Creature Arabashi Dragons

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Moulder

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Dragons are one of the oldest and most secretive species. Arabashi dragons take this further; they are highly xenophobic, view themselves as the penultimate creations of the gods, and look down upon even other dragons. They strive to be living works of art in everything they do, practicing restraint and fluidity of movement. Consequently this makes them as ferocious warriors as well as accomplished artists.

Due to their overbearing sense of ritual, restraint, and superiority, they have found it difficult to reproduce. Dragons remain some of the rarest creatures in the world, and finding a sand dragon outside of the desert has become rarer still...

Language

Dragons communicate in a language known in Common as Draconian. It is very musical and flowing on the tongue, difficult to master, and is largely tone-based. For example, the word koiros means three different things in three different tones. The emphasis on the front end, koi, designates the object of that word as a lover or family member. Emphasis on the middle tone, the r, makes it a sarcastic insult implying the speaker would never lower himself as to sleep with said person. Emphasis on the last, ros, means the subject is a child or animal and is generally affectionate.

This language is the result of an insular culture and has roots independent of other races. The accent can be compared to the tongue spoken by sand elves, but any dragon will deny this comparison up and down.

A popular dragon drinking game and its translation:

One spider with eight feet, painted horns - what a big crab.

Ah zicc co mact fess, ghosha kirka - kasha zicc!

Blinking eyes, shrinking head

Dosha shi, erosay gi,

crawling, crawling everywhere.

Paya, Paya osayi.

Two and Two, who should drink?

Fset ca Fset, ghi sa yi?

Three and three, who drink first?

Vaca ca vaca, ghi yi ha?

Five and Five, who should drink?

Jho ca jho, ghi sa yi?

Counting to Ten in Draconian

Ah - 1
Fset - 2
Vaca - 3
Ertet - 4
Jho - 5
Pay - 6
Kisse - 7
Mact - 8
Fa - 9
Ohmet - 10


Appearance


The dragons of the desert universally long and serpentine. They are slender in appearance, with long tails, and broad flat scales without keel. Their undersides have wide scutes, with internal sex organs. They often have fur along their heads, elbows, hocks, tail tips, and spine. Dragons of both sexes can have fur along the jawline. Their limbs are universally short with three to four clawed digits on each foot. A pair of slender cervine ears protected by long fur adorn the long head. Their noses have whiskers, with small nostrils that can be shut to protect from simoons. Their slender bodies seem to enable them to plunge into the sand and 'swim' like snakes. Adult dragons can reach up to seventy-five feet in length. Dominant males closer to eighty.

Amol Kalit dragons are reptiles. They need heat and sun to survive. In colder climates they must have an alternative source of heat, or they will die. They can prevent this death by transforming into a human form. However, if kept too cold for too long they will not be able to sustain their inner fires and be as helpless as any normal human. In human form they are no less than six feet regardless of sex, and tend to be slender and quite beautiful.

Temperature Rules


Since dragons are reptiles, as they grow colder they lose magical ability and their dragon forms, often defaulting to a tall, willowy human form. They retain some signature of their natural colors, be it a strange eye or hair color, but are otherwise not as physically strong as their dragon forms. Dragons do not sweat, and do not have a strong natural odor. The only exception is just after a shed cycle.

The temperature rules are as follows.

120F/48C or higher - Dragon is able to use quite a lot of magic, has all normal functions, and is quite happy. Very high temperatures result in a contented napping state. Note: Dragons cannot die of heat stroke, and typically wake from these lazy naps when the sun goes down.

85-120F/30-48C - Ideal body temperature. The dragon thrives, can perform normally, with full magic.

70-85F/21-30C - Dragon is sluggish, with much less magic, and may have difficulty flying or maintaining consistent thought.

55-70F/12-21C - Dragon is forced into human form, very little magic.

45-55F/7-12C - Human form is sluggish and dumb, no magic, constantly fighting sleep.

