The Dragons of Offworld
|Alliances:||Controllers + Dragon Corps|
The Dragons of Offworld are a genetically and technologically enhanced species, which are a blend of numerous different species all mixed into one. The dragons were born as the result of a failed genetic experiment several millennia earlier on the world of Ember. However, despite not getting what they wanted, the controllers saw the benefit of their creation and thus allowed them to survive and thrive, eventually turning them into TELs, and their loyal servants, and later even their enforcers on the planet of Offworld.
The basic design of a dragon is as follows: They have a head like that of a Fennec fox with great big, furry ears, a large snout, and large, beautiful, gem like eyes which sits upon a long, muscular neck. On their back rests a set of large, feathery wings that are very graceful in their form and are similar in design to those of an eagle. Their arms and legs are both long, and their front paws are almost hand like and are as dexterous as those of a human being, despite the large, fearsome looking claws that protrude from them. Their body, in turn, is like that of a large cheetah, or even perhaps a tiger; and yet they're very clearly built for flying, with a large, pronounced, muscular chest and a wide, fan like tail that flares open and shut effortlessly like that of a peacock.
Below these feathers are gem like armored scales that cover the dragon's body from eartip to fantail. These, in turn, are covered by soft, gentle feathers that give the dragons an almost furry appearance. Also, all dragons have matching colored feathers and scales, although their eyes can be of different shades than their bodies. Dragons also do not come in gender specific colors, nor is their color determinant on their genetic lineage. This is a side effect of the genetic modification their ancestors underwent in their creation. Dragons, while being TELs, are also chimeras. AKA, they're a genetically modified creature incorporating the characteristics and features of numerous other animals. This has the added benefit of making them stronger, and more powerful as a result.
Dragons are also highly intelligent, and possess reason and logic of their own, which is not given to them exclusively by their implants in the same way it is with biomechanoids, but rather is greatly enhanced, expanded, and improved from its basic, primitive biological form. IE, without the controller implants, they would be no smarter or wiser than your typical animal. But with the implants they possess genius level intelligence equal to, or greater than that of a human being. Dragons, being part avian, reproduce by laying eggs. However, as an intentional side effect of their chimera creation, to keep them from over populating the planet of Offworld, given how long they typically live, dragons have a reproductive weakness in the fact that only about one in ten eggs that are laid actually hatch.
This shortcoming has a big, negative emotional impact on the females. Some handle it better than others, but all suffer the feeling of loss from this fact. Dragons also only lay or produce about one egg per year on average. From fertilization to laying is about 7 days, and hatching is about 16 weeks. New, baby dragons are immediately taken into the care of a nurse dragon right after hatching, and they take care of the newborns for the first few months of their lives before they're turned over to their parents full time. This is to ensure the highest rate of survival for all new dragons. Out of a typical cluster of 100 eggs, only about 10 will hatch, and only about 5 will survive to adulthood. This is either due to genetic defects due to being chimera, failure of the implants, or environmental issues, the biggest of these being the controllers themselves who often culled younglings to keep the dragon population under control.
Dragons age differently than humans, and in many ways share a number of similarities in aging to that of dogs. For the first approximately two hundred years of life, dragons age one dragon year for every ten human years. So a dragon who is 50 human years old is only a 5 year old by dragon understanding, and thus the dragon equivalent of a toddler. It is during the first 200 years of their life that they grow to the majority of their adult size, averaging around 5-6ft tall at the shoulder. From this point forward aging slows down, as does growth. From the age of 200 to 500 the rate of aging slows to roughly 1 dragon year for every 15 human years. So if one were to look at the difference in age between Maggy and Garloond, for example, even though they are 100 years different in age, by human understanding, in terms of dragon years, they're actually only about 5 years different in age, with Maggy's age being equivalent to approximately 20 human years old, and Garloond about 25. Once a dragon passes the age of 500, their aging further slows to about one dragon year per every 20 human years. Following that logic, that would make someone like Narond nearly 85 years old by dragon understanding. Although, even this is, at best, only a guesstimate of a dragon's real age, as every dragon ages differently in the same way that no two dogs age the same. However, as a general rule of thumb, this guide can be applied to most dragons with a reasonable degree of accuracy.
- Each dragon, from shortly after they are hatched, are outfitted at various times in their lives, with a series of controller created implants that give them enhanced abilities, such as greater intelligence, the ability to speak and understand any language, to make themselves invisible, reduce or change their weight at will and, in the case of younglings up to a certain size, the ability to teleport. Those who have passed their Keltess generally lose some abilities (such as teleport, as they are too big by then to use the system anymore) and implants, while gaining others that further expand and enhance their already impressive abilities.
- Dragons, especially the elder ones, love playing the game of Plachen, as it helps them while away the time, and keep their minds sharp.
