Long before the lands were demarcated by settlement boundaries - before even the most ancient of texts came into being - Erendorn was the kingdom of Dragons. These creatures were the very essence of the world, so inextricably bound to it that nature’s tides were reflected in the elemental powers they each possessed. But despite the strength of these ancient guardians, they could not lay rest to the evil that befell the lands one disastrous, fateful night...
Dragons of the Past
Centuries ago, Erendorn was an idyllic place that saw thousands of brightly coloured Dragons decorate the landscapes with their graceful wings and glittering scales. Indeed, in these halcyon days there was a different Dragon species for every kind of terrain and, over time, they each became one with their sector of Erendorn. Dragons in the West were bronzed and weather-beaten like the rocky passes they perched atop, and though flightless they had the incredible ability to cause earthquakes. The snow-capped mountains in the South glinted with the glassy scales of their blue guardians, whose frost breath rivalled their great fire-breathing relatives who watched over the fiery pits of Mount Vaznar in the North.
Meanwhile, Silver Dragons were known for their ability to breathe lightning, whereas the shimmer of green scales forebode one that could breathe poison. However, when it came to wingspan, the grey Dragons had all others beat. Scales as pale as a breaking dawn, this subspecies was known for its incredible grace in the skies, as well as its devastating ability to summon tornados and manipulate the air.
Over twelve different Dragon species once reigned over Erendorn, and so vast were the distances between each territory that different species seldom met. Even still, these creatures were so pure and untainted by the spoils of conflict that their differences were paid no heed; they knew how to live in harmony not only with each other, but also with the planet. As such, they were Erendorn’s master race for many millennia. Unlike recent times, no wars were waged by avaricious men, no lands were destroyed in the name of Kings and no creatures were exploited by opportunistic merchants. In these ancient times, true peace still lived - until the skies turned black with smoke.
The Ancient War
One night, as the distant moons waned amid a sea of stars, Erendorn was gripped by an unquenchable evil. It seized the lands, suffocating the fauna as it spread like a hungry plague. While this fragment of Erendorn’s history is veiled in an enigma that is as consuming as the fine ash that swallowed the lands that day, many attribute this level of destruction to a great, apocalyptic conflict.
What is now known as the Ancient War was so devastating that its memory is ingrained into every tree, every morsel of Erendorn. Though there are few who know of this piece of history, and even fewer still who know how the tragic events unfolded, the Dragons remember it clearly - what few there are remaining, that is.
A War-Torn Wasteland
It is said that the Dragons fought fiercely to quell the Ancient War. They sent earthquakes to rupture their enemy’s path, summoned tornados to rip apart their armies, shot streams of ice from their mouths to freeze the fires and even stood ground in battle when their wings were pinned down. But despite the Dragons’ immense size, unimaginable strength and high numbers, Erendorn was slowly succumbing to the relentless destruction. Over time, its viridescent scapes became war-torn wastelands; and the remains of Dragons slowly began filling up the earth beneath the ruins.
One by one, the Dragons fell. No longer did pairs of mighty wings adorn the mountaintops, nor glisten majestically beneath the singing sun. What few Dragons did remain hid themselves in the furthest recesses of Erendorn in an attempt to stave off their eventual extinction. As the war ravaged the land, all these remaining guardians could do was listen to the cries of the trees, feel the trembling earth and mourn the world they had fought so fiercely, and yet so fruitlessly to protect. But these were not to be the last of the Dragons - nor the last of Erendorn.
An Apocalyptic Event
No one knows how exactly the Ancient War was finally overcome, only that there was some kind of apocalyptic event that changed the face of Erendorn forever. Legends speak of a sudden, violent explosion that burst forth from the ground, so powerful that by the time its white-hot light subsided and the rubble cleared, the war had been defeated, and the landscape annihilated.
But the Dragons, still tucked away in their secret recesses, were saved on the day of the apocalypse. Around flickering campfires, mothers and fathers tell their children how through the sheets of ash and smoke, mighty Dragons reemerged and once again walked the lands. Though their population suffered, and though the world they had once known was now barren and desiccated, the events of that day meant that the Dragons of Erendorn were not lost forever.
The Last of the Dragons
Since the day of the apocalyptic event, Dragons have struggled to replenish their numbers. As Erendorn eventually began to recover after its near-destruction, so did new races of creatures begin to flourish and evolve. Soon, fearsome beasts that had not existed prior to the Ancient War suddenly occupied the majority of the land; and while they were not powerful enough to prey on Dragons, they did attack their vulnerable offspring, known as Dragonlings. This practice not only meant that Dragons could not effectively reproduce, it also drove them back into the recesses of Erendorn - recesses so deep that no creature could ever endanger them again.
In recent times, Dragons have become somewhat of a myth in Erendorn. While their secrets are kept in the Ancient Scrolls and Texts, this knowledge is tirelessly guarded and known to only two races: the ancient Watertargs of The Deep and the sagacious Parakaws of the Mountains. Even so, a Dragon has not been sighted in Erendorn for centuries, and those who claim to have been in their path have been mostly met with mock, scorn and ridicule.
Dragons continue to be the most powerful creatures in Erendorn, though their depleted numbers prevent them from taking it back and once again making it a peaceful place. There are now only a handful of these majestic creatures left in Erendorn, and they each live completely solitary lives away from each other and the rest of Erendorn’s inhabitants. In the belly of the dungeon depths, or the frost caves of the Southern mountains, or even the sunless coves in the Land of the Dead, there is still a Dragon’s beating heart in nearly every corner of Erendorn. Here they will lie, waiting like dormant guardians until it is time to reclaim their rightful sovereignty.