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For my space-fantasy setting I created that I will refer to as Dragon-Folk here.

The Dragon-Folk look more like humans with reptilian features than humanoind dragons. The Dragon-Folk like the other races on their world were uplifted from animals, the Old-Gods granted them "clever mind and noble form". The Dragon-folk were uplifted from Land-Dragons and like their ancestors are ill-humored creatures, prideful, wrathful, avaristic, vindictive, territorial and clannish. The Dragon-Folk developed a society with a very strict code of conduct and holds discipline/self-control as high ideals as a way to compensate for their temperamental nature.

The Dragon-Folk are also my setting's proud warrior race; every race has its proud warriors but the Dragon-Folk are the ones who set the standard for martial excellence.

While the trope of the proud warrior was a part of their creation, I knew that the Dragon-Folk had to be more than the stereotype. So how to make them a non-stereotypical warrior culture?

Not being quasi vikings, samurai, some indeterminate amalgamation of tribal warriors, that's a start. Not treating everyone who isn't a warrior with disdain is another.

All of that was a good start but I still needed something more. Then it hit me, what if the Dragon-Folk had some psychological traits that made them well suited to warfare? Thinking about that one mental trait I realized that it should be something that is really off putting to everyone else if not frightening.

For example, the Atevi from the Foreigner series do not possess the capacity for love or friendship, however they have an emotion/instinct best approximated by the term clique-loyalty.

I have to ask what mental traits or combination of traits could make a race well suited to warfare and more than a little disturbing to their neighbors?

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  • $\begingroup$ @Jerenda I followed your suggestion, do you have any thoughts on how to answer my question? $\endgroup$ – Trismegistus Jan 29 '16 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Jerenda The mental quirk is part of them not being stereotypical. Most warrior races are potrayed as blood thirty, incredibly a belligerent or violent. I want mine to have something else, that something else was a mental quirk hat made them well suited to warfare. The problem came in defining what that something is. My first,very first idea was them not being susceptible to PTSD. $\endgroup$ – Trismegistus Jan 29 '16 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ Well... generally, when you want your population to be willing to war, it helps if they aren't too brainy... $\endgroup$ – Burki Jan 31 '16 at 18:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Burki Burki Perhaps, but the Dragon-Folk being unintelligent would be the "stupid warrior" stereotype. $\endgroup$ – Trismegistus Feb 1 '16 at 12:57
  • $\begingroup$ Actually you could just make the Dragon-Folk very similar to humans, and "downgrade" the martial ability of other species. Humans are quite convincing as warrior, and there is no reason they should be the average race in a fantasy world. $\endgroup$ – Kolaru Feb 1 '16 at 15:22
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I've been thinking about this and I have a few ideas.

Steal Madly from Vampires

Before you get all up in arms about me bringing vampires into this, hear me out. Classical vampires (and even many modern ones) have a number of behavioral characteristics that might make them ideally suited to what you have in mind.

Possessive. Vampires are insanely possessive. Once they have claimed something or someone, it is theirs. This can most easily be seen in regards to land. To intrude on a vampire's home territory is a grave insult, and vampires who might otherwise be civil can be easily provoked to wrath by doing so. Vampires like to claim humans and other vampires as well. Start by making your dragon-folk intensely territorial and possessive, unwilling to give up anything they have claimed. Bonus points if they happen to disagree with their neighbors on exactly where the boundary line is. They could also take trophies from those they have conquered, whether that be possessions or people, and are unwilling to give up those as well.

Quick to anger. This is an easy step. Vampires aren't used to people challenging their dominance, and anyone who isn't falling in line where they ought to be is likely to earn their swift wrath. Give your dragon-folk hair-trigger tempers and those around them will soon become wary of their sudden mood swings and unpredictable results. There's nothing more off-putting then facing down someone who can leap in the blink of an eye from calmness to anger.

Long memories. Vampires live for a very long time (usually forever, until killed violently). Despite this, they remember clearly what you or I would forget in a year, and (thanks to the previous point) they especially remember those who have wronged them. Once you cross a dragon-folk, you have crossed him forever, and he will not be satisfied until he has exacted (what he considers) full recompense. Bonus points if he brings his children and/or his entire clan into the blood feud.

