Dragons are an NPC-only? species. Dracovari can have one as a bonded companion (for which you must create an NPC? profile), and you may play NPC dragons even if you don't have a 'Vari, but they are not available as full player-characters.

Dragons are giant reptilian creatures with the wisdom of the ages, and the direct ancestors of the Dracovari. Many 'Vari can actually trace their lineage directly to one of the dragons who made the attempt to transform into a human during the Great Split, and often with only a couple of generations between them.

Much of the information about dragons is speculation. Only they know the full story, and even their Dracovari descendents are often kept out of the loop. Please bear this in mind when reading about them as, while none of this is out-of-character information, most characters won't know the truth of it.

Politics

Official Name: Draconisseri (si. Draconissera; fem. Draconissa)

Pronunciation: In Draconic, the D is semi-silent and morphs into a rolling "r", so the literal translation is more like `Rrah-koh-`hnihssss-air-`rree, with the ` representing a glottal stop).

Common Name(s): Dragon, this being the Elysian? derivation used to simplify the original Draconic. However, it is actually misused when referring collectively to all the draconic classes as they each have their own names.

Subspecies
Greater Drach
Draconi
(Westerns)
Asiati
(Orientals)
Drach
Wyverni
(Wyverns)
Wyrim
(Wyrms)
Lesser Drach
Impiti
(Imps)
The Hoth
(Uniques)

Dragons have no political system as it can be understood by humanoids. Indeed, to look at the way they seem to laze about and their churlish attitude towards the younger races, they would appear as a species of individuals rather than a society, and for the most part this is probably true.

Yet there is a distinct hierarchy that is visible in the way each subspecies treats the others and which delineates leadership. There are many complexities within each subspecies as well, with each one further dividing either into one of four Septs or one of six elements.

Interestingly, it is the Greater Drach (who must choose their Sept when they come of age) who govern the species, and not the lower Drach classes (who are instead born naturally into their element), though this may have more to do with levels of intelligence and ambition than how the subspecies divide.

Sadly, there is not nearly enough material regarding dragons or their internal structures with which to formulate theories regarding their politics or their culture. Besides that, all one really needs to know is that any dragon commands and demands respect or will punish offenders as they see fit (though the Lesser Drach are considered an exception to this rule, if only because they are seen by other dragons as nothing more than a nuisance and an embarrassing burden).

Ranks

Lindwyrm
Only the Greater Drach can assume this role and thus leadership of the entire draconic species. Draconi especially view the lower sub-species as being unworthy and incapable of shouldering such a burden, while the lower Drach castes are themselves largely uninterested in even trying.

The term Lindwyrm is actually the Elysian? name for this position, the original Draconic being too long and difficult to repeat. They are responsible for overseeing the dragon species as a whole (which can be interpreted by some as including the Dracovari off-shoot as well, though they are normally afforded the right to govern themselves).

It is thought the Lindwyrm has a direct line to Xanth as a means of keeping Nirim? safe from outsiders, and that they are responsible for any negotiations between dragons and the other species. However, it is also thought that, rather than a having a representative democracy, dragons present their own individual opinions directly to the Lindwyrm in person. How this works, given that Nirim? is so large and dragons have never been seen to hold meetings, is anyone's guess, but it would be assumed that telepathy? plays a large part.

It should be noted that while Asiati can take this position, they rarely do. Instead, leadership usually falls to the Draconi.

Sept Leaders
There is purportedly a leader, or representative, for each of the four Septs just as there are for the Dracovari Septs. However, not much is known about how the Septs work within Draconisseri society as no one has seen the Sept-bonding in action for centuries, and even less is known about their leadership or purpose. They may not even exist any more.
Elemental Leaders
It is possible that each of the six elements also has its own leader or representative within dragon society. This is not very likely, however, as the lower Drach sub-species are born into their element rather than choosing it, and are thus treated very differently (that is, more as individuals than their Greater Drach cousins).

In general, there seems to be very little formality in terms of ranks and positions, despite the strict hierarchy of the sub-species. In addition, it appears that such positions are earned not through merit but by besting the opposition in aerial combat.

Allies & Enemies

Dragons are naturally drawn into what they call "soul-bonding" with the Dracovari. 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 and, while dragons may be stubborn and arrogant in the forging of such a bond, they often welcome the partnership (even if they don't act as such).

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.

Racial slurs: Reptile, lizard, snake, winged serpent, klepto(maniac), serpent, poofer (on account of the muted sound caused by their teleportations?), and many more.

Territories

The dragons once ruled over Earth?, but their homeland is now Nirim?, a verdant planet at least twice the size of Elysia? that was created by Xanth several millennia ago at the dragons' request.

They are extremely territorial. Even though they allowed the building of the White City? so that their Dracovari descendents could make Nirim their home also, the dragons refuse to allow them to expand beyond the city's white walls. Nor will they allow tourists to leave the city unescorted, and the only way in or out of Nirim? at all is not by portal as with the other realms but by teleportation? on dragonback (for which bonded pairs charge extortionate fees).

Individuals are also territorial. Dragons eat so much that a single one needs a large hunting ground, but they are at least able to share their turf with the tiny Impiti who, despite nesting in family groups anywhere up to a hundred strong, eat insects rather than larger prey and thus pose no threat to the larger dragons' territorial claims.

