(This is a stab at the Pre-history of Drakesdoom with nods to Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E Howard, HP Lovecraft, Robert Anton Wilson and maybe even Tolkien…)
There are no gods. This is the stark underlying truth to the Drakesdoom universe. There is no beneficent creator whatever the Adrianists or other religions might say. The Universe is the product of matter and time in a blind idiot dance.
Occasionally this universe or others sufficiently close to it might produce an alien entity of sufficient psychic weight to make impressions on the sentient beings that cluster on the rock I will refer to as Mud. Some absent minded corner of these aliens psyche might be drawn upon by sorcerers or invoked by Priests. All magic is effectively the clumsy manipulation of the waste products.
Mud, the planet Drakesdoom sits on spins around a fair sized sun and shares the system with six other worlds which may or may not be inhabited by native flora and fauna or colonists from the wider galaxy. If they are inhabited contact with Mud is infrequent and covert or done under the cover of angels, gods and demons.
Eons past the crackling volcanic rock of Mud was a minor research outpost of a race we will call the Elders. Having worn the world from incursions by other star farers then spent millennium in scientific study. One day it appears a protoplasmic experiment escaped a laboratory. This chaotic spawning undulating flashy mass, known in pale shadows by a thousand names in a thousand religions, is the origin of all indigenous life on Mud. For those who have read the manuscripts of the Serpent men or peered back into those bygone ages through arcane measures, there persists the notion that it still sits; still living somewhere deep under the Black Alps and occasionally still spills forth monstrous creations.
The Elders tried to tidy up the eruption of life that came from the Escapee, that primal chaotic ooze. They were too few in number and events elsewhere in the galaxy demanded their attention. So they departed seeing the potential for an experiment on a grand scale. It is rumoured in ancient texts that they still visit to see the development of unbridled life gone wild.
The Serpent Men
Countless ages rose and fell the eruptions of the Escapee evolved in the harsh environment of the forming planet. Eventually the age of giant saurian came upon Mud. In the midst of these behemoths rose the first intelligent indigenous life on Mud. Known by humans as Serpent Men, they are perhaps more accurately seen as intelligent velociraptors. As prone as man to divide into tribes and kingdoms they waged cold and calculating war upon each other. Their instruments were bio-engineered sauria who to the ancestors of the tiny rodents on Mud became known as wyverns, basilisk, cockatrice, wyrms and a dozen varieties of dragon.
Despite their calculation and intellect, the seismic changes the application of Serpent Man science wrecked upon their planet became their undoing. The planet’s atmosphere changed and the climate followed. In a logical truce the Serpent men recognising the limitations of their arts went into hibernation. To protect them they had their war beasts and new servant races built from the material of the mammals they predicted could inherit the Earth. These charges would defend them, managing threatening changes in the bio-sphere through cull and cultivation until the climate returned to an appropriate habitat for the Serpent Men as they predicted it would.
This then was the age of those creations charged with protecting their Serpent Men fathers.
This then was the Age of Elves and Dwarfs.
(to be continued…)