Author Topic: Nagas - Elysium Snake-Folk  (Read 216 times)

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April 16, 2018, 02:44:17 pm
(God, it’s been so long since I’ve written a lore like this. Feels good, if I’m being honest. Expefy edits for grammar and additional information. I also may write some additional lore later, not sure. Comments and criticism are welcome!)

Naga, The Snake-Folk of Elysium
The Naga are a race of lesser-known beings, their rich and vibrant history, sciences, and culture locked within the trees and vines of the jungle, and buried beneath the wastes of the deserts in which they inhabit. They are quite visibly of ophidian heritage, with serpentine heads and scaled bodies that end in tails meters long. Just like their appearance is that of a serpent, so too are said of their personalities. They are dangerous foes when faced against, but stalwart - even if a bit uneasy - allies.

The Naga, as I have stated before, are serpentine in appearance and biology (They are Cold-Blooded, though still have a limited ability to draw heat from food). They stand between 5’ 4” and 6’ 8”, with very similar muscular mass to humans. Their bodies are covered in many different colored scales, ranging from green and yellow, to brown and black. Occasionally, there are shades of azure and teal, but these are more uncommon among the race. The scales of a Naga follow a unique, genetic pattern, such as banded, shaded or striped. Generally, the Naga have a beige, white, or tan under-belly, throat, and bottom jaw, and their backs contain their colored scales.

Another distinct part about the Nagas, are their lack of legs, and their serpentine tails. These tails grow with age, and can be upwards of several meters long, though are generally around 10 feet long. They are surprisingly strong, as a Naga can use them to hang from trees for hours, if they’re waiting to ambush, or they can be used to fatally constrict prey with a scary amount of efficiency. In addition, their tales allow them to dodge blows dealt to their upper-body with ease, as their tales are quite flexible, and provide them with the ability to or have to worry about falling, or tripping. As another result of their tails, genes, and even environment, they are extraordinary climbers and swimmers, able to do so quickly, and silently.

The next important part about them, are their heads, odd as it may seem. Besides their serpentine appearance, they seem rather normal, however if you take a few moments to observe, you may notice a few distinct details about them. First off is their canine teeth, which aren’t canine teeth, but instead two needle-point incisors. These teeth can fold into the back of their mouth, much like a serpent,!to prevent them from possibly stabbing themselves, as these teeth are connected to glands in their throats that produce a potent toxin. This toxin isn’t lethal, but is both paralyzing, and causes unbelievable amounts of pain (Physical effects of the venom are development of hives and blisters all over the body closest to the veins and arteries, extreme sweating, and a pale complexion). It takes about a shot-glass of this venom to deliver the full effects to an adult human, and as much as a wine-glass can bring a fully grown human adult into a coma. The next trait are their eyes, which are more than just colorful (Their eyes can come in almost every different color in the spectrum, except for white or black). Unlike popular belief, they cannot mind-control with their eyes, though their eyes have a slightly hypnotic effect on weaker-willed creatures, but that is irrelevant. Their eyes, or more accurately, their forked tongues, identical to serpents, allow them to see heat signatures. The way they do this, is as a snake does: by tasting he air with their tongues, and by using it to “smell”, they detect the heat signatures of the creatures and landscape around them. They have slightly worse eyesight than a normal human, but this ability more than makes up for that weakness, and can be considered their strongest trait, as it allows them to be fierce predators and hunters, paired with their camouflaged scale colors.

Along with all of these main traits, are a few lesser traits, though are still good to keep in mind when crossing paths with these beings. The Naga have an innate immunity to most poisons and venoms, including resistance (Note, I say Resistance, not Immunity) to their own. Along with that, they can breathe underwater with ease, able to take the oxygen from the water they breath, and turn it into breathable air, so that they can stay underwater for extended periods of time. The final of these lesser traits, are ability of the Naga to swallow creatures whole, up to several times their own size (Up to approximately 3 times their own size, though if they do so, they cannot move for several weeks, and even when they can move again, they are lethargic, vulnerable, and very, very slow) as a result of their serpentine nature. Despite this, even if the creature is only 3/4 as big as them, it can take upwards of several long, painful minutes, and may even become several hours, in order to fully swallow a creature.

The Naga are omnivores, but almost exclusively eat hunted game. However, Nagas will occasionally eat berries and other jungle and desert herbs. They are not very skilled chefs, hence their choice of simple foods, but that is more of a trivial detail than an important fact. Why I add this, is because food plays a large part in the mating of a Naga. In order for a Naga to go into a mating, the female requires a stockpile of food, as the process and the months afterwords are tiring, leaving her debilitated and lethargic, until the child is born.

