The Dragoncrest(These notes on the Dragoncrest come from the Dragonstar Rising Game. The game covers the period from 2161 when the Seven Worlds began their first DragonStar raids to 2192 at the end of the First Alpha Campaign on the Seven Worlds).
Humanity has encountered many alien lifeforms during its time in space. A few, such as the powerful Larden and the swift, slender Strak, have had recognizable intelligence and civilization. None until 2140, however, possessed interstellar technology at the time of contact, and none have been anything at all like the Dragoncrests. The future of the Seven Worlds was irrevocably altered from the time of their first encounter.
The Dragoncrests are a highly intelligent, technologically sophisticated race which is built along reptilian lines. They apparently rule their own vast interstellar empire, and seem to have been a space-faring race for far longer than Humanity. They are also extremely warlike, and have an overwhelming devotion to their unique code of honour in battle. They have demonstrated their substantial combat skills on countless occasions, in space and on planetary surfaces.
These facts make the Dragoncrests the most important alien race in known space. The myriad skirmishes and the various wars which have been fought against the Dragoncrests have had a profound effect on Humanity’s development. And for good or ill, as enemies or allies, the Dragoncrests will have a major role in Humanity’s future.
Humanity’s first contact with the Dragoncrests occurred on the semi-habitable world of Mathis VI. This was a minor Seven Worlds research and scouting base, located well away from the Starguild’s line of advance. Astronomical data was being gathered by a small crew of scientists, and the system also served as a way-station for Seven Worlds exploration craft seeking new worlds, and watching for the Starguild.
A Dragoncrest scout ship came upon the base, and landed to investigate it. There were three Dragoncrests on the ship; when the aliens discovered that they had encountered a new race they were elated. They donned their Power Armour and went out to make contact.
There were about fifty Humans on Mathis VI, and they were certainly not prepared for the landing of an alien spacecraft. In a state of extreme tension, they went out to investigate, believing that the Starguild had found them. The appearance of the armed and armoured Dragoncrests soon put that fear to rest, but only heightened the anxiety of the station’s personnel. As the Dragoncrests advanced with weapons at the ready, the station’s commander fired a single Lase pulse into the ground several feet in front of them, as a warning.
The Dragoncrests took this as an invitation and opened fire, killing the commander. The Humans quickly took cover, and the battle for the station began.
Although there were far more Humans than Dragoncrests, the superior equipment of the aliens and the fact that most of the Humans were non-combatants made the battle a close one.
An extended siege followed, as the Humans slowly discovered the abilities of the Dragoncrests and their Power Armour. One by one, the non-combatants of the station took up arms. The battle lasted for 4 days, and by its end, all three Dragoncrests and 8 Humans were dead.
Although the people of the Seven Worlds did not understand it at the time, there was neither malice nor greed in the attack, just a desire to share the combat experience with a worthy foe.
Despite the losses, it was a great victory for the Seven Worlds. They captured three suits of Dragoncrest Power Armour, which were sent back to Prime (The primary planet of the Seven Worlds System). Another even greater prize awaited them aboard the scout ship; a working teleportation device. This was dubbed the Dragonstar the first time it was tested, after the gigantic flare which it produced and the race it was acquired from. When these devices arrived on the Seven Worlds, a new age of scientific and military development was opened. The twin finds of Power Armour and a working Dragonstar gave the people of the Seven Worlds two tremendously powerful tools, and full effort was put into developing the devices further. Although they were still facing regular skirmishes with the Dragoncrests, the Seven Worlds was grateful for their new opponents. The devices provided by the Dragoncrests would prove vital to the survival of the Seven Worlds.
As the years after the first encounter passed, and the Seven Worlds had further contact with the Dragoncrests, new interpretations were placed on their behaviour on Mathis VI. It became obvious that the Dragoncrests were simply testing Humanity, to find out what kind of race they had encountered. They were naturally delighted when a Human opened fire on them, although they were rather disappointed with its aim. The scouting Dragoncrests had no interest in victory, and none in their own survival. Nonetheless, it is likely that they were somewhat surprised that the Humans were able to defeat them.
Dragoncrest History(This information from the DragonStar rising periods in Seven Worlds history, does not cover any additional History or Information that has been acquired on the Dragoncrest between 2192 to 2349 in the Living Steel Game period)
The Dragoncrests are not concerned with negotiation, written records, or cultural exchanges, and the vast majority of Human -Dragoncrest interaction has taken place at gunpoint. As a result, little is known of their background or history, and it is unlikely that that will change in the near future. The body of knowledge about Dragoncrest history is pieced together from fragments of information, and includes a great deal of conjecture and guesswork.
The Dragoncrests apparently rule a large interstellar empire, and it is quite possible that it is up to ten times as large as Human space. Their society is also apparently very old; Dragoncrests have difficulty expressing the concept of time, but it is clear that they consider Humanity’s decades in the stars to be only a brief flash, compared to their own tenure.
Through their long history, it appears that they have developed their sciences as needed. The full range of their scientific abilities remains unknown, but what they have shown is impressive indeed. They were the original developers of the Dragonstar, a technology which is still not fully understood. Power Armour is also their creation, and the superior abilities of their Power Armour is largely a result of the fact that they are able to manufacture power storage devices which are noticeably more sophisticated, and far more compact, than those which Humanity uses.
Some information also suggests that the Dragoncrests have fought with every race that has presented itself, and they have always tailored their use of technology to that which is available to their opponent. Indeed, the Dragoncrests have apparently waged war with non-sentient beasts, as well as with sentients. Some wars are more gratifying to them than others, however, and it does seem that they have developed a special affinity for Humanity.
Other than these few bits of information, the past of the Dragoncrests remains a mystery. Humanity has only touched on the fringes of their empire to date. Further information about the Dragoncrests will have to await ventures deeper into that empire, and some lasting contact of a non-military nature.
Although Dragoncrest history remains elusive, there have been extensive studies of their physiology. These studies have given Humanity an in-depth knowledge of the aliens, but ultimately have proven to be of little use. No knowledge that has been produced has done anything to end the Dragoncrests’ wars with Humanity.
Dragoncrests weigh roughly 240 pounds, are built along reptilian lines, and are warm blooded omnivores. From the waist up they are essentially humanoid; their torso includes a spine and ribcage, and their powerful arms have the same general uses and range of motion as those of humans. Their legs and lower torso, however, are very different. These are built along dinosaur lines, with a wide carriage, reverse-jointed legs, and a powerful, agile tail that is used for balancing and in combat. Their Hands have three fingers and two thumbs, and Dragoncrests also sport the spiked crest which earned them their name; it runs from the forehead all the way down the back and onto the tail. Although their skin appears scaly, it is in fact made of a thick, finely woven matte of fur.
Their senses are generally acute. Dragoncrest vision spans into the infrared, and their eyes are shielded by three sets of eyelids; in addition to the normal type, they have a protective lid that is transparent, and another layer that filters out ultraviolet radiation. Several different eye colours are possible, but this has no known significance.
Smell and hearing are likewise good, and the Dragoncrest’s ears are deployable.
Their tactile senses, however, are poor. In spite of this weak sense of touch, they have extremely good eye-hand coordination, and are therefore very talented in combat and with manipulating technology. Their balance is also superb, aided as it is by use of the tail.
Their needs for food, water and air are quite similar to those of Humanity. Despite this relative similarity of physiology, they are apparently immune to bacteria, viruses, and poison. This is probably due to one of their most noteworthy attributes, their exceptional regenerative ability. Virtually any wound which does not kill a Dragoncrest outright will heal, and without scarring or long term disability. In fact, the Dragoncrests are fully capable of regrowing entire limbs when necessary. Evidence exists, in fact, that the Dragoncrests have a form of immortality. They certainly have no fear of death.
Their body temperature is somewhat lower than a human’s, and is regulated by panting and by use of the crest. The spines in this can be raised or lowered as necessary, to radiate or conserve heat. Dragoncrests do not perspire, and they do not like water. Their coat absorbs it quickly, becomes rather bedraggled, and dries slowly.
Among themselves, Dragoncrests are telepathic. They do not speak to each other at all, and their awareness of each other’s activities is phenomenal. Evidence indicates that a Dragoncrest can broadcast its experiences directly to any or all other Dragoncrests, regardless of how near or far away they are; this ability spans light years. Dragoncrests can learn to speak Human languages, although they have heavy accents and are very difficult to understand. Whether they speak or not, however, all Dragoncrests comprehend human speech, and most of them are literate as well. The race as a whole has an excellent grasp of Humanity’s history, in sharp contrast to Humanity s knowledge of them.
