|Makara, Devata, Mauli, Aksunna, and Anindriya
|Zoram, based on real-life Sanskrit
Perhaps the oldest Race to have continuously existed on Aloria, the Slizzar are of serpent-like shapeshifters that are rarely seen in their natural form, mingling with other societies for both benign and nefarious purposes. Some claim that the Slizzar have been around since before even the fall of the Seraph, though it is hard to prove. For centuries, and sometimes even millennia, the Slizzar closed their holy city-state Sassrakkand off from the outside world, content to exist in luxury and ignore the woes of others. Following the last Void Invasion, the Slizzar have once again spread into the wider world, shape shifting among the locals to fit in. Some assist with research, others taste the delights of other cultures, and some yet quietly nudge decisions made in high positions of authority to their benefit.
To be a Slizzar is to be a shapeshifter that is always highly keen on understanding the world and the people around them, but to inversely be extremely misunderstood by that world and those people. The Slizzar have a terrible reputation due to their natural ability to shapeshift, and the actions of some of their number. While many Slizzar enjoy the luxuries of life over politics, a few of them have steered global politics to such a degree that it caused great trouble to even the Regalian Empire, resulting in generational hate and fear for this seductive and sometimes subversive Race. Slizzar in Regalia should expect to experience extreme opposites, both to be ridiculed and spat on, but also to be desired and a frequent party invitee. They have great potential for fun and debauchery, but also great evil and manipulation.
The Slizzar are by nature isolationist, at least within their holy city Sassrakkand. Slizzar do not settle other regions, their race numbers are always roughly the same (never becoming higher than a few dozen thousand), and they make no colonies. When the world goes through a period of great chaos, the Slizzar perform their Great Recall, during which the Slizzar around the world have limited time to return (with any non-Slizzar family they want to take with), before the shield of Sassrakkand is closed, and the city closes off to the outside. This risk and flight response carries over to the Slizzar. If a Slizzar’s identity has been Burned as they call it, they abandon that identity and shapeshift into another to leave their problems behind.
Birth Shape vs Shapeshifting
To the Slizzar, the concept of Birth Shape (the body they were born with) versus shapeshifted body is a hot topic for debate. To many of the non-politically involved Slizzar, showing one’s Birth Shape is not that big of a deal, because there is no inherent risk towards it besides a negative reaction from bigots in Regalia. Among the more politically active Slizzar, especially the manipulators, showing one’s Birth Shape is considered a great weakness and personal risk. They believe that when their potential enemies know what their Birth Shape looks like, they will be easily discovered, as their foes will be able to sample their behavior traits that are difficult to mask between appearances. As such, among the more subterfuge focused Slizzar, showing one’s Birth Shape is considered very personal and a carelessness that they cannot afford.
The Great Game
To the politically active Slizzar, controlling, manipulating, and steering events to their benefit through political manipulation is called The Great Game. Many Slizzar participate in The Great Game, attempting to climb political ladders to try and reach close to the top. A Slizzar would never draw so much attention to themselves as to seize the actual highest position, and are most content in the background of actual authority, always gently nudging them into a direction of their liking without even being noticed. There is never truly a great plan of scheme behind this, especially with the disappearance of Zaalaanzaal, the Slizzar patron Dragon, the Slizzar simply do the Great Game because it’s a great deal of fun, and to many of them, a good kind of stress that gets the blood pumping with excitement. There are however plenty of Slizzar who also think The Great Game is a waste of time or even just evil. This approval is especially noted among the Devata Slizzar who would prefer to live harmoniously with other Races, and more often receive negative experiences because of hate-mongering over what the Mauli Slizzar did. Despite all this however, and despite all the disapproval, they would never reveal a Mauli’s actions on purpose, or out another Slizzar to non-Slizzar.
