Welcome to BTACD!

Hello, and welcome to By Tooth And Claw Dragons, traveler! This is the information website for an immersive and creatively free high fantasy role-play forum, built on all original lore. Why not take a look at the newbie guide, learn about our mentoring project, or drop down to the rules below our wonderful story here?

Thank you for stumbling upon our humble abode, and enjoy the story of our worlds' creation below!

"There was One. There had always been only One."

That's always what they taught us. When the worlds were yet to be conceived, the universe young, there was only One. Light shone within him as in the stars, moons, and suns, and the great Dragon of the heavens, creator of all, saw and knew no darkness. Out of that light he crafted a world of stunning beauty, glowing like a sun among the everlasting emptiness of the Nothing where all existed.

But the power of the Nothing was strong. His world of Light dimmed in the presence of power - the essence of the Nothing that he walked within so effortlessly ate away at the new Realm, and soon destroyed it, as the Balance could not be held against the ethereal might of oblivion. Saddened, the One lamented over his loss, and drew the attention of others. Divine beings, monstrous and beautiful, wandered the everlasting darkness where everything lay - with many heads and many tails, these draconic creatures are known only as the Void hydras, twisted essence of the Nothing deep within their very cores.

One in particular took notice of his loss. A female, Unbound, emerged from the Nothing hesitantly, approaching with caution. Her presence radiated energy he had never met before, and he was intrigued. In the arcane language of the First Beings they spoke the first words, and he told her of his troubles. She laughed at the young god’s innocence, and taught him of balance; how there could be no Light without Darkness, no white without black.

Together, they spoke of worlds, ideas, and thoughts. Of life, and life-giving, dreams, and wishes. Together, the One crafted the Realm of Light and gave life to its twin, the Realm of Darkness. In these, he took some of the Void hydra’s essence and molded it into small pinpricks of energy, planting it within each Realm. She took one in her jaws, and wound her tail around the other… and thus were the Realms of Light and Darkness created, from which all Realms would eventually pass. Thus, the Balance was established in a new Void. And thus, the beginning of the Fiv’ean Realms had come to pass.

A new dream came to the One; a dream of worlds that held true life, of beings like themselves that could live and act and breathe. A world not of light, and not of darkness, but of both - a world of suns and moons and stars, of water and fire, wind and earth. He told the Void this dream, and spoke of the Balance, how it could be done. She told him tales of other First Beings and their worlds, beautiful creations carried by the hydras of the Nothing, of gods and mortals. He was intrigued. He wanted to learn of Life and Living - he wanted to Create, and give birth to races that would live on in his stead. He wanted a world of beauty, of peace, an outlet to pour his dreams into.

Thus, the First Realm - called Zythkhan’noa in the tongue of the gods - was born.

The Void took this Realm into her jaws and the Markers tied it to an air of stability; diving headlong into creation, the One forgot the Balance and what it meant, and the signs of its unraveling did not come for many, many years. He created creatures of all kinds, creatures that are now lost and unknown. He rested, pleased, and settled to watch this new life in his beloved Realm.

The world taught him much - the trees, the flowers, the tiny insects and prey-life that had been born with the Realm. The denizens of his dream began to grow and multiply, began to change and create themselves things he could not have imagined. With each life, there was a possibility for another, greater being - and with each being, the possibility of new things. It told a story of survival and conquest, of live, love and death.

However, all was not well - something stirred within this world, the First Realm, Zythkan’noa. War blossomed amid the creatures of the world, and he watched in surprise as the first blood was spilt upon the pristine, virgin land. Horror - an emotion he had not previously known - dawned within him, and he rose to stop the bloodshed, descending upon the Realm with a powerful roar. He felt shock, fear… anger.

And so darkness erupted within the One’s soul. As he started to bend the magics to his will, he began to create ones much like himself - the dragons - the shadows stirred. He crafted a great dragon named Kazule, blending the appearances of himself and the Void he had come to love, and gave life to other drakes big and small. With these, he thought, the wars would stop - the dragons would rise to rule over the offending peoples, and bring order to a chaotic land.

It was not to be.

The first peoples rebelled against the dragons, darkness marring their souls. Evil was born, slinking silently within the One’s light. Filled with outrage, it surged within, breaking free of the bonds that bound it. Vowing to destroy everything, to claim the Realm and the errant creatures as its own, it set to the attack.

He created Cosmic dragons, and Celestials, to help Kazule claim kingship over the world. Light and dark dragons were born from the war, as their God battled within himself; many died against the power of the dragons, entire nations falling beneath their incredible strength. The battle tore the once-proud god open, and he rose into the sky, his white scales eclipsed in darkness, roars and screams erupting from a tortured maw. Soon, the black began to spread further, and he faltered, losing... the light was falling under shadow. Wounds inflicted by a nameless force burst open along his body, and blood washed the world in scarlet. He fought bitterly in a final effort to control his other side -

- and a new God was created. Ripped from the body of the dying One, Death arose in black-scaled splendor, tainting and twisting the life the divine god had created. The world began to shiver as its balance teetered on the brink, and the One, weakened from the loss, lay his head down to die. A mournful cry rose amidst the heavens; it rang with his sorrow, his loss, raised a spark in the dying coals of his eyes.

