In Ethren, there has lived a long-told lie… that the dragons were no more or those that propagated that lie and hid their kind were doing a great disservice to the gentlefolk. This could be no further from the truth than the sun is from the moon. Herein is the true tale of the scaled ones, and the originators of the world.
Nearly ten thousand years ago the world was formed not from the void, but from the hands of the Pentaprimordials, known to some as the Paragons. These infinite beings, living beyond time and space, spun the thread that held the universe together. Both attracted and repelled, they barely knew of the others.
In the center of it all, slowly spinning in circles was the Navigator. Covered in the dust of the weave, he became restless and a shiver erupted from his ancient hide. Those tiny particles, pinpricks of light and magic were caught in the spin and formed what was called Celestasphere. Inside it, motes of power – freesouls, which would become the Celestials – drifted and spun, causing powerful light to radiate across the darkness. Caught in the drift, their threads entangled and each of them was drawn in.
Once in, however, the Celestasphere held them tight. Even at the resistance of the Navigator, they pulled and tugged, but in the tangle of the threads, new forms emerged.
First Father’s magic became the mountains and the stone on which the world rested. World Mother reached down upon it to breathe life and greenery. The Old Form, confused by the union between them, spat out in disgust all the oceans and waters that ooze across the world. The Navigator struggled under these new materials and pushed hard to create the skies. Ever after, this has been known as the Material Plane.
But what of Teeth-in-Darkness? It’s jealous gaze burned deep into the rock and beneath it started a fire. From that flame and envy came dark beings, demons, and keepers of hells, living beneath all that was good, occasionally bursting forth in the form of fiery stone pillars, belching fire on those in its path.
So then the Navigator inadvertently tightened its mass trapping the Pentaprimordial into a reality shared by them all. First Father was the first to escape it, breathing life into the stone – Avatars of himself – to shape and contain the fire. As they looked to the heavens to see his face, their light opened a path for him to return to his Far Place. These stonefolk were the first of the dwarven gods.
Noting what he had done, World Mother too shaped the trees into lithe bodies which wrapped themselves around the drifting souls in the Celestasphere. These bright and pure folk gave way to the elves. The songs of the forest allowed her to return to her place among things as well.
Struggling to also create something and free itself of this world, the Old Form twisted and turned, first forming creatures under the sea. As he gripped at the edges of reality, out of him also fell the first humanoids; not noblemen, but stunted, grunting nearly amphibious things. As they fell across the land, these curious savages settled into the forms of goblinoids and men. Its escape came not from songs or prayer, but in the darkest places where walking things forget. The rejection was its freedom and it sulked into the darkness in earnest.
But Teeth-in-Darkness did not want to leave. No, it had other ideas. It wanted the world badly and literally hatched its plan under the skin of the world. Millions of eggs, thick and leathery, absorbing the magicks from around them. As the world grew, constantly reforming, so did the eggs transform and become new things. Corrupted avatars emerged, adapting to the places where they lay. Red Furies, belching smoke and flame from their fiery dens. Black Terrors, corrupting pools and groves where they emerged. Stone Chewers, under the earth and destroying the perfectly formed crystals. These primeval beasts were the first of Wyrms; horrors meant to corrupt the places held sacred, tearing a hole so Teeth-in-Darkness may return to the void.
For three thousand years the Dragonlords served Teeth-in-Darkness, as she toyed with the creations of the other Four. Her wickedness knew no bounds, but the forms of Ethren were strong and resisted her corruption. She twisted her dragon-forms, over and over, seeking just the right combination of hatred and greed, but the Navigator was bound to rebalance all things. From her discarded threads, he bound them to the perfect structures of metals formed by the First Father. Weaved them into the original Pure Dragons (Metallics); shining forms to set the scales right.
Teeth-in-Darkness tore her way out, leaving vast scars in the world, but she vowed to return someday. Thus, so does the arrogance of the Chromatic Dragons reflect her will in the world; to hoard, rebuke those unlike themselves and dominate.
So began the earliest Age of Dragons, when the Paragons departed and they were left to balance all that was. Chromatics worked to form the world into a twisted palace fit for Teeth-in-Darkness to return, while the Metallics fought to advance those beings remaining behind.
For thousands of years, there was strife, culminating in the war of the Dragon’s Claim. The two most powerful among their clans – Angralask the Icehearted and Silleskess the Silvertongued – made their way to the most northern reaches and began an epic struggle for control of the world. There were others who witness the fury and carnage. On the side of Chromatics, Azkhalak the Red, Shezret-Prince-of-the-Wind, The Black Matron, and Two-Lanterns-Hissing of the Aldaelfrenir. And on the side of Metallics, Lassranax Golden Mane, Karnhavarat Bronzeteeth, Tethis and Sithet (the Coppered Twins).
The battle between the two giants lasted for 200 years, and the world shook while all in it trembled. Surely, this would tear the fabric of all things apart if it didn’t stop. So the armies of men, elves, and dwarves, marched to end it.The dwarves tried to overcome them with the force of hammer and axe, only to be driven underground for the rest of modern times. The elves moved on the two with magic, only to be scattered across all of Ethren. Their efforts had borne fruit, however, because badly wounded, Angralask returned to the icy north, laid her eggs and died.
Great strife continued, but being the most dominant, strongest, and still merciful, Silleskess proposed a code of rules; designating territories and protected lands. The dragons then left what was known as the Mainland and scattered into the far corners of Ethren. But Sillesskess had also been mortally wounded, slipping into death, but her young kin worked to keep the treaty alive. Emboldened, greed again overtook the chromatics and they slithered their way back into the lands of the Good Folk, bringing with them some terrible things.
So began what was known as the Deception, by a clever king named Herras. He would use the union of his family with dragons, and his position, to create a system to pacify the younger, more impetuous spawn of the great old wyrms. He created a force of “Tabardeers”, sworn knights to protect (in reality, tax collectors to distribute the kingdom’s wealth to the beasts, keeping their desire to raid at bay). Seemingly treacherous, no one could know the true mind and long plans of a Silver dragon’s servant. While his court sold “the lie”, clever magics were being woven around the capital city of Glimring, to keep it safe from the future fury of the Wyrms.
Only a handful of mages still know the truth, as do their defenders and confidants in The Dragon’s Heart. Only they know still what keeps the darkness at bay and the walls of Glimring standing.