Reptillian Subraces Of Note

Elapi Elapi.jpg

Also known as humantaint ophidians, after the race from which they sprang (detailed in the Fiend Folio), or as snakefolk, the elapi are a race of serpentine folk who were originally created by the nagas as a slave race. This process was later copied and improved upon by the yuan-ti with much greater success, producing the ophidians as they are now known. The magic that was intended to bind the elapi to their original creators failed, however, and they escaped the domination of their would-be masters. Some of these escapees were able to breed true through a fortunate failure in the magic that originally created their race, rather than having to rely upon infecting other races with their venomous bite, as normal ophidians must, and it is from these humantaint ophidians that the elapi came. The elapi have escaped from a great evil, and they find their newfound freedom quite relaxing, and have no intention of going back to the way that they were. To advance this goal, the elapi quickly integrated into the ruling societies as best as they could, many becoming moneylenders and brokers with the treasures they stole from the nagas, placing a great many of them firmly in a disliked but needed profession, while others insinuated themselves into the vice trade, and still others take part in investments and trading.

Personality:
Elapi are shrewd by nature, since this was the only way that they were able to fit back into the societies from which they had been pulled by the horrible transformation that originally set their race apart from humanity. They are almost always treated as outsiders, and often face fear and ostracism, and for this reason they tend to be cold and unemotional on the surface, cultivating a talent for picking out the weak and gullible – those who are most susceptible to temptation. This cold-blooded exterior, however, while often going all the way down, just as often masks a startlingly fiery passion just waiting for a chance to be revealed.

Physical Description:
Resembling nothing so much as large serpents with relatively stubby arms and legs, making them rather slow-moving (though their fingers and toes are quite long and slender, allowing remarkable manual dexterity), the elapi can take on almost any variation on the serpentine form, from vipers to constrictors. Height and weight tend to be slightly less than for a human. Elapi have a set of razor-sharp fangs, which are either set in the jaw, or which fold back like those of an adder when not in use, depending on the breed of serpent the snakefolk most resembles.

About Elapi:
Nobody really likes the snakefolk, and the elapi know this. However, they do not really have any enemies either, besides their creators, who still want them back. And so the elapi work to find a happy medium with the people around them, staying out of sight and out of mind, taking advantage of situations that arise when they can, and trying not to stir up trouble.

Most elapi adapt to circumstances as occasion requires to make the best possible profit, devoted to improving their situation in life and that of their children. Many are amoral, but few are actively malicious.

It is not uncommon for elapi to be displaced from their homes by mounting prejudice or the changing winds of economics and forced to wander and try and make their living as best as they can. Some actually become quite enamored of the opportunity for vast and quick wealth that is afforded by the adventuring life, and some even develop affection for those of other races who show them kindness, though even these few seldom lose sight of their end goals.

Izakar Dragonborn_Paladin_by_karnokoto.jpg

The izakar are a determined and driven race, specially bred by dragons (and especially one cunning red she-wyrm, who brought the first izakar into being, the trend soon copied by other dragons) in an effort to create a strong servitor race. They are a contrast in character against the diminutive kobolds with whom their territory is shared, usually in a caste society. Whereas kobolds are commonly viewed as craven and skittish, the izakar who loom over them are imposing and stoic, their interactions in the open with others of their own kind based upon a foundation of theatre and ceremony both verbal and somatic. That is all that is uncommonly known of them in the surface world, and even this knowledge is limited only to intrepid adventurers who have braved the peaks of the innermost reaches of the Dragonrend Mountain Range. In truth their history is known to none save she who masterminded their birth. Despite being a young race, even when compared to humans, their own creation legends tell them nothing beyond what is needed to fan the fires of their devotion to their percieved purpose and duty.

Personality
The only aspect of izakar personalities known in choice adventurer circles is their starkly militaristic outlook and response to outsiders when a trespass upon their territory is percieved. There are accounts of travellers who have purchased their safe passage through mountain passes claimed by these enigmatic, dragonlike lizardfolk, but these stories are never firsthand.

In truth, the izakar are a true paradox in personality, and their stoic and formal public demeanor is only one side. Within the spirit of every izakar burns a hedonistic streak that they are trained from the first days of adolescence must be controlled through strict ritual and formality when in public, or else the fabric of their vast city and self contained nation would be torn asunder. But that very facade is peeled away when two izakar who fancy each other are allowed time away from Duty and Nation, and it is a recreation that they pursue with the same fervor with which they execute the finest military drill. It is a known fact amongst their race that few izakar are able to resist the sight of a prospective and receptive mate and so their societal rules of formality are supported by use of concealing armors and voluminous robes when carrying out their duties.

