A humanoid dragon catches your eye from across the bar. She smiles at you, her eyes glowing like hot embers. Her body is covered in the blackest of black scales, and powerful armoured plates, but she maintains an unquestionably feminine shape and grace as she walks over to you, and asks to take your drink order.
Acheron is a draconid, a race that mixes features of mammals, reptiles, and primal elemental forces. They most closely resemble humanoid dragons, though the race name is actually a coincidence of language.
Acheron is nearly six feet tall. She is humanoid in her basic shape, two arms and two legs, hips, breasts and all the appropriate humanoid organs in all the appropriate places. Her legs are digitigrade (like a dog) and more heavily muscled than a human's, with clawed reptilian feet. She has shorter claws on her fingers, filed to prevent accidental slashing. She has a dragon-like head, with a long snout ending in a sharp beak, and a crown of curled horns on her head and slightly down her jawline. Like all draconids, Acheron has a powerful reptilian tail, and a large pair of wings resting on her back.
Acheron is entirely covered in dark scales and heavier armour plates. Acheron's scales are a deep black colour, marbled through with patterns of dark red. She has long hair that hangs down her back, as black as her scales with a few fire-red streaks. Her eyes are ruby red in colour, darkening to black towards her round pupils. She smells slightly of hot iron and coal smoke. Athletic and well-groomed, she is considered attractive in draconid society.
Like most draconids, Acheron does not wear clothing, depending on her natural scales and armoured plates to keep her decent in polite company. She does wear the occasional piece of jewelry, usually a band of dark wrought iron around her upper arm, set with a deep red stone, or a necklace of polished obsidian stones set in tempered steel. She often wears a pair of leather belts around her hips, with little pouches to carry small items like money and keys.
Acheron is a skilled bartender and hostess, with an encyclopedic knowledge of mixed drinks from across a thousand different worlds and cultural traditions. She is also a very talented cook, but only to draconid tastes - most races do not want their food burnt to a crisp.
Acheron is virtually invulnerable to heat and fire. On their home world, draconids bathe recreationally in molten rock and lava over two thousand degrees hot. While there are limits, fire and heat are generally no threat to Acheron at all.
Draconid bodies can also produce tremendous heat of their own. Acheron is always warm to the touch, and remains safe and comfortable at all but the most extreme cold temperatures, as will anyone who huddles up against her. She's basically a walking hot water bottle.
Acheron's scales and plates are made of a hard, enormously heat-resistant material. Against piercing and slashing attacks, she is more powerfully armoured than most knights, and attacking her with a sword is like trying to give a mountain a paper cut. Her heavy armour plates are relatively brittle in "normal" temperatures though, and will crack or even shatter under enough force. Her armour plates will deflect bullets, but the force of the blows will cause painful cracking.
Acheron is stronger than she looks. Draconid physiology packs more strength into smaller, leaner muscles than human physiology. She is never weighed down by her heavy armour, and in fact is fully capable of very graceful winged flight.
Draconids have an extremely high metabolism. Acheron must eat almost five times as much as a human of similar size to maintain her health. The high metabolic rate also makes draconids especially vulnerable to poisons and toxins introduced to their bodies, though the high temperature of their internal workings kills most disease. If deprived of food too long, Acheron risks going into a state of ravenous hunger, reverting to animalistic behaviour until she can sate herself on whatever - or whoever - she can. This state of vicious, indiscriminate hunger is known to draconids as the Ravening, and it is much feared.
Under normal circumstances Acheron is unnaturally warm, but not painfully hot to the touch. However, her scales retain heat like cast iron, and she is unable to accurately determine how much heat she is retaining at a given time. If she pulls a pan out of the oven with her bare hands, and then goes to shake your hand, you could be in for a nasty burn. Her blood is always hot enough to burn anyone exposed to it, and may even start fires in some cases. Even her spit can be scalding hot, and more so when she is angry or worked up.
Many draconids have a "breath weapon", the ability to breathe gouts of fire or produce clouds of noxious volcanic gas from a gland in their thorax. Acheron's breath-gland is irregular, and she cannot produce flame or any other sort of breath weapon. When worked up or upset, she does produce hot smoke which billows out of her mouth and nose, but cannot be directed as a weapon.
Acheron is an extrovert, sometimes overwhelmingly so. She is not shy, and takes great pleasure in forcing those who are out of their shell. She loves good times, good wine, and any sort of social event. She can be annoying to those who are more introverted, but she does try to be sensitive to the needs of those around her, and adapt her behaviour to make everyone as comfortable as possible.
She is proud and somewhat thin-skinned about her culinary skills. It hurts her when non-draconids do not like her cooking. A steak is SUPPOSED to be black and crispy all the way through, darn it! For that matter, so is a salad.
Acheron's home world is called Cinderstone, and is considered a hellworld by most races of the City. A demi-plane positioned near the Elemental Plane of Fire, Cinderstone is a land of black rock and active volcanos. The sky is thick with soot and the air filled with toxic pollutants. Rivers of lava and lakes of molten lead cover the rocky landscape, and the only water is in the hot rain that falls from the sky rarely, or from boiling metal-heavy hotsprings. It is hostile and inhospitable, and to draconids it is a paradise.
Cinderstone has been in irregular contact with the City for several decades, though the hostile environment of Cinderstone and the lack of world-wide leadership for draconids has kept this contact limited. Acheron became interested in the City after rescuing a human member of the Cartographer's Society from being immolated in the same magma pit she was bathing in.
After learning about the City and the Cartographer's faction, Acheron decided to travel and see other worlds for herself. She joined the Cartographer's Society and visited over a dozen worlds, most of them harmless and even pleasant, learning about the traditions (and particularly drinking traditions) of their cultures and peoples. A few years ago she decided to settle down semi-permanently in the City, taking a home in the Sun Canton and settling into regular duties as bartender at the Vagabond.