The Human-Draconian War was a brief but devastating galactic war between the Draconian Empire and the Earth Empire in 2520 as both powers expanded through Mutter's Spiral. (TV: Frontier in Space) Also called the Frontier War (COMIC: Abslom Daak... Dalek Killer) some humans referred to it as the Dragon War. (AUDIO: The Draconian Rage)
It began with a misunderstanding between human and Draconian ships. Though brief, it was hugely destructive and gave way to two decades of a fragile peace threatened by mutual mistrust. In 2540, this was preyed upon in secret by the Daleks and the Master (TV: Frontier in Space) in the Draconia-Terra skirmishes, (PROSE: Dalek Combat Training Manual) setting in motion the events which led to the Second Dalek War. (PROSE: Love and War)
Earth and Draconia emerged at the seats of the two most powerful space empires in Mutter's Spiral during the 25th century. Once the expanding frontiers met, the two empires agreed that they would not encroach on each other's territory and respect each other's boundaries with the implementation of a galactic buffer zone. However, this agreement proved uneasy, due to continuing expansionist ambitions, (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Space War) made more difficult by the differing cultural values of the more-liberal Earth Empire and the honourbound Draconian civilisation. (PROSE: Love and War)
Around the turn of the century, the United Planetary Association, a human organisation, colonised the world of Catastrophea (Kastopheria). The move was contested by the Draconians, who blockaded the planet. The ambitious House Kryll took part in the blockade and went further by attempting to engineer a conflict against the UPA. General-Baron Kryll and Captain-Lord Samzyre organised a suicide mission to the planet's surface, intent on provoking UPA hostilities that would be used as justification for war.
The suicide mission failed, however, as the UPA was distracted by a crisis involving Catastrophea's natives. As the Draconians were dragged into the crisis too, the two sides ended up cooperating. It was agreed that Catastrophea and the People would be granted independence ratified by a non-intervention treaty. The Draconian blockade ships were used to help evacuate all humans from the planet. This rare example of co-operation between Earth and Draconia was hailed by many as the beginning of a more positive era of co-existence between the two powers. However, some contemporary commentators warned that maintaining these relations could prove to be difficult. (PROSE: Catastrophea)
The magnetoid conspiracy
In 2520, the young Emperor of Draconia announced that he would be wed to a Draconian bride with whom he had fallen in love. This was opposed by Lady Zinn of the House of Zinn, as it had previously been agreed that her daughter, Princess Nurona, was to become Jade Empress through an arranged marriage. The Grand Widow, the Emperor's mother, did not uphold this arrangement, denying Zinn the chance to unite her clan, the Jade Chordata, with the Imperium. The power-hungry Zinn began plotting to bring down the Emperor and met with Emerald Lindstrom of Intrastellar Minerals. Zinn understood that Emerald's late father, Professor Lindstrom, had been close to inventing a superweapon called the magnetoid capable of moving vast bodies around space. Zinn sought to use the threat of the weapon to force the Emperor into an unwinnable war against Earth so he could be deposed, and agreed to allow Intrastellar Minerals mining access to Draconian space in return, although Zinn and Emerald did not trust each other.
The Grand Widow detected growing unease between Earth and Draconia and so summoned the Doctor in the hopes he could act as a mediator between the two powers. The Third Doctor and Jo Grant teamed up with Lieutenant Ruji of the Draconian Secret Service to investigate the magnetoid rumours. Discovering this, Zinn had General Chusa of Draconian Space Command recall Ruji to Draconia. Informing Ruji that was had broken out with Earth, Chusa ordered him to attack Sirius IV but Ruji refused. However, there was no war and Chusa had instead intended his orders as a loyalty test; when Ruji failed, Chusa stripped him of his command. Jo helped Ruji escape after the ship returned to Draconia and the Grand Widow helped them flee the planet in her Imperial pleasure yacht. murdered the Grand Widow and had the Secret Service agents framed as Earth spies. However, Zinn and Emerald betrayed each other after Emerald was able to complete the magnetoid and both parties died in the struggle to gain control of the machine. The Doctor destroyed the magnetoid's control platform.
