The Age of DemonsEdit
The lizardfolk of Eberron have existed for thousands upon thousands of years. They inhabited Eberron during the Age of Demons, where they watched the dragons and couatls fight the Overlords and their rakshasa servants. One such Overlord was Masvirik the Cold Sun. Masvirik, a cousin to Tiamat, who drew the light from the sun itself, created the great citadel Haka'torvhak in modern-day Q'barra. From his fiendish citadel, Masvirik began corrupting the lizardfolk tribes in the area. Some myths say that he manipulated the lizardfolk, creating the kobolds and the troglodytes. Regardless, various species of lizardfolk emerged: larger blackscale lizardfolk and smaller poison dusk lizardfolk soon emerged as separate species.
The dragons and couatls defeated the Overlords, trapped the ruthless Overlords deep within the Khyber, burying them beneath the earth in locations all across Eberron. The dragons and couatls trapped Masvirik deep within Haka'torvhak. Towards the end of that war, the couatls freed the lizardfolk from Masvirik's rule, and planted seeds in the collective unconscious of the lizardfolk, so that they would remember the horrors of the past. The dragons would guard Haka'torvhak, making sure that the Cold Sun never emerged again.
Over the millennia, the corruption of Masvirik began seeping through the jungles of modern-day Q'barra. While the original lizardfolk resisted the corruption due to being touched by the couatls, the other species were not so lucky. The blackscale and poison dusk lizardfolk began to suffer from Masvirik's taint.
Rhashaak and the Freeing of MasvirikEditAbout 14,000 years ago, the great black dragon Rhashaak was sent from the continent of Argonnessen to guard Haka'torvhak. Dragonborn explorers followed Rhashaak, and landed on the continent of Khorvaire. Over time, the colony grew, as the dragonborn clans either conquered or annexed the various kobold and lizardfolk tribes in the area. They thrived in the jungles of Q'barra, so reminiscent of the jungles within Argonnessen. As they grew, the dragonborn were on the verge of becoming a major power on Khorvaire.
However, the dragonborn did not know of the Dhakaani Empire. On the other side of the Endworld Mountains, the goblins, hobgoblins and bugbears had united into a great and militant empire, which they called the Dhakaani Empire. As the empire stretched eastward across the continent of Khorvaire, they faced the numerous lizardfolk tribes that inhabited the Talenta Plains. The goblins' military forces drove the lizardfolk tribes back across the Endworld Mountains into Q'barra. The Talenta lizardfolk were pushed back to the Torva River and the Basura Swamp. Meanwhile, the dragonborn came into conflict with the Dhakaani forces, as the dragonborn empire began crossing the Endworld Mountains and exploring the Blade Desert.
Unfortunately, each of these great empires would fall from within. The Dhakaani empire would be besieged by the daelkyr from Xoriat, while the dragonborn would turn to focus on an escaping Masvirik. Masvirik eventually corrupted his guardian, the black dragon Rhashaak. From there, the Cold Sun soon began corrupting other lizardfolk. The blackscale and poison dusk lizardfolk began worshiping the Cold Sun, and his agents tried to free the Overlord. However, two forces stopped Masvirik's freedom: the dragonborn empire turned to defeat Masvirik, and the remaining lizardfolk touched by the Silver Flame of the couatls formed the Masvirik'Uala, or the Cold Sun Federation. These forces pushed Masvirik back, and trapped not only Masvirik again, but also the corrupted Rhashaak. The victory, though, all but crushed the dragonborn empire.
Recent Q'barraEditOver the next ten thousand years, the three species of lizardfolk all fought with the dragonborn, kobolds, and troglodytes for territory within Q'barra. The Cold Sun Federation remained true to their goal of keeping Masvirik trapped, and have allied with the dragonborn of Ka'rhashan. The couatls had placed a failsafe to keep masvirik trapped: they had infused the dragonshards near Q'barra with the essence of the Silver Flame, and the Cold Sun Federation must protect these shards in place to keep the Cold Sun trapped.
