Skerottian (3.5e Race)
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A vile creation of the even viler Yuan-ti, the Skerottians in their natural form are merely a writhing mass of snakes that possess intelligence. The minds of the snakes are connected together as one, held together by blasphemous sorceries and dark magicks known only to the Yuan-ti.
The lives of these creatures have been tragic since the beginning, their bodies wracked with eternal pain, their minds partially unmade. The Yuan-ti have recently taken to creating strange humanoid skeletons to hold the creatures together, only increasing their twisted power.
Their minds partially unmade, these creatures are pitiful wretches that cannot think a single thought without hundreds of arguments going through their bodies. An unfortunate side effect of the magic was that each of the snakes is sentient, making thinking truly impossible...
Inside a Skerrotian's mind are five hundred voices, from the tiny snakes that work as muscles in the fingers to the huge Spine-snake that acts as the muscles of the back and also as the tail. Many Skerrotians are driven mad by this, but a few, a precious few unite their minds by strange techniques, channeling their anger and pain into a single, driving force. These Skerrotians are the most deadly by far...
The first Skerrotians were barely sentient pillars of writhing snakes... but the newer creatures are more easily discernible from mere viper swarms. They have strange, metal bound skeletons as their heart, crafted from the bones of half-orcs, snakes, yuan-ti and humans. Around the arms, legs and spine, as well as inside the ribcage, are coiled numerous snakes, acting as the muscles of the creature. The largest snake, great yellow eyes glowing, has its great tail down the rear of the skeleton, twisted around the spine, and its head visible through the smashed nose and upper jaw of the skull, its eyes looking out through the sockets. What one snake senses, the others sense, although if, say, the creature is stabbed, the pain will not damage the other snakes as it does the individual snake who is attacked.
Skerrotians are hated by and repellent to other races in general, apart from the Yuan-ti, who they themselves hate with a passion. They can sometimes win acceptance, although their need to eat from several mouths and their lack of need to sleep can worry those not used to it. They can sometimes be given a repose from these powers by Threbelhd, who can use their many powers to unite the creature into one mind for once, and so they enjoy their company. Skinks, however, and other lizard-like creatures, they see as too much like their masters and generally hate them. Evil races tend to be avoided by Skerrotians, especially rowdy ones such as Dramorka and Kanna Bajang. The occasional Skerrotian has befriended one of the filthy troll-kin known as Skrathosi, simply because they are both hated by most.
Usually Chaotic Neutral. Skerrotians are a powerful race in body, but in mind they are broken. They are, however, strongly chaotic and sometimes verging on random.
Those lands most populated by the Skerrotians are those of the Yuan-ti, and they have no lands of their own.
Despite their hatred of the Yuan-ti, Skerrotians often worship gods favoured by them. Mershaulkk, for instance, is often worshipped by them. On the other hand, many also favour human gods such as Pelor and Saint Cuthbert.
The Skerrotian speaks Draconic, Yuan-ti and Serpentine, although many choose to learn common later in life.
Skerrotians have no common names, instead being called 'Slave' by their masters or being given a name by those friends they have won the acceptance of. A few have Yuan-ti names (those who have been slightly more priveleged in Yuan-ti society).
Most Skerrotians that have escaped slavery become adventurers, but they usually do so alone or with a partner.
- +2 Strength, +1 Dexterity, -8 Charisma: The Skerrotians are repellent to other races, but strong and dextrous.
- Medium: As medium creatures, Skerrotians have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Skerrotian base land speed is 30 feet.
- Low-Light Vision. Snakes have very good night vision!
- Snake Attacks: all unarmed melee attacks made by the Skerottian deal 1d4 extra damage plus poison (DC 17 fort. save negates, initial/secondary damage the same (1d4 Con damage))
- Bite Attack: This is a normal bite attack, dealing 1D6 damage but also injecting poison into the opponent's bloodstream. The poison is the same as that dealt by the Snake Attacks.
- +8 racial bonus on swim checks, +2 racial bonus on balance and climb checks (because of its tail.)
- Scent (Ex): A Skerottian can use its many noses to detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes and track by sense of smell.
- +1 natural AC bonus.
- -2 racial penalty on any Will saves.
- Swarm Traits: Immune to critical hits.
- Hivemind: Because of it having a Hivemind, the Skerrotian is NOT immune to mind-affecting spells.
- All round vision: Because of its many heads, the Skerrotian is immune to Sneak attacks and flanking.
- When the Skerrotian's hp is reduced to -10, all the snakes of the Skerrotian are dead, leaving only the skeleton (this may be used to create another Skerrotian). They may be resurrected as normal with a wish/miracle spell, but not with a resurrection spell (unless you cast it five hundred times, that is!)
- Automatic Languages: Serpentine (works like speak with animals but only works with snakes), Draconic, Yuan-ti. Bonus Languages: Common, Abyssal, Elven.
- Favored Class: Fighter. A multiclass Skerrotian's fighter class does not count when working out whether it takes an xp bonus.
Creating a Skerrotian
The Skerrotian's creation requires the bones of one large sized humanoid creature, one medium sized humanoid creature, and one snake. It also requires five-hundred live snakes of all sizes from small to large (including one spine-snake: cost 2500 GP must be bought from a Yuan-ti) and 200 pounds of silver. There must be at least four arcane casters of lvl 6 or higher involved in the casting, as well as at least one Yuan-ti. The creators (between them) must be able to cast: telekenesis, mass suggestion and create undead. There is a cost of 700 Xp and 25,000 GP to create the body and 5000 Xp, 20,000 GP to create the living hive-mind. The ritual to create the body takes two days which can only be spent resting. The three rituals to create the hivemind take one day each, between which the four mages required must rest.