Hierarchical. We are building some very unstable creatures here, but what keeps vampires stable is this point. Vampires have a very keen sense of structure. There is always someone more dominant, and what the most dominant person says goes. There will be vicious in-fighting between ranks, especially when competing to increase your rank, but the dragon-folk will always bow to the person who is above them. How they maintain this higher position is usually force, but could also be intelligence or cunning.

Enigmatic. Vampires (classical ones) are frightening for many reasons, but the strongest reason humans are afraid of them is because they are so difficult to understand. With their long lives and their detachment from the world, humans have trouble connecting with them, and so they are afraid. You need to make your dragon-folk enigmatic to the others. Take all of this and make it a step more complex. Maybe whoever is dominant changes depending on the phase of the moon. Maybe it has to do with your blood type, or what tooth you cut first as a babe. Maybe what is and is not deserving of a blood-feud is dependent on the entire tribe's vote. Maybe all of the above. Don't have them explain their traditions to outsiders. What people don't understand, they fear.

For a non-vampiric take on this point, take a look at the way the Aiel are viewed in the Wheel of Time.

When King Laman of Cairhien cut down the Avendoraldera, the tree that the mysterious desertdwelling Aiel-people had given his people as an sign of friendship hundreds of year earlier in order to carve himself a throne, four of the twelve Aiel Clans crossed the Dragonwall and invaded the Westlands. For the Westlands It was the greatest war they had seen in centuries, uniting almost every country under one banner that was stil unable to stop the Aiel horde. To the Aiel it was simply the execution of the Oathbreaker King Laman, and once they succeded in that they turned around, returning to their desert without giving any of the lands they had conqured a second glance. (TV Tropes)

Take the War-Mind Up to Eleven

But you might not like the more savage elements this brings to your dragon-folk. For an entirely different view, I am stealing madly from Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved. In his book, the giants treat war very seriously, to the point where they have a ritual that they undergo before they engage in warfare. This ritual literally changes their body, making them more ferocious and more likely to win. In the case of your dragon-folk, I'd have it exaggerate their draconic aspects at the expense of their human ones. In this state, they are more difficult to reason with and very difficult to defeat. In their non-warlike state, which require another ritual to return to, they are kind and gentle and quite calm.

So you could have them treat war very seriously. Give them tons of rituals, make them a people whose lives revolve around doing things in the Right Way and at the Right Time, who take everything seriously and (optionally) have very little sense of humor. The war-mind is literally a different state they enter, and when they are in it they behave quite differently from their native state. Bonus points if you include the enigmatic points from the previous idea. As I said, what we cannot understand we fear.

More bonus points if they have lots of alternate states they can enter. The Parshendi in Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive have a multitude of different forms they take through rituals, such as a farming form, a scouting form, and (of course) a warform. The possibilities are endless!

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  • $\begingroup$ with one post have brought together a lot desperate ideas that had been just spinning around in my head. As for their being other minds besides war that was something that I hadn't even considered. The War-mind was this berserk state only eerily tranquil instead of frothing at the mouth fury. $\endgroup$ – Trismegistus Feb 15 '16 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Trismegistus "Disparate"? Thanks! Obviously adapt as needed. The war-mind could totally be tranquil-fury, which could make them super-creepy. I didn't give a lot of detail on the second part, but you can easily adapt these ideas for your own use. $\endgroup$ – Jerenda Feb 15 '16 at 22:17
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Perhaps they have an emotional state best described as "Survival of the fittest," such that any form of competition (including battle) will inevitably have a loser; and in their culture "losing" isn't just unlucky or even something you should sympathize about, losing was the inevitable outcome of starting a contest and not having the skills/strength to see it through to the end.

Warhammer 40k Orks have an entire hierarchy based on being the strongest (in an "alpha wolf" type style the bigger stronger ones are in charge because they can beat up everyone else =P)

Expanding Ork ideals to other areas would be simple: apprentices never question a master until they feel they equal or exceed his skills. They wouldn't pick fights (except for maybe matters of honor) where their opponent will obviously defeat them.

Based on this mentality; death in war would be a consequence of one side being unprepared/weak for a conflict that they decided to partake in (not stepping down in the face of a stronger foe)

As such on the battle field they represent a merciless and unfeeling force of nature; be strong or die.

