The årdrakin are one of several ancient races in the galactic community. This article explores their long and colorful history. All ancient dates are approximate, based on archaeological and anthropological evidence as well as surviving ancient documented history.
— Origins —
- 4 million years ago
Genus draco appears on Drakirú.
- 3.5 million years ago
Draco undergoes an evolutionary split. Branch 1 retains pronograde posture but begins trending toward miniature. Branch 2 trends toward orthograde posture and a reduced size.
— Stone Age —
- 2.15 million years ago
Draco branch 2 (årdrakin) are now mostly bipedal and have reduced to an average eight to eleven feet in height. They begin using primitive stone tools and purposefully building structures (simple arrangements of stones around nests to hold sheltering branches in position).
- 1.15 million years ago
Evidence of controlled use of fire.
- 350,000 years ago
Årdrakin begin looking as they do today. The average adult height has stabilized around six and a half feet but fossilized remains show individuals can range between five and eight feet tall.
- 320,000 years ago
Årdrakin begin using animal hides as clothing.
- 300,000 years ago
Evidence of “long-distance” trading (hundreds of kilometers).
- 250,000 years ago
Draco branch 1 (drakinvír) begin looking as they do today; their adult size stabilizes at roughly twenty-five to thirty centimeters in length. Ritualistic årdrakin burials begin. Remains are buried with birds and drakinvír on clifftops, mountain peaks, and other high altitude locations.
- 232,000 years ago
Development of jewelry from natural materials such as shells and teeth.
- 220,000 years ago
Abstract/symbolic art appears in caves, while rocks and stones (many small enough to carry in a pocket) are engraved with patterns. Evidence of dragon cults/dragon worship in areas where fossilized bonebeds had become exposed. Appearance of the first shamans.
- 214,000 years ago
The bow and arrow replace spears. Haircutting/personal grooming increases with improved stone flaking and shell sharding techniques.
- 200,000 years ago
Modern-looking årdrakin flourish and clans begin to form. Complex languages rise. Stone blade weapons become more common. Better-defined religious behavior begins to emerge.
- 190,000 – 180,000 years ago
Primitive flutes and other similar instruments are invented. Evidence of first ocean crossings and deep-sea fishing. Increase in complexity of cave paintings (use of color, hand stenciling, better-defined animal figures, årdrakin figures) including depictions of water with lightning inside it. First domestication of companion animals. Increased long-distance trading (thousands of kilometers). Beliefs in supernatural beings rise and an increase in religious activity emerges, including ritualistic cremations and a rudimentary belief in reincarnation. Appearance of ancestor cults/ancestor worship and more elaborate funeral rites.
- 179,000 – 170,000 years ago
Ovens, twisted rope, harpoons, and stone/bone saws are invented. Clay pottery is used for figurines. Primitive fibers are used for clothes, infant carriers, bags, baskets, and nets. The first permanent settlements are constructed (huts of rocks, bones, and timber over nests).
- 163,500 – 161,000 years ago
Årdrakin are still primarily predatory but clans begin to demonstrate gatherer/farmer activities by 163,500 years. The first proto-religious sites and proto-urban settlements are constructed by 161,000 years. Territory clashes between clans rise during this period.
— Ancient Age —
- 160,000 years ago (AA 1)
The first lunar calendar comes into use by 160,000 years ago (commonly accepted as Ancient Age year 1) but historians acknowledge this calendar is not reliable, as under it many years are not the same length due to this era’s lack of proper astronomical understanding and regional seasonal variances.
- 159,300 – 151,800 years ago (AA 700 – 8200)
Cultivation of grains for ales, gruel, soup, bread and the domestication of food/fiber animals becomes commonplace approximately 159,300 years ago, around year 700 of the Ancient Age (AA 700). The plow is invented by AA 2500. Gold and silver are used for jewelry by AA 5600. Settlements also become more complex (including the erection of the first towers) and the caste system begins to develop by AA 5600. Copper is discovered and simple metalsmithing of tools and weapons is likewise taking place by AA 5600. Proto-writing, polished stones, and flint axes are in use by AA 8200.
