Krawrk (3.5e Race)
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One night upon a full waxen moon, The Crocodile sat in his garden of gloom, There beset by intrinsic pools, Waters hiding a sunken doom.
The fireflies danced all around, Their lights and sounds so eerie with delight, Like a cultist dance 'round the firelight.
Deep within the murk of the swamp's waters, Lay the bones of the dead, All prisoners of a Crocodile's war: Survival of the fittest, Let the Jaws of Life and Death, Speak for themselves, As they wrest from opponents, All forms of rights and request.
Yet alone in the shadow our Crocodile did cry, A solitary tear crystalline in the moonlight; For as lovely as his garden was, ever was alone, And wanted a boon from the Gods, To walk amongst men once more.
So a fasting did come, and the Crocodile did pray For a God amongst reptiles to head their way: To hear a humble plot, With the spark of revolution, Expansions on the horizon;
"If you granted me legs to tread reptilian mastery Into the world of men, and beasts of pride and gluttony, With arms to buckle them back to the brink, Back to a babe's crawl of cowardice mockery, I could lead our brothers to a new call; To be respected and feared as a race of renown, A strength unmatched with scaly bulk, A Temper like the storm, The ones Sailor's pray about, With a Reputation to be fickle, As the Oceans are to her lovers. The Tenacity that'd force all to kneel, At the bestial nature of Death's hounds, Who'll plunder without respite, Eat like the savage sins they are, Drink the blood of enemies to your name, With a crown of skulls to last throughout the ages."
Everyday the crocodile sang this prayer, Hoping a god amongst reptiles would hear, and answer; Many did come, all with names long forgotten: Semuanya, Essylliss, Sess'innek, Asgorath, Jazirian, Merrshaulk, Sseth, Sibyl, Set, and Zehir.
Many monsoons came and went, The prayers of the crocodile began to lose voice; Faith was drawing near to an end. In solace, the crocodile began to weep, No longer praise, As he feared in being doomed To one desolate land to be claimed, As the graveyard home for all his kin.
Then as all hope seemed lost, A crimson dawn rose to life like a blossom, The canopies groaned under the weight of a being Whose monstrosity of size was a greatness to drakes. Colors like blood and rain, Eyes like emerald blades, The god Rhadamanthus came to the crocodile, With this he did say:
"Lo I have slept for many a weary year, till deep within the depths of a watery bed I did hear, Your desire to test mortals with savagery and fear, To walk as the dragons of old, To plunder as the Minotaur do, You've tired your throat in faithful prayer, Even as Gods came and passed with nary a care. To this I am pleased, your boon shall be granted, Yet not in what you expect as I am the God of Change; A creature of many facets and seasons to weather."
Thus the crocodile was given his request, Yet not in the way he had imagined, He was given legs to tread the world, A tail to maintain his balance, four arms to master the world around him, Yet a change in demeanor amongst all brethren.
-Rebirth, Krawrk Etymology by Sebakar-Kai, Krawrk Historian.
Krawrk are sly, mischievous, and cunning as a race that while may not have a massive ego like the Tessai, are stubborn and strong-willed, being very set in their culture's way of thinking towards outsiders generally. This doesn't mean they're not social, as the Krawrk love to show off their prowess in many coy-like teasing mannerisms, especially to races that are considered small to them. They love being the center of attention, filling other races in awe of what they are and what they can do, tending to being very showy in their personal strengths and will never say no to a challenge just to prove how powerful they are mentally and physically. They choose their challenges thoughtfully, already planning underhanded tricks and devilry to test that obstacle or target's resolve as Krawrks admire things with a high endurance and strong will power. Krawrk that don't live in their native territories often are willing to steal and take on mercenary work, being very narcissistic sadists who take pleasure in subduing targets in humiliating methods, often enjoying taking prisoners to use for their own vices. Krawrk are also caring in the fact they are loyal to their partners, being mated for life to one individual that they're very overprotective with, and demonstrate a very gentle and loving side rarely seen in public. Krawrk are also amazing parents, using their knowledge and skills to direct the youth of reptile species on a more enlightened path so that they'll experience less mistakes and hardships that they've personally already been through. Most lone Krawrk prefer to be left alone, and play on a fierce and gruff disposition to outsiders while covering up the fact they're actually very big softies who care dearly about the opinions of others, needing social interaction that if nurtured the right way, can pave way to years of trust and unflinching allies.
