The sobekites have a saying, “The rot of the marsh is the scent of new life.” This adage reminds the sobekites of who they are. The scent of mold is also the scent of growing fungus and of those animals that feed upon it. Where you came from doesn’t matter, rather it is what you have become that is important. Sobekites are the predominant source of paladins on Thepa, and they came from magically reengineered criminals, vicious shock troops known as the Claw of the Eluen-cuthpar.
The ancestors of the lizardfolk were once criminals: adulterers, petty thieves, and prisoners of war. These lawbreakers were notably lacking sadistic motivation, yet capable of extreme violence if pushed. The shapers of flesh honed this tendency. Refining it by accelerated generation after accelerated generation until the newborn sobekites became swords with personalities, iron wills with greater capacities for destruction. The intent was to design a hunter for the very thing the Eluen-cuthpar feared most, rogue magic-users. They created one, a perfectly loyal, disciplined creature seemingly incapable of understanding the concept of betrayal.
Unfortunately for the Eluen-cuthpar, they did not change all aspects of the sobekites’ internal belief system. Loyalty must be earned. The Eluen-cuthpar was never worthy. They treated the newborn race like well-trained dogs, rarely granting them any degree of true freedom. And for every reward, there was a severe punishment. The sobekites’ allegiance ultimately turned against the Eluen-cuthpar. They united as one and deserted their posts in mass. For the remainder of the Eluen-cuthpar’s reign, the lizardfolk lived as fugitives, legendary rebels that would descend upon cruel wizard-nobles.
It is common theory among sobekites that their reptilian looks were in part the reason why a legion of dragons descended upon the old world. Indeed, it is also a testament of their absolute conviction to shake off their role as criminal and living weapon that this theory has become somewhat of a quiet shame among them. As a race, the sobekites decided to not be defined by a cycle of revenge. They would not sink to the level of those that created them. An ideal they have lived up to. Sobekites have become a bountiful fountain for paladins in this world, the dominant source. Most who know them, respect their honorable ways and their steely determination to never let another Eluen-cuthpar bring the world to its nigh-destruction.
After the Cataclysm, the sobekites settled into being a race of freshwater nomads. Their instincts toward loyalty and discipline have lent themselves to a close-knit familial clan structure. No longer living in a guerilla war, most sobekites have since settled into a hunter-gatherer culture, content to live in harmony with the world rather than leashing it to their ambitions. One should not confuse them with a peaceful race of simple agrarians, however – the lizardfolk are born soldiers. Should another force threaten the world as the shapers of flesh once did, sobekites will rise to face the wrath as the ancient, living weapon.
Sobekites do not look entirely like crocodilians, despite the stereotype. The average sobekite is fairly lithe, being around 4.5 to 6.5 feet and weighing in at 100-220 pounds, a size that belies their strength. Their skin is scaled with dark green to mossy brown plates. It is not particularly thick nor does it provide natural armor; rather, the scales are more akin to those of an iguana, a thin coat, more or less.
Upon closer examination the scales reveal that they are in fact protective, just not physically. The plates naturally grow to form fractal runes of warding, hence their resistance to magic. Their eyes, which are normally a shade of yellow, green, brown, or gold, possess nictitating membranes and glow red when light is shined on their faces.
It’s easy to see where the idea of a crocodilian man comes from. Unsurprisingly, this effect was entirely intentional on the part of the shapers of flesh. The fear of knowing death is upon you can make many a wizard fumble, faltering into one’s own demise.
Personality (lawful good)
The family unit is the core of the sobekite. Intended to assist with group cohesion, a naturally altruistic instinct lent itself to their clan-based makeup. A sobekite generally thinks he is part of a family and his family as part of a clan, thus their societal framework appears analytically basic.
Yet, sobekites are not completely lacking in individuality. Leadership varies dramatically. Each clan has a chieftain, usually the oldest and, provably, wisest member of their immediate kin. Apart from this revered position, clan structure largely depends upon family ties, which are complex even in the simplest cases. As such, social ranking among sobekites can be difficult for other races to parse.
Sorting out family influence is extremely difficult, but there are a few things that are more easily understood about this race, the outrage of unbridled adultery and the grave misuse of arcane magic. Nothing truly enrages sobekites as polygamy. Wars have started because an adulterer goes unpunished. Usually a sobekite convicted of this crime is exiled until a penance quest is completed. Most are able to succeed, though several years will typically pass before the process has been completed.
