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The Dracovari are directly descended from the dragons who, millennia ago, attempted to become human. Instead, many were killed or warped, but their attempts did eventually create the first of the 'Vari.

They maintain strong ties with their reptilian ancestors through Summoning?, but are sandwiched between the dragons who look down on them, and the Created Races they themselves disparage.

Physical Characteristics

Base by Citron Rouge

The Dracovari, despite being directly descended from the dragons, look almost completely human, with flesh instead of hide and hair instead of scales.

They are, however, generally taller than humans, ranging between 5'8" and 6'4". As a species, they are often slender, but differ in the Rutilus Sept where warriors are usually bulky or heavily muscled so they can wield heavy weapons and armour.

The Dracovari range in colouring just like many other of the Elysian? races, though the majority seem to be Caucasian (this perhaps relating to the region on Earth? where they first appeared). Hair colour also varies, but it should be noted that the 'Vari are always within the confines of natural human colouring.

The most distinguishing feature of the Dracovari is the eyes, these having a slitted pupil like those of a reptile or cat. Moreover, until Septed (at which point their eyes change colour to suit), all 'Vari have irises that are some shade of pale blue or white, which many of the other species sadly find "creepy".

Life Cycle

Age Band Actual Age Appears
Infant 0 - 20 0 - 2
Child 21 - 69 3 - 12
Adolescent 70 - 119 13 - 17
Young Adult 120 - 499 18 - 23
Adult 500 - 1799 24 - 32
Middle Aged 1800 - 2499 33 - 39
Elder 2500 - 3000 40
Dead by 3000 40

Dracovari are long enough lived that most call them immortal. This is not technically accurate, of course, as they are usually dead by their third millenia, but their lifespans exceed those of the other races by at least two thousand years so the only ones unimpressed are the gods.

The Dracovari lifespan may be even further extended by another millennium if they can locate and bond with their lifemate, although no one is quite sure how or why this works. It doesn't seem to affect the way a lifemated pair ages, but only grants them extra time at the end of their life cycle when they are already elderly.

The age chart (left) lists the ages at which 'Vari are considered to be in a certain age band, along with how old they appear (in human terms) while in that category. (There is some room to play with numbers here, as people can look slightly older or younger than they really are, but never more than a couple of years either way.)

Perhaps because the 'Vari are so long-lived, they also take many decades to mature, both physically and mentally, from infancy through their adolescence into adulthood. Many 'Vari siblings are centuries apart, but families can be quite extensive and couples usually have many off-spring simply because they have so much time to reproduce.

It's worth noting that even when 'Vari are considered old, they are still physically and mentally sound, their elder years being roughly the equivalent of a human's middle age. In this way, they are never really past their prime.

Reproduction

Gestation for the 'Vari takes a whopping 46 weeks and, unlike their ancestors who lay eggs, they birth their young just like humans do.

Premature onset of labour happens fairly often, perhaps because the humanoid body is not equipped to cope with 'Vari infants which tend to be quite large. Sadly, without the use of a healer?, these usually result in the death of the child, and can endanger the mother as well.

Politics

Official Name: Dracovari (si. Dracovarian)

Common Name(s): 'Vari (si. 'Varian)

Pronunciation: drack-oh-vah-ree

Talk about their politics and governmental structure in general. List their leaders, discuss how they interact with other species, etc.

Affiliations:

Ranks

There are few ranks within Dracovari society that are not also an occupation. They do not appear to have much of a hierarchy when compared to other species, like the Zanaryans or even their ancestors, but from the ranks that do exist it seems they focus more on intelligence and intellect than physical strength (except within the Rutilus ranks, of course).

  • Hatchling

    This isn't actually a rank, but a pet name given to young 'Vari. Technically, it only applies throughout childhood (if at all, since 'Vari are born and not hatched), but it can also be used as a derogatory name for older 'Vari to indicate their inexperience.
  • Initiate

    A name for beginning students within a Sept who have only just begun their studies or who have only a basic knowledge in the core skills? of that Sept.
  • Vipera

    The Vipera are responsible for overseeing their respective Septs, a job which includes menial tasks like ensuring all students have a tutor who want one, enforcing Sept laws and ethics (such as the Viperos Peteulanus' duty to ensure all Peteulanus students are taught the ethics of mind-reading), and maintaining all Sept-related properties (such as the Viperos Rutilus' responsibility to maintain the war dojos).