The Naga have a rich culture, divided into two different groups: The Ophimar, and the Ssethian.

The Ophimar are the oasis-dwelling Naga,  nomadic and nature-worshipping. They are traders and hermits, wanderers and trappers, druids and rangers. Their culture revolves around the worshipping of a single Naga-Emperor, the Pharoah. The Pharoah is said to be filled with righteous power, gifted from distant, unnamed gods, and the Pharoah must go through several debilitating trials and rituals before taking the throne. The job of the Pharoah is to rule, and to continue to rule until the return of Ophimar God-King, who was said to be the one to grant the Ophimar their serpentine appearance.
The Ophimar worship not many gods besides their Pharoah, or their God-King. They acknowledge the Ssethian gods, and the distant gods that give their emperor power while the God-King is silent, but worship neither. For now, they only worship their Pharoah, and feel a reverence to the sands they walk. They follow a set of beliefs that ingrain into the Ophimar, that they are apart of nature, and if they live life to the will of their Pharoah, and are kind and giving to all who they meet, then they shall be rewarded in their afterlife. The Pharoah is almost never corrupt, as some of the many trials they must face, are those of Virtue, Benevolence, and Solidarity, also known as the final three trials.
The Ophimar are not extraordinary craftsmen, besides their weapons, armor, and their sand-shaping ability. They are know for crafting some of the most beautiful, most impressive weapons and armor ever to be seen, and their sand-stone pyramids, which hold the bodies of Heroes, and Pharoahs are filled with the best of their art, beyond the very structure of the building. The Ophimar palace of the Pharoah is the biggest building ever constructed by them, and is filled with arches of all sorts of seemingly impossible angles, conjoining together to create a sense of awe, and breath-taking beauty.
The Ophimar are nomads, and many go into hermitage in order to catch a glimpse of the beauty their God-King had set before them to build and shape for the better of their world. They are benevolent travelers, though they do not fully trust everybody they meet, and prefer to avoid travelers, to fear of missing a possible omen in nature.
Magic is openly practiced among the Ophimar, but they tend to focus solely on Natural Magic, such as Druidry and Shamanism. They partake in such Magic’s in order to preserve and protect the wild world, and shape the world into a visage or beauty, as that is what their God-King has requested of them: to build the world in his visage. They are healers and protectors, but also mix Druidry with masterful blade-work, many of their best mages, their best dervishes. It is odd that such an culture based around the protection of nature, benevolence, and the worship of their Pharoah, and their God-King can be so War-like, but the Ssethians have given them good reason to try and protect themselves, as they before have been attacked, and unable to defend themselves, and will not let that happen again.

The Ssethians are the jungle-dwelling Naga, secretive, zealous, and outright dangerous. They are the Priests, Rogues, Hunters, Artisans, scholars, and cultists of the Naga, their culture vibrant and wide, though unaccepting of outsiders. They build great cities of stone and jungle-wood, and in those cities, are hundreds of temples and libraries, devoted to many of their gods.
The Ssethians worship a wide pantheon of gods (I’ll get into that another time), led by a single main god: The king of the Gods, and the creature of the mortals. This God goes by the name of Sseth, and is feared as much as he is held in reverence among the culture. The capital of the Ssethians holds the largest temple, and the largest building of either culture, and is devoted solely to him. Made of Bronze, Stone, and Gold, it towers above all but the tallest trees, and the long steps up to the altar at the very top, are stained with blood.
This blood is from the many sacrifices devoted to Sseth. The Ssethians take those they’ve capture, either from war or from intruders, and sacrifice them to Sseth, cutting out their heart, and burning it in a Brazier, as a sacrifice to him. Many culture disapprove of out-right sacrifice, but they see no problem with it, as their god requires blood to live, and they wish their god to continue living, so as they may continue their quest: to build the world in his visage.
The Ssethians are some of the greatest scholars and scientists, beyond zealous priests. They have managed to separate emotion from magical power, allowing them to channel raw Arcane power without a second thought. They have studied all manner of creatures, and magic, and keep their records in their many archives and libraries. They have built great temples for their ruler - who, is instead a council of the eldest, wisest, smartest, and strongest members of the civilization - and adorned them with all sorts of art, be it pots and urns made from painted clay in serpentine shapes, to daggers made from obsidian, gold, and turquoise. They are more impressive artisans than the Ophimar (though the Ophimar still have the more impressive masonry). The Ssethians value idealism and art more than physicality, and their government and cultures reflects that. Their council is incredibly effective at executing tasks, and the Ssethians have developed several systems of agents, and spies to get jobs done, instead of out-right warfare. Their artists are some of their most well-known people, and so too are their scholars, though their priests are held in infamy and with fear. The Ssethians believe that Sseth wishes their culture and beliefs to become the dominant religion, and that all others should be swept away, as they are as impure as those that worship him.
The Ssethians have before fought the Ophimar. The Ophimar were the first to strike against them, and though the Ophimar have forgotten and forgiven, the Ssethians have held the grudge against them. It doesn’t help that self-righteous heroes have tried to dismantle the Ssethian empire before, on account of disapproving of their sacrificial And overzealous nature, which has led the Ssethians to be largely distrustful and aggressive of other species, believing them all to be the same.