Rampant perverse use of magic brings about the full wrath of the sobekites. The race was built to destroy magic-users. And, although, they have found great control over their feral instinct of murder, they have not completely abandoned its usefulness. Sobekites will band together to extinguish a corrupt wizard, not through impulse but out of a sense of duty to keep the world a natural and safe place.
Sobekites, as a race, put a great deal of emphasis on two things: family as mentioned above and moral victory. While they are warriors, and quite eager warriors at that, theirs is a resolutely honorable way of war that seeks to end violence sooner rather than later. Honor and altruism are the highest virtues among the philosophies of the lizard folk; furthermore, they hold an intuitive knowledge that the past is the past.
A depressingly large number of races do not understand that sobekites recognize change. In time, everything changes and sobekite perspective is limited by the simple facts that they are mortal and are not omniscient. This is a major reason why they don’t particularly mind elves despite elven acceptance of magic. The lizard folk understand that their reflexive distrust of the arcane is simple biology, not an intuitive sense of right and wrong. Elves seem to have long since learned responsible use for this form of magic.
As a people sobekites are quite agreeable and open to those who do not currently threatening them or their survival. And while they do grow extremely cross with human fishermen who strain the ecology of their hunting grounds, lizard folk typically react by giving the benefit of the doubt. They assume people have reasons for harvesting what they do as those reasons are frequently sensible.
Sobekites only grow genuinely aggressive when someone or something threatens their homes, their clans, or especially their families. Arcane magic, despite the common stereotype of a sobekite being a well-intentioned magic hater, is never the sole reason clans turn aggressive. Their judgments are based on how harmful said magic is to their rivers’ eco-systems, their goodly neighbors, and themselves.
It should be noted that despite their infamous distrust of literacy and academia in general, sobekites are not stupid. Perhaps sobekites are not as quick as other races in the scholarly world. But just because they are undereducated, doesn’t mean they are incapable of understanding progressive topics. For instance, they are especially capable tacticians who utilize advanced statistical analysis for warfare. Albeit, much of the math is performed in the mud with a stick, yet this does not deter from the fact that sobekites are exceptional mathematicians.
Sobekites are a largely nomadic people. They follow a forger pattern, harvesting the bounty of the earth and then move on to the next site while their previous one regenerates. While clans do eventually circle back through the same sites, it takes a fairly long time, twice a human’s generation on average. Sobekites do leave caches of supplies for when they do re-enter abandoned burrows.
The stashes assist sobekites in the fact that they do not build. They burrow. An inhabited settlement often looks no different from an unused one. Right up until the lizard folk start popping out of the wet earth. This cultural enjoyment of burrowing is probably how their preference of ambush tactics evolved.
Clan lairs are either adapted underwater caves or artificial tunnels dug out of the riverbed. They use an advanced system of air holes and circulation near the surface to ensure enough air pockets of fresh air for their nesting quarters. Ironically, this also means the most valued treasures of sobekites – their eggs – are in the closest places to the surface. The knowledge that any predators (especially slavers) have a relatively easy time reaching the sobekites’ unborn children is one reason why they turn vicious to perceived intruders.
With that being said, sobekites have a rather large differentiation between “visitor” and “intruder”. They assuming most races who wander into their area are either lost or simply merchants, but they still take no chances. After observing the strangers from hidden scouting holes, the sobekites determine whether these interlopers have hostile intent and only then will they send out an appropriately armed greeting party, just in case their initial assessment of innocent intent was amiss.
While sobekites are not a particularly extroverted people, they can be social enough. Traditionally, their response to those who simply wandered in is to trade stories and a comfortable meal. The next day, their guests are led out of sobekite lands or to the nearest settlement, depending on whether the foreigners are truly lost or not.
Traders find sobekites to be surprisingly capitalistic. It is true that sobekites do not trade very often; yet, this lack of opportunity does not seem to inhibit their understanding of currency and pricing. They simply do not have much coinage. The idea of precious metals having inherent worth remains a strange concept to a sobekite. One cannot smelt gold into an effective sword or silver into a sturdy suit of armor. This viewpoint combined with their altruistic nature makes them extremely fair bargainers.