- 151,000 – 146,600 years ago (AA 9000 – 13400)
Additional domestication of labor and food animals and construction of the first causeways is taking place by AA 9000. Settlements see an increase in multi-storey buildings (using clay bricks) by AA 9450. By AA 10650, the årdrakin invent the wheel, complex musical instruments, canals, sailboats, and aqueducts; they are also using lead, meteoric iron, and bronze as construction and weapons materials. Written language on papyrus triggers the start of recorded history by AA 11800 (approximately 148,200 years ago). Written legal codes and the formation of societal honor codes are in place by AA 13400.
- 144,000 – 141,395 years ago (AA 16000 – 18605)
The first cities are constructed, including significant structures, by AA 16000. Clans begin forming kingdoms by AA 18605.
- 140,100 – 130,085 years ago (AA 19900 – 30915)
Fully developed writing systems, dictionaries, and the proliferation of literary texts exist by AA 19900. More complex sailing ships, animal-drawn vehicles, and road networks exist by AA 21250. What later becomes the planet’s capital city is established by AA 21250. In AA 30915, Älar of Clan Nawatílí becomes the first Avatar; she creates the Årdraan faith and prophesies the end of årdrakin society.
- 127,000 years ago (AA 30000/FA 1)
Within approximately 2,100 years of Älar’s Ascension, integration of earlier dragon worship/ancestor worship and reincarnation beliefs with the fledgling Årdraan faith is taking place, ushering in monotheistic religion across årdrakin society. The location of Älar’s first interaction with the goddess becomes the site of Vek Ålna, the first Temple. The Ancient Age ends; the First Age begins.
— First Age —
First Dark Era
- 125,000 – 117,500 years ago (FA 2000 – 9500)
By FA 2067 the growing Årdraan faith has created societal upheaval and collapse. Although many competing belief systems are naturally fading in the face of the Avatar’s demonstrable power, persecution of non-believers and heretics by the Temple results in wars. The general population becomes largely illiterate as cities and entire clans are destroyed or abandoned. Many people believe Älar’s prophecy is coming to pass despite a lack of events that correlate to the nine signs of the apocalypse. Only a few powerful clans as well as the capital city and Vek Ålna remain largely unaffected by the chaos.
- A period lasting from approximately FA 9590 to FA 11600 (roughly 115,400 years ago) where årdrakin society falls dormant as the First Dark Era comes to an end. This period is referred to as the “small breath” metaphorically for the short period spent catching one’s breath after being winded from physical exertion.
- 115,100 – 94,000 years ago (FA 11900 – 33000/SA 1)
Learning and literacy revive and the population starts to recover by FA 11934. Iron is discovered and math involving zero and binary numerals develop by FA 17625. New great cities and temples are completed by FA 23040. Society begins taking census by FA 25670; libraries and paper are also invented around that year. Between FA 28200 and FA 33000 there is a rise of great non-religious thinkers and philosophers, including those who contribute to better astronomical understanding and calendar refinement. People begin referring to the planet as Drakirú. The First Age ends; the Second Age begins.
— Second Age —
- 91,000 – 85,500 years ago (SA 3500 – 8500)
The abacus is invented in SA 3143. By SA 5200 the Årdraan faith is stable. Religious tolerance rises but clan wars remain common (though not out of control) due to a societal shift in focus to combat prowess and other related notions of honor. Clan militaries develop and become a formalized part of life. Population and territories continue to expand globally but society appears to plateau, as no other significant developments have been uncovered during the period ending at SA 8500.
Second Dark Era
- 85,100 – 74,000 years ago (SA 8900 – 20000)
Gunpowder is invented in SA 8988 which kicks off an arms race. The Second Dark Era begins shortly thereafter when clans erupt into more advanced forms of warfare. The known world becomes embroiled in combat and war becomes a way of life for a staggering 11,000 years. War-related technology advances significantly during this period at the expense of other general tech. Steam engines, adding machines, electricity, electric motors, long-distance communications systems, various kinds of machinery including war vehicles and flyers are developed alongside guns and bomb tech. Rudimentary senecíní bombs are also invented.
