THE PSYRPENT LIZARDS

Psyrpents are a lizard race, mainly living in the northwestern parts of Sarvonia. They are said to stem from a wizard's experiment, in which they were created as servants to the mage, who are themselves capable of casting magic. From a prototype, called the Protosyrpent, the Psyrpent race has developed in the course of time with three different breeds who form a society of their own.

The Psyrpent

View picture in full size Picture description: An Eye scribe dutifully recording the events of the day. Image drawn by Bard Judith.

Appearance. Each of the three breeds of Psyrpent has its own special appearance, but all of them share a few characteristics. All of them have diamond-shaped scales that cover their entire bodies, telepathy, one-inch retractable claws, and the heads of snakes. Also, each Psyrpent possesses an approx. one and a half ped tail with three spikes adorning the ends. Colouration and height vary among the three sects. The Psyrpents are divided among their three sects via worship of the three Earth gods, of whom Churas taught them.

Origin. The Psyrpent race was created by a wizard of the Earth element with the intention of realizing powerful and magical servants. Having a peculiar dislike of weak and not very sentient imps, Churas (for that was his name) infused some illusory power into a common mountain snake which he dubbed the Protosyrpent. This creature was bred by Churas to gradually increase its intelligence, strength, and magical powers. Over time, this resulted in three seperate breeds of half-reptile, half-man that eventually overthrew their creator and have to be accounted to the sentient beings of Caelereth, who have reached the status of a race by now.

Society and Culture.
The Psyrpents are socially and politically divided into four guilds per caste, along with the unique Broodmother caste to be elaborated on later.

The Hands have the following four guilds, focused towards creation and materials gathering.

The Eye guilds are focused on information gathering and subtlety. They quietly run the machinations behind most of the Psyrpent guilds (and, according to rumor, a good deal more). The long-term results of the Eyes' plans is known only to the Eye guildmasters, causing even their Triumvirate representative to not know everything about their shadowy plans. As was said earlier, these guys are possibly the slimiest of the Psyrpents.

The Claws posess an ability that is possibly the best-kept secret ever. Every Claw, no matter what guild, posesses this skill and is cursed never to reveal it or allow another to discover it. The ability is the so-called "Blood Trance", which brings the Psyrpent for an exceedingly short time awe-inspiring telepathic skills. The only downside is that the friend-foe recognition line blurs without the other being in the Blood Trance as well. As a result, the Claws fill the more military niches in Psyrpent society, where they have an excuse to enter this highly exhilarating state

The Broodmothers form their own guild, the only one to span all three castes. The Broodmothers will chose some of the better males whose bloodlines they feel should be perpetuated and mate with them. Any male, however, who is fortunate enough to catch a Broodmother at the right time will have his genes added to the pool as a randomizer. After this is done, in about five months (the result of the cross of comparatively rapid snake birth and comparatively slow human birth) the Broodmother will lay up to ten eggs, which she will teach until adulthood (Age 10, for about the same reasons seen above) and then send them off towards their new home in their guild. The Broodmothers collectiveley form the Broodmother Circle.

Finally
those Psyrpents have to be mentioned who are born without psychic gifts, the so-called Tsorakan. They are exiled as soon as their lack of mental power is discovered. These exiles have found their way south in Sarvonia, and serve as exceedingly good mercenaries due to the fact that even stripped of armor and weapons they can fight extremely well. An exceedingly minor number have settled on Denilou, and have become Brown Druids, shapers of the earth.

Location. The Psyrpents mostly live in four of the Celeste Mountains of Northern Sarvonia, called Tsor-Kseairan (Mountain-Home), Tsor-Klasants (Mountain-Claw), Tsor-Magair (Mountain-Eye), and Tsor-Gashan (Mountain-Hand). They also have extensive tunnels beneath the mountains, reaching up to ten miles away from the mountains. However, some of the Psyrpents actually do live abroad, in around 500-person enclaves, or Kshah-Kseairan, away-homes. Only three of these have been known to exceed that size. These are:

Family, Society and Culture. There is very little difference between the Psyrpent sexes, with the only real way for an outsider to tell being that females are generally taller and thinner than the males. Females are also more psychically apt, in general, but they lack some patience and control. Those females who show exceptional control are those who are chosen to be Broodmothers.

Government. The Psyrpent government has three tiers.

Life Span. As was said before, the average Psyrpent is hatched as part of a Brood of about 10 others, and will be educated by their Broodmother until age 10, at which point they are sent off into their guild. The Psyrpents gain strength and wisdom at a steady pace after their first ten years (in which they practically explode) up until about age 100, at which point they begin losing control of their psychic powers and their strength begins to be sapped. At 120 years a Psyrpent will die a natural death, but suicides at about 110 are natural. You'll notice that the mind itself is not affected, only psychic powers. Imagine having great powers, and then having them slowly leached away from you, but having them leave behind the memories.

Psyrpent funeral rites vary among the sects. The Hands will return their honored dead to the rivers of lava they worked with, the Eyes will lay them to rest in sarcophagi, but will (supposedly) draw out their powers and wisdom with special eye-shaped gems to be used by future generations, and the Claws will send their dead to Queprur via burnt offering.

Diet. Oddly enough, the Psypents are omnivores, though they prefer meat. To this end, they have bred Tsor-Shota, or as the humans call them, Giant Mountain Lizards, for day-to-day food. Some may consider this cannibalism, but think for a second. Humans eat other mammals, Psyrpents by the same token can stand to eat other reptiles. They do consider beef and pork as delicacies, to be taken if there is any chance to take them. They do enjoy proper use of spices, and appreciate those that can do great things with them. One or two times when the Eyes raided a village, the purpose was pigs, cattle, and the local connesuir. (Comment from the editor: Not that they didn't terrorize the hell out of the guy, but it wasn't a pointless attack. For more information, consult "How To Cook For Forty Lizards: The Tale of Gror Spicesage". The story's quite good, and the recipes are even better.)

Clothing. Psyrpents do not believe clothing should be anything more than functional. As a result, most will wear simple utilitarian brown tunics. However, for formal occasions, Psyrpents will wear the shed skins of an elder. As for battle-wear, the Eyes put on illusion-causing cloaks, the Hands - well, they don't help out -, and the Claws will rush into battle in the full blood trance, screaming war cries, and wearing Queprur-blessed black and silver armor.

Relations to other races. Psyrpents have very different relations to other races. Following is a short overview:

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