    There are currently two Vipera for each Sept since the Earth? and Elysian? quarters both had their own (with Earth's having moved to Nirim?). It is unclear at this time if these two positions will merge into one (which will likely have its seat in the White City?) or if they will continue to remain separate.

    Vipera gain the position by challenging the current leader to a contest using the skills relevant to that Sept. Unlike their dragonkin, however, the Dracovari maintain a certain amount of control and civilisation by allowing only one challenger per year (though the same person can challenge once more if he loses the first time). They will also not permit a contest if the challenger is significantly weaker than the current Viperos (so an initiate couldn't challenge for the position).
  • Oroboros

    The Oroboros is the leader of the Dracovari and is responsible for the entire race. He or she oversees the Vipera and liaises with the dragons from his seat of office in the White City?, as well as acting as the head of the City Council there.

    Changes to rituals and 'Vari laws must also first go through the Oroboros, and he is expected to know a great deal about not only 'Vari history but also draconic. (For this reason, it seems that many of the Orobori of the past have been Bonded Summoners, as forging a working relationship with a dragon can prove extremely beneficial in understanding the intricacies of the Ancestors.)

Allies & Enemies

Dragons

Dracovari are natural allies with the dragons, as it was their attempt to become human during the Great Split which created them. Just as the dragons are naturally drawn into what they call "soul-bonding" with the Dracovari, the same is true in reverse.

It is suspeced that this bond, which allows the 'Vari to Summon dragons? for assistance, is a warped version of the Lifemate bond shared between individuals, and a remnant passed down through the Great Split. There is also a further warped version which allows the 'Vari to merely Summon dragons? without forging a permanent partnership.

Whatever the cause for this, it makes the dragons and the Dracovari natural allies. While dragons often at least pretend to resist the bond, many Dracovari welcome it. (It should be noted, however, that while Draconi and Asiati are encouraged to answer Summons, the Drach sub-species by choice are much less likely to do so, and the Lesser Drach are forbidden from answering Summons altogether.)

Others

Dracovari do not view any of the other races as particularly friendly or not, but in their own arrogance generally look down on the others. This puts a distance between them that makes it difficult to claim any but the dragons as ally, but nor can they say any are foes. (That said, they are quite wary of the Vampires since the Bloodlust Virus is 100% fatal for the 'Vari.)

Racial slurs: Lizard eyes, lizard breath, stuffpot (from their "stuffy" personalities), bookworm, mind-bender (though this technically only applies to Peteulanus, and many more.

Territories

Paris? was once the favoured sanctuary of the Dracovari, and French is still their most common language besides Elysian?. For a time, many Parisian nobles were Dracovari, these having amassed wealth throughout their elongated lifetimes, and yet more spread throughout France and Europe.

However, as Earth?'s technology and changing cultures made it more and more difficult to hide their true nature, it became clear they would have to leave their ancestral home behind. Many joined the 'Vari who had been residing in Elysia? for centuries, but some refused to live among the "lesser" species while citing a desire to "get back to their roots", and thus began negotiations with the dragons of Nirim?.

Nirim's White City? was the result: a massive city made of white stone nestled into a verdant valley on the shores of a wide blue lake. It is the only place in Nirim? that is not ruled or claimed by dragons, and the only place where 'Vari may tread without an escort.

The White City?, despite its purpose, is not completely untouched by Elysians? as tourists often come in on dragonback for a peek at the 'Vari's new home, but these are very much guests of the realm and many 'Vari take pleasure in charging through the nose for services and souvenirs.

Many other 'Vari continue to live in Elysia?, however, and these usually get on well enough with the other races. They are, for the most part, very much an urban species, rarely being found outside the towns, and as such often lean toward more urban pursuits and occupations.

There are very few Dracovari remaining on Earth?, and those who do stay must be on a constant vigil to ensure their identities and non-human nature is not revealed.

Population

  • Dracovari make up 10.5% of the population of Elysia?.
  • Dracovari make up a mere 1.6% of the population of Nirim?, these being focused entirely in the White City?.