Among the Slizzar, there are cultural distinctions which the Slizzar themselves treat as Sub-Races, but from a scholarly point of view, these are not Subraces, because they do not confer different appearances, Abilities, or Specials. To understand Slizzar subraces, one must understand Slizzar reproduction. Slizzar are by nature biological sex-less, and cannot reproduce within their own Race. To reproduce, a Slizzar must always shapeshift, and mate with another Race to have that person bear the offspring. Slizzar gestation can be incredibly short, 10 days, though it can be made longer to hide the identity of the Slizzar. Slizzar children frequently produce twins, with both being Slizzar. A child being born does not know they are Slizzar, and their Slizzar Specials and Powers do not manifest until they become 18 years old, when they receive a mixture of visions and mental clarity that teaches them their identity and history and their Racial Powers. Very rarely, a Slizzar's child is actually not a Slizzar, and is born as the race of the mother instead. Slizzar do not know why this happens, but it happens so rarely that it is not an issue for them.
As Shapeshifters, Slizzar do not truly have one set appearance, save for their natural Slizzar appearance. Slizzar natural appearance is quite snake-like, with a body covered in black, gray, white, or silver scales, some slizzar have the lower body of a snake, legs, or the lower body composed of both legs and a snake tail. Slizzar may have have horns colored like their scales on their head, the head itself which looks quite alien compared to the other humanoid Races, with a flat nose, double-hinged jaw, and a series of cranial and jaw protrusions forming unique features that are different for each Slizzar. Slizzar usually have a dominant and secondary color, the dominant color being the majority of their hair and shoulders, while their secondary color adds contrast to their neck and some of their hair, particularly close to their cranium. These colors can be any combination, though are usually quite vibrant. All Slizzar have slitted purple eyes and dark sclera. While Slizzar are shapeshifters, they can never change this base Slizzar appearance. Slizzar can live exceeingly long periods of time, up to 1000 years, but for many centuries these Slizzar were trapped in Sassrakkand, and so the maximum age of any Slizzar in Roleplay should be 300 years.
Slizzar cannot truly be ascribed any one particular personality trait that is either created through cultural pressure or biological need. The Slizzar self-categorize based on their cultural distinction of the “subrace”, with militaristic, boisterous and loud Slizzar called Makara. Devata Slizzar are the Slizzar who are more laid back and enjoy life and the wide world. Mauli Slizzar are plotting and scheming Slizzar who are trusted by few and trust others even less, keeping their Slizzar identity hidden. There is a technical fourth cultural “subrace” distinction that the Slizzar define, which is the Anindriya. The Anindriya are exceedingly rare, and are known to possess a piece of the soul of Zaalaanzaal their creator, or the Dragon Nox These Anindriya Slizzar can only be encountered in Progressions, and possess an opalline scale-color.
When designing a Character, Proficiency Points allow for a limited Ability selection with Point Buy Packs. Heritage Traits adds free Packs and Mechanics on top of that to help with cultural themes. Free Packs grant Abilities usually, while Mechanics change the way a character functions in Roleplay through subtle, and usually out of Combat ways. In essence, Mechanics just add aesthetic flair that invest in the niche of each culture. Free Packs never raise Proficiency Points, but the character must be able to purchase them normally. (ex. if a character is a certain Affinity that locks them out of a category, they cannot take that specific free pack and must choose the alternative option.) If a Free Pack grants Magic of some type, that Magic can be of any Alignment the character can normally choose, or limited to a select alignment, which will always be written in the Free Pack description.
Mixed Heritage characters (i.e. characters born from two parents of different Cultures) may take one parent's 'Free Packs' and mix and match up to 5 Mechanics from both parents, although some Peoples cannot produce Mixed Heritage children (due to Magical/Fantasy reasons). Slizzar cannot be included in Mixed Heritage Characters.
- Slizzar gain the Magic version of the Mindcontrol Pack but it counts as non-Magic for free, or choose one pack from Command Point Buy.
- Slizzar gain the Magic version of the Shapeshift Pack but it counts as non-Magic for free, or choose one pack from Chem Point Buy.
