Table of Contents
Sei-Aquatic lizards stand six to seven feet tall, with scaly, hairless bodies and long tails. Their tongues are forked, and they have a snout rather than a nose. Their ears are just small holes in the sides of their heads, often covered by a flap of skin, and their eyes are larger than those of most humans.
Male and female lizards are very similar in most respects, and Semi-Aquatics usually have one unified gender expression, despite any minute physiological differences. They are cold blooded, and have gills that allow them to live beneath the sea indefinitely, but also have lungs that allow them to breathe air normally. However, their bodies are not fully adapted for life outside water, and will lose moisture faster than other races.
Semi-Aquatics lived in relative isolation deep beneath the ocean’s waves. Evolved from the denizens of the deep, lizards are native to Jaern. When Jaern’s original sun went nova, catapulting the planet on its intergalactic journey, most of the Semi-Aquatics died when temperatures dropped, but many were able to magically preserve themselves, frozen in the depths of the oceans.
Couples usually pair up in monogamous, lifelong bonds when they reach adulthood. Female Semi-Aquatics undergo one menstrual cycle around the same time each year, with a limited window when they are fertile. Unlike most reptiles, the young gestate within the body for five months, and are then born live.
The young are cared for and brought up by their parents for the first few years of their lives. On their fourth birthday they are brought to a local Creche, where they spend most of their childhood with other lizards their age.
Semi-Aquatics are good ship builders. They are also good cartographers, at least for coastlines. The lack of fire underwater led to an independence from metal forging and casting technologies. However, many Semi-Aquatic communities will operate underwater mines for surface settlements in exchange for access to the finished products of Smithing. Deep underwater, some insular Semi-Aquatic communities use geothermal vents and underwater volcanoes to forge ore, specifically a soft, malleable metal called Pho’dite, a phosphorescent element used for lighting underwater. Do to its cultural importance, Semi-Aquatics generally refuse to trade this ore, and keep its veins and refining practices hidden from other races.
Semi-Aquatics utilize ships and submersibles for their long range voyages, but when travelling on land, will try to follow rivers and other bodies of water. Brave explorers will venture into arid parts of the land in “land ships” which usually feature rooms that contain pools, as well as filtration and replenishing technologies.
Semi-Aquatic submersible ships often have three sets of sails: mainsails on the “deck”, and two sets of “fin” sails that jut out the bottom port and starboard sides, in order to traverse in three dimensions beneath the surface of the water. Precise calculations to control buoyancy are necessary to engineer and pilot these ships.
Semi-Aquatic cities are found underwater in seas and lakes. Their buildings are made of stone, and are very sturdy to withstand tidal forces and currents. Light sources are usually magical in origin. Large illuminated cities exist deep under the sea, but reaching these locales is incredibly difficult for non-aquatic races.
Furniture is typically made of stone or coral. Chairs are backless, to accommodate their tails. Designing furniture and interior dividers by carefully growing and training corals has been raised to a high art form by Semi-Aquatics.
Semi-Aquatics commonly farm fish and grow vegetation. A few in a community choose to live above water, also enjoy growing crops. Traditionally, they do not raise any land animals.
Medical technology is no more advanced than that of other races. Their medicine comes from kelp and other sea plants. Semi-Aquatics generally live to an age between 80 and 104.
The language of Semi-Aquatic 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, 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 component, but is usually represented phonetically in the Paroli alphabet for other races.
Semi-Aquatic artistry lies in the designs of their sea craft. Their culture celebrates the use of all one's skills in an artful manner, adding flare to such routine tasks as farming, food preparation, and interior design.
There are many sports that Semi-Aquatics enjoy, usually involving swimming, diving, surfing, and racing. They enjoy racing other underwater creatures, and competing against non-aquatic races in water sports.
Although Semi-Aquatics are free to worship any deity, they commonly worship Neptune, the god of the seas and oceans. Osiris is also revered because of their love of nature.
Semi-Aquatics are traditionally communal by nature, with no formal leaders. They gather together whenever a major issue must be settled. A vote is called, each attender being entitled to one vote. However, they find very few things important enough to vote on as a community, preferring to take appropriate actions on their own. Separate villages may sometimes hold such gatherings and select a single representative to speak for them at distant gatherings. A decision of such importance has only been made twice in recent Jaernian history.
Semi-Aquatics highly prize their works, and are very eager to barter their handicrafts, and many prefer to trade than sell for coinage. Even so, there are a few very wealthy Semi-Aquatic families that hold a large amount of wealth, first having made it through plundering sunken ships.
Desert Sandtail lizards make their homes in the vast arid deserts, which are not found very often on Jaern. Instead of adapting themselves to the water, these lizards have adapted to a dry lifestyle, but suffer from a decreased ability to maintain homeostasis. Instead of needing to immerse themselves, these lizards must take time out of their day to regulate their body temperature with their environment.
The Poor Homeostasis quirk of Desert Sandtails requires them to spend one hour each day warming their bodies. This can be done during long rests, but requires the lizard to remain idle while the temperature around them is between 70-120°F (21-49°C). If they do not do this, they suffer one damage point every 3 hours as their body functions begin to wane. These lizards live in small groups in underground caves or burrows, where the temperature is cooler, and take time each day to bask in the warm sun.
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 live on the frozen planet of Kleemudor, which is covered with week-long blizzards and a highly reflective surface which causes temperatures to remain below freezing, even at the equator. Adapted to the cold, the Kleemudor Purebloods make homes in large caverns dug into the ice. The thin atmosphere of Kleemudor selected out psionically inclined members of the society, who could communicate with others mentally. Unfortunately, this also inclined them towards being more susceptible to psionics.
A caste system implemented in their history helped the Purebloods to achieve further psionic abilities, but diluted their natural venomous capabilities, while the “non-pure” Kleemudor lizards were expelled from society to the surface and eventually evolved into vicious predators with more powerful deadly venom and killer instincts. The Kleemudor Purebloods value reason and logic and the expanding of one’s psionic aptitude as tenets of their society. They are taught from a young age to stifle emotions and lean on logic to achieve greatness and respect.
Because of this, many Kleemudor Purebloods see other races as volatile and dangerous, unpredictable and untrustworthy, and therefore have remained isolationist. Kleemudor Purebloods have an 80% chance to have access to psionics (choose two numbers to exclude on a d10 and roll).
The lizards of Draconic Lineage live beneath mountains in dark caverns, kept there when the dragons sealed themselves away. Until recently, they were unaware that the dragons have returned, and operated under the assumption that humans and other races would hunt them and kill them if they revealed themselves. However, a mining expedition in Kratal stumbled across a civilization of Draconic lizards, living in an ornate citadel of stone lit by colorful braziers of Pho’dite.
Lizards of differently colored scales were found, all hailing from various draconic ancestors that grant them a breath weapon and resistance to a type of damage. They grew farms of subterranean fungi along with raising large, thick skinned, blind, bull-like creatures for meat. Their legends tell of great dragons, which imbued their essesses into particular gemstones.
Shell-Bearer lizards are hatched from eggs on remote islands, and very soon leave their home beaches and caves to venture out. They live for very long lives and 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 stories and experiences to tell their children.