Siad Tajim: Gregarious Gators
The lizardfolk offshoot known as the Siad Tajim (or, 'Scaled Hunters' in their language) are newcomers, extremely rare outside of their homeland, the great desert of Eatash Alram. The first representative of their kind in Etera was the wrestler Masarie, sent to investigate the rumors of a bloodthirsty tyrant ravaging the West. With word of his safe arrival, and reports of the downfall of the Verk Empire and establishment of the city-states of Etera, there may very well be more of their kind coming to the continent to seek fortunes and greatness for their clans.
The Siad Tajim have been classified as a subspecies of the more common lizardfolk, though they wouldn't know it, developing separate from the rest of the species. Thus, they carry most of the usual features of the reptilians, including scaled skin and animalistic features. In contrast to some other lizardfolk though, the Siad's animal ancestors are very clear. To be specific, they are basically a race of crocodile-men. This includes their cranial structure, having no real resemblance to the typical humanoid, looking more like an upright lizard. They are also a physically impressive race, with the shortest among them still bottoming out at around eight and the giants of their kind growing up to sixteen feet tall, towering over most other humanoid races. Their clothing has advanced rapidly in recent years as they began to trade with other desert civilizations, going from simple rags or even bare nudity (thankfully crocs have internal genitals) to much more modern attire.
The Siad Tajim do not have much of a recorded history, with oral storytelling traditions providing most of their knowledge of their past. What scraps of writing and artifacts exist point to a relatively young race, with an existence going back centuries rather than the unknowable millennia others such as humans and elves have been around. There are varieties abound when it comes to their origin stories, but a popular tale seems to be that of a desert god, newly ascended to divinity, seeking to test his powers by creating his own race. Looking this way and that, he saw several animals to choose from. There were the proud and powerful lions, who would have made a fine species. The god decided against them, judging them as too narcissistic, and feared they may disrupt the ecosystem if they were to become sentient. He looked to the hyenas, resourceful and cunning. Again, the god refused to grant them true intelligence. He had heard of the gnolls, and did not want to risk Lamashtu's wrath by creating rivals for one of his children.
Finally, his gaze fell upon the crocodiles. He was disappointed at first, as he saw them lounging on the shores, not even bothering to devour the birds that pecked at their teeth. He was just about to call it quits and decide on a new miracle when he saw a gazelle approach the river. It looked wary, scanning the river and timidly drinking. The god wondered what could inspire such fear and caution just by the possibility of their presence. In a flash, he saw why, when a scaled snout lunged from the water and snapped up the gazelle, twisting it to and fro before finally dragging it into the water to drown and be devoured. At last, the god had found a suitable animal to gift. He drew a handful of the creatures to his mighty palm and used his divine abilities to empower them and create the spark of true awareness.
After this miracle, the god withdrew from the desert, drained by the act. Soon the crocodiles multiplied, developed a language, and formed a unique martial art combining wrestling with the use of their jaws to honor the mighty predators that impressed the god so. Now the hunters, calling themselves the Siad Tajim in their new tongue, breed fruitfully along the banks of their ancestral rivers, wishing to one day prove to the long absent god the wisdom of his decision.
The Siad Tajim are in most ways the archetypal tribal culture: rich storytelling, simple technology, and traditional views on most anything. However, there are two things that may distinguish them from the usual. First, they have a deep love of alcohol and are often skilled in brewing the stuff. Members of the Siad start drinking from a very young age, often at the beginning of adolescence. Thankfully they have hardy enough constitutions to avoid the physical side effects, but the honesty and crude behavior that comes with inebriation has at this point become integrated with their behavior, leading to their second notable trait.
While the SIad Tajim tend to be as xenophobic as most primitives, it takes an unusual form and those they befriend and trust are in for a rude awakening if they think they are due for some respect; at least in the way they know it. When strangers visit a Siad village, they tend to be treated with a sort of indifferent tolerance. As long as they behave themselves, they will not be met with hostility, but neither will they experience the true nature of the people. In fact, this sober sense of the Siad being bored with them, combined with the seemingly caustic way they treat tribe-members, can lead to foreigners regarding the Siad as a generally miserable race.
This impression is far from the truth however, as the Siad Tajim are a proud and opinionated people, speaking to each other very frankly and being completely unafraid to express themselves, leading to frequent arguments and even impromptu wrestling matches. What new visitors will not see though, is when the arguers then go to their huts to drink away their disagreements and part with jokes and uproarious laughter, their previous contention long forgotten. A good way to get a sense of a Siad's opinion of you is to ask them a question on a controversial subject. If the reptile shrugs his shoulders and claims disinterest in the matter at hand, it usually means the they do not trust or respect you enough to honest. If however they immediately erupt into a rant, going on about this and that, it is a good sign they see you as someone worth talking to and eventually drinking with. This odd behavior tends to drive off visitors, but the rare individual who takes a shine to them will find them a gregarious, kindhearted and intelligent people with iron livers and big mouths.
Ability Score Racial Traits:
+2 STR & CON, -2 CHR [1 RP] The Siad Tajim are a strong and hardy race, but tend to be belligerent and speak their minds, especially to those they call friends and family. Strangers are treated more with bored tolerance and disregard.
Large, +2 size bonus to Strength and a –2 size penalty to Dexterity. Large races take a –1 size penalty to their AC, a –1 size penalty on attack rolls, a +1 bonus on combat maneuver checks and to their CMD, and a –4 size penalty on Stealth checks. A Large creature takes up a space that is 10 feet by 10 feet and has a reach of 5 feet. [7 RP]
30ft movement, Swim 30ft. [2 RP]
Common, those with high INT can choose from Aquan, Draconic, Giant, Sylvan, Aklo, Terran and Gnoll.
Natural Armor (+1 AC) [1 RP] The Siad Tajim possess thick scaly skin that can help ward off minor blows.
Feat and Skill Racial Traits:
Grab (Bite) [3 RP], Static Bonus Feat: Death Roll [2 RP] The Siad honor their ancestors through their unique fighting techniques, leading to a proficiency in using their natural weapons to the fullest extent.
Offensive Racial Trait:
Bite 1 Rank (1d6) [2 RP]
Misc. Racial Trait:
Amphibious; The Siad can breathe air and water.