Every intelligent creature will on occasion consider its place in the universe, and this is doubly true in a world where gods might walk the earth while mortal magicians can toy with the very forces of creation.
So what must dragons think of all these ridiculous humanoid beings claiming to be at the center of fate, divinity, and power?
An earlier post discussed one way of playing a dragon, and suggested that their perspective might grow from a deep-rooted confidence in their superiority. Dragons are ridiculously long-lived and may reach levels of individual power few other sapient beings can dream of, and might see themselves as expressions of a more primal sort of divinity than what you see in the mortal pantheons.
Below is a general creation myth that might be believed by dragons in a variety of different fantasy settings… and may even be more true than the one held by the gods.
Just don’t try to get in a religious debate with one of their fundamentalist types.
At the dawn of existence there was only the Imperative. A creature of possibility and raw energy at the heart of an everlasting darkness, it slept undisturbed in an endless moment.
The moment ended. The Imperative stirred, awakening with an explosion of creation. Light boiled from its scales, heat poured from is jaws, its claws rent the darkness into unknowable forms, and there was chaos. All that is or ever was or might ever be collided at random until – slowly – patterns began to emerge.
The First Shapers were these patterns. They were grand, working on a stage greater than the understanding of even the most brilliant Dragon, and there was little more to them than divine power working in contrast to the turmoil that surrounded them.
As their work slowed and lower forms of matter or energy began to move in accordance with the forces they controlled, the First Shapers felt their purpose fade, leaving them bound to their creations. It is believed that, without a true chaos against which to define themselves, they faded into what they had made.
The Second Shapers were created by this revolution. As reality turned and twisted according to the bounds laid by their forebears, their creators, they saw their purpose as the completion of that work. It was the Second Shapers that adjusted the stars and moons in the webs of cosmic power that now ruled all.
Because most came after the work of the First was complete, the Second were creatures of the world rather than pure potential given form. As the work neared completion and the fervor of creation faded, there was something of the individual left behind.
The Elder Dragons are what remained of the Second Shapers that did not fade into their works, beings of unimaginable power. Unable to remain active for long periods of time without the pure divine energy that once sustained them, some fell into slumber within stars or beneath the earth; it is their blood that has been stolen to grow trees with apples of immortality, from their flesh have sprung creatures which legends are told, and from their dreams of one another gods were born.
It is even said that one of the Eldest, called with no name by most and “the Lovely Dreamer” by those who know of it for fear of its attention, curls around a place of deep power and dreams a kingdom of monstrous creatures. Some mortals call these creatures demons, others call them the fey, but when they stalk the world all avoid them if they can.
This new order gave birth to the Third Shapers, tightly bound in the laws of the First and Second Shapers, with tasks which were accordingly more mundane. The cycle of life and death among lesser beasts, the movements of tides, the slow expansion of a given desert, and even the taming of the seasons all took the place of thought or desire for these beings.
Some of the Third saw their tasks usurped by the “gods,” strange offspring of the restful Elders, and with this frustration of purpose found the divine drives inside themselves blunted or twisted. They forgot what they were, and became terrible mockeries of Dragons. Monsters. Others had tasks so ephemeral they were barely given any form at all, and became dangerous spirits.
The majority of the Third Shapers, however, found that when the fading influence of the Imperative’s first act left them there was still a grateful share of power remaining.
They had enormous forms, impressive intellects, and what other creatures called magic had been crafted by minds much like their own.
These are the Dragons. This is their world.