Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lizardfolk of Henjal and Prace

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Language Analog: Lizardfolk speak dialects of the monster language Draconic, which has no real-world analog.
Inspiration: Traditional lizardfolk from the various editions of D&D.
Lizardfolk, in BD&D, are just a monster.  I had not considered their overall place in the world when I made them the inhabitants of the Temple of Akhnaphar.  Their presentation in that adventure is "explained" here.  
They are presented as a playable race in 5th edition in Volo's Guide to Monsters. As lizardfolk are rare, lizardfolk player characters are very rare.

Tainted Counterpart:  Troglodytes

Temperamental Association:  By dominant scale coloration.
As a general rule, humans like to stereotype and are often unoriginal when they do.  Since lizardfolk demonstrate a variety of colors, and since they speak a Draconic language, they are treated as dragons when it comes to temperamental association.  All lizardfolk of the same community tend to share the same coloration.
  • White or cream (white) - Altruist
  • Yellow or brown (gold) - Materialist
  • Green or drab/olive (green) - Dynamist
  • Blue or aqua/teal (blue) - Idealist
  • Red or orange (red) - Vitalist
  • Black or grey (black) - Nihilist
For the sake of starting Alignment Points, lizardfolk gain 2 AP for the listed Temperament at character creation.

Names (Any Gender):  See naming conventions in Volo's Guide to Monsters.

The official history states that lizardfolk communities "spontaneously" showed up in Monvesia some time after the arrival of the goliaths.  One such community, discovered on the border of the Honderreich and Dvergheim, was found to follow the ancient human Cult of Perseverance--originally practiced by humans during their exodus, and discarded not long after arriving in Monvesia.
This northern community also venerated the Akhnaphar, a term they learned from local goblinoids.  The Akhnaphar was treated as a prophecy among these lizardfolk.
This suggests a more specific history for this people: that lizardfolk came to Monvesia with the humans. The recent arrival of vanara explorers from Henjal supports this.  Vanara history claims that lizardfolk are native to (and still live in) the same region; furthermore, a severe reduction in the lizardolk population allowed for the rise of the vanara race.

Therefore, lizardfolk are native to Celippanu in Henjal, where they were encountered during the human exodus.  In their native land, they were once the caretakers of an ancient empire that spread throughout the region (celippanu is a vanara word meaning "scaly[folk] country").  According to their lore, they were not the founders of the Empire, but were charged with its protection and defense. The arrival of humans from Raviq destabilized their power, which led to the empire's quick demise.
A second factor of the reduction on the lizardfolk population in their homeland is the Taint, which transformed a large portion of the race into troglodytes.  Troglodyes allowed the Taint to linger in the jungle, leading to the rise of yeti (and sasquatches) among the vanara.
Remnants of the Scalikind Empire and its predecessor remain throughout Henjal--great monuments covered in creeping vines and jungle underbrush, or else half-burred in sand and half eroded.  Though the vanara have claimed much of this territory, many lizardfolk remain as well--having regressed to a more "primitive" state in order to survive.
The original extent of Celippanu--the Scalikind Empire (remnant of the much larger Empire of the Evening and Morning Star)--overlaps with vanara nations of Kotiyakatu (in the Forest of Vines) and Manalkatal (in the Sea of Sand).  Modern Celippanu exists to the west of Kotiyakatu, where human stragglers* have also taken up residence, mimicking as best they can the ancient rites of he long dead dragonic empire.
* These "humans" have become this world's rendition of the Yuan-Ti, living in the ruins of the Scalikind Empire.  Nagas and medusas also exist in the remnants of this Empire. 

Officially (like the historic standpoint on halflings), lizardfolk do not exist in Monvesia.  Those that did not remain in Henjal died as a result of the harsh conditions in the Sea of Sand.  In reality, a good number survived--but were abandoned by humanity when they began to settle in Monvesia.  The lizardfolk that made it to Monvesia scattered into small communities throughout the continent.   They retain some of the human culture they assimilated during the exodus, but have otherwise returned to their own ways as best they can in such a different climate.

Before human contact, the lizardfolk religious tradition centered around the veneration of local dragons as guardian spirits.  The vestiges of that religion remain in that lizardfolk are the only race to demonstrate draconic ancestry sorcery.  This affinity toward dragons can even be seen in that a community of lizardfolk was entrusted with one third of a map that would lead to the Zwiehaender of Oerloeg.

Lizardfolk Traits

Lizardfolk traits can be found in Volo's Guide to Monsters.

Giant Lizards

Lizardfolk keep giant lizards as pets, often using them as draft animals and mounts.  While the Monster Manual only has a single entry for this creature, this represents several varieties.  There are also additional varieties favored by the lizardfolk.
  • Giant Monitor [base form]
  • Giant Water Tegu [base form + hold breath]
  • Giant Gecko  [base form + spider climb]
  • Giant Aquatic Gecko [base form + hold breath + spider climb]
  • Giant Draco [base form +]
    • Glide.  The lizard has a fly speed of 60 ft., though it cannot take off from the ground and descends 10 ft. for every 60 ft. traveled.
    • Flyby.  The lizard does not provoke opportunity attacks when it flies out of an enemy's reach.
  • Giant Chameleon [base form +]
    • Grappling Bite.  The target is grappled on a successful bite (escape DC 11).  Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the lizard can't bite another target.
    • Land Camouflage. The lizard has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks while on land.
    • Charge.  If the lizard moves at least 20 feet straight toward a target then hits it with a ram on the same turn, the target takes an extra 5 (2d4) budgeoning damage.  If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 13 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.
    • Gore.  Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
      Hit: 8 (2d4 + 3) bludgeoning damage
  • Giant Tuatara [base form +]
    • Darkvision. The lizard adds darkvision 30 ft. to its Senses.
    • Multiattack. The lizard makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its claws.
    • Claws.  Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
      Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) slashing damage.
The multiple variants of giant lizard are based on the entry in the Rules Cyclopedia, expanding options as per the Monster Manual.  The Giant Aquatic Gecko is pure speculation, as I cannot otherwise find a real-world equivalent of a lizard with both "hold breath" (semi-aquatic lizards) and "spider climb" (geckos).
Edited September 13, 2018; May 31, 2019. 

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