Captains of Renown: Prince Azsraan

Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Captains of Renown: Prince Azsraan

Written by Craig Gallant | Tags:

Azsraan san Nar, Prince of Traal and Master of Sea and Sky

Prince Azsraan was born to the noble house of Traal during the heady ascendancy of Great House Garran of Melkharn. Controlling the largest tracts of land within the domains of the Dragon Lords, House Garran were the masters of Old Principia and all of the resources, breeding grounds, and the not inconsiderable power of tradition reaching back to the great Catastrophe and beyond.

The other three Great Houses had struggled for centuries to keep the Garran in check, fending off every effort of the powerful House to instigate a vote for High Lord. But with the advent of the adventurers from over the Boiling Seas, the delicate balance of power had shifted precipitously. It was the fleets of the Garran that had met the first Imperial Human incursions, crushing the interlopers and sending the survivors fleeing back to their masters. With every battle, the star of the Garran rose, and the influence of the other families waned.

Azsraan san Nar

Azsraan san Nar

The Nar of Traal were the least politically-minded of the Four Great Houses; content, for the most part, to reside within their mountain fastness and preside over the vast, dark forests of Traal and Sorylia. Within the shadows of the deep forests the mages and apothecaries of Traal harvest and compound a wide array of powders and spices that enhance and expand the abilities of Dragon Lord arch-mages, admirals, and shipwrights throughout the Dragon Lords’ domain. The vast majority of the Dragon Lords have depended upon these admixtures to maintain their hold on power for as long as living memory can recall. With the power and influence of this monopoly, the Nar could easily afford their lack of interest in the Dragon Lord political landscape. But this, too, changed with the arrival of the Nove, or New Ones.

Great Lord Vannos san Nar, Lord of Traal, watched with frustration as the Garran met the Nove from the Shrouded Isles south to the Strait of Cerac. Each victory was cursed from the Tower of Mists, and as the Garran, swollen with victories and their own sense of self-importance, began to agitate for the election of a High Lord, Lord Vannos knew that each day brought them closer and closer to open conflict for the first time in centuries.

The Garran’s Cadres were larger than those of any other House, and had been accumulating experience and expertise in their battles with the Nove. Multiple invitations to the other Houses to engage in traditional factional melee to settle the question of supremacy had been delayed as long as possible. Great Lord Vannos, his detachment from the politics of the other Houses lending him a sense of legitimacy and honour, was unwillingly cast as the leader of the opposition.

All of these developments were in their infancy when Great Lord Vannos welcomed his son and heir, Azsraan, into the world. From an early age the Prince of Traal was groomed for military command. His father, perhaps benefiting from the enhanced vision of the seers of Traal, gave his son every advantage in training and preparation for a life of military command. The Great House of Nar, always weak in the powers of sorcery, had compensated for this through martial prowess and an aggressive stance. Azsraan, with only a faint talent in clairvoyance, learned his lessons well and was appointed to command one of the defensive squadrons of Traal at an earlier age than any other commander in the history of the Dragon Lords.

Azsraan learned to command his Subasha crew at the sharp point of the spear. The remnant races clinging to the west coast of Traal and Sorylia had been constantly at war with the Nar for centuries. These clashes provided the officers, crews, and marines with hard-won experience in life-or-death combat; leading his human warriors into battle honed Azsraan into a lethal weapon for the battles ahead. After his first decade in the defensive fleets, Azsraan was promoted by his father to the rank of commodore and given command of the first Eyrie Class Dragon Carrier built near Lamoran. Azsraan took to the Nogdra Dragons and their riders immediately.

Although nominally the commanding officer of the Winged Fury, the Prince of Traal was fascinated with the reach and power conferred upon his vessel by the wings of Nogdra Dragons, and he would often ride with them personally on scouting and training missions. The pull of the sky was almost too much for the young commodore, and more than once his father reprimanded him for dereliction of duty. Time tempered his overwhelming need to fly with the squadrons, but he always took the opportunity whenever it arose.

Dragon Lords

Dragon Lords

In the face of House Garran’s rising ambitions, Azsraan and his expanded fleet were eventually sent north and east, through the Straits of Usank and into the Cerac Sea. Whether his father’s orders actually stipulated his targets of choice was unknown, but almost immediately Azsraan began to attack Garran forces in the area as well as those fleets of the Nove. Since the Prince of Traal’s arrival, the fortunes of House Garran have stalled, and debate on the ascension of a High Lord has been suspended.

It is uncommon for the Dragon Lords themselves to man ships sailing east of Principia, but the forces of Traal and Kalath, far from the depredations of the Nove, are far more inclined to meet their foes directly. Although still vanishingly rare upon most ships, larger vessels are usually commanded by a Dragon Lord personally, and of course all Nogdra Dragons are of the true kin. Aboard Winged Fury, Prince Azsraan is accompanied by a council of advisors and several arch-mages provided by his father and the Lords of Morgloth and Kalath.

Given his years of experience and his natural talents, Azsraan is a consummate tactician and strategist, finally given a wider canvas upon which to paint his destiny. One of his favoured tactics is to shadow the enemy with Nogdra Dragons, before revealing an isolated larger target to them; manipulating the enemy into a battleground of his choosing, where his knowledge of the terrain, local currents and weather patterns will offer him every advantage. It is not unusual for a Nove captain, whether Imperial Human, Iron Dwarf, or Thaniras Elf, to plunge headfirst after what they believe to be a lone squadron of Moonbeam Destroyers or Shadow Cruisers, only to crash against a submerged reef or sandbar and to find themselves suddenly surrounded by eager Dragon Lord squadrons, the sky overhead filled with circling dragons.

Although primarily focused upon the Nogdra wings for his long distance scouting and raiding, Prince Azsraan has been known to command a mighty Elder Dragon. Most reports assume this to be Staarji Zmaaj, a friend and advisor to his father Great Lord Vannos himself. The sight of this mighty creature, with its hide gleaming an emerald green, and ominous smoke pouring from its snout, is often enough to cause isolated ships to surrender without a fight. When flying to battle surrounded by his smaller cousins, Staarji Zmaaj is truly a terrible sight to behold.

Prince Azsraan of Traal in games of Uncharted Seas:

In any game where the players have agreed to allow the use of Captains of Renown, any Dragon Lords Fleet may field Azsraan san Nar as their Admiral. He must be assigned to the largest ship in the Fleet. If a Midnight Flagship or Eyrie Class Dragon Carrier is available, Azsraan must be stationed on one of them. He will not serve on any vessel smaller than a Cruiser

Prince Azsraan of Traal in Battle:
Azsraan san Nar conveys the following special abilities upon his Fleet: After Terrain has been set-up for any battle, the Dragon Lords player may choose to either exchange any piece of Terrain on the Game Board for a Reef, or place a Sand Bar anywhere on the Game Board outside of any Deployment Zone.

Cat and Mouse: If Small Class models make up less than 25% of the opposing Fleet, they roll 2D6 for Scouting. If Small Class models make up 25% or more of the opposing Fleet, they will roll 4D6 for Scouting.

Scouting: Scouting rolls use the Exploding Dice mechanic. If the Scouting roll results in 4 or more successes, the Terrain is altered after Battlefield Set-Up but BEFORE Deployment. Otherwise, it is altered AFTER Deployment.

The Cost of Greatness:
It costs nothing to field Prince Azsraan san Nar in any suitable game during the Cauldron of Silence campaign. However, in any other game, the Prince of Traal adds 30 points to the cost of whatever ship he is assigned to for MFV, Fleet Composition and Victory Point purposes.