Biology · Races

Drakain

Overview
Drakains (or Dragon race) are dragons with sapient intelligence, and the ability to shapeshift into a humanoid form.
This made them the original henge: magical animals with the ability to take on a humanoid form. Their race were the ones that wrote down details of their enlightenment that were meant to teach future generations, some of which were stolen and lead to other species of henge coming into existence.
The race originated from the water dragon species (tastu) but were able to interbred with the other dragon species, incorporating all variants of true dragons.

Biology

Quick Species Profile
(Drakon wyrmadon sapiens)
Life Expectancy
Typical: 30,000 years
Oldest: 500,000 years
Average Height: humanoid- 137 – 165 cm (4 ft 6 in – 5ft 5in)
Average Weight: humanoid- 36 – 68 kg (80 lb -150 lb)
Creature Type: Henge Magifauna (drake, humanoid)
Appearance
The draconic form of the Drakaina are that of typical dragons but depends on their clan.
Doragon clan have the appearance of terrestrial dragons: large scaly reptiles with four legs, a long tail, and bat like wings on their backs.
Longryu have a long wingless serpentine body with 4 short yet muscular limbs. Their head is large compared to the rest of the body, adorned with two antlers and their bearded face is dominated by a wide, flat nose with cat-like eyes, cattle ears, and a pair of whiskers.
A drakain’s humanoid form can pass for a natural humanoid, though they can have distinctive features such as slitted pupils, noticeably sharper teeth, or long pointed ears. This form may also retain traits of their true dragon form such as horns on their heads, a dragon tail behind them, or dragonic wings that protrude from the back.
Physiological Traits
Dermal Scales/Feathers: When they take on a humanoid form, Drakain scales or feathers also change appearance by becoming this form’s clothing. Even as clothes they retain their dragon scale/feather properties, including growing back if damaged or lost. In their clothing form, they are removable and can be replaced with regular clothes.
Dragon Tail: Drakain’s dragonic form have large tails to support their body weight. If retained on their humanoid form, it can be used to strike things but it also makes it unable to sleep on the back.
Dragon Wings: Drakains have two large leathery wings growing from their backs that resemble the structure of bat or feathered wings that can be used to fly. They can also be retained in their humanoid forms to acheive flight.
Dragon Horns: Drakains can retain the horns or antlers of their dragon form on their heads in their humanoid shape if they want.
Dragon Jaws/Claws: Drakains in their humanoid form tend to have noticeably sharper canine teeth than the natural humanoid races. They can also revert to their dragon fangs and jaws in their humanoid forms if needed. Apparently pure-blooded Drakains have larger jaws than hybrids in their dragon state.
Dragon Senses:  Drakains retain their dragon level of senses regardless of form, which includes a keen sense of smell, sight, and hearing.
Omnivorous: The humanoid form can potentially encourage a Drakian to supplement their diet with things other than animal meat. This can include plant matter like grains, nuts, fruit, or vegetables or man made foods that natural humanoid races tend to eat.
Sorcery
Passive Traits
Elemental Affinity: Drakains are born with a elemental affinity, which grants them great resistance and a breath weapon based on fire, ice, or lightning. Unlike feral dragons, drakains can switch their affinity by consuming a source of one of the other elements.
Healing Coma: When mortally wounded, Drakains will often go into a deep slumber until they recover the damage. Depending on the damage, a drakain might vanish for weeks, months, or years to slumber or hibernate.
