The Broodmother is a quasi-religous figure in dragon lore, who is believed to be the mother of all dragons. Though all dragons worship the One King as their lord and creator, there is also a deep reverence surrounding the great Broodmother.
According to dragon beliefs, the One King created the Broodmother as His daughter, and she in turn gave birth to all dragons. If true, this would mean that all dragons are related and therefore part of the same flight, which is used by some as an argument against rivalry or war between flights.
As the One King created the Broodmother, he imbued her with the secrets of the universe that she might pass down to all dragons, and ordered her to make all her children good stewards of that knowledge. In this way, the Broodmother became the moral authority in the dragon belief system.
Dragons are monotheistic in the sense that they believe the One King is the only true god. The Broodmother is not considered a diety, but is essentially worshipped in place of the One King, who is considered the god of humans. The distinction is sometimes unclear, and creates a great deal of confusion for humans attempting to understand the dragon belief system.
There is no organizational structure to the dragon's religion, no 'dragon bible', though there are considered to be a series of teachings handed down by the Broodmother. These teachings have been preserved as oral tradition, though some of them may have been written down in the dragons' written language.
The veneration of the Broodmother essentially ended with the Fall of Roads, when the flights fractured. Before the fall, there were no Fallen Dragons, there had never been a war between flights, and no dragon had ever harmed another. In a very real sense, the dragons lost their goddess then. Some flights would continue to revere her and pass down her teachings, but with each generation it became more and more uncommon, and many of the Broodmother's teachings are considered lost. Unannounced to the dragons, however, a complete copy, translated into Standard, rests in the Library of Arindell.
Dragon Creation Story
From the sagas, the Broodmother was not there in the beginning. She was without direction or shape, with no form to call her own. So the One King came to her and touched her head, and gave her the form of the dragon. He told her that she was to become an emissary, a common thread to link all beings.
There were no other dragons then, so the One King blessed the Broodmother with 12 eggs. She cared for them for 1000 nights, keeping them warm and tending to them as a mother should. On the morning after the 1000th night, 11 of the eggs hatched.
The Broodmother raised her young as a dragon should, and taught them to fly. All 11 of her children were male, and when they came of age, she saw that they had no mates. So she went to a volcano and drew out six measures of fire, and crafted them into six red female dragons, made in her own image. She then flew to a great stone mountain, and with a mighty roar, shook loose four measures of stone. These were carved into four black female dragons. Finally, the Broodmother flew high into the sky and spread both of her wings wide apart, and scooped up two measures of wind. These she could not control, their shape was beyond her power to mold, so she spoke to the One King and asked him to help. He made the shape flow into the form of two blue female dragons, and the Broodmother returned to her cave to to present her sons with their mates.
Each son then took his mate and had children, and his sons and daughters took mates from among the sons and daughters of his brothers. Each son then took his mate, and half his lineage and half the lineage of his brothers, and went out into the world to find a safe and warm place to begin.
And thus were born the eleven primordial dragon flights.
The Twelfth Egg
The above story is the one part of dragon mythology common to all flights. From there, each flight has its own story regarding where it came from and how its lineage traces to the Broodmother.
The question of the Broodmother's twelfth egg has long troubled historians and scholars, both dragon and human alike. No two flights agree on its final fate (indeed, many openly question its existence). See: The Twelfth Egg for more details.
It is unclear as to whether or not the Broodmother did exist, though it is widely regarded as a matter of faith. Because a dragon lives forever, it is possible that she never died; in which case, she would be almost as old as time itself.
The Dragon Cycles
While the events of the Broodmother's life require a certain amount of faith, one incident that most decidedly happened was the Dracoschism. According to dragon theology, all dragons are born of the Broodmother, thus all flights decsend from the same flight, thus by dragon law there can be no blood feud or war. All flights are sister flights.
Yet dragons fight.
At its core, the Dracoschism represents the breaking of the flights: the division that separated the dragons into disparate groups. A rift was formed among the Eleven. Aeons had passed since the Broodmother gave birth to her sons. Dragon scholars cannot agree if the schism was slow or sudden; but at a certain point, each flight felt it was no longer a part of the others, and they became divided.
The Dragon Wars are another event without dispute. The question of a pre- vs. post-schism war is hotly debated; most dragon scholars find that the wars could not have been possible without the Schism happening first, while others maintain that schism is the event that ended the war.
Common theology holds that the Broodmother who resolved the conflict. She carried upon her back the One King, who gave the dragons a new order. This resolved the war, but the consequences of the schism could never be undone.
Exactly what the name implies: the Dragon Wars were the conflict that followed the Schism, as the various flights fought for control and claimed various lands. They also claimed worshippers. It is unclear where the dragon wars came relative to the Grey War. Common legend among humans holds that dragons fought on either side in the latter, which is therefore set after the Schism.
Breaking of the Flights
This is where dragonology becomes very complicated. Orthodox dragons hold that the three events should be seen as one, while common dragon belief seperates them into several distinct events. Further complicating matters are the dragons who feel the breaking came first, the war second, and the schism brought about the resolution.
Orthodox Dragonolgy treats the entire cycle as a single event, and considers that the schism came first, the war second, and that the Breaking resolved the conflict by causing dragons to set off in search of new lands, and to live in distinct, separate flights. Dragon Theology is, under the best of all circumstances, challenging for humans to grasp.