A little known reptilian race that inhabits the rain forests of southern Kalesten and Thiskel. Their existence is only rumored in most of the world, but explorers who have dared to enter the southern forests have returned with tales of lizardmen. Samiss rarely leave their homeland, but occasionally the slave trade or an important quest may draw them out into the world. How the Samiss came into existence is a mystery to
many people, but their own legends say they were given sentience by a powerful dragon.
The Samiss live deep in the jungles of Southern Kalesten and the southernmost tip of Thiskel. They prefer their homes in swampy locations along the shores of rivers, lakes, and the ocean. Their homes are small huts made of grasses, leaves and mud, arranged in small villages along banks and shores.
Appearance and Garb
The Samiss stand as tall as six-foot when fully grown and have a humanoid build; they are bipedal, standing on two digitigrade legs, with a long, thick tail that reaches the ground for balance. They are scaled in shades of green, from brackish green to brilliant greens. During breeding seasons they become flushed with color. Like many reptiles, their skin must be shed, which is done once a year, usually around the same time for the entire village (or entire race, even). There is some variety to their appearance for each region they occupy. Some ethnicity have crests or unique coloration and markings, as well as slight differences in facial structure.
The Samiss have long snouts filled with sharp teeth. Their eyes are golden to red, set far back into their heads. Their facial construction is rather similar to monitor lizards. Males and females are hard to distinguish to mammalian races as females lack the curves of these races. Instead, they are best distinguished by more subtle features. Females are often thinner and lighter than males, and their faces are narrower. Females in ethnicities which have crests either have no crests or smaller, less colorful crests than males. They also may bear less colorful markings if that is a trait of their people.
They wear little in the way of clothing, but they do adorn themselves with any number of items that they can string together into headpieces, jewelry, and bits of armor. Some groups may favor body painting, piercings, and scarification to identify each other’s heritage, social standing, or ethnic identity.
Lifespans and Reproduction
Like many reptilian species, they are long-lived, lifespans often reaching to 150 years and beyond. They mature quickly, reaching full sexual and physical maturity at five years of age.
Samiss are oviparous—they lay eggs. Several weeks after mating, females will lay a clutch of up to three large eggs with soft, malleable shells into a pit in her home that is covered by rotting vegetation to provide warmth for the eggs. Within three months, the eggs will hatch into young that are around the same size as a nine-month old human baby, capable of walking and with intelligence comparable to a one-year old human child. Mothers care for their children, even before their young hatch mothers are strongly attached to the eggs. They often speak to their unhatched young, enriching their understanding of language and familiarizing them with their mother’s voice. Once hatched, their young grow quickly. By the time they reach their first year they stand around 5’ in height and are equivalent to teenagers. Usually by the end of their first year or early into their second, they become independent of their mothers and enter society.
Samiss mating is seasonal. Females become fertile usually in the early Spring, and seek out a mate. They are not a monogamous people, and their romantic relationships are fleeting. Females tend to seek out stronger males in the community, meaning that tribal leaders and renowned hunters often father many of the offspring in the village. Younger and less established males can sometimes seduce solitary females, or even rape them, but they are predominantly over-looked. They typically do not have interest in females of other races, and are incapable of reproducing with them, besides.
Diet, Agriculture, and Hunting
The Samiss are solely hunter/gatherers. They hunt large animals and sometimes even humanoids for meat, along with smaller fowl and fish. They are almost exclusively carnivores, but they eat some vegetation for medicinal purposes. They do not cook their meat.
The Samiss are dragon worshipers and shamans. Most communities worship regional dragons with whom they have a covenant. They also hold spirits in high regards and shamans are important members of their societies.
Magic and Abilities
The Samiss have no inherent magic, but like many primitive races, they often find a strong shamanist connection in some individuals of their race. They are somewhat stronger physically than humans.
The Samiss are rather primitive and reclusive, their culture varies vastly from what humans would consider normal. Amongst their own, they are proud, predatory, and cold.
The Samiss share their homeland with Ur’Idayn, Asath, various clans of Ochae’nafod, and some Zaedyn, but they usually keep to themselves. Occasionally they clash with Ur’Idayn, but they are also fascinated by the Ochae’nafod and Zaedyn and may capture them to examine them. They are not fond of humans, but rarely encounter them.
The Samiss are not very playable, unless there are special circumstances. They can be played in their native environment, or if perhaps captured by humans as a curiosity and taken elsewhere in the world. However, most humans are unfamiliar with their existence, which should speak volumes as to their availability as a PC race.