As their nickname "space dragons" implies, they look like many species' mythical creatures of the same name. Their scales come in every color and one of their most distinguishing characteristics is their massive wings. When they reach adult age members of the species are on average 7 meters long from nose to tail, 3 meters to the shoulder when in a quadrupedal stance, 5.5 meters tall in a bipedal stance. Their wingspan tends to be the same as their length. They also grow about a meter lengthwise every 3 centuries until they die. This puts all known adult zravvisk members roughly between the extinct Terran African elephant and the Terran domesticated Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Credit: Artist unknown
The most impressive fact of their biology is how they are adapted to survive and thrive in the harsh vacuum of space. They require no air to breathe, are excellent at regulating their internal body temperature, and are mostly immune to the cosmic radiation. It is unknown how they "fly" in space, but in an atmosphere the answer is obvious. They also seem to encode some of their memories into their DNA, allowing them to pass on experiences through generations.
One of their most famous abilities is their "plasma breath", which can be concentrated into a powerful beam or several "fireballs". It is unknown on how they are able to use this super-heated natural ability. Of note is also their scales. Their hides tend to be as tough as a star fighter's armor making them very durable. Their claws and teeth have a hardness similar to that of diamonds, which combined with their strength allows them to sheer through metal. Due to the high geothermal activity of their homeworld and constant lava flows, they are quite resistant to high temperatures, being able to tolerate temperatures of around 1200°C. They dislike colder temperatures and it is somewhat hazardous to be near them as they have to use their plasma breath to warm up.
The last thing to note about them is their regenerative abilities. This regeneration is too slow to help too much in a fight, but afterwards it will insure all the wounded will survive. The catch is that it requires them to eat before the regeneration kicks in. Meat is by far the best for it while other organic foods are far less effective. Minerals do not activate the regeneration. This means that if a zravvisk is at death's door, all it needs to eat some meat and it return to full strength eventually, even regrowing limbs. This also means that they suffer no damage from aging and instead get stronger from it. It is also unfortunately, the reason zravvisk warriors are known for eating their enemies during and after a battle.
Their regenerative ability has one further weakness known as the “Crash”. Details on the exact details of it are few since it is a very taboo subject amongst the zravvisk. Apparently, a few centuries after a zravvisk lived for a millennium, their amazing regeneration will just cease to be. This is the beginning of what the zravvisk call the “Crash”. After their regeneration fails, a zravvisk only seems to have a year or two of life left as their body starts to fail. This is why the oldest zravvisk, nicknamed vanguards, are so aggressive and insist on leading assaults.
Like most species zravvisk are divided into male and females. After mating, it takes the female 2 months to lay eggs. Zravvisk tend to lay one large true egg and serval small false eggs. The false unfertilized eggs is likely a remnant of an r-strategy before switching to a k-strategy, and serve secondary roles in protecting the true egg and thermal regulation of it. Single births are very common with twins being rare, and triplets being almost exclusive to legends and myths. Due to the genetic complications with their genetic memory, they are one of the few sapient species not able to use xeno compatibility technology to reproduce with other sapient species.
Sub note: Hydras
An interesting quirk of zravvisk physiology is that conjoined twins are much more common than normal twins. Unusually these conjoined twins are almost always viable and always develop in the same way, creating a zravvisk with two heads. They have the official nickname of hydras and they aren’t that uncommon in the Armada. It is currently believed that the zravvisk’s infamous regeneration is the reason why they have so many hydras, causing the conjoining, the viability, and the standardization in the twins.
As their claws and teeth suggest, they love meat. However, their living in space has also made them quite extreme omnivores. If something is organic in nature, they can very likely eat it. They've also been known to eat raw minerals and things that can make very good spaceship fuel.
Note that while zravvisk are known to eat sapient beings and do it more than most other species, they do not enjoy it. As a rule zravvisks think that sapient species taste disgusting. As noted in the previous section the only reason they eat sapient beings is to activate their regeneration and there is nothing else around to eat.
The zravvisk live and travel in one Armada of ships. Their society is more similar to that of a clan or tribe's than a modern government. They are ruled by a chef and several council members. These positions are chosen by duels. Their idea is if that they are led by their strongest warriors, they be better able to defend the Armada. Since their Armada is both their home and only way to travel between stars, every member of the fleet is trained in how to defend it and every ship doubles as a war ship.
Despite their reverence for combat, they are not an aggressive species by nature. They see little point in starting a fight with other races. Most fights tend to occur because of a misunderstanding or the zravvisk avenging something. In fact, several species can be seen living in the fleet with the only requirement that they abide by the zravvisk's laws. Of course, exceptions exist and some zravvisk have been banished form the fleet for being too violent and dangerous.
Almost every zravvisk worships their ancestors, feeling special connections to them though their genetic memory. Zravvisk spiritually is seen as one’s relationship with their ancestors and worship may take many forms. Every other religion is seen as a different interpretation of this and of the ancestors’ influence on the universe. The zravvisk as a result are very open to other religions and wiling to add their tenets to their ancestor worship. It is very rare for any two zravvisks’ worship of their ancestors to take the exact same form.
Zravvisk are also quite known for and take great pride their large hoards. So much so that they are often accused of being hoarders, though it is more accurate that they are very dedicated collectors. For almost every item in their hoard that we asked the zravvisks we were interviewing about, they gave a complete history of it before and during it was in their care. Zravvisk are always looking for a chance to show off their collections and most decorations in a ship come from donations from the crew hoping others would see it.
When it comes to interacting with other species, zravvisk do react to most things with a mixture of friendliness, curiously, pride, and arrogance. Zravvisk love meeting new people and getting to know them and their customs. This is one of the reasons why zravvisk culture is such a hodgepodge of things. On the other hand, they are known to be outright dismissive on other species thoughts when to comes to such things as their traditions. This can be quite often seen in the zravvisk’s utter disregard for things like nation’s borders and international law.