Lizardmen & The Swamp of Death
Beyond the buzzard mountains, to the east of the continent of Alanthor, lies the Swamp of Death. It has no other name, nor need of one. For thousands of square miles the flat tree covered land is sunken below the water level; vegetation rots and the trees themselves are drowned by the water they need to live. A pungent stench hangs over the swamp, interspersed with clouds of blood sucking insects that carry malaria, yellow fever, black rot and other killer diseases. In the waters of the swamp live the most twisted of all living creatures; half-alive, half-dead, sustained in motion by the cancerous and infectious aura emitted by the Mortal God Ssyth, the God of Death, who calls this swamp home. Only the bravest or most foolish would dare traverse this place, for the swamp holds no treasures, no great civilizations, no secrets, only death. And if the insects or monstrosities of the swamp don’t kill you, the lizardmen will.
Standing an easy seven feet tall and weighing in at over three hundred pounds, among the major races of Alanthor the Lizardmen are second only to fimir of the icy north in terms of mass. Their muscles are like coils of steel and their hide, scaled and sinuous, is like plate armour. Lizardmen look exactly like large lizards, but stand upright and have opposable thumbs like the other intelligent races. In combat they are indomitable killing machines that attack with claws, teeth and weapons – one-on-one few warriors are a match for a single lizardman and in mass battle only elves and dwarves have successfully routed them. To the human nations of the world, particularly to the people of Alanthor who share a border with the buzzard mountains, lizardman invasion remains a constant nightmarish threat.
When the dark star of the Black God was struck from the heavens, signalling the end of the Elder Age, one of the largest fragments to fall from that star was Ssyth. Ssyth the serpent, whose avatar lives at the heart of the swamp in its only true city, Zietuz (pronounced sha-hu-tooz), and whose craving for living flesh can never be sated. Ssyth is reputedly a golden serpent over a hundred feet long with a golden crown and eyes that burn all those whom they look upon, though such information is terrifying it is an understatement of epic proportions. This description is given of the avatar of Ssyth, but in fact refers to a fire cobra, which although a dire creature is but a shadow of the Serpent of Death. Ssyth himself is over a mile long and hungers for nothing, instead he sleeps under the foundations of Zietuz, enspelled by the Mother Goddess to forever slumber lest he destroy the world. No creature living, save perhaps the most powerful elven mages have ever seen Ssyth, for to look upon death is to instantly invoke it.
In tribute to Ssyth, their creator and master, the lizardmen feed the fire cobras with live victims captured either within the swamp or from raids on human lands, or through trading with human slavers who heartlessly sell their own kind into certain death. Lizardmen are without pity, without remorse and without emotion. They are despised by all right-thinking creatures and even the dark elves, who are atrocities themselves, will have little to do with them. There are no good lizardmen, no lizardmen who repent their activities; death is their master, they exist only to further the cause of death.
Most lizardmen are close to being savages. They have no language of their own, save for hisses and grunts and only a few can speak even the most rudimentary form of human or dark elf. Lizardmen have no names among themselves, but if forced by circumstance to work with other races the leaders will pick a name that they feel suits them from whatever language they speak. Lizardmen are warriors and are led by necromancers, who serve as conduits for interpreting the will of the slumbering Ssyth.
Creating A Lizardman
All characters on Saas have their abilities determined by a points system rather than dice rolling. Lizardmen have remarkable strength but low dexterity, wisdom, intelligence and charisma and so have 70 points to spend, but their final scores must be within these limits, and the normal racial modifiers do not apply to this system. Lizardmen must be warriors unless they have an intelligence and wisdom of 14, in which case they are necromancers. This is the will of Ssyth and no other classes are ever permitted to Lizardmen and no exceptions are made to this rule. Lizardmen are included as a PC race out of a sense of completeness, but in actuality it would be almost impossible for a lizardman character to participate in any group that wasn’t entirely evil.
Attribute: Min / Max
STR: 10 / 20
DEX: 3 / 12
CON: 3 / 18
WIS: 3 / 14
INT: 1 / 14
CHA: 3 / 9
Lizardmen have the following special abilities.
Natural AC: Lizardmen have a natural armour class of 6.
Bite Attack: Lizardmen receive a free bite attack every round made at the end of a combat. This bite carries a slow acting but deadly poison and unless treated will result in death within one week + 1 day for every point of constitution the victim had – 1 day for every point of constitution the lizardman had with a minimum duration of 1 full day. Use the lizardman’s THAC0 to hit, the bite does 1d6 damage unless a critical hit is rolled in which case the lizardman has torn out a chunk of flesh and the damage sustained is automatically 12 (maximum roll, doubled). The bite should be considered a piercing weapon.
Infravision: Lizardmen have standard infravision which operates normally to a distance of 60’.
Servants of Death: Lizardmen serve death, as such they are immune to spells such as Power Word Kill, Finger of Death, Death spell, Symbol: Death and other spells which do not inflict physical damage but kill outright. However because of their connection with death once killed a lizardman cannot be raised by any means including divine intervention – either Ssyth with not relinquish the soul or the Mother will not permit the re-ignition of the spark of life, in which case it is always impossible.
Sluggish: Lizardmen are cold blooded, which makes them sluggish. Upon awakening from sleep all lizardmen will have a dexterity rating of 3. This increases by 1 point for every 5 minutes they are awake until they reach full dex, providing they are able to bask in sunlight. At night or in cold environments a lizardman’s dex score may be stuck at 3 regardless of basking and an artificial fire will be necessary.
Swimming: Lizardmen swim at a rate of 18’ (modified by dexterity) and can remain submerged for 15 minutes before they require to come to the surface to breath.
Least Vital Race: Lizardmen are the least vital of all races, they don’t have a spark of life, but a spark of death inside them. Because of this lizardmen necromancers never require any spell components, regardless of value to cast spells from the school of necromancy and only spell components worth 100gp or more to cast non-necromantic spells. Because of the weakness of their life spark vital races cause injury to lizardmen simply through proximity. For every full turn that a Lizardman spends within 10’ of an elf or a dwarf a lizardman will sustain 1 point of damage with no save allowed – this damage is cumulative, so if a lizardman was within 10’ of 7 dwarves it would sustain 7 points of damage automatically.