We all understand how our need to fill our stomach controls behavior. If we are hungry, we get something to eat, but it also result in planned action, we fill the fridge in advanced, we work towards getting money to fill the fridge, oh and not to forget we need to buy a fridge to fill it and a house to put it in.
The stomach is a strong motivator in our lives and humans have other needs like entertainment, social interaction that we go about accomplishing due to our nature as a pack animal and non-predator, but not every creature in Istaria comes from the human stock, I believe Saris, Sslik and Dragon is different, you might even call them alien. If say cats could have developed human intelligence, they wouldn't lead to anything like the way our human world has developed.
Many predators is not very social creatures, they have limited social skills thats allows them to function while growing up to adults, but they aren't using them as adult, there is for solitaire predators no natural path that would lead to the human concept of friendship.
They also come with other type of guts, if a predator isn't able to hunt, it y develope hunting starvation, they have other kinds of ”guts” too, a cat in a captivity had all it's life only been feed meat, when it one day got a fully feathered bird, it went crazy plucking it and then went on plucking the grass, because it was starved of doing this. This is part of the problem of Zoo's of old, though today it's gotten much better as we have learned about these needs and try to satisfy them.
We don't have examples of human intelligent predators, our best lead to see how predators develope into the Istarian creatures, would be looking at how the house cat has developed.
Since house cat's doesn't by nature have pack friendship, it uses it's instinct for connecting to it's mother for interacting with others, when the cat is at home it's basically a kitten and it's owner is it's mother, but for cats with outdoor access it becomes a full adult and predator when it's let out. Like some paranormal story with werewolves their is two personalities inside one body.
Very significant difference is that the genders is equally powerful, not like human where females is physically weaker. For a male predator forcing itself on a female is near impossible as it would result in the male getting gutted.
Another aspect of predators is that they actually aren't as violent as humans, life as a predator is very dangerous, if it's prey or in competition over hunting area they get hurt it's
All this relate to how these three races society develope differently than human ones. For one thing we have equality among gender in power and we actually have a clear indication of females having more social power. This would lead to a matriarchal society, but not simply a reverse human society, because we still have gender power equality, it would be a society where it's an advantage to be female, but not one as overpowering as the way human males advantage has been.
Sslik seems to skip the gender debate entirely, everyone is automatically equal, but it still leads to who ever gives birth to offspring has an advantage, so for simplicity sake it still is a matricidal society.
It also seems to me that society is largely forced upon these races in order to deal with the pack animal nature of the non-predator races. They had to develope society bonds in order to not be overrun by them.
The morale of this story,
if you haven't got a clue,
is dragons are forever free and faster than you.
- Part of a poem by Ephantom inspired by me battling with a broken feature in a chat program sometimes around 1994.
Sslik, Saris and Dragons aren't simply different looking humans, while all of the races have a belly they need to feed, they don't automatically means they all fill it the same way or behave the same way while filling it. Inviting a Sslik, Saris and Dragon to a dinner party, you might serve a pig thats still alive and let the guest chase it down and kill it and it would be a perfectly civilized event for these races.
The races is civilized and had some time to adjust and the Saris has the easier time using their genes to their advantage, if our house cats is any indication, cats always lands on their feet, but I don't think anyone has ever accused dragons of being easy going. While they have the cats ”lands on their feet” ability, your most likely going to be under ones of it's feet.
While I've separated out the three predator race, because the difference between a dwarf and a human is smaller, than between a dragon and a human, it's equally important to be a dwarf or a gnome as well as saris and not just play a human with hight or hair growth issues.
My ”civilization of a predator” take, is meant as inspiration, it's not important whatever you play dragons my way (or the high way), the morale of the story is to think about the NON-HUMAN aspect of the races.