Argonnessen: A Draconic Exaltation
What little is known about the fabled city of Io’Vakar – sister city to the modern metropolis Io’lokar – leaves more questions unanswered than it sheds light on. Sometime after the lesser races of Eberron began developing Dragonmarks upon their person, the Dragons of Argonnessen began to take a greater interest in these newer races. Some say that whole villages and cities were kidnapped from their homes and transported against their will to serve the dragons as servant or merely to be used as test subject to better understand the new Dragonmarks and how they related to the Dragon Prophecy.
A group of Dragons rose up against the ranks claiming that this treatment of the lesser races was cruel and unusual and not fitting of intelligent (if extremely short lived) creatures. They called themselves the Warders and formed a pact to empower these land bound beings and guide them towards their true destiny as the future of Eberron. Their first accomplishment was to create the vast magical city of Io’Vakar in the deep Southern planes of The Vast where all creatures, draconic or otherwise, could live as free beings.
For almost 2,000 years the city flourished as a testament to how Dragonkind and the humanoid races could work side by side. Though there were some ancient Dragons who believed that the lesser land bound races were upstarts who sought only to usurp their power, most other Dragons were beginning to see the usefulness of the ingenuity and resourcefulness of these upstarts – especially that of the humans, dwarves, hobgoblins and elves. The dragons allowed Io’Vakar and it’s inhabitants to flourish so long as they did not break one simple rule: Dragon magic was for Dragons alone.
There will always be some scholars that say that Dragons must have had a hand in the city’s downfall, but nearly 2,000 years after it’s creation – the first human sorcerer was born in the city of Io’Vakas. A creature of frightening innate magical ability, his birth created a great divide among Dragonkind. Some saw him as the embodiment of humanity’s true future, a creature to be protected, studied, and perhaps cherished. The more hide bound dragons saw this as a sign that the lesser races had finally gone to far. Dragons, with their long memories and traditions, knew the dangers of the lesser races embracing Draconic power. Great conclaves of Dragons were held to discuss what to do with the upstart city and it’s new magics (for indeed, as the dragons talked for decades, new children with sorcerous blood were being born).
The Light of Siberys argued for caution: to watch, wait and observe. Perhaps these new traits in the lesser races could be used as a secret weapon against the Rakshasa and the Demon Overlords, should they rise again. The Warders, proud of their young proteges, wanted to mold and shape them, defying laws as old (almost) as Dragonkind themselves. Still, as the factions within Dragonkind discussed the city’s fate, a group of rogue dragons set out to take the situation out of the hands of the Conclave forever.
No records exist of what happened on that day, other than word passed down through generation after generation of the few survivors. It is said that fire, ice, electricity and acid rained down on the great city of Io’vakas – burning the city to the bedrock beneath it. All that remains of the city today is a swath of rock in the middle of the plain on which nothing will grow.
Members of the Warders rushed to the aid of the city once news of it’s destruction spread, but little could be done other than gather the few refugees and protect them from the roaming savage Dragons who sought their destruction. It is said that those few refugees were taken in by a Great Golden Wyrm named Arnaarlasha who brought them to her own territory within The Vast and declared them free peoples under her protection. It is certainly under her protection that the sister city of Io’Vakas, Io’lokar was raised and probably under her tutelage that the wizard schools it houses were born. Never again would the Free Cities be at the whim of Draconic destruction, the Great Wyrm vowed, because from now on, they would be able to defend themselves.