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Ravenites are dragonborn without tails, indigenous to southern Xhorhas. Historically, they were denigrated and enslaved by those dragonborn with tails called draconblood.[1]

Description[]

Ravenites look very much like dragons in humanoid form, though they have a hearty physique and neither wings nor a tail.[1]

History[]

The dragonborn of Exandria are a people of unknown origin, surrounded by countless myths explaining their ancestral creation. The most likely myth holds that dragonblood were created by the Scaled Tyrant and the Platinum Dragon during the Calamity, serving as loyal soldiers who eventually earned their freedom.[3] After the Calamity, a fragment of the floating draconblood city of Kethesk came to rest in the Dreemoth Ravine of southern Xhorhas in Wildemount. The tailed survivors of Kethesk allied with the cave-dwelling, indigenous ravenites to build a new city called Draconia, harvesting the massive brumestone crystals that had once held Kethesk aloft.[4] However, the draconbloods eventually betrayed and enslaved the ravenites.[1]

The draconblood installed a strict caste system and forced the ravenite dragonborn[5] to mine their gold and gemstones in the ravine below, ensuring their dominance in the region.[4] Many Draconian citizens disagreed with the oppression of their brethren and fought for generations to overturn the laws that kept them enslaved.[5]

In 810 PD, the Chroma Conclave destroyed the floating city-state of Draconia, which came to rest in the same Dreemoth Ravine from which it had originated. The surviving ravenites enjoyed a brief moment of freedom before the ancient white dragon Vorugal claimed the ruins and the surrounding ravine as his new lair, plunging the ravine into an endless winter.[6] The chaos of the attack caught the draconblood civilization off guard, opening up an opportunity for the ravenite slaves to rise up and drive their former masters from the Dreemoth Ravine.[1] With Draconia sundered, the no-longer enslaved ravenites greatly outnumbered their previous masters, claimed their freedom, and punished the surviving draconbloods.[4]

Campaign One: Vox Machina[]

Vox Machina first encountered ravenites when they traveled to the ruins of Draconia.[7] They disguised themselves as dragonborn with tails, similar to their former companion Tiberius Stormwind. This caused a conflict with the ravenites, as they mistook them for the Draconians who had formerly enslaved them. After Vox Machina dropped their disguise, and after some convincing, Skork took them to Tooma, the chieftain and leader of the ravenites. Upon learning that since the fall of Draconia the ravenites had been serving Vorugal, Vox Machina convinced them to work together to kill the white dragon.

After a brief trip to Ank'Harel, Vox Machina returned to the ruins of Draconia as per their agreement with ravenites. The ravenites initiated the ruse that led Vorugal into Vox Machina's ambush, but arrived too late to take part in the battle, stating that they lacked the means of quickly transporting themselves from the staging area to the ambush site. The group allowed them to harvest parts of Vorugal's corpse, and on their part, dragonborn allowed Vox Machina to keep some of the dragon's hoard, which consisted largely of Draconian and ravenite plunder.

Those champions who were lost in the struggle were immortalized in statues left among the ruins of Draconia, the most famous of whom is the hero Tiberius Stormwind. He gave his life to defend ravenites from the ire of Vorugal, the white dragon of the Chroma Conclave. His statue and surrounding shrine are a place of pilgrimage for ravenite historians.[5]

Resettlement[]

A number of ravenites sought refuge in the Dwendalian Empire after Draconia was destroyed. The Empire gave them a place to stay and be processed in what is now the tent city of Talonstadt.[8] Others fled east towards the Lotusden Greenwood and, along with the Lotusden halflings, founded Charis.[9][10] The majority of ravenites, however, stayed within the Dreemoth Ravine and founded a new city at its southern end, known as Xarzith Kitril.[6]

Society[]

In Draconia, those with tails were called draconians or draconbloods, for they were seen as closer in form and power to true dragons. Those without tails were given the name of ravenites and enslaved.[3] Even after the passage of many years from the fall of Draconia and the dissolution of its caste system, ravenites are still frequently viewed as a subrace of the draconblood race.

Wildemount[]

Menagerie Coast[]

After the destruction of Draconia, many of its inhabitants fled to the Menagerie Coast, where some had luxurious villas and beach homes. There, they were for the most part greeted with sympathy, although commoners who knew of the ravenite uprising against the draconblood tended to view their relative poverty as just punishment. As such, tailless dragonborn who wander through the cities of the Clovis Concord are assumed to be well-settled, wealthy individuals, leaving them a frequent target for outlaw assault.[11]

Dwendalian Empire[]

Following the fall of Vorugal, a number of ravenites journeyed to the Dwendalian Empire, but found a colder reception than was given their former masters, the draconbloods. The empire had no desire to grant shelter to revolutionaries, and would have turned the ravenites away had the Cerberus Assembly not intervened. For reasons unknown, the Assembly created the shantytown of Talonstadt for displaced ravenites, allowing them to trade labor for lodging there.[1][12]

Tal'Dorei[]

Some ravenites found a new home in the cities and the icy north of the continent, enjoying their freedom and privileges of equality. However, most ravenite children grew up poor, either in slum towns at the edges of cities like Emon and Westruun, or helping their parents laboriously carve out rural lives in the Dividing Plains or Cliffkeep Mountains.

In Tal'Dorei, it's apparent that the differences between the ravenites and the draconians have nothing to do with bloodline or draconic power. Those differences are cultural, and rooted in a past whose conflicts still haven't been resolved. The oppression that existed in Draconia remains largely unknown within Tal'Dorei as of 836 PD, and outside of major cities such as Emon, dragonblood rarely see another of their kind.[13]

Notable ravenites[]

Gern Blanston - Lady Rossë

Fan art of Gern Blanston, by Lady Rossë.[art 2]

Campaign One: Vox Machina[]

BlackSalander Bertholt

Fan art of Bertholt, by BlackSalander.[art 3]

PC

NPC

Campaign Two: The Mighty Nein[]

NPC

  • Durmas, a black ravenite, serving as the main stablehand in Alfield.

Other[]

  • Druvis Koothalok, a trained combatant in draconblood gladiatorial games, after the fall of Draconia becoming a champion for the downtrodden people of Xarzith Kitril.

Behind the scenes[]

Both Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting and Explorer's Guide to Wildemount establish the ravenites as a subrace of dragonborn with distinct traits, such as a higher Constitution score. In the Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting they also have slightly greater Wisdom, increased speed, and resistance to nonmagical slashing damage.[14] In the Explorer's Guide they have notably greater Strength rather than Wisdom, they have darkvision (as do draconbloods), and they have an ability to occasionally react with a vengeful strike when an opponent damages them.[1] The Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn presents the ravenites only as a social class without highlighting any distinguishing physical or mental differences from other members of the dragonborn race.[3]

References[]

Art:

  1. Official art of a Ravenite Dragonborn from Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, by adragonswinging (source). Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Gern Blanston, by Lady Rossë (source). Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Bertholt, by BlackSalander (source). Used with permission.
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