The Dark never won. That day, the One rose against Death once more - but different from the time before. The Light dimmed, then grew strong and stronger and stronger until -

- the body of the old One disintegrated, flaring in points of burning light. His soul split and separated into ten different parts, grew and morphed into ten gigantic dragons. There was Time, Scylla, Leartes, Zacyn and Balion, Fenrir, L'zayn, Gaz'in, Zeldrima and Sago. Thew new gods and goddesses looked upon what had befallen their world and fled, knowing that they could not face such evil alone. Together, they hid from the rampaging beast, gathering their power they had left, and they discussed what was to be done.

None of the Old Races existed anymore; what was left were twisted creatures or broken souls, fragile and shattered beyond recognition. Sorrow in their hearts, the new gods began anew, creating life in the form of the First Creations, joined by Kazule. Together, they crafted the elves, humans, aurochs, werecats, werewolves, weredragons, the eucyon, elementals, dwarves and unicorns; gifted creations from bountiful minds. They thrived, and the gods created more to join the Firsts, growing an army away from the eyes of the Dark One.

However, Death was not far behind. He twisted the dragons into horrible creatures - the sarka, bending all beneath him to his deadly will through their power. In his deadly reign, he gave life to basilisks, rathar, vampires, the zirus goblins, the undead, nnar', werebeasts, imps, alicorns and siren.

Soon, the gods of light were ready. Soon, the two forces met. Blood spattered the stones of the single Realm as the Ten battled great Death, the very fabric of time and space torn, shredded. The last of the Old Races were swept into the Nothing as the veil fell in pieces, and the Void let go in a great shudder of pain. The Markers that held the Realm together split apart and shattered; the balance finally gave. They were destroying their world.

The battle raged on, even as the Realm fell apart around them. Its Core was revealed, shining brightly, as Time struck a weakened Death down. However, bathed in the light of the Core, Death was far from beaten.

As the Realm began to truly die, Death’s broken body split and separated into five dragons, much like the One before. Dhath, Noamuth, Lithmor, Gurthril and Daecuru fled the collapsing world, as the Ten realized what had happened.

The war hadn’t simply destroyed Zythkan’noa; they had brought death to the First Realm.

The balance had been overthrown, and the Core of the world itself was beginning to collapse in on itself and die. Combining their power, the Ten Gods tried to save the Realm, struggling to hold the Core together, but in the end... failed. They, too, were forced to flee, sending the races into a slumber from which there might be no escape. In space's dark hold, the gods conferred - what were they to do? Where to go?

Make another Realm. Save the races. It was agreed.

Choosing the most powerful of the races, they gave them godlike power and spiraled into the heavens, setting in motion what would change the universes forever. In this act, the Void joined with the gods, lending her power. Together, they began to weave the fabric of life, wreathed amid their claws.

The Realms were created slowly - wandering souls were gathered and given home deep in the heart of the Void, a Realm of Souls forged from the hydra’s very spirit. Balance at the forefront of their minds, the passed each new Core through both Light and Dark Realms, giving life to new worlds. Millirand came first, and Lizzarkyth; then Xaeri and Evylon. The surviving Ancient Firsts were brought over along with their fellows, and souls to protect these Realms - the Ethers - were forged. Markers were established and the Void closed her jaws and tail around each one, balancing them in perfection. All was well, for a time. The worlds began to grow and prosper, and other Realms were slowly concepted, brought into being many years later.

But what of the Dark Five? They had disappeared. Though the gods and the Void searched long and hard across the Nothing, no sign could be found. As Time and the others settled to manage their creations and build new world, creating other, lesser gods to rule the worlds beneath them, Dhath and his fellows never showed. It was many years before they resurfaced, returning to terrorize the Realms once more...

But that, my friend, is a story for another time. The Elders tell many stories; come, sit by the fire. Come and listen to their tales. There is so much to learn... you could be here some time.

Please, make yourself comfortable. You won't regret the company you meet.

the rules

These are the basic rules for our forum and website; these must be agreed to upon registration. By clicking 'I agree' in the registration process, you agree to the following rules. Thank you!

[001] Be sure to read the newbie guide and the application page first and foremost; all members are required to send in a fun, little pre-play joining application before taking part in any role-play! This is different from our character apps, which are completely freeform and done after this pre-play app is approved.

[002] BTACD is an intermediate to advanced, no word count site that believes in quality over quantity. Our threads are generally conducted in third person and past tense; however, posts may be written in any tense and in either third or first person, so long as your partner agrees to the method!

[003] We have NO character limit - so long as you can handle the amount of characters you have created, you are free to make as many as you want! All characters must have information pertaining to our world, and submitted to be added to the character directory, before playing on our forum.