40F/4C - CRITICAL TEMPERATURE. Dragon will fall asleep and become comatose if not heated. Respiratory failure imminent.

Below 40F/ Below 4C - Death. Ice crystals form in all major tissues including the brain, dragon dies a slow burning death from cold.

Habitat

Arabashi dragons need the desert. They spend long hours in their castles and estates sunning themselves in large greenhouses constructed entirely for the purpose, usually in boiling sand baths set into the floor. Richer dragon families can have these sand pits made from obsidian, amethyst, or even diamond particles. These unusual dust baths ensure skin health and aid in shedding their skins.

An Arabashi dragon has extremely high heat tolerances. Adult dragons have been found in pits of boiling sand exceeding 2100 degrees centigrade... hot enough to melt salt. Their tolerances to wet and cold are extremely poor; a dragon will be complaining of cold weather in the hottest summer day in a temperate climate. They are sensitive to water and can crop up severe skin infections if kept in a humid climate for too long.

A Note on Heat Sinks: While a dragon would benefit massively from a boiling sand pit, lava flow, forge or other massive heat source, these all must cool eventually. This ramps down the magical power they can provide, and if the dragon struggles to fight the laws of physics, a physical cost is involved.

Traits

Inner Fire:
All Arabashi dragons breathe fire, a chemical gas known as chlorine, or acid. They are immune to all flames and heat, and can plunge their hands into molten metal, forges, campfires etc.

Muscular and Flexible: Like snakes, Arabashi dragons can twist their spines 180 degrees in either direction, and have the majority of muscles focused along the ribs and spine.

That New-Dragon Glow: All dragons shed their skins once every six months, in a process known as Ecdysis. While not as strong as dragon scales by themselves, dragon sheds are fireproof.

Magic Affinity: As creatures of magic, dragons have a unique skill with it. However, this skill is tied to their warmth. A cold dragon is about as skilled with magic as a new mage. A dragon submerged in boiling sand is more dangerous than the oldest lich. Please note that the hotter a dragon’s environment, the more energy needed to sustain it and the faster the dragon’s fat and muscle reserves drain. QED, hotter temperatures mean a faster metabolism, but with the potential for more magic power.

Culture


Arabashi dragons have a highly insular culture. They are xenophobic, at most times openly racist, and fairly self restrictive.

Family Structure: Dragons are arranged into families called dahn, with the heads of the family being the dahna, mother, and dahnesh, father. Children are subservient to the parents until marriage, and upon coming of age their nemahji, or virginity, is sold off. This establishes the child's standing in dragon culture, and marks a rite of passage from hatchling to adult. Dragon families are specialists in particular art or industry forms; lapidary, botanical, pottery, cooking, dance, painting, and seamstressing are popular focuses. Members of a dahn are named after their speciality.

For example, the dragon Chaceledon comes from a lapidary dahn, so he was named for the gemstone chaceldony.

Courtship: There is no ritual more complex or absurd than dragon flirting. Dragons are restrained and conservative by nature, but this hyped up when a dragon is aiming to get married. A female dragon may show her interest by serving tea and rewarding the object of her affections with a flash of her wrist or ankle. They may move slowly across a room together to demonstrate their want to stay close. Dragons do not eat in front of the people they are romantic towards; it is considered uncouth. Even conversation and verbal sparring can be flirtatious. Since most non-dragons don't have the stamina or natural grace for such activities, pairings other than dragon/dragon are uncommon.

Marriage: When a young dragon desires to get married, he or she must present themselves to the dahn of the other family and make a formal stake on their mate. Male/male pairs, male/female pairs, and female/female pairs are all treated the same way. The dahnesh of that family will then declare a challenge. If the dragon fails this challenge, the marriage cannot happen. If two dragons claim the same mate, it becomes a challenge of who can complete the herculean task first. If the dragons elope, they are declared hedahn, outcasts, and are wiped from the collective records of both families. Hedahni can never return to their familes, and if they do they are treated like ghosts. Not seen, not heard, until they leave. Marriages are contracts between dahn and marriage for love is roundly mocked as a failed business dealing.

