Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Baak-Suul

The Baak-Suul are a race of great reptilian warriors who dwell in the deserts of Far Eastern Jashan, across the sea from Rysanthis.

Tall, slender and serpentine, the Baak-Suul have scales like iron, muscles and sinews of incredible strength and speed, and a cunning intelligence that is surprising given their mostly static and primitive culture.

 They are brown in hue, having a finned back, long snaking tails and long heads with leathery fanged jaws which, with their long knife like claws, give the Baak-Suul an arsenal of natural weapons that make fearsome enough without their legendary great scimitars.

The Baak-Suul were first encountered by the ancient Jashani, the darkly tanned, black haired race of Men who dwell in the harsh and forbidding lands that bear their name. There are many Jashani legends about early wars with these ferocious warriors, but in time, through the occult arts, Jashani wizards discovered a means of subduing and controlling the fearsome Baak-Suul, and since that time, the Lizard Men have been largely subservient to their human masters.

This is one reason why Jashan has never been troubled by the kingdoms of Rysanthis; the Baak-Suul serve not only as palace and Temple gaurdians for the Jashani but as terrifying infantry who strike terror into the hearts of the armies of the City States.

Concerning magic, the Baak-Suul themselves use none and are utterly incapable of it, insofar is as known.

They have a savage and pitiless culture which prides only warrior skill and raw courage. Their strange vocal anatomy permits them a very wide range of words from human speech, albeit in a hissing and growling manner which is unpleasant to human ears. Their own mysterious language consists mostly of croaking sounds and hand, tail and head motions which are quite difficult for any human to decipher.

Baak-Suul are famed for devouring prey they vanquish in battle and to be consumed by their own kind is a common punishment for those who offend Baak-Suuli cultural customs. Their law is simple and tribal in nature. Aside form their apprehension towards magic, Baak-Suul seem to possess no faculty of fear. They have very poor vision and cannot use bows at all, but their hearing and smell is almost supernatural.

The Lizard Men can be found in many major cities of Rysanthis, particularly port cities, usually serving as guardians of Jashani ambassadors.

They are much sought after as mercenaries by some Rysanthian rulers, particularly the Gurdosians. Baak-Suul have surprising military discipline, in addition to their skill in war. They are highly resistant to poisons and illness as well. Many are mariners, surprisingly good seamen and capable swimmers.

Some offenses in Baak-Suuli culture do not bring death but exile--for this reason the odd solitary Baak-Suul can be found in Rysanthis, having no attachments and being a wanderer, usually finding no refuge in anything but the road. There is a Baak-Suuli enclave in Gurdos but exiles are not welcome there.

Baak-Suul have an odd characteristic, in that they have a strange admiration for human culture and will affect an air of refinement when they are able, such as when in places of entertainment and drinking. They are deeply affected by music, particularly wind and stringed instruments, since their own culture knows only crude drumming. They do not distill alcohol and have a weakness for human drink, though it takes massive quantities to alter their minds at all.

Their chief weakness, however, is Qorro Leaf, a Jashani plant which produces a very mild euphoric effect in humans and other races which partake of it but which cause sensations of rapture, sexual arousal, and even vivid hallucinations and trances which have a religious significance to the Baak Suul. In most of the Rysanthian City States, Qorro Leaf is forbidden and even in the cities of Jashan, its use is strictly regulated.

Although their scales provide a natural armor, the Baak-Suul craft battle harnesses and gear from the bone and horns of dragons, wearing conical broad brimmed helms, breastplates and arm, shin and shoulder protectors which serve them well in battle. They wear long, single coloured robes patterned in black with intricate Oriental designs when in human cities, but in the rocky desert crags of their eastern home, they wear no clothing at all.

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