Spynkazaka (5e Race)
From D&D Wiki
"Descendants of ancