Humans in the world of Golden Treasure

Although there have been a few games which have featured playable dragons before, one thing I've noticed is that these games remain human-centered at heart. In a few of these, the player is a human who can transform into a dragon, but remains mentally and culturally human. In others, the character begins as a dragon, but humans are still seen as the primary "owners" of the world. They are the ones who populate the world, build castles for the player to attack, gather treasures for the player to steal, and so on. The dragon somehow speaks human language and, ultimately, success or failure is based upon how good one is at understanding humans and playing off of their actions.

While it's certainly natural for human beings to write themselves a starring role in a story about a non-human being, we wanted to go in a rather different direction. Would fascination with humans or agreement with their values really be natural for a powerful, self-realized quadrupedal apex predator? Wouldn't a dragon be more interested in dealing with their own people than with the strange naked tailless ape-like beings who defy so many of the traditions of other animals?

As Golden Treasure: The Great Green is set in the Bronze Age, humans as a species are just beginning to impact the natural environment. Some species, such as aurochs, sheep and dogs are embracing new ways of life which depend on humans for protection and food; others have their very existence threatened by the human way of life. Dragons are finding that their territories are being deeply affected by human practices such as farming and logging, but different dragons choose to deal with these changes in different ways. Some ignore it, attempting to live a traditional lifestyle in spite of the changes. Some actively seek to adapt to human presence and find ways to profit from the strange beings. Some attempt to wipe humans out to protect the health of the forest, but many who attempt this find that humans are far more dangerous than they may appear.

Human appearance is somewhat ghastly from the perspective of a dragon. Most notably, they lack tails, leading to their being called No-tails or the Tailless in dragon thought-language. They have other names; some particularly old or scholarly dragons tend to call them Broken Custodians or Seed-of-the-Others, but why they are called that is something that a young dragon will have to discover for herself.

Additionally, humans wrap themselves in the dead skins of other animals, a bizarre practice from a dragon's perspective, and even seem to be ashamed of their own bodies when uncovered. This is behavior which has never been heard of by dragons before. The dead skins give off almost no heat, which literally darkens humans in dragons' heat-based vision.

Below is some concept art made by our lead artist, Rachel Seeger, regarding humans in Golden Treasure. Above, you can see how they appear to each other, and below, how they might appear to a heat-sensing dragon.


It's important to note that, while humans are strange and their actions often incomprehensible to a dragon, they are not evil. Cruelty and wanton destruction are not their primary motivators. The way they survive, however, is very unusual to most other animals, and a young dragon will surely struggle to coexist with these bizarre newcomers to the region. How will you choose to react to the challenge posed by the No-tails? The choice will be yours, but be warned... humans do not behave like other animals, and what seems like common sense or necessity to other beasts may not be so to them.

Benjamin Ludwig