The Races of Aradath ...
Arguably the most powerful race in the world, Dragons are also one of the most difficult to play. Unlike other races, Dragons choose not to belong to a specific class, though they can advance in skill levels just like any other individual. All Dragons have the innate ability to use rune-magick, for they possess great intelligence and wisdom.
First Stage: A Draco's Tale ...
Dragons are unique to the world of Dragon’s Gate in that they each have the capacity to undergo great changes during their life-span. These changes are known commonly as “staging” amongst the people of Aradath. When a Dragon is born, he or she begins at the first stage. At this stage, young Dragons (Dracos) are mostly Human in nature and action. Indeed there have been cases where Dracos have not known their true race for most of their childhood! A discerning feature that separates Dracos from most Humans, is their innate aloofness. Also, their immediate attraction to Secians that goes beyond any explanation. Dracos spend their time seeking out a path in life, as well as a Secian chosen (see the Dragons and Secians section below for further explanation of this relationship).
Appearance: Dracos are essentially humanoid looking, though slightly taller and with more leathery skin.
Temperment: Dracos are curious and inquisitive, but can also be somewhat standoffish when it comes to other races besides Secians.
Tendencies: Dracos are not yet wizened to the ways of their kind, and many of them choose not to meddle in the affairs of the other races. They are extremely fond of Secians and will go out of their way to protect and defend them, knowing that their very lives are in the hands of the little ones.
Second Stage: Rise to Drakedom ...
Once the Draco reaches a certain age, he or she will begin to feel pains that will eventually evolve into the process of staging. At this time, the Draco and his or her Secian chosen will normally find a spot that suits them, and the Secian will heal the Dragon while he or she transforms into a Drake. Drakedom is the second stage of a Dragon’s life; a time of discovery and wonder for the Dragon and Secian alike. Drakes have thicker and more colorful skin than Dracos. Many Drakes take to collecting trinkets, jewels and items that match the color of their newfound scales. A few other things that Drakes have that Dracos do not are wings and the ability to fly, as well as claws that are suitable for battling foes. However, Drakes are bipedal and lack tails as well as the ability to breath fire. Many Drakes spend their days exploring with their bondmate, and generally begin to shy away from the hustle and bustle of city life, unless, of course, the mundane lives of city folk pique their interests. Drakes are more aloof than Dracos, and tend to turn up their noses at the other races, besides Secians. Drakes normally aren’t, however, completely solitary, unlike the third stage Dragons they strive to become.
Appearance: Tall, hairless, bipedal, and winged. Drakes can be many different colors, ranging from chromatics (black, blue, red, etc.) to gem colors (emerald, amethyst, sapphire, etc.) to metallics (silver, bronze, brass, etc.). They also possess sharp claws.
Temperament: Drakes are generally less social than Dracos, and are usually more quick to anger and protective of their property. They are still inquisitive, though more egotistical and arrogant which sometimes sways their opinions.
Tendencies: Drakes usually collect and covet items that match the color of their scales. Most Drakes are very proud of their own color, and many look upon the other scale colors as inferior or less radiant. Drakes tend to seek solitude more regularly, shying away from city life.
Third Stage: Becoming Great ...
There are so few third stage Dragons known to the realms that it is difficult to pinpoint the exact age in which a Drake will make the transformation into Dragon. However, a few have made it and they are an awe-inspiring sight to behold. Dragons are quadri-pedal, fire-breathing creatures with a tail and even thicker skin that that of a Drake’s. At this time in a Dragon’s life, he or she will usually take to actively seeking out a lair, away from the city, in which to make a home with his or her bondmate. Once the Dragon has found a suitable place, he or she will guard it fiercely, as Dragons are territorial beings. The Dragon has also very likely acquired a rather sufficient hoard of trinkets, gold, and jewels within the lair, and is understandably very protective of it. A Dragon’s lair is where the most time will be spent at the third stage, but exploring and adventuring are still very appealing pastimes for the Dragon at this age. They must, however, be on their guard, because the magickal essence of a third stage Dragon is potent enough to be put to use in potions and elixirs, and there are many people on the continent of Aradath who wish to slay Dragons and extract their essence.
Appearance: Dragons are long, quadri-pedal creatures with tails and even more radiant, thicker scales than those they had at second stage. Their claws become more fierce at this time, and they lose the ability to use armor.