Active Abilities
Breath Weapon: Drakains can expel various material from their mouths, just like feral dragons. The type is determined by their current affinity, either fire, ice, or lightning.
Shapeshifting: Drakains can use their stored magic power to change their draconic forms into humanoid ones. They have one unique humanoid form, that can have any hair or eye color. They can also retain draconic features like their horns, tail, wings, claws and pupil shape in their human shape to reduce the amount of magic needed to transform. Reverting to their draconic form actually uses less magical energy than the reverse change.
Their humanoid forms retains the body chemistry of the dragon form and their elemental resistance is extended to this form’s skin, as well as their breath weapon. However the trade-off for this form is their reduction in physical attributes to natural humanoid levels. Also the magic cost of the transformation may reduce an individual’s available mana and energy resistance for a few hours until replenished.
Flight: Drakains can fly in their dragon form with their large wings. Some doragon drakains retain their wings on their back in their humanoid form to fly in that form.
Longryu normally lack wings, instead flying by using their mana to push off the ground and propel through the air with their body shape. They can however grow wings to fly in their humanoid form as their usual flight pattern requires their serpentine body.
These abilities are exclusive to Longryu
Size Manipulation: Longryu Drakains have complete control over the size of their dragon state, from the tiny size of a soybean to absolutely gigantic while retaining their physical proportions. Usually strength and durability is proportional to the size assumed.
Water Manipulation: Longryu drakains can control water to the level of causing or stopping natural phenomena such as rainfall, typhoons and floods.
Water Adaptation: Longryu can also breathe underwater and adjust to various water pressures.
General Diet
Drakains are similar to feral dragons in their eating habits, which mostly amounts to large animal meat or derived products like eggs. However, taking on the forms of humanoid races have encouraged them to also consume foods like grains, fruits, nuts, roots, or the prepared cuisine of sapient races.
Reproduction
The mode of reproduction is dependent based on the form they take. A female known as a drakaina will lay a two or three eggs in their draconic form, just like feral dragons. Drakaina can also give live birth in their humanoid forms, thereby having one or two children born in a humanoid form.
Drakains mate with each other to produce offspring, even between a Doragon and Longryu. They can also reproduce fertile offspring with feral dragons, potentially either feral or intelligent.
Their humanoid form also allows them to reproduce with other humanoid species (natural, faye, etc.), resulting in hybrid henge offspring called hanyou.
The fertility of drakains have been lower than that of wild dragons since the Ghulat Wars, although humanoid and hybrid births might led to a steady increasing birth rate.
Lifespan and Growth
Drakains have extraordinary lifespans, lasting over several millennia. Complementing their longevity is the fact that they tend to age slowly. Even their humanoid form will age slowly, as child like drakain can take up to 2000 years to appear as a young adult. Unlike other henge, they are capable of sorcery from birth, including their ability to shapeshift.
The lifespan of hanyou is bit trickier to determine, usually they grow up to adulthood at the rate of their humanoid race but can live almost as long as their dragon parent. Those with even less dragon heredity, tend to have their humanoid parent’s lifespans instead.

