Beastfolk, Elapi (3.5e Race)
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Also known as humantaint ophidians, after the race from which they sprang (detailed in the Fiend Folio), or as Snakefolk, the Elapi are a race of serpentine folk who were originally created by the nagas as a slave race. This process was later copied and improved upon by the yuan-ti with much greater success, producing the ophidians as they are now known. The magic that was intended to bind the Elapi to their original creators failed, however, and they escaped the domination of their would-be masters. Some of these escapees were able to breed true through a fortunate failure in the magic that originally created their race, rather than having to rely upon infecting other races with their venomous bite, as normal ophidians must, and it is from these humantaint ophidians that the Elapi came. The Elapi have escaped from a great evil, and they find their newfound freedom quite relaxing, and have no intention of going back to the way that they were. To advance this goal, the Elapi have quickly integrated into the ruling societies as best as they could, the oldest of the race who still remember their former lives before they were transformed into Elapi using their knowledge as leverage to worm their way into the cracks of the civilized world, many becoming moneylenders and brokers with the treasures they stole from the nagas, placing a great many of them firmly in a disliked but needed profession, while others insinuated themselves into the vice trade, and still others take part in investments and trading.
Elapi are shrewd by nature, since this was the only way that they were able to fit back into the societies from which they had been pulled by the horrible transformation that originally set their race apart from humanity. They are almost always treated as outsiders, and often face fear and ostracism, and for this reason they tend to be cold and unemotional, cultivating a talent for picking out the weak and gullible – those who are most susceptible to temptation.
Resembling nothing so much as large serpents with relatively stubby arms and legs, making them rather slow-moving (though their fingers and toes are quite long and slender, allowing remarkable manual dexterity), the Elapi can take on almost any variation on the serpentine form, from vipers to constrictors. Height and weight tend to be slightly less than for a human. Elapi have a set of razor-sharp fangs, which are either set in the jaw, or which fold back like those of an adder when not in use, depending on the breed of serpent the snakefolk most resembles.
Nobody really likes the snakefolk, and the Elapi know this. However, they do not really have any enemies either, besides their creators, who still want them back. And so the Elapi work to find a happy medium with the people around them, staying out of sight and out of mind, taking advantage of situations that arise when they can, and trying not to stir up trouble.
Most Elapi are True Neutral by nature, adapting to circumstances as occasion requires to make the best possible profit, devoted to improving their situation in life and that of their children. Many are amoral, but few are actively malicious.
The Elapi live best among the cities of humans, insinuating themselves wherever there is a niche that might be filled by ones who are not afraid to trade their compunctions for profit. They have also set up a few outposts in the wilds, preferring warm lands and deserts (for which they are supremely adapted), and can be found all along the trade routes through these lands, as guides and investors and caterers to the needs of caravan staff and animals.
The Elapi were fooled once into worshipping the nagas as gods. This has left a bad taste in their mouths about all religion, and so most of the humantaint ophidians are irreligious, preferring to leave worship to others. However, they are willing to make deals with deities who serve their purposes best, and many are quite fond of Fharlanghn, the god of travel, and Wee Jas, the orderly goddess of death and magic, while a few also seek out Vecna, god of forbidden knowledge. Any god who gives great interest to commerce, temptation, and prosperity, though, is likely to gain at least a passing nod from the Elapi.
The Elapi speak draconic and Common as their starting languages. Their bonus languages include abyssal, aquan, celestial, halfling and yuan-ti.
Elapi names are sibilant and have flowing, vibrating tones. Male names include Assan, Shemass, Sseth, and Uss while female names include Ashani, Ghassa, Thessalia, and Venassi.
It is not uncommon for Elapi to be displaced from their homes by mounting prejudice or the changing winds of economics and forced to wander and try and make their living as best as they can. Some actually become quite enamored of the opportunity for vast and quick wealth that is afforded by the adventuring life, and some even develop affection for those of other races who show them kindness, though even these few seldom lose sight of their end goals.
- +2 Dexterity, -2 Charisma
- Monstrous Humanoid
- Elapi base land speed is 20 feet
- Unusual Shape: Armor for Elapi costs double the normal amount.
- Darkvision out 60 feet.
- +2 to Climb and Swim checks.
- +2 natural armor.
- Natural Attack: Bite (1d4 piercing damage)
- Venomous: As a racial Feat, which can be selected at 3rd level or beyond, an Elapi can develop potent venom glands. These cause the bite attack of an Elapi to deal either 1d4/1d4 Strength damage, or 1d2/1d2 Constitution damage, at the character’s option after each bite attack (the result coming from the amount of venom injected). The DC save against this poison is 12 + the Elapi’s Constitution bonus.
- Constrictor’s Strength: +2 to Grapple checks, and can take the Gigantism Feat (detailed in the “Feats of the Beastfolk” document) without restriction.
- Automatic Languages: Draconic, Common. Bonus Languages: Abyssal, Aquan, Celestial, Halfling and Yuan-ti.
- Favored Class: Rogue or Hexblade.
- Level Adjustment: 0
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