The Confederacy dominates the vast majority of the sector, but they are not the only power. Near the galactic gulf lays a single shining world, one with a legacy stretching all the way back to the godswar. Virkon is named for Virkonna, the last Wyrm Mother. The goddess dwells on the planet, but while she still lives she has slumbered for millennia and no one knows if or when she will ever awaken.
Before she entered her eternal slumber Virkonna hatched countless air wyrms. Her many children grew to power, stopping all attempts to kill their mother. They have driven off the Krox three times, and even clashed briefly with the Confederacy. Their enemies have learned not to invade, especially given that the dragonflights of Virkon largely keep to themselves.
The sole exception is their Outriders. Certain Wyrms are tasked with locating all unknown Catalysts. Some theorize this is an attempt by the Virkon to gain more power, while others claim the Virkon are merely preparing to battle unknown threats. Both are true. The Outriders explore known space in search of Catalysts, gaining strength and reporting their findings back to their Wing Mother or Wing Father.
Outriders are trained exclusively as war mages, and their Drakon Stance is infamous among their enemies. Outriders are almost always accompanied by a young Wyrm, and are trained to sell their lives in defense of any air dragon. Losing their dragon is the blackest mark an Outrider can have on their record, and an Outrider who loses their Wyrm is almost never given service with another.
Virkon contains an Air Catalyst, and the Outriders are able to target any other Catalyst in known space. Many make pilgrimage to Shaya for life magic, which allows their true mages access to enchantment and artificing. Others make pilgrimage to the Haze of Agamond, where they acquire dream magic. This unlocks illusion, making those war mages doubly dangerous in combat. It also opens a host of espionage possibilities, and those war mages who unlock illusion make incredible assassins.
Many Outriders choose to become true mages, but most spend at least a decade as a war mage before doing so. Elder Outriders are expected to acquire as much power as possible, which means true magic at some point. Because each Catalyst extends their life, it is rare for any Outrider to retire. Most explore until finally meeting a threat they cannot overcome.
This has led to some human Outriders living for centuries, though none has yet exceeded four hundred years.