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The Dronos (/ˈdro.nos/, singular also "Dronos") were a species of sentient humanoids native to Telacia in the Mezlag sector of the Unknown Regions. They were one of the four founding species of the Tetrarchy of Mezlagob.

Biology and appearance

The few beings in the Golden Empire who had originated in the known galaxy felt that the Dronos resembled a midpoint between Humans and Muuns. They normally had lanky frames, although with consistent exercise a Dronos could become more muscular. They had faces with high foreheads and long chins. Their hands had four digits.

Dronos skin tended toward darker shades than Humans, ranging from tan at the palest to dark brown. Their hair came in many colors, though it turned gray with age.

Dronos had highly developed brains, which their large foreheads encased, and they had reasoning power beyond that of the average Human. Dronos females carried their children for roughly a year before birth, as the fetuses required extra time to develop the brain sufficiently. Birth in less than nine standard months often resulted in mental retardation.

Dronos reached physical maturity around the age of twenty standard years.

Society and culture

Intellectual and thoughtful by nature, the Dronos had a culture which valued reason and persuasive logic over force. The most powerful of Dronos were usually those who could sway others to their points of view. Rule by conquest alone was looked on with disdain.

Debate eventually arose between the Mezzels of Mezlagob and the Dronos about who had invented the Orhyo language, although the presence of ancient Orhyo writings on Telacia meant on the most diehard Mezzelcentrists believed the Mezzel claim. Orhyo's labyrinthine complexity was a reflection of the intense thought Dronos tended to put into their arguments and philosophy. It was also an indication of another aspect of their culture: that superior intelligence, and the ability to phrase an argument more eloquently than an opponent, could win out even when the argument itself was flawed or even inherently immoral.

Even during the reign of the Tetrarchy, the Dronos were more accepting of other species on their homeworld than the other three Tetrarchy origin worlds, because the Dronos enjoyed the opportunity both to encounter different points of view and to convince aliens that the Dronos themselves were correct on various issues.

History

The Dronos evolved in the absence of any serious natural predators, which biologists theorized led to their philosophical nature. Archaeological evidence suggested even primitive Dronos had shared their descendant's fondness for debate; numerous cave paintings appeared to depict two Dronos debating, followed by one being acclaimed by the watching crowd. War was relatively uncommon among the Dronos; nations could sometimes be persuaded to ally with or even subordinate themselves to other nations simply by hearing the emissaries of the other nations out.

Most early Dronos societies were democracies, although some became dictatorships when a particular charismatic, intelligent, and persuasive Dronos could convince his fellows that he had wisdom enough to lead alone. Many Dronos leaders were career politicians, and elections were often held within a few days after debates, giving just enough time for the electorate to fully consider all the points involved. For some centuries, it was common for Dronos politicians and even scholars who had been soundly defeated in public debates to commit suicide, although this practice died out not long before the Dronos were first contacted by the Mezzels.

When the forces of what would soon become the Tetrarchy of Mezlagob first arrived at Telacia, the planet appeared ripe for conquest: an unwarlike species facing the might of the Mezzel fleet, Hudrelan battle droids, and Umdal weapons and tacticians. However, the Hudrelans managed to persuade their colleagues that the Dronos might be useful. Their scholarship and letigiousness would allow the creation of laws to govern the Tetrarchy that could confuse those who were bound by them, and the Dronos gift of persuasion might even bring some worlds under the Tetrarchy's control voluntarily. For their part, though the Dronos were less than enthused by the Tetrarchy's obvious goal of conquest by force, they saw the opportunity to expand their influence and knowledge by allying with the Tetrachy. After a few weeks of debate, a Dronos was chosen by the people to take a seat among the rulers of the Tetrarchy, becoming the fourth and final Tetrarch.

The Dronos prospered under the Tetrarchy's rule, and the Grand Academy of Arts and Letters acquired a reputation in the Tetrarchy for training not only scholars, but also those with complex legal knowledge. Dronos writers and lawyers were often called upon to draft Tetrarchy statutes, using their intimate understanding of the complex Orhyo language to write laws which subtly favored the government and took rights or powers from the people. These laws were often written in such complex and vague language that even the Tetrarchy citizens and subjects who could speak Orhyo did not understand what they meant. The influence of Dronos secured Orhyo's place as the official language of the Tetrarchy.

Despite their influence, the Dronos remained something of an afterthought species in the governance of the Tetrarchy. The first time one of the founding species was not represented among the four Tetrarchs, it was a Dronos who was absent (replaced by a Doloy). The citizens of Telacia were often discontent with the Tetrarchy's rule of its vassal worlds, which were usually governed with brutality. Many Dronos particularly disapproved of the warlike Umdals and their shock tanks, considering them the height of barbarism.

At the onset of the Great Liberation, most Dronos remained loyal to the Tetrarchy; in their eyes, the Empire was also attempting rule by conquest, and at least the Tetrarchy was a familiar evil. The shadowfeed on the Tetrarchy's HoloNet run by Tariun Sakaros and Keltrayu, however, persuaded some Dronos of the rightness of the Empire's cause. When open debates on the matter were suppressed by the Tetrarchy, the Dronos began to chafe under the familiar rule. The death of the Dronos Tetrarch Dourshe removed the major representative for the species from the government's leadership.

By the time the Empire had conquered the Vall`to sector, many Dronos had accepted the inevitability of the Empire's victory. A new spirit of rebellion sprang up, and the Tetrarchy no longer had the resources to spare in crushing it. Disaffected Dronos among the military, government, and civilian sectors banded together and discreetly contacted the Prime Fleet and offered to surrender Telacia to the Empire. When Rin Sakaros and her forces arrived, the rebels seized many key government assets, and the planet changed hands with little violence.

Tetrarchy collaborators were executed by the Royal government, but the majority of Dronos were left alone. In the aftermath of the war, Orhyo was kept as the official language of the Empire, but instruction in its use was made freely available to all member worlds. Dronos scholars compiled not only official Orhyo dictionaries, but subject-related dictionaries as well, such as compendiums of legal Orhyo, Orhyo expressions for poetry, and scholarly Orhyo.

The Dronos who chose to live off Telacia were often employed as teachers or lawyers, and especially as philosophy professors in major universities. Many were also employed as diplomats in the Ministry of Diplomacy.

In the galaxy

In the years following the defeat of the Tetrarchy, the species produced Chindal, who became a Centurion of the Order of Keltrayu famed for his diplomatic efforts.

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