Bishel Dragon Society
A large group of Bishel dragons that shares a territory is known as a clan. The clan is led by a Kailan. Occasionally, more than one dragon shares the title of Kailan, usually a mated pair or a pair of siblings. The Kailan is responsible for settling differences and making final decisions that relate to the group. Often, there are advisers to the Kailan that share in wisdom and power. Beyond this structure, society can differ widely between clans.
The Machesri Kailan, Leukosri, has many helpers, some who act as advisers and others who are up and coming young leaders within the clan. At Bishen Realm, Jarod, Athena, Pierre, Mjollnir, and Anastasia are the main helpers to the Kailan.
Beyond the Kailan and his chosen helpers, there isn't much rigid structure in the clan. Wiser and elder dragons are respected, and younger dragons are encouraged to explore and do whatever they do best. Generally, Green dragons take care of the farming and landscaping. Blues act as scouts and healers. Red dragons work to defend the clan and sometimes hunt for food. A dragon's type also influences its position. Terrans usually do artisan work, as they have legs and can grasp items, as well as perform construction work. Marine dragons work in aquaculture and take care of the water quality. Arboreals transport things, deliver messages, or provide an aerial view of a situation. All roles are interchangeable based on the temperament of the dragon.
One of the few quirks of the Machesri is the honest and open nature of most of the dragons. In a society where everyone has telepathic abilities, lies are almost always detected, so the act of telling a lie is confusing to most Machesri. Stating something contrary to the truth is used for humorous purposes in most cases because everyone knows that you are speaking a falsehood. Machesri familiar with deception from interactions with other creatures find it distasteful, a form of gauche behavior that is below a dragon. Most Machesri do not lie, even when speaking with those they know do not possess the ability to detect it. There are, of course, exceptions, especially among dragons raised outside Bishen Realm. Some white lies are allowed for privacy, but any lie makes it clear the dragon is concealing something and results in a mind that is closed or shadowed.
The Machesri are a peaceful group in general. While a Machesri will defend itself or others if necessary, a dragon would much rather search for equitable solutions to conflict with other sentient species. Because the clan has a history of needing to work closely together to survive, individuals tend to put the clan's needs above their own. Machesri dragons frown upon waste and excesses, although exceptions are made for gatherings and celebrations. Wisdom, skill, and hard work are used to gain respect and status within the clan. In Machesri society, strength and power alone are not enough to rank a dragon above others.
While bonding with other creatures was not part of Bishel dragon society until recently, it has become such an integral part of life at Bishen Realm that bonded dragons are often considered lucky or more powerful than their unbonded counterparts, especially among younger Bishel dragons. This gives bonded dragons a small boost in status such that adopted dragons returning to Bishen Realm are often watched with awe and great expectation.
Hirgyae society is much more rigid and structured than Machesri society. Below Ini Sha'ferala, the current Kailan, there are a few trusted advisers that match the leader in power and wisdom. The most trusted among these is Tr'ynka Valae, who currently acts as the ambassador to Bishen Realm and the Machesri. Below these key advisers are all the battle force leaders. All of these dragons are powerful and have earned their positions through years of faithful service to the Kailan and leadership of various factions within the clan. All these dragons join to make the main council that dictates the clan's fate. The Kailan has final say, unless she is challenged by a member of the elite.
The Kailan may be challenged at any point by any member of the clan to single combat. Lower members usually know better than to challenge the Kailan, and elite members are usually too loyal. If a lower member did manage to defeat the Kailan, a member of the elite would challenge that dragon directly to reclaim the Kailanship. After defeating the upstart, the elite dragon might hand the Kailanship back to the original Kailan as an act of loyalty or, if especially power hungry, might try to claim Kailanship for himself by opening up for more challenges. As this process can take many challenge rounds to settle the new Kailan, most dragons would avoid this sort of shake up unless they were certain of their superiority and had the support of many other clan members to field challenges.
Below the elite level of dragons, there are many ranks of soldiers. Each elite member has a smaller group of underlings that act as their own personal group of advisers. Rank in each faction is determined according to power and elemental type, with certain types of dragons viewed as clearly superior to others in battle. While a Hirgyae of a lower-ranked type could rise in rank by sheer effort, it will be an uphill battle to defeat prejudice against one's type.