- Slizzar are immune to mind control of any type, particularly Mindcontrol Pack and all of its Mechanics to do with Thralling and Persuasion Dices, if used to convince them.
- Slizzar are immune to Persuasion Dices when used by Players. Additionally, when using Persuasion Dices themselves, if they fail once, they can re-try their Dice for a higher result.
- Slizzar can perfectly mimic Afflictions and Affinities, including Transformations, and even their Abilities, though where they cannot innately use these Abilities, they are Illusions instead.
- Slizzar always use Persuasion Dice at their maximum Persuasion Cap, meaning 14. Additionally, they gain +2 to the final Persuasion Dice Result after every Roll.
- Slizzar can perfectly fake and fool Knight Order membership or Guild Membership papers, thus always pretending to be a member undetectably even if they are not.
Slizzar Group Loyalty
Slizzar Group Loyalty is sometimes a problem, due to the way Slizzar are constructed. Theoretically, there is nothing stopping a Slizzar from randomly at a whim deciding at the age of 300 to pretend to be a Viridian Knight by taking their identity and signing up to the Bloodcast Order to train among the Bloodcasts and attain membership. While this is technically possible, group loyalty is a sensitive subject, and for players to be part of a group together and roleplay, it's not a good feeling to know that one of them is actually a traitor, who doesn't take the ideology as seriously, and is only going it for the vibes and aesthetic instead of making it their main character ideology. As such, we encourage players to be conscientious with their group loyalties, and invest only on the short term with short-term betrayal, rather than staying a passive part of a Knight Order for months on end to farm them for information before inevitably betraying them, or never betraying them and constantly leaking information.
The Slizzar language is Zoram, which is based on real-like Sanskrit. Many other Races accuse the Slizzar of speaking with a lisp, but this is generally just bigotry. In fact, Slizzar are very articulate, and their language has a lot of strong consonants, meaning they hardly make noises that one would expect a snake to make. Slizzar are however capable of producing a rattle-snake like sound at the back of their throat, which they frequently produce when in combat, or when they are about to attack someone, or as a way of warning others that they are annoyed or feel threatened. Slizzar naming customs also use real-life Sanskrit. It is very rare for Slizzar to have a surname, most Slizzar in fact only carry a single name, though they can sometimes adopt a surname for ease of use to the non-Slizzar members in their family. When they do, this surname is always from another culture or Race’s language. Here follows a list of example names for the Slizzar (they are all non-gendered, because sex and gender don’t exist in Slizzar psyche).
- Achyut, Advait, Bhavin, Chittin, Girivar, Jatasya, Jaitra, Kush, Manav, Nandish, Parth, Prayag, Sambhav, Shivansh, Udit, Vibodh, Yug, Bhoomi, Chetaki, Gatha, Kaveri, Namasya, Paridhi, Shloka, Swara, Tavishi, Udita.
The Slizzar are by far and large Dragon Worship followers, with a particular favor towards Nox, who many of them view as their creator, otherwise called Zaalaanzaal in their own native language. Dragon Worship has been with the Slizzar for thousands of years, in fact for as long as record keeping or memory implies, and many Slizzar who are at least 500 years old and not Occult can still remember Nox at the pinnacle of Sassrakkand, the pyramid at the center of the city. While Nox has since disappeared in mysterious circumstances, the Slizzar continue one of the oldest and unbroken forms of Dragon Worship. It is possible for a Slizzar to follow a different Dragon than Nox as their favored, particularly if some life event caused them to disregard Nox's deceptive appeal, and align more with one of the other core ideologies of the other Dragons.
Because Slizzar live very long, and have been around for so long as a Race, their existence has impacted a variety of Races and Empires through the years. These do not strictly affect Racial interactions, but are relevant to old Characters.