- One of the reasons for the dragons needing an implant that helps them raise or lower their molecular density, thus making themselves either lighter or heavier, is due to their size, and the sizable weight created by their armor covering, which in turn makes them too heavy to fly. It's still possible for them to take to the air if they want, without using this special implant, but flight becomes very difficult, and they tire easily as a result. With the ability to change their weight, the dragons are able to fly, and do many, many things they otherwise couldn't without it.
- Dragons do not eat or drink. Every dragon, from the day they are hatched, is fitted with an implant that provides them with all of the necessary fluid and nutritional needs of their bodies. This also includes the expunging of waste products without the need for urination or defecation. In the same way that nutrients are created inside of and delivered to the body to sustain their lives, through their materialization and creation from a pool of pure energy, they are also removed from the body and disposed of by converting waste products back into energy and returned to the primary energy pool from which their implants are powered.
- Dragons have the ability to fully cloak themselves so that not even their own kind can find them. But they can also generate selective cloaking, allowing other fellow dragons, whom they choose, to be able to see them. However, dragon's are unable to cloak any items or objects that are not a direct part of their body, such as items placed on their bodies, or held in their hands.
- Dragons possess a built in healing system that uses special energies to trigger and generate rapid healing in a target organism. This healing system can either be used on themselves, or someone else whom needs their assistance. And, while all dragons can heal others, some dragons specialize in this skill, taking their ability far above and beyond what most other dragons can do.
- One of the numerous implants that the dragons are given throughout their lives is a holographic communications and information system. This allows them, through the micro-mainframe implanted in their bodies, to speak face to face, through a holographic communication system, with other equally equipped individuals, be they dragon, controller or otherwise. This same system is also available to human racers, but this fact is not generally known among the participants in The Race of Offworld unless someone specifically tells them, as the controllers normally do not share this useful bit of information with them, unlike those who are their direct servants.
- Just like the racers who are brought to Offworld, dragons also have an identifier chip embedded in their left wrist. This is to both identify them to their masters, and as a means to access controller resources, activate certain of their implants, initiate holographic communications and more.
- Dragon implants, being as powerful as they are, necessitate the inclusion of an internal power source, and are thus powered in one of two ways. For young dragons who are not large enough, or have not completed their Keltess, their implants are powered by a small, rechargeable plasma cell embedded in their bodies. This is usually sufficient to power all of their implants for anywhere from several days to several weeks, depending on their usage. After this they must return to a dragon weyr to recharge again. Older dragons and those who have completed their Keltess, their power cell is replaced by a small, stand alone Quantum Reactor. This device is self sustaining and never needs maintenance, typically lasting the life of the dragon without need for repair, refueling or maintenance. Larger dragons, such as some of the elders, who grow too large for the original reactor to supply all their power needs may be given a second one to supplement their power needs.
- Dragons are considered to be "hot blooded", not because of their temperament, as they tend to be naturally kind and gentle creatures (although they can become very angry and violent when required), but rather because their body temperature runs high compared to other animals, with their internal temperatures running between 140F and 160F on average. Due to this, and the natural regulating effects of certain among their implants, they never get to hot or too cold, and thus can tolerate a wide range of temperatures without issue. Older dragons, however, tend to get cold much easier than younger dragons, thus facilitating their need for blankets and large, insulated mats from time to time to help them stay warm in the cold, unforgiving stone walls and floors of their weyrs.
- One of the abilities of the dragons, via their implants, is the capability to generate a defensive energy shield. This is an extension of their cloaking system and can, unlike their cloaking system, be used to shield other individuals or objects as they have need. Any dragon, be they youngling or adult, have this ability, although the strength, complexity, versatility and operational duration vary by age.
- Dragons have technologically enhanced eyesight, allowing them to see in the dark in the same way that night vision gives humans the ability to see at night. While, not a perfect technology, it has its advantages, especially when the dragons are doing night raids.
- Fallon - Trond
- Adar - Trond
- Kasett - Trond
- Aludic - Trond
- Zek - Trond
- Apoo - Morten, then later Trond
- Shuman - Morten
- Narond - Morten
- Magendra Tallenon - Morten, then later Kestrel.
- Karuth - Morten
- Akhur - Kestrel
- Garloond - Kestrel
- Pehkek - Kestrel
- Jathal - Reathrin
- Rathon - Reathrin
- Avias - Kestrel
- Kimrig - Reathrin, later First Ember Expeditionary Weyr
- Zirem - Trond
- Taerieth - Morten
- Natheg - Reathrin, later First Ember Expeditionary Weyr
- Delimas - Kestrel
- Palas - Kestrel (youngling trainee)
- Sialphos - Kestrel (youngling trainee)