I was wondering if you could expand on your description of the dragons in your story. You don’t really go into much of their culture or identity during the books, choosing more to focus on the war and humanity’s struggle to survive and then to share the planet. I was wondering if you could explain why you went that route and maybe delve a little more into detail about the drakeas culture?
Oof, straight for the jugular with that one. Well to put your first question to rest… the simplest answer is that drakeas really don’t have a cultural identity any more. You have to remember, the drakeas fought a long hard war on their original homeworld. They were slaughtered by the millions and the last hundred or so refugees were permitted to go into exile instead of being slaughtered. It was… merciful, in a way.
Of those few hundred, only a handful are known to have made it to a habitable world. Those are the ones that would become the elder council on Earth during the Red War. What happened to the others, no one really knows. Upon landing on Earth, the drakeas began a campaign to take over the planet.
Their reasoning was simple; they needed a new homeworld and humanity was polluting and destroying theirs. Thus they were an unworthy infestation of a paradise world and they needed to be eradicated. Yes, initially, the drakeas viewed humans as an inferior form of life, no different than roaches or ants. This attitude changed after thirty years of war. Despite successfully destroying most world governments and reducing their numbers to a mere fraction of their original population, humanity refused to give up the fight. They fought on for decades, slowly bleeding the renewed drakeas numbers dry. This resulted in many drakeas developing an appreciation for human perseverance and murmurs of a desire for peace that the dread lord would never agree to.
So why don’t they have their own cultural identity? Only five or six of the original drakeas survived to Earth. As their generations went on, much of their old ways were forgotten for several reasons; first, they’re on a strange new world with a different environment. A lot of their old rituals would likely be out of place or they simply wouldn’t have the necessary tools or materials to continue old traditions.
Additionally, they have little to no sacred ground. Eventually, they do establish a burial ground for the Dragon Honor Guard, but other than that commemorative fortress, they really don’t have anything on Earth that they consider sacred. Finally, they have to change their ways and adapt to live with humans.
All this coupled with the fact that the elders have only a limited knowledge of drakeas history, the drakeas don’t have a cultural identity and are slowly coming up with one.
What form is that taking? Well to put it simply, they’re combining human mythology with what little identity the drakeas already have. Following the war, they stopped referring themselves as ‘drakeas’, opting instead for the human term, dragon, which they believe to be a proper translation of drakeas. The original drakeas language has been all but forgotten among the younger generations as they integrate into human regions where languages already exist.
One stopping point that has never been lost on the drakeas is their code of honor. They live by a code not all that dissimilar to Bushido. Further, they consider the deaths of dragons to be a terrible waste of life. Though they are aggressive and warrior-like, they also work to preserve life where ever possible.
As the generations continued and the evolutionary changes took hold, we see them becoming far less aggressive and more willing to live among humans and adopt their cultural identity.
Dragons are open to inter-species mating, and there was some rumors of it happening on their homeworld before their war. Can a human and dragon mate? The answer is… it’s complicated. Dragons have the ability to appear as humans, and are now closer to them in size, however they are not really biologically compatible. That being said, there is some belief that humans and dragons will eventually be able to conceive a child, given Raiya’s existence.
At the very least, it proves that human and dragon DNA is capable of mixing and coexisting, though others have dismissed this as simply being the right set of DNA being under the right set of circumstances at the right moment, aka a freak occurrence.
So hopefully this gives you a little bit of an idea of what we were going for with the drakeas.
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