|“||The Balaur are the greatest danger in the Abyss, and also its greatest mystery. Like the Elyos and the Asmodians, they do not make their home in the Abyss but in some other world. Yet no-one has ever seen a Gate to that world. Perhaps they are rare, or perhaps the Balaur can open Gates at will, and are preparing for some full-out offensive in the future.||”|
– Elysean textbook
The Balaur, also referred to as Drakan, are the third race taking part in the war. Unlike Elyos or Asmodians, they do not follow Aion and seek the absolute power over the whole of Atreia, regardless of costs.
In-game, they act as the "PvE race" due to them being non-playable. Its purpose is to balance the situation between both playable races.
The term 'Balaur' invokes images of terror and fear for the level of destruction that they caused, and continue to cause, in the planet.
Their role is that of an unpredictable third power in the struggles between the Elyos and Asmodians. This is showcased during fortress sieges, as their Dredgions and additional troops can easily turn the battle on their side.
A mighty race created by Aion to protect the planet's population (including the Sapien races) from its natural dangers. A state of peace coated ancient Atreia, until from the deep bottoms of their souls one of the most dangerous wish surged; thirst for power. As a result, they changed their status of a protective force to a destructive one, ravaging the lands, menacing the life of every human they encountered.
Their obsession threatened the Tower of Eternity after violating the restrictions that Aion placed on them. They demanded godlike powers from Aion for their continuous loyalty. However, he refused, knowing he would have to oppose his own creation.
Without the deity's consent, they decided to obtain power through their own means. Results were slow, until one Drakan in particular found a source of power (presumably otherworldly) outside of Aion's reach. It was Fregion, the first Drakan to ascend into an empowered version of himself, and therefore became the ultimate ruler of his race. Knowing they were no longer "creatures of Aion", he decided his race would abandon the name given to them by the deity. He had founded the Balaur empire, accepting the role of Dragon Lord, this being the definite declaration of war against the rest of the planet.
Fregion's method was spread and applied to several of his subordinates. While they all awakened, the vast majority did not achieve conditions similar to his, with the exception of a select few. Fregion granted these Balaur titles similar to his, naming Meslamtaeda, Ereshkigal, Beritra and Apsu (later replaced by Tiamat) Dragon Lords. United under one same banner, led by the five Dragons, the Balaur were an organised forced, accepted as a true threat.
At the base of the tower, as the Balaur continued their assaults, all humans gathered. An aetheric field was lifted to prevent their access, this being the only safe heaven in the planet. Aion, worried about the humans' security, finally decided to answer the Balaur's call for war. He designated the most faithful of humans to ascend as Daevas, and between them, twelve would rise to lead them, calling them Empyrean Lords.
This marked the beginning of the Millennium War, an on going battle between both sides. However, this lengthy war proved to be a very long-lasting clash, eventually resulting in the wish for peace. Five Empyrean Lords argued about how the war would be eternal and that peace could be an option, while the other five strongly opposed to the idea. In the end, decided by Siel and Israphel, the peace conference would be held, in no other place than the base of the Tower of Eternity.
As the five Dragon Lords arrived, the forcefield was lowered, allowing their entrance. This moment was taken as a blessing by some, while others shed tears at the sight. The conference then began, but chaos broke loose when one of the Dragon Lords was suddenly injured. Fregion, enraged by this, took flight and concentrated his energy on the tower, fully shattering it. While Daevas desperately tried to save the obelisk, the Dragon Lords retreated to the outer surface of the planet. With the Cataclysm taking place, several Balaur were scattered, some of which had to establish in the newly formed Abyss, while others claimed the unexplored land as theirs and naming it Balaurea.
A drawback caused by the ascension designed by Fregion was their weakness against Aether. While in Balaurea, they had to find an alternate matter to nurture from, a sort of "anti-Aether". With effort, they adapted to Drana and began manufacturing it to be their main resource, covering the land with their plantations and generators. With their basic necessities covered, they decided to properly establish as an empire and built strongholds, cities, fortresses and societies. They confronted several difficulties, such as the presence of Reians, Danuar and opposition from the indigenous sapiens. However, it was clear to everyone they were mere bugs to them.