The Krawrk are humanoid reptiles that are a cross between Crocadilians and Lizardfolk having large muscular bodies that range in weight from 800 to 1600 pounds on average with a boastful height of anywhere from 10 to 16 feet tall. Their four arms are powerful, muscular limbs that easily maneuver with triple-jointed flexibility that makes climbing and squeezing into tight spaces frighteningly effective. Their midsection is bulky; muscular but having a slight roundness due to most fat being stored at the gut to keep them warm when traversing colder waters, which makes their bodies surprisingly soft despite their masculinity. Their heads are large rounded domes with the snout being long with gaunt cheekbones that hide rows of small razor-edged teeth fit for shredding flesh from bone within moments. Along Krawrk backs are small horn-like spines that reach all the way from the top of the head down to the tip of their long paddle-like tail that offers balance on land and speed assistance in water. Their hands and feet are also outfitted with hooked talon-like claws much like a raptor's one claw set, where feet are digitigrade in that Krawrk stand on their toes with feet arched like a raptor and legs that bow like a deer's would.
Krawrk typically don't associate with other races unless it is with reptilian ones such as Dragons and Hissi. They are content to living productive lives amongst their cities, and are willing to open up trade routes with nations considered favorable to their economic growth, especially if that nation holds ideals similar to their own and have proven to being fair and forthright in their dealings with others.
Due to their selfish and over-indulging passionate ways, it is commonly the case for Krawrks to follow along the chaotic alignment path, often being torn between a Chaotic Neutral individual who is greedy and self-serving without entering into worldly conflicts, or is Chaotic Evil in being a ruthless tyrant who's set on becoming a higher position in their society at the expense of others and shows clear acts of cruelty and cold calculations with little to no regard of races outside their own. There are few cases of seeing a Chaotic Good Krawrk where they try to keep their head low and out of their society's religious politics, while trying to pursue their own happiness that doesn't directly conflict with the lives of others, but this is a rare case indeed.
The Krawrk dwell in the most feral and untamed parts of the world, seeking to establish themselves where fearsome creatures such as dinosaurs and carnivorous predators that have special magical abilities lurk in wait of unsuspecting adventurers, making other nations privy to avoiding the Krawrk's territories altogether. Krawrk make their ancient stone ziggurat cities deep within the dense jungles that's surrounded by swamp or marshlands, as the Krawrk heavily rely on nature dangers to serve as defensive countermeasures to those who'd dare try to infiltrate their societies; dangers such as quicksand, carnivorous plants, poisonous creatures, and diseases that are very prevalent to those who haven't built up natural resistances or immunities. While most would expect these savage carnal beings to living a life of bloodshed and terror, a Krawrk's homeland is quite opposite to what they enjoy other races depicting about them. Each city is led by a Sokar, whose architecture is polished smooth stone of mossy mixtures adorned with the carvings of nature, their god Rhadamanthus, and the culture of the Krawrk, painted with a mixture of cementing sand called "gulaug" (goo-lodge) that is dyed with berries often in the vibrant colors of emerald green, royal blue, or gold, to cover these carvings with permanent pigmentations. The inside of homes is very tasteful, often with finely made painted pottery that contain a rare fragrant-scented flower or plant, sometimes even a small fruit tree or bush which is considered to being a beautiful luxury amongst Krawrk Culture. The insides of buildings and the streets are filled with the fragrance of incense handcrafted from the finest of spices collected from the jungles around their cities, cultivated in rich black silt soil along the banks of rivers that are lined with fruit trees such as Pomegranates, Persimmons, Cherries, Apricots, Grapefruit, Plums, Peaches, and Mangoes so that the scenery is filled with crimson-magenta hues at sunset. Most homes of Krawrk societies have large gardens with a central lotus-filled pond that serves to water grown spices such as Sumac, Saffron, Paprika, and Cayenne Peppers. Red is the sacred holy color of Krawrk culture, as it represents passion for life unto death, battle, birth, and power; therefore it is customary in all homes to have lush crimson rugs with golden embroidery, satin red tapestries along windowsills, and fine ruby-colored sheets for their beds. It is not uncommon to see pelts of claimed beasts used as throw rugs over sofas and decoration along walls, nor was it uncommon in finding trophies mounted on walls of particularly impressive kills to display the strength of that Krawrk's family. In the lands of Krawrk society, life is one of indulgence, and enjoy using slaves to do their bidding, and entertain them in pit-fighting arenas designed to being death matches for the amusement of their reptilian oppressors.
