Caudabran

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Summary

A race of psionic reptilians, product of ancient experimentation...or simple natural selection.

Lurking in the swamps and shadows of many a reptilian community, on the outskirts of lizardfolk tribes or eking out an existence in spitting distance of some green dragon's lair, are the Caudabrans. Born with gifts of speed and stealth at odds with the rough-and-tumble style of many of their scaly compatriots, they exist like a crocodile, one eye above the water, one eye below, only half-belonging anywhere at all. For this reason, Caudabrans are sometimes referred to (all too often unkindly) as 'marshlurks'.

Personality: Caudabrans tend to be, at best, reticent; pulling the details of one's life or story from a marshlurk is roughly as easy as pulling the fangs from a monstrous spider. There exist Caudabrans who choose not to speak at all, though adventurers tend to be among the more garrulous of the breed. Even at their best, Caudabrans are suspicious, quiet, and have an ingrained (though deceptive) taste for bowing and scraping to their 'betters' (that is, almost anyone else). Caudabrans are not, naturally, disposed to keeping their promises if under even the slightest duress- their personal honor tends toward the prickly. It is this they offer as justification for the many 'masters' they have bowed to, only to eviscerate at a later and more convenient date.

Those few Caudabrans who choose more martial career paths, and some that have managed to obtain great power, tend toward the opposite extreme, strutting and posturing, though in such a way that it is somewhat obvious they feel quite the impostor. To their friends, Caudabrans are matter-of-fact, no-nonsense, often described as 'professional' in demeanor; they have a stunning memory for details and a taste for obscure facts.

Physical Description: Caudabrans are long-armed, slick-skinned humanoids. Their heads are wedge-shaped, at the end of a long, sinuous neck, and their eyes tend to be widely placed, large, and limpid. Their knuckles drag the ground at the end of multi-jointed, seemingly boneless arms; their 'musculature' tends toward the slick, undefined form found in creatures of the sea. Caudabran fingers are long and ridged like those of a gecko. Young or inexperienced Caudabrans possess a few small, crystalline scales; usually in a ridge leading down the neck and to the sides of their wedge-head. As a Caudabran grows and gains power, these scales grow into increasingly complex (and, some say, beautiful) patterns.

Relations: Few races know enough about Caudabrans to have a relationship with them; their tendency toward reclusive behavior makes them mysterious to many. Lizardmen, troglodytes, and other reptilians, and some coastal races (notably the sahaguin) admire, or despise the marshlurks in proportion to how much they admire or despise they common profession of stealth.

Alignment: Though conniving, not necessarily trustworthy, and as morally slick as they are physically, Caudabrans are not, in point of fact, evil; they lack the necessary drive, in most cases. Caudabrans that are actually good (and they are many, though not vocal) tend toward anonymous acts of goodwill. Breakfasts cooked without apparent agency, babies cared for by a mysterious benefactor(or simply saved from a grisly fate), etc. are the hallmarks of Caudabran heroism.

Caudabran Lands: Caudabrans have no lands of their own, as such. They generally reside in the outskirts (or, rarely, the secret heart) of other reptilian communities.

Religion: Many Caudabran individuals have no set-in-stone religious beliefs. Those that are devout tend toward the worship of Rekash, whom some marshlurks believe to be the ancient progenitor of their line.

Languages: Caudabrans speak Common and their own sign-language. More learned Caudabrans generally speak the languages of nearby species, and Aquan.

Names: Caudabran names are similar to those of the mysterious race known as Shadowswyfts (a fact which many planar scholars make much of) in that it consists of a handful of syllables (usually nonsense ones- Caudabrans believe that a name can give your enemy a clue) and a signifying gesture. A typical Caudabran name would be, for instance, Na'na'keer'luhr [twisting of neck].

Adventuring: Most Caudabrans adventure to gain opportunities to practice and hone their skills; a Caudabran who returns to his family without first 'growing new scales' (literally or figuratively) is likely to be mocked.

Caudabran Racial Traits:

  • +2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma; Caudabrans are nimble, swift swimmers who are smarter than most would guess; however, they are none too hardy and too reticent to gain much notice.
  • Medium: As medium creatures, Caudabrans have no special bonuses or penalties due to size.
  • Caudabran base speed is 30 feet.
  • Low-light vision: A Caudabran can see twice as far as a human in moonlight or other conditions of poor illumination.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Caudabrans treat claw-class weapons as martial, rather than exotic.
  • Rubbery hide:Caudabrans gain a +1 natural armor bonus to AC.
  • Naturally Psionic: Caudabrans, even those who choose not to pursue such a destiny, have a grasp of mental power; they gain two bonus power points at first level.
  • Seascales: The crystalline scales of a Caudabran allow them to become a near-perfect amphibious warrior. A Caudabran may spend 1 PP to gain water breathing, and a swim speed equal to their base land speed, for 10 minutes.
  • Darkscales: Every Caudabran, in addition to their seascales (which are immediately obvious) possesses a set of 'Darkscales'. These Darkscales are usually actually embedded in the Caudabran's skin, invisible until utilized- usually in the service of a psionic power. When a Caudabran manifests a power, their Darkscales glimmer softly. As with Seascales, a Caudabran's Darkscales grow in power as the Caudabran does. A Caudabran may spend 1 PP to gain a +4 bonus to Hide and Move Silently for 10 minutes.
  • Favored Class: Lurk or Psychic Rogue. A multiclass Caudabran's Lurk or Psychic Rogue class does not count when determining if he or she is assessed a penalty for multiclassing.
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