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  • $\begingroup$ I like this especially because it makes the Dragon-Folk more than a rampaging horde. It would lead to them being a very martial,but still stable culture. Its also seems to be somewhere between own ideas. Numbers 2 and 3 of my answer. $\endgroup$ – Trismegistus Jan 30 '16 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps they, as another life form different from humans, don't have a real 'emotion' category. Maybe their minds are too different from ours to classify them with emotions that we feel. They can't be called 'angry' in a general sense because their minds don't work in a way that allows 'anger.' So a benefit to this would be that they don't have qualms with killing because, mentally, they just can't have qualms with it in general, which would make them hard to intimidate in battle as well, since their minds can't 'feel' intimidation. (They could still have 'emotions,' just not 'human' ones.) $\endgroup$ – user16492 Jan 31 '16 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Naos While that works, it would have the down side of making the dragon-folk wholly alien in their thinking $\endgroup$ – Trismegistus Feb 2 '16 at 12:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Trismegistus That is true, but think of it this way: A tiger has a mind and intentions that are unpredictable. And this tiger wants to kill you. If instead of a tiger, it was a draconic humanoid warrior, that would be quite a foe. If you wanted them to have some relatable emotional states for specific story purposes, such as bonding with characters, then they could share those few needed to make your story work. $\endgroup$ – user16492 Feb 2 '16 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Naos I was going for human in mind with one off mental trait that made them well suited to conflict. $\endgroup$ – Trismegistus Feb 2 '16 at 23:01
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These are potential solutions that I've been able to come up with.

1. The Dragon-Folk simply didn't suffer the human psychological hang ups around violence or killing. However I was told that such a trait would make it difficult for such a race to cooperate,because without a reservation to killing they would socially implode.

2. The Dragon-Folk were innately-pragmatic about violence. They would never develop a commandant of "thou shalt not kill" it is simply not in their nature. Instead they have a strong since of taboo and non-taboo acts of violence. As long as their mind filed an act of violence in the non-taboo category then no matter how horrific the act a Dragon-folk wouldn't be bothered in the slightest.

3. The Dragon-folk have the innate ability to put themselves into a dissociative or trance like state where they are detached or unemphatic to the point of effective sociopathy. Things done in this other state, this war-mind, do not weigh on them when they return to normal. Dragon-folk may well experience the war-mind as something of a fugue state, having only a hazy dream like recollection of what they do when they are like that. The war-mind is probably tied to their natural threat response, they slip into to it when truly afraid for their lives or those that they care about;though they can definitely learn to enter it at will.

The Idea of the war-mind in part came from, mental focusing techniques that enable the user clear to their mind and transcend emotion.

such as the...

Flame and the Void: Wheel of time.

and

Heart of Stone: King Killer Chronicle.

Combined with tranquil-fury.

No.3 carries some very interesting social implications for Dragon-folk culture, what sort of morals and laws developed around them having this war-mind ability. Mass Effect's Drell do provide some idea as to how this might effect a culture, the Drell believe that the body can act independently of the soul. Thus a Drell bares no moral responsibility for what the "alone body" does.

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The Dragon Folk are Eusocial Creatures

Eusocial creatures, like ants or bees, are better suited for warfare than any other type of creature. For an average warrior or worker, there is a far stronger need to be willing to sacrifice ones self without a second thought than there is to try to survive or escape combat.

Dragon folk are such creatures. They live in huge hive complexes of genetically similar individuals, with each dragon folk single mindedly existing for the glory of their hive. Things like bravery or selflessness in combat are completely alien concepts to them. Dragon folk have trouble understanding why anybody would run away or try to save themselves. They don't understand individual glory or valor, and don't have a strong emotional attachment to their lives or the lives of their comrades. For most races, if you kill their best friend in front of them, they'll be distraught. Dragon folk will not only be completely unaffected, but they won't understand the concept of being emotionally affected by such an act.

Dragon folk are not stupid, of course. In the face of overwhelming odds, they will retreat in whatever manner they see to be most beneficial to the hive. They're expert tacticians, and understand that they have value to the hive. They're also not cold or emotionally distant to one another. They're friendly and gregarious, easily forming tight social bonds with one another. They also understand that they and all of their friends exist as part of the larger whole, and don't feel emotionally hurt at the loss of a friend in the service of the hive.