- The Slizzar supposedly interacted with the Seraph, but next to nothing survives of this era. Zaalaanzaal always made the Slizzar burn all their records when a Void Invasion happened, and never speak of past interactions again, and as such, the information eventually died. Slizzar however will continue to insist that the surviving Seraph wall hieroglyphs are wrong, and that Seraph actually were Centaur-like.
- The Slizzar didn’t interact much with the Second and Third Civilization, as Zaalaanzaal kept Sassrakkand closed off during much of this period. It speaks volumes to the fact that the second and third civilizations were likely very violent periods in the world as the Dragons were attempting to compensate for their mistakes with the Seraph.
- The Slizzar had more extensive contact with the Maraya, and implications exist that the Maraya and Slizzar actually had very good relations. Much of the context is lost to this day, however it is believed that one of the six Anindriya Slizzar resides within the Homefleet.
- The Slizzar had extensive interactions with the Allorn Empire, until the Allorn became aware of them, and banned the Slizzar with kill on sight. They attempted to besiege the city of Sassrakkand a number of times, and did massive damage to the outer city on their last attempt. This is part of the reason why Aberrants are banned from entering Sassrakkand (if they could even breach beyond the Dragon shield that surrounds the city). Heavy use of Magic shattered the Magic shield for a moment, allowing the Allorn Mages to lay waste to nearly a third of the city. This part of the city was later allowed to be flooded, and is now the third ring of the city, with flooded ruins remaining in this uninhabited part.
- The Slizzar extensively interacted with, and were also the principal founders of the Essa Empire among the Allar. Slizzar and Allar interactions go extremely deep, many of the ruling Digmaan have their own Slizzar advisor, or are being manipulated by one. Following the destruction of the Essa Empire at the hands of the Regalians, there was a pogrom to kill the Slizzar who were blamed for the loss, but when the Allar started integrating into the Regalian Empire, this hatred cooled, and the Slizzar quickly retook their position.
- The Slizzar had numerous interactions with the Sariyd and subsequent Qadir, but generally despise them in the present era. The Qadir frequently attempted to abuse the Slizzar Honored Matron tradition to enter Sassrakkand as non-Slizzar, just to try and steal technology. Sassrakkand, while protected by Dragon Magic, has most of this Dragon Magic fueled by machines built by Zaalaanzaal. As such, Sassrakkand is considered the holy grail of Dragon tech to the Qadir, and something that they could use to finally lay waste to the Dragons in Farah’deen if only they could investigate the technology. Slizzar in turn have banned Qadir from entering Sassrakkand (even as Honored Matrons), and are always suspicious of their intentions.
- The Slizzar have only had recent interactions with the Regalian and Songaskian Empires, while having no contact at all with the reborn Allorn Empire (as Slizzar are banned from it again on the penalty of death) and no contact at all with the Sihai realms to the east (as this is considered too far away). The Slizzar mostly affected the nobility following the Chrysant War, when revanchist Slizzar managed to convince a whole host of Allar and other Slizzar (with a high casualty cost to both also) to assassinate leading nobles across the Empire as a form of revenge. The loss of so many nobles all at once damaged the Empire, but did not cause it to crack in the long term, and as such, the Slizzar have shifted to infiltration.
Most Slizzar are raised outside of their own society, within the confines and childhood standards of the Race or culture that their non-Slizzar parent birthed them into. It is possible for a non-Slizzar mother to bring their children to Sassrakkand however. When a non-Slizzar gives birth to Slizzar children, and is aware of Slizzar society, the children’s identity, and wishes to immerse herself (or himself, in some cases, such as the Songaskians who are intersex) in Slizzar society and culture, such a “mother” is called “Honored Matron”. Honored Matron allows a non-Slizzar to essentially enter Sassrakkand, as the Slizzar cannot reproduce on their own, and consider a mother who is welcoming to their society and wishes to be included as something worth praising. It is important to note that this doesn't happen often however. Most Slizzar reproduce and then simply abandon their children, assuming that the visions and dreams will eventually lead them back to Sassrakkand, and it usually does. If a child is raised in Sassrakkand however, it usually lands more in a life of luxury and plenty, as Sassrakkand is often described as a paradise with no want.