- A 10,000-year period lasting from roughly SA 20000 to SA 30000 (approximately 64,000 years ago) where årdrakin society falls dormant after the Second Dark Era wars push society to the brink of annihilation. Historical records of this time period are fragmented and it is difficult to know exactly how long the Big Breath lasted. This near-catastrophe and the events which immediately follow it are the primary reasons historians end the Second Age 3,000 years early versus the accepted norm. The Second Age ends; the Third Age begins.
— Third Age —
Rise of the Empire
- 64,000 – 57,927 years ago (TA 1 – 6000)
In TA 1, Alvirôth of Clan Kazeník declares himself the first emperor of Drakirú and establishes the imperial monarchy, uniting all clans under one feudal government for the first time. Universities are built and the expansion of learning and sciences explodes by TA 2000 (approximately 62,000 years ago). A new lunar calendar originally introduced by the Alvirôth monarchy in TA 1 (and still in use today) is standardized in TA 2179 according to improved astronomical studies of the Drakirú system, making recorded dates reliable from this point on: historians can calculate with accuracy that TA 2179 was exactly 61,748 years ago. The årdrakin population is well on its way to recovery by TA 6000 and many new clans begin to form.
- 57,768 years ago (TA 6159)
A superfissure erupts in Drakiru’s southern hemisphere. Five million årdrakin in surrounding communities are killed by pyroclastic flows while hundreds of thousands more succumb to lahars and the near-immediate effects of ash fallout, the bulk of which falls over a 5,000km2 area. The eruption lasts for three weeks, plunging the primarily tropical planet into volcanic winter. In addition to the ensuing ecological and economic devastation, årdrakin experience snowfall for the first time in recorded history and discover their species is fatally allergic to temperatures not far below the freezing mark. The site of the eruption leaves behind a jagged canyon approximately 800km long and up to 50km wide that becomes known as the Great Divide.
- 57,753 – 57,727 years ago (TA 6174 – 6200)
By TA 6174 the volcanic winter is largely over (though temperatures remain cooler than the norm for almost three more decades) and Drakirú’s biosphere begins to recover. The total global death toll due to ash fallout, famine, disease, and especially hypothermia is in the tens of millions, while certain portions of the ecology have been extinguished. However, numerous and rapid medical advancements, as well as the invention of thermal power armor, has taken place. The Årdraan faith adapts its concept of the netherworld where the dishonored are sent after death to include being frozen in torment for all eternity. A contributory trigger for the eruption is traced to the use of senecíní bombs during the Second Dark Era and becomes a primary factor in the eventual ban of these devastating weapons. By TA 6200 the climate of the planet has largely recovered.
- 55,602 – 30,927 years ago (TA 8325 – 33000/CA 1)
By TA 8325 modern society is redeveloping well. Scientific advances after this year are numerous while wars are short and rare. Studies of Drakirú’s flashing oceans and other such natural mysteries begin in earnest. General technology becomes balanced against weapons tech and then both are advanced in tandem. The first computer is invented in TA 12530. Nanites and related tech are in use by TA 15163. Significant crystalline structures begin being grown from lúminí: a new lúminí imperial palace is germinated in TA 21418 and finished by TA 26636. The first satellite is launched in TA 32814 as the årdrakin turn their attention to the stars. The Third Age ends; the Cosmic Age begins.
