XV. VSÈSÀHÈ (Iguanians)
The Vsèsàhè, which means water-born, are iguana-centaurs that inhabit the far southern islands. They have long, lithe, mottled green four-legged bodies with clawed hand-like feet and long prehensile tails. Their torsos and arms are humanoid, although their four-fingered hands end in sharp claws. Their heads are reptilian, with a wide mouth full of sharp teeth.
Their bodies, including the torso are roughly 4′ long and their tails are usually 6′ to 8′ in length. They are primarily piscivores, but can and will eat almost any meat, and usually supplement their diet with fruits and tubers.
Vsèsàhè are herd creatures (they call their herds šislì [SHIH-slie], which means “basking”), and their lives are comprised of a series of formal rituals designed to allow them to interact with the šislì with no dissension. To outsiders, Vsèsàhè formality is seen as weak and snobbish; this is superficially supported by the Vsèsàhè ‘s willingness to flee or discuss a situation rather than fight. More than one human has been surprised, however, at how effective Vsèsàhè are once the šislì has made up its mind.
A lone Vsèsàhè is something of a freak. Most Vsèsàhè cannot survive outside the šislì, and become sick and confused if denied access to the leadership of the eldest of their šislì for extended periods of time. A Vsèsàhè left by itself will try to find another šislì to adopt it. If this is impossible, it will attempt to form a new šislì, even including non-Vsèsàhè in its šislì.
The Vsèsàhè do not have nations or tribes in the normal sense, but they do have broad geographical entities, which they refer to as zisim [zi-SIM], which means stones, their term for land. The senior Vsèsàhè in each vism holds the title of Zisimsìiť [zi-SIM-eye-ith] which means “Keeper of the Stones” and is considered the leader of all the šislì currently residing in that zisim and is responsible for arbitrating disputes and organizing the defence of the inhabitants, etc. When a Zisimsìiť leaves his territory, he is automatically replaced by the next most senior resident.
There are seven such territories, they are, in order of their traditional founding:
- Zisimflirèťì [zih-sim-FLIH-ree-thai]: The name means “First stones” as this is traditionally the place where the Vsèsàhè first lived, it covers the provinces of Kusma and Udò in the Principality of Kusm in Kuvramkar.
- Zisimhì [zih-SIM-hai]: The name means “bare stones”, in reference to the treeless terrain found here. This territory covers the provinces of Òrakimt and Xòqomsar in the Principality of Zisimšì in Kuvramkar.
- Zisimsè [zih-SIM-see]: The name means “Stormy stones”, a reference to the frequent storms the region experiences. Its territory covers the provinces of Kadku and Kòkda in the Principality of Zisimšì in Kuvramkar.
- Zismsiszì [zih-sim-SIS-zai]: The name means “evening stones” because this island is the westernmost land inhabited by the Vsèsàhè and is therefore where the sun goes in the evening. It consists of the province of Susma in the Principality of Zisimšì in Kuvramkar.
- Zisimraya [zih-SIM-rah-yah]: The name means “new stones” because these islands were the first lands discovered and colonized by the Vsèsàhè. It consists of the Principality of Kurur in Kuvramkar.
- Zisimsrìè [zih-SIM-srai-ee]: The name means “Morning stones” because these islands are the easternmost lands inhabited by the Vsèsàhè and is therefore considered the place where the day begins. It consists of the Principality of Remsared in Kuvramkar.
- Zisimsismì [zih-sim-SIS-mai]: The name means “Hidden stones” because these islands were unknown to the Vsèsàhè until relatively recently. It covers the provinces of Braqed and Urdòr in the Principality of Uruàar in Kuvramkar.
Vsèsàhè use short thin-bladed spears and long wavey-bladed knives in war and often use shields. However, many Vsèsàhè contests are resolved through a complex form of wrestling that doubles as an effective unarmed fighting form. Since their first contact with outsiders, the Vsèsàhè have adopted many foreign weapons.
Vsèsàhè view all other races as “the deformed.” They are polite and interested in non-Vsèsàhè society but view any creature with fewer than six limbs as disadvantaged. They are not good at distinguishing between the various non-Vsèsàhè races, particularly humans, demihumans, and humanoids whom the Vsèsàhè view as one race.
Vsèsàhè families are huge, and there is good evidence that all Vsèsàhè are members of one enormous kin-group. Vsèsàhè use these kinship structures to figure out which Vsèsàhè should head any šislì, particularly if two šislìs merge, and leadership is always yielded to the more senior bloodline.
The Vsèsàhè homeland consists of a chain of rugged and rocky volcanic islands with scrub and light tropical woods, and shallow seas teaming with fish. They are equally at home on land, in the trees, and in the water, though they are air breathers. Seasonal changes in the fish schools keep the herds moving around the coasts, preventing the Vsèsàhè from establishing any towns or cities of their own. In fact Vsèsàhè have only a vague concept of property or ownership, as they have remarkably few possessions, and are usually willing to share those with others of their kind when needed. As a result of this lack of a sense of property, the Vsèsàhè do not engage in wars of conquest among themselves, what warfare does occur is almost always over of some sort of insult, rather than territory.
Vsèsàhè speak their own language (Šiš, which means “tongue”) and a few speak “common”, although haltingly and with thick accents.
Vsèsàhè characters have the following game-specific (3.5) characteristics.
- Stat Adjustments: +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution.
- Size: Medium (As Medium creatures, Vsèsàhè have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size).
- Type: Quadruped.
- Movement: A Vsèsàhè ’s base land speed is 30 feet. They also have a swim speed of 50 feet. They can move through trees at a speed of 20 feet.
- Darkvision: Vsèsàhè have Darkvision out to 60 feet which they use primarily to see and hunt underwater.
- Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Vsèsàhè is proficient with the short spear, kriss and all simple weapons.
- Natural Armour: Vsèsàhè get a +2 natural armor bonus.
- Natural Weapons: 2 claws (1d6), 1 bite (1d6).
- Racial Skills: Vsèsàhè get a +4 racial bonus to all Climb checks, and a +10 to swim checks. Both are considered class skills for all Vsèsàhè .
- Breathing: Vsèsàhè can hold their breaths 5 times as long as a human.
- Favored Class: Fighter.
- Level adjustment: +1.
Based on the Dracon from the Complete Spacefarer’s Handbook (CGR1) and the 3e conversion on Spelljammer.org.