Romance and Gender Norms
They don’t have them. The supposition of gender experience, expression, or identity is entirely nonexistent, and rules to do with romance are equally nonexistent, as the social constructs relating to these norms were never developed in Slizzar society. It is however possible that a Slizzar learns a gender identity from the Race they were raised as, which can cause a modicum of gender dysphoria as they actualize their Slizzar identity. This is usually what causes Aksunna Slizzar to reject Slizzar society and abandon their Slizzar heritage, being unable to console their old identity with the idea that their identity was merely a temporary fake, and that they are genderless and sexless. Equally, just because there are no gender norms, does not mean a Slizzar cannot prefer monogamy due to learned behavior from their childhood. To some effect, how a Slizzar is raised can affect their future opinions on things.
The Slizzar are formally led by Zaalaanzaal, who acts as both their highest figure of authority akin to the Regalian Emperor, religious entity akin to the Everwatcher (for Unionism) and general supreme being. Zaalaanzaal instructed the Slizzar in general sweeping commands, the details of which were usually hammered out by the Anindriya. The Anindriya Slizzar are a unique subrace of Slizzar, of which there can only ever be six. This is to say, while there are six of them, no Anindriya are born, and if one dies, then a new Anindriya is born somewhere to a Slizzar parent. The Anindriya usually pass their commands down to the Mauli, who in turn pass the orders down to all the other Slizzar. When Zaalaanzaal disappeared, the Anindriya essentially just filled that void by issuing orders of their own through a collective council, though by their claim, they will only hold the throne vacant for Zaalaanzaal’s return. Outside of Sassrakkand however, the Slizzar don’t really acknowledge the hierarchy of the Mauli, and they are freelancers just as much as any other Slizzar.
- Slizzar attitudes towards Magic and the Occult are ambivalent. Slizzar have strictly banned Aberrants and Occult beings from entering Sassrakkand, and look down on any Slizzar who becomes Afflicted or becomes a Mage. That being said, they do appreciate the beauty of Magic, and especially the Devata enjoy the benefits of Magic in their lives of luxury and thrill experiences.
- One particularly daring Mauli Slizzar was Mananya-Manya that was declared Empress of the Essa Empire, though they were only called Empress by the Allar as the Allar language did not have a non-binary term. Their rule was short and competent, leading to the Allar dotingly calling them “Missa”, however the Chrysant War brought an end to their rule, and they disappeared shortly after the final battle, their memory acting as a deterrent to other Mauli to expose themselves like Mananya-Manya did.
- Due to the unique structure of Slizzar bodies, they “sit down” on their own coiled tails when the limb dominates the lower part of the body. When it splits into two legs and a tail, however, unique chairs allow for one to easily sit down, their tail put through a broad open area at the base of the chairback.
- Slizzar warriors often enjoy the use of bows rather than up-front combat weapons, though when they do get one-on-one melees, they engage in the use of the lethal Urumi (Sword whip) and Chakram (razor sharp circular blades), ancient tools used by the Slizzar for millennia.
- The culinary world of the Slizzar is eclectic, taking bits and pieces from across Aloria, and across time itself, as one of the few things to survive the purging of written records demanded of a Void Invasion was the culinary creations Slizzar learned from the outside world.
- Slizzar are naturally fond of edible flowers, and floral teas, but also have a heavy preference for seafood. A few more gluttonous Slizzar have been known to use their ability to unhinge their jaws to eat raw fish whole, as an effort of intimidation or to eat more and faster.
- The Slizzar have terrible relations with the nearby Minoor Nelfin. Not only do they see the Slizzar as offspring of the Deep Sea Serpents, which are the ultimate Demons to their society, but they generally mistrust the Race due to the old Allorn prejudices. There are few Minoor Slizzar, of any subrace, as a result, despite how open the Culture is to incorporating those willing to adapt.
