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One of the oldest races on Midgard, lizardfolk possess a lineage dating back to a time before the planting of Yggdrasil. Despite their long history, lizardfolk have never played more than a subsidiary role in Midgard’s history, living out their lives in primitive isolation.
Ancient ruins within certain key swamps and marshes tell of a time when lizardfolk were perhaps more intelligent. Carvings suggest constructed buildings of fire-baked clay and bronze breastplates. Unfortunately, lizardfolk civilization did not last long enough to significantly affect other races of Midgard and ended in quiet disaster.
This article concerns northern lizardfolk of Midgard, including their place in Midgard’s lore and their relationship with Veles’s other children.
In the early days of Midgard, when elves first wandered the forests and dwarves emerged from the earth, the Great Serpent Veles looked upon them and decided to fashion his own race in kind, placing them in the wetlands that other races had ignored.
The creature he made was humanoid in form, but included a fierce snout, thick scales, and a long tail. He granted them intelligence, but unlike dwarves, humans, and elves, not the will to fully use it. This fundamental flaw haunted lizardfolk for millennia. Veles has since sought to rectify the oversight with the creation of the lizardfolk of Veles-Sa.
Shortly after Ankeshel sank around 2,700 years ago, the lizardfolk on the western coast of Midgard created their own kingdom in the depths of what is now Ghostlight Forest, once a great deal swampier than it currently is.
Known as Skathural in ancient dwarven texts, the kingdom stretched all the way to the borders of current day Verrayne. It existing for only some 600 years before it was weakened by a series of droughts and destroyed by a massive horde of stone giants from the Pytonne Mountains.
Only a few shattered, overgrown ruins remain, though one may still find value if one looks carefully (see below).
In the centuries following the fall of Skathural, most lizardfolk turned their backs on Veles and worshipped darker alien gods such as Father Yig and Bokrug, the Water Lizard.
Both gods promised to protect the lizardfolk, where Veles had failed, so long as they offered proper devotion—including sacrifices. This religious upheaval and the xenophobia it engendered led to the end of the lizardfolk’s nascent civilization. They have never recovered.
Dragonborn and Lizardfolk
When dragonborn first appeared in the Mharoti Empire over 300 years ago, some believed them to be lizardfolk modified by elemental or draconic magic.
This theory soon proved false, though some humanoids still confuse the two races. Terms like “lizard-breath” or “lizard-born” are used as insults by people of the Seven Cities or the Magdar Kingdom when referring to dragonborn.
Dragonborn and lizardfolk share no love despite their similarities. Dragonborn typically view lizardfolk with pity and disgust, seeing them as inferior creatures rejected by Veles. Lizardfolk view dragonborn as another of the thousand threats they must overcome.
Lizardfolk Items and Spells
While Skathural flourished, the lizardfolk created several unique magic items and spells. A few of these items and spells can be unearthed in ruins in Fellmire Swamp and Ghostlight Forest, as well as places like the Broken Reeds north of Trombei.
These magic items were made by fallen lizardfolk civilizations.
BRONZE PLATE OF VELES
Armor, Rare (Requires Attunement)
This bronze breastplate includes matching helmet and greaves. It functions as +1 half plate. The breastplate is always marked with the eye of Veles or the picture of a coiled snake.
While attuned to the armor, you have advantage on Intimidation (Charisma) and Persuasion (Charisma) checks made when dealing with dragons, drakes, dragonborn, kobolds, and lizardfolk. In addition, you treat difficult terrain in swamps or marsh (such as bogs or thick reeds) as normal terrain for the effects of movement.
STAFF OF THE LIZARD
Staff, Rare (Requires Attunement by a Spellcaster)
This long, thin staff is fashioned from the wood of a willow and studded with gems that resemble slanted reptilian eyes.
The staff has 10 charges. While holding it, you can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to cast one of the following spells from it, using your spell save DC: entangle (1 charge), polymorph (into an ordinary lizard for 2 charges or a giant frilled lizard (see Tome of Beasts 2) for 5 charges) and scales of the chroma (3 charges).
The staff regains 1d6 + 4 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the eyes on the staff blacken and fall out, and the staff crumbles into wooden shards.
These spells have been found within lizardfolk ruins.
Blessing of Bokrug
Casting Time: 1 action
Components: V, S, M (a lizard’s tail which you consume when you cast the spell)
Duration: 1 hour (see below)
Upon casting this spell, a lizard’s tail sprouts from your lower back or replaces your tail if you already have one. This tail does not affect your movement and grows through any armor or clothing you have without harming it or the material it passes through.
If you take damage that would reduce your hit points to 0 or are affected by an attack that would kill you while you are affected by this spell, as a reaction, you can shed the tail instead.
Shedding the tail negates the incoming damage or death effect, even if you normally could not avoid it. Once the tail prevents death, the spell ends.
If this spell replaces your normal tail, your tail regrows over 1d4 hours.
Scales of the Chroma
Casting Time: 1 action
Components: V, S, M (a scale from a lizard and a silver mirror)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
Upon casting this spell, your skin takes on some of the reflective qualities of a chroma lizard (see Tome of Beasts 3). For the duration, you gain a +2 bonus to your Armor Class. Additionally, you are immune to radiant damage and reflect it, dealing half of the radiant damage back at the source if it is within 30 feet of you.
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