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Artist rendering of a Lizardman warrior #1
Artist rendering of a Lizardman warrior #2

The An'ssel'rr (known more commonly among Mainlanders as Lizardfolk) are a race of sapient beings characterized by their reptillian aspect.


An'ssel'rr tradition records that they were created by the Eight Makers to survey and protect the swamps as the ultimate founts of the diversity of life. Whether or not this is ultimately true, they have more-or-less held the monopoly on the least-desired areas of the Mainland since time immemorial, happily occupying parts of the world that are hostile to all of the Goodly Races--the most treacherous swamps, the most barren deserts. Traditionally, these areas have been highly secure positions to hold, and the unique physiology of the Lizardfolk allowed them to thrive.

In the ages before recorded history, the Lizardfolk were more numerous, and occupied small kingdoms that went beyond the range of their habitat. They and whatever slaves they managed to capture built temples to their patron deities, and kept rich histories told as trilling, sibilant songs the like of which has been unknown anywhere else in the world. That history, though, has ever since been one of slow decline, marked largely by the ascendance of the Ubrekti Empire and the subsequent explosion of Goodly populations. Lizardfolk, alien as they are, make for discomfiting neighbors, and the warm-blooded vigor of the Humans and Demihumans has been hard to match with the species' low birthrate and slow growth into maturity. It is for this reason that most of well-known history sees them confined to footnotes and margins, or starring as the occasional bogeyman in scary stories.

Recent developments have seen the boundaries between Lizardfolk and the Goodly races become strained. Booms in Human and other population have made more demand for farmland, and great engineering projects to drain swampland and convert it for other use have risen to meet it. Clans of Lizardfolk that have existed alongside these kingdoms for centuries are now finding themselves harassed and destroyed. Those Lizardfolk who survive and are pushed from their homeland find it extremely hard to carve out an existence in the margins of Alexandrian society, as their strange psychology makes it difficult for other groups to relate in any meaningful way.

Physiology and Culture

Lizardfolk are unique among the land-dwelling populations in displaying a cold-blooded nature; even the Kobolds, who have long fancied themselves the descendants of the Dragons themselves, pump blood as hot as that of any Orc. They are oviparous, and while, unlike most reptiles, they possess vocal chords, they are closer in nature to those of birds and are not well-suited to others' speech. While not truly ectothermic, Lizardfolk still metabolize more slowly than others, and find it difficult to keep up long periods of activity in colder environments. They instead relish heat and humidity that other people find oppressive.

Lizardfolk average slightly larger than Human-sized, with adults typically ranging from six to eight feet in height. However, unlike most warm-blooded creatures, they are very long-lived (most die of violence rather than infirmity), and never stop growing. Some particularly resilient individuals have been seen with a physique approaching that of a Troll or Ogre--known as Lizard Kings, these extraordinary beings have typically gotten to their age by being the strongest and most-cunning members of a species defined largely by their affinity to hostile environments, and they can be quite formidable opponents.

Lizardfolk do not pair-bond, but instead mate and keep their eggs communally. The responsibilities for raising young are typically rotated among the individuals, although more infirm lizardfolk will assume more-or-less permanent positions of care as they become less able to contribute to the clan's other needs. Gender roles are almost completely nonexistent--apart from occasionally depositing eggs in the carefully guarded clutches of the clan, the females have no particularly special role in upbringing, and they are equally likely as males to be found hunting and leading as they are to be found maintaining the clan's scant agriculture or gathering the fruits of the swamp's wild bounty. Mating itself is a brief interruption in daily routine, and seen as a transaction no more important than trading stories, or sharing a meal. As such, the bonds between two particular lizardfolk have little to do with romantic interest, but are instead generated through shared experiences, and are typically strongest between Lizardfolk who are coincidental either by age, or by responsibilities within the clan.

Lizardfolk morality is typically characterized as "Neutral", but this represents less a descriptive label and more a failure to place their actions into a familiar taxonomy. As a trend, moral outcomes in An'ssel'rr society adhere to highly pragmatic approaches to optimal outcomes. Cannibalism, for instance, is not only not taboo, but rather, to do otherwise is seen as an illogical waste of resources and an insult to the dead. Lizardfolk will freely use their kin as materials in craft, and will reverently refer to mundane household objects made from former friends and respected elders. Any individual unknown to the clan, Lizardfolk or otherwise, is treated identically. In the swamps, this typically means "with hostility", since competition for resources and territory is fierce, but when a common goal is present, the Lizardfolk can be found to be highly cooperative for as long as they find such cooperation expedient. As almost all Goodly interaction with Lizardfolk is in the context of continued encroachment into their territory, they have a reputation of being savage and brutally fierce. Thus, even without a priori predisposition to hostility to anyone in particular, they are more likely to cooperate with other Lizardfolk clans, who at least have the benefit of understanding their motives.

A strange quirk of this mentality is that people who understand the Lizardfolk worldview can find it very easy to stay in their good graces. Where other alliances can be ended with some imagined slight or diplomatic misstep, the Lizardfolk typically ignore the niceties of discourse completely and will always continue a relationship that they find materially helpful, no matter what the disposition of the other parties involved.

In contrast to this, Lizardfolk interactions with those of the Druidic order are typically very civil, and sometimes can form into long-lasting alliances; both have a shared interest in maintaining the wild lands at the edges of habitation, and appreciate aspects of balance in nature that more civilized people might find unnerving or repulsive. As long-lived as this status quo has been, is still strictly out of convenience. If the Lizardfolk somehow found themselves occupying a dominant position in the power structure of the Mainland, they would likely dissolve this bond without a thought. To their credit, the Druids understand this quite well, but don't find the prospect worth worrying about too much.

Commonly characterized as "primitive", the Lizardfolk have a nuanced relationship with technology. While they lack the infrastructure for widespread deployment of steel (and, in fact, practice hardly any metallurgy at all), they have a keen understanding of biological and alchemical processes, and by necessity, are well-studied in the ecology of their habitat. Most clans keep detailed written records in flowing script and on strange media (owing to the material strictures of swamp life). These records, when encountered by outsiders, are typically destroyed or pawned off as curious artwork, and the value of their content is largely ignored.

Game Features

Lizardfolk exist as listed in the SRD. PCs typically aren't Lizardfolk (because it's a huge pain in the ass), but when they are, the version used is the one here, but with the addition of the bestiary "hold breath" extraordinary ability. Desert varieties, like those listed in the SRD, also exist on the Mainland, and mainly inhabit the brutally hot, dry regions of the Scar, or the similarly arid (but less hot) mountains in the wilds of Petara and the Ulan.

Their language is internally called Ssel'it, but others call it Lizardmanlander. Because they're jerks.

Lizardfolk maximum age is completely unknown, even by Lizardfolk. Individuals only grow as they age, without losing vitality (with the occasional very large examples, known as Lizard Kings, popping up when they reach at least a century of age), but their harsh lives typically see an end through either violence or an accumulation of poorly treated illnesses. There are stories of millenia-old Lizardfolk reaching the stature of the ancient Dragons of lore, and the occasional account relating that those Dragons were, in fact, Lizardfolk, but the veracity of these claims is highly suspect.