Aware of the survival of their enemies, and their separation in Elyos and Asmodians, their wish for conquest soon revived. To their surprise, access to the inner halves was heavily restricted, not only by their own weakness, but by the Aetheric Field set up by Daevas too. They were required to resort to the assistance of old allies who still remained inside the field, their old sapien races Mau and Krall. The plan would be the production of a gate to allow Balaur troops to step inside and slowly conquer every land in possession of Daevas. Tiamat watched over the advancement on this plan, while the other Dragon Lords played their own mysterious plots.
Across the years, the Balaur had increased in number and changed their appearance, adapting to the several landscapes they gave settled in.
Ancient Drakan Edit
The first type to ever exist, they were the Aion's original design of protectors. Their appearance was closest to the one of the Drakes, with disproportioned thin bodies, and slim membranous wings. Despite their weak-looking reptile skin and limbs, they were considerably powerful for the time.
It is from their independence from the deity new subspecies surge. Their appearance is changed drastically. Some will continue to follow the path of a Dragon, while others will only reach the most common humanoid shape of Drakan.
Due to the latter being the most common one, they usually serve as guards or soldiers. Their high numbers and enhanced intelligence allowed them to establish classes, like Daevas. They will be seen as heavily armoured beings by others, due to their thick skin having developed certain spikes, imitating armour.
As the Balaur began, not all of them reacted to ascension in the same way. Some of them grew larger in size, strengthening their limbs with flesh and a tougher skin. Their magic is commonly related or based on the elements, making them a powerful threat to their enemies. Much stronger than the regular Drakan, they are usually assigned as Protectors or Captains, and in some cases Brigade Generals.
Modern Drakan Edit
The time the Balaur were forced to stay in Balaurea after the Cataclysm was used by them as a chance to evolve into a much different shape. The general lack of Aether and high concentration of Drana favoured this transformation.
The Drakan affected eventually got rid of their thick armour-like skin and adopted a much slimmer body, a lot more human-looking than the previous ones. Their reptilian tail moved from their bottom to their torso, and in some cases to the back of their head. Some have even developed different tails which, at first glance, appear as a single one, but opening up during battle, giving them a much more menacing stance. Additionally, one may find sexual dimorphism, similar to humans, a trait exclusive to this subspecies.
While this allowed them a greater power, they must now make use of armour, which was an advantage for the Dragon Lords as they are now able to distinguish their armies from others depending on their colours.
One of the lowest grades of Balaur soldiers, they are much weaker forms than the Drakan. Presumably partly deformed by Aether, this species appeared shortly after the advancement into Reshanta.
In appearance, they are closer to lizards than the rest. Scaly skin, with thin limbs but thick torsos. Their upper body forces them to only hold a hunched stance, and their low intelligence does not allow them to be acquainted with magic, sticking to physical power. With lower strength, they make up for it with their big numbers. Regardless, much like Modern Drakan, they rely on armour.
Their presence in Reshanta and inside the Aetheric Field and absence in Balaurea, suggest their origins are due to the action of Aether, deforming their body. These creatures show to be a hybrid between a snake (lower body) and human (upper body), giving them a most appalling appearance. Like Modern Drakan, they present sexual dimorphism. As a result, it may identified how males (Nagarants) focus on their physical attacks, while females (Nagas) show off their magical abilities.
Much of their characteristics are a mystery. In terms of rank, they are usually placed between Drakan and Draconutes, acting as captains or soldiers. Meanwhile, in society, they show a similar military organisation, showing a reasonable intellectual level.
Modern Drakan Edit
- In older interviews or discussions on the internet, the Balaur may be referred to as the "Yong" (which is their Korean name) or the Draconic race.
- "Balaur" means "dragon" or, more loosely, "monster" in Romanian, being one of the oldest words in the language (pre-Roman).
- When a fortress is introduced, reset or removed, the Balaur will be the ones owning it.
- A Dragon Lord's "true shape" is unknown as they have shape-shifting abilities. They do, however, stick to a Modern Drakan shape and a Dragon shape.