Trading does tend to be limited; however, sobekites do export excess meat, rare herbs, and the occasional bit of salvage or divinely-infused magic items found in the riverbeds. Sadly, arcane items are often destroyed merely out of habit. For the goods they provide, sobekites import preserved food and tools (especially items useful in maintaining their burrows).
Among themselves, sobekites prefer a bartering system. Work contracts are the typical arrangements, and sobekites are quite particular when agreeing to terms. They designate each items’ worth with precision, though it is important to note that worth is determined the day of agreement. If an item significantly gains or loses value over the course of acquisition, the sobekite will still hold true to the original bargain. This honor-bound code has caused many an outsider to second think dealings with sobekites.
Sobekites are generally isolationists. This decision is based up the choice of non-interventionism, not xenophobia. Lizard folk follow a “good neighbors” policy. They trade openly while avoiding intrusions upon their neighbors, and expect those neighbors to do likewise.
Luckily, good neighbors are not in short supply. Sobekites are remarkably friendly and forgiving. A trait many races find appealing. Neighboring races find mutual benefit with sobekites by banding together for common defense. But apart from that circumstance, the sobekites primarily wish to be left alone.
On a more personal level, lizard folk judge others as individuals rather than by race. There are a few exceptions, such as the drow and the kel, when sobekites base decisions on generalities, specifically the knowledge that a culture is earnestly corrupt. But for the most part, sobekites treat each and every person they encounter decently until deemed unworthy.
Sobekites are not expansionist. In fact, they are not particularly bitter about a previous nesting site being filled in, whether by those whom did not recognize that burrows were already established or the belief that the sobekites would not come back to a previous settlement. They simply ask the accidental settlers to assist in building a new set of burrows.
When problems do occur, the lizard folk are usually quick to remind people that they are still a race of born warriors. Few things provoke as severe a reaction from sobekites as bullies do. Sobekites despise malice. Systematic cruelty, no matter the reason, sets lizard folk off. They will immediately enter aggressive warfare to end the horrors of this enmity.
On the other hand, sobekites do not let their natural instincts for warfare define them. Their merciful side implores them to treat prisoners fairly. This humane quality also lends itself to a surprisingly cold pragmatism. They seek to end the suffering of their opponents in short order.
Arden: Sobekites pity arden. They have a degree of empathy for the ratfolk due to similar modes of operation. Both races are family-reliant burrowers, but arden always come off as being panicked around the lizard folk. Why? Sobekites are unsure. In the mind of a sobekite, an arden often appears as a repeatedly kicked dog. They would love to form a closer relationship with these warren dwelling humanoids, but the fact that arden leave with haste puts a damper on that aspiration.
Amoraq: Amoraq are too alien for sobekites. Finding commonalities is difficult for these two races as they have so very little to share. A nomadic lifestyle and respect for martial abilities is the sum of their similarities, which are not nearly enough to bond over. Additionally, sobekites find the slowly building tempers of amoraq disruptive and irritating. They do not particularly dislike the amoraq. They simply see their relationship as one of neutrality.
Drow: With the drow’s slow movement toward the surface, sobekites have finally found a race that elicits as much fury from them as the kel. Drow remind sobekites of everything they despised about the Eluen-cuthpar, an arrogant culture of self-absorption littered with slavery. In fact, drow regard sobekites as a prized group of slaves, victims for their exotic cruelties. Absolutely nothing about drow seems redeemable in the sobekites’ view. And to top off the intolerable list, drow have a large contingent of sorcerers. A drow must earn a sobekite’s loyalty.
Duergar: Just because arcane power is but a secondary issue in the minds of most sobekites does not mean it is not a matter of contention. Duergar are a perfect example of this conviction. While culturally the races are quite similar, the fact remains that deep dwarven society is immersed in wizardry. This reality greatly sours sobekite opinion of the duergar. Furthermore, duergar isolationism does not make them particularly good neighbors. Still, the race is not a particularly bad one. Lizard folk are content to vigorously ignore duergar until dangerous arcane experimentation threatens once more.
Dwarves: Sobekites get along quite well with dwarves. The headwaters of rivers tend to be in mountains so it is common for a settlement of sobekite to be near a stronghold. The two races have regular contact with each other. Trade opportunities are openly friendly and plentiful as dwarves tend to have the materials and tools sobekites need to sustain suitable burrows. The two races generally become frequent friends and allies; however, sobekites do wonder why dwarves think gold and gems have inherent value.
