Lizardfolk


From Timaresh

Jump to: navigation, search
Statistics
Pathfinder

Known on both the Prime and the planes, lizardfolk are perhaps the most prominent reptilian species beyond the material, far surpassing the here-uncommon kobolds and matched only perhaps by the khaasta. Far unlike their Prime reputation, on the planes lizardfolk are known as a peaceful, slightly insular people with a strong sense of community, equally at home in the cities or the bogs. Though, as all reptilian species, they often get odd reactions from the less cosmopolitan, mostly-mammalian inhabitants of the Outer Planes, they are hardly seen as the threats that many on the Prime consider them.

Lizardfolk are most heavily concentrated in the Outlands, especially — unsurprisingly — in the vicinity of Semuanya's Bog. However, lizardfolk can be found in all but the coolest climes, though of course more commonly found in the various swamps — Carceri and the Beastlands have a number of lizardfolk inhabitants, as do the mires of Arcadia and Elysium. Sigil as well has a number of lizardfolk, with most choosing to reside in the khaasta district. They can even be found on the Inner Planes, with Ooze, Radiance, Water, and oddly enough Air all having more than a few lizardfolk communities. And of course the reptilian city of Slaan within Smoke is largely populated by this species.

History

Lizardfolk creation myth speaks of early days, when Semuanya had a mate known as Kecuala. Equal in all, they hunted, prowled, fed, and mated together. Semuanya was content to act by whim, happy with her life; not thoughtless, but not overly worrying about much of anything. Kecuala, on the other hand, would always fret, over-thinking all matters and never happy to just be. Semuanya would chide him, but he would never settle. Eventually, he grew so indecisive that he split in twain; one eager to press forward and jump into action, the other happy to remain behind and watch matters there. These marked the founding of the lizardfolk, one half aiding the community by hunting, protecting and scouting, the other half keeping things well at home, nurturing, leading, and building. Even today, much of lizardfolk life is focused around this split, each sort of individual contributing to the well-being of all in their own way.

Creation aside, this species was among some of the first intelligent humanoid species to arise on many worlds, usually predating the rise of intelligent mammals in what's commonly known today as the Reptilian Age. On some, lizardfolk are recorded as having existed as far back as 30,000 years before the present or more. Though they rarely became the dominant species of Prime worlds, largely due to their cold-blooded nature restricting their spread by season and climate, as well as the unsuitability of their preferred terrain to large construction, there are some worlds where even today lizardfolk and other reptiles, not humans, elves, or dwarves, rule the land. Thus, upon the planes, this species had a significant head start when it came to the formation of petitioners, as well as exploration of the planes. Some believe that Demogorgon's creation of the khaasta was based on a captured lizardfolk expedition of this era, though others claim they were merely the inspiration for the form of that species(and of course, Demogorgon himself is not one to speak on such matters).

Culture

The core of the lizardfolk way of life is the community; whether that be in the context of a single family, or an entire nation. To contribute to ones community is the ultimate good, in whatever manner that individual is able to do so. For the most part, as mentioned above, this falls into one of two categories: those that stay, and those that leave. Those that stay consist of the craftsmen, laborers, and farmers; the egg-watchers, healers, and cooks; the lawmakers, guards, and judges. Those that go consist of the hunters and trackers; the scouts and surveyors; even the explorers and adventurers for bringing knowledge and treasures back home. And of course, in both categories can be found clerics and shaman of Semuanya (or, far more rarely, some other power). No position is seen as above any other purely by virtue of its role, with even the lawmakers not held as above the others but merely as people doing their duty like any other. Instead, a person's worth is usually measured by how well they are able to do that job. Those that are not good at what they do are sometimes derided, and often nudged towards roles that better suit their skills — this is often a bit grating for some, especially when a person's skills are in conflict with their desires, but pressures of society often overrule this.

This does not imply, however, that lizardfolk life is communistic. While it does have touches of that quality, personal property is certainly an upheld right. It is simply expected that that property will be used for the good of all when needed. It is not immoral to refuse aid to another (lizardfolk or not), but it is certainly gauche at the least; of course, it is equally gauche to constantly lean on such aid, as it obviously implies you are contributing little yourself. Nor does this mean that lizardfolk hold great loyalty to their community. Rather, it means they hold loyalty to the concept of community, whatever community that may be. If a family moves from one town to another, they are expected to provide as much aid to that new town as they would have to the first, and to integrate themselves in the new community as much as they had been.

Because outsiders rarely hold the same respect for community that other lizardfolk do, they have a reputation for being brusque, insular, even xenophobic at times. This attitude has only hurt their reputation on the Prime, where repeated offenses from one against the other have built until most Prime mammals paint lizardfolk as barbarous, villainous beasts, while most Prime lizardfolk paint mammals as flighty, self-centered bastards with no sense of family. Thankfully, attitudes on the planes are far from this rough, as there's simply far more room to settle (vast lizardfolk nations span some areas of Semuanya's Bog), but relations can at times be difficult. What helps here is the frequent existence of small collections of lizardfolk within the varied planar metropoleis, as they see any form of city in which they dwell as just as deserving of their faithfulness as any lizardfolk city. This often forces interaction that would otherwise not occur, and does much to smooth interactions between the two — it is unfortunate that this does not happen more often upon the Prime, but few Prime cities would allow such populations within their walls due to the pre-existing strife.

