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 The Warlizards
Tall, strong, and proud are the Kaelaen. Some learned sages would have people believe that there is more to the Kaelaen culture than meets the eye. They argue that there is gentleness hidden beneath the hard hides of these noble beasts. Of course, the Kaelaen would also argue that hiding a whole other side to their culture seems like a wasteful effort. Fighting Kaelaen do just what their name implies, while the tiered structure of their race's society designates a place for every other kind of person for which they have a use.
While there is more to life than just battle, this headlong analogy applies very well to how most Kaelaen view life as a whole. To intentionally deceive another of your land is to make yourself an outsider to all. To steal, even for survival, from another of your land is to cripple yourself of the use of at least one limb. To take the life of another of your land is to make your own life forfeit. A simple code, in the eyes of the Kaelaen, but it makes dealing with them all-the-more difficult.
Physical Description: Adult Kaelaen range anywhere from six and a half to eight feet in height, and weight between 350-450 pounds, with females being slimmer and less bulky than the males. (But not by much) A Kaelaen's tail, when standing straight (the only way to stand), begins an inch-or-so above their pelvis and descends in a thick, crocadilian build to just above their ankles. Their hides are tough and protective, with thick, glossy, chitinous scales along the crest of their head, the finer scales around their eyes, mouth and neck being duller in comparison. Their claws are usually half an inch to two inches in length on both hands and feet. A Kaelaen's arms reach down almost as low as their tails when their fingers are relaxed, though for most this is due to their long claws and low shoulders. Kaelaen can not grow obese, but their tails can thicken to nearly 125% of its original size with stored fat. As a rule, most Kaelaen excise the flaps of flexible hide between their fingers and toes, making gloves and boots easier to design and wear. Scale colors vary tremendously from region to region, though a good rule of thumb is to compare the climate from which a particular Kaelaen hails with the scale pattern of a large lizard from a similar climate.
Relations: The most ideal land and hunting grounds belong to the strongest. This concept is concrete, and to say that to argue otherwise against a Kaelaen is unwise would be an understatement. Otherwise, a Kaelaen will live and let live. This view of uneasy peace doesn't sit well with most Rukaiin and Jherron, however, as they sit on "the most ideal land". Any Kaelaen even aware of the existence of the Xei as a race tend to ignore their land, as it holds no value and little game that the Kaelaen would deem worthwhile. They permit the Uqur to keep to the seas, and so long as the Vaenar are working with them, they don't mind where they go. Their ability to get along with other settlements of Kaelaen is based solely on honor, and can be shattered by something as insignificant as a campfireside, alcohol induced skirmish.
Alignment: Do as they say shall be the whole of the law. While it is true that there is no official judicial system among the Kaelaen, and that there exist no courts or lawmakers or even any law enforcement of any kind, this is only because Kaelaen do not need them. If someone commits a crime, they are punished. Repeat offenses are rare, due to the severe nature of most Kaelaen punishments. Almost all Kaelaen have a strong Lawful tilt to their alignment, though individual choices of right and wrong are a matter of ethics and personal choice. Most Kaelaen NPCs are Lawful Neutral.
Kaelaen Lands: The Kaelaen come from many places, though the bulk of the race in most campaigns are going to be from Vroehkt. Kaelaen prefer open areas, plains and grasslands, or rocky steppes, that are warm for at least most of the year. While not cold-blooded, and therefore able to operate during the winter, colder climates are detrimental, requiring larger food stores and food supplies.
Religion: The Kaelaen view life and death as two worlds occupying the same space, similar to the Material plane and the Ethereal plane. They believe that moment that one leaves one plane, they immediately make the transition to the other. To them, Gods come in three varieties. First, and most important, is the Warchief. The Kaelaen Warchief is usually a middle-aged-or-older figure who has chosen a strong mate-for-life and sired at least two strong offspring. The Warlord guides the activities of the Kaelaen in life, until death, and the burden of progress is squarely upon his shoulders. The only reason that Warchief is usually an inherited title is because the bloodline of the Warchief runs strong and true, and there exist only a few dynasties that Kaelaen history has recorded. The second variety of God, to a Kaelaen, is anyone who attains the rank of General. To them, a General has stepped beyond the realm of Mortality, for their names shall not be forgotten even when their bodies die. Third, any Ghuvor of any race that lives beyond their fifth century, and has entered that last, slow stage of life is considered a God, and it is believed that these Ghuvor are able to see things as they happen in the land of the living, and the land of the dead. While some Kaelaen hint at a sense of reincarnation, theirs is a society of progress. In the land of the living, there is no room for speculations of the hereafter.