— Cosmic Age —
- 30,927 – 15,459 years ago (CA 1 – 15468)
The initial years of the Cosmic Age are ones of tremendous activity. Scientific advancements are rapid: Within the first decade, rival clans have begun to develop spy satellite networks; the first unmanned orbital observatories are established; and flybys of Drakiru’s nearest celestial neighbors are completed. By CA 15 the first årdrakin walk on both Drakirú moons and plans are made to build scientific and military bases there. Over the next 50 years, the Empire quickly expands across the Drakirú system. By CA 200 colonization of certain in-system worlds takes place. By CA 584, technology revolutionizes: several airborne cities are constructed on Drakirú and elsewhere; clean energy sources take over; and research into senecíní begins in earnest. Near-lightspeed engines are invented in CA 2127, allowing the årdrakin to begin exploring and colonizing nearby star systems. They experiment with terraforming and by CA 4316 additional colonies are established in even more distant star systems. In CA 13209 (17,718 years ago) threading using senecíní stardrives is discovered. After much trial and error, these stardrives become the primary method of space-based travel and make exploration outside the Drakirú system easy and fast. During this period, poverty, starvation, and illness are largely eliminated for most castes and clans. First contact with another species occurs in CA 15468. The årdrakin are introduced to a vibrant and varied galactic community. Great care is taken to avoid revealing the årdrakin’s cold allergy to aliens and the subject becomes a general societal taboo. Integration with the galactic community initially goes well.
Third Dark Era
- 15,452 – 15,427 years ago (CA 15475 – 15500)
In CA 15475 war erupts between competing clans over trade for superior alien technology. Shortly after, in CA 15481 Clan Kazeník achieves an unprecedented position of power by placing one of their own on the imperial throne as well as maneuvering one of their own into the Temple as the Avatar. This allows the clan to quickly shift attention onto an aggressive push to conquer alien worlds and expand the Empire’s sphere of influence. These campaigns do not end well: the Empire suffers multiple humiliating defeats that wipe out several clan militaries and colonies. By CA 15492 the årdrakin lose the last of their extrasolar territory; clan infighting takes over and the monarchy falls. The alien opponents keep a close eye on the årdrakin while the clan wars continue. Several attempts to recover lost territory and resume expansionist campaigns over the next eight years are decisively snuffed out.
- By CA 15500 society turns its focus inward. It takes approximately 5,500 years to regroup, reassess, learn, and shift society away from its past mistakes and attitudes.
- 9,895 – 7,927 years ago (CA 21032 – 23000)
The Third Dark Era comes to an end with the coronation of Empress Shíorí of Clan Yodesí in CA 21032. Under her leadership, clan militaries are organized into a cohesive Imperial Armada and it becomes forbidden for anyone who shares lineage with the current ruler to also lead the Temple (or vice versa). Shíorí re-establishes contact with the galactic community and restarts imperial expansion under less aggressive policies. The galactic community is wary and slow to warm up to the Empire’s new advances. By CA 21069 the årdrakin have reclaimed most of their previously lost territory primarily via treaties and trade agreements. Recolonization commences and by the end of Empress Shíorí’s reign in CA 21768 (9,159 years ago), these colonies are fully re-established and self-sustaining. Over the next 750 years, the årdrakin economy shifts toward the provision of allied military assistance and limited sale of senecíní drives; overall they come to serve as external peacekeepers and enforcers. By CA 22518 society has successfully integrated with the galactic community and the Empire is well on its way to establishing itself as a galactic superpower. By CA 22532 tourism to view Drakirú’s flashing oceans from space booms and peace is maintained with most of the Empire’s neighbors. Space exploration continues and by CA 22932 the Empire successfully adopts numerous alien worlds as vassal planets rather than violently conquering or overthrowing them. The Empire stretches across several thousand light-years by CA 23000.
- 3,608 – 2,531 years ago (CA 27319 – 28396) In CA 27319 border wars erupt when the Empire’s continuing expansion encounters alien races that are also expanding in the same direction. At the same time, previously good relations with allies begin to sour due to changes in government and policy on both sides. By CA 27567 (3,360 years ago), there is a clear indication that the Empire is beginning to erode. Clan wars begin to rise again. The situation continues to deteriorate to the extent that the first vassal planet successfully secedes in CA 28396 (2,531 years ago), starting a ripple effect with other vassal planets the Empire controls.
- 1,456 years ago (CA 29471) Clan Tsinna faces increasing aggression from Clans Sakloskeret, Inalë, and O’Altlan which puts the future of Tsinna in jeopardy. In response, Vindelí of Clan Tsinna decides to organize a venture to establish a new colony on a distant world. The colony ship Fortune launches late in CA 29471 but contact with the ship is lost approximately six weeks into the journey.