|Height Range:||1.65m (5'3") - 3.7m (12')|
|Length Range:||4m (13'2") - 9m (30')|
|Weight Range:||330kg (700lbs) - 600kg (1400lbs)|
|Lifespan:||200 - 600yrs yrs|
Dragons are the most intelligent species on the planet of Aer. They are advanced enough to understand civilization and have technology akin to that of the medieval age on the human timeline. Due to living underground for many years, they developed more underground-centric technologies and advancements. They're masters of ores and metals, having figured out how to create alloys like steel. Dragons speak the language of 'Drakeen', a growly low-spoken language akin to Germanic languages in the real world. The intelligence level of Dragons is on par with the human race of reality, if not slightly above it. What holds quick scientific and technological advancements back is simply necessity, or rather, the lack thereof.
Dragons are a very varied species inhabiting the planet Aer. They range greatly in height from being relatively small to absolutely enormous. In comparison to a moose, the smallest dragons are a bit smaller than one, but the largest are nearly twice their height. Most of a Dragon's weight comes from muscle mass as their bones are hollow and lightweight. The largest of flying Dragons would have troubles getting off the ground if they even can due to outgrowing their wings' strength. Dragons also never stop growing throughout their lifetime and most 'early' deaths are due to disease infiltrating the weakened structure of an old Dragon.
All Dragons are born with six limbs - forelegs, hindlegs, and wings. They are quadrupedal but have dexterous forepaws able to manipulate small objects, leading them to learn to sit back on their hinds or balance on them with help of their tail and wings to use them. Both fore- and hindpaws have three digits, but the forepaw also has an opposable thumb. They're all tipped with sharp and deadly claws. Flight is a gift given to only part of the Dragon species, as only one primary race bears the wings necessary to lift off the ground.
Dragons are also all scaled, though their scale shape varies on race. The color of said scales varies intensely, hitting almost all color of the rainbow between both races. The only "impossible" colors are neon pinks and greens.
The teeth of Dragons are sharp and pointed, meant to rip apart the meat of prey. Dragons can still digest some plant matter but the staple of their diet is meat. Tongues are very mobile and flat which, mixed with mobile lips, allows for clear speech in their own language.
A Dragon's eyes also varies upon race. They can either have pupils that easily dilate according to a variety of lighting conditions or ones that are constantly very large but can see in extremely low lighting conditions. For the latter, bright light from the sun is blinding.
Dragon culture varies with the races, but in general Dragons base themselves on the basic values of honor, respect, and family. Dragons try their best to be respectful of each other and do not like to tarnish their image or the image of their family line.
Most Dragons also have extremely strong familial bonds, especially with siblings. Parents will protect hatchlings to the death against the simplest threats. Mothers especially refuse to leave the sides of their hatchlings for the first few years, almost starving themselves if they lost their mate for one reason or another. Siblings stick together for life and tend to work and play together for their entire existence. As hatchlings, siblings protect each other from threats and try to divvy up the food they're given as equally as possible. They sleep in piles of scale for warmth when young, which sometimes follows into young adulthood before it's considered too weird for society. If one sibling dies, the others tend to mourn for days. Usually they won't eat for a long while due to depression. There have been cases in which a sibling dies and the remaining Dragon ends up starving themselves to death. In the wild, Dragon siblings would live in packs and hunt for food in coordination, hence the strong bonds. They only really would split once one finds a mate and starts families of their own.
Friendships are also very treasured in Dragon society. Friends who bond strong enough to be like siblings often treat each other as such. Dragons born in lone clutches without siblings tend to cling onto their hatchlinghood friends in the same situation, forming what's known as a 'bloodless pack' - a group of friends that consider each other family and refuse to be considered otherwise.
First interactions between Dragons generally involves the two dipping their snouts in greeting and introducing themselves with their full name. Some Dragons refer to their sire when introducing themselves, although this isn't too common in The Dragon Empire. It is far more common in The Red Claw. Dragons call each other by first name after the initial meeting, although some professional relationships call for Dragons referring to reach other by their family name or simply 'sir'.
Dragons have three primary races - two with very strict rules to how they look and one with looser rules.
Longwings are the second least common race of Dragons. They are pure black with bright markings in most colors of the rainbow, barring magentas, pinks, and grayscale colors. While both genders of Longwings have a frill going down their spine to their tail's midsection, a male's frill starts on his forehead while the female's starts on her neck. Females also have a ruff - a separate, expressive section of frill on the furthest back edge of the jawbone and the edge of the skull. Longwings can be consciously in control of their frills, but they will subconsciously move them according to emotions. Longwing eyes are slitted and can adjust to take in lots of or very little light, allowing them to live in very varying light conditions. They are considered the 'upper class' and 'superior' race of Dragons in the Dragon Empire - the royal family consists of Longwings.
Sparkclaws are the most prolific race of Dragons. They are rather small in stature compared to their Longwing and Sparkwing brethren. Their wings are also very small as a result of years of evolution forcing them to shrink back down in their smaller underground accommodations. They tend to have thicker claws than either of the two other races, meant for clawing out and prying away loose rock and keeping a grip on uneven or even vertical ground. Sparkclaws have a row of spikes or spines down their backs, ranging from small bony nubs to long spines. They can have from two to twenty horns on their head. Males have between one and three nose horns on top of their snouts. Sparkwing eyes are always dilated and round, letting in a lot of light for vision in the darkest of areas such as underground. Sunlight is extremely painful and even blinding. In the Dragon Empire, they are the 'lower class' and 'inferior' race.
Sparkwings are a rare mix between the two main races and therefore are extremely rare. Their features vary immensely depending on generation, but usually they're a half-and-half mix of Longwing and Sparkclaw. They can have the dull, black scales without markings of Longwings and the small wings useless for flight Sparkclaws or have bright, iridescent scales of Sparkclaws and the long-spanning wings of Longwings. The combinations are endless and after many years of racial mixing, Sparkwings sometimes barely resemble either of their parent races.
|This extent of genetic mixing is very rare as the only place where Dragons can mix their genes without persecution is in the Red Claw.|