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Savage Coast Races: Shazak (the Lizard-folk)by Trevor Mellis
The lizard-folk of the Orc's Head Peninsula are known as the Shazak, a race of forest-dwelling reptiles. They are otherwise the same lizard-folk mentioned in the 3rd Edition Monster Manual.
Personality: The shazaks are peaceful primitives. They have developed a written language, art, and trade since establishing their own society. They are ruled by a monarch known as the Shaz. Though not as ferocious as the gurrash, shazaks are strong, hardy, and far more dependable.
Physical Description: The shazak stand about 6 feet tall and have dark green or brown scaly skin and slitted gold eyes. Shazaks sometimes serve as mercenaries for Herathian nobles.
Relations: Having adapted to the forest, they are natural friends of most fey and forest-folk (such as the elves and treants). They are untrusting of human and halfling developments near their woods, and they war with the gurrash and trolls who decimate their woodland homes.
Alignment: Generally, the shazak are truly neutral in alignment, having no preference toward Law or Chaos, good nor evil. There are good-aligned shazak, but they remain deep in the woods and are rarely seen by other races. Evil shazak are rare and dangerous, raiding local villages and settlements for food, supplies, or sport.
Shazak Lands: The shazak inhabit the wooded central areas of the Orc's Head Peninsula, though a few shazak villages remain in the western and southern swamps. Shazaks are to some extent the caretakers of their woodland homes. They cull old trees and trade the rare woods to Herath and keep the plant and animal populations within bounds. Shazaks have no widespread effect on the rest of the Savage Coast and the Orc's Head Peninsula.
Religion: The patron deity of the shazaks is Semuanya, whose chief concern is their survival and propagation. Clerics (shamans) who follow Semuanya may choose any two of the following domains: Animal, Plant, 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 very rare.
Adventurers: The shazak most frequently adventure as rangers or druids, seeking to eliminate threats to their woodlands and find new resources from which all may benefit. The shazak rarely adventure for personal gain or wealth...even shazak raiders and bandits are more interested in the food and rare supplies than gold and bloodlust.
Combat: They can choose from many different weapons, ranging from spears to swords. They have domesticated huge bats (mobats) which serve as mounts for the important members of the tribe and for the beast-riders among them.
Habitat/Society: Shazaks are survivors. When they were turned out by the Herathians, they adapted to the bayou. Chased from that habitat by the gurrash, they adapted to their woodland home. They pursue peaceful callings like pottery and fishing, but they also serve Herathians in times of war. They must defend their homes often from both gurrash raids and rakastan invasions from Bellayne.
Shazak Racial Traits
- -1 Intelligence, -1 Wisdom; +2 Constitution. The shazak are a survivor race, and have above-average health at the sacrifice of intellect and wisdom.
- Medium-size: as Medium-sized creatures, the shazak gain no special bonuses or penalties on account of their size.
- Base movement rate is 30 feet.
- +4 racial bonus to Balance. The shazak have semi-prehensile tails that they use for balance, giving them a distinct advantage over other humanoids of similar size and build.
- +4 racial bonus to Jump. The shazak are quite nimble, and their hollow bone structure and large leg muscles grant them an advantage when leaping.
- +4 racial bonus to Swim. Webbed feet and hands, combined with their ability to hold their breath longer than most other races (see below), give them above-average swimming ability.
- Darkvision: Shazak can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and shazaks can function just fine with no light at all.
- Hold Breath: a shazak may hold its breath for a number of minutes equal to its Constitution score (one minute is six rounds) before requiring Constitution checks for suffocation. For more information, refer to the 3rd Edition Dungeon Master's Guide.
- Automatic Language: Shazak. Bonus Languages: Common, Troll, Orc, Goblin, Gurrash, Bugbear, Hobgoblin, and Athach.
- Favoured Class: Druid. A multiclass shazak's druid class does not count when determining whether he suffers an XP penalty for multiclassing.