The serpentfolk are an ancient warmblooded race of snake-headed reptilian humanoids who once controlled the vast Ydersius empire in the time before Lemuria. Their empire was defeated by the Lemurians, but the serpentfolk evaded total extermination by retreating into the Darklands. Most contemporary serpentfolk are degenerate, bestial creatures prowling the underground ruins of their ancient cities, but a few true serpentfolk remain. These highly intelligent specimens lay plans for their people's return to arcane supremacy, and the triumph of their rejuvenated civilization.
Serpentfolk are sinuous humanoid creatures with the heads and tails of snakes and wickedly taloned hands and feet. Their bodies are covered in fine, serpentine scales. They are approximately human-sized in height, but usually weigh only 120 pounds, while degenerate serpentfolk are shorter and heavier.
The serpentfolk are among the oldest of all sentient creatures native to Lemurias. In the Age of Serpents, their mighty empires spanned across continents, onto neighboring planetoids, and even into the Great Beyond.
Records from a time so distant are extremely rare and fragmented, but it is generally believed that by the time the first Lemurian cities were raised, their culture was already in decline. As Lemurian power grew, they found themselves increasingly at odds with the fading Serpent empire; often leading to war. The serpentfolk civilization was eventually decimated in a war with the growing Azlanti empire. The serpentfolk retreated deep underground into the Darklands, but the relentless Azlanti found them even there. In a final battle, the serpent god was decapitated by a Lemurian hero. Before the great Deluge, the serpent folk leaders decided to enter a state of magical hibernation, waiting for a day when they could retake their lost empire. They seem only now to be beginning to awaken. Most serpentfolk cities on the surface have crumbled away, but some below ground have retained elements of their magically-enhanced architecture.
Habitat and ecologyEdit
The serpentfolk currently reside in their remaining cities in Sekamina, although most have degenerated into unintelligent barbarians over the centuries. Those few who have retained the intelligence and magical aptitude of their ancestors reside near the old capital of Sverenagati. Serpentfolk give birth to broods of a dozen live young, who are then sheltered and protected until they become adults at age 50. Degenerate serpentfolk have lost their magical abilities and facility with magic items, but are stronger, more venomous, and physically tougher.
Serpentfolk culture is divided between the degenerate barbarians that make up the majority of the population, and the few individuals who have only recently begun to wake up from their magical sleep with their intellects and powers still intact. The classical serpentfolk culture was a magocracy that spanned nations who used their powers of domination and disguise to infiltrate and rule. Despite the apparent demise of their civilization, the language of the serpentfolk, Aklo, is still spoken in isolated pockets throughout the Darklands by various groups. Serpentfolk also commonly speak Necril, Undercommon, and Azlanti.
Degenerate serpentfolk have greater strength and tougher scales than their forebears, although both retain the ability to deliver a poisonous bite. The advanced members are almost always arcanists of some stripe, with the majority trained as wizards. They have a high resistance to spells and other forms of magic, and possess natural, spell-like abilities. As they grow in power, they gain the ability to create complex illusions and to dominate others.