Lacertu

WHO ARE THE LACERTU?
The Lacertu are a race of scaly skinned beings, short and stout with long fingers and bristle like hairs. Their heads are narrow and long with a pronounced fang filled maw. They have long and thick whip-like tails that help them balance themselves on their three toed feet.
Lacertu are found in two areas of the world, deserts and swamps. Those of the swamp are often toned in green, brown or black scales with some stripping or blotching. They tend to be less armored but more agile and are often excellent swimmers. Those of the desert are known to have dusty red, brown and tanned scales. They are usually much stockier and armored. All have black bristly hair that falls out with old age. This hair usually crowns the sides of their head, brow, beneath the chin and sometimes grows down the back or on the joints of the limbs.
Lacertu not only appear physically different then other races, they actually have many distinctive abilities. In fact, the two of their kind are unique from each other. Those of the swamps can detect heat with a special gland and regenerate from injuries. Those of the deserts can spit venom and have thick defensive scales. Both are affected by extreme cold much faster than any other race.
The Lacertu are the children of Silrithia, an ancient goddess who at one time thought she ruled the world. Her exact origin isn't clear, but it may be that she is a forgotten greater divinity or even one of the first children of Naeja. However, Naeja has never claimed her and the deity seems to be unique of herself. The Lacertu still worship her though, and the six lesser gods that are her children. Their Kings, the Shakar, are always revered as demi-gods even after they have died.
When the races of Naeja had not yet come to rule the world and the Age of Ice was ending the world was teeming with life once again. Silrithia's children, lizards and amphibians, were dominant. Lizard Folk, Lizard Men, Troglodytes and Bullywugs all alike wandered the land, but they were primitive and only learned how to use what they picked off of their enemies. They did not create and knew nothing of culture or magic. It was then that she decided to lay her brood upon the world. As their mythoi tells it, she slithered through the stars searching for a mate who suited her. There she found the Red Palace of Wo’ryck, and she slipped under his door and into his bed. She seduced the ancient Divinity of Sorcery with her enticing beauty and from that union she became heavy. She traveled the course of the world and deposited thousands of these eggs in different places around the world. Many were devoured by the beasts of the wild or died in the bitter cold of the north lands, but those who survived became her great brood, the Lacertu.
As the Lacertu grew they learned how to forge the stone of the world and built great temples to the Serpent Mother and to their great Shakar (demi-god kings). They instinctively knew of the paths their mother had taken to travel the world, and so they built vessels to traverse the sea and they domesticated great lizards so they could travel the lands quickly. In this way they met others of their kind and their kingdoms became a massive trade empire called Ku-rakar. Their kingdom may never had been so great if it were not for the coming of Wo’ryck. He visited the world every eighty years and when he did so he taught his children the secrets of sorcery and how to use their natural powers.
Not long after this time humans began to populate the world. The Lacertu found them easy to enslave and so they came to posses a great force of labor that allowed them to build even greater monuments. They called these human slaves, Ryokar, or Servants of the Empire. It was in the age of the sixteenth Shakar of the Ku-rakar Empire that tragedy befell their great empire. Wo’ryck had given them many great secrets of Sorcery, but there were certain arts he would not teach them. Some secret orders began to arise to discover these hidden powers. When they succeeded in uncovering this forbidden lore the god was wrought with rage. It is said he turned against his own children and came down to the world to punish them. His wrath was greater than ever imagined though, and it is possible that the Nameless One had corrupted him. When he visited again he came down into the skies and brought forth a terrible storm. It wrought chaos upon the sorceries of the Lacertu and left a terrible path of waste in its wake. To prevent them from ever rising to greatness again, Wo’ryck returns every eighty years to destroy the land again. The heart of their empire, a great verdant jungle stretching south of Ryosha, was completely wiped from the world of Naeja. What remained of the Lacertu were now greatly outnumbered by the humans. The slaves rose up and crushed the Lacertu. From their ruins they built their own empire, calling it Ryosha and it is heavily influenced by the culture that had once enslaved them.
Though the Lacertu never actually ruled the world, it is clear that they had a great influence on trade throughout the world. Following the downfall of this empire their smaller kingdoms became increasingly subject to the attacks of the ever growing human population. These "barbarians" drove them back into the depths of the swamps and dead lands of the deserts. Coupling this with the terrible onslaughts of goblinoid hordes the Lacertian trade routes quickly collapsed and with it their civilization fell into a dark age.
Now, many millennia later, the Lacertu have only a few temple complexes still actively used. The greatest of which is the small kingdom of Lakrakis on the southeastern shores of the continent of Old Camus, and many desert settlements along the edge of the Path of Wo’ryck. Here they carry on the tradition of the Shakar and tell legends and myths about their ancient age of glory. Their past, even to them, seems no more than a great fantasy rather than some actual truth from forgotten history. In fact, this story is only known by them and a few very controversial human scholars.
The Lacertu are very few in numbers now, and their goddess has lost much of her former power. They very rarely leave the sanctuary of their lands, but they have always maintained trade with Ryosha and in recent decades have begun to travel out to seek trade amongst other cultures and races.
Only the people of Skarrelland seem to harbor hate for this race. Their people tell stories of the Lacertu being man-eating marauders, which they have always attributed to the swamp kingdom of Lakrakis. Other human cultures see them as an oddity and though they have been shown some distrust, they are not seen as goblinoids. Some small tribes exist in the depths of Vas-Meknor, and the Mikanians and Kamorans trade with them from time to time.
Duervan history does not even mention this ancient race, which suggests it did not have much influence beyond the lands south of Ryosha. Most Gelvani do not even know the race exists. Ironically it is Ryoshans who trade with the Lacertu more than any other race. They are very similar culturally and share a common border. Ryoshans have found the Lacertu to be incredibly wealthy, and the Ryoshans don’t seem to know or care about their common past.