It is not required to worship Rhadamanthus, as while he is the progenitor of all the reptilian races, he left the world to its own vices, only ever seeing a need to interact when something threatened the races he made as a whole. Despite this though, Krawrk societies have set up a form of worship to honor the blessings their god has given them, usually shamanic in nature and involving a great deal of sacrifices in ritualistic ceremonies similar to the Mayan culture. Their religion is called Sho'Ka, meaning "Wheel of Teeth" which derives from depictions of Rhadamanthus being the "Jaws of Life and Death", the one who judges the Krawrk and other reptilian creations by their deeds, which in turn determines how many blessings and strikes of bad luck befall them in their lifetime. Krawrk societies have a king called the "Sokar" who leads the Sho'Ka cult in all their ceremonies, usually selecting virgins of their race to be sacrificed as an offering to appease Rhadamanthus that he may grant them victory in battles, send rain to their cities, and grant their homes many children in the seasons to come.
The Scripture of Sho'Ka which the priests known as Solkar uphold in directing the Krawrk culture, depict as such:
The Underworld - Nine layers of torment where the demonic God of Death known as Mara dwells to judge over all the souls according to their deeds, and only those offered as sacrifice to other gods such as Rhadamanthus escape going to the Underworld. Mara is said to being the ruler of all Vampires, therianthropes, and the dead, who serve as her minions to plague and oppress the living in her name. It is said Mara, a queen without love or compassion, was known to having a heart of ice and eyes of the abyss set on haunting those in her halls forever with the transgressions of their lives before. Only by defeating a powerful demon and consuming it's soul, was it said in Krawrk religion to having the chance of rebirth in the land of the living. To fend off her minions and appease Mara, it was demanded that every spring three virgins (as the number three is the symbol of the fulfillment of birth and productivity) were sacrificed on a full moon upon a stone altar covered in jasmine flower petals where their hearts were carved out and burnt with incense.
Death was to be respected, in that in all things, Krawrk strive to achieve the true death; a death that is honorable and brings glory to their name so that they will be mighty when fighting the demons of the Underworld. When killing prey, they were to never waste, for fear of angering Mara and her wrath resulting in terrors of the night being sent to haunt that individual Krawrk. Krawrk had to fight all creatures and beings as nature intended, with their claws, fists, tail, teeth, and cunning wits so as to prove to themselves and their people that they were deserving of honor and a place of nobility in the afterlife. It is taught that if a Krawrk brings about enough good karma to themselves and their people, they would be sent to the paradise of the afterlife known as Totek.
Totek - Nine layers of paradise where a great waterfall at the top known as Kuli'matua, pours forth its invigorating turquoise water throughout all the levels and down upon the world below in the form of rain. In Totek, there are no gods, only the peace of living in a realm without pain, fear, or death; every level there are clouds that wisp lightly through the air like threads of silk, giving good memories of the life before to those who touch them, with lush emerald green grass fields littered with every fruit tree, berry bush, and flower one could imagine. Mountains of pure crystal stand tall and radiate the light of the sun in scintillating beams across the sky, giving faint hues of many colors in the air that grant sweet dreams, inspiration, and well wishes to the soul's loved ones on the earth below. Many jungles forests are in the layers of Totek, with their wood being the shades of Lapis Lazuli and their leaves ivory white. Night never comes to Totek, and evil can never enter for fear of the realm's purity burning them away into non-existence. A colossal pearl-white dragon guardian by the name of Sylvene guards with her wings the golden gates back to the world below, where only on rare occasions after judging a spirit's heart, will she allow them to be reborn upon the Earth.
Life was never to be taken for granted, that a Krawrk must find their way without abusing the blessings that the gods offered in the world; things like slavery, exotic fruits and cloth, treasure, these were all seen as gifts given out of grace by the gods to those who must be thankful and prove their thankfulness by being passionate about life and never wasting what they'd been given. This meant whatever a Krawrk was given or made, they were to treat it well, make it last, and pledge it faithfully as a gift to the gods when need be for if they over-indulged without thoughts of thankfulness or consequence, they would become gluttonous and easy prey for the demons of the afterlife that would feast on their lazy and pompous flesh. Life gives and life takes away, so it was in Krawrk culture that to be given something, they must give something in return. To lose something meant they'd gain something better in the days to come. It was far better in Krawrk teaching to being open-minded about indulgences then to being a mindless consumer with no appreciation for what they were consuming in the first place.
Oh, only for so short a while you have loaned us to each other,
because we take form in your act of drawing us,
and we take life in your painting us, and we breathe in your singing us.
But only for so short a while have you loaned us to each other.
Because even a drawing cut in obsidian fades,
and the green feathers, the crown feathers, of the brightest bird lose their color,
and even the sounds of the waterfall die out in the dry season.
So, we too, because only for a short while have you loaned us to each other.