Conflict with the Dragoncrests was unavoidable; they live for combat, and for the wisdom and growth they feel it brings. They seemed particularly interested in combat with the people of the Seven Worlds, for they apparently felt they had found a society worthy of their full attention.
In spite of their many oddities, it is the Dragoncrests’ unwavering commitment to their code of battle which is their most unusual trait. This code is an absolute among Dragoncrests; it is not subject to interpretation, and there are no Dragoncrests anywhere who do not whole-heartedly live by its rules. To call it a code, in fact, is perhaps misleading. It is not written, and it has no specific clauses or guidelines. It is simply the way in which the Dragoncrests live, and it is utterly unquestioned.
The code is built on warfare, and on honour. Dragoncrests live to fight. Not to kill, or to conquer, or for any of the other reasons for which Humanity wages war, but simply for the fight itself. To them, all learning and growth comes from battle, and for them this may be true. They certainly do very little else. Fighting alone, however, is not enough.
The Dragoncrests feel combat must be honourable to be of value, and they base their actions (and their choice of foes) on this. Battles should be one-on-one, whenever possible, and the odds must certainly never be weighted in favour of the Dragoncrests. Technologies used should also be balanced; a Dragoncrest thinks nothing of removing its armour to do battle with a roving beast of prey, for example, or a technologically unsophisticated opponent. They also have no interest in involving beings which do not wish to fight. A non-combatant is utterly safe from Dragoncrest fire.
It is this code and this attitude toward battle which have led to the constant state of warfare between the Seven Worlds and the Dragoncrests. In the Seven Worlds they have found worthy opponents, and they believe that the war is a tremendously positive experience for both sides. The idea seems bizarre to many people on the besieged Seven Worlds, as they fight for their survival against the Dragoncrests and the Imperium, but it may have some merit. It is certain that the spirit of the Seven Worlds has grown stronger because of their contact with the Dragoncrests, and it has reinforced the sense of honour on which the Seven Worlds was founded.The Dragoncrests have also fought with the Starguild, but it has been a far less satisfactory experience. The Starguild’s ship to ship tactics showed no trace of honour, and so the Dragoncrests were in no hurry to encounter them on land. When they did, in their conflict with the Imperial Guard at the Battle of Getra, they found the Starguild’s warriors talented and somewhat brave, but completely unscrupulous. Moreover, when forced into difficulty, unit morale evaporated and many members of the Guard actually routed away, fleeing in panic. This greatly lowered the Dragoncrest’s opinion of the Starguild, and resulted in their perception of the Imperium as a second-rate power.
It is possible that much of what humans perceive as odd about the Dragoncrests is a result of their long mastery of their environment. Being completely telepathic and highly advanced, they never fight among themselves; they are unified in purpose and vision. What is more, until they encountered Humanity, the Dragoncrests had never met a species which could match them. These two facts, when combined with their warlike nature, have Left them with a unique view of battle. They do not perceive anything in the universe as a threat or an enemy, because they have never been threatened. Combat is simply a testing process, in which they seek growth.
For the first time in millennia, the Dragoncrests have found a worthy test; the constant challenge presented by the warriors of the Seven Worlds.
Battle of Getra 2180 Dragoncrest vs. the Imperial Guard
As invasion plans were completed, the skies of Getra were suddenly filled with the shapes of dozens of Dragoncrest StrikeRails, and countless Dragonstars appeared. As the first Dragoncrests engaged the Guard and began to disable space defences, countless grav vehicles and other landing craft descended to the surface. In all, roughly 5,000 Power Armoured Dragoncrests landed on Getra, and swiftly and relentlessly went about the destruction of the vaunted and talented Imperial Guard. They had finally chosen to test the mettle of the Starguild.
The Guard's abilities, though substantial, were of no use against this assault. For the second time in history, the forces of the Imperium faced Power Armour, and they were again completely defeated; the Dragoncrests found them generally brave, but unworthy as opponents. News of the Battle of Getra shocked the entire Starguild, and was a devastating blow to morale throughout the military. Invasion plans were immediately cancelled, and the Imperium began developing its own Power Armour, and weapons that could be used against it.