- Slizzar who are interested in the arts are often well known for their musical ability, playing instruments not unlike those of the Suvial Altalar in most cases, to applause and enjoyment. This continues into the city of Sassrakkan itself, where singing is also key, used in the Mirror Serenade, a blessing upon the Silver Pyramid, and nearby mirrors, with the strange expectation that it will guide their god back to them through the infinitely reflecting realm.
- The connection between the Nasha of the Sundial Isles, and the modern Slizzar, is extremely unclear. Some Slizzar have made use of their cursory similarity to those beings of Allorn myth and ancient history to establish themselves in Suvial society, though they keep hidden to maintain the mystique.
- Aksunna Slizzar, born to a Slizzar and Songaskia parent, are still considered Songaskian even if they choose to accept their Slizzar heritage. This has led to a minor population of these unique beings to grow within Farah’deen.
- Some Slizzar find that a method of seeking revenge or sabotaging the Qadir from stealing technology from them, is to disguise as one themselves, and to seek out Qadir technological secrets. This gambit has yet to prove significant or detrimental to either society.
- The connection between Sapphires and Zaalaanzaal goes beyond that the gemstone looks good in Silver. Slizzar society claims they are the god’s eyes, and so many Slizzar, even in disguise, will include iconography of an eye featuring a Sapphire in the middle.
- Adarrajya, a drug crafted decades ago as a result of the vanishing of Zaalaanzaal, is also known as the Mirror Tincture, because it produces a euphoric sensation in the body, and sees a Slizzar user transport into a realm of endless shifting mirrors and shapes, with them at the center. Non-Slizzar users, though, will have the sensation of being trapped in a mirror, and of needing to break the glass holding them within it.
- Slizzar enjoy being multilingual, not just because of their ability to jump forms between societies, and needing to learn new knowledge to hide, but because it is a point of social pride and bragging rights.
- The Ghor Ka Bloodscales have a minor colony in the Slizzar holy city, where they serve the purpose of finding and disposing of vermin and pests which haunt the city’s streets and houses. As a result, many Slizzar are very pro-little lizards, and small reptiles are just about the only pet Slizzar keep (Slizzar do not engage in slavery if one ignores mind control).
- Slizzar do not commonly keep snakes as pets, no matter how many caricatures portray them as doing such. In fact, beyond small lizards, the Qarresh, and other forms of native Hadar life, the Slizzar dislike caring for pets.
- Slizzar skin, bones, blood, and other body parts are highly sought after by alchemists, both Allar and not, with the only generally accepted donation being of blood. Slizzar who handle the remains of other Slizzar for profit are deeply reviled, and often end up hunted.
- Slizzar burials can often be tricky affairs. When they die, they revert out of their shifted form over the course of a few days, which can be a shock to friends, or even strangers, who find that the person in their life has suddenly been turned into a snake-person. For this reason, Slizzar bodies and their dead are often returned to Sassrakkand for entombment, even if one has been dead for decades.
- Deep Sea Serpent motifs exist among the Slizzar, but only ever in a bound manner. Instead of depicting them like a crest animal, they are always depicted with chains or bindings to illustrate their subjugation, which in turn represents Zaalaanzaal’s victory over the Teal Sea Dragons, who Zaalaanzaal reviles for hiding creation under the sea where they cannot go.
- Slizzar frequently pretend like cutting off their tail or hair tendrils is a big deal. It’s an acceptable form of corporal punishment for them, as while the pain is unpleasant, these body parts regrow within 24 hours.
- Slizzar tails are remarkably dextrous, especially the tip. Some Slizzar have been known to be able to write calligraphy with their tail, using a special metal ring attached to hold the pencil.
- Slizzar abhor the usage of ink or paint to cover up the natural colors of their birth form. It is considered a form of self mutilation akin to self amputation.