- This is the story-based description of Dragons. For their official character rules, go here.
Dragons are creatures of myth, to most. The legendary beings would be relegated entirely to myth, by most, if not for the artifacts known as the Dragonballs, capable of calling forth a powerful dragon and compelling it to grant wishes via its tremendous power. However, this is far from the sole role that dragons have played in the universe -- or continue to play.
Dragons are an elder race, born long before many of the 'lesser' races. They are considered divine by some cultures, or at least semidivine, and there may be some truth to that in some cases, as powerful elder dragons have been known to serve as proxies for certain divinities. However, over time, dragons have separated into a variety of groups, with matching variety in power and breadth of ability.
Dragons are essentially immortal, in the sense that they do not fall prey to the vicissitudes of time. Age only strengthens them, they are essentially immune to disease, and only the most powerful of toxins can provoke the slightest weakening. As such, these elder dragons continue to exist from the distant reaches of history. These rarely make themselves manifest on the physical plane of mortality, clinging to other realms as do the Kami. They can be slain by violence, though this is a truly rare event, and horrifies all dragonkind, as the death of an elder dragon is an irreplaceable loss to all dragonkind.
Elder dragons are most commonly the ones sought for binding to Dragonballs, as they are the most powerful. Those who are incapable of wielding the necessary power to seal an elder dragon's power to their seven-fold artifacts are forced to utilize a specimen of a lesser draconic race.
Unlike the other two subraces of Dragons, Elemental Dragons have very little to do with the creation of the Dragonballs. Instead, these dragons were a space-faring race, which travelled to Earth a thousand or so years ago. While on Earth, they took time to study Earthen culture and even took in their language, so that they could perhaps one day converse with the inhabitants of Earth; humans.
These dragons had their own subclasses. These subclasses were categorized by color, each color corresponding to a certain element; Fire to red, Water to blue, Wind to green, Earth to brown, Lightning to white, Ice to a light blue, and Shadow/Darkness to black.
Elemental Dragons also spawned the Draconians, leading to that hybrid race's special colouration and elemental affinity. In order to create this spawned off race, some of the Dragons had chosen to mate with human females, as the race was beginning to slowly die out thousands of years after their first venture to Earth. For this to happen, the Elemental Dragons chose to change into permanent human guises, while they also kept their natural elemental affinity and coloration.
These dragons, or their ancestors, once dwelled upon the mortal plane of existence, and were the source of most of the more recent draconic myths. Despite their young age (relative to the Elder Dragons, at least) they were powerful creatures, capable of decimating armies effortlessly. As time passed, however, they began to sense the energies of the worlds that sustained them failing. They attempted many trials to ward off this threat, before finally concluding that to do so was impossible. They found refuge by retreating to another plane of existence, one that was significantly more magically-imbued than that of mortals. There, they continue to live and reproduce, populating a plane previously empty of intelligent life.
Fled Dragons are occasionally still called back to the mortal plane by Dragonballs. These powerful artifacts summon sufficient magical energies to sustain the Fled Dragon for the necessary period, as well as to compel the dragon to obey. The Fled Dragons were the subtle inspiration behind the Black Star Dragonballs, which, when used, were capable of destroying planets and stealing the fighting power of the galaxy's warriors.
When the Black Star Dragonballs were destroyed, and the Fled Dragons decided they were insufficient for their purpose, they sought out another means by which to halt the use of Dragonballs. They learnt that, while the magical fields of the mortal world had stabilized at a lower point than they could exist in, they could adapt themselves to it. Through the use of a powerful ritual, one of their number was transformed into a suitable form and cast into the mortal plane to act as their agent. This dragon found that, besides being transformed into a human, his powers were vastly reduced, as the magical fields had shifted not only in puissance, but also in how they should be manipulated. Starting essentially from scratch, he still works to master the energies of the mortal plane and learn all he can from it, the better to accomplish his mission.