[004] This board is rated PG-13. Cussing, sexual references and adult topics are allowed, so far as they don't border on the explicit. Likewise, BTACD role-play is restricted to fade to black on sexual intercourse and other sexually explicit things. We are rated 3/2/3, please keep our forum clean!

[005] As always, we expect you as the memberbase to respect your fellows and know the basics of role-playing; no godmoding, powerplaying, instant-romance, etc. If one of these integral rules are broken, you will be warned.

[006] Whatever creations you yourself make in BTACD, as a part of BTACD, that has been entered into the role-play and implanted therein, will stay in BTACD role-play, even after the creator of such has left. This include any and all submitted lore (species, subspecies, Realms, etc) and artwork (species art, sprites, maps, etc). This does not, however, include original characters!

[007] Always ask what your partner is alright with before you start role-playing with them. Please respect the beliefs of those you're writing with in this and the restrictions they place on you! If your partner doesn't want to read something, then please respect them and do not make them feel uncomfortable.

[008] BTACD is a fun, friendly environment with an amazing community - let's keep it that way! Should any member taint that, it's up to the discretion of staff to warn, suspend or finally ban them, so that we may keep the forum safe and happy for all our members. If you find you have any problem with any member, be it a normal member or staff, please don't be afraid to bring it up to any of our Council, and request mediation if you need it!

Revised: 7//19//2016

Frequently asked questions

[001] What is your policy on member activity? ||
We're very lenient! However, we also like to promote an active, healthy community, so we do have inactivity sweeps every so often. We do have an Inactivity Notices subforum where members may post if they are going to be absent for any length of time, and thus, they can avoid being sorted into the Inactive Members group and risk having their accounts deleted.

The way it works is really super simple. Every two months a roll call topic is made to check on member activity - members must post in this topic, letting us know they're still active! They don't even have to be actively role-playing at the time - as long as they pop in and go, hey 'I'm still alive and am still interested', that works for us! However, the accounts that don't will be sorted into an Inactive Members group that will gather inactive accounts for the Sweep every six months. At any point between sweeps may members come back and reclaim their accounts and become active again. Likewise, members who lose their accounts are always welcome to come back and re-register, without having to fill out the Joining Application!

[002] Where do I find the list of playable races? Or the list of setting info, like cities and landmarks? How about what canons are currently open? ||
Our playable races are all located on a comprehensive list that links to more in-depth info, found here! You can access it normally by going to characters and species > species > species.

We have multiple worlds that you can write in here, all complete with their own countries, cities, and landmarks. These worlds are referred to as the 'Realms' and can be found here! You can access this list normally by going to world lore > realms.

A constantly-updated list of our open canons and plot positions can be found in the topic marked 'OPEN' in this subforum. It's always linked in the forum directory, as well as pinned as an announcement, for ease of access!

[003] What is jaden? How do I earn it, and what can I buy with it? ||
Jaden is the name of a type of currency in-character for our Allied Realms, HOWEVER! It's also the forum currency that you earn with every post. Ways to earn jaden can be found in this topic, claiming jaden that you've earned is done by posting in this topic, and the shop is located here! There are many things in the shop that can be bought, such as super-rare genes and species, staff-created weapons, and items.

[004] How do I create my character? Is there a set form, and what medium should I use? ||
Character creation rules can be found in this topic! There is no set form, but there is a suggested one, posted for easy use if you don't want to make your own. Our applications are completely freeform, and you can post them either on-site, or off on your own website. Make your apps as simple or complex as you want! As long as they have the pertinent information, you can do whatever you'd like to do.

A constantly updated list of our current characters and non-playable characters (NPCs) can be found here, and a list of taken names can be found here.

[005] How do I start a role-play thread? What section should I use? ||
We have a bit unique way of writing here in BTACD; we have both a Plot-Based section of role-play, where all of the sitewide plot and considered-canon happenings go, and a special sandbox area where the sitewide plot doesn't touch, called Lore Based.

The specific rules on how to start a Plot Based thread are found here, which requires a form to be placed at the start of your thread, and the Lore Based rules are here, which requires no form!

[006] How powerful can I make a character? What are my limits, and how do you rate character power? ||
Characters can technically be made as powerful as you would like them to be! However, we do have a power structure that rates characters on their power - and all characters with magical abilities are subjected to how magic works in BTACD and the energy-consumption and consequence/weakness rules we generally employ.

To be specific, anything that is God Ward or above is a plot position or is given away by staff! All magically-gifted characters must also have a good balance of strengths and weaknesses if their powers are too extravagant - say, if you have a character who can conceivably kill a god, there must be consequences for him or her to do that action, consequences that would make doing so nearly impossible or so undesirable that it would be a last resort. For another example, a dragon who is a master of fire could possibly be incredibly weakened by cold, water, or ice; to the point where they could be made physically ill if cold for too long.

In short, if you make powerful characters, make sure they are balanced accordingly. And if you want anything above a God Ward, make sure to check and apply for any of the open positions!