Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Salamandarin (D&D 5e species/race)



SALAMANDARIN
Salamandarin are one of many races made by the Slaad (specifically, these these Slaad). Like the Slaad, they are native to the boiling swampy plains of rot and entropy in Limbo.

PHYSIOLOGY
Salamandarin look like 5' long axolotl salamanders, with stubby faces and slightly more human looking-mouths (flat teeth, lip-like structures, smaller mouths, little black tongues), caudal fin, shorter tail and external gills (which they decorate with intricate patterns wove of strands of Bebilith or Lolth silk, or, if denounced/exiled, pierce or dye). They eat decaying matter of any kind (it just needs to be soft enough to gum), but preferring thoroughly rotten grasses and fish. They may walk bipedally, but generally prefer to walk or swim with all four legs. All four feet/hands have shortened, opposable thumbs.

Most are translucent with blue-black eyes and pink external gills and fingertips (sometimes instead black). Others are deep green or black or red.

STRUCTURES
Salamandarin are organized by generation (all from the same hatching, usually in the hundreds of thousands) and congress (all the generations for a specific Slaad). They do not differentiate by gender or even age-within-generation, but by generation (which is used purely for reference/association), proximity to the Slaad (which is of much greater social import) and in/out of congress (which is of final importance). Those closest to the Slaad are, of course, highly mutated/modulate by radiation from the Slaad's thought-palace.

All internal matters are resolved by voting and while deference is paid to the more important members of the generations and their congress, all votes are equal (votes are first by generation whenever possible, then, if still necessary, by congress).


MEMORY IS EXPERIENCE IS LANGUAGE IS SALAMANDARIN
Salamandarin memory and experience is shared by any other of the same generation on the same Venus-sized planet or similarly sized place within a plane and Salamandarin personality and language is with specific reference to this shared, communal memory/experience. The translation of this memory/experience, the Salamandarin language, is called, "the Story." The fundamentals of the Story are retained from generation to generation, but each generation in a congress retains idiosyncratic and personal meanings and so each generation has varying signs, with major upheavals in a congress's culture marked by a virtual inability to understand one another much of the time when certain words and core concepts undergo a shift in meaning/signification.

Inflection is often added by filling ones mouth with water and then speaking. If water is not to hand, gestures of the forearms/legs are used.

A Folk Hero of the Salamandarin might say that they are are a hero to Zz'x and Sh'thy, but a villain to Zz'ai - its memory/experience grants it both the perspective of its allies and its opponents. 

Salamandarin art tends to be a mixture of sculpture and narrative (the story being embedded in the memory of making the sculpture, which in turn is common to all Salamandarin).

The Salamandarin are, accordingly, often fatalists about things that have already happened and rarely hold a grudge, instead celebrating the cleverness or cruelty or luck of the winner and mourning and caring for the loser.

RENOUNCING AND DENOUNCING
A generation votes regularly to renounce elements of the thought/memory, at which point they are no longer within the Story and (literally) may not be spoken of and can only be vaguely conceived of or even really sensually experienced (and only vertiginously). This is usually done in the name of political and social unity. The Renunciation Ceremony is short and final.

Salamandarin whose entire existence is politically or socially dangerous are offered total self-Renunciation or they will be Denounced. In either case, total exile from the Story and all of Salamandaria, an inability to exist or express oneself in one's own tongue, a total loss of self.

NAMES
are by generation, then arbitrary modifier
Zz, Sh, Xs, Thur, Ty, Ka, Zh, Shi, Shu, Sh
followed by one of
x, a, ai, thy, xhu, tsi, tu, bo, ki, kai, y, yll

Repeated names are extremely common.

Salamandarin Traits
increase intelligence by 2
reach maturity by age 5, with larval/guppy state beforehand, living sempeternally (until killed)
alignment is usually chaotic or neutral
size ranges from 4 to 5 feet, medium sized
speed on land is 30', in water, 40'
amphibious can breathe in air and in water, needs to keep skin moist to enjoy the benefits of a full rest (ie, becomes exhausted)
proficient in Int/Arcana
languages are the Sigil Dialectic of Common (and possibly Undercommon) and usually the Story
have advantage when making Int/History checks when the subject matter is strictly outer planar 
subtypes are denounced and emissary-evangelist

Denounced are excised from all Salamandarin congress and cannot speak the Story, but can vaguely understand it (it sounds like words that mean something deeply emotional but totally incomprehensible). Usually proponents of radical thought, like kindness or, "maybe these Slaad are kind of fucking terrible" or, "I'd like to get out more." They are often confused by the sight of another Salamandarin and will follow them about, trying to understand themselves.
increase wisdom by 1
proficient in Dex/Stealth
have advantage when making a Save against psionics

Emissary-evangelists come preaching the gospel of Slaad, the necessity for the end of self-governance and the superiority of the material plane. They will not (or likely cannot) acknowledge any Denounced they encounter in their travels.
increase charisma by 1
proficient in Cha/Persuasion, the use of the flail
have advantage when making a Save to discern illusions

attribution: photo of axolotl
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