Often likened to small dragons, the drakisss are everything that dragons are not - weak, co-operative, flexible, short lived, wingless and bipedal. Actually, they do share some characteristics with their remote relatives - they are clever and cunning and often their colonies form a symbiotic relationship with the dragons they superficially resemble.
Imagine, if you will a reptilian version of a Monkin - similar height, bipedal, two dexterous hands that have managed to evolve opposable thumbs, but the scaley, impermeable skin of a lizard and a head almost identical to a very young dragon’s. This is believed by some to be an adaption to minimise the chance of becoming a snack for the dragon their colonies are often found with.
Genetics and Reproduction
Drakiss seem to be flexible in their gender, not true hermaphrodites but able to switch between male and female - a switch that most drakiss will make several times in their lives.
Growth Rate & Stages
Drakiss can live for up to 50 or 60 years in ideal conditions, but these are rare and most who reach adulthood (at around 8 years) will die of accident, disease or some other misfortune by their mid thirties. Young drakiss hatch from eggs about the size of their parents’ fists and grow over the course of their first year to the size of an adult. The next few years see the young learning of their surroundings - they can be voracious students and experimenters and a proportion of them will retain this habit into adulthood. As reproductive maturity nears, the colouration of the young drakiss becomes more saturated and a contrasting ruff develops which plays a part in the visual signalling used in all drakiss social interactions.
Ecology and Habitats
The drakiss most often live underground, commonly sharing a lair with a dragon - A symbiotic relationship which dates back beyond either groups ancestral memories. They can thrive in all climates warmer than temperate.
Dietary Needs and Habits
The drakiss are omnivores - even to the extent of eating their dead.
The basic social unit of the drakiss is the Writhe - present in all drakiss colonies and believed to predate the drakiss' relationship with Drakkun as much of the social construction of these crews points to trying to limit the power of the writhes by building other organisational and cultural groups that cut across writhes. In cases where crews disband on the death of a drakkun it is not uncommon for the crew to disintegrate into it's writhes, each of which becomes a separate colony, though this subject is bnot (as yet) much studied.
Civilization and Culture
A strongly coloured skin and taut musculature are the ideal for all drakiss. Each colony has a preferred colour that tends to be set to the colour of any resident dragon, but the exact colour is not seen as a point of beauty - the depth of it, consistency of it and the degree of contrast between the body and the ruff are what matters.
Drakiss tend to form relationship groups of 4 to 6 adults - so that reproduction can continue within the existing social groups as the gender of the individuals changes.
Average Technological Level
This varies between groups - all drakiss are dexterous and, especially as young, quick to learn and develop new skills. But for all this learning ability they are slow to develop new ideas or technologies. The lessons from the colony that lives beneath Morton are that they can assimilate the technologies developed by humans and even make limited improvements to some of these.
The history of the drakiss has not been much studied. Individual groups tell their own stories and these have little in common with each other. The lore of the dragons is more revealing on their history for as a longer living species there have been fewer generations for the history to be forgotten.
Extremely rare in the human dominated territories they are one of the more common salients in Sauropa