The coming of humans to Khorvaire has caused nothing but problems for the lizardfolk of Q'barra. 2,400 years ago, the lizardfolk on the coasts of Q'barra faced the plundering of Malleon the Reaver. Then, during the Last War, human colonists came to Q'barra searching for a new life. These humans sought to create settlements on existing lizardfolk lands, and came into conflicts with both the worshipers of the Cold Sun, but also the Cold Sun Federation. Even though the Cold Sun Tribes have negotiated a fragile peace with the new nations of New Galifar and Hope, conflicts between the human settlements and the lizardfolk continue to this day.
The Lizardfolk of Xen'drikEditIn addition to the lizardfolk in Q'barra, there are lizardfolk on the continent of Xen'drik. The discovery of these lizardfolk, including all three species of lizardfolk, have called into question the origin of the lizardfolk at the hands of Masvirik. One theory, though, says that the dragons brought the lizardfolk to Xen'drik when the Heart of Siberys fell to Eberron in the location now called the Ring of Storms, and charged the lizardfolk to protect the Heart from interlopers. These lizardfolk are called the "Children of the bolatashi" or "Children of the great mother".
Just like their Q'barran counterparts, these lizardfolk are divided into tribes, though some of them have been tainted by the magics of Xen'drik. Most tribes are centralized around a central maternal leader. These tribes consist of warriors, rangers, shaman, and beasts of burden, such as dinosaurs or monitor lizards. One tribe of blackscale lizardfolk is ruled by Tyrosian-Baed, a great black dragon that rules his small kingdom in Xen'drik's swampy interior. Other tribes are servants to the yuan-ti, one of them ruled by a yuan-ti anathema named Tava Rassa.
Blackscale LizardfolkEditThe blackscale lizardfolk see themselves as the chosen of Masvirik, the Cold Sun. They cite their black scales as proof that Masvirik's servant Rhashaak favors them over all. The blackscale are Rhashaak's warriors, using their superior strength and their access to the vaults of Haka'torvhak to bully and enslave the other lizardfolk species. They are extremely hostile, and will openly assault any non-reptilian race that they come across. The blackscale often live off the "tributes" made to them by the lesser lizardfolk tribes, especially the poison dusk. However, they will follow the orders of any lizardfolk dragon priest chosen by Rhashaak, no matter what species they may be.
Blackscale lizardfolk are stocky, heavily muscled reptilians about nine feet in height. They are black-scaled, with a leathery crest running from the ridge of their heads to the middle of their backs. They have deep-socketed eyes and a flat nasal opening. Their hands are webbed and taloned, and their mouths have a row of sharp fangs. Due to their access to the vaults of Haka'torvhak, the blackscale may also adorn themselves with jewelry or ornate weapons of a bygone era. Some may even possess magical items.
Blackscale lizardfolk primarily fight with weapons, but wear no armor. They have sharpened talons, as well as a bite, which they may use when unarmed. Blackscale lizardfolk are fierce fighters, but they believe in lone glory above coordinated attacks; thus, a group of blackscale lizardfolk may not fight as a strategic unit. They possess a resistance to acid, and have darkvision. They can also hold their breaths underwater for long periods of time.
Cold Sun LizardfolkEditThe Cold Sun lizardfolk are more rightfully simply called "lizardfolk", and date back to Eberron's beginning. However, they are frequently called the "Cold Sun" lizardfolk to differentiate them from the other species of lizardfolk: the blackscale and the poison dusk. Most of these species of "original" lizardfolk have banded together to form the Cold Sun Federation, though there are some tribes of lizardfolk that are not part of this federation.
In order for the tribes of the Cold Sun Federation to keep Masvirik trapped, they must protect the dragonshards that are scattered around Q'barra. However, the arrival of human colonists in Q'barra have complicated matters. As settlers from New Galifar and Hope continued to explore Q'barra, they inadvertently destroyed many lizardfolk tribes. An additional problem arose in the name of House Tharashk. Dragonshard hunters from House Tharashk began farming the areas around Haka'torvhak. Knowing that the removal of these dragonshards could allow Masvirik to rise again, the Cold Sun Federation set their sights on the human settlers. In 969 YK, the Cold Sun Federation coordinated an assault on the human settlements. The humans suffered major losses, but their superior magic pushed back the Cold Sun tribes.