The ranks of types are based upon usefulness in battle and are as follows:
- Terran-Arboreal (four wings, four legs)
- Terran-Arboreal (two wings, four legs)
- Terran-Arboreal (four wings, two front legs)
- Terran-Arboreal (two wings, two front legs)
- Terran (four legs)
- Terran-Marine (four legs)
- Terran-Arboreal (four wings, two back legs)
- Terran-Arboreal (two wings, two back legs)
- Arboreal (four wings)
- Arboreal (two wings)
- Arboreal-Marine (four wings)
- Arboreal-Marine (two wings)
- Terran-Marine (two front legs)
- Terran-Marine (two back legs)
Triple-type dragons fall into rank based upon their limbs. These rankings change according to training, power, and ability. Powerful attacks or supreme cunning increase a dragon's rank.
Away from the main clan, Hirgyae dragons organize much like wolves, with distinct ranking within the group of individuals. Groups that meet away from the main clan body may show aggression toward one another, especially where there is a conflict of interests.
Hirgyae are power oriented and territorial. A Hirgyae defends its territory without mercy against all others. Social relationships within the clan are based on power and respect. Dragons often jostle for rank, and artifice, manipulation, and deception are just as useful as outright fighting for the purpose of gaining power in the clan. While Hirgyae will defend their clan and territory to the death, an individual would not be above killing another if that other dragon stood in their way of advancement. There are many loyalties and factions in the clan, so dragons must be careful not to upset the wrong group of dragons, lest they find themselves driven out or killed. If a faction comes into direct conflict with the elite and the Kailan, they may be exiled. For this reason, small pockets of Hirgyae are often found outside the Hirgyae lands.
As opposed to the Machesri, Hirgyae are naturally very closed off and guarded with their minds. Deception is considered an art form. A Hirgyae meeting a Machesri for the first time would be shocked by the openness of the other dragon's mind, considering that dragon very vulnerable to attack and manipulation. The goal of any Hirgyae is to remain as inscrutable as possible to other dragons. Despite this climate of subterfuge, Hirgyae dragons can show great loyalty and duty to those dragons of higher rank who have gained their respect. A word of honor, given truthfully, will not be broken without heavy consideration.
While Hirgyae society can be violent and chaotic, there are some taboos that cannot be broken. These acts almost always result in death or exile:
Eggs and wyrms are considered sacred; to seriously injure a young dragon is an unforgivable crime. So few eggs and wyrms survive in the natural course of growth that the idea of losing one due to the acts of another dragon is unthinkable. Wyrms may be disciplined by an elder dragon, but a Hirgyae must be extremely careful not to cripple or kill. Once a dragon reaches shrapehood, this rule no longer applies, and shrapes can be seriously mauled if they tangle with the wrong dragon.
Nature is to be respected at all times. Wasteful killing or destruction of living things is forbidden. Life is so fragile on the dark edges that it must be protected. Note that this does not apply to intruders. It is more the spirit of conserving what natural resources can be found.
Any dragon that betrays the clan to outsiders or forms alliances with enemies of the clan must die. This vague rule came from certain situations during and after the great war in which dragons formed alliances with dark creatures in order to kill other dragons and gain power. The punishment for breaking this taboo can only be enforced by the Kailan, after careful deliberation.
Adoption and bonding are very new ideas in Hirgyae society. The first reaction of most Hirgyae to the idea of bonding is outrage or disbelief. Hirgyae are so ingrained with the need to erect mental defenses and exercise complete control that allowing another being access to one's mind seems unfeasible. Even without the introduction of a bond, the entire adoption process is repugnant to many Hirgyae, especially when humans or elves are involved. Many parents are resistant to allowing their eggs to go to Bishen Realm, but given that most eggs that remain in the Hirgyae lands do not survive, adoption becomes the only option for some. There is a fair amount of disgust toward the idea of an adopted or bonded dragon. Any such dragon that ever returned to the Hirgyae lands would not be welcomed.