Eye of Io is a vestige of the ancient storm that sank the continents of Iomandra tens of thousands of years ago. Whatever the truth, only magically warded ships can enter the Eye safely, and even then, the Thunder Lords are just as likely to smash a ship to smithereens as brook intrusion into their tempestuous domain. It is also believed that the Eye of Io is a gateway to a distant plane called the Elemental Chaos, but any captain wishing to cross over must pay a king’s ransom in tribute to the Thunder Lords.

The Frostfell

The north pole of Iomandra is covered by a glacial mass that one might mistake for a true continent. This great icy wasteland is called the Frostfell. Rocky islands protrude from the thick sheets of ice here and there, but the land is frigid and inhospitable. White dragons, and other cold-dwelling creatures, lair in caves carved out of the rock and ice, and many ships have been lost exploring the Frostfell for secrets of the ancient dragon dynasties. Seafaring explorers are also drawn to the Frostfell by ageless rumors of a great caldera hiding an obsidian palace-fortress with the spoils of a thousand dragons locked in its vaults.



The island fortress-town of Krakenholt is where the Sea Kings conduct business and unite against common threats. Some of the more unscrupulous Sea Kings also hide slaves in Krakenholt’s dungeon, counting on the town’s defences to safeguard their “property.”

The Western Vast

Beyond Maru-Qet there are no known lands. Sailors have ventured into this endless ocean, and most have not returned. Those that did sighted no land and spoke of days at end drifting. Far from being storm-tossed, the Western Vast is often completely calm.
Before the continents sank a distant continent was believed to be beyond the western sea, but no such land has been seen since.



Halfings by definition live their lives at sea. Others that commonly ply the oceans include humans, half-elves, and dwarves. Dragonborn and elves sometimes devote their lives to sailing the seas, as do some of the races normally found beneath the waves, such as sea kin and nautolans.


Those that spend their life at sea clearly have an adventurous spirit anyway. Though many are mere merchants, others are explorers seeking new islands or to learn more about those that exist on the edges of maps and are mostly unknown. Perhaps they wish to visit the Black Curtain, see the beauty of the Frostfell, witness the wild fury of the Eye of Io, or simply see if the Western Vast is really that. Maybe they are seeking something legendary, like a large sea creature or the long lost Fathomreaver, a cutlass sacred to the Sea Kings. More than likely a player character adventurer has been ‘grounded’ and the reason for this may be a good kicker for further adventure.



Brotherhood of the Broken Chain

Members seeking to abolish slavery often travel the seas ensuring such barbarism is not taking place both on the high seas and in the lands they visit.
(See Other Groups & NPCs Page for full details).

Deeplantern Guild

Established only ten years ago, the Deeplanterns plan extensive forays into the lost ruins of sunken empires, which means they must cross and look beneath all of the seas. They also keep a sizable percentage of what they find, which enables them to fund future expeditions without the need to rely on benefactors.
(See Other Groups & NPCs Page for full details).

The Ravagers

Mentioned here because they often travel by sea, but these despicable killers can appear anywhere, anytime. Worse than the worst pirates, the Ravagers seem only to want to kill and maim. Members of most races have been encountered in a Ravager war party.
(See Other Groups & NPCs Page for full details).

The Sea Kings

A powerful and widespread group of independent warlords who govern trade on the Dragon Sea.

Thirty-three Sea Kings currently ply the waves, and their goals seldom align. Bitter rivalries among the Sea Kings have been known to escalate into major conflicts on the high seas, impacting trade across the entire world. That said, the Sea Kings of the modern day are somewhat more civilized than their barbaric predecessors. When faced with a common threat, they can present a unified front—at least for a short time. The Sea Kings convene regularly at the city-fortress of Krakenholt to discuss business and various sundry “opportunities.” Even then, such gatherings are usually attended by no more than a dozen Sea Kings. The rest simply can’t be bothered, either because they are at odds or have more pressing business half way around the world.

Very few Sea Kings are willing to swear fealty to the Dragovar of Arkhosia, either because the empire is too corrupt to be trusted or because they believe the empire’s demise is inevitable. Like vultures, they wait to feast on the Dragovar’s succulent, proverbial carcass.

Any sea captain who pledges allegiance to a Sea King gains the instant benefit of a powerful ally as well as some measure of protection against pirates and other threats (provided her ship flies the Sea King’s flag). Unaligned sea captains must often bribe the Sea Kings to safely traverse the seas, lest they be attacked, boarded, pillaged, and sunk.
Most commoners can name upwards of nine Sea Kings based solely on tales recounted in local taverns. Very few people know the names of all thirty-three Sea Kings (save the Sea Kings themselves). The most well-known include:
Sea King Valkroi (Mykel Valkroi): A fair but brutal Sea King endorsed by the Thunder Lords, Valkroi claims to have sailed his flagship to the Elemental Chaos and back.
Sea King Senestrago (Evan Senestrago): Valkroi’s ambitious rival and former shipmate, now a Sea King with one of the largest fleets on the Dragon Sea.
Sea King Kalas (Lorelei Kalas): Also known as the Black Wren of the Kalas, “Lady Lorelei” is good to the captains that serve her loyally and positively vicious to those who cross her.
Sea King Trystoval (Xelior Trystoval): Rivals claim to have killed this half-elf Sea King in battle, yet he lives. With every “death,” he seems to gain more power and influence.
Sea King Deepstaff (Rhone Orlak): The self-proclaimed “wizard of the waves,” Sea King Deepstaff has arguably the fastest fleet on the high seas. His “flagship” isn’t a ship at all, but a floating tower that skims across the surface of the Dragon Sea.

Valkroi Senestrago Lady%20Lorelei Trystoval Deepstaff

Sea King Firerazor (true name unknown): A charismatic dragonborn exile who fights honorably and proudly, Firerazor has no love for the Dragovar dynasty. His flagship, the Inferno, is considered the most heavily armed and armored ship on the Dragon Sea, capable of sinking entire armadas by itself.
Sea King Mithralstar (Verdigris Mithralstar): An intrepid, swashbuckling dwarf with expensive tastes and vast troves of hidden wealth, Sea King Mithralstar carries a magic horn that summons a terrible sea dragon when blown.
Sea King Eelbeard (Dargus Gragnar): “Eelbeard” is a disgustingly fat, foul-mouthed dwarf with few redeeming qualities other than his appreciation for expensive ale. He’s one of the few Sea Kings who seems at all eager to do business with the Dragovar.
Sea King Zekh’r (Ediv Zekh’r): Zekh’r is a vicious pirate with the uncanny gift of second sight. Many other Sea Kings consider him the bane of their existence, but he always seems to get the better of them. Sea King Mithralstar has an standing bounty on Zekh’r’s head that increases with each passing month.
Sea King Miatha the Azure: An elven sea ‘king’, Miatha was around when the Sea Kings first united.

Firerazor Mithralstar Eelbeard Zekh%27r Miatha

The Thunder Lords

The Thunder Lords are a group of storm titans that inhabit the titanic maelstrom known as the Eye of Io (see above). These tempestuous giants have the power to unleash the Eye of Io upon the world, and so the Sea Kings pay them tribute to keep the great storm “trapped” above the southern pole.
It is rumored that the Thunder Lords serve a powerful being or force of nature called the Harridan. Whether they serve the Harridan out of fear or respect is unknown. Scholars speculate that the Harridan might be an exarch of the goddess Melora, a monstrous kraken, or leviathan that stirs the sea beneath the storm, or a forsaken sibling of Bahamut and Tiamat.

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