Anatomy & Morphology
Serpentfolk are a beastkin race of semi-humanoids with a wide variety of reptilian features. They have much more variety than Nagas, ranging greatly in limb configuration, coloration, texture and other characteristics. They are predominantly scaled with two arms and legs and a tail, forked tongue, omnivorous teeth, and a human-sized torso and head. Uncommonly, some serpentfolk have been born with extra heads or snakelike appendages, fangs, hoods like a cobra, distendible jaws, the snout of a serpent. They are also often born with the lower half of a serpent without any legs, similar to a Naga (though one should never insinuate this in their presence). In general, the more like a snake their phenotype, the more prestigious the individual in their society. Full snake tails are more common in noble houses, and particularly the priesthood. It has been rumored that in ancient times, Sarffi who looked too human might be exiled at birth.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Some Sarffi are able to see with thermal sensitivity, though it is mostly a useful edge in lower light conditions, or against a simple backdrop. This can make some members better hunters or trackers.
Civilization and Culture
Unlike Ispentine, the Sarffi have not been able to unify under one larger government, instead their City-States are each ruled independantly by a noble House, in turn lead by a single Matriarch, in a large walled city along with any of the surrounding area they can maintain control over. Each City-State has its own laws and customs, and sometimes manner of rule. Most commonly, the Matriarch will decide in her will which of her daughters will become the next Matriarch. This is surprisingly civilized, as the eldest is not always chosen depending on their individual merits. Often there is a bias towards the most skilled, though physical traits are highly prized — even a young daughter with fuller snake features may be chosen over her older sisters. Despite this apparent injustice, assassination is uncommon among the upper castes. War among the City-States is infrequent, but devastating when it occurs. Each City is tethered to the other through an intricate web of complicated contracts, layered and interwoven over the centuries such that if one declares war on another, every other City will inevitably be involved. Disagreements are usually worked out through further contracts restricting trade, travel and other economic concerns rather than bloodshed. While dueling is often acceptable on an individual level, it is a means scorned by the noble class as more barbaric than words.
Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals
At the heart of Sarffi society is profit. The trajectory of an individual’s life is nearly set from the beginning due to their family, birth order, and gender, though individuals are known to shirk their destiny if they can summon exceptional discipline and skill. Sarffi society is primarily structured around status and gender, though it can be somewhat fluid as long as an argument can be made by a skilled individual for the merits of a position (e.g. profit).
Common Myths and Legends
The Sarffi maintain a vast library of myths which often directly contradict each other. They generally regard their stories as fluid as their winding trails, and the telling of a slave may have just as much accuracy as one of their priestesses. To collect all of these variations in one volume would be a never-ending task, so I have endeavoured only to collect the most commonly agreed upon details that will suffice to give the reader a general idea of what to expect. [WIP]
- Scientific Name
- Beastkin - Serpent
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