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Ardent

The Tempered would claim the Ardent were born at the foot of War’s Throne, where they broke the chains that bound them to their Draconic masters and doomed the Dweghom race to eternal War. The Ardent, however, claim they were born millennia before; the first time a Dweghom refused to bow before a Dragon and found he could not. In War they saw a promise of freedom, a force so powerful even their master could not control, merely contain.

Driven by their cold pride and thirst for freedom, they were the first to fall upon the bound Primordial, shattering and devouring what they could. In doing so, they broke their masters’ chains and took the gift that had been offered to them. No longer would their struggle be a mere rebellion, the conflict of an inferior against a superior, but a contest of equals, a War that would grow to consume the world and finally release the fallen Primordial.

The Ardent ride the violent currents of War with pride, equating any sort of craft aside from this with their millennial slavery to the Dragons. Their initiates are trained from induction in martial craft, tested to their very limits and beyond in preparation for the Dheukorro, the Descent, a pilgrimage following their ancestors path to the Throne of War through the deepest bowels of Eä. In each Dweghom hold there is a pit that plunges so deep into the bowels of the earth that it scratches the surface of Destruction’s prison. Here one can almost hear the beating of Destruction’s savage heart, the power of his rage bleeding through the miles-thick wall of his eternal prison and setting the very earth afire. Nestled deep within these hellish tunnels rests the breached chamber that once imprisoned War itself and fueled the emancipation of the Dweghom.

It is the sacred duty of every member of the Ardent to descend through these tunnels to pay homage to the sacrifice and fortitude of their ancestors. The deeper one descends, the closer he comes to those paragons of old and the greater the initiate’s worth; but the greater the danger as well. Deep within the bowels of the earth, the blood of Destruction has changed many of the subterranean denizens into raging monstrosities that prowl the deepest tunnels. Those initiates that survive these encounters emerge as Exemplars, embodiments of War like none other. The fate of the Gifted who undertake the Dheukorro, the Flame Berzerkers and the Stone Sentinels, are part of the price the Ardent pay for their freedom, for nothing can contain their will, not even the limits of own bodies.

To this day, the Ardent defend their decision, embracing the simple truth that life is a struggle and War a way of life. Their militarism is not the blind adoration of the faithful to a savior, but rather the most exalted manifestation of their own freedom. To any who oppose them, the distinction bears little significance, for, of all the Dweghom, none revel in War more than the Ardent; they are its fiercest proponents, ever eager to prove their faith on the field of battle.