The Color of Shadestone
The Doragongādo (translated as “The Dragon Guard” in the lingua franca of the Balam Alliance) is a group that has ties into the long gone past of the Kingdom of Kui Lai. It began as the representation of the most skilled warriors in the village of Veilhime who had devoted themselves to guarding the temple atop Mount Nagade, centerplace for the worship of their guardian deity Naga the Divine Dragon. Persecuted and disdained, as all of Veilhime was, when initially annexed by the Kui Lai Empire, the Doragongādo came to the attention of Mifune III during the Great Yokai War.
Impressed by their skill, religious fervor and immense capacity for loyalty and devotion, Mifune III rewarded the organization by elevating them to chief military force in his dynasty. The Mount Nagade temple became simply that, the training of the Doragongādo transitioned to a lavish facility built in the heart of the old capital of Kui Lai. This divide from their sacred duty was bought at the price of the end of the discrimination and hate towards the people of Veilhime for their worship of their “pagan goddess”.
The Doragongādo would see its first great calamity following the death of Mifune III. With no new Emperor ascending the throne and several different factions of Zoku vying for power in the vacuum left behind, the elite force found themselves without a directing hand. They continued to uphold the peace and defend the capital city, but no longer extended their influence to outside of Kui Lai itself. When the “Loyalist” faction was formed, espousing that it had only interest in returning the Empire to its proper course as the late Emperor would have wished, the loyalties of the Doragongādo fell in line. But eventually during this era of warring providences, the city would come under the blows of the other factions and the Doragongādo would be splintered, its hallowed academy burnt to the ground with the city around it.
The Doragongādo would see their second great calamity and almost the complete destruction of their order during the conflict between the extant Zuko factions and the armies of Mogu the Star Speaker. The order would have its ranks swelled with new, poorly trained, recruits to aid in fighting the perceived new “Yokai menace”, but the Doragongādo had already fallen far from what it once was. With the inevitable victory of Mogu and the death of all the Zuko who had not fled the nation came the deaths of essentially every member of the order. Only those who had been lucky or had gone into seclusion rather than fight this war (the latter were either cowards or the only veterans of the old Doragongādo who recognized Mogu for the threat he wasn’t) survived to carry on the memories of the organization.
Heisen the Reclaimer would rescue the Doragongādo from extinction when he ascended the throne. He had the great foresight to recast their purpose in the kingdom from that of hardened soldiers to agents of change, reconstruction and justice. Given incredible authority and power in the name of the Imperial House, the members of the order would be tasked in maintaining the stability of the kingdom and to ferret out and deal with any seditious elements that could lead again to the horrors of the Warring Providence Era.
But with this change and increase in power also came a new, great vulnerability. Where once the Doragongādo acted as a whole and had the entire back of the Empire behind them they now act in small groups (if not alone) and with only the bureaucratic oversight of the Imperial body to support them. A member of the order must now tread carefully, for the death or defamation of a Doragongādo is no longer the unthinkable occurrence that it had once been….