So some of this contradicts the existing sections, so I've just edited the Setting and Anatomy of a Dragon sections to accommodate the ideas. Feel free to opt out if you don't approve of the changes, naturally. The clan/party backstory thing is probably it's own section below Create the World?
It is the twilight of a majestic race of giant lizards. Dragons once held dominion over all of the north. The coming of men and other sentient races ó originally paying tribute to the mighty dragons ó are now harnessing the power of alchemy and ingenuity. They are developing cunning engines of fire and death, and pervert dragon rebels through manipulation against their kin to now challenge the dragonsí dominance of the skies.
The quest of man is to eradicate the last of dragonkind and trade in the fabulous wealth of dragons. In addition to possessing ages-old hoards of silver and jewels, dragons are themselves a manifestation of the raw elements ó fire, shadow, cold, and even iron. And the remaining eggs of the mighty dragon matrons ó priceless geodes that take an age to incubate and possess riches and exceedingly rare elements ó are coveted by man to power airships and machines of war. The surviving eggs now number only in the mere dozens.
The end of the winged lizard kings draws near. Their noble bearings begin now to erode to reveal their raw, untamable and tempestuous natures. They guard their hidden lairs and hoards from mankind, sometimes moving them as needed when their territories fall to pioneers with the courage and grit enough to lay stake further north.
Although each dragon may lair separately and gather only in small close-knit clans of relatives, in order to survive, the savage serpents have founded Serpentís Spire, their last refuge and solitary place of unified strength. They gather in a rivalry-fueled loose unity under the ailing Elder Wyrm ó greatest living member of their kind and well versed in their songs. Without some semblance of solidarity, putting aside differences and territorial disputes, enterprising man would have already hunted them down to extinction.
Through their devious consumption of stolen dragon eggs, mankind is developing numerous marvels, including airborne gasbag powered warships, cruel adamantium harpoons and black powder cannons. Along with these innovations is the empowerment that comes with rising to challenge the dragonís supremacy. A challenge the Dragons are slowly realising with dread they cannot meet in kind, crippled by the same size and strength that makes them the mightiest of all races.
Dragonkind strives to survive. The threat of man, a dwindling frontier to serve as food and refuge, in addition to the lost dragon eggs that need to be recovered and incubated are not the only threats the species faces. Their own raw natures threatens to spill over their levees to consume them and the world, and their contest to amass the resources necessary to survive the coming hibernation at the end of the age number among their challenges. They must adapt to the cleverness of the human mind or face extinction. And even immediate survival will amount to little if they cannot foster a new generation.
Spoiler: Anatomy of a Dragon
Anatomy of a Dragon
Unfortunately for the survival of the species, they generally mate for life. Rogue dragons who have broken from tradition may occasionally dominate a harem of young females, but such cases are exceedingly rare. Dragon eggs possess an amalgam of the unique mineral makeup of both parents. Young typically take an entire age to incubate and usually hatch at the awakening following a period of hibernation.
Precious metals are indeed part of a dragonís makeup. This is one reason why dragons will amass wealth, or reside in ore-rich lairs. The magnetic and auric qualities of these important alchemical commodities energizes a dragon during slumber and helps to keep its furnace stoked. A dragon possesses a furnace, the fierce internal force of elemental power that serves as a dragonís personal talisman. Whether powered by fire or alternative elemental forces or elements it is required not only for their potent and destructive breath, but also to keep them aloft during flight. If their furnace extinguishes by releasing all of their energy in one apocalyptic burst, it is costly in terms of time to re-stoke and leaves them vulnerable. Historically, only when a dragon knows its demise is nigh do they release all their energy.
All dragons, even the young, are heavily armored with an array of fearsome weaponry at their disposal. Aside from their terrible breath, their fanged maw, talons, wings, tail, and even physical girth are all formidable tools of war. They are easily capable of destroying armies, and a single adult dragon can decimate a city.
However, mankindís ingenuity has tested the dragonsí natural superiority. And now they must adapt or suffer extinction. In this they are sadly limited by their physiology. Lacking hands and few in number they can't adopt the tools or industry of their enemies, even as they learn to fear and respect their newfound power.
Dragons generally are solitary maintaining close ties only to close kin. The only exceptions were battles over territory between rival clans and short ritual gatherings to meet prospective mates and exchange lore. Known as Dragon Choruses these gatherings are universally called by the presence of an Elder, one known and respected for the depth of his knowledge. Whether inviting others to his territory or present as a guest in another clan's lands the gathered Dragons learn their kind's history and lore from their elders in oral tradition.
Recorded in poetry Dragonlore is almost universally sung. The teacher sings first for their audience and then as they recite the verses their students join in, learning to sing the tale themselves. During the brief (for creatures who measure lifetimes in ages) months they might gather together the Clans exchange tales, magic and lore discovered during their time apart with the most worthy entering what is known as the World's Song, a mostly agreed upon history of the world. In earlier ages these Choruses were the greatest source of knowledge available to the lesser races and some who had befriended one of the Wyrms would be allowed to attend, though never to Sing. Many of the early scholars of Mortal magic and lore learned from the Elder Wyrms at these gatherings, often paying their way with music played to the tune of the songs. Alone among the trappings of civilization Dragons learned to love the playing of instruments, with no Chorus now considered complete without accompaniment.
It was during one of these Choruses, now considered the Great Chorus in the World's Song, that the Elder Wyrm convinced the Clans to gather under him in Serpent's Spire. Singing to them of the many losses and defeats dealt to Dragonkind at the hands of Humans and other pettier races, of the divides and feuds that weakened them in the face of the mortal's encroachment, and the ongoing tragedy of their kind's fall he convinced them that their only hope lay in gathering together to share their knowledge and strength as other race's had.
Today they have formed a loose alliance and rally around their chosen elder, who at present suffers a wasting curse that none currently understands nor knows how to combat. Rivalries threaten the dragonsí future as much as the next wave of dragon hunters. Many dragons cultivate relationships with a variety of mortal minions ó dwarves to craft more formidable defenses, barbaric northman tribes to serve as lookouts and spies, as well as craftsmen and scribes to do such menial tasks that a dragon could not or would not do.
Spoiler: Clan History Aspects
Clan History Aspects
To place your Dragons in the world give some context for their history. Where did they come from? Why were they driven to Serpent's Spire? What legends do Mortals tell of the Clan? As a party give a short answer to each question and a Phase Aspect to effect your interactions with others who know your tales.
Aspect 1: Your Lost Homeland.
Where did your Clan once live? What was the land like? What or who lived there? How did they interact with you, if at all? How did it shape you?
Aspect 2: Your Flight North.
What drove you from your homes to Serpent's Spire? Who or what was responsible for your decision to make your new home in the North?
Aspects 3+: Mortal Legends of Your Clan
Each player can come up with a legend or two told by a group or race of mortals about an event in your Clan's history that effected them. Perhaps the tale is told by different groups from different perspectives? This tale could be a prominent piece of folklore to the relevant group effecting their interactions with you.