The Age of Dragons
The sages tell of a time at the Dawn of All Things, when the great forces of Fate, Chance, Concordance, Chaos, Time etc., to whose power even the Immortals must submit, formed the First Dragons to help give life to creation. The First Dragons were nature incarnate. They walked the new world in many forms, with their golden breath they breathed life into all things and shaped the world. But with each breath, they gave of their own essence and so eventually they became nothing, but their essence formed the basis of all creation.
From creatures where the essence of the First Dragons was strong came the Lesser Dragons, mortal creatures yet still of great power, wisdom and longevity. The Lesser Dragons built the first Empire, ruled by the Lesser Dragon King, and it was a time of peace, plenty and prosperity. But the wheel turned, and the tides of Concordance waned, and the tides of Chaos waxed. Some of the Lesser Dragons sought to gain the power of their First Dragon ancestors, and studied deep into magics too powerful for mortals, even those as mighty as the dragons, to wield. The Lesser Dragon King and his loyal followers sought to prevent this, and the Dragon Empire fell into war.
The powers unleashed in a dragon war are terrible to behold, and the face of the world was changed. To prevent the whole of creation from becoming undone the Lesser Dragon King performed his last, most powerful spell, sacrificing his life to fuel it. He locked the warring factions away in a sealed land, where they could fight forever, or resolve their differences, but could never again affect the rest of creation.
It would seem that the King's seals were not perfect, since many dragons were still around to fight with the Immortals, who were created by the great forces of Fate, Chance, etc. as the successors to the dragons. Sometimes it is also possible to contact the dragons through spells, and sometimes the dreams of the dragons escape the bonds of the Lesser Dragon King's ward and take physical form. Sailors tell of an unapproachable land far out in the south-eastern seas that they call the Isle of Wyrm, whose coastal waters are guarded by fire-breathing sea serpents and whose skies are guarded by poison-breathing wyverns. But then, sailors tell of many outlandish things.
Dragons in Conclave
The dragons given in the SRD are but Minor Dragons, the dreams of the Lesser Dragons taking physical form. They are not set, in Conclave, in nice colour-coded divisions and so the GM should feel free to swap colours, breath weapons, special abilities etc. to confuse complacent players. Typically, though, what are written as the chromatic dragons are personifications of negative emotions whereas the metallic dragons are personifications of positive emotions. As a suggestion - black (secrecy), blue (anger), green (fear), red (arrogance), white (greed), brass (courage), bronze (knowledge), copper (humour), gold (wisdom) and silver (love). Again, however, there is no need to assume that these colour-codings are accurate. One might find a red-scaled dragon that breathes a cloud of poisonous mist, that is obsessed with learning secrets.
An alternative version of the colour-coded dragons gives the creatures a thematic or environmental breakdown. Sages of draconic lore discern darkness (black), storm (blue), frost (white), fire (red), wood (green), dawn (brass), dusk (bronze), star (copper), sun (gold) and moon (silver) dragons - these may overlap with the categories given above, or both theories may be partly right and partly wrong.
The other draconic creatures such as wyverns, yrthak and the like come from the interaction and interbreeding of these Minor Dragons. They have no true place in the ecology of the world but as fully mortal beings they have carved out a place to survive.
(c) 2006 The Creative Conclave.
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