Territorial disputes usually result in deadly aerial combat with the winner moving into the loser's nest and claiming not only their hunting ground but all their possessions as well.

Population

It is unclear just how many dragons exist in the realms, or how their population is dispersed among the sub-species. It is clear, however, that there are many hundreds of them scattered sparsely across Nirim?'s expansive surface, and perhaps hundreds of thousands of the tiny Impiti.

Few ever leave Nirim?, however, except when Summoned, and none ever return to Earth?. This last is both a deep-seated bitterness towards their ancestral home, and also part of the arrangement they made with Xanth, meant to help protect Elysia?'s secrecy, when she agreed to make them a new home.

Culture

Very little is known of their internal culture, and not much more is known about the mixed culture they share with the Dracovari, except to say that they are a deeply ritualistic species clinging to tradition.

Languages

Draconic is a very hard language to learn, given that the elongation of the dragons' snouts makes it imposible for them to produce some humanoid sounds, and vice versa. They also utilise telepathy? for mundane conversation, so their verbal speech has retained a great deal of its original formality and complexity, which results in long strings of syllables just to make a single word.

For that reason, and despite their pride in their own heritage, many dragons have made concessions to the needs of their Dracovari partners in allowing Latin, itself a formal and traditional language, to become the mainstay of their shared rituals. Draconic remains the primary among their own kin, however, and some of the older or more traditional dragons simply refuse to use anything else.

Currency

Dragons have no formal currency. Instead, as payment for services rendered or pending, they will request whatever takes their fancy. They have no sense of economy as humanoids see it: an item they desire, even if it's only a small trinket or a piece of junk, is worth more than an item they do not want, even if the undesired object is a spectaluar gem worth a year's salary.

They have no need for material goods that cannot be stored in their nests, but for the larger of the species such restrictions do not necessarily preclude very much. They are also just as likely to demand food as payment (though it will always be meat of some kind, and most preferably alive), seeing this as a way to lazily avoid hunting for themselves. Such meat is often the rarer delicacies they can't find in Nirim? or that would be too difficult for them to procure for themselves (such as kraken meat).

Calendar

Dragons use no formal calendar. Instead, they pass down stories of historical events verbally (or telepathically) with no clear dating. This can make it difficult for outsiders to comprehend the timing of Draconic events, but dragons themselves seem to understand it intuitively.

Religion & Philosophy

Dragons are not known to be religious, or even very spiritual. They have a deep respect for the elements that make up the realms, and a remembered respect for Xanth who assisted them so long ago (and who purportedly continues to assist them now, though her aid is no longer necessary). They have a similar respect for the natural cycle of life and death, but not much beyond that is clear. Certainly, they have no qualms about killing or flambéing victims if it fills their belly or assures their own survival. Likewise, many of their territory disputes results in the death of the loser, but they draw the line at cannibalism.

Education

As with their history, dragons pass on knowledge verbally from mother to young, and most often in the form of stories meant to lead hatchlings to their own wisdom. Dragons will rarely teach directly (which is to say they won't say "the world is round", but will allow their young to discover this for themselves) and instead prefer to merely guide hatchlings toward a common understanding. This is more so for subjective matters, but even with accepted "facts" they would rather nudge than shove.

Males rarely have a hand in educating their young. Then again, they rarely have a hand in anything beyond fertilising the female's eggs.

Naming Conventions

The Draconic language is such that there are many possible names, these most often being long and extremely difficult to pronounce. The majority of dragons make concessions to their "simpler" Dracovari cousins by either shortening their names or allowing their bonded partners to provide an Elysian? version, but some cling to tradition and refuse to answer to anything but their proper name.

Draconic isn't based on any known language, but is one Emma? has made up in pieces herself based on the shape of their mouths. For the most part, probably anything goes, but if you're stuck or unsure, don't hesitate to contact her.

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.

Many dragons gave up on the humans they had once governed like benevolent parents. Angered by the destruction wrought upon their race, they begged Xanth for a retreat so they may live in peace without being forced to retaliate. Most of the dragon population moved to this new world, which they named Nirim?, as soon as it was available. However, others stayed behind, refusing to give up hope that their two species might one day live in peace once more.

Those dragons who stayed behind split into separate factions. There were those who decided that violence was the only answer, turning against their own kin in order to destroy humanity, but they were ultimately destroyed.

Most, however, made every attempt to actually become human in order to better understand these errant creatures, hoping to encourage sympathy among the population as humans themselves. Some even achieved their goal, creating the first ancestors of the Dracovari, a race of humanoids that still populates Elysia? today.

Unfortunately, the majority either perished or managed to morph only partially, thus creating the Impiti and The Hoth -- both of which are now seen by other dragons as being an embarrassing and colossal mistake.

The dragons have since lived in Nirim?, sheltered and isolated from their old foes. They're still viewed with awe by many Elysians?, but sadly will have little to do with humans (whom they still tend to view as being childish and undeserving) and have never returned to their ancestral homeland.

Skills & Weaknesses

Dragons all have the ability to teleport? and to read minds?. Beyond that, the sub-species also have skills unique to their Sept or element.

They do, however, have a debilitating need to hoard? things they consider to be of value. These items tend to be shiny or glittery, such as gems and precious metals, although individuals have been known to divert this hoarding instinct into other collections (such as hoarding cuddly toys or luxurious cushions instead). Any collection, however, will be stored in the dragon's nest where they can protect and ogle it at their leisure.