Polis War (Timeline)
Thanks to NimmerStill
There seems to be a lot to sort out with respect to the origin of the Dragon God(s), and FATE's role dealing with them and shaping the history of El Nido.
We know that the Dragon God, as one entity, originally came from Terra Tower:
Quote from: Belthasar
The Dragon Gods were originally a singular plasma life-form... ...A living accumulation of the planet's energy! Originally it was a biological machine used to control the powers of nature in the future society of the Reptites.
And we know that the Terra Tower went back in time to, standardly for the Compendium, 12000 BC. So that's a baseline for how old the Dragon God(s) could be (in the timeline of El Nido).
And then, as we know, there was the Polis War: Chronopolis and Dinopolis battled, Chronopolis won, and
Quote from: Belthasar
the Reptite's fortress was sealed away by FATE
We also know that then, FATE created some islands in what was earlier almost entirely sea, erased most of the Chronopolis workers' memories, and populated the islands with them.
But we also know that at some point, this has to come to pass:
Quote from: Belthasar
Originally the whole Archipelago of El Nido was known as the Sea of Eden. This was because it was where the Dragon Gods resided.
So first of all, where we are right now in the chronology, still around 12000 BC or a few years after, the archipelago as such is just now coming into existence. We also know that there were no Dragon Gods at all before this time. So the situation where the whole Archipelago of El Nido is known as the Sea of Eden has to start sometime after this. But that state of affairs has to end before this happens:
Quote from: Belthasar But then FATE sealed away the Dragon Gods' powers, in effect becoming a god itself. Thus the islands where the new godhead, FATE, existed came to be called the Sea of Eden instead.
So, what exactly causes El Nido to be called the Sea of Eden, and what causes it to stop being called that, after which the term only refers to what we call the Sea of Eden in the Game?
Well, Belthasar is clear on the second part: the rest of El Nido stops being called that when the Dragon Gods lose their powers. So it stands to reason that the beginning of that stage would be when the Dragon Gods first begin to establish themselves as the gods of the area, with their powers.
So there must have at least been a significant period of time between the Time Crash and when FATE sealed the Dragon Gods' powers. In question is what time between those two events FATE split the originally one Dragon God into the six gods of nature. But it seems, at least, that there was a significant amount of time between that split, and the sealing of their powers, because Belthasar says that the Sea of Eden was known as where the Dragon Gods, plural, resided.
But one assumes that FATE couldn't even do the splitting until it had an upper hand on the Dragon God, presumably after Chronopolis's victory over Dinopolis. One wonders why FATE didn't at that time instantly also seal away their powers, instead of waiting what seems to be several generations (enough time for them to be established as gods). But, there are possible explanations for that; perhaps FATE hadn't thought of sealing their powers yet, or didn't deem it necessary until they continued to show hostility toward FATE and/or humanity. Or perhaps, as part of Belthasar's plan, FATE wanted there to be a period where the population of El Nido worshiped the Dragons as Gods.
There is also a question as to exactly who knew El Nido as the Sea of Eden. Was it just the residents themselves? Or did people from the mainland refer to it as that as well? If it's the latter, then that means the results of the Time Crash are already affecting the history of the mainland, which FATE wouldn't like so much, though that could influence its subsequent decision to seal away their powers.
And meanwhile, we don't know exactly what role the surviving Reptites, which as per Compendium theory are ancestral to the later Dragonians, were playing in this. One assumes that they were at the forefront of the push to worship the Dragons as gods, but the details of how this first happened are unclear.
And there's still the question of when in all this the Dragon God was absorbed by Lavos:
Quote from: Belthasar
That thing... the '"Dragon God"'... is only a quasi-existence... ...A temporary form that the real Dragon God uses in order to appear within this dimension. The actual Dragon God was consumed long ago, in the distant past... Integrated by the entity known as Lavos in a time on the other side of the dimensional darkness.
Presumably, this event has nothing directly to do with FATE's sealing of the Dragon Gods' powers. Perhaps the absorption happened first, and that somehow made the sealing easier, but FATE is not directly an agent of Lavos, and so it seems unlikely that the sealing and absorption were one and the same event. Also, the absorption is referred to as applying to the one Dragon God, whereas the sealing, as stated and as we've established more clearly, applied to the already split Dragon Gods.
Ok, now I will propose a possible chronology given these established facts. There are still some unsatisfying details and gaps. Note that as a possible solution, not all of this is directly supported by the text or by established Compendium theory.
Possible solution chronology:
- Time Crash: both Chronopolis and Dinopolis are pulled back to 12000BC
- Polis War: Chronopolis and Dinopolis fight
- Some time during the Polis War: the Ocean Palace incident occurs, and a gate similar to the one that got Schala opens and swallows up the Dragon God (currently a bio-machine). No one notices this, because the Dragon God is powerful enough to project a quasi-existence back into reality, almost as powerful as the original. Subsequent references to the Dragon God(s) or "biological machine" refer more properly to this quasi-existence.
- Polis War: Chronopolis is victorious
- FATE erases Chronopolis workers' memories, creates the main island, populates them with the former works
- FATE notices surviving Reptites, and erases their memories too. (We'll call them "Dragonians" now.)
- FATE notices their former biological machine, known later as the Dragon God. FATE decides to split it up into six "gods of nature", creates new islands for some of them, and allows the Dragonians to live on these islands, but allows for migration back and forth
- Time passes; subsequent generations of both humans and Dragonians notice the power of the Dragons, and begin to worship them as gods. Humans and Dragonians (and perhaps local Mystics and other species) begin to mate, and thus Demi-humans are born.
- Eventually, word of these Dragon Gods, their powers and their (presumed) benevolence spreads even to the mainland, who join the residents of the El Nido area in referring to the El Nido Archipelago as the Sea of Eden.
- FATE becomes concerned about the Dragon Gods' growing influence, as well as being concerned that they might regroup their powers and oppose it (FATE) again, and so seals the Dragon Gods' powers away, forcing them to hide in the deepest reaches of their territory, inaccessible to most humans, Dragonians, or Demi-Humans.
- The Dragon Gods then begin losing their influence, and FATE, subtly through the Records of Fate, offers itself up as an alternative figure of worship.
- At this point, as Belthasar says, the designation "Sea of Eden" changes to refer to the southeastern area where Chronopolis hides.
- The Dragonians and Demi-humans hold onto the old religion longer than most humans, though the humans of Guldove also hold on to echoes of the old ways.
- The humans of the mainland especially begin to forget about the Dragon Gods. Their descendants, when they begin to colonize El Nido, have completely forgotten about the them. When they hear about the legends of them again, they are completely dismissive.