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"They're a legend. The kind you would use to frighten small children at night. They were ruthless, savage, but extremely bright. A very bad combination. No one has seen them for centuries."

Londo Mollari, 2261


The Drakh were a secretive race and allies of the Shadows.

Biology[]

The Drakh are a race of bipedal reptilian humanoids, distinguishable for their tough scale-like outer skin and two prominent crests that bend around towards the back of the skull. At least some individuals have a specialized pouch on the upper left side of the chest, used to nourish and bond with newborn keepers before they are implanted on a chosen host.[1][2]

The techno-mage Osiyrin had extensively studied the Drakh in secret around the time of the First Shadow War and became the first techno-mage to be reprimanded by The Circle for his actions. Osiyrin's work detailed much of the Drakh's biology--their imposing physical structure, that there are two types of Drakh (an upper caste of Drakh that speak and a lower soldier caste of Drakh that are incapable of speech), and the unusual structure of their brains. Analysis by techno-mages Galen and Isabelle revealed that the Drakh brain structure was specially designed to receive direct communications from their masters, the Shadows.[3]

Osiyrin's research into the Drakh included special cultural insights, namely the Drakh religion. In the Drakh religion, the Shadows are indeed their lords and masters, but are not their gods. The Drakh do believe in a single god, the appearance of which is apparently a black sun with four malevolent balefully glowing eyes angled in the manner of the Shadows. This Drakh god is not a Shadow, but the source/creator of the Shadows. The Drakh think of the Shadows as their god's "high servants" and like the Shadows, the Drakh god is the embodiment of chaos and destruction.[4]

These cultural observations were crucial during Galen's visit to Zafran VIII in late 2258. At the time, Galen and Isabelle had been sent to the planet by the Circle to search for any signs of activity by the Shadows and their allies. Both techno-mages located a Drakh working with a human named Brown and a failed techno-mage, a Centauri named Tilar. Galen and Isabelle stealthily tracked the Drakh to his secret hideaway under a seemingly abandoned building in an impoverished neighborhood inhabited by the native Wychad. Late at night, Galen and Isabelle infiltrated the Drakh's hideout and tranquilized the Drakh. Using Osiyrin's research into the Drakh brain, they were able to stimulate the Drakh's frontal lobe while unconscious, making the Drakh believe he was either dreaming or having a vision. Galen then created an elaborate illusion of the Drakh god, using the illusion to extract information from the Drakh. Unfortunately for both Galen and Isabelle, their efforts to probe the Drakh for information were interrupted by the sudden appearance of a Shadow that was lurking in the seemingly abandoned building.[4]

Drakh exhibit a degree of psi ability and have on occasion also been known to display some telekinetic abilities.[5] The foremost manifestation of this is their ability to commune with the Drakh Entire. Using this ability, they can communicate with one another en masse, though it takes some effort and preparation to initiate and requires them all to "agree" to joining this form of communication, so it is far from instantaneous.[6]

This ability also extends to the keepers, which become part of the Entire when they are bonded to the nourishing pouch, which in turn links the Drakh to those implanted with keepers. Through this bond, they can directly look into the mind of a thrall, seeing their thoughts and memories. However, this does not mean full control of a host's every move. The link is limited and the host can learn to hide things from the keeper. According to one thrall, a keeper cannot hold its liquor, so being intoxicated gives the thrall some measure of self-control.[7][8][9][10] Nevertheless, they are able to use the link to inflict an enormous amount of pain, which can be used to punish and condition an uncooperative thrall to obey.[11]

Another manifestation of a Drakh's advanced mental abilities is a skill that allows them to pull a subject's mind into a kind of waking dream-state, subtly warping and reshaping their perception of reality. In doing this, they may attempt to confuse, frighten or trick a subject into revealing a truth. They may also be able to pick up on surface thoughts, though a strong enough mind - even one untrained in telepathic blocks - can hide their true intentions. This ability is fairly limited and seems to only be possible over short distances, and is nowhere near as invasive or powerful as the kind of scanning possible for trained Human, Centauri, or Minbari telepaths.[12]

History[]

For some time, the Drakh made the Shadow homeworld of Z'ha'dum their home. As an ally, the Drakh had access to Shadow technology, and while the Shadows slept between wars, the Drakh traveled the galaxy in pursuit of the Shadows' agenda.

