Euryalis

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The Euryalis
Racial Characteristics
Average Height: Females: 5'8"/Males: 8' to 10'
Average Weight: Females: 140lbs/Males: 250lbs to 400lbs
Hair Color: Varies
Eye Color: Shades of yellow, slit pupils
Other Information
Country of Origin: Ferluxebi
Significant Populations: 350 individuals in a single tribal population
Languages: Shir-Ssa, Common
Major Religion: Polytheistic


Race Origins

Thousands upon thousands of years ago, when the world was still new, Var-Ssith, the Great Snake looked down on the vast lands below, watching them shake and tremble, watching the seas roil. He saw the lands split into grassy plains, turbid swamps, dense forests, snowy mountains, and at last, barren and dry deserts. "Here," he said, sweeping a scaled hand over the desert, "Here is where I shall lay my people. Their struggles will bring them closer to the very earth beneath them, their endless battles with the very cracked ground they must live upon will make them stronger." But Var-Ssith's perhaps cruel creation was tempered by his wife's gentler hand. Ssith-Eurya, the Egg Bearer saw what her husband intended to do, and she laid a smoother hand over his. "My husband, do not cast them into such barren wastelands. Give them a chance to know mercy, to accept a blessing, to know that their creator is kind." And so she placed into the desert a small oasis, with fresh water and grasses, and into the water, she placed a clutch of eggs. Var-Ssith smiled at her gentle nature, and placed into the eggs his seed, and thus between the two, the first of their earthly children came to be.

The above is a passage from the Euryalis Tablets, which tell of the creation of the race, their origins, and their history. The race is named for their creatrix, Ssith-Eurya, the Egg Bearer.

History

The Euryalis have a rich history, beginning from their first days on a tiny oasis in the desert, to their discovery of the other Ferluxebi tribes, who taught them their nomadic ways. In turn, the Euryalis taught the tribes agriculture, and they mingled with one another when their paths crossed.

The snake people did not completely become nomadic, but instead learned to rotate the planting and harvesting cycle between oases, so as to expand the fertile lands without exhausting the potential to sustain a population. Though they learned the arts of warfare, they kept to themselves unless provoked into action by the occasional raids from Zul Kiras. The Euryalis proved to be worthy adversaries, and eventually bartered a tenuous peace with the Orcs. It was from the Zul Kirans that they learned blacksmithing and other heavier occupations, making them even less reliant on outsiders for trade.

Culture

They are a somewhat reclusive people, keeping to their one central population. On occasion, caravans venture out from the desert for trade and supplies, but for the most part, whatever they need, they are able to produce themselves.

Their religion consists of worshiping their creator/creatrix, and the small oasis from which they came is home to a stone and water temple dedicated to their gods. One female is chosen as a vessel for the goddess, and one male as her champion, the embodiment of their god. They keep these positions of honor, delivering advice and performing ritual sacraments until they are either too old to do so reliably or until they die. Euryalis society is matriarchal, with women sitting on the tribal council and making decisions as to where the tribe will move, what crops will be planted, and performing any judicial duties required.

Males are extremely rare, and thus the Euryalis do not choose mates for life. When reproduction is desired, a female will choose a male with whom to mate, or often, they will seek mates from outside their species. They are able to reproduce with almost any humanoid race, and the resulting offspring have a 75% chance of being pure-blooded Euryalis. If they are not, they are cast out of the tribe back to their race of origin, and they are always sterile. Children are born one or two at a time, through live birth. When a male is born, it is cause for a great celebration; however, males are not given any other special treatment within the culture.

Language

The native language of the Euryalis is Shir-Ssa, which consists of various hissing and whistling/fluting sounds, accompanied by body language.

Typical Racial Characteristics

The Euryalis are reptilian in appearance, specifically snake-like. Males and females differ greatly.

Females

Female Euryalis are more or less humanoid in appearance. They have two arms, two legs, and are essentially anatomically similar to a human female. Their most marked difference is that instead of hair, they possess a gorgon-like mane of live snakes. These snakes can be any pattern or color, though most are dull greys and browns, the colors of most desert snakes. Blues and greens are not unheard of though, and the color of the snake determines its basic species. Some of these serpents are venomous, and they move independently of one another. A female Euryalis can see through the eyes of her snake-hair.

Females also possess patterned, scaled skin, though the location and quantity varies as much as human skin tones do. Some have scales on their arms and legs, some are completely covered, and still others have none at all. Their eyes are slit-pupiled, usually in shades of yellow or pale green. All females are venomous, possessing fangs in their mouths that fold back against the roofs of their mouths when not in use. Some females can spit venom, like a cobra, and their venom types vary as much as real snake venom. All females have forked tongues that can be used to taste the air, and their vision can be altered for heat-seeking, UV, etc.

All females also possess a gaze ability through their eyes, though how the ability works is variable. Stone gaze, molten metal gaze, sand gaze, glass gaze, and crystal gaze are some of the noted abilities. The gaze is not active all the time, but rather must be activated for use.

Finally, females are able to eat just about anything, although they greatly prefer live food.

Males

Male Euryalis are truly serpentine. Like a naga, they are serpents from the waist down. From the waist up, they have the torso of a man, with two arms, all covered in scales. Their facial features vary, from quite human to only vaguely humanoid, and the majority of males possess a broad, scaled snake's hood that can be spread open or folded against their neck and shoulders.

Males are born blind, using their other serpentine senses to find their way, and thus males are rarely, if ever seen outside the desert. The extremely rare Euryalis males must eat live food, as their anatomical attributes will not allow them to get nutrients from cooked food or vegetation.