A dragon is a winged quadrupedal creature with silver blood, scales, and talons. While their mouths are closed, they can build up flame to exhale, an ability they developed to fight each other; as such, they are flammable. Their scales are hot to the touch, and dragons smell of brimstone. Compared to humans, dragons have an extremely extended lifespan. Dragons have the ability to inherit memories from their mothers. In their natural form, dragons are incapable of dreaming.
Every dragon has the ability to take the form of a human, which is called a saarantras (plural: saarantrai). When referring to them, humans may use the title "saar," a Porphyrian word that means dragon. While they are transformed, they are completely human to the point where they can reproduce with humans, creating ityasaari.
Saarantrai differ in several slight way from actual humans. Culturally, saarantrai are required to wear bells to mark them, though some scholars gain an exemption from this rule. Biologically, saarantrai retain their silver dragon blood and are unable to grow facial hair; it is interesting to note that due to the color of their blood, saarantrai turn pale instead of blushing. They are also recognizable to other saarantrai by a distinct smell, one that humans are also capable of perceiving but rarely able to identify. If one is not practiced in utilizing their saarantras, they may not get the proportions and anatomy correct, resulting in bizarre-looking humans called "newskins." Over time, however, a newskin grows more skilled in using their saarantras and assumes a more normal-looking shape.
Draconian culture has two central concepts: ard and mathematics. Ard, a concept very closely related to "order" or "correctness," is an ethical and physical rightness imposed on the chaos of the world. In order to keep themselves "in ard," most dragons employ cognitive training to organize their memories and thoughts. It is also used to lock away what emotion they experience. Emotion is considered the direct opposite of ard and therefore is suitably regarded with suspicion and disgust; in their natural forms, dragonkind is capable of only limited emotion, so this works nicely.
The other cornerstone of draconian culture is mathematics. Dragons revere mathematics in the way that one might revere religion, and even young dragons are capable of calculating difficult maths in their heads.
Dragons revere teachers over even their family.
The dragons are led by an Ardmagar ("supreme general"), who is advised by a council called the Ker. The Ardmagar can make important decisions without the approval of the Ker, as demonstrated when Ardmagar Comonot treated with Queen Lavonda of Goredd without the Ker's consent, and later forced them to accept the treaty.
A second political body, the Board of Censors, operates independently of the Ardmagar and Ker. The Censors observe every dragon for signs of excessive emotion and excise the brains fo those they deem emotionally compromised, removing memories.
The dragon sage Golya was the first to learn how to take his saarantras, which he did in order to converse with the Porphyrian philosophers. Golya established a dragon university in Porphyry, Danlo Mootseye, and encouraged more dragons to take their saarantras and learn among humans.
The language of dragons is Mootya. Humans generally find it intimidating to hear, as the dragons roar. While Mootya is difficult to learn, a human can accomplish it with long study. Notably, Seraphina Dombegh can instinctively understand it.
It can be inferred that in Mootya, if someone is incapable of reproduction, they get a neutral gender pronoun.