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Savage Coast Races: Cayma

by Trevor Mellis

The lizard kin of the Orc's Head Peninsula were created by the Herathians about 1700 years ago, using captured wallaras as raw material. The caymas were created to serve as slaves, but were not considered suitable and were set free. Since then, they have developed into a race of tiny lizard folk.

Intelligent and sociable, caymas live together in villages, herding aurochs (large, shaggy bison) and trading auroch meat with the shazaks (the lizard-folk of the Bayou). Aurochs are about 6 feet tall at the shoulder, so the caymas have some interesting herding techniques. A cayma herder usually rides an auroch, using sticks with metal hooks on the end to tug on the auroch's ears, thereby directing it. Caymas have also domesticated small lizards (2 to 3 feet in length), which they use to pull their war chariots and as beasts of burden.

Physical Description: These reptilian humanoids stand about 1 foot tall, with green or brown skin and black eyes.

Relations: Caymas tolerate shazaks and are afraid of gurrash (the "gator men"). Caymas are not necessarily hostile but are very leery of the "big" races. Often, caymas have been taken as slaves by larger, evil races.

Alignment: Caymas (known collectively as Cay) generally are neutral in alignment, but larger villages require some to be Lawful to maintain some sort of order. Good and Evil are rare persuasions among Caymas.

Cay Lands: The Cay are the smallest lizard-folk who inhabit the Bayou, a large swampy area in the Orc's Head Peninsula. Their boundaries rarely extend beyond jungle and swampy areas due to their small size and limited defences.

Religion: Religion is taken very seriously among the Cay, and shaman (priests) and wokani (sorcerers) are not uncommon. Good-aligned Caymas tend to follow S'sar, their patron deity of water, fire, and protection. Those with evil inclinations often serve Tobek, patron of evil and water.

Language: All lizard kin speak a variant of the shazak tongue, which has a written form that shazaks and a few gurrash mages understand. Fluency with one dialect gives a basic understanding of the other two. A few lizard kin also speak common, although this ability is rare.

Adventurers: Caymas are curious and fearless, a combination which tends to get them into trouble more often than not. They make good barbarians and fighters, and have learned to use guerrilla tactics in combat to bring down even the largest uglies in the swamps.

Habitat/Society: Caymas build haphazard villages of tunnels and chambers protected by rickety palisades of mud, sticks, and any other material they can obtain. The villages have many entrances, all of them the equivalent of concealed doors. The caymas are inordinately proud of these structures and refuse to see any flaws in the designs, no matter how blatant.

Each cayma village includes 10d6 adults, and half that many non-combatant offspring. Immature caymas reach adulthood in one year. Each village is led by a shaman, equivalent to a priest of 5th to 7th level. These shamans live longer than the average cayma (60 years, as opposed to the normal 40-year life span), so their hides grow tough, giving them a natural AC of 13.

Cayma Racial Traits