The history of the Naga is long, but completely unknown to the populace of Elysium beyond the Naga themselves.

It all started out with a single event: an event the Naga call “The God-Call”. Before this event, the people of the southern jungles an deserts were simple farmers, traders, and artists; elves, and humans. They were peaceful, besides the occasional battle, but nothing extraordinary happened during these times. After the God-Call, it as unsure. Most of the accounts describing this event were lost, but what does remain describes it as a time of tumult and danger. Most scholars have agreed it was some rift between one of the lesser-plains, causing high magic to radiate onto the area, twisting the people their into serpentine figures - the first Naga. These people were confused, vicious, and dangerous, and none of the other people stood a chance.
Blood had painted the towns red, and these feral Naga ruled, until something changed. The God-Call had remained over the area, but it began to close. As it did, many of the Naga began to find reasoning, and but the madness still remained. Because of that, an incredibly large creature - a titanic figure as describe in the Naga history - emerged from the Rift above the land, his body adorned in silver and gold, and his head adorned with a golden serpent mask.
It was said that the emergence of this creature cleared the Naga of their madness, and they began to build. Many small cities were built, all making religions, but these beliefs coincided and they conflicted. These conflicts brought forth fighting, and from this fighting, wars broke out. The tribes fought and fought, none of them willing to compromise their religion, and preferred absolute destruction over anything else.
By the end, the jungles and deserts were laced with blood, and only two tribes survived. These two tribes, originally calling themselves the Sun-Walkers, and the Verdant-Tooth, fought, but the great being above intervened, to prevent the destruction of each other. The “God” above instructed the Sun-Walkers to find a new holy land, on which to build a new empire, and they followed, led by a prophet and mighty warrior named Ophire. The jungles of the Verdant-Tooth were cleansed of blood and desolation by him, and the two cultures grew into small empires.
After several decades, the god left, his final wish left on the air: “Build the world in my visage.” The Sun-Walkers took this as a call to arms to cleanse the deserts and forests with which they littered with blood, and make them as beautiful and as revered as the god himself. The Verdant-Tooth saw this as a call to arms to grow their culture, and to turn the world to worshipping their great god, whom they had aptly named, Sseth.
Both cultures continued to grow, their names shifting: The Sun-Walkers changing to the Ophimar, after Ophire, who had taken the first role as Pharoah, and the Verdant-Tooth changing to the Ssethians, after Sseth.
These empires grew, until once more, they met on the borders of the jungle, and conflict arose. The conflict started when an Ophimar by the name of Sriusk, had struck down a Yvuirn, a Ssethian Naga. The tension arose, and when Sriusk was assassinated in order to pay for vegeance, the Ophimar marched on to battle the Ssethians. The first battle they fought was a success, and so too was the next, and the one after that. The Ophimar has continued their campaign of vegeance and conquest, until they were finally stopped by a desperate Ssethian soldier, leading an ambush on the army. They retreated, and the Ssethians soon launched and attack on them, ignoring the smaller towns, and instead attacking the capital directly. Blood was spilt on both sides, and in order to prevent self-devastation, the Ophimar hastily surrendered, and the Ssethians returned home.
These cultures continued to grow over time, until what they are not today. While the Ophimar have all but forgotten the old wars, and have lived in peaceful seclusion, the Ssethians have kept their grudge, and have been held in distrust, disdain, and hate by the people of the world.
This history, as said before is unknown to all but those who have visited the Ophimar capital, or are Naga themselves. The Ophimar don’t generally talk about their history however, instead looking to the present, and to the future.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 02:14:18 pm by JuanPlays »
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