The dominant species of this galaxy are dragons. Though lacking any natural ability to breathe fire, they are intelligent and have front claws that function like hands, allowing for dexterous tool use. This ingenuity, combined with their strength and size (four meters tall and with a five meter wingspan), made them the dominant technological power on first their home planet, and then the rest of nearby space upon developing FTLS starships.
For many dragons, the colonization and conquest of planets is a matter of religious significance. The theocracy of dragon-kind is currently stirred into a fervor of expansion, seeking to not only spread the gospel of their supreme multi-headed dragon god and its values of industriousness and tenacity, but also to fight a galaxy-wide crusade to acquire wealth and planets.
To secure inhabited planets the predatory and competitive dragons don coats of powered armor. These suits of highly durable robotic scales are also equipped with heavy cannons, laser batteries more devastating and accurate than any fire breath. In this way the dragons have fought nearly every foe in the galaxy, subjugating greys, four-armed humanoids, shape-shifters, four-crested alien women, AI life, nascent singularities, maraliths, insectoid people, brain parasites, simians, kaiju, star beings, and thousands more. (Humans do not appear to exist.)
To secure uninhabited planets, dragons first establish a territory with a good mix of subterranean shelter and access of water or ice. From here they can install constellations of terraforming machines to rapidly change the planet’s atmosphere and temperature, eventually seeding worlds with imported flora and fauna to suit their liking. The greatest of these technologies are self-sustaining equatorial structures that can replace a dead planet’s lost magnetosphere, to protect the surface from solar radiation.
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