A Light in the Dark
Than Lan are a race of elemental lizards that live in the tropical jungles of Southern Tahanan. (Mechanically, the Than Lan are standard 4E Dragonborn, but the Dragonborn mythos doesn’t really work in this setting, so I’m rewriting it.)
Raised in the hot and humid jungles, the Than Lan are more lithe and less bulky than their cousins from Faerun, though they are still quite tall. Each Than Lon (singular) has scales in a hue reflective of the chromatic dragons. The color reflects his/her breath weapon attacks. In some very rare cases, the Than Lon will have multiple affiliations, but as these develop later, the scales reflect the first breath.
The Than Lan life cycle begins in an egg roughly the size of an ostrich’s. They gestate in the egg for about 14 months before hatching. When they first come into the world, they are a mottled grey/black/brown color. As they reach adolescence (about 10 years from their hatching) they begin to get their final chromatic coloring. The Than Lan child then reaches adulthood at about 24.
Interestingly, only about 4/5 of Than Lan are whatever hue their parents were. The other fifth takes on a different hue. The reasons for this are unknown, but they do not appear to be genetic.
The Than Lan culture is a highly structured caste system based on scale hue. The white Than Lan are at the top of the hierarchy and the rulers and priesthood are always taken from this caste.
Than Lan are raised by their parents until the First Breath at which point they’ve reached adolescence at begin to take on their final hue. At this point, they are taken from their parents and put into a communal area for adolescents of their caste.
If their parents were of a different caste, contact is cut off between them and they are expected to no longer interact in any way. If their parents were of the same caste, contact is permitted, though it is typically limited to certain holidays and festivals.
The origin of the Than Lan is shrouded in mystery. Shortly after The Upheaval, a group of humans traveling through the jungle stumbled across a clearing with 2401 eggs resting in it. Unsure of what they were, they collected them and took them along. Many were lost in transit to the humans’ home city of Ixit. When they hatched several months later, the humans were overjoyed and raised them to adulthood…as slaves.
The humans brutally ruled over the fledgling Than Lan for about 400 years, at which point, the slaves, organized by a white Than Lon named Jorza revolted. The uprising was short and brutal. Six months later, Jorza was a martyr and there was not a living human within 100 miles of Ixit.
The deeds of the various martyrs of the rebellion led to the initial creation of the caste system, a system that has become more ingrained and more uneven over the last several millennia.
While there is still some distrust for other races due to their enslavement, the combination of time and the Than Lan being the dominant culture in the region has dulled that to the point of insignificance.
The architecture of the Than Lan is rooted in that of Ixit. However, Ixit was initially built by a race of jungle elves that were ousted by the orcs, and that construction has influenced all subsequent inhabitants. A good example of what some of the places the Whites would reside would be a more colorful version of Angkor Wat.