With the war for control of the surface over, and quickly disappearing into memory, the remaining young dragons, from both sides, slowly passed from this world. Some passed on from age, some chose to enter long term hibernation, in hope a future awakening, but the most of the chromatic dragons that went underground were buried by collapse or entered a state of forced dormancy, in which their bodies were sustained by the elemental forces.
On the surface, only the metallic elder dragons remained, and without their chromatic siblings or metallic offspring their numbers would not be enough to manage the world as their forbearers had intended. Realising they lacked the power to create millennia spanning dragons their thoughts turned to an all new race of creatures to inherit Terrainia.
The elder dragons collectively decided the new race should have more in common with the existing animals than dragons, but with an intelligence that would allow them to learn, understand the world and their place within it. They all set about trying to master the art of creation, but it proved far more difficult than expected.
Eventually, Elfinihiar managed to seed the world with a successful race, which she called Elves, with her success, the others halted their plans as none thought it necessary to have more than one species to populate the world.
The elves were diminutive compared to the dragons, but the elders knew this would give the Elves a deep connection with the rest of the life on Terrainia. With slender, athletic bodies, and long lifespans they had all they needed them to learn and adapt to the world, the elves were also given the means to reproduce through a natural, self-imposed process.
These elves were allowed to mature and grow naturally, spreading out across the world, learning as they went. Guidance was provided by Elfinihiar, with the other elders doing their best to keep their distance.
It was the dawn of the Elves that first brought a first true measurement of time to Terrainia, in the elven history books this time was called the beginning, and as such received the designation; year zero. In truth, it took them well over a thousand years to reach this point, but in that time the Elves had colonised over eighty percent of the surface.
Thaiek, like the others, was once working on a new race, and although Elfinihiar was first, he was close. When the elves came to his domain he retreated below the mountains to keep himself hidden, it was during this time that Thaiek discovered what he had been missing during his original efforts.
While the elves were content with using the great open grassland at the foot of his mountain range he completed his work. Thaiek had created a new race of sentient creatures, like the Elves in many ways, long of life, naturally capable, at one with the earth but much hardier, stronger, broad of shoulder and thick of arm.
His design made it easier for them to carve a tunnel system throughout the mountains, in a few decades the mountain housed over a hundred thousand Dwarves.
Only then did Thaiek share his work with the other elders, as first there a discord, but none had said it was prohibited, and so they all accepted the new race. This decision triggered a desire to finish what the they had started, and the other elders returned to their creations, in hop they could manage what Thaiek had done.
Thaiek was content to keep his Dwarves under the mountains, there was space for a centuries worth of expansion. This self-imposed limit paved the way for one of the fundamental rules they would soon pass down.
Rayis and Victirus were both so close to a finished race but neither could overcome the last step of the process, so they paired up and combined their efforts. They wanted to overcome the Elves long maturity rate, and could see how the hardiness of the Dwarves was a major benefit.
The result was the human race, a fast maturity rate, a hardiness for all except the most extreme of environments but with an adaptably that was unmatched. The one downside was a much shorter lifespan, but this turned out to be a beautiful flaw indeed.
The elder dragons passed down rules to the new races, the were given their own land to occupy, and were not to pass over their boundaries, and for time everything was safe, contained and at peace.
The human race expanded quicker than any of them expected, their numbers far surpassing the others. Elfinihiar willingly withdrew her Elves from a few areas to give them more land, and Thaiek allowed the humans and dwarves to open trade, further advancing the human species.
Before long the humans covered half the world, with the Elves the other half, and the Dwarves spanning the subterranean expanse of the mountains, with impossibly long underground tunnels connecting the various mountain ranges.
In the four thousandth year of the Elven calendar Elfinihiar called a meeting, the elder dragons hadn’t gathered since they agreed to nurture their own creations. Each arrived with great anticipation, they wondered what great news Elfinihiar wanted to share.