Soldiers and Workers

The two most common types of dragon folk are the soldiers and the workers. Both are effectively genderless, with reproduction being the domain of the queens and drones. Soldiers are huge, hulking dragon folk with thick armor who are well equipped for hauling heavy machinery or hacking down their enemies in melee combat. They've got sharp teeth and claws, redundant vital organs, they heal rapidly, and like most dragon folk, are completely fearless in combat. They also have exceptionally tactical minds, and make for devious military commanders. On the other hand, their minds typically fare poorly when presented with tasks outside of the military realm. They are interested in technologies and sciences that can help in war, but generally defer to workers to actually conduct the research involved. Historically, dragon folk armies were made primarily of soldiers, but with the advancement of technology placing high powered weapons in the hands of workers, the advantages of being a hulking combat brute with two hearts have lessened somewhat. Soldiers have prodigious appetites and grow quickly, but also have much shorter lifespans than most other dragon folk. Due to constant internal warfare between dragon folk hives, however, very few soldiers actually live long enough to die of natural causes.

Workers are smaller and lighter than soldiers, without the combat-specific adaptations that soldiers have like duplicate organs or claws. Dragon folk workers are generally nimble, hardy, and hard working. Intelligence in workers is similar to that found in humans, so far as ability to make scientific and mathematical discoveries is concerned. Cooperation is one of their greatest assets, with groups of workers working together seamlessly for the good of the hive. Workers are the most common members of society, and also make up what is effectively the ruling class in each hive. All bureaucrats and government officials are from the worker class, though in military matters, the soldiers are generally deferred to. Workers also have long lives, compared to most other dragon folk.

Due to their fearless nature, workers make for better soldiers than do members of most other races, though they fight without the single minded ferocity of the soldiers. All workers receive martial training, though almost none are full time soldiers.

Queens and Drones

The only exceptions to this are the dragon folk queens, who have a strong self preservation instinct. Dragon folk queens understand that they exist mostly for the purpose of laying thousands of eggs. They have no urge to protect those eggs, since that task is carried out by the workers. They are not generals or leaders, but they are consummate diplomats, socially interacting with other hives through their drones, which are the only hive members allowed to enter other hives.

Drones exist for the purpose of communicating and exchanging genetic information with other hives. They exist in far larger numbers than the queens, since walking into a potentially hostile enemy hive for diplomatic work or procreation can be quite dangerous. Like all other dragon folk, of course, they've evolved to be good at their job, and will do so fearlessly, even in the face of probable death. They're also good diplomats, and have evolved to be immune to torture. They're fairly incompetent at combat, however, and know this. While they'll selflessly walk into danger in the line of duty, they'll flee from combat itself. They and the other dragon folk see nothing strange about this.

Warfare among the dragon folk

Dragon folk live in huge city-like hives, which are in a state of almost constant low-level probing conflict with one another. Hives compete with one another for resources and influence, forming into military blocs that rise and fall based on the fortunes of their constituent hives. Dragon folk instictually view all sentient creatures not from their hive or closely related hives as enemies, so large alliances tend to be quite fragile. In this low-level state of combat, prisoners are regularly captured and exchanged back to their home hives in exchange for other resources. Dragon folk do not consider this to be 'war', as such, and fighting tends to be less lethal. In some dragon folk cultures, this low level combat is mostly ritualistic, with opponents sizing each other up in mock combat and imprisoning the perceived loser.

All out war occurs somewhat regularly, with multiple hives diving in to destroy weakened hives and then fight over their holdings. War among the dragon folk is merciless, and is carried out with the intent of slaughtering all the inhabitants of the hive in question, from infants to queens, as conversion of dragon folk to different hives is essentially impossible. In an all out war, prisoners are never taken or expected from the hive being exterminated, though prisoner capture and exchange takes place as normal between the overrunning hives.

This attitude towards warfare is carried to their conflicts with other races, which are similarly violent. Most of their enemies, however, do not grasp the nuances of the dragon folk combat society, so wars tend to be more of the all out variety.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm keeping this for what I'm sure but this does work. $\endgroup$ – Trismegistus Feb 10 '16 at 22:50
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The dragon-folks will disappear.
They know it.
They also know that everyone will disappear.
Not just Death that death will strike, but that the whole world, afterworld and underworld will be preyed on by the void before a new order take place.