This adherence to community, however, has led to some troubles, especially as regards the lizard kings. These beings — lizardfolk cambions largely created by the god Sess'innek — as well as others can often exploit this devotion, manipulating a lizardfolk community to do as it wishes by presenting themselves as especially skilled leaders, contributing to their community by pointing it towards greatness if only they would listen. Many lizardfolk are wise enough to not listen to such claims, especially more and more often as Semuanya has begun to act through her clerics to prevent these acts. But many others are swayed by them, not even necessarily being manipulated but rather earnestly desiring to help their tribe or city reach such heights for its own sake. While far more common on the Prime (and thus not doing anything to help those strained relations with other peoples), they do occasionally arise here. Thankfully, cambions are so common as it is that far more lizardfolk than otherwise know enough to simply ignore their influence.

Ecology

Lizardfolk are an omnivorous species, able to feed with equal efficiency on both meat and plant. Unlike certain rumors, they have no tendencies towards cannibalism, not of other intelligent peoples nor of other lizardfolk. However, they do prefer freshly-hunted meat — not necessarily raw, but they can consume raw and cooked meat with equal voracity. Similarly, they usually prefer freshly-farmed or gathered vegetables or fruit, though in areas where this isn't feasible, they are fine with doing without. The amount of food they require varies by temperature, but on average they require close to the same amount as a warm-blooded humanoid of their size. They do, however, have slightly weaker senses of smell or taste compared to most humanoids, and thus in addition to freshness, do have a certain tendency towards pungent, spicy, or other strongly sensory foods; both taste and texture.

Lizardfolk have a somewhat long lifespan, though not as long as some, with the average lizardfolk living to 120 years. A lizardfolk reaches maturity at 20 years, and is able to breed up until the age of 100. Lizardfolk are egg-layers; several weeks after conceiving, during a period very vaguely like pregnancy (though most lizardfolk bristle at the comparison), a female lizardfolk will lay a clutch of one to three eggs. These eggs will be buried in mud and warm compost, cared for and watched over by those charged with the duty for the next three to four months. Much as other reptilian species, the gender of a lizardfolk is based on the environmental conditions of the eggs, and is not determined until close to a week before they hatch. For some smaller villages a careful balance is maintained in order to help the village continue in the future. For those settlements where this is not necessary, however, while most leave it to chance there are a few parents that desire to select the gender of their young.

A very adaptable species, there are a few subspecies of lizardfolk known. These are somewhat uncommon upon the planes, but not unheard of. Among them are the blackscale lizardfolk, a less intelligent and stronger breed most common in harsh, inhospitable environments, and the poison dusk lizardfolk, a smaller, naturally chameleonic subspecies most common in areas of high predation (whether that be animal or enemy).

Appearance

The average lizardfolk, both male and female, ranges between 6 to 7 feet tall (alongside a 3 to 4 foot long, non-prehensile tail), and weigh between 200 and 280 pounds. The coloration of their scales is largely due to the nutrients absorbed during development, and so is highly dependent on region (but for a few tribes who do indulge in directed coloration as a form of artistic expression through their children; rare, but not unknown). It can range from pure black to olive green to a dark brown, and occasionally mottled or striped. Eye color is inherited (as is size), with eyes ranging from yellow to green to blue. Lizardfolk also possess thin but prominent crests running from the tops of their heads down across their spines, terminating just above the small of the back.

Lizardfolk clothing varies greatly from city to city. Purely lizardfolk communities in their preferred bogs and swamps will often have its members wear little to nothing, keeping only quivers, belt pouches, or the like as needed; as lizardfolk (like most reptilians) have no visible sex organs or secondary sexual characteristics, there is little in the way of clothing taboo, as there is quite simply nothing to reveal that would be considered offensive (though as in any people, this obviously varies from culture to culture). In cooler or drier areas, of course, this is entirely untrue, and lizardfolk will wear as much as they need to keep warm and moist. They will also usually dress according to the general customs of others around them when residing in or traveling through cities of mostly other peoples, purely to avoid potential troubles or complaints.

As this would imply, there is very little sexual dimorphism among lizardfolk, even for reptilians, and many members of other species have great difficulty distinguishing between males and females. (This brings about a wide range of reactions among victims of such, from offense to amusement; especially considering that the lack of obvious secondary sexual characteristics leads many mammals to assume all lizardfolk they meet are male.) In general, females tend to have wider hips than males, but this is far from universal, and considering these troubles many find no offense to those that ask before assuming, preferring it to the contrary.

Gallery

References

  • Complete Book of Humanoids, pgs.40-42,117
  • Dragon #335 - Ecology of the Lizardfolk, pp.52-57
  • Monster Manual III, pp.95-97
  • Serpent Kingdoms, pg.58
Personal tools