The assault prompted Duke Ven ir'Kesslan of Newthrone to strike up the Newthrone Accords with the Cold Sun tribes. This document outlined lands owned by the Cold Sun, as well as the borders of the human settlements of Q'barra. The Cold Sun tribe agreed, but remain overly cautious of the treaty. Though the Cold Sun Federation and the humans of New Galifar have stuck to their truce, House Tharashk has been using the assault 29 years ago as a reason to advance their plot to purge all the lizardfolk from Q'barra. Khalar Velderan d'Tharashk, a viceroy of House Tharashk, has championed this cause.
A total of twenty-four tribes make up the Cold Sun Federation, though only seven border human settlements in Q'barra. The Twilight Walkers tribe of lizardfolk have become allies of the humans of humans in Q'barra, working with the settlements of Jarot and Newthrone. One of the tribes, the Fallen Bones tribe, was said to have inhabited the former Overlord ruin of Mar'saval, and have allied themselves with the troglodytes that live within the ruins. Other named tribes include the Lingering Light and the Shining Claws.
Unknown to most, the Lords of Dust have been manipulating the Cold Sun Federation to spark a new war with the blackscale lizardfolk. The Lords of Dust hope that this will put their plans into motion that will result in Masvirik being freed once again.
Because the Cold Sun tribes were touched by the couatls, they all dream shared dreams. Sometimes these dreams will reveal portions of the Draconic Prophecy. Because of this shared dreaming, the tribes have focused on verbal histories over written ones; the lizardfolk will often refer to something in the dream, which they use as a reference in their daily language.
Lizardfolk of the Cold Sun Tribes appear as reptilian humanoids, with green scales covering their bodies and long tails behind them. They have clawed hands and toothy jaws, which they use for unarmed attacks. Like the other species of lizardfolk, the Cold Sun lizardfolk fight with crafted weapons. They can hold their breaths for a long time. In general, the Cold Sun Tribes live in patriarchal societies scattered across Q'barra.
Poison Dusk LizardfolkEditPoison dusk lizardfolk are the smallest of the three species of lizardfolk in Q'barra. While they are smaller and weaker, they are also faster and more intelligent. They are highly skilled trackers and hunters, and use everything from poisons to nets to bring down their prey. They prefer to strike from the shadows, and will often use guerrilla tactics, such as poisoning an enemy's food supply, to win the day.
Over the centuries, the poison dusk have worshiped the Overlord Masvirik. They acknowledge the superiority of the blackscale lizardfolk in the worship of Masvirik. Poison dusk lizardfolk ignore the other lizardfolk tribes, except when traveling to Haka'torvhak for sacrifices to Masvirik. They are constantly hunted by the remaining dragonborn settlements of Xen'drik.
Poison dusk lizardfolk have been a bane to the human colonies in Q'barra since their founding. The lizardfolk hate these invaders with a fiery passion, and have adapted their lives to removing the human colonies from Q'barra. To combat their enemies, they have adopted the ways of the humans, and will also use swords and bows to fell their enemies. The poison dusk lizardfolk are highly nomadic, though, and will rarely remain in a territory for more than a few months. One tribe of poison dusk lizardfolk are known to be ruled by Katress, a spirit naga and the voice of the great green dragon Zartarxis.
Poison dusk lizardfolk stand about three-feet-tall. They have a small, wiry build with green scales covering most of their body. They have large eyes that reflect light, like a cat, and the males have a green-finned crest that runs from their head down to the middle of their back that can either lie flat or extend, depending on their mood. The poison dusk have long tails that range from two to three feet. The poison dusk have chameleon-like skin, which helps the lizardfolk to blend into the shadows.