They also know that those who won't fight are already dead.

And when every one is dead, every one will be judged by his accomplishments, most importantly, their victories in the last days. Then, when the new era comes, those who have been deemed worthy will be remembered, as memories will be the only thing that survives.

(don't look at me, it's dragon-folks' cosmogony, not mine)

This gives you a culture where the dragon-folks, whatever their qualities or shortcomings, already mourn anyone who is not a recognized hero. Whether those people are dead or alive. They will mourn you in your face. Politely, as with any deceased, but still in your face.

Their fatalistic outlook makes them quite impervious to fear, while their dragon-like body makes them naturally powerful.
They are not mindless killers because everyone should get a chance to survive in the memories of the world.
They are no pushover because they are quite eager to prove and train themselves.

You can make them as crazed or wise as you wish, from this point. Also, consider never explaining completely the reasons behind their strange logic. Break this logic now and then : they are not human, they are carnivorous giant lizards who can breath fire and think they live life at the end of the universe.

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  • $\begingroup$ So your solution was cultural instead of neurological, like I had been thinking. What made you go that route? $\endgroup$ – Trismegistus Feb 1 '16 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ I'm a firm believer that society and people influence each other : the first is built around me the needs and wants of the seconds and the seconds are moulded by the first. Even rebellion is built from a society. You wanted something different. Dragons of any kind are natural fighter, I thought about "why do they keep on fighting that's not too much of a trope" $\endgroup$ – MakorDal Feb 1 '16 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ Well your proposal make the Dragon-Folk a little viking,I lack knowledge of another culture to compare them. They fight to be remembered, to engrave themselves upon the very memory of the world. One of my ideas for the Dragon-folks militarism is because they are smart. Unlike the elves,the Dragon-Folk do will wait and let themselves be out numbered a hundred to one by weaker,short lived but faster breeding races. So the Dragon-Folk wisely "kull the herd" every few years. The one problem with that is the question of why don't the dragon-folk just wipe out the other races entirely. $\endgroup$ – Trismegistus Feb 1 '16 at 18:51
  • $\begingroup$ From this, I'd say that they can't be bothered : it's a lot of work and most individual human has little value as an adversary. Dragons are immune to fear, but not to laziness. Another way of seeing it is "take a man's fish and tell him he's lucky to be alive, and he'll manage to fish something else for you to take tomorrow". This mesh with the "cull the herd" mentality. $\endgroup$ – MakorDal Feb 2 '16 at 5:53
  • $\begingroup$ Another Idea as why the Dragon-Folk haven't just wiped out the lesser races is religion. The mortal races being children of the old-gods are all siblings, while you may bully a sibling and take their stuff you wouldn't kill them. $\endgroup$ – Trismegistus Feb 2 '16 at 12:45
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Any culture which believes they have something "right" that needs to be protected from those who might make it "wrong" would naturally lead to a race with a strong perchance for violence. The more "right" or the more fragile their something is, the more violently they will protect it.

You can see human parallels in religions who are willing to kill someone else because they're right and the other person is wrong, or in the coworker whose psyche is so fragile that they lash out at anyone who questions their ideas.

Worth noting is that any violence in a race is selected against if it leads members of that race to engage in dangerous acts which could have been avoided. Thus, the more often the Dragons put their life on the line in warfare, the more pressure they must be receiving from that cultural something to push them that way.

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  • $\begingroup$ I was taking something of a nature influences nurture approach. The Dragon-Folk having been uplifted from ill-humored social apex predators, Land-Dragons are mean car sized scaly wolves. The Dragon-Folk are in constant conflict with the more the shorter lived but more numerous races. Because unlike the typical fantasy elves,the Dragon-Folk are not going to wait until they are out numbered a hundred to one by faster breeding races. So the routinely "kull the herd"; which is major factor in their militarism. $\endgroup$ – Trismegistus Jan 30 '16 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Trismegistus I was just covering the general case, of anything affecting nurture, including nurture affecting itself. I found it worthwhile to point out this step, otherwise you end up with the old trope that any car sized scaly wolf must be mean, because nature made them that way, or cute fluffy bunnies cannot murder your entire army of holy knights in search of the grail. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Jan 30 '16 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ I see. Old tropes are definitely what I want to avoid,its why I asked my question. Incandescently I do actually have a gentle,peppy,race that nonetheless always attack first and without warning, who's default military doctrine is asymmetric warfare. $\endgroup$ – Trismegistus Jan 30 '16 at 21:20
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I've become rather fond of the idea that humans are the Proud Warrior Race compared to everybody else:

