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As their names imply, the Lizards of Jaern and Cahyali are reptilian folk. They have scaly, hairless bodies, forked tongues, tails, and snouts instead of noses. Most are cold-blooded, and their ears are just small holes in the sides of their heads, which may or may not be covered by other ornaments on their heads. Male and female lizards are very similar in most respects - it is almost impossible to tell at a glance - and lizards usually have one unified gender expression within a culture, despite any minute physiological differences. Many lizards lay eggs, but there are some tribes which do not1).

The language of lizards, Sel’ict, is spoken with a lisp, and the letters are often slurred due to the shape of their tongues. During the years of separation, they developed two distinct dialects of Sel’ict. The most common is spoken on land and is easily spoken and understood by the other races. The other is only spoken under-water (mainly by Semi-Aquatics), and is difficult to understand by non-aquatic races without the aid of magic or enhanced hearing. The traditional Sel'ict language does not have a written script, but is usually represented phonetically in the Paroli alphabet for other races.


A lineup of some average lizards. By Zoe Kogut.

Semi-Aquatic Lizards

  • Lifespan: 80-100 years
  • Jaernian Populations: Worldwide
  • Cahyalian Populations: Worldwide, small groups

Semi-Aquatic lizards stand six to seven feet tall, adapted for an amphibious life with both gills and lungs. Their hands and feet are webbed, and their tails are flat to assist with swimming. However, they tend to dry out quickly during extended periods on land, and so rarely venture too far from coastal areas. Semi-Aquatics' heads often resemble those of iguanas, with a square and blocky shape, as well as smallish fins on their heads. Some Semi-Aquatics are more slender, with larger fins.

Isolated beneath the waves and self-sufficient, there are many Semi-Aquatic cities in Jaern's oceans, rarely visited by adventurers. These cities are built from stone, lit by special bioluminescent plants and jars of plankton. Often found decorating them are ornaments of cultivated coral - the tending and pruning of corals is comparable to bonsai among Semi-Aquatic culture. Many Jaernian semi-aquatics use the term Ocusum to refer to their own race.

As the most populous lizard species on Jaern, Semi-Aquatics are one of the planet's natives, along with Onivero. They arose naturally as one of the planet's first and only sapient underwater species, although their civilization was barely reaching the Stone Age when Jaern was catapulted out of its system. Most froze to death when the planet was thrown into space, but a few survived in the ice and are the progenitors of all today's modern Semi-Aquatics. Ocusum are not native to Cahyali, and most who now live there are descended from Jaernians who immigrated onto the plane when connections were first established.

Desert Sandtails

Desert Sandtail lizards make their homes in the vast arid deserts of Cahyali, and are not native to Jaern. They are shorter than other lizards - standing a mere 4-5 feet tall - and their scales are warm-colored, usually shades ranging from tan to brown to black and even red on occasion. Their most distinguishing features are their large tails, which give them their name. Desert Sandtails' tails are huge, strong, and covered in venomous barbs. They live a little longer than other native lizard species - up to 120 years.

Adapted to the heat and sand, Sandtails need to bask in the sun to maintain homeostasis. They make their homes in vast tunnel systems beneath the dunes, reinforced by packed mud brick and sandstone. Here, they avoid the freezing desert nights and find respite from the baking heat. It is rare for a Sandtail settlement to ever be fully exposed, but in the rare times they have been seen, the complexity of tunnels, buildings, and rooms is a staggering sight.

It is thought that Sandtails evolved from a population of non-sentient reptiles who, over thousands of years, developed sentience. Some scholars believe they were Cahyali's first true sapient lizardfolk. They hunt in small packs by burrowing under the sands and using their tremor sense to detect prey. Since they rely primarily on tremor sense to hunt, their eyesight has degraded somewhat. Desert Sandtails have a very materialistic culture, which they share with their Semi-Aquatic cousins, and barter in goods such as sculpture, dyed fabrics, pottery, glass, and paintings.

Kleemudor Purebloods

Kleemudor Purebloods are an exception to most other lizards, as they are an alien species entirely. They live on the frozen planet of Kleemudor (a planet in Jaern's star system), which is covered with week-long blizzards and a highly reflective surface which causes temperatures to remain below freezing, even at the equator.

