Iksar (5e Race)
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Of Blood And Scales
The iksar are a reptilian race that once resided in deep marshes and rocky coasts inhabiting the most forsaken lands of the world. A proud and bitter race, iksar seek to reclaim their former glory as mighty rulers of their mysterious realms. They are alien to those from other continents and hostile to any who dare encroach upon their territories, as the iksar see such races as invaders and outsiders. Though thought of by many as a dark and sinister race, the iksar have no love of those such as drow, tieflings, gnolls, and such ilk; and this lack of affection is mutual. Only truly at home in the swamps, iksar who travel beyond the shores face constant mistrust, aggression, and alienation.
The iksar are a powerfully built race of reptilian people, with long muscular tails, sharp teeth, scaly hides and horned heads. They tend to fall in the same height category as humans but, though more lithe, their musculature is far denser, causing even the thinnest iksar to weigh in at more than 200 pounds. Their body coloration tends to range through shades of gray, tan, and light brown; with horns often taking a more reddish hue. Although most members of other races claim to unable to tell male and female Iksar apart, there are important differences between the genders. In addition to having somewhat more slender builds and lighter colors forming patterns across their bodies, female iksar have far more colorful facial scales. While males continue the bland color of their bodies across their faces, females have bright patterns of yellow, pink, blue, white, green, and purple; all forming rings, circles, and bands across their faces.
From Shackles To Strength
The history of the iksar is a long and complex one, beginning with their enslavement by the now extinct shissar, who were regarded once as the rulers of all serpent-kind. They were considered once as possible successors to the sarrukh creators, having known their arts of creation, but they fell into a glutted empire that was driven to nothingness when the yuan-ti rose to power. Little is known of this era in iksar civilization, but it is evident that the iksar eventually stepped out from the shadows of their masters and turned to building a mighty empire for themselves. In time, the iksar empire arrogantly made war with the dragons residing in their region of the world and built a mighty stronghold. However, the toll of war, followed by the death of their emperor, brought the iksar to eventual ruin. Save for a few of their great cities, many iksar settlements of old have fallen into phantom-haunted ruins or have become strongholds for the iksars' enemies.
Shores Of Outsiders
As a result of their hubris, the iksar paid the price and fell from glory. To them, this was but a stumble, however, as they bide their time to regain their strength and hope to return to the old days. They live in scattered tribes, shattered from their fallen society, often pitching temporary camps on far-flung shores of strange lands they are forced to step foot on. Most dream of their homeland, now overtaken by the heathens who had laughed at their fall. They are often seen as nomadic annoyances, acting high and mighty despite their fallen status. Kingdoms often regard them as gypsies or charlatans when they show up on their doorstep. Iksar will never beg, as they are too proud.
Proud, self-assured, and distrustful of others, the iksar live in a constant and violent cycle of the strong ruling over the weak. They see strength and might as paramount over all other factors. No tool is discarded, no matter how intangible. In fact, "tools" such as pain, fear, and torture are simply means to an ambitious end. If an iksar should happen to display such qualities as integrity and justice, he does so incidentally, fearing his superiors or the consequences of his actions rather than out of any sense of morality. Even those few iksar who comprehend the alien notion of virtue generally believe that such virtue without the strength to enforce it on others is meaningless, and may use methods to accomplish their (ostensibly benign) goals that other races would find unacceptable.
Within iksar's former society, the position, rank, and authority of every citizen is well understood and strictly upheld. War barons run the military, haggle barons rule the economy, and troopers take orders. Nonconformists have no place in iksar society. If not cast out, those who do not fit in will remain in the lowest strata of society for the entirety of their lives.
On the Treatises of Snake-Folk
An important note of iksar lore is their seething hatred of snake-like races, particularly the naga and the yuan-ti. The iksar were given horrifying strength and a brutal logic by their masters, but were also given a portion of their hatred and xenophobia. Iksar and yuan-ti are unique to one another in that centuries of enmity and jealousy are ingrained into their genetics. A yuan-ti will always see an iksar as a horrible abomination. Meanwhile, the iksar tend to despise the manipulative and subtle nature of the yuan-ti, and regard their serpentine cousins as cowardly, vain, and disheveled. If an iksar and a yuan-ti were ever to be placed together in the same party, it is done so with colossal disdain for both one another and for the party leader. The two will always try to outdo one another, and will take any chance necessary to put down their rival. Even if a level of trust is established, one slight misstep and a bloodbath will ensue, leaving one of the two in pieces. The iksar get along much better with creatures resembling themselves, like the lizardfolk or even neshii.
Iksar names are unlike those of any other race, and are often difficult for non-iksar to pronounce. Most other races can only approximate the true hissing and growling sound of most iksar names, though a few pronunciation and spelling conveniences have become standard when translating the iksar into other languages. Those unfamiliar with the iksars' linguistic dialect find it difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish between male and female iksar names.
Male: Cabkoris, Chasartiz, Jantiz, Jaraaz, Juksis, Kebaz, Khortiz, Ksharn, Matranak, Sikkorsis, Sulaz, Xatranle, Xasanik, Zarulm, Zorshais
Female: Cakazu, Cebanisu, Chikkorilu, Chorili, Jabitzu, Jaranika, Mkoriku, Rakshaazi, Ratraraza, Rebaslei, Sanaky, Sebanlea, Silulika, Xakanley, Zikorisy
A race of reptilian warmongers
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2, and your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Age. Iksar generally reach adulthood at the age of 20 and can live as to be as old as 160, though their violent nature and inhospitable home ground cuts their lives short at very young ages. Some do not even see adulthood due to grueling rites of passage.
Alignment. Preferring to keep to themselves and avoid interaction with outside races, many iksar are seen as neutral. However, their evil tendencies can sometimes boil over due to their tyrannical demeanor and cold disposition.
Size. Iksar are heavier set than a standard human, standing strong and proud with wide shoulders and an intimidating composure. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet. You have a swimming speed of 30 feet.
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Natural Armor. Iksar have tough, scaly hides. While unarmored, your Armor Class is equal to 13 + your Dexterity modifier. You may use a shield and still gain this benefit.
Persistent Fighter. Iksar never like to lose, and they will fight until dead, and then some. When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can't use this feature again until you finish a long rest.
Dirty Fighting. You fight and win with all means necessary. You are proficient with improvised weapons.
Mistrustful. People are to be scrutinized with the utmost care. You have advantage on Wisdom (Insight) checks to determine if another creature is telling the truth.
Languages. You can read, write and speak in Common and Draconic.
Random Height and Weight
|4′ 10″||+2d10||120 lb.||× (2d6) lb.|
*Height = base height + height modifier