Culture

Languages

There is conflicting information regarding which of the Dracovari languages is their primary, with each claim coming from a different quarter. Those 'Vari who came from Earth?, specifically the Parisian? sanctuary, swear that French is the most commonly used among their own kind, yet the Elysian? quarter would swear instead that the primary language is Elysian.

Certainly, since this last migration, French is being abandoned as it is very rare outside of the Dracovari species itself. However, there are other languages important to the 'Vari as well: Latin, in particular, has been the traditional language of ritual since it was adopted centuries ago, this being easier for the 'Vari to pronounce than Draconic while retaining the essence of formality required by both Dracovari and draconic rites.

However, there has been a movement toward re-adopting the dragons' own language as the official language of all rituals. This of course has its problems since the very reason for adopting Latin in the first place was the inherent difficulties in attempting to formulate sounds and words developed for the draconic snout (which has an entirely different structure than the mouths of the humanoid 'Vari).

In simple terms, 'Vari speak either French or Elysian depending on their place of origin, and Latin for their rituals. This does not prevent them from learning other languages, of course, and as a species they do seem to have a certain proclivity for learning several.

Currency

The Dracovari of Elysia? have always used xanthai just like everyone else, and this currency has followed them into the White City? (although it should be noted that while xanthai is the accepted currency within the city's walls, dragons have a "currency" all of their own).

'Vari coming from Earth? before the migration to Nirim? used Earth's own currencies, of course, but have since grown accustomed to xanthai as a matter of necessity, since Earth currencies are not accepted in Elysia?.

Calendar

Dracovari usually follow the Elysian Calendar, although the French 'Vari did use Earth?'s western calendar. There have been attempts in the past to study the Dragon Calendar?, but the 'Vari do not have the innate understanding of this system as their ancestors do.

Religion & Philosophy

Talk about their Patron Aide, their relationship with the Creator, if they have their own religion(s), how they worship, what they believe, etc. Include their Creation myth, maybe, how spiritual they are, how they fit into the world.

Education

Just like the Zanaryans who have two circles of education, the 'Vari have two separate systems first for their academic education and then for learning their Sept abilities.

Academia

The Dracovari have perhaps the most formal education system in Elysia?, with many studying academia from books for the majority of their childhood. This is less true of those 'Vari living in Elysia where books are uncommon, but even then families tend to pass down editions which were often hand-scribed in Latin or French by the original generations. Of course, over the decades, these books have been translated into Elysian, and so now French for them is an abandoned language, while Latin itself is now only used for rituals.

The Dracovari are in general more given towards learning for learning's sake than other species, especially when compared with non-'Vari races who seem to focus on a trade or craft that will carry them for the rest of their lives. However, the majority set aside these academic pursuits once they've reached adulthood in favour of finding a job that utilises their education and their Sept abilities, although for many these occupations are also academic.

Sept Training

For those who wish to advance in their Sept, there are several different means, but unlike many of the other races, theirs is much more of a formal education.

  • For the Rutilus, there are small "war dojos" in Elysia? and the White City? where young warriors may test their skills before going out into the real world to face monsters or other combatants. Initiates will often find experienced warriors to teach them one-on-one at these dojos, but will usually require a separate instructor for each weapon class they wish to learn (unless they happen to chance upon a master who shares a similar taste for weapons). They must then juggle their working life with a training schedule that will satisfy all of these instructors.
  • Peteulanus and Aurumus first must learn how to use their abilities in a formal setting where they are also taught basic ethics. This usually involves one instructor taking multiple students (though rarely above five) into his home where they will follow a structured regimen of learning. As they advance, they will pit their skills against other students, but this "classroom"-style education does not last long before they are sent out to use their abilities for real under the watchful eye of their instructor.
  • Viridis will usually sign on as apprentice to a healer? (which must be one of their own kind since Peacekeepers cannot heal in the same manner) and assist their mentor in whatever capacity is required. This initially includes cleaning and general chores before they're allowed to actually heal anyone, but they will gradually take over the master's duties until they are ready to move on as a master healer in their own right.

It is perhaps interesting to note that many Dracovari families hand down their Sept from generation to generation, either deliberately or unconsciously influencing their off-spring into following in their footsteps. Because of this, many initiates are able to study under a parent or older sibling rather than looking elsewhere for tutelage, though this isn't as true for Rutilus as for the other Septs since they tend to vary much more in the weapon and combat skills they choose.