Though more than a touch self-superior and xenophobic as a result of their isolation and upbringing, the izakar crave companionship and friendship, the bastardized reptile, human, and dragon blood in their veins constantly striving for dominance over the rest. The communal selflessness of kobolds, the inquisitiveness and friendliness of humans, and the ambition and lust of their draconic patrons is distilled into the heart of each member of the race.

Physical Description
The izakar strike an imposing figure no matter their vocation, be it industrious craftsman, eldritch sorceror, or steel-clad warrior. Their legends and texts claim that they are so blessed because they were chosen for greatness; the truth is somewhat sadder and is addressed in below. Their coloration is usually of a reddish hue (since they were first made by a red dragon), ranging from brilliant crimson to a muddled brownish red, though there have rarely been specimens that resemble other draconic races. Eyes are commonly gold with occasional hints of blue, brown or green flecks. Males and females both develop softly spined, nearly feathery manes where other humanoid races may have hair upon their heads. Their brows sport horns of varying size and shape from individual to individual. A golden yellow chest and belly is an uncommon feature among this race, and is taken to be a good omen and a sign of a future destiny. In contrast to their smaller kobold cousins, izakar females give birth to their young only one at a time without the protection of an egg, and nurse them until their teeth grow in. They are not quite mammals, but have many mammalian traits mingled with the draconic and reptilian ones.

About The Izakar:
The izakar are an example of a created race surviving despite the flaws of their creation. The story begins generations ago when a female red wyrm of notable ambition and lust tired of dealing directly with the kobolds who enslaved themselves at her feet. After many abortive attempts at kidnapping other races to keep an eye on the kobolds and serve her faithfully she happened across a mad idea: to create servants in her own image. And with that she set out to a prosperous human settlement that had proved hardy enough to survive the inhospitable environment of the Dragonrend mountains. She descended upon the village and eliminated the unworthy with cleansing fire. Those who proved tough enough to survive her assault or were judged comely enough for her tastes were ensorcelled and taken back to her warrens where they were subjected to experimentation and agony beyond anything she had unleashed in the now extinct town.

Empowered by her blood rituals, the shamans of the dragon's kobold tribes ritually sacrificed themselves to lend their reptile essence to the transformation that descended upon the survivors of the town. The massive she-dragon opened up her own veins as the ritual reached apex and the captives were awakened by the grinding and breaking of their bones. Even the release of a scream was not allowed to them as their skulls warped and reformed. All of them sprouted thick muscular tails and a few even grew wings as finally their pain subsided, mercifully taking with it all recollection of who they once were, save for one racial memory. A single word. Iza. The name of their once idyllic village nestled in a mountain valley. And from this sole remaining memory they fashioned the name that they would call themselves: the izakar.

It is quite rare for the isakar to leave their dutiful service to their draconic creators and rulers. However, the isakar are also driven by powerful forces of curiosity, lust, and a need for companionship. Because of this, it is possible, should an isakar not be able to find these among his or her own people, for whatever reason, then the isakar will sometimes strike out among other races. Those deemed unfit for service to their dragon rulers for whatever reason may also choose self-imposed exile rather than ritual suicide, and a few head out among other people to learn about them through observation, thus strengthening their homes when they return with information about possible sources of treasure. Regardless of how they leave their communities, however, most isakar exiles find themselves most at home in the role of adventurers.

Special Racial Changes and Options:

  • Izakar have Darkvision 60' instead of the Aquatic and Low-light Vision racial traits.
  • Izakar who select dragontouched as their first level feat may later select dragon wings as their 3rd level feat.

Night Peepers battletoadzitzweb.jpg

In the depths of the humid, stormy rainforests, and in the middle of the steaming swamps of the world, the sounds of the night peepers can be heard, calling to each other in the darkness. The mysterious night peepers are seldom seen because of the remoteness of their homelands, far from the other civilized races, but they do exist, and they sometimes venture from their homes in search of adventure.

Personality:
Night peepers are polite and generally likable, as befits a people that live in close-knit tribes. They can be standoffish to outsiders when among their own people, because of the danger of trusting too deeply in those who have not been proven, but they can be very hospitable once their trust is earned, and are fascinated by the many strange concepts and interesting news that comes from travelers.

Physical Description:
Night peepers are what bullywugs might have been, had they been created with more grace and were less barbaric. This froglike race of humanoids have very colorful, moist skin that comes in a variety of bright colors, including red, green, blue orange and purple, and interesting patterns of black mottling, and their eyes come in almost as many shades, from golden to red to green to an inky indigo. They are like treefrogs, spending their lives in a mostly arboreal setting, and their feet tend to have prominent suction cups that allow for great traction, while their legs are packed with powerful muscle, allowing them to make incredible leaps between branches.

