Shadow of the Republic
Ah, dragons the singular most powerful beings, the oldest and most powerful of which seem to rival the gods. Eons past their control spanned the known world only the giants of the north were able to resist them. Made up of a confederacy of thousands of dragondoms, these dragondoms were the territory of powerful dragons, their servitors and slaves. Though there were often conflicts between individual dragondoms, even small groups joined forces against one another, but the confederacy held. Then factionalism set in, and a great war the likes the world had never seen before or since engulfed the dragons. Thousands of dragons would die, the servitor races would be dispersed, and the slaves would find themselves free. Setting the stage for the modern world.
Dragons ruled from a time so shrouded that no one knows how far back it started. Their grasp stifled all attempts at civilization by other intelligent races, save for giants. They allowed three races to thrive as servants, the dragonborn, kobolds, and lizardfolk. Called the servitors the three races were given the task of seeing to dragon needs, they acted as ministers, engineers and even as advisors. The other races, were chattel, slaves doing the labor for dragon needs under the watchful eyes of the servitors. Often also becoming meals for a dragon too lazy to hunt or as appetizers at a banquet.
Each dragondom was a territory of several miles where a powerful dragon and its brood as well as any allied dragons would hunt. Near the center of this territory was the dragons lair. These ranged from cyclopean citadels to holes in the ground. The great dragon treasure hoards know today were rarely kept by dragons then. Though, particularly in the more built up lairs, dragons were known to have such treasure hoards. This has lead to looting of most of the ancient ruins from this age, the few that still stand are usually shells devoid of treasure.
The downfall of the dragon confederacy was all internal strife. The dragons began to factionalize, the two largest factions were the chromatic and the metallic dragons. These two factions polarized all of the dragons into two camps, with few of the lesser factions remaining nuetral. At the core of this conflict, the treatment of the “lesser” races; the elves, dwarves, humans, and all the other non-servitor races. Should they be treated as the servitors races; as the metallic dragons saw it, or as barely above an animal; the chromatic dragons viewpoint. Originally this was an argument, that escalates into conflict, then to full genocidal conflagration.
On the appearnce of dragons, their countenance often reflects their faction, a metallic coloration for the metallic dragons, for example. One theory holds that when the factions started forming, the dragons physically altered themselves, this does little to explain why dragons such as the white dragon is significantly inferior to most other dragons. Another holds that some unknown pantheon altered them and also created the factions. A third theory, suggests that the different appeared is a product of selective breeding, and dragons such as the white suffered from too much inbreeding.