Naming Conventions

French-born 'Vari will usually have a French name and most likely a French surname as well, although some may have been named for the Latin classics (which would include Ancient and Late Roman as well as Roman Mythology, although these are quite rare). Not all Earth-based? 'Vari are French, however. Some spread throughout Europe, so many European names are also suitable.

Elysian-born? 'Vari are most likely to have Elysian names, although it's possible that other languages - such as Sylvan or Anyeli - have influenced these choices.

Out of character, Elysian is based on English, while Sylvan and Anyeli are derived from Ancient Greek.

A Word on Half-Breeds

Dracovari are perhaps the least concerned, out of all the races, with the amount of 'Vari blood swimming through a person's veins. This is probably in large part due to the fact that, no matter who they mate with, it is usually the Dracovari genes that prove dominant, which creates little concern for a "weakening of the lines".

In those instances where a Dracovari hybrid is predominantly another species, the way they are treated by other 'Vari ultimately depends on the relations between their parent species (for instance, a Dracovari-Human will be treated much worse than a Dracovari-Nymph given the sour relationship between the 'Vari and their ancestors' rivals).

History

Long before Xanth's arrival? some twelve thousand years ago, dragons ruled the Earth?. For a time, they shared their home and their wisdom with the humans and they thrived in peace. However, things changed and, by the time Xanth began to experiment with human DNA, there was already discord between the two species.

As human civilizations developed, they had begun to lose the awe they once held over the dragons and to chafe at the restrictions placed upon them. The situation was only made worse as her new Children began to spread across the world. Growing fear within human ranks turned to superstition and hysteria. Soon, all non-human species were hunted down as demons hellbent on destroying the world.

Most of the dragon population moved to Nirim? after its creation but others stayed behind, maintaining the hope that their two species might one day live in peace again. Those dragons who remained split into factions but of them, only one remains, having made every attempt to become human. Some even achieved their goal, and in doing so created the very first Dracovari.

Eventually, the Dracovari split further, with some remaining on Earth? while others sought out their ancestors in Elysia?. They were one of few non-human races able to survive on Earth, and even flourished there as Parisian and European nobility. Sadly, as Terran technology evolved, opportunities for non-humans to exist among humans diminished until eventually, in 9,996 XA, they were forced to leave and rejoined their draconic ancestors in the White City?.

Skills & Weaknesses

Upon successful completion of the Sept Ritual, which they can perform at any time after leaving adolescence, a 'Vari is ceremoniously ordained as a member of one of four Septs (Aurumus empaths?, Peteulanus telepaths?, Rutilus warriors? or Viridis healers?).

After a time, which can range from a decade to a millennium or more depending on the individual's skill and confidence, a Septed Dracovari can perform the Summoning Ritual, making the choice to become either a Bonded or Unbonded Summoner (with the former allowing them to forge a relationship with a particular dragon while the latter grants them the ability to summon a different dragon each time).

Your character can perform the Sept Ritual at any time after adolescence (which also means they can be already Septed when you make them), but you must have spent at least 5 skills points in their Sept skills? (see below) in order to choose a Summoning specialty.
Skills:

Aurumus Skills:



Peteulanus Skills:



Rutilus Skills:



Viridis Skills:

Weaknesses:

Areas of Proficiency

Dracovari are particularly proficient in academia and often enjoy learning for learning's sake. They are quite clever with languages, having an innate ear for the various intonations, and are careful to keep a studious record of significant events. (For this reason, they have more books than many of the other species combined, though the majority are family heirlooms kept in private homes rather than in libraries. However, since its founding, the White City? has been steadily growing its own library and it is to here that many 'Vari now flock for their research.)

As hoarders, 'Vari also make excellent merchants with a superb eye for what will and won't sell, and exactly how much they can overcharge for a product before it flops. This enterprising nature, coupled with their natural intellect and extensive academic range make them ideal for any number of jobs, though as a species they rarely enjoy menial or physical labour.

Related Pages

<< | Dracovari? | >>

Races Dracovari Aurumus Sept Peteulanus Sept Rutilus Sept Viridis Sept Bonded Bonded Summoners Unbonded Summoners Nirim Earth Dragons