The mighty dragons sat waiting, Elfinihiar has called them to the spot of their birth upon which a mighty pyramid now stood, protruding from the sand as a monument to its provenance. Once the sun set in the east Elfinihiar arrived as promised, she looked even more radiant than the others remembered.
She explained how she had begun to feel the pull of age, the same pull that Frahuden and Saiyiden had felt thousands of years before, before they transcended. It was in this moment she found a new source of energy, the elven race had begun to worship Elfinihiar as creator and protector, this faith had coalesced into a tangible energy that bypassed planar barriers and she could feel a new power emerging, and this explained her new radiance.
She urged the others to encourage this faith in their people, even Mathandria, who had not created her own race was persuaded to start, Rayis and Victirus offered her their aid. She explained how it would give them life eternal, and that she had constructed the pyramid as a resting place for their mortal bodies.
They all returned to their children, and in the time remaining built a foundation of faith within each society, but it was not long before they too felt the onset of old age. Soon they had left their followers behind, and for one last time the elder dragons gathered, deep within the pyramid.
Elfinihinar had created a separate chamber for each of them, and as each passed she sealed them inside, she activated the pyramids mystical defences to keep their bodies safe for eternity, then retreated to her own chamber, sealed herself in, and they all passed in to the next life.
All five metallic dragons were now ascending, their mortal forms fossilised, but their everlasting souls, now empowered by the worship of mortals, settled on the plane of their connected energy.
They were reborn as formless beings of pure energy, now with their power over the material plane gone, they found their new home a place of serenity. Their children were now guided by the faithful.
The metallic dragons had long thought the other dragons gone, but the chromatic elders had been busy in their exile, each had been messing with the powers of creation and life.
Katrinix had been snatching groups of elves that ventured below the surface and had dominated their minds, this went unnoticed due to Elfinihiar focusing on the preparation of ascension. She had cleverly created her own race of elves, but they were just as evil and twisted like their new master.
Trozok had become bitter with age, he bent the worlds energy to his will and was now perhaps the strongest of all the elder dragons, but his mind was consumed with rage, and he created a race with one goal, to take revenge on Elfinihiar by destroying her elves.
Vorseth had found he could infuse existing life forms with his own energy and loved nothing more than to subvert their original design and set them free into the world. Once normal animals, now enhanced magical creatures, these creatures attained sentience on a basic level.
Nazitsor was unique amongst the remaining dragons, he toyed with converting bands of humans, infusing them with unnatural power but he found a new power when they died, the passing souls were his to feed upon, none of the other powers had discovered this terrible but powerful source of energy.
Abixlion however had gone to the extreme with his work, he found the dwarves a mighty race, but unlike Katrinix who merely dominated her Dark Elves into accepting her way, he simply offered his Dwarves pure power. Many dwarves were easily persuaded and Abixlion slowly drew in thousands to his new army and taught them how to forge mighty weapons of destruction.
The accession of the metallic dragons caused a fluctuation of energy across the material plane, the sudden loss of positive energy was enough for the chromatic dragons to know exactly what their enemies had achieved. Suddenly the chromatic dragons felt the unexpected and accelerated onset of old age.
It was a powerful connection to their cousins they had never expected, this loss of energy opened their minds to the power of faith, and they already had thousands of devout followers. It was their faith that allowed the chromatic dragons to follow in their metallic counterpart’s footsteps.
They quickly set about constructing chambers to hide their mortal form within, time was limited and they soon passed from the material plane. Like their kin they soon found themselves ascending to the elemental planes, however the taint of darkness still loomed.
They now found their connection to the positive energy of the universe gone, replaced by the darkness. The elemental planes held both positive and negative energy but once the chromatic dragons eternal form penetrated the realm the energy coalesced and almost instantly the planes were each divided in two.
Each was now home to two opposing greater life forms, two beings of pure energy, one radiant, one dark, one positive, one negative, and an eternal war was about to begin.
The Age of Succession had ended, but now an Age of Oppression loomed.