The Elder Dragon Wars
In the beginning, there were dragons, and maybe some other stuff. This is into the first rule of Magic: the Gathering narrative:
1. It doesn’t matter where it is, there are dragons there.
Worlds wrought from pure metal, artificial realms made of magical nanites, and even planes where dragons are explicitly stated to be extinct, there are dragons ANYWAY. Of course dragons were knocking about being huge assholes at the beginning of history.
And then they beat the snot out of each other. Naturally. I mean, you’ve got humans attempting to eat dirt while other scaly jizzclowns are reshaping matter as they see fit, which one would you pay attention to? After what was no doubt a climactic battle with a special effects budget that could bankrupt a global conspiracy, there were only five dragons left.
I’d love to start this list by informing you this guy invented cantrips, or Sligh decks, or something interesting, but unfortunately he’s notable for dying really quickly after the Dragon Wars in the in-universe equivalent of a game of Magic. Yes, really. And his card is lackluster too, for shame.
Easily the most badass looking of the five, though.
Despite being the dragon literally composed of metal (but not an artifact), Chromium is the least Metal of the Elder Dragons. If he were an album, it would be all glitter and hair with four keyboardists. And the kicker is, his card is the worst out of the five. His ability only matters in two situations, out of every combination of power and toughness possible. Don’t believe me? Check out what Eric Engelhard had to say about him (entry #20).
The other thing of note about him is that he later got his ass killed and then turned into a totally bitchin’ airship. Upcycling: sometimes it’s really morbid.
Do me a favor and scroll back up to Sabboth’s picture up there. Now look here again. One of them is a caped, glowering overlord clenching his iron fist, and the other is a mealymouthed bookworm with lopsided shoulders. Can you guess which one ends up being WotC’s resident plot contrivance? Goes to show, stay in school, kids.
This may have to do with the fact that Bolas here is the only one with an ability that even sounds impressive.
Anyway, Nicol Bolas is the most famous survivor of the Elder Dragon Wars, and is only two layers away from any given plotline. Someday I’m going to make that vaunted Six Degrees of Nicol Bolas page, just you wait.
For 8 mana and an upkeep cost, you’d really think they’d just let him boost his power for colorless. I would like to point out that these guys were the shitwhen Legends released. It was a simpler time, with simpler people.
Anyway, Vaevictus appears in a handful of storylines, but is consequential in exactly none of them. If you really want to know more, here’s his MtGSal article, you figure it out.
Mors here actually got shit done after the War, attempting to kill some fuck named “Red Donald” with an army of orcs and undead and assorted whatnot. There also was a nap inside of a mountain due to a spell called “The Trickery,” which sounds like a magical STI if you ask me. Interestingly enough, we don’t know if Mors is currently dead, a planeswalker, or anything in between those extremes.
Of these immediate survivors of the Dragon War, Nicol Bolas is the only one still active in storylines, because
his card was the only one worth playing of a series of complicated plot events which flow from each other logically. However, they all reproduced to produce the rest of dragons, drakes, dragonpeople (of course there are dragonpeople), and other great dirty reptiles found on, well, everywhere. The losers got their limbs torn off and became these (and if you know how to play Magic, you can see how much of an ice burn this is), which begat all of these.
Wait. Hold on a second. If from these five loins sprang all of dragonkind, that means at least one of these guys is a girl. I’m going to go do some more research.
Okay, I’m back, and I have a few theories.
- Apparently Palladia is the girl. This would mean she’s our erstwhile Tiamat, but it turns out these five dragons are all related (even Chromium. I guess he just likes to cover himself with tinfoil?), so this is a bad theory.
- It’s possible that dragons follow some unusual gender/reproduction templates found in nature, like how Komodo dragons can reproduce asexually when the need arises, or gender changes in response to certain stimuli. This means all the elder dragons were banging clones of each their siblings, or clones of THEMSELVES, which also makes for a bad theory.
- They all had sex with another dragon named Piru, who only shows up in some comic books that are only canon before the unified storyline revision and oh my god what I have become
- They bonertime’d the Elder Land Wurms instead, which seems rude and implausible.
- A planeswalker did it.
Let’s chalk this one up to one of those mysteries that fall into the fissures of history. It’s better that way.