"Forgive me for my strength, forgive me for my weakness, forgive me for my terrible power." ---Sharuist prayer
The one facet that defines the Draconian race, above all else, is dominance. Indeed they have succeeded in fulfilling the "mandate of Draconian might" for they have nearly every sentient race in their gloved claws. First in conquest, first in space, and first in discipline, the Draconians have claimed their right over all. Yet, their species is more complex than their warrior spirit will show.
The Draconians are one of the oldest races in the galaxy, with a long and turbulant history. They are a race of contradictions. They believe in their destiny to rule over all, but have not had a stable government for themselves for centuries. Their religion preaches patience and tolerance, yet to outsiders the Draconians are dangerously belligerant and hasteful. They have a strong affiny for the arcane arts, and still are masters of technological innovation.
Other races confuse Draconians for reptiles. The presence of scales and their egg-laying nature seem to enforce that assumption, but Draconians share mammal traits; they are warm-blooded, and nurse their young with milk. But most impressively they possess a pair of large leathery wings, capable of short distance flight (although their vision is reduced while airborne). Dracs are durable and resiliant, able to tolerate harsh climates, and endure environmental extremes. Their advanced stamina and strength make them formidable against elements and foes alike.
The Draconians today are the galaxy's foremost engineers, mechanics, soldiers, governors, and farmers, though they do not limit themselves to these fields. Their work ethic and loyalty make them invaluable in most any occupation. One of the worst mistakes one can make is to tell a Draconian what he or she cannot do, for the unwise individual will end up skewered on the Drac's sword.
The Siarians are the other sentient race native to Draconia. They have lived alongside Draconians since ancient times, yet have never grown to trust their winged kin. The Siarians know hardship, since they have fought for everything they hold dear to their culture. Once enslaved by the Draconains, the Siarians have fought and won their independance, and have thrived on their ancestral islands. A swift, perceptive, and wise people, they have reached peace within their own, but still suffer potent disdain from the Draconians.
The Siarians are a nimble folk. Their agile bodies are covered in fur, ranging in color from a light beige or gray, to a deep brown or black. Their senses are heightened above those of other races, allowing them a faster reaction time. Their physical reflexes match well with a keen intellect and a definitive ability to utilize magic.
Prefering the forests of their homeland, the Siarians have built impressive cities that rival those of the Dracs, but with great planning they have made nature an integral part of the metropolis. No part of the city impedes upon the climate, a tribute to thier environmental engineering. The Siarians derive their heritage from Nature itself, basing their polytheist religion on the six natural gods. Though they are capable mechanics, they use technology in moderation.
Siarians today serve many roles in the galaxy. Their agility, dexterity, and perception make them excellent marksmen. Many young Siarians are rangers, mages, archers, and even thieves. Those of age take intellectual positions such as bankers, judges, professors, and the like. Whatever their walk of life, Siarians commonly act in good faith to other races, but many wouldn't mind kicking a Drac while they're down.
The first world to fall in Draconia's interstellar conquest was the pre-industrial world of Paldor. Although mostly covered in water, the Paldorans prefer life on land. Their vision is limited, but counteracted by enhanced senses of smell and hearing. A short and muscular species, they had lived for millenia in peace, that is until Draconian warships bombarded Paldor. Now the natives thrive under the conquerors, benefiting from commerce and technology that they have slowly adapted to and accepted. No one doubts that Paldor is better off as a Imperial colony than they could ever have been on their own, but they have forever lost the protective envelope of sovereignty.
To outsiders, Paldorans are often underestimated. Don't let their appearance fool you. Even though they are almost always less than four feet tall, that disguises a hidden strength that rivals that of Dracs. Their grey skin is thick, almost like rubber, and is difficult to penetrate. Combining this defensive layer with dense muscle and sturdy bones, Paldorans survive most injuries that would cripple or kill other races. And in the infrequent incident of serious injury, Paldoran physiology has an additional failsafe: regeneration. Although limited in ability, their regenerative capabilities can regrow appendages, heal wounds, and even filter out small amounts of poison. However, while the flesh is capable, the mind is weak. Paldoran intellect is quite lacking, especially in the areas of time perception and abstract thought. Even Paldoran scholars fall short of their Draconian and Siarian counterparts. Oddly enough, where the Paldorans fail in physics, they excel in chemistry somehow.
In addition, another Paldoran weakness is vulnerability to infection and disease. Unable to treat illness by the conventional method of injection, Paldoran doctors and alchemists have found unique solutions to medical treatment. Their expertise has been invaluable, and is highly sought after by Draconian medics and hospitals throughout the empire. Paldorans are also commonly found as athletes, miners, and bodyguards. They are an amiable race, though their slow wit is an annoyance to Siarians.
Like Paldor, the desert world of Sefeeria fell under Draconian orbital bombardment, and the Iron Age culture did not stand a chance. Draconians now occupy the ancient palaces, subjecting the natives to their rule. However, like the Paldorans, the Sefeerians don't seem to mind. They have quickly absorbed Draconian laws and technology, and prosper as a hub on the Imperial trade routes. The Sefeerians have been able to preserve their ancient language and religion amidst foreign occupation; thousands of Sefeerians are drawn to the temples and monastaries in search of a devout life of truth. Faith has kept the Sefeerian people together.
Halfway in height between Siarians and Paldorans, the Sefeerians sport an unusual trait; growing
directly from their skeletons are metallic plates. These plates are believed to have evolved
as protection from the sandstorms that stalk the deserts of Sefeeria. Scientific research has shown
that Sefeerians are silicon-based organisms, and that their bio-armor (and teeth) derive from that.
Sefeerians must consume a variety of minerals at a startling quantity to maintain their health,
which explains why Sefeerians roll their food in sand.
