"The Old Enemy is still out there, waiting with the patience of serpents and crocodiles. You can still see the dregs of their ancient army, the Lizardfolk that stalk our swamps and our wetlands. Make no mistake, that war is coming, and it is going to burn everything." ~Swaebhard Distantripper, Jeakine Warrior "I find the Scalykind to be fascinating. We don't know much about the Saurians, but we do know that they took on the dragons and nearly prevailed. What we also know is that unlike the other creator races, the species they spawned were not from their own stock. They 'uplifted' other species to create the scalykind races, with the obvious exception of the dragonborn and kobolds which were brought in by the dragons." ~Grandmaster Jeren, of the Golden Tower
The Scalykind are mostly warm blooded, though less so than humans. In every species, their skin is a white or green membrane that sprouts scales as mammals sprout hair. Rather than enamel-covered teeth, their teeth are bone that either spurs through the gums directly from the jaws or operates on a hinge to lay flat inside the mouth when closed. Scalykind are humanoid with tails, they typically have longer jaws than humans, and their muscles are more elastic than a human's resulting in less stamina but greater spring tension. Their bones tend to be more flexible than human bones, with the exception of the Lizardfolk, who exhibit bones many times more solid.
All scalykind can choose the gender of their young by some method. Females are typically smaller than the males, and with the exception of the Yuan-Ti their scales tend to be duller and in more muted coloration.
Genetics and Reproduction
Scalykind typically lay soft-shelled eggs, which are lain and cared for communally.
Growth Rate & Stages
Immediately upon hatching, scalykind are somewhat self sufficient. Subsisting on rodents and insects, they can generally take care of themselves and rely on the adults mainly for protection and education. They typically grow fast, attaining adulthood in seven to fourteen years depending on the species.
Ecology and Habitats
All scalykind prefer hot, moist areas and lowlands. Many prefer underground tunnels and natural caves as well, and when such locations are found in a swamp they are almost guaranteed to host at least a small tribe of scaled ones.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Scalykind are omnivores that greatly prefer meat. They all have a special preference for human meat, likely a legacy of the Saurians' long war with the Grimhii. Most Scalykind can subsist longer than humans on a single meal. All Scalykind prefer fresh meat to preserves, and would rather take hunted food alive to be shared and eaten with the community than to drag a carcass back.
As semi-endotherms, Scalykind tend to sleep for much of the winter months and are most active during the summer. The Ides of Midwinter are a traditional holiday, wherein most species of Scalykind sleep the entire day. Locations that defy the winter cold, such as hot springs or calderas, interrupt this cycle and allow for more constant development. The most advanced groups of Scalykind are always based in these areas.
Scalykind society exists on a pyramid, which is physically represented in the structure of the temples to their god-kings.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Scalykind are most concentrated in the continent of Shelor. When they are found outside of their home continent, they are typically either refugees, part of a military expedition, or descendants left in the wake of a military expedition.
Scalykind tend to be slower-witted than warm-blooded species. The exceptions to this are, of course, dragons, dragonborn, and the yuan-ti.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Scalykind lack a passive scent ability, but can actively 'taste' the air or water around them. They also have a minor ability to sense heat, so long as the heat in question is at least fifteen degrees hotter than the surrounding area.
Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms
Many Scalykind don't regard Kobolds as among their own number, seeing them as occasionally useful pests. They also make use of a wide array of domesticated saurian and draconic creatures.
Civilization and Culture
Names for the Scalykind tend to be long, growing longer with age. They nearly always name themselves, or are named by their companions, and their names are usually simply a description of them in Draconic.
There are three factions of the Scalykind: Metallic, Chromatic, and refugees. Led by their respective dragons, they have fought a genocidal war against one another for millennia. The war burns hot and grows cold as each generation replenishes its numbers, and they exist in more or less of a stalemate. Each outburst of war sends orphaned scalykind fleeing the continent as their god-kings are killed.
Beauty between various Scalykind tends to vary quite a bit. In general, males collect trophies to attract mates and females have the power of choice.
Scalykind typically have a pragmatic outlook on gender roles, with the males hunting, protecting, and warring and the females typically in matronly household roles. Females are on average more in tune with magic than males and most shamans, sages, priests, advisors, mages, and lorekeepers will be female.
Males attract mates with deeds, preferably in line with their assigned place on the Pyramid. That being said, the lowest steps of the pyramid have a much higher attrition rate, and they instead focus on quantity of mates and offspring rather than quality.
Aside from dragons themselves, it is very rare for Scalykind to maintain a long-term reproductive relationship.
Average Technological Level
The subservient races hold on to scraps and pieces of the old knowledge of the Saurians. With the dragons disinterested in the progress of their subordinates, this knowledge has slowly been lost or corrupted over time.
Major Language Groups and Dialects
Scalykind all speak Draconic, which was once called Slithertongue in an era before dragons. It is a sibilant language that requires an agile tongue to master.
Common Etiquette Rules
Every member of the Scalykind society is expected to show proper deference to those above them in the pyramid, and is likewise able to expect deference from those below. Their society is communal in nature, with little in the way of private property except for those at the top.
Common Dress Code
Clothing is generally optional in Scalykind society. What clothes are worn are for either decoration or warmth, and sometimes to show social status or to show off trophies.
Culture and Cultural Heritage
Scalykind culture is based on the Pyramid at every level. Without conscious effort, even small groups will form a pyramid around the concept of a leader, a fighter, a priest/sage, and workers beneath them.
Scalykind cannot say the Old Tongue phrase, "Ka nama ka lajerama," due to the shape of their mouths. In Iliac's time, it was used as a war cry and watchword, and has since been used as a slur. Hearing the phrase (even the shortened version, "kanama" will annoy any Scalykind that hears it, possibly to the point of violence.
The first Scalykind on Kobos were the Saurians. Their population was never very high but they fought a war with the Titans that saw the primordial spawn erased from Shelor. The Saurians then began building the Pyramid, using magic and rituals on war captives to create the subordinate Scalykind beneath them. At some point of weakness after a particularly bloody war with the Grimhii, portals opened and the dragons emerged. While legends vary on whether the metallic and chromatic dragons were working together, the Saurians certainly saw them as a single threat. Roughly one thousand years after the dragons emerged, they struck the final blow against the Saurians and wiped them out entirely. Rather than dismantling their society, they simply replaced them at the top and life went on for the Scalykind.
Common Myths and Legends
Almost universally, Scalykind are devoted to the Mythos of the Scalykind
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
Even since before the dragons' arrival, Scalykind haven't so much been at war with the rest of the sapient species as they have hunted them. Those that make war on the reptilian god-kings are regarded as rebels rather than invaders, and are similarly quelled. Refugee populations are generally much more friendly to outsiders, though many will still hunt the occasional meal should it wander too close.