I couldn't miss the chance to practice my drawing!
The Dravanian Horde is a faction of dragons and their scalekin allies in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. As the name in implies, they are native to the Dravania region of Eorzea, and serve the great wyrm Nidhogg.
The Holy See of Ishgard of neighboring Coerthas has been engaging in a crusade against the Dravanian Horde for centuries, and the dragonkin in turn have proven to be hostile to the other races of Eorzea (though not to the point of open warfare). Their war is focal point for the Heavensward expansion pack.
Sons must answer for fathers' sins. We do not forget. We do not forgive.
Long ago, Midgardsormr, first of his kind, gave raise to the First Brood who would establish the race of dragons. In Eorzea, Nidhogg, Hraesvelgr, and Ratatoskr claimed Dravania and Coerthas as dominion.
Early in the Sixth Astral Era, the several devout followers of Halone migrated north in search of the "Promised Land" in Coerthas. This land was claimed by the dragons, who initially warred with the immigrants until an Elezen maiden named Saint Shiva fell in love with Hraesvelgr. At her urging, Hraesvelgr reluctantly devoured her to bind her mortal soul to him. This inspired a peaceful coexistence between the "Skylords" and "Landlords" for a period of two hundred years. It was then, a thousand years prior to the start of the Seventh Umbral Era that King Thordan coveted the power of the great wyrms - the eyes. With his Knights Twelve, Thordan murdered Ratatoskr and consumed the power of her eyes. In response, a furious Nidhogg confronted them, killing Thordan and four of his knights, only to have both his eyes gouged out in the process and driven off by the remainder. His wrath unquenchable, he forced Hraesvelgr to give him one of his eyes, and Nidhogg declared the Dragonsong War to regain what was stolen from him and punish Ishgard for its treachery.
Thordan's son Haldrath, seeking to atone for the atrocity they committed, abdicated the throne and vowed to use the the power of eye of Nidhogg as the first Azure Dragoon to protect the innocent from the repercussions of his crime. Three other knights left with Haldrath to walk their own paths, with the founders of the High Houses to act as stewards until a new king is worthy to take the throne. In time, the Ishgardian Orthodox Church created a fabrication of Thordan's life to make it seem that the Dravanian Horde were ones that started the war, and concealed the era of peace by demonizing Shiva (and anyone sympathetic to the dragons) as a heretic.
Nidhogg however knew that many of Ishgard's citizens, even the lowborn, were descended from the surviving knights, and thus inherited an aspect of Ratatoskr's power that could be activated by dragon blood. Many heretics would join the Dravanian Horde by voluntarily transforming into dragons, something that factored into Nidhogg's war strategy against the Holy See.
Version 1.0 Edit
A few years after Nidhogg's last rampage was driven back at Ferndale, the Dravanian Horde was rallied by Midgardsormr himself to counter an even greater foe: the Garlean invasion of Mor Dhona. At the king of kings behest, they attacked the airship fleet led by the Agrius in the Battle of Silvertear Skies. This battle ended when Midgardsormr coiled around the Agrius and crashed into Lake Silvertear, seemingly killed by the exploding ceruleum tanks with his corpse relatively intact.
A Realm Reborn Edit
In the aftermath of the Seventh Umbral Era, the Dravanian Horde was able to capture the Ishgardian fortress of Stone Vigil from House Durendaire. Around that time, the dragon commander Svara had sacked and razed the Steel Vigil north of Camp Dragonhead. Even as severe climate changes turned Coerthas into snowy mountains, the Holy See remained steadfast in their war against the dragons, but as yet refused to ask adventurers or the other City-States for aid.
During the events of Dreams of Ice, as the Harriers' prophet Ysayle had crystal caravans raided in an attempt to summon Saint Shiva as a primal, word among Ishgard's astrologers speak that Midgardsormr would resurrect. This comes to pass when Nidhogg awoke from his rest to resume the Dragonsong War in Before the Fall, reviving his father's spirit as a consequence. Upon discovering the Warrior of Light possessed the Blessing of Light, he decided to follow the adventurer in accordance with his pact with Hydaelyn, taking the form of a tiny drake. Eventually, the Dravanian Horde descended upon the Coerhas Central Highlands. Due to meddling by Lady Iceheart, the outermost layer of Daniffen's Collar was shattered, leaving the city-state in danger of a direct assault. Nidhogg's champion, the colossal Vishap, led an attack on the remaining wards along the Steps of Faith, where he was slain by the Warrior of Light and other adventurers that arrived in Ishgard's hour of need.
Eventually, while taking refuge in Ishgard after the Ul'dahn Revolution, the Warrior of Light and allies learn the truth of the Dragonsong War's origins and attempt to make peace with Nidhogg, before he can launch another deadly assault on the Holy See.
Hraesvelgr confirmed the truth behind the war and that Nidhogg will never agree to peace or a ceasefire. With no other option left, the Warrior of Light and the Azure Dragoon Estinien Wyrmblood acquire manacutters from Garlond Ironworks to infiltrate Nidhogg's Aery and slay the great wyrm once and for all.
Once they realize Nidhogg had been powered by Hraesvelgr's eye all along, they realize Ishgard was hiding the fate of Nidhogg's right eye. It turned out to have been entombed with Haldrath, and now Archbishop Thordan VII planned to use it to empower his new primal form as King Thordan. He is ultimately slain by the Warrior of Light at Azys Lla.
The defeat of both Nidhogg and Thordan should have been the end of the Dragonsong War. But as Estinien held both eyes and prepared to store them far away, Nidhogg's vengeful spirit finally took hold of his mind and forced him to be reborn as the Great Wyrm, now with both eyes restored. Midgardsormr fears what his son has become, and later warns Ser Aymeric de Borel and Ishgard that their true test is about to begin.