Draken are bloodthirsty, brutal and ferociously aggressive—lethal traits that make them the most deadly fighters in the Dominion military. Forged in the heat and dust of their savage homeworld, the Draken see Nexus as a primeval wilderness where they can test their strength and skill in combat. Sworn to serve the empire that bested their greatest Warriors of old, they have dedicated themselves to conquering the planet for the reigning emperor Myrcalus the Vindicator—and they look forward to defeating the battle-hardened Exile Free Companies in order to do so.
Most Draken first names tend to be two syllables or more and usually consist of a combination of hard consonant sounds and long vowels. Surnames usually are comprised of a descriptive nickname or honorary title.
Examples: Dakaar Bloodspiker, Makaza Strikemaster, Kinari Beastbreaker
Draken male speech is loud, aggressive and gruff; females tend toward husky and commanding, but both are punctuated with low, feral growls. Their humor tends to be dry, with a tendency toward the violent and macabre.
Draken males form the core of a Dominion military that allows them to embrace the animal within. Even when off the battlefield, they seethe with aggression. Nothing feels as natural to a Draken as being a soldier, and a Draken never feels at home except on the hunt or upon the battlefield, indulging in the killing urge.
Draken females are as bloodthirsty as their male counterparts, but where males resemble the Tasmanian Devil and destroy everything in reach, Draken women kill with elegant, ruthless style more like a death ballet. On average, Draken females are also far less impulsive than males. They're calculating and canny and known for toying with their prey.
The Draken see the untamed wilds of Nexus and the dangerous creatures that live there as an opportunity to test their strength and prove their skill in combat. They relish the thought of defeating the Exiles and all other hostile races they will encounter.
Barring injury or accident, Draken can live to between 120 and 130 years. They reach maturity around 20 years of age.
Draken are humanoids with tough hides and long tails that run roughly two-thirds the length of their bodies. They display both reptilian and mammalian characteristics. Both males and females bear a pair of heavy horns atop their thick, bony skulls, and they have sharp claws on both their hands and feet. Their hides range in color from red-brown to gray-black.
The mixed reptilian and mammalian attributes of the Draken present an evolutionary conundrum to modern scientists. There are more than one or two fringe researchers who insist that the race arose due to alien genetic manipulation in the far distant past. It seems more likely that their homeworld's abnormally harsh environment forced extreme adaptations for the species to survive.
Draken are warm blooded, and possess reptile-like claws, large cranial horns and thick, scaly skins. However many mammals such as the rhinocerous or mammodon exhibit similar adaptations. Draken usually give birth to litters of 4 to 6 hatchlings. Strangely, Draken young arrive encased with soft, egg-like membranes, but these are soon discarded. Thus, Draken might more accurately be thought of as mammals with a few reptilian traits.
Able to endure extremes of temperature that would fry of freeze most other species, the Draken's thick skin give them superior resistance to many forms of solar radiation. They breathe a gas mixture almost identical to Cassus, but with slightly more oxygen.
The Draken hail from Mikros, a small planet circling a red giant star. Mikros has a tidally locked orbit, with one side perpetually exposed to the searing heat of the sun. The other side is in cold, icy darkness and uninhabited.
In the early years of the Dominion, the Mechari Millennials saw the need to increase the empire’s military strength—and after studying many races, they decided that the ferocious Draken of planet Mikros were best suited to the task. Based on their knowledge of Draken culture, they knew the only way to ensure their loyalty would be to meet the Draken face to face on the field of battle and defeat them in open combat.
The Dominion invaded planet Mikros in 352 AE. presenting a formidable military force. Immediately upon arriving, the Millennials advised the bold Luminai Emperor Azrion to issue a challenge the reigning High Clanlord Zhur would be unable to refuse: he would meet Zhur in single combat, with the victor ruling supreme over planet Mikros. As the Millenials expected, the high clanlord accepted the challenge immediately. The duel was fierce and brutal, but in the end Azrion slew the high clanlord in single combat and declared himself Supreme Clanlord of Mikros. The Draken honored the strength of their Dominion enemies by swearing eternal loyalty to the empire. Since then, the Draken have been loyal, unwavering subjects of the empire, serving to enforce the military will of the Dominion throughout the galaxy.
Given the primitive nature of their society, the Draken never developed traditional, large scale industry. They are skilled weapon and armor crafters, but have no interest in high technology unless it is designed to kill.