Temperament: Dragons are fiercely protective of their territory, property and bondmate. While dignified and wise, they will not hesitate to dispose of another being if the situation calls for such action.
Tendencies: Dragons tend to be detached from all other life besides that of their own and their bondmates’. While their affection for Secians as a whole stays intact, they devote most of their time to their singular bondmate. They usually stockpile gems, gold, and trinkets within their lairs and go to great lengths to keep them secure.
Fourth Stage: Imperial Wisdom ...
Even more rare than third stage Dragons are the fully grown, fourth stage Dragons known as Imperials. Imperials are huge, as to be expected, and their claws and magickal skills are fully mature. At this age, Imperials are fully cut off from city life and civilizations, keeping to themselves and their bondmate only. Therefore, little is known about the Imperials of the Dragon race, other than they are fervently sought out by essence hunters who wish to extract their magickal, fully mature essence.
Appearance: The fully mature dragon - huge, quadri-pedal beasts with long talons and fully developed body armor.
Temperament: Even more protective and territorial of their home and bondmate.
Tendencies: Dragons keep to themselves once they have become Imperial, and very few people will see an Imperial even once throughout their entire lives. At this age their lair is fully developed, though most likely, no one will ever set foot in it besides the Imperial and his or her bondmate. Their hoard, of course, is never fully developed.
Note: A Dragons staging process is not gaurunteed, some Dragons do not survive the process, other Dragons who are not strong enough in their bond, or not Dragon-enough in nature simply never grow in stages. Few Dragons stage beyond 2nd stage, and even fewer still stage beyond 3rd to become Imperials.
Dragons and Secians ...
Dragons and Secians have a very special relationship in Dragon's Gate. No one can attest to the exact origins of this relationship, though most scholars believe that it was formed when the Frontacians of Penthania released the Unmagick. Without Secians, Dragons would not be able to progress through their life stages. Therefore, at some point during their first stage, Dracos begin seeking what is referred to as their chosen. A Draco’s chosen is the Secian the dragon chooses above all others to be a special partner in his or her life; seeing the Dragon through the various stages to come. After the Secian sees his or her Dragon through to the second stage, a irrevocable bond is formed and the pair become “bondmates.” The Dragon-Secian bond is unbreakable once formed, and it is the Dragon's bondmate alone who can further aid the remaining staging processes. Because of the connection that forms between the two, a Dragon will tend to be protective of all Secians but prefers the company of his or her bondmate over anyone else. (Think long and hard before choosing a chosen for your Draco; it is a relationship you will have for the duration of the life of your character!)
Dragons are one of the ancient races in Dragon's Gate. They have effectively the longest life span of any creature along with the Muatana-al, though many die from natural causes long before ever reaching the ages of the most ancient Dragons of the world. Their history is long and detailed; however, Dragons are very protective of their history and background. Thus, most non-dragons know only what Dragons have carelessly let slip. Scholars have been able to gather some information on Dragons' role throughout history, but as this information implies that Dragons are not necessarily as aloof and uninvolved as they appear, the Imperial Council (A council of the oldest Imperial Dragons that decide the actions of Dragon kind) has steadfastly denied these tales. Those Dragons who do wander about and participate in the world do so only with the permission of the Imperial Council. Dragons are scattered throughout the world, with few centers of settlement. As they age and pass into there various forms, they become more and more solitary and aloof. This does not lend to an organized society. The Council of Imperials, a careful organization of the eldest and most powerful Dragons, meets once a decade to discuss the situation of the world and their position in it.
Advantages: Inherently magical, Dragons can fly and breathe fire as they grow older. They are extremely intelligent and possess great wisdom. Almost all Dragons are magick-users of considerable power when they have matured and the claws they receive as Drakes act as formidable weapons. They develop thick, scaly skin that protects them from much damage, and gain the ability to claw and breathe fire at later stages.
Hindrances: Dragons do not belong to any class, and advance in life only through the aging process. They have difficulty wielding standard weapons, especially as they get bigger and older. They cannot wear any form of armor, shield, or wield weapons after reaching third stage, and the essence-filled bodies of Dragons and Imperials are highly coveted by the apothecary guild.