+Arnold K said: "HEY How come all these D&D settings have the same assumed
evolutionary paths. Like they have weird shit like dragons evolving
from jealous snakes and yet when it comes to looking backward all the
dinosaurs look the same. Why is only the current world fantastic,
instead of the entire biologic prehistory?"
Here's ten of them.
1. The Elemental Epoch
A period of constant conflict. Alliances among air elementals violate the precepts of the Noble Gases and create water elementals. Earth elementals get their shit together and start the Protoplanetary Revolution. Fire elementals undergo species-wide existential crisis after realizing that phlogiston doesn't exist. Ends with the formation of the Periodic Congress.
2. Ooziphorous Period
95% of the planet's water in this period existed in the form of oozes. There were puddles of ooze, lakes of ooze, aquifers and rivers and glaciers and oceans of ooze. Non-ooze life specialized in hunting and harvesting oozes sustaining themselves on organelles and cytoplasm. The dominant solid being of this age was the thooblethimp, being about a foot in length, possessing four articulated legs, bulbous eyes, a long proboscis, and a lightweight exoskeleton.
3. Meathell Megayears
Wherein the world was dominated by the singular (and thankfully, only) known colony of carnecordyceps deus. Nightmares still plague the collective unconsciousness to this day.
4. Regellian Mistake Era
Planet terraformed by distant alien race, but no official colony was ever established. The unwatched seed-biosphere drifted accordingly with the changes of the local environment, reaching equilibrium with the original life-forms due to insurmountable bio-chemical barriers.
5. The Stone-and-Chicken War
Passing asteroidal basilisk petrifies an entire hemisphere and drops eggs from orbit. Enterprising species from the surviving hemisphere colonize the granite wastes, mostly gallusiform avians who fill the nice of apex predator after evolving the kill-signal crowing lethal to basilisks.
6. Lakgulethian Era
A relatively stable period dominated by the lakgululengu, noteworthy for the remarkable deep-time forethoughtof those amber-shelled, elephantine beings. They purposefully fossilized specimens of local flora and fauna, themselves, cultural relics, even entire structures, to pass on to future ages.
7. Malatmospheric Period
Defined by the upswing of evil-aligned bacteria in the planetary atmosphere. At least two world-spanning civilizations, the ostracodermic pseudo-equine ptherians and the crustacean-piscine valdver, lived during this time, and may have overlapped.
8. Daemononovore Period
The material world's greatest response to infernal invasion was an order of warm-blooded pseudo-amphibians (here termed the yagher-voz) that developed the ability to summon and consume demons for their own nourishment. Sapient offshoots tended to found vast, decadent societies, as depravity was as good a lure to demons as their own summoning methods.
9. The Skeletal Singularity
A super-civilization of modular bone-entities, the ascendant descendants of some unknown mammal-like reptilians. Collapsed only due to the slow degradation of their phylacteries. Nearly all solar systems within sixty lightyears bear the traces of a colony, whether atavist osteoforms, orbital lichyards, or defunct von Neumann tomb-colonies.
Mimicry emerges among freshwater cephalopodic echinoderms as a method of imitating larger, scarier organisms. Over the next few million years the biosphere becomes so adept at mimicry that few organisms even know what niche they actually fill, being so skilled at imitating other beings. Land predators imitate aquatic herbivores. Airborne detritovores imitate subterranean autocannibals. Organisms emerge from the egg-sack imitating another species entirely. Successful mating becomes impossible.