Our mystics have agreed to call this thing a Drauv, after the Nylathien legends that refer to similar beings, answering for some hideous crime against creation by being malformed this way. They appear to be flourishing in the stench-filled armpits of the world.
The Drauven, singular Drauv, (pronounced Drowf-en, or Drowf) are a family of beings that, as close as we can yet divine, share little sentiment of kinship amongst disparate kinds or races. Signs of communion between varied groups and distinctions of Drauv remain few. We intend the use of Drauv to refer to an abominable creature that walks upright, with mixed facial features of a lion and a dragon, a lizardine skin, and tail, and clawed hands. Some develop feathers, though how this happens, or why is not obvious. The Drauven display mostly man-like muscle and bone structures, and have human-like tendencies, such as the use of tools and weapons, the construction of shelters, the coveting of treasures, and the use of obviously complex, but thus far indecipherable language. Drauven mating is a mystery; we assume, grudgingly, that it must happen.
The Drauven social structure is naturally tribal, as any group of them that grows too large tends to splinter off. Given to argument and dueling, some Drauvs appear born for chiefhood, crests of colored feathers forming beneath their jawlines, and upon their shoulders. There appears to be no gender bias in this development, nor indeed does gender seem to play a part in the taking of social roles. It would seem the Drauven are organized into a caste-system that distinguishes hunters and soldiers from tenders, though no particular caste seems valued or privileged above the others. Only the chief and the elders have been shown to have preeminence, the elders seemingly carrying some mystic power or significance.
As foes, the Drauven are organized and cunning, using stealth and intelligent tactics to achieve battle-goals. Their weapons and armor tend to be crude but well-made, purposeful and deadly. It would seem they move mostly as their chief directs them, and so can often remain unobtrusive in a territory, until some whim calls them to violent action.
It would be difficult for us to say for sure how or where the Drauven originated. One theory is that they are a kind of Gorgon or Gorgonoid; they became self-willed, self-propagating, and highly invariable (for Gorgons). The majority of our delving, however, mostly into those afore-mentioned legends, suggests starkly different origins: ancient origins, perhaps in the womb of creation itself. Whatever the case, they seem to keep little document of their own history, which further proves the inferiority of their culture.
The Drauven may regularly inhabit almost any landscape, though they appear to prefer swamps and wooded areas. This is perhaps because they are so ugly that they wish to hide themselves from sight. Their diets consist of plants and animals, with little detectable bias. They do display a despicable taste for human flesh. Though our studies reveal the Drauven to be an intelligent race, we must emphasize that they show little inclination towards empathy or moral rectitude, and take little account of the lives of those who do not belong to their tribe. For this reason, Drauven should be considered hostile on contact, and slain without compunction.
--These Informed Opinions submitted by the Order of Kralar on <Date>