Reproduction: Reproduction is done internally and results in two to four eggs after a gestation period of 200 days. The eggs must be kept at a temperature of at least 800C or 1472F to hatch for another 365 days. Mother dragons will typically sequester themselves for the duration of a pregnancy, as the swell of motherhood is considered 'fat' and 'unsightly' by other dragons. It isn't uncommon for women to hide themselves and their children from their mates until the children are 'fit to be seen', that is, already speaking and with manners taught.

Death: Deaths are celebrated in dragon culture. The body is cremated by the dahni, members of the family, and the ashes scattered to the sands. What follows is a night of drinking, dancing, and orgy. The longer a funeral lasts is an expression of how beloved that particular dragon was. Families can spend thousands of gold on house guests camping in their estates for six months or longer. Some funerals extend into decades... or until someone runs out of wine.

Food: Dragons have a complex relationship with food. Eating disorders are common given the pressure on young male and female dragons to be fit and beautiful. Many dragons elect to eat only one meal a day, or are encouraged to vomit after eating what many would consider a normal meal. At family events and functions, dragons will eat heartily, and then vomit to preserve their figures. Little thought is given to food waste, as the more elaborate the meal and the more waste there is, the more wealth a host displays. Dragon dishes are incredibly spicy, and tiny peppers packing big punches are popular.

Art: All dragon children are taught the arts of calligraphy and painting. While not everyone takes to these skills, it's essential they are known and appreciated. More emphasis is placed on the performance of the painting than the subject; how one holds a brush, how one stands or moves across the area in front of the canvas, what colors are used, etc.

Clothing: All dragon clothing is hopelessly complex. The typical dragon outfit involves no less than three layers of robes, color coordinated and matched. Makeup for both sexes is de rigeur, and hair is kept long to accommodate heavy headdresses, pins, and combs. Embroidery is a fad among dragons, with mountain and botanical themes dominating the current trends. Platformed wooden sandals known as geta are worn outdoors, with soft woolen slippers being indoor wear. Geta makers often compete with dances in the highest shoes they can create without falling over.

History and Background


Unlike their feared cousins in colder locations across the world, Arabashi dragons view themselves as politicians and artisans before warmongers. Their long lifespans have shifted their focuses away from war and inward toward their extensive estates. There is no city for the Arabashi dragons, only collections of far-flung estates in the mountains and rockier terrain in the desert. While these estate grounds form strong family bonds between members of a dahn, it's also believed they use estates as an excuse to stay away from other dragons.

These dragons prefer to hire standing armies of humans and elves for their games. Wars are conducted on the open sand between two hired armies, while the dragons of each dahn stand by and sling insults at one another. Human lives are considered expendable, even to the point of waging wars out of sheer boredom over some imagined slight. On one noted skirmish 25,000 human and deaths were logged. The point of contention? The length of a robe.

Relationships with Other Races

"I think I saw one once camping out in the desert; damn thing was a ribbon of sunset." - Arabashi Trader

Not many people in the world have seen the dragons of Arabashi. Believing dragons to be subjects of myth and legend, Arabashi dragons are mistaken for serpents or wyverns. This is usuall rectified when said dragon, insulted by those labels, promptly barbecues the person.

Arabashi dragons want nothing to do with the other races of the world. If they need to begin a trade route they will send a representative, often a slave of elven or human nature, to deal with the prospective client. They are known for harsh and unrelenting business deals, and aren't above torching the competition...with extreme prejudice.

Dragons residing outside of their normal estates, having been removed from a dahn for some reason or another, are known as hedahni and are outcast from society. Hedahni typically do not last long away from the hot sands, and if they do, they keep their draconian roots a secret by staying in a more humanlike form.

It is the opinion of most major dahn that Arabashi dragons are superior to any other race in the world.
 
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Nommie

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