Language: Kaelaen speak Kaelaen and Common. They tend to learn at least one other language, typically of another race indigenous to invaded territory.
Names: Kaelaen have two names. They begin life with their clan name, and a rank that designates their order of birth. Kaelaen work hard through the early stages of their youth to earn their own first name to replace the family rank. For Kaelaen destined to be soldiers, there is no difference between male and female names. For all other Kaelaen, the designation is only in the translation. (The DM or Player may decide on a first name, either that resembles the Kaelaen language as it appears in the names of historical figures, or merely the English translation of that name)
Clan Names: There are, at any given time, only a hundred and fifty recognized Kaelaen clan names. This is not to say that there aren't more, but they aren't officially recognized. Clan names are all appended with the location of the individual's current house. This is usually a city or town, though sometimes a larger region will suffice. Here are some clan names that have remained stable over the generations: Anun (Strong), Atjtakes (Spearshaper), Dhalakh (Strong-arm), Eushkufu (Bonebreaker), Gahien (Sharpening Stone), Hkent (Hill), Ishk (Proud), Juroun (Serves-well), Niran (Forward, Ahead), Qaqad (Battlemind, Strategist), Rotjusse (Green Eyes, a dominant trait).
Adventures: There is always something better. This is a notion that proves true for many Kaelaen coming from their harsh jungles or arid, rocky wastelands. Home is usually difficult to defend, When they see an opportunity better the lives of their family, or themself, they would journey halfway around the world and back again if they thought they had a chance of living glory or even at dying glory. It is not difficult to imagine why a lone Kaelaen would venture forth into the world, unless they were a Soldier. Desertion is another of those crimes punishable by death among the Kaelaen.
Kaelaen Racial Traits
- +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma. Kaelaen are strong and tough, but lack the finer skills of tact, grace, and wit.
- Medium: As Medium creatures, Kaelaen have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Kaelaen base land speed is 30 feet. (Six squares)
- Kaelaen have a +2 racial bonus to Balance, Climb and Jump. (Replace Climb with Swim if, for whatever reason, the Kaelaen's hand and foot webbing is not excised)
- +3 Natural Armor Bonus. While not as tough as a true reptile's scales, their hide still offers them more protection against damage.
- Thermal Vision: Through a combination of the acute senses of sight, smell, taste, and touch, the Kaelaen have developed an advanced means of producing accurate, three-dimensional depictions of their environment. When a Kaelaen chooses (normally at night or in pitch darkness), they are able to accurately sense any subtle differences in heat within thirty feet of them. (This increment doubles every time a Kaelaen increases in size category) A Kaelaen temporarily loses this ability if they are wearing a helm heavier than leather, or that covers their mouth.
- Natural Weapons: 2 Claws (1d4) and bite (1d4).
- Special Qualities: Amphibious. (While it is true that a Kaelaen can survive indefinitely on land or underwater, a Kaelaen that remains for too long too deeply in the water runs the risk of several complicating conditions, most of which could quickly become damaging to the bones and brain, and even fatal if left untreated)
- Automatic Languages: Kaelaen, Common. Languages: (May choose from the Rukaiin Bonus Language list)
- Favored Class: Fighter. Kaelaen train hard, even if they are not soldiers, in the art of combat, and it shows in the ferocity of their fighting prowess. A multiclass Kaelaen’s fighter class does not count when determining whether they take an experience point penalty for multiclassing. (See PHB 3.5, pp 60) (See PHB 3.5, pp 60)