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Era of the Dragons

First, there was nothing.   What happened next is a bit contentious so we're gonna fast forward a bit.   The next thing we can say happened with confidence: next came the dragons.   They were large, the dragons were. Larger than life, the stories say. Larger than the deities who made them to rule over the land.   Large enough to pin the little beneath their claws and tell them how to live.   From nothing came something and out of that something, dragons carved societies. They divided the world amongst themselves, the bigger dragons lording over the smaller. And when humanoids stumbled into the world, the dragons were there to lord over them as well. To guide them into groups and towns and peoples. To organize them into gathering resources and building houses and following laws. To teach them how to serve masters.   There are those that say we were equal with the dragons but those are prideful fools. We were servants then. Just slightly more than cattle. We can see it in the ancient shackles we find deep within hidden places. In the charred carvings showing people tending to great winged creatures. Carvings made by scale and claw. Stories told in dragon tongue.   The dragons were masters then. So much wiser, so much stronger, so much larger than the people they ruled.   As always, there were four. Four nests of dragons that ruled the land.   The Dragons of the Rock nested in the springlands to the west. These dragons had copper tones to their scales that never seemed to blunt from the dirt of their homes, and when their voices rang out the earth shook.   The Dragons of the Shatter nested in the winterlands to north. Their scales were always lined with frost that complimented the silver tones to their scales, and when their calls echoed the ice shattered.   The Dragons of the Flame nested in the summerlands to the east. Their scales shone brass under the unrelenting sun, and when they roared the world smoldered around them.   The Dragons of the Sky nested in the fallands to the south. Their scales glimmered like gems in the light beneath the trees, and when they sang the leaves sounded like rain.   The dragons of the four nests ruled their lands differently, we can be sure. But what it was like to be one small person under such shadows? That we can only guess. In the years that came After the Dragons (AD), the world changed so much and so quickly that most of that history was lost. We have stories now. We have legends. We have a few carvings and a few names. We have the children born from impossible unions, the dragonborn that can be found few and far between. But knowledge, well... that will always be much harder to come by when it comes to the dragons.   Even when it comes to how the dragons fell...

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Cover image: Kingdom Spread by Kethry Tiggs

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