The Drazi are humanoid reptilians in appearance with a distinctive scaly brow and ridged scales down the back of the head. Some Drazi also feature small spikes on their cheeks, which they consider to be a mark of age. Drazi blood is milky-white in color. Like humans, Drazi are four-limbed bipeds and have five digits on both their hands and feet. Their hairless scales are thick, hard, can withstand temperatures in excess of 49 degrees celsius and are divided in four basic ethnic groups, colored either purple, green, brown or black. The Drazi have a very acute sense of smell and can track a scent up to 50 meters away.
Drazi reproduce like many other species through sexual coupling of males and females. Since both male and female Drazi reproductive organs are internalised in the abdomen, fertilisation of a female Drazi is achieved through vigorous rubbing which transfers the male seed to female egg sacs through the skin. The organs themselves are almost identical in both male and female, with the distinction being the female's egg sacs and in the males, a small pouch under the left arm, covered by a skin flap.
Once fertilised, the female's eggs will grow inside her for 4 to 6 Earth months until they are naturally expelled and will hatch almost instantly. The average female will lay a clutch of anything from one to three eggs and will not be fertile again for at least another three cycles. Drazi young are surprisingly tough and can usually walk within three months. Once fully matured they can reach an average height of 150 to 200 cm and an average weight of 58 to 103 kg. Drazi are known to be able to reproduce with only one other species, the Yolu.
Drazi culture consists of three primary religions:
- Thrazda, the Way of the Fighter, is the dominant belief. It consists of a warrior code that includes worship of the sun and stars.
- Kri Maru, the Sun Child, is a more gentle religion than Thrazda and is growing in popularity. It emphasizes peaceful cooperation between all sentient beings, with the prime deity being Droshalla, a being whose light fills the world and lights the way. The Kri Maru traditionally perform a ritual called the Transcendence of Dro'shalla. It involves small children swatting a Drazi adult playing the role of Dro'shalla across the behind with sticks wrapped in green and purple ribbons. For every swat, "Dro'shalla" must give the child a piece of Y'Tzeem. Kri Maru followers believe that a blessing can be transferred from someone who was near Dro'shalla during a visitation. Such a blessing is transferred by touching a person or object who was in close proximity to a holy event or visitation. In 2259 a sighting of Dro'shalla on Babylon 5 brought missionaries from across the Freehold to visit the station and share in the blessing.
- Chayar, the Azure Path, is a religious cult with mystic overtones that emphasizes individual growth through study and emulation of the Drazi legends, though it is not widely practised.
There are also a few minor religious cults on Cyrus III and in keeping with the argumentative nature of Drazi, there is often rivalry between the adherents of all of the different faiths. Drazi theology also includes patron saints and deities of different occupations, for example: Shokalla, the patron of pilots, whose image is often made in the form of hollow statues. Though held as sacred by Drazi, idols of Shokalla, like all Drazi statues, have no intrinsic value. Some Drazi also observe the sacred day of Chu'dag, a ceremony which requires the carrying of a special ceremonial blade.
Drazi civilisation first dawned on Zhabar around the Earth year 800 B.C. Drazi society is male-oriented: though there are no obstacles to female Drazi seeking power, culturally the females tend to prefer family duties above any such ambitions. The majority of Drazi belong to a large "middle class" with a smaller proportion belonging to the lower and upper classes.
The structure of the society itself is group-oriented with a great deal of rivalry between its many groups. These range from family ties to business associations, religious groups, academic societies, and military bands. For an individual Drazi, their status in society rests on how well they serve their particular group.
Drazi were originally an outdoor species, going indoors only when necessary. This is still reflected in their architecture which favors large balconies and only small rooms. Over time, like many other species they began living indoors, though the old styles and traditions remained. Drazi architecture also reflects the culture's long history of internal conflict, with city streets so narrow that even pedestrians can just barely get by. This was originally to protect against invaders entering their cities with war machines and to force any ground troops to go two or three at a time, leaving them vulnerable to defenders. Again, like their balconies Drazi culture and technology have rendered such features redundant, though tradition perpetuates the old styles. Despite all that, Drazi are still very big on nature and like to be outdoors as much as possible.
A passionate people, the Drazi have a well-deserved reputation for aggression and belligerence, especially if they feel they are being cheated or insulted. They also possess a keen sense of freedom and do not take well to being told what to do or constrained by anyone outside of their own authorities; as such they tend to prefer the company of their own kind. With very few exceptions, Drazi marriages are long-standing and both male and female Drazi are very loyal to their respective mates with infidelity being punishable by death. In the Drazi language, there is no equivalent word for "discretion".