Drak'hul, a Drakh, visited Earth for a time to study humans in the 15th Century. The tales of his activities pervaded in human culture for centuries afterwards before becoming merged with those of Vlad Tepes, a cruel and brutal Prince of Wallachia who came to power during the same period.[13][14]

The Drakh were responsible for engineering organic implants for the Techno-mages, creating a ready-made army for the Shadows upon their return.[4] The Drakh were also responsible for giving the Dilgar access to Shadow technology, with almost fatal consequences for Vorlon ambassador Kosh in 2257.[15] After the Shadows left the galaxy with the remainder of the First Ones, Lyta Alexander triggered the planet's self-destruct systems and the planet was destroyed. However, there was enough time for an evacuation, which allowed the Drakh to escape.[16]

Soon afterward, the Drakh began to influence the former enemies of the Shadows. They made contact with a member of the Minbari religious caste to help sway the Minbari Civil War.[17] They had also attached a keeper to Captain Jack, in an attempt to kill the leader of the Martian resistance during the Earth Alliance Civil War. Border raids began to pick up across shipping lanes, which helped John Sheridan forge the beginnings of the Interstellar Alliance.

They also began to influence the Centauri people. Many Centauri knew of the name "Drakh" as a legend to frighten children.[18] They took direct action by attaching a keeper to Regent Virini, allowing them to control his actions.[1][19] The Drakh covertly took control of the Centauri Republic in retaliation for destroying a Shadow base.[20]

Over the next year, the Drakh helped build up the Centauri military in secret without even the ministers of the Centaurum knowing about it. When the Interstellar Alliance found out about the purported Centauri attacks, the Narn and Drazi led an assault on Centauri Prime, causing severe damage to the entire planet.[1][21] After this attack, Londo Mollari had a keeper attached to him and was crowned emperor of the Centauri Republic.[1]

In December 2266, the Drakh led an attack on Earth.[22] The new Interstellar Alliance ships Excalibur and Victory were successful in stopping the Death Cloud that the Drakh controlled, but were unable to stop a deadly plague from being released into the atmosphere.[23] Due to the efforts of the Excalibur and others, a cure was found for the plague before all life on Earth was destroyed.

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The Drakh maintained their control of the Centauri until December 2278, when Vir Cotto revealed their presence to all of Centauri Prime. Shortly afterwards, the Drakh abandoned Centauri Prime, with the Centauri and Interstellar Alliance fleets in pursuit. The Alliance also provided telepaths to the Centauri to detect any keepers that may have been left behind on Centauri Prime.[24]

Apocrypha[]

Canonbox default The following is based on The Mongoose Publishing RPG books and contradicts canon sources.

Background[]

The Drakh were experimented on by the Shadows, who taught and guided them towards the Shadow philosophy of chaos. The Drakh came to see the Shadows as their parents, teachers, and even dark angels. As time went by and the Drakh became increasingly active in the darkness, they abandoned their second homeworld and became a spaceborne people. They built vast clanships that were capable of transporting and supporting hundreds of thousands of Drakh, who then took the self-sustaining ships into the void, where they hid from the Vorlons' eyes, waiting in the spaces between star systems for decades at a time. The forces of the Drakh Unity are likely a match for either the Centauri Republic or the Earth Alliance, but unlike them, the Drakh don't have any borders or colony worlds to pin their fleet down. Lurking on the fringes of the galaxy, the Drakh are a threat to the Younger Races. The Drakh don't understand why the Shadows left the galaxy and were driven mad by their abandonment. Losing their adopted home of Z'ha'dum made things worse for them. Having sworn vengeance on the Interstellar Alliance and all of the races touched by the Vorlons, they vow to destroy their sacred worlds and tear down their gods, just as their homeworld was destroyed and their gods were driven away.

Racial Characteristics[]

The Drakh are a people who are dominated by the desire for cruelty and vengeance, on a mission to make the Younger Races suffer as the Drakh have suffered, die as the Drakh have died. They were being groomed by the Shadows to become lords of chaos, but when they left the galaxy, the process was only half-complete. Therefore they have the same darkness and alien hate which the Shadows had, but it's neither tempered by wisdom nor by loyalty to Lorien. What the Drakh have become is what the other races thought the Shadows were, nightmare monsters from beyond known space who destroyed all for their own frightful reasons.

Augmentation[]

The Shadows augmented the Drakh via both engineered organs and various implants, which has given the Drakh a degree of telepathy but it's one whose origin is different from that of the other races, since it's due to their deep integration with Shadow organic technology. The telepathy came from the communication between the implants, and is one of several abilities they have acquired, though the type of abilities is dependent on the type of implants a Drakh is given. One upgrade is the ability to cloak oneself by bending light around oneself, making it harder for someone to see them. Another upgrade is invisibility, in which the Drakh is made virtually undetectable in darkness. One upgrade gives a Drakh the ability to fire an energy blast from its hand, up to 30 ft away. Another upgrade is the ability to inflict by touch a nanotechnological toxin that consumes the victim's biology. There is also an upgrade that gives a Drakh the ability to implant a Keeper on a victim, linking the victim to the Drakh. Another upgrade gives the Drakh the capability to read a victim's short-term memories by devouring its brain, up to the last six hours.

Notable Individuals[]

Sources[]

References[]


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