So last week, we introduced you all to this image:
And today we're going to be building a bit on it too, and see what sort of inspiration we can draw from it.
We're going to start with the setting itself, and set this underground, but we're going with a sort of "caught in time" feeling for it, so here goes.
Several thousand years ago, before the end of the Age of the Great Lizards, when Dragons ruled the land, a strange meteor hit the planet. The great dragon philosophers of the time had foreseen the coming of the meteor and deduced that it would create great carnage when it hit, so they cast a great spell to contain the meteor and the fallout it would create, as they could not stop it.
When the meteor hit, it hit a distant corner of the world, far from any dragon's lair, striking a great valley that was still inhabited by the increasingly scarce dinosaurs and pterodactyls that competed with the dragons for food. But contrary to the expectations of the dragon philosophers, the spell did not just contain the blast of the meteor, but the entire area around it, driving the valley nearly 20,000 feet into the ground - and THROUGH the ground, sinking it deep into the earth. There, the great lizards were suddenly without competitors, and the strange magic that the meteor had been infused with sustained the plant life that they needed to live on, while the pterodactyls were able to ride the geothermally warmed air and retain their mastery of the sky, even though that sky was now underground.
Here the dinosaurs thrived for thousands of years, separated from the world by millions of tons of rock above them, and thick walls around them, becoming ever more adept at survival in their underground world. But it was not to last, as eventually, a duergar expeditionary force made its way here, following the strange magical emanations of the meteor, hoping to find star metals when they arrived. What they found was far greater, and far more significant for them. They found powerful, if stupid, beasts that they could mold into tools that would be useful.
The entire duergar city that the expeditionary force came from relocated here, bringing with them all their tools and knowledge, and here they established a new home, one where the great beasts were theirs to command, both in defense of their homeworld, and their new plan: conquering the lands without sunlight.
Now, their plan is ready. They've gathered their forces: duergar foot troops, lizard cavalry, and even a pterodactyl strike force that can fly unhindered through the great caverns. Do they now pose a threat to the world above too?
Only time will tell.
And yes, all of this was simply written and thought of while looking at the image. The colors of the piece felt like a natural fit for the duergar (if there had been more purples or greens, it would likely have been drow elves instead), along with the pterodactyls themselves. These now form a part of a living world.
See you back next week. :)