-Krawrk Ceremonial Prayer
Talamoana - "The Rite of Passage" is the coming of age for all Krawrk where they become accepted as a warrior amongst their people. The ceremony initiates by the Sokar, the king of that city, bringing forth a golden cup filled with the blood of a fresh kill; usually from some dinosaur predator such as a Tyrannosaurus-Rex, Velociraptor, or Sarcosuchus, that the Krawrk youth is meant to drink entirely at sunrise on the first day of a new year. Then the Sokar hands the youth three days worth of rations and a waterskin, telling them to enter the heart of the jungle where the beasts are most frenzied with savagery and the lust for blood, and to bring back the head of a worthy kill for the city. Often taking many weeks, if the youth is successful, upon their return there is a great feast held in their honor where they are given a seat next to the Sokar and his family, and the city has many games held to celebrate that youth becoming an adult until the eve of the next day. Finally, the Sokar will summon the shaman of that city, who will inscribe the youth's first tattoo upon their back with the image of the creature they slew, often in the style of Aztec art to serve as a proud display to other Krawrk settlements the testament of their strength in life.
Krawrk spoke Draconic, seeing only the need to speaking with other reptilian races with their native language rather then pollute their societies by talking in tongues from races considered inferior. Almost all Krawrk are illiterate, though those in respectably high positions are expected to learn to speak and write in draconic, a few even learning common, so as to better commune with their God Rhadamanthus and to take advantage of the races who occupy as their neighbors.
Krawrk Male Names: Aapo, Balam, Eadric, Hagen, Tadeas, Taavi, Yaxkin, and Yunuen.
Krawrk Female Names: Abarrane, Abi, Abha, Fabia, Fairuza, Hadassah, Halle, Handan, and Lachina.
- Strength +4, Constitution +4, +2 Charisma; Krawrk are large powerful creatures who have endured the harsh elements of swamps and jungles while also using their cunning intellect to outmaneuver other races with a sly charismatic disposition and crafty vernacular.
- Humanoid (Reptilian): They are giant anthropomorphic reptiles.
- Large: –1 penalty to Armor Class, –1 penalty on attack rolls, –4 penalty on Hide checks, +4 bonus on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits double those of Medium characters.
- Krawrk base land speed is 30 feet: Swimming is 40 feet, climbing is 30 feet.
- Natural Armor: A Krawrk's scaly skin provides it with a +6 natural armor bonus to its Armor Class.
- Crushing Jaws: Upon a successful grapple check, Krawrk can initiate a Death Roll that requires a DC Fortitude Saving Throw of 25 while being dealt a powerful 1d10 piercing damage, which will increase to 2d10 damage if the Krawrk is underwater or the target has the bleeding effect.
- Claws: A Krawrk's impressive claws gives it enhanced ability to climb, combined with its great strength a Krawrk gains a +8 racial bonus on all Climb checks. A Krawrk uses claws as natural attack, dealing 2d6 slashing damage with the feats Weapon Focus and Improved Critical.
- Tail: Krawrk's long tail gives it exceptional balance, granting it great jumping skill and helps propel it through the water, a Krawrk gains a +8 racial bonus on all Balance, Swim and Jump checks.
- Racial Feats: Krawrks naturally gain Improved Grapple, Power Attack, and Blind-Fight as racial feats.
- Camouflage: Krawrks' rough scale patterns and dark coloring give them a +10 to Hide checks in swamp and jungle environments.
- Aquatic Hunter: Krawrk gain a +5 to stealth while submerged.
- Lizard Empathy: Krawrk can speak to and understand communication with animals and races that have the Reptilian Subtype.
- Crocodile Senses: Krawrk have the Scent ability, being able to detect creatures within 60 feet. If the opponent is upwind, the range increases to 90 feet; if downwind, it drops to 30 feet. Strong scents, such as smoke or rotting garbage, can be detected at twice the ranges noted above. Overpowering scents, such as skunk musk or troglodyte stench, can be detected at triple normal range. Krawrk possess Tremorsense of 60 feet in water and 30 feet on land, taking a -4 to hearing as Krawrk are not acute in listening for targets but moreso on movement and smells. Krawrk use echolocation primarily when submerged in water to operate effectively without vision. This makes invisibility and concealment (even magical darkness) irrelevant to the creature (though it still can’t see ethereal creatures). This ability operates out to 60 ft maximum.
- Automatic Languages: Draconic Bonus Languages: Common, Sylvan
- Favored Class: Fighter
- Level Adjustment: 4
|Middle Age1||Old2||Venerable3||Maximum Age|
|40 years||80 years||120 years||+160 years|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||10' 6"||+2d8||1000 lb.||4× (10d10) lb.|
|Female||8' 6"||+2d6||800 lb.||4× (8d8) lb.|
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