Iomandra Home

PLEASE NOTE: This setting was originally designed by Christopher Perkins on the Wizards of the Coast website. I have added elements, but all text in 'quoted' white text boxes (like this) is from Christopher's articles. Archive link.

The world of Iomandra is named after Io, the creator of dragons. The word “Iomandra” is Draconic; it means “Io’s trove” or “world of Io.”
According to legend, Io consorted with primordial beings to create Iomandra as a playground for dragons. Other gods flattered Io with praise for his design even as they were crafting worlds of their own, improving on his work. Io studied with envy the works of his divine peers, took note of the various humanoid races they’d created, and decided that his world needed such creatures to serve and amuse his dragons. Io negotiated with his fellow gods to bring humans, eladrin, elves, dwarves, halflings, and other races to the world—but none of them felt quite right to him. With the help of his children, Io crafted a humanoid race modelled after dragonkind and called them the dragonborn. The dragonborn were given every advantage, and with the help of the dragons they conquered and enslaved Iomandra’s other sentient humanoid races. The humans of Iomandra proved the most difficult to enslave; one kingdom in particular forged infernal pacts with devils in return for great power, thus birthing the tiefling race. However, even such desperate measures could not protect them from the awesome might of the dragonborn and their dragon masters. Their empires stretched across the vast continents of the world.
The covetous dragonborn empires eventually turned on one another. Petty rivalries and territorial disputes led to wars and horrible bloodshed. At the same time, slave revolts threatened to break the dynasties’ hold over the “lesser” races of Iomandra. To maintain order and restore paradise, Io sent his godling children to rule the great continents on his behalf, but they too became corrupt and tried to usurp each other’s power. Three of Io’s children perished in this world-shaking feud. Furious, Io recalled to the heavens his two surviving children—Bahamut and Tiamat—and unleashed a maelstrom that would sink the continents of Iomandra beneath the sea. Not everything was destroyed, however. In defiance of their father, Bahamut and Tiamat intervened and prevented the lands from sinking completely. Their intervention created islands around the globe where the world’s remaining inhabitants could survive and prosper. Moved by his children’s demonstration of unity, Io left the world in their custody. However, Bahamut and Tiamat would never again see eye to eye, and to this day, each seeks to break the other’s influence.

Io’s Fury not only drowned nations; spires thrust up from the sea bed, volcanoes became active, and even more fantastic landscapes appeared. Islands of rock drifted into the sky where they still float and are now know as earthmotes. Io’s Fury affected everything: flesh, stone, and magic. Lands and creatures still bear the mark of Io. Fire-scarred lands manifest unrestrained wild magic, where visitors are killed or warped by the energies present.

Many creatures were warped by Io's Fury too. It was at this time than many creatures were wiped out. Others were infused with draconic energy and some developed permanent fire-scarred features. Many Fire-scarred creatures walk the earth, and a rare few people have embraced this magic, being able to produce the easily recognisable blue fire of Io (see Spellscarred class in 4E FRPG p41).

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Iomandra of the “modern day” is a watery world peppered with islands of every size and ecosystem. Some of these islands are hundreds of miles across; others are barely large enough to support a single structure. Trade links many of the “civilized” islands, but countless more have yet to be explored. Beneath the waves lie the remnants of ancient, sunken empires and the treasures of the ages.
In this, the modern day, scores of vessels ply the Dragon Sea. They include heavily laden merchant ships, well-armed warships, swift privateer vessels, and fleets of marauding pirates. An intricate net of trade routes link the civilized islands, and ships that stray from these routes do so at their own risk. The only surviving nation of consequence is Arkhosia, ruled by a decadent and corrupt dragonborn dynasty that reveres Bahamut and Tiamat, fears Io’s wrath, and regards true dragons as divine exarchs.
The humans, elves, dwarves, halflings, tieflings, and other “civilized races” that inhabit Iomandra are no longer bound by draconic law. Having long since freed themselves from the bonds of slavery, they have charted their own destinies and spread across the world. These descendants of the ancient slave races bear no animosity to modern-day dragonborn, most of whom regard slavery as abhorrent under the teachings of Bahamut. Ever since Emperor Azunkhan III of the Dragovar openly professed his belief in “other gods,” these civilized races have expanded the pantheon of true gods to include such reverent figures as Erathis (goddess of civilization) and Melora (goddess of the sea).

Many types of the animals, beasts and creatures left on Iomandra today bear draconic or reptilian features. Many years of draconic races tampering with nature has resulted in all kinds of crossbred draconic creatures. Few large mammals exist. Drakes and behemoths of all varieties replace guard dogs and horses. Small lizards and drakes fly in the skies. People may have small drakes or strange reptilian beasts as pets. Even simple creatures such as chickens or goats may be altered, from having a few scales to being covered in scales and bearing claws.

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The islands of the known world are called the Draconic or Dragon Isles and are divided into eight regions. There are also a number of lesser regions and islands yet to be discovered.


The Draconic Isles is the singular name given to the thousands of islands that dot the surface of Iomandra. And they are called the Draconic Isles for good reason.
By ancient law, all land belongs to the scions of Io—the true dragons. This was true when Iomandra had vast continents; it is still true now. When a dragon reaches adult age, it is expected to leave its nest and claim an island of its own. A weak dragon might find a small, uncontested island to rule. An elder dragon or ancient wyrm will seek to rule the largest island it can find, preferably one with abundant food supplies. Not every island of Iomandra has a dragon overlord. Some islands are simply too small or wretched. Others are hotly contested. Others still haven’t been claimed because no dragon has found them yet.
When a dragon takes ownership of an island, it expects the island’s other inhabitants to pay it tribute. Those who do not comply are devoured or driven off. Most sensible creatures acknowledge the dragon’s status and may even stand to benefit from the dragon’s protection (depending on its disposition). An island always adopts the name of the dragon that lives there; when a dragon overlord changes, so too does the island’s name … much to the chagrin of the world’s foremost cartographers.
Nothing is more precious to a dragon than its island dominion. A dragon that cannot find an island to rule will do anything to wrest control of one. Dragons who rule islands must therefore be wary of rivals. Their lairs are often trapped or guarded, and they are smart enough to use minions or adventurers to eliminate likely challengers.
It’s worth noting that over the course of history, many influential dragonborn warlords and emperors have claimed to be scions of Io, but the true dragons of the world have never acknowledged such claims. In one notable case, an ancient gold dragon named Mazuzura openly refuted such a bold claim made by Emperor Azunkhan V of the Dragovar by attacking his palace in broad daylight and devouring him. Today, the Dragovar Dynasty spans dozens of major islands, all with powerful dragon overlords. These mighty dragons horribly tax the coffers of the Dragovar, but they also provide the greatest protection that gold can buy.

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