“Some call the ability to see the connections and collisions between all things genius. Others call it madness. I lean toward the former.”
--Ohnal Caldyn, compiler of the Caldyn Fragments
Ohnal Caldyn’s Early Days
When Ohnal Caldyn was born in Breland in CY949, everyone assumed he would follow the path taken by most of his ancestors: mage, sage, advisor, or tutor in the court of the King of Breland. As a child, Ohnal exhibited all of the intelligence and diligence that would make any of those occupations a natural fit.
The first indication that Ohnal might be destined for something greater came early in his life. His father, an ambassador to King Boranex at the time, was involved in a political meeting with members of several different dragonmarked houses. As the meeting concluded, Ohnal was allowed into the room to speak with his father and meet the dragonmarked representatives. As the young Ohnal, not yet 10 years old, observed the dragonmarked people interacting with one another, he turned to his father and spoke: “Father, there is going to be a fire at the royal stables this evening. The King’s horses are in great danger.”
Ohnal’s father, horrified that his son would act so strangely in front of such important people, apologized for his son’s behavior and order the nanny to remove his son from the room immediate.
The night passed, and there was no fire at the stable of the royal palace. However, at a tavern called The Royal Inn in the city of Starilaskur, a fire consumed the stables. Four knights of the King’s Citadel were rooming there for the knight, and their prized mounts perished in the blaze.
Incidents exactly like this became more and more frequent: Ohnal would see a dragonmarked individual, or see a dragonshard, or study the skies, and he would make a prediction that at first seemed to go unfulfilled—only to be confirmed later in a different context.
As it became more and more apparent that Ohnal possessed a gift far greater than anyone has ever imagined, his father was faced with a terrible decision. As a member of the Brelish Court, he was inclined to focus his son’s power toward furthering the goals of the Breland. As a loving father, however, he knew that alerting the world to his son’s power would mean that young man would be forever a slave to those who wanted to use his powers. Instead of bringing his son’s gifts to the attention of the Brelish Court, the ambassador urged Ohnal to see the world.
Ohnal, already trained a bit in the arts of magic, took to the adventuring life with joy. Not only did he see most of Khorvaire, but he also spent a great deal of time exploring the lost continent of Xen’drik and the depths of Khyber. In addition to great wealth, Ohnal gathered more and more knowledge and insight into the draconic Prophecy. He began to understand that his ability to see the shifting patterns of reality tapped into a force that flowed through dragons, going back to the very first great dragons whose forms created the world as he now knew it.
In the depths of the Xen’drik jungle, Ohnal encountered a type of creature whose existence was only rumored back on Khorvaire. These creatures, which called themselves skarn, practiced magic with a form of energy that called incarnum. Ohnal immediately picked up vibrations in the draconic Prophecy as he observed the skarn going about their tasks. As he saw the connections to the Prophecy in these people as strongly as he saw the connections in the dragonmarked, Ohnal believes that incarnum is somehow related to the three great dragons.
His observations as he adventured, gathered over two-score years, became known as the Caldyn Fragments. The red tome in which he scribed his thoughts and observations became something that identified him.
The Formation of the Crimson Codex
Throughout his adventuring life, Ohnal would periodically visit his family in Breland. During his final visit while his father still lived, the elder Caldyn shared a secret. Throughout Khorvaire, a secret society of powerful people was gathering in an attempt to keep the nations from destroying each other and themselves. This society had been established long before, in the time of King Galifar I, but differences within the society allowed the Great War to rip Khorvaire apart. Those who still had ties to the society, present in every nation on the continent, sought peace and a return to stability.
Armed with the knowledge his father gave him of this society, as well as his prophetic fragments, Ohnal began the process of connecting with these powerful people throughout Khorvaire. He shared with them his knowledge and wisdom, offering to use his powers to assist in ending the bloodshed.
As his work and advice paid immediate dividends, those powerful advocates of peace came to rely increasingly on his vision and intelligence. Before long, he became the natural choice to lead the organization, and he chose a name that befitted the one item that made his work possible: the Crimson Codex.
The Caldyn Fragments
The notes that Ohnal Caldyn recorded in his red-covered tome became known as the Caldyn Fragments. The most frequent mistake made by students of the Prophecy is to use draconic Prophecy and Caldyn Fragments interchangeably. They are not the same. The draconic Prophecy is an ever-changing and ephemeral force that, as far as anyone can tell, moves like a shadow behind reality, both reflecting and predicting the ebb and flow of all things living on, above, and beneath Eberron. The Caldyn Fragments are the result of Ohnal Caldyn’s efforts to capture a small part of the Prophecy in a form that could be more easily manipulated.
As people outside the organization learned about the existence of the Caldyn Fragments, a scramble began to get copies of the work that could predict the future. Fortunes were paid to those who could smuggle even partial copies of the manuscript out of the hand of the Crimson Codex operatives using it.
Those who gained possession of the fragments at first thought they were victims of a scam. The fragments were often vague, convoluted, or nonsensical. Only those organizations large enough to wield power and influence across the length and breadth of Eberron, while at the same time having the resources of mages and sages to interpret the strange words, could see the value of the fragments.
Rumors coming from those who know of the workings of the Crimson Codex say that after a long time setting up the infrastructure of the Crimson Codex, Ohnal Caldyn has launched another expedition across the face of Eberron, collecting more fragments. When these fragments appear, and how they might be used, is a matter of great speculation.