About Night Peepers:
Night peepers get along best with elves, who favor their arboreal way of life and have a similar respect for nature. They generally keep to themselves, though, and do not mingle when they can avoid it, preferring their secretive lives in the depths of their moist green habitats. As far as racial enemies are concerned, the closest to this that the night peepers have are the elapi. Elapi are a race which the night peepers do not like at all, drawing on instinctive racial animosity, and the frogfolk avoid the snakefolk whenever possible.

While most night peepers would prefer to stay at home in their tree villages, a rare few will head out into the world, inspired by the tales told by their elders around the fire, and eager to make new tales to tell when they return.

Xi-Coatl

The vast majority of lizardfolk are a barbaric people, living crude, primitive lives far-removed from civilization in the depths of swamps and darkest jungles, worshiping strange reptilian gods, and often falling into the company and sway of the forces of evil, especially evil dragons. There are generally tales of the days when lizardfolk and similar reptilian beings ruled the world, but these days are past and gone, and are not likely to come again. However, not all of the lizardfolk have sunk into tribal barbarism. A rare few bands of lizardfolk, instead of following the majority into barbarism and the worship of a variety of weaker gods and evil creatures instead chose to turn to the coatl and to good dragons as their exemplars, and from these wise feathered serpents, these bands of lizardfolk gradually developed an advanced society – or maintained the society which they had, if rumors from the past are to be believed. With a gentler outlook on life and bearing the name of the first coatl to guide them centuries past into the ways of wisdom, these civilized lizardfolk have recently begun to take the first steps out of their hidden jungle cities. One of these is that they have opened up relations with the rest of the mammal-dominated world, and now seek to take their place in it as civilized equals.

Personality:
Almost as a rule, Xi-Coatl are a calm race, unhurried and contemplative, right up until the moment that they decide to act. Then they swing into action with incredible swiftness and nigh-unstoppable power, subduing all opposition to their chosen course of action, and dominating their field of endeavor. This method is applied as much to social encounters as to combat, and it is quite normal for a Xi-Coatl to sit back and listen to an discussion for a period of time, then interpose into the conversation to lay out a well-considered solution. Other races describe the Xi-Coatl as inscrutable and close-lipped, but not unfriendly, and often eager to learn. The civilized lizardfolk are noted for great thoughtfulness and contemplative wisdom, and also for a deep and very heartfelt love for their families, and especially for children, even those not of their race.

Physical Description:
Xi-Coatl are a physically imposing race, varying in size between 5’10” all the way up to slightly over eight feet tall at their most massive. Females are notably smaller than males, however, and are obviously female in shape, though they usually lack mammary glands (unless there is human blood in their ancestry). As lizardfolk, they take after various reptilian species, iguanas and crocodilians being the most common variants, though some can take after various dinosaur species, with an upright bipedal stance, strong and well-formed bodies, and high-domed heads that give their faces a rather intellectual appearance that sets them clearly apart from other lizardfolk. While many of the Xi-Coatl have bright coloration, most do not, and so body painting and scale tattoos are common practices.

About Xi-Coatl:
Because of their shared distrust of evil reptilian species, Xi-Coatl are perhaps the only race that gets along with the elapi, and the two races are actually able to interact in a peaceful manner without treachery on the part of the snakefolk. Dwarves recognize the patience and contemplation of the Xi-Coatl, elves get along with them because of their devotion to nature, and halflings are enamored of the civilized lizardfolk because of their strong love and devotion to their families. While gnomes do not have anything against Xi-Coatl offhand, they find them rather boring, and not very fun to play pranks on because they seldom get the joke, and are too easy as targets anyway. The birdfolk and the Xi-Coatl generally regard each other as near cousins, and maintain affectionate relations (besides being able to interbreed).

Presently most Xi-Coatl are focused upon building up their position in the world as a civilized race, and maintaining their culture while they are doing so. Because of this, there are very few adventurers from among the civilized lizardfolk. However, revenge is a powerful motivator for this race, despite their civilized veneer, as is the desire to be proven in the world of mammals. A young Xi-Coatl could easily be sent out into the world to learn about its ways, or to gain the skills needed to slay a malodorous individual who has violated sacred laws. Because of this, most Xi-Coatl adventurers are loyal to their people first, and their party second, but they are highly-motivated individuals, and eager to learn much and to prove themselves when they get the chance.