Dragons are malicious, god-like creatures that bring nothing but desolation and waste wherever they roam. They are imperishable terrors that pass overhead on shadowy wings and breathe fire on any that offend them. All dragons originate from one progenitor: Toruk, the Dragonfather.
Dragons are unlike any other creature in the world. They do not breathe, do not need food, water or air, and do not breed as other species do, but possess immortality linked in an indestructible crystal called the athanc or heartstone. The athanc will revive a dragon regardless of what happens to his body - even if a dragon's body is utterly annihilated he can always fabricate a new one using his athanc. They also radiate a mutagenic effect known as the Blight that gradually transforms the landscape and mutates creatures around them into their servants, although only Everblight, one of the most cunning and intelligent dragons, has truly gained conscious control of his.
When one dragon devours the heart of another, the two athancs fuse together, granting the victor the strength of the vanquished. The process of destruction is rooted in a type of birth—the reversal of Toruk’s ancient division of his own athanc. All athancs feel the undeniable urge to rejoin and become whole again.
It is unknown where Toruk came from. He was originally thought to be an embodiment of the Devourer Wurm, though as scholars learn more of dragons they have become less certain of his origin. Toruk's worshippers claim he has always been part of Caen, although he didn't participate in giving rise to life on the world. According to Everblight, the athanc was the first sentient entity on all of Caen, risen to consciousness and assuming the name Toruk in a language of his own devising long before he clothed himself in flesh and scale. Some Dhunian myths claim he was created by the Devourer Wurm alongside other scaled beasts. The Circle Orboros deny this myth, and insist dragons have no place in Caen's natural cycles.
In ages past, Toruk became tired of his solitary existence. Desiring company or perhaps servants, he split off pieces of his own athanc to form others, and from each splinter a dragon came into being. Unfortunately for Toruk, his brood proved to be exactly like him, right down to an unwillingness to take orders, and turned on him. Toruk eventually destroyed many lesser dragons, and the rest fled and scattered across Immoren. Ancient human records place this event at 3500 BR, though this has since been refuted. More reliable Rhulic records date the first dragon sightings to 5500 BR.
From that point forward, Toruk sought to hunt the dragons down and gather the pieces of his athanc to undo his mistake.
In 1270 AR, Nidoboros, greatest of Toruk's spawn, confronted his father, allegedly to prove to the rest that Toruk could be hurt and destroyed. He managed to badly injure Toruk, but was eventually cast down. Before Toruk was able to consume Nidoboros, he was forced to flee from several dragons drawn to the clash. Nidoboros' athanc was secured by Zevanna Agha, who sealed it within an elaborate contraption under the city of Hellspass.
In 1000 BR, the dragon Blighterghast gathered the surviving dragons and convinced them to drive Toruk of mainland Immoren. The fight ended in a stalemate, with Toruk being forced to retreat to the Scharde Islands west of Immoren, creating the nightmare empire of Cryx. Bligherghast made his lair on the Wyrmwall Mountains to keep watch on Toruk, while the rest found lairs far from Toruk's grasp.
Not all the names of dragons are known, some having been forgotten or never spoken of. The exact number of Toruk's progeny is unknown. The Circle Orboros has access to an ancient relic called the Wyrmstone, said to be the most comprehensive collection of dragon names, but few have deciphered its cryptic runes. Dragons acquire numerous names and epithets over centuries.