The Dushum: Warfare

While not as warmongering and expansionist as their Khalvres cousins, the Dragon Riders are no less territorial of their sacred homelands, with a military  power and reputation to defend it. Their reclusiveness does not equal weakness, and their military is well adapted to fighting in both closed quarters and open skies.

As their nickname implies, the Dragon Riders use a species of the creatures for warfare. Unlike common rumors, however, not all Dushum warriors fight mounted atop dragons, nor is the bulk of their army dragon-bound. Rather, while some militaries use horses or other land mounts, Dushum cavalry utilize the large, climbing and gliding lizard denizens of their home caves. Officers and other specially recognized warriors will also ride dragons, but the bulk of the military remains infantry. To be accepted into the cavalry or gifted a dragon mount is seen as one of the highest honors a soldier can achieve in his or her career.

Due to their cavern dwellings and airborne mounts, the Dushum favor lighter, more flexible armor – usually braze scales, a tribute to their dragon kin. Most warriors only wear a breastplate and helm over their tunic, though some – usually officers – opt for additional shin and wrist protection. Lower ranking soldiers often wear padded armor only. Khopesh swords are popular, as are throwing spears and handaxes. Battle mages tend to favor chakra and short swords as supplimentary weapons. Additionally, Dushumi archers have developed a shorter, lighter bow for better portability and maneuverability within the caverns. Though most skirmishes Dushum encounter occur on the surface, their primary strategy is home defense, and thus their tactics have adapted to function in their winding caverns.