Two types of Kleemudor lizards live on this planet: the arrogant, haughty and xenophobic “Purebloods”, and the Icestalkers, who have lost their sentience and are now threatening predators hunting on the icefields. Purebloods distinguish themselves by their psionic ability, and pushed out those who would eventually become the Icestalkers from their haven city-caverns dug into the ice. Little did they know, this decision would doom them, as the Icestalkers are now one of Kleemudor's greatest threats…

Kleemudor Purebloods have scales ranging from light blue to snow-white, with gray and black patterning here and there. They have sharp spines on their heads, backs, and tails. Purebloods and Icestalkers both have six legs (keep in mind the Purebloods' four arms have no additional effect mechanically). Most Purebloods have innate psionic ability; compared to other races' 10%, Kleemudor lizards have an 80% chance to be capable of psionics. They are tall and lanky, averaging about seven feet tall, and live to around 200 years old.

Purebloods reached Cahyali first, a small population landing in the wastes of Pthora as the result of a failed psionic experiment. Several centuries later, a more successful experiment let them reach Jaern, and they stuck around out of interest in Jaern's psions and their pursuits.


  • Lifespan: Up to 300 years
  • Jaernian Populations: Worldwide, small groups
  • Cahyalian Populations: Ruefang, Raikougan

Lizards of Draconic lineage resemble dragons standing upright, with strong, large scales, spines down their backs, and horns that resemble glittering gems of all different colors. Their heads are dragonlike, with sharper teeth than other lizards. Some Draconics instead resemble lung dragons, with a ruffle of fur where others have spines, branched horns, and long whiskers on their snouts. They average about six feet tall.

Scholars debate if Draconic lizards truly are related to dragons. The consensus seems to be that some Draconics truly are dragons' distant descendants, while others are normal lizardfolk who have been fully suffused with dragon magic. Their myths all mention ancient dragons who gave a gift of some form to the Draconics, granting them their gem-like horns and elemental powers.

This race was entirely unknown to Jaern until the 10070s, when a Kratalian mining expedition broke into one of their grand subterranean cities. Ever since, Jaernian Draconics have been more than eager to explore the outside world. Cahyalian Draconics, on the other hand, have seemingly always been around; historical records have little information on their origins, and they have been a fact of life along with the dragons since time immemorial. Most Draconics are proud and strong folk, fully aware of their grand heritage.


  • Lifespan: Up to 400 years
  • Jaernian Populations: Worldwide, small groups
  • Cahyalian Populations: Worldwide, small groups

Shell-Bearer lizards resemble turtles, with rounder faces than other lizards and strong shells on their backs. They stand only a little taller than Desert Sandtails, averaging five to five-and-a-half feet tall. They move slowly and steadily, and are the longest-lived of all lizards, with the oldest reaching almost 400 years old. Not many Shell-Bearers are around; they live slow and have few children, and are a minority population in all places they occupy.

It is thought the first Shell-Bearers evolved from Semi-Aquatics thousands of years ago. They are hatched from eggs on remote islands, and very soon leave their home beaches and caves to venture out. They spend years simply learning and exploring the world around them, but prefer to avoid large settlements and instead live mostly solitary lives, before eventually returning to their home with a lifetime of experiences and stories to tell. However, some desire a bit more excitement in life and take up adventuring.

Many Shell-Bearers appear older than they are, due to the fact that the skin on their faces tends to wrinkle at a younger age. This has led to a popular conception of Shell-Bearers as wise grandparents, always ready to say an obscure proverb or give friendly advice.

Leviathans: True Aquatic

  • Lifespan: Unknown
  • Jaernian Populations: Worldwide
  • Cahyalian Populations: Unknown

Almost nothing is known of this enigmatic and elusive race, although they are thought to be an ancient progenitor of Jaern's modern semi-aquatic lizards. Few have ever seen a Leviathan lizard, but their names come from the fact that they stand (or rather, swim) at a whopping 9 feet tall. They have scales like fish, massive tails for swimming, and vestigial back legs. Their faces are sharklike, and their necks feature prominent gills. Parts of their bodies can light up in a controlled, bioluminescent pattern: this seems to be a major part of their communication underwater.

Leviathans live in the deepest depths of the oceans, and don't seem to be able to survive the reduced pressure and increased temperature in the ocean shallows, never mind breathe air. From what semi-aquatic liaisons report, Leviathans are just as intelligent as any other lizardfolk, although they seem to have a great desire to keep to themselves. None have ever seen one of their cities, and much of their culture is still a mystery.

Fun biology fact: As in real life, lizardfolk have temperature-dependent sex determination. The temperature at which eggs incubate, or the temperature at which live-born children live out their earliest days, will determine if a child develops as male or female.
lore/races/lizards.txt · Last modified: 2024/04/30 02:29 by quiddlesticks