Above all else, Drazi prize bravery, honesty, and loyalty, and it is these traits that make the Drazi valuable allies to other races. Their homeworld had been a respected member of the League of Non-Aligned Worlds for over 20 years, until its dissolution in 2261. However, their warlike tendencies have been known to create problems, and the Freehold's actions have not always been as honorable as its people's convictions. For example, in early 2262 the Interstellar Alliance discovered that for over 10 years the Drazi government had been backing a group of Raiders operating on their borders to attack and loot some of the smaller independent worlds such as the Enphili Homeworld. It was this incident that prompted the other member worlds to see the necessity of a Declaration of Principles.
The Drazi are not normally xenophobes and will deal with almost any race, save for the Merla, though there is an odd cultural taboo about touching Brakiri. They also have a long memory and do not easily forgive those that have attacked them in the past. When the Dilgar war criminal Jha'dur was found alive and well in 2258 the Drazi, along with the Abbai and the Markab, were among the most vocal in the League to call for her to be tried for her crimes. The Drazi have also had a long-running rivalry with the Centauri Republic, initially just competing with them for trade, but later came the Centauri Wars of Aggression in which the Centauri Republic seized many border territories from the Drazi Freehold. Though by 2262 they had withdrawn from Drazi space, diplomatic relations between the two powers continued to be very hostile. When the Centauri were found to have been attacking Alliance borders again, the Drazi jumped at the chance for retribution and joined the Narn Regime in a frontal assault on Centauri Prime.
When it comes to recreation Drazi mostly favor contact sports such as Kratah, a team sport that can be described as a mixture of Earth hockey and lacrosse and can get especially vicious. The Drazi are also very fond of the Mutai, a single combat blood sport originally invented by the Yolu but now cherished on many alien worlds. Another favored form of sport is non-lethal weaponry competitions such as archery, spear- and knife-throwing, and graal tossing. They also have swimming, Rokai riding, Okat (which is somewhat comparable to Earth polo), equivalents of skiing, skating, wrestling, and of course most Drazi are avid game hunters.
For more general recreation the Drazi enjoy group singing, folk dancing, poem-plays and storytelling. The Drazi are very fond of nature and like to be outdoors as much as possible. Drazi art forms include crystal and stone sculpture, the serpent dance (a very stylized dance using live snake-like animals), and music with drums & flutes. The Drazi do not paint or draw and have no media-based art forms like Vids as they prefer live performance.
Drazi are also well known for their rituals of celebration and drinking games. One of particular note takes place after the end of the ritual that establishes a new Shadak's five-cycle dominance and is meant to help reunify the Drazi as one people following the bloody Purple-Green conflict. The ritual entails six Drazi getting on their hands and knees, then five more climb atop them in the same position, then four on top of them and so on. When they've built a pyramid of Drazi with one on top, a Drazi water boy places a funnel in the mouth of each Drazi and proceeds to pour Bor'Kaan into each one. The game is over when one of the pyramid passes out and the whole structure collapses in a heap. Drazi consider this activity to be hysterically funny. Another drinking game called Crowning entails two Drazi sitting at opposite sides of a table with a square drawn in the middle. Each takes a turn at flipping a coin into the square; if they score then they must take a drink. If a player scores ten points then he gets to bash his bottle over his opponent's head.
Glossary of Drazi Terminology
- A Call to Arms
- The Fall of Night
- Dining on Babylon 5
- The Illusion of Truth
- The Parliament of Dreams
- The Ragged Edge
- The Rules of the Game
- The Paragon of Animals
- Objects at Rest
- Deathwalker (episode)
- Dust to Dust
- The Fall of Centauri Prime
- The Geometry of Shadows
- Secrets of the Soul
- Acts of Sacrifice
- Other Sources
- Babylon 5 Scripts - Other Voices: Vol 3 (Babylon 5 Alien Guide)
- The Official Guide to Babylon 5 (CD ROM)
|First Born · Vorlon · Shadow · Walkers of Sigma-957 · Thirdspace Aliens · The Hand · Asmodeus' race|
|Minbari · Centauri · Human/Neanderthal · Narn · Dilgar · Drakh|
|Drazi · Brakiri/J/Lai · Gaim · pak'ma'ra · Abbai · Yolu · Hyach/Hyach-do · Markab · Llort · Grome · Hurr · Cascor · Balosian · Onteen · Iksha · Vree|