Underneath the metal-bone plating lies a contradictory body. Thier mottled olive-hued skin is delicate, and they have large beady eyes. The Sefeerians possess just enough strength to move easily, but have little might left over for physical exertion. Their relative weakness is enhanced by their cowardice; Sefeerians have a deep instictive fear of pain. The consequence of this is a very docile species that prefers to think it's way out of combat, although frequently resorts to hiding.
Sefeerians have a great mental capacity, and are quite artistic. Many Sefeerians devote their
lives to their mystic religion, from which they have steadfastly barred outside races. Sefeerian
monks can be characterized by their artwork, a custom of engraving each other with elaborate designs,
pictures, and even text.
Those Sefeerians who live more secular lives choose the realms of business, finance, and law. They are often found as merchants, bankers, lawyers, and bureaucrats. Many are judges; almost half of the judges in Imperial courts are Sefeerians. They have managed to integrate well with Draconian society, and have thrived in cooperation with their off-world "cousins".
Besk was the first planet to repel Draconian conquest, and keep their sovereignty. No other race has been able to stand against Imperial invasion, yet Besk has done just that. However, they have paid a horrific price for their freedom. They have forever tainted their culture and society with blackness. Bribery, extortion, kidnapping, piracy, forgery, corruption, espionage, and assassination are utilized far too often by the Beskans in an "offensive defense"; this is how they protect their liberty. Very little news good or bad makes it out of Besk, but it is believed to be a police state where natives are more dangerous to themselves than any invasion could be.
To describe Beskan physiology is to try mapping a river's current. The race is able to shapeshift, but in an uncontrollable involuntary manner. It is a very gradual process of cellular mutation that takes days for even simple modifications. The transmogrification is triggered by the presence of other species near the Beskan. Sight, smell, touch, and some "sixth sense" trigger the reaction. For example, place a Beskan in a room with a Draconian. By the end of one day, the Beskan will have scales. Within the week the wings will have grown, and after several days the Draconian and the Beskan will be indistinguishable. But throw a Sefeerian into the equation, and the Beskan will have wings, scales, and bio-armor (but flying ability would be very dubious). Due to the nature of such involuntary behavior, Beskans are very unstable in areas where a large variety of species exist, and the Beskan could be overloaded with sensory data to the point where the Beskan could collapse with fatigue.
In the view of the Imperial government, Beskans are outlaws, and are presecuted by Draconians (if they are detected). Beskans have infiltrated many regions of Imperial worlds, including Draconia itself. A large spy ring was recently uncovered on Paldor where Beskan agents were assisting the Paldoran independance movement. Beskan assassins have made numerous attempts on the lives of Imperial viceroys. The Beskan homeworld is believed to be a hotbed of chemical weapon development. It is with no surprise that the shapeshifters are feared throughout the galaxy. At least they still have their freedom.
Of all the races that have faced Draconian warships, the most primitive and most elusive are the Isosakari. All knowledge of their ways is derived solely from research notes and autopsies. When the Draconians learned of the Isosakar world, they sent waves of ships to conquer it, but when they arrived, the planet itself had vanished, only a star remained. The mystery remains to this day. Just as mysterious are the Isosakari bodies that have found their way to science facilities on Draconia. Examinations of these bodies have lead to some revolutions in the fields of zoology and medicine.
The Isosakari race is grounded partly in matter, and partly in energy. Isosakari anatomy is a fusion of organic processes and energy itself. Tissues are sensitive to radiation, electric and magnetic fields, sound, and light. The Isosakari eye is able to see a broader spectrum of light, and with the help of various eyelids, even into the x-ray and radiowave frequencies. Their very bodies are instilled with energy; tissue samples have been used to create electric charges. It has been hypothesized that Isosakari may have the greatest potential for the use of magic, and the first known race from outside Draconia to do so. Nothing is known of Isosakari language, culture, or lifespans.
The Draconians conquered the world of Gledia without ever setting a boot on it. They had no interest in the primitive savages that dwelled there; Gledia was just another point on the map. That was 240 years ago. Except for a shipwreck on the Gledian surface 220 years ago, nothing has occurred, until recently. A Draconian freighter in orbit around Gledia was approached by unknown starships from the planet surface. The unidentified ships had distinctive Draconian technology, and spoke textbook Draconian. These ships were built and operated by Gledians. History was changed.
The explanation is rather simple. The Gledians are born knowing. A Gledian's knowledge and some memories are transferred to their unborn offspring. A Gledian born today has over 1500 years of cumulative knowledge. For millenia, the Gledians had lived unchanging lives, recirculationg previous knowledge, but nothing new was introduced until the shipwreck. Gledians scoured the wreckage , learning every facet of the relic's technology and reading the ship's computer databases. Within a century, Gledians had gone from caves to cities, a reflection of Draconia, down to the language.
Gledia may owe its entire development to the Draconians, but the young race is not sympathetic of the Dracs. Gledia recently declared war on the Empire, even while their homeworld was deep within Imperial space. Not only have the Gledians fought off waves of Imperial warships, but they actually have gone on the offensive. Gledian scientists have been able to master Draconian technology, but they have even been able to improve upon it. Gledia has become the new thorn in the side of the Imperial capital on Draconia.
There are a few other sentient races that haven't been mentioned yet. Most of them are under the banner of the Draconian Empire. Worlds like Aqer, Dwergeron, Tinubi, and Kaledon each have indigenous peoples that add to the Empire, although to varying degrees. Dwergeron is heavily mined and provides most of the Empire's alloy resources. The gaseous Tinubi are the most powerful mages in the galaxy. The galaxy and its infinite worlds and cultures have thousands of tales to tell.
Last Modified: 25 March 2004
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