Like other lizardfolk, the poison dusk use manufactured weapons to fight. They prefer ranged weapons, like the bow, which they can fire while hiding in the shadows. As their name implies, the poison dusk also prefer to fight with poisons, coating the tips of their arrows or their blades with everything from black adder venom to blue whinnis; tough they are best known for their use of spotted toadstool venom. The poison dusk lizardfolk are immune to the poisons they handle. The poison dusk are skilled users of a great deal of weapons; everything from bows to nets to bolas to pit traps. In addition to their weapons, the poison dusk possess talons and sharp teeth, which they may use for unarmed attacks. The poison dusk lizardfolk possess low-light vision, and can hold their breaths for extended periods of time.
Those lizardfolk who do not revere Masvirik and Rhashaak worship the Dragon Gods or other powerful dragons. Some lizardfolk revere the Devourer, while others worship the Cults of the Dragon Below.
Some named lizardfolk have been identified:
- Essthus is a blackscale lizardfolk who works for the yuan-ti anathema known as Tava Rassa.
- Krustach is a gray-skinned, elderly lizardfolk pilgrim and a member of the Cold Sun Tribes.
Behind the ScenesEdit
In the 3rd edition of Dungeons & Dragons, the lizardfolk were originally introduced as one species in the Monster Manual. With the advent of the Eberron Campaign Setting, Keith Baker introduced two new lizardfolk species: the blackscale and the poison dusk. These species were treated as modified lizardfolk from the Monster Manual until they received their own entries in Monster Manual III.
However, the introduction of 4th edition changed how the lizardfolk were handled. There were no longer unique species of blackscale and poison dusk. Between this and the creation of the dragonborn, the definitions of the "Blackscale", "Poison Dusk", and "Cold Sun" tribes changed. The new definition made these three distinct tribes multi-racial, with membership including all of the reptilian races of Eberron. For instance, the poison dusk tribe now contained kobolds and troglodytes as well as lizardfolk. This new flavor of lizardfolk tribes was introduced in the "Backdrop Q'barra: Poison Dusk, Black Sun" article written by Keith Baker for Dungeon Magazine issue #185.
- Lizardfolk, Poison Dusk, and Blackscale articles at the Forgotten Realms Wiki, a wiki for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Eberron Campaign Setting. Keith Baker, Bill Slavicsek, and James Wyatt (2004). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3274-0.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 "Poison Dusk, Black Sun: Explore Q'barra, Part 2" (December 2010) by Keith Baker. Dungeon Magazine issue 185.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Monster Manual III. Andrew Finch, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Chris Perkins (August 2004). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Dragons of Eberron. Keith Baker, Scott Fitzgerald Gray, Nicolas Logue, and Amber Scott (2007). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-4154-5.
- ↑ Eberron Player's Guide. David Noonan, Ari Marmell, and Robert J. Schwalb (2009). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-5100-1.
- ↑ Five Nations. Bill Slavicsek, David Noonan, and Christopher Perkins (2005). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3690-8.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Secrets of Xen'drik. Keith Baker, Jason Bulmahn, & Amber Scott (2006). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3916-8.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 "The Ring of Storms" (May 2005) by Keith Baker. Dungeon Magazine issue 122.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Faiths of Eberron. Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, Ari Marmell, & C.A. Suleiman (2006). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3934-6.
- ↑ Explorer's Handbook. David Noonan, Rich Burlew, & Frank Brunner (2005). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3691-6.
- ↑ "Blood and Dragonshards: Backdrop Q'barra, Part 1" (September 2010) by Keith Baker. Dungeon Magazine issue 182.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Player's Guide to Eberron. James Wyatt, Keith Baker, Luke Johnson, Steven Brown (2006). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3912-5.
- ↑ Monster Manual. Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, and Monte Cook (July 2003). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Dragonshards: The Role of Dragons. Keith Baker (April 18th, 2005). Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Eyes of the Lich Queen. Stephen Schubert, Tim Hitchcock, and Nicolas Logue (2007). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-4319-X.
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