Three hundred years or so ago, nobody’s really counting, a sailor named Cristobal Colon landed on an island off the southeast coast of what the locals called Turtle Island. The villagers there regarded this strange pale man and his compatriots with caution and interest, but invited him to their commons to eat and discuss trade. Colon and his men pointed strange sticks at the chief, declared themselves rulers of the island, and demanded a tribute of gold.
It took the chief’s daughter about fifteen minutes to talk the kraken into smashing the ships, and she had to promise it a ridiculous cut of their annual fishing haul, but everyone agreed after the fact that it was probably the right call. Everything went back to normal for a century or two. They never did figure out how to work the sticks.
Prosperity can’t last forever, though, and a hundred years later, faced with population and economic pressures, Europeans began arriving in large numbers to ‘settle’ the land. This was received about as you would expect by the locals; the Europeans had greater numbers, better organization, and the upper hand in both magical and non-magical technologies, but the natives were defending their home, and had a connection to the land the Europeans had never seen. War continued, off and on, for about seventy to eighty years; the Europeans established a permanent beachhead in the northeast, where life behind the enemy lines could go on more or less normally, but aside from a brief push southward supported by slaves taken from Africa (this ended rather poorly for the slavers when one of the women captured brought along her god), that’s more or less where they stayed.
Long-term war takes a huge toll on the economy, of course, and despite orders to decamp the populace, General Picton Beauregard Jackson, as if seized by a madness, led a final, all-or-nothing push to the center of the continent. The native tribes, organized by then into the Six Nations and led by a druid known as Medicine Owl, met them on an apparently uninteresting plain. The armies camped out of firing range for three days, and then the explosion happened.
The highest ranking survivor on the European side was an eighty-year-old quartermaster. The highest ranking surviving on the native side was a twenty-year-old chief of a village of about thirty. Once this young chief was able to persuade an eagle to fly him across the new mile-wide crack stretching from the top of the continent to the bottom (it flat refused at first), he flew a flag of truce and met the old quartermaster as she prepared a list of those left alive to send back, since it would be much shorter than the list of casualties. Old woman and young man agreed to terms quickly. There would be no more war; the cost had been far greater than anyone had anticipated.
Nobody who wasn’t there can say for sure, but a century later, the first revelation of the Triune Goddess made after assuming her mantle was that the European god of civilization had died that day, which explained a lot of what happened after. There was no more war. There was no more order. Population dwindled, civilization dwindled, not just in New Europe but across the rest of the continent; there were those that thought the humans and their kin might die out entirely and leave the land to the kobolds and the goblins.
That’s when the dragons came.
Nobody ventured past the deserts to the south and returned. As it turns out, that’s because the dragon empire made very sure of it. The Northerners had assumed dragons were mythical; this populous empire, possessed of enormous magical capacity (this is a civilization where flight and levitation were so cheap they never bothered to invent the WHEEL) rolled north to the town of Jackson’s Fall, built on the side of the ravine that split the continent east to west, proclaiming liberty and protection in the name of the Dragon Empress. There was an evil in that ravine, they said, and only they had the power to stop it.
Five heroes led the resistance that day, bringing together a disparate army from all corners of the continent and beyond. While their army held the dragons at bay, they descended into the ravine themselves. Three hours later, the dragons surrendered unconditionally, by orders of the Dragon…Emperor.
One of those heroes is now known as the Trickster.
Three of them, it is said, merged to form the Triune Goddess.
And one has never been seen since.