I never appreciated more what 13th Age designers created in the Dragon Empire icons than when I tried to write up my own custom set. This is my favorite of what I've created.
It's unfinished. For example, I'm considering "Wyrmskald," instead of "Mother Wyrm."
And I wonder: does it work to combine singer of the song of creation with the fool? What works about it is this ambiguity--does Mother Wyrm really sing the song of creation? And why would she want you to think she does? A secret search for fragments of creation opens interesting possibilities--the real deal (or a real threat) hiding behind a mask of theatrics or an impostor desperate for legitimacy? Then again, maybe creation's song is a distraction while she pulls the rug of mass public support out from under the serious icons.
Let me know what you think.
Mother Wyrm is the white dragon songmaster with a cunning intuition for captivating the masses. Her laudators claim she sings the very song of creation. That she sang kobolds and draconic peoples into being and even now prepares to sing a new song. But does she?
“The truth? I always sing truth—the truth they will remember.”
Wyrmsong, an island in the Noxious Sea.
What Everyone Knows
Songs are sung with resonance and dissonance. So also, Mother Wyrm’s song.
Take for example, her dragons. Many dragons respect and freely follow Mother Wyrm—white dragons, of course; but also, other chromatic dragons: blues who turn from the Lightning Witch, greens independent of the Stewardship, blacks undominated by the Queen of the Deep; and those metallic dragons who want to participate more deeply in the world than the detached Noble Eyrie. Among these dragons are what many would call “good” and others they’d call “evil.”
Mother Wyrm’s bardic academies are no different. Vivacity, for one, has no less than 31 academies. Some large and well-respected, producing composers and playwrights noble houses compete to sponsor. Others are no more than one half-drunk “songmaster” with two or three orphaned “apprentices.” Academies split and reunite. Great poets feud in public. It’s all quite entertaining. And somehow, it all serves Mother Wyrm’s ageless song.
Of course, there are those who claim she is a charlatan, a liar and manipulator. Creation's song is lost, or is what the Stewardship stewards, or is not a thing mortals can master, only surrender to. When the subject comes up, some of Mother Wyrm's own followers flash a wink and a grin. Is it a joke? And if so, who is it on?
Many bards have a relationship with Mother Wyrm, for or against. They need not be trained in one of her academies. In fact, she often favors the street busker over the classically-trained.
Adventurers who serve Mother Wyrm and her song gain celebrity, whether they want it or not. Or infamy if not fame. Sometimes her agents masquerade as agents of other icons. After the mission goes dramatically off-script might adventurers suspect Mother Wyrm. Or maybe only when they hear tell of their own exploits from her bards. Especially when her factions clash, they hire hapless adventurers.
When Mother Wyrm’s agents properly hire adventurers, the task tends toward theatrics. Recovering lost fragments of creation may be her only quests that don’t involve playing to an audience. Otherwise, it’s whatever makes for better stories.
Once, Mother Wyrm and the Lightning Witch competed like the sisters they are. But now some say Mother Wyrm sings her sister’s comeback..
No one seems to know whether Mother Wyrm and the Sister of Secrets are allies, rivals, or enemies. Perhaps all three.
And it’s said, Valkyrie laughs at none but Mother Wyrm’s jokes.
When it comes to Mother Wyrm, the usually-affable King Hammerhelm loses his sense of humor and the serene Silver Master loses his cool. The Noble Eyrie distains Mother Wyrm’s chaotic, undisciplined interference in the world, while the Stewardship resents her claim on creation. The Divine Empress' theologians also take issue, but some say their clash is about power, not doctrine.
Every tale needs a good villain, which is why Mother Wyrm loves the Vampiress.
The Real Threat
What would happen if Mother Wyrm began the song of creation’s grand finale? Or if the fool became king?