Many aspects of Draken culture are based upon a set of laws called the Blood Covenants. These covenants serve as central pillars of Draken culture and society.
Though loyal to the Dominion's Vigilant Church, the names of the Draken's old gods survive in the major covenants. Draken often swear an oath or prayer to the associated god when facing a great challenge.
The Covenant of Strength
Goddess: Shezka, goddess of strength and endurance.
The Covenant of Wisdom
Goddess: Werza, goddess of wisdom and strategy.
The Covenant of Courage
God: Ravok, god of courage and fury.
The Covenant of Loyalty
God: Hazak, god of loyalty, honor, and blood. Nicknamed "the Bloodfather."
The Covenant of Spirit
God: Fazaar, god of spirit, fire, and savagery.
An offshoot branch of the Blood Covenants known as the Dark Rites subverts the basic tenets of the Blood Covenants for use in black sorcery and blood magic. Practioners of the Dark Rites are known as necroshaman and worship twisted reflections of the old gods (believing their versions live in the cold wastes of Mikros's dark side). Dark Rites adherents are reviled and persecuted by the general Draken populace.
Despite the technological advancement of their Dominion counterparts, Draken villages are still relatively primitive. Most Draken villages are inhabited by individuals with strong family ties known as a clan. Traditionally, clans were led by battle-tested, male clanlords, but nothing in the Blood Covenants say the leader can not be female (for example, female clanlord Razen the Preyfinder). They only say the clan leaders are chosen by right of their proven strength and wisdom. Bloodshamans serve as spiritual leaders who ensure the ancient Blood Covenants are followed.
Role of Female Draken in Society
It may appear to outsiders that the female Draken are subordinate to the males, but nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, in Draken society the females have just as much status and respect as any male.
For example: by time-honored tradition, every Draken clanlord chooses the best hunters to serve as his personal guard and trusted advisers. As invariably the best hunters in the clan are female, so are the clanlord's personal guards. Given their skill and status, those females are often seen lounging around the clanlord's throne room - but anyone who would dare to move against the clanlord in any way would be dead in the blink of an eye.
The Draken respect humans as the fighting spirit of the Dominion. Cassians view the Draken as the purest manifestation of Dominion strength, discipline and power.
The Draken serve the Luminai without question, as they have never forgotten it was the Luminai emperor Azrion the Conqueror who defeated their High Clanlord on the Fields of Kazor. The Luminai value and admire the Draken's martial skills and treat them with the utmost respect.
The Draken respect the Mechari intelligence and revere their Eldan origins, but have little patience for Mechari manipulation and subterfuge. The Mechari admire Draken loyalty and courage, and the ancient Mechari Millennials continue to be pleased with their military effectiveness.
The Draken respect chuan resourcefulness, but they consider them untrustworthy because of their mischievous nature. Chua fear the Draken, but often find them easy targets for manipulation.
Given their history with the Dominion, the Draken consider Exile humans traitors who should be put to the sword.
Despite their feral origins, the Draken consider the Aurin weak and idealistic—easy prey for Draken predators.
The Draken respect Granok strength, and often go out of their way to fight them in order to test their own skill in combat.
The Draken entered the Dominion as the result of a single-combat duel fought 1300 years ago between the legendary High Clanlord Zhur and Emperor Azrion. Upon Zhur's defeat and death, the Draken swore eternal loyalty to the Dominion and their new Supreme Clanlord Azrion.
A Draken of the same clan as another, e.g., "He is my bloodbrother, she is my bloodsister, they are my bloodkin." Not generally used to refer to one's parents, spouse, or offspring.
A Draken marriage.
A cathartic feeling experienced by Draken as they hunt and kill prey, or fight their enemies.
Blood kept in a communal cauldron in Draken villages. All those who belong to the village give blood to the cauldron, which bloodshamans use for their magic.
The leader of a clan and its associated village.
A meeting of friendly clanlords to settle mutual issues and conflicts. In times of strife they may elect to join as a highclan and elect a high clanlord from among their number
An alliance of clans, usually not long-lasting. In modern times, formed during clansmeets, on ancient Mikros were usually formed via conquest and rarely outlived their high clanlord.
The leader of a highclan.
Cowardly, weak, not a hunter. (In address to a weak individual: "You are only prey.")