*The average human can only tell the difference between 150 "people", so we invent groups to judge people according to rather than learning about their reality as individuals

*We fear death more than almost anything else, so the existence of groups outside of our own is seen as a death threat and we try to kill them "just in case" they want to kill us at some unspecified point in the future (retroactively justifying them saying the exact same thing about us)

*We are desperate to be accepted by our own group (Asch Conformity experiment, Stanford Prison experiment...), so even if we don't want to go to war ourselves, it's still easy for other people to tell us that we have to do it anyway

... Now if you want a species that are even more militaristic than we are:

*Keep all of the above

*Make them carnivores - rather than omnivores - so that they can only live by killing something else

*Remember that different Dragon-folk cultures will be as much at war against each other as they will be against cultures of other species

"The Dragon-Folk developed society a very strict code of conduct and holds discipline/self-control as high ideals as a way to compensate for their temperamental nature." Maybe they could be like the Vulcans and the Romulans: a single species that share an incredibly temperamental nature which some cultures embrace and which other cultures repress?

*Make their weapons/tactics more subtle than ours

Human warfare is as much about intimidating an opponent into not fighting in the first place as it is about winning the fight if our opponent doesn't submit. If your Dragon-folk can't be intimidated themselves, then they won't think to try intimidating others.

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  • $\begingroup$ My planet being a Death-World do to the lethality of its ecology,Kaiju are part of the ecosystem rather being freak occurrences. There is a greater percentage of life that is omnivorous than on earth, all the mortal races certainly are;The Dragon-Folk do prefer meat however. You have opened up story paths that I hadn't consider; like a Vulcan and Romulans division among them. I also hadn't thought of them as being very sneaky either. I'd seen as a race of berserkers who'd learned the value of focus and control, turning from a horde to a civilization. $\endgroup$ – Trismegistus Feb 1 '16 at 16:11
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It's simple they don't fear because they think that they are privileged from all other races, since the old gods have chosen them above everything else, when they step in the battleground they are 100% certain that the old gods are fighting beside them and victory is guaranteed so there is no room for fear.

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  • $\begingroup$ Given the assumption that they're not actually impossible to defeat, how does your proposed answer handle the losses that inevitably happen? Also, how do they handle the deaths of those around them, as no war is won without casualties? I feel like this solution would only work until one of them suffered a defeat or a death. $\endgroup$ – Jerenda Feb 10 '16 at 18:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Jerenda No war is won without casualties that's absolutly correct, maybe the Dragon-Folk will explain the deaths among them like this : those who have fallen have deserved that fate because of their lack of faith in the old gods, and so we shall not mourn them nor bury them, may the strong remain and the weak perish. $\endgroup$ – Javert Feb 11 '16 at 7:40
  • $\begingroup$ So they don't honor any of their dead? What if your brother was killed, and you have to pretend not to care because his death means he is a failure? What if your Glorious Leader, a zealot who endlessly preaches the glory of the gods, is killed by happenstance? I fear that the ridiculously high tensions this would create within this society would either lead to a high-suicide culture like that seen in Japan (wilsonquarterly.com/stories/…) or perhaps an increasingly paranoid culture like the Red Scare in America. $\endgroup$ – Jerenda Feb 11 '16 at 17:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Jerenda Fear is a normal human emotion, and since the Dragon-Folk are humanoid beings, eliminating or suppressing fear will result in sacrificing a part of their humanity. $\endgroup$ – Javert Feb 12 '16 at 8:19
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    $\begingroup$ Alright. I suppose if they don't feel fear at all then they wouldn't react in ways similar to the two examples I mentioned in my previous comment. On a completely different note, for a non-warlike example of what a fearless creature might look like, see Kender from the Dragonlance Chronicles. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kender $\endgroup$ – Jerenda Feb 12 '16 at 15:17

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