Elves: Elves are not nearly as outgoing as dwarves and they possess a taste for the arcane magic, yet sobekites do not actually mind them. Elves seem to have developed some much needed humility about their magical powers and restraint for how they use it. Combine this moderation with the fact that elves are good neighbors and one finds allies. Sobekites will happily band together with elves for mutual defense.
Fenodyree: Fenodyree social order and nomadic lifestyle are similar to that of the sobekites. They indulge in the telling of stories, oral histories. Something both races find quite enjoyable to share. Sobekites identify fenodyree as stridently fair traders. They are known to be more trustworthy and less inclined to haggle than the nalu, a refreshing change of pace from their other friends. While sobekites do not cross paths very often with the fenodyree, due to different migratory routes, there is usually a caravan or two known by each clan. When these halflings are found to be in the same area, sobekites send a welcoming party outside of their settlement to greet them with open arms.
Goblins: While The Rise can be quite disturbing for others, sobekites recognize that a goblin forest does not exactly affect the riverbed. And it is certainly not a willful change. Besides, goblins are extremely friendly and peaceful in their dealings with the lizard folk. They cannot be that bad. Still, sobekites approach goblins with open neutrality. Not quite allies but certainly not enemies.
Humans: The sobekite’s closest relatives are as random as any two snowflakes. Even siblings may be as different as night and day. More than any other race, sobekites approach humans on a case-by-case basis, yet they aren’t naive enough to think that human culture has no effect on its citizens. Sobekites’ initial attitudes toward humans vary greatly with human nationality being the critical factor. For instance, Tamarack supports colleges of wizardry and calls on Eadiac to create abominations to walk the planet. Any human from that state would be treated quite coldly at first.
Kel: There’s a popular saying among sobekites: “Beware the tainted scale.” This metaphor states that a sobekite who speaks highly of a kel cannot be trusted. Kel are seen as a dark mirror of the sobekites. Strength is used to oppress and destroy rather than protect and build. Kelian armies are without a higher cause. Greed and sheer bloodlust drives them. They are one of the few races sobekites will strike first.
Kobolds: Kobolds do not provoke the kind of fury from sobekites as kel do, yet their presence definitely sours a sobekite’s mood. Kobolds are known thieves and habitual intruders of sobekite nests. While they aren’t stupid or cruel enough to thieve eggs, they will take everything else available, leaving the burrows stripped and starving. Even so, kobolds are not nearly vicious enough to lose the benefit of a sobekite’s doubt. It’s quite possible for an individual kobold to redeem himself; though, redemption will never come to the race as a whole, at least not in the foreseeable future.
Nalu: The fish and lizard are old friends, born of mutual pasts. They both possess similar ways of life, nomadic smaller communities that frequently interact with other races while they embrace the balance of keeping to themselves. Sobekites view the nalu as somewhat distant siblings. They would be closer, were it not for the fact that nalu dwell almost entirely in saltwater. Unfortunately, only a few brackish areas exist where these two races could possibly come into contact with one another.
Sobekites are not outgoing as a people. If anything, they become a bit upset by the concept of adventurers. The profession strikes them as being supportive of unasked intrusion and thievery, not to mention a tacit acceptance of arcane magic as a tool for survival. Nevertheless, they do occasionally adventure.
Primarily, sobekite adventurers are executing redemption quests. Sobekites place great stock in the concept of personal atonement and repaying debts. What qualifies for a redemption quest depends upon the clan, but some infractions are consistent throughout all social orders of the sobekites. The default crimes are adultery, unprovoked violence against another, and breaking the trust of the clan for forgivable reasons. Unforgivable reasons typically result in someone being killed outright. Sobekites view true kin-traitors as irredeemable regardless of the race.
A sobekite on a redemption quest is usually open about the reason he ventures forth. Frequent lying got him into his current predicament, so a heartfelt desire not to repeat the same mistakes causes him to bluntly state his desire to seek redemption. It is true that this honesty is quite important to a sobekite on his quest, but his candor only goes so far. In most instances, a sobekite will be decidedly more guarded about the reasons why he is seeking atonement. After all, they are his crimes and he must be the one to obtain forgiveness.
