The Drakonus were a genetically created race of shapeshifters. "Manufactured" by Arkanian geneticists, they had Human and dragon forms.
Biology and appearance
In Human form, Drakonus were generally indistinguishable from baseline Humans, although they tended to be slightly taller than the Human average.
In dragon form, the Drakonus became reptilian, and though they normally walked with a bipedal gait, they could move on hands and feet if necessary. Their dragon forms had wings, tails, and substantially tougher skin than their Human incarnations. They also had reptilian claws and teeth. Some Drakonus could fly with their dragon-form wings.
Shapeshifting could be voluntary or involuntary; while most Drakonus developed the ability to change shape at will, the transformation could also occur as a result of sudden or extreme stress.
Female Drakonus carried their live young for roughly a standard year before giving birth. Shapeshifting during this period could cause a miscarriage, as the fetal Drakonus could not shapeshift along with its mother. As a result, expectant mothers were usually kept isolated or stress-free as much as possible.
Society and culture
At a local level, Drakonus were organized into clan systems. Each Drakonus belonged to a clan, although non-Drakonus (such as Rin Sakaros and Noelle) could be adopted into clans on rare occasions. A single clan leader made all decisions for the clan, from where to live to whom to fight.
Individual Drakonus families recorded their histories on the walls of their cave-like homes. They were reluctant to travel, in part because they would be abandoning the histories written in their current homes. Due to their experience with the Arkanians, the Drakonus were also intensely xenophobic and distrustful of other species.
The Drakonus believed a single messiah would unite the clans and reign over the entire species. In the second century after the Battle of Yavin, most Drakonus believed Shaydow Tynblade was the fulfillment of this prophecy.
The Drakonus were "developed" on Arkania as a slave race for the Arkanians themselves. At some point after their creation, they rebelled against the Arkanians and carved out their own society in the caves of the wintery world. The peace was short-lived, and a war with the Arkanians forced the Drakonus to relocate. While the Drakonus were under the leadership of Jadian Star, the Arkanians attacked and massacred many Drakonus, scattering the survivors throughout the galaxy.
Some Drakonus found their way to the Unknown Regions, where they discovered the uninhabited world Rykar. Settling in, they eked out a living until Shaydow Tynblade arrived on the planet. The Drakonus heralded Shaydow as their long-awaited messiah. Assuming the responsibility of leading his people, Shaydow sought out his old acquaintance Rin Sakaros, now Queen of the Golden Empire, to ask for her protection. Rin agreed, and Rykar was absorbed into the Golden Empire.
Few Drakonus cared to venture off their world or receive alien visitors, and the Empire's protection remained largely nominal under 149 ABY. In that year, the Reawakened attacked Rykar with a force of Skavik backed by clones of the Anzat Dark Jedi Sacco Vyrak. A combined force of Drakonus fighters, Royal Army soldiers, and Centurions repelled the invasion. After the war, Drakonus Gem Reytal masterminded the development of a spaceport to slowly bring her people into wider contact with the Empire of which they were a part.