According to the Ilme, they once lived in a place called Ssanimar, where they were the thralls of the true dragons, their fire-breathing cousins. Although both Ssanimar and the Ilme’s relationship to dragons may be imaginary or exaggerated, their tales are quite detailed about both.
Meredragon theology begins with a creation mythos centered on something they call the “Primal Egg.” According to this myth, the Primal Egg was the origin of various species of “dragonkind,” foremost among which were the dragons and the Ilme. Although human legends divide dragons into Ahnerin and Dhiverin, the Ilme speak only of Ahnerin. Dragons and Ilme both had divine leadership at the time of their creation. The Ahnerin were ruled by mysterious beings called the Ahnaka, while the Ilme were led by the first two Ilme to hatch from the Primal Egg, Huridrissal Firstcomer and Vethilsivar of the Golden Nest. The hatching of the Primal Egg took place at Ssanimar, a paradise where peace and harmony reigned for untold generations. Eventually, the Ahnerin and Ahnaka corrupted this paradise, enslaving the Ilme and driving out or killing many of the “lesser dragonkind.”
The meredragons believe that Huridrissal rose against the Ahnaka, battling the evil “gods” of the dragons in a fierce struggle that devastated Ssanimar. Although the Ahnaka defeated Huridrissal, his valor won their respect and they saw that Ssanimar was lost. Each of the races went into exile, the Ilme to the waters, the dragons to the skies, and the Ahnaka to the dark depths of the earth. Huridrissal, aided by mysterious beings “who stride between the air,” led the Ilme out of the wreckage of Ssanimar and founded several colonies.
Ssanimar is a land of towering mountains and jagged chasms. Snowcapped peaks feed majestic cataracts that in turn form twisting river valleys. At the center of this land lies a great lake, warmed by volcanism and wreathed in mists. Lush forests blanket the lower elevations. Strange rock formations and caves dot the landscape and ruins of the Ahnaka are everywhere, mostly overgrown and forgotten.
Whatever the truth of the Ilmean legends, Ssanimar exists and is connected to Kethira by a series of Barasi Points, most of which are underwater. These points allow passage back and forth for those fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to stumble across them by accident.
by Rob Barnes and Oddgeir Drevdal