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  • Writer's pictureJ. Griffin Hughes

The Dragon Wars of Astratherea

Built upon the following principles: Welcome to Astratherea (Part 1, Part 2)

250-5 Million Years Before the Kosmian Empire

In the age of the dinosaurs, some of the mightiest children of the Great Beast, something new occurred in the Feywild. Like the elemental titans before them, beings crossed over into the Prime Material Plane, but this time, they stayed.  These beings reflected both the physical shape of prehistoric megafauna and the powers of elemental spirits. These were the first dragons.

With their innate magical ability, dragons came to dominate the animal life of Astratherea and then compete with each other for space and the resources. These were the First Dragon Wars. Their battles wrought even more destruction than those of the elemental titans, and in time they came to threaten the very stability of Astratherea itself. 

Legends say that the Green Lady and the Great Beast turned toward the Divine Pairing for help to save the plant and animal life of Astratherea. In response, the Mother expanded the brains of the dragons beyond that of any naturally evolved animal, and the Father embued those brains with minds that could comprehend the world at large and how the dragons’ choices impacted others. This was the Curse of Mind.

With this new awareness, individual dragons began reassessing their actions. Many chose to seek peaceful agreements with each other to share the bounty of Astratherea. But not all dragons felt this way. 

Some of the most powerful of the chromatic dragons took the stance that, if others did not want to see Astratherea destroyed, they had better step aside and surrender to all demands. They chose to hold Astratherea hostage, promising to tear the world asunder if they did not get their way. Thus began the Second Dragon Wars.

Now with minds that allowed for greater cunning, the dragons who still chose conquest did so with even more destructive force. In response, a force of the metallic dragons determined to defend Astratherea and all life on it established a plan to summon the Great Beast himself from the Feywild in all his power to deal directly with the aggressive chromatics. For this rite, they chose a site favorable to Conjuration magic on which would one day stand the Dwarven city of Al Akhir.

The armies of the chromatic dragons and the dinosaurs over whom they held command gathered to attack the place where the summoning ritual was taking place, but a force of metallic dragons led by the platinum dragon Bahamut fought them off. Bahamut and his soldiers gave their lives but the ritual was successful. The Great Beast entered the Prime Material Plane in the form of the Tarrasque and humbled the chromatic dragons.

In honor of his sacrifice, Bahamut’s spirit was elevated to godhood. Something different had already been happening in Shadowfell since the Curse of Mind. Those who remembered the dead and honored them had the power to strengthen their spirits and keep them from fading into the magic of Astratherea. As such honored dead magnified in power, they gained magical abilities to influence the Prime Material Plane once more. Bahamut was so honored and so praised that he ascended beyond Shadowfell, through the Feywild, into a divine realm of his own to hear and answer the prayers of the living.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the five bloodlines of chromatic dragon willing to destroy Astratherea were punished by the Great Beast. Because they would not recognize the interconnected fates of all living things, the Great Beast fused their bodies into the five-headed dragon Tiamat. He cursed Tiamat with immortality to contemplate her wrongs and cast her down to the bottom of the sea with such force that it pushed apart the continents of Astratherea.

Because the second age of the Dragon Wars were the first time that living beings acted with the knowledge of how their choices would affect others, this was also the origin of new concepts that had never before existed in Astratherea -- good and evil. 

These concepts took shape in both the abstractions of the Father and the physical acts of the Mother. Later philosophers could argue whether the same action always had the same quality of good or evil attached to it in all circumstances, but the spirits of good known as Celestials and the spirits of evil known as Infernals came into being regardless. 

Like other spirits, they inhabit their own magical realms connected to the Feywild and can cross over into the Prime Material Plane. Celestials and fiends are drawn to those people and places that exemplify their natures. 

In Shadowfell, they can reward or punish the spirits of the dead depending on how the living remember them. If the living bless the dead, Celestials grant them blessings. If the living curse the dead, Infernals act out that curse. There is however no cosmic scale to ensure the spirits of the dead receive the fates that they deserve, and injustices can produce upset ghosts who may reach out to the living to right these wrongs.

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