Dragonborn were once the dominant race on Qairn. Founders of the impregnable Arkhosian empire, conquerors of much of the known world and patrons of their fiery sun god Arkos, the dragonborn people counted themselves the mightiest of the free people of Qairn until Imald crashed into their capital of Colcambria.
Dragonborn resemble humanoid dragons. They’re covered in scaly hide, but they don’t have tails. They are tall and strongly built, often standing close 6 1/2 feet in height and weighing 300 pounds or more. Their hands and feet are strong, talonlike claws with three fingers and a thumb on each hand. A dragonborn’s head features a blunt snout, a strong brow and distinctive frills at the cheek and ear. Behind the brow, a crest of hornlike scales of various lengths resembles thick, ropy hair. Their eyes are shades of red or gold.
A typical dragonborn’s scales can be scarlet, gold, rust, ocher, bronze or brown. Very occasionally, an individual’s scales will match the hue of a chromatic or metallic dragon, and scale color gives no indication of the type of breath weapon a dragonborn uses. Most dragonborn have very fine scales over most of their body, giving their skin a leathery texture, with regions of larger scales on the forearms, lower legs and feet, shoulders and thighs.
Young dragonborn grow faster than human children do. They walk hours after hatching, reach the size and development of a 10-year-old child by the age of 3 and reach adulthood by 15. They live about as long as humans do.
To a dragonborn, honor is more important than life itself. First and foremost, honor is tied to battlefield conduct. Adversaries should be treated with courtesy and respect, even if they are bitter enemies. Caution and discretion are key to a warrior’s survival, but fear is a disease and cowardice is a mortal failing. These virtues are best typified in the Arkhosian martial art of Cohos Theakh.
The drive to behave honorably extends into the rest of a dragonborn’s life: breaking an oath is the height of dishonor, and attention to honesty extends to every word. A commitment must be carried out. Ultimately, a dragonborn takes responsibility for his or her actions and their consequences.
A continual drive for self-improvement reveals an additional aspect of the dragonborn mindset: might makes right. As exemplified in the philosophy of their patron deity Arkos, the prevailing dragonborn mindset, especially during the reign of the Arkhosian empire, was that those too weak or too disorganized to properly defend themselves were made to ruled by those stronger than them. With this justification of conquest, the dragonborn were able to explore, colonize and even enslave large portions of the globe.
Dragonborn seek adventure for the chance to prove their worth, win renown and perhaps become champions about whom stories will be told for generations. With the glory of faded Arkhosia still fresh in many memories, the dragonborn dream to win immortality through mighty deed, daring exploits and supreme skill.
Like most races, dragonborn speak Common primarily, though many still learn Arkhosian in honor of their great heritage. The Arkhosian alphabet, descended from the dwarven alphabet, forms the basis for the Common alphabet.
Dragonborn are naturally carnivorous; very few can stomach the taste of vegetables or fruit. Ancient Arkhosia was renowned for its beef and cattle ranching was one of its largest industries. Today, specialty Arkhosian restaurants feature fire-breathing cooks who roast the meat before their impressed patrons.