Another reason to adventure, which is not maligned by sobekites at all, is divine inspiration. Deities are regarded as having transcended the petty concerns of mortality, due to their mastery of their respective concepts of virtues and vices. Sobekites believe that the deities intuitively understand balance and avoid arrogance. Of course, most daeva do not care about balance except when it benefits themselves or their churches and few elohim pay as much heed to this concept as they should, ergo the duty of a paladin.
Sobekite champions enforce harmony while denying their own hubris and imbalances. As a result, lizard folk are known for being a substantial part of the paladin orders. They are also known for being notoriously opinionated. They are not afraid to speak their mind, especially when they suspect their superiors, their churches, or even their deities are making mistakes; however, they do not let their opinions affect their efficiency in battle. Letting your fellow soldiers die out of personal conjecture is the very definition of kin-betrayal.
The final body of wanderers is the misfits, the self-imposed exiles. Some sobekites feel crushed by the tribal culture and complex web of familial relations. These sobekites do have additional reasons to go it alone, but one does tend to stick out. Sobekites are born warriors.
Rarely bloodthirsty, these sobekites still actively seek out conflict and opponents as to test themselves. They believe they can help the world while perfecting their martial skills. These mercenaries, due to their natural abilities and instincts, frequently become hunters of the arcane; and depending on their own feelings, they might even travel with arcane users themselves. Pragmatism and swallowing your pride are not weaknesses.
Class Preferences: druid, fighter, paladin
Religious Preferences: Askii, Iteff, Tariav’ai, Vazuet, Xurialu, Zenaket
Racial Traits (PF)
When creating a sobekite character, a player uses all the base traits presented below; these traits are inherent to the sobekite and cannot be altered. A player then selects alternate traits to flesh out his sobekite character. The total number of alternative traits may not exceed 4 racial points (RP). Each alternative trait has its RP cost listed after its name.
+2 Strength, +2 Wisdom, -2 Intelligence: A sobekite is both strong and wise, but lacks education.
Medium: A sobekite is a Medium creature and has no bonuses or penalties due to his size.
Normal Speed: A sobekite has a base speed of 30 feet.
Minor Burrowing: A sobekite gains a burrow speed of 10 feet in sand, loose soil, and mud.
Darkvision: A sobekite can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Bite: A sobekite gains a natural bite attack that deals 1d4 damage. This bite is a primary attack or a secondary attack if he is wielding manufactured weapons.
Energy Resistance: A sobekite has resistance 5 cold.
Skill Training: Knowledge (nature) and Survival are always considered class skills for a sobekite.
Spell Resistance, Lesser: A sobekite gains spell resistance equal to 6 + his character level.
Languages: A sobekite begins play speaking Draconic. A sobekite with a high Intelligence score can choose from the following: Celestial, Common, Elven, and Sylvan.
Camouflage (1 RP): A sobekite gains a +4 racial bonus on Stealth checks within water.
Stability (1 RP): A sobekite receives a +4 racial bonus to his CMD when resisting bull rush or trip attempts while standing on the ground.
Hold Breath (1 RP): A sobekite can hold his breath for a number of rounds equal to four times his Constitution score before risking drowning or suffocating.
Prehensile Tail (2 RP): A sobekite has a long, flexible tail that can be used to carry objects. He cannot wield weapons with his tail, but he can retrieve small, stowed objects carried on his person as a swift action.
Swim (2 RP): A sobekite has a swim speed of 30 feet and gains a +8 racial bonus on Swim checks.
Magehunter (4 RP): A sobekite gains a +2 racial bonus on Spellcraft checks made to identify an arcane spell being cast and a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against arcane spellcasters. A sobekite only gains this bonus against creatures that use spells, not against those that only use spell-like abilities.
Racial Traits (DD)
Ability Score Increase: Your Strength increases by 2, and your Wisdom increases by 1.
Size: Your size is Medium.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Swim Your swimming speed is 30 feet.
Minor Burrowing: Your race typically builds its homes underground. You gain a burrowing speed of 5 feet, but only in sand, mud, or loose dirt.
Darkvision: Because of your magical nature, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You cannot discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Hold Breath: You can hold your breath for 15 minutes.
Magehunter: You were built to kill wizards. You gain advantage on one saving throw of your choice and advantage on another saving throw at 10th level.
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