Despite the defeat of the conspiracy, Ruji opined that the incident made war between Earth and Draconia appear "inevitable". In response to Zinn's actions, the Emperor banned all females from his court and pronounced the death sentence on Princess Nurona. Ruji wrote to him to appeal against this decision, but also resigned his commission and refused to return to Draconia in order to avoid any possibility that he would have to take up arms against the people of Earth. (AUDIO: Conspiracy in Space)
Earth and Draconia agreed to send representatives to take part in further meetings. However, one of these meetings went horribly wrong. At the planned meeting point, the Earth ship and the Draconian ship were both damaged in a neutron storm. The Draconians arrived in a battle cruiser which had been stripped of its missiles and unarmed, but their communications equipment was damaged by the storm, so they were unable to call for help.
The Earth ship was left "helpless" and every senior officer on board was killed by the storm. The inexperienced Lieutenant John Williams was forced to take command. Panicked by the sight of a Draconian battle cruiser and unable to communicate with them, Williams believed that the approaching Draconian ship was planning to attack. He was unaware that the ship was carrying the Draconian representatives as arranged, and was ignorant of the fact that they had made the journey in a battle cruiser because Draconian culture decreed that a noble would always travel in a battle cruiser from a position of strength.
Feeling forced to make a quick decision, Williams decided to attack the Draconian vessel and destroyed it. War between the empires resulted from this diplomatic disaster, with both sides believing the other had arranged the meeting to lure their opponents into a trap. (TV: Frontier in Space) It lasted for three days and over 500 million humans and Draconians were killed. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Space War)
Although factions on both sides of the conflict opposed negotiations, eventually a peace treaty was signed, re-establishing a frontier between the two empires to preserve the peace. The treaty also forbade subversion and espionage. (TV: Frontier in Space)
The treaty put a quick end to the war but it left Earth and Draconian relations in a more volatile state than ever, with many factions on both sides itching to reignite the conflict. Many humans referred to the Draconians by the derogatory term of "Dragons". The President of Earth, Dora, and the Draconian Emperor were wary of such a course of action, fearing that a second war would be even more devastating that the first, with the potential to bring down both empires and leave the galaxy in ruins. (TV: Frontier in Space)
The Rutan-Sontaran War continued to rage throughout the period. Although Earth and Draconia were both weakened by their own war, the Sontarans and the Rutans were both too preoccupied fighting each other to sieze the opportunity for expansion. (AUDIO: The King of Sontar)
With much of Mutter's Spiral remaining in this state of cold war for twenty years, the empires eventually fell prey to the Daleks and the Master. In a venture known as Operation Divide and Conquer, (AUDIO: The Dalek Conquests) the Master worked to bring about that second cataclysmic war to leave the galaxy open to conquest by the Dalek Empire. Utilising Ogrons and hypnosis, the humans and Draconians were led to believe that their enemies were engaged in acts of piracy and hostilities, potentially sanctioned by their respective governments. The result was a series of accusations and counteraccusations which heated to boiling point and brought forth popular calls for war, only defused once the Third Doctor convinced both governments that they were both being duped by a third party. The Draconian prince met with General Williams in the President's office. When Williams was confronted with the facts that had led to the war and realised his mistakes, he offered to join the Draconians in an investigation as a way of making amends. An expedition to the Ogron homeworld eventually led to the exposure of the Daleks. (TV: Frontier in Space) Nevertheless, the Daleks intended to invader the galaxy anyway, regardless of whether or not the two empires went to war. (TV: Planet of the Daleks)
As a result of the Dalek conspiracy, the Earth and Draconian Empires joined forces to face the Daleks in what became the Second Dalek War. (PROSE: Love and War) However, the legacy of human-Draconian mistrust damaged this joint war effort. The successive Draconian Emperor eventually pursued a de facto neutrality, which the Daleks respected so they could focus on the war against Earth. (COMIC: Star Tigers) The failure of the two sides to organise an effective united front allowed the Daleks to hold onto the initiative in the war, and they bounced back from defeat after defeat after defeat. (AUDIO: Out of Time) The war lasted more than forty years before they finally lost that initiative, (PROSE: Prsioner of the Daleks) leading the war to simply "fizzle out". (PROSE: Deceit)
Steven Taylor cited the conflict, along with the Second Dalek War and the Third Dalek War, as factors which put an end to Earth's expansionist phase, leaving planets like Mechanus uncolonised. (PROSE: The Chase) While this conflicted with another account which claimed Mechonoid servant robots had become antiquated by 2382, (PROSE: Fear of the Dark) one historical record agreed with Steven's account. (PROSE: The Whoniverse) The forgotten Mechonoids eventually developed sentience, established the Mechanoid Empire and became enemies of the Daleks. (COMIC: Eve of War, WC: Planet of the Mechanoids)