THEIR HERITAGE

THE KIN

All Lacertu have the following standard abilities:

· Medium Size: As Medium-size creatures, Lacertu have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
· +2 racial bonus to balance checks due to their tails.
· Vulnerable to cold: Lacertu take half as much damage from cold (+50%).
· Racial Weapons: The following weapons are not considered Exotic Weapons for the Lacertu: Chakram, Kama, Tail Spikes, Kawanga, Sapara, Khopesh, Chain, Chijiriki, Kusari-gama, Lajatang, Shikomi-zue
· Non-Racial Weapons: The following weapons are considered exotic weapons to the Lacertu: Hammer (light & heavy), Morningstar, Flail (light & heavy), Warhammer, Greatclub, Lucerne Hammer, Maul, Pick (light & heavy), Scimitar, Falchion.

Each Lineage of Lacertu also have their own special abilities:

Of the Jungle (Jungle Lacertu):

· +2 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom: Lacertu of the Jungle are a agile and deft. They have very little sense of morality and tend to make decisions based on their knowledge rather than experience.
· Stability: Due to their tail, Lacertu are exceptionally stable on their feet. A Lacertu gains a +4 bonus on ability checks to resist being bull-rushed or tripped when standing on the ground or swimming.
· Natural Attacks: If a Lacertu attempts to attack with a tail attack it is considered a normal unarmed attack (1d3 subdual) and does not grant a bonus attack. The Lacertu can take the multi-attack feat from the Monster Manual to get an extra attack with the tail. Though Lacertu have claws and teeth they generally do not use them to attack. If they do attack with these, claws and teeth do 1d3 normal damage, not subdual, but multi-attack does not grant extra attacks. However, they are not considered armed.
· Lacertu base speed is 30 feet. Lacertu swimming speed is 30 feet due to their tail
· Hold Breath: Lacertu can hold their breath for a number of rounds equal to four times their constitution.
· Infravision: Lacertu can sense heat with a special gland located in pits below their eyes. They can sense heat up to 20 feet away, and though this doesn’t give much in the way of sight in the dark, it does allow tracking by heat and sensing those hidden (+2 to both skill checks). Intense heat will negate this.
· Regeneration: Lacertu have a natural ability to regenerate. They heal twice as fast as any one else and they can regrow limbs in 3 weeks, but only once for each limb. With complete bed rest they can heal 3x as fast.
· Automatic Languages: Lacertu . Bonus Languages: Verosian, Skarrel, Draconic, and Darktongue. Lacertu know the languages of lizard-like creatures and their neighbors who they occasionally encounter.
· Racial Skills: Swim, Survival
· Favored Class: Sorcerer. A multi-class Lacertu’s Sorcerer class does not count when determining whether he suffers an XP penalty for multiclassing (see PHB P.56) Sorcery is a skill they are all trained in, though not all demonstrate enough talent to wield magic.

Of the Desert (Desert Lacertu):

· +2 Constitution, -2 Wisdom: Lacertu of the Desert are very tough. They have very little sense of morality and tend to make decisions based on their knowledge rather than experience.
· Stability: Due to their tail, Lacertu are exceptionally stable on their feet. A Lacertu gains a +4 bonus on ability checks to resist being bull-rushed or tripped when standing on the ground.
· Natural Attacks: If a Lacertu attempts to attack with a tail attack it is considered a normal unarmed attack (1d3 subdual) and does not grant a bonus attack. The Lacertu can take the multi-attack feat from the Monster Manual to get an extra attack with the tail. Though Lacertu have claws and teeth they generally do not use them to attack. If they do attack with these, claws and teeth do 1d3 normal damage, not subdual, but multi-attack does not grant extra attacks. However, they are not considered armed.
· Lacertu base speed is 30 feet.
· Burst of Speed: Base move becomes 60 for a number of rounds equal to constitution.
· Resist Heat: +2 save vs. heat
· Natural Armor: Natural Base AC 12
· Automatic Languages: Lacertu. Bonus Languages: Verosian, Mikanian, and Draconic. Lacertu know the languages of lizard-like creatures and their neighbors who they occasionally encounter.
· Racial Skills: Survival, Run
· Favored Class: Sorcerer. A multi-class Lacertu’s Sorcerer class does not count when determining whether he suffers an XP penalty for multiclassing (see PHB P.56) Sorcery is a skill they are all trained in, though not all demonstrate enough talent to wield magic.

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