" 'I will to my dragon lord be true and faithful and love all which he loves and shun all which he shuns.' " -Oath of Arkhosia
Titled Ruler: First Dragons
Governance: Tyrannic Despotism
Capitol: Lo'vanthor, City of the Dragon God
Lands: Athas, Eberron, Faerun
Common Folk: Dragons
Culturally, the Empire of Arkhosia was very different from the Empire of Bael Turath, being much more ecumenically-driven than its counterpart. The Arkhosian Empire was hierarchical, utilizing both a rigid caste system and a stratified rank structure to put its subjects in their proper place. Due to how long Arkhosian society had separated the thrall races into castes, each caste was sometimes referred to as a sub-species of dragon. The Bozak Draconian were the priest caste of the Dragonborn who also served as spiritual leaders that indoctrinated others into Arkhosian teachings. This was also where the masters and students of the Ninefold Path were placed. In contrast, the Kopak Draconian were the warrior caste of the Dragonborn. They were unquestioningly obedient to the First Dragons of Arkhosia; they were also loyal to the individual Dragon Lord they served, though this loyalty was secondary to their loyalty to Bahamut and Tiamat. The Kobold caste, who worshiped the dragons as gods, built and maintained Arkhosian engineering, including their war machines and ships. Ssurran slaves were the lowliest caste of the Arkhosian Empire. Often used as blood sacrifices, the slaves served in menial tasks, such as grooming a Dragon's claws. Most of the Empire lived in this caste-driven structure, in which they toiled to build their rulers' tombs or died by the thousands in internecine warfare. They were ultimately ruled by a militaristic culture with a great reverence for the dead. When a Dragon Lord died, his slaves were buried alive with his body in his tomb.
When Bahamut unified the Dragons, he took the title of 'Dovahdrog,' meaning 'Dragon Lord' in common. They were the leaders of the Arkhosian Empire. Each Dragon Lord had his own slaves and his own horde while Bahamut and Tiamat ruled over all the Dragon Lords. Following the formation of the Arkhosian Empire, many claimed the title of Dragon Lord and fought each other in constant civil wars, each ruling only a fief. Following the fall of the Arkhosian Empire, the word 'Dovahdrog' took on the approximate meaning 'Champion of Prophecy,' referring to an unidentified individual who would fulfill the Draconic Prophecy.
The term 'Krojun' was the title translated 'Sorcerer King' in common. Sorcerer Kings were the greatest and most powerful of the Dragon Lords. The original Sorcerer Kings were Bahamut and Tiamat's inner circle; later Sorcerer Kings were Dragon Lords who assumed the title after the death of the previous Sorcerer King, defeating any rival claimant to the title in combat. Through the first and second eras, Bahamut and Tiamat collectively ruled the Empire through the Sorcerer Kings; each Sorcerer King led many Dragon Lords.
Before the formation of the Arkhosian Empire, the dragons were engaged in constant warfare with one another, though this was seen as an acceptable practice, as they believed it to be a fundamental aspect of their existence. This meant that they lived both a barbaric yet strangely harmonious existence in Athas. The early dragons often engaged in blood sacrifices which they made to their god Io. Their constant warring led to a dwindling of the population in Athas, as well as cultivated an intensely hostile society. After the formation of the Arkhosian Empire, only those who wielded terrible power had the capacity to reach the upper echelons of the Empire. Those that failed to accumulate arcane secrets, divine favor, or psionic power, were considered worthless. Among the elite, power was craved due to the intense greed perpetuated by Tiamat, which also meant that they were ambitious as well as paranoid. This society encouraged the survival of the fittest with only the most ruthless and powerful surviving, let alone rising to positions of power.
The Arkhosian Empire ultimately thrived on slavery, as well as the exploitation and oppression of the masses. In addition, they lived in constant belief that they would face external threats to their dominion and thus had a belief in expansion or dying. Some believed that this was a necessity for the dragons as they hungered for new lands and riches to bring under their control. This allowed for Sorcerer King Hofkah to lead his forces during the first invasion. Even so, there were other, traditional and more conservative factions, that believed in remaining within their territory in order to preserve their ways.
During the time of the Arkhosian Empire, there were many instances of explorers stumbling into Arkhosian land, where they became slaves to one of the many Dragon Lords. Over the years of enslavement, these outsiders continued to live for generations, forgetting their origins, and becoming true thralls of the dragons. Some Dragon Lords even found value in the descendants of these outsiders, such as the wizards, due to their arcane secrets. Dragon Lords tended to focus on sorcery, while the wizards' excellence in the formal study of arcana meant that they became valued treasures of their owning Dragon Lords. Through such means as presented by the wizards, the dragons developed the Ninefold Path. However, the intense rivalry and fierce competitive nature of Arkhosian society meant that Dragon Lords never shared these treasures. Among the dragons, glorification of self and the subjugation of others was a central tenant of their society.
One of the greatest treasures of the dragons was their devotion to the arts of draconic sorcery. As such, individuals that practiced this art took on the title of Dragonsoul Heirs. This art was practiced by dragons who often dwelt in temple-palaces where they studied in meditation, and recorded their experiences and experiments. They created many tools to enhance or project their power, which was commonly seen in dragon talismans. These dragon magic constructs were capable of a wide range of feats, from being simple arcane concentration tools, to divine warding, or even psionic enthralling. They also created special temples and lairs that amplified their powers. The dragons were also quite skilled in the art of alchemy, though it was the wizards who later perfected the study. Originally, the dragons were a united people who preferred to stay within separate and divided tribes. This remained the case until the formation of the Arkhosian Empire at Lo'vanthor, City of the Dragon God.