History

Antiquity/Pantheon Age
Deities of the Shen Bureaucracy were fascinated by the majesty and power of dragons and began to tame them as mounts and companions. The aquatic dragons, Tatsu were especially popular and so the gods used their theurgy to enlighten them with sapience and become the Longryu.
Among the gifts given to the Longryu were intelligence and wisdom, power to command water, and the ability to change their size and even shape. Influenced by Buddhism and the growing influence of civilizations, they found that they could change their shape into a composite of the major races of the time: Elves, Dwarves, and Pygmies which happened to be humanoids. This form allowed the Longryu to better interact with the affairs of these rising players.
Some of the Longryu went on the breed with the classical dragons, producing drakain offspring who had the looks and abilities of terrestrial dragons, later known as the Doragon clan. With the discovery of more abilities due to their enlightenment, the Drakains sought to record their processes so that future generations of their kind could continue to learn how to use their abilities responsibly. However, copies of tablets were taken by foxes who used these instructions to become Juweihu. Eventually they spread the knowledge to other creatures, leading to the many species of shapeshifting animals: henge.
Drakains maintained close connections to the deity authorities of Yougai and were often given their own fiefdoms to govern, typically a river, lake, or other body of water. People who lived near them revered the drakains almost as much as their gods, inspiring the name divine dragons.
Ghulat Wars
In the early days of the wars, the Drakains were one of the strongest units in the military forces of Yougai deities, especially the Shen bureaucracy. They were powerful against most ghuls or demons and the most effective counter to the Shaytan’s aerial units.
Things changed once an unknown infiltrator from the Shaytan forces obtained information about the deities armies, including the Drakains. Soon after, a mysterious infliction began to spread among the race, where individuals were losing their rational minds and basically reverting into feral dragons. With so many overpowered feral dragons causing destruction among their mortal followers, the deities beyond Yougai appointed blessings to heroes of those races to fight back the feral drakains. While the idea of heroes made to slay the feral drakains sounded good, it lead to the implication that dragons in general were meant to be fought and slain.
One of the ideas to avoid this catastrophe was by the Great Longryu Sage, Shenlong, who suggested his race take on their humanoid form to prevent the loss of sapience and attempt to hide among them in plain sight until the source is eliminated. Those who heed his advice took on humanoid forms and either lived among these more populous races in secret to avoid persecution or worked as heroes for deities still on their side to find the source that made dragons lose their minds.
Many of the humanoid races of the land however, began to target Drakains that were discovered in extreme prejudice, abusing and mistreating them due to the lasting fear they held for the dragons, along with jealousy and hatred over the Drakains’ continued longevity, and inhuman traits. This caused a backlash where certain drakains rebelled against the deities who sent the heroes who slayed their kind by terrorizing and eating members of those heroes’ races. While this was the case in most lands, the race was still had a stronghold in Yougai territory and were defended by its gods, even from other deities.
With the eventual defeat of the Shaytan, the spread of drakains losing sapience slowly started to cease. Those whose lost their minds never regained them and instead assimilated into the wild dragons. The remaining drakains had to contend with abundance of natural disasters, reduction of magic power, and loss of prey species in the centuries to come after the war, gradually reducing their numbers even more.
Personhood Era
With the fall of civilizations, many remaining peoples began to forget about the race of shapeshifting dragons as their wild counterparts were much more apparent and relevant. The departure of the Yougai Pantheons also led to decline in the protection of the race in that territory, led to even more going into hiding. Kept in secret or unaware of their heritage, many drakains assimilated into the mankind races for survival and either bred with them, whoever of their kind that they could find, or even dragons in the wild. The latter two cases would eventually lead to another difference from typical dragons, the ability to switch their elemental resistance and breath weapon based on which classical element they consumed.
Over the centuries a few groups remained that were able to retain the ancient cultural traditions of Yougai through the choas, including reverence of divine dragons. These groups sheltered the remaining Longryu families and bloodlines they could find, and were protected by them from threats in return. These hamlets and villages believed that they could resonate with the gods and convey their blessing even in their absence.
Once the civilizations of sapient beings began to rebuild, and the threat that dragons posed near forgotten by the masses, select members of the Longryu families became wandering priests and priestess who began to roam the world and find the remnants of their race among the world population.
Into the modern age, they have slowly found others, hybrids, and descendants of drakains that are interested in learning about their dragon abilities and history. For the most, they coexist peacefully with the prosperous races of Kaf and despite their small numbers, might finally be in a position where their declining population can make a healthy recovery.

Culture

Much of Doragon culture has been lost through the ravages of war and time, much like other cultures. Most is a patchwork of wild instincts, rituals from dominant cultures, a few stories passed down the generations. While also a minority, the Longryu were able to preserve more of their ancient culture due to being sacred of the people’s in the former Yougai territory. Efforts are being made by able Longryu to reconnect with scattered Doragons to provide support and a sense of belonging.
Ethnotypes
  • Longryu
  • Doragon
Architecture
In the past, it was common for temples and shrines to be built in the Yougai dynasty for Longryu or have one be the appointed guardian. The architecture of these temples were mainly timber work as wooden posts, beams, lintels and joists made up the framework of a house. Temple roofs were curved because Buddhists believed that a curved shape could ward off evil spirits, which were thought to only move in straight lines. Later on, the beauty of the classical sweeping roof structures became even more accentuated with the addition of elaborate decorations. As more longryu took on humanoid forms, they began to model the homes they made after this design. Efforts have been made by modern longryu and their allies to restore the original shrines and build new temples for them to live in again.
Doragons have simply taken shelter in caves abandoned by other drakes or live in built homes with other humanoid beings.
Spirituality
Being granted supernatural powers and knowledge by gods, drakains have had close ties to the Yougai pantheons as their mounts, guardians, or even revered by mortal races themselves. Their general belief is that is an element of the divine in all and thus they strive to embrace that within themselves.
Their reverence for Kaf deities waned during the Ghulat Wars when the infliction causing drakains to lose their minds made the gods outside of the Yougai territory have their heroes slay the dragons.
After the fall of the Pantheons, the remaining Doragons explored other types of spirituality, ranging from worshiping nature itself, or forgoing worship of deities in favor of further personal enlightenment or putting their faith in the people of the world. The Drakains that still kept ties to their culture, also worship their ancestors and the plight they went through.
Gender/Family
The dragon forms of both drakain clans have little difference between the sexes, beyond the slightly large sizes of males compared to females. Drakains tend to be serial monogamists and form “pair bonds”, up until their children are born. Females find their role by being highly selective of the males they chose. Therefore, males have spend effort making themselves attractive to females, either by strength, wealth, or compassion for their mate.
Due the era of decline for drakains, the standards for partner selection is more lax. The roles of both genders have altered over the generations due to influence of other races
Dress/Modesty
While neither is a concern in their dragon forms, a drakain’s humanoid form typically changes their scales into clothing that fits on a human body. The clothing design is dependent on the drakain’s whim, but tends to reflect the surrounding cultures and societies around the individual as the race has never been big on these matters.
Socialization
Drakains have many of the social behaviors and tendencies of wild dragons, but modified by their intelligence and sense of morality. The largest of community eat first, while the smaller ones follow a hierarchy. The largest male asserts his dominance and the smaller males show their submission by use of body language and rumbling hisses. Drakains of equal size may resort to “wrestling” as a show of dominance. Males of equal size fight over females and territory by grappling with one another upon their with the loser eventually being pinned to the ground, preventing deaths that can happen in the wild.
The creation of drakains from divinity has lead to the custom of deference and even voluntary servitude to a greater wisdom, purity, power, or beauty. As such, various drakains either develop arrogance, selfishness and a sense of superiority or curiosity about smaller, more delicate creatures such as the mankind races, to the point of obsession. This has also led to their image of vanity and great attention to appearances, though not necessarily physical. Stemming from their bestial nature, drakains can be defensive and territorial to a varying extent.  This can even develop as preferring the company of other creatures to another dragon, if they don’t have an air of racial superiority.
Magic Use
Drakains use sorcery in their dragonic forms just like feral dragons to hunt, defend themselves, and thrive. They have very high magic capacity, even among other henge which is more than enough for liberal use of applied magic throughout the day, rarely in danger of overuse. Their ability to shapeshift also uses magic but neither of their forms need mana to maintain them. Also the change into the dragon form uses less of their magic power than changing into their humanoid form. Also retaining their dragonic features onto their humanoid forms also saves on the magic power used to change as well.
Longryu clan have sorcery unique to them that they can use like sizeshifting, wingless flight, and water manipulation. Their control of water is so great that those skilled in their abilities can manipulate the local weather, owning to other societies believing them to be gods, even in recent times. Their dragon forms are naturally wingless but they can use their mana to grow wings that mimic the doragon clan, typically in their humanoid form.
Their humanoid forms are also capable of ritual magic, and many of their sorcery such as their breath weapon or water manipulation. The elemental resistance of their affinity is transferred from their scales to their body’s skin. However they reduced to the physical limitations of this form, which is slower and weaker than their dragon form and longryu flight and size shifting is unavailable.

Science and Technology

Weaponry
Drakains tend to use the natural weaponry of dragons, their claws, jaws, and breath weapon. In their humanoid form can retain these or make use of crafted weapons.
Dragon Wushu is a martial art integral to drakain culture, often taught by their elders. The form is an aggressive combat art that focuses on strikes from the forearms consisting of fist, palm, and clawing techniques.
Medical Treatment
Drakains in their dragon forms, have remarkable healing abilities, able to fall into deep healing comas. While drakains can stave off wound injuries relatively well, they are susceptible to dragon specific diseases and certain humanoid illnesses that can carry over to either form. Most humanoid illnesses aren’t enough to cause death and are fought back by the immune response, so medicine for those conditions is meant for symptom relief. Contact with other races have lead to adoption of their medical techniques, especially for natural humanoid illness in drakains.
In the ancient times before the Ghulat Wars, Yougai races believed the bones of dragons had vast healing powers would be used to treat a multitude of physical ailments. The teeth and bones were crushed into a powder and boiled for some time before other ingredients were added for a specific concoction.
Manufacturing
Drakains do most of their handiwork in their humanoid forms (where they have more dexterous hands). Other races have used the fallen off parts of dragons before like their scales, claws, or teeth as armor or weapons. Drakains have the benefit of easy access to these raw materials when they are naturally shed from their bodies and crafting them into durable tools or weaponry. Blades or powders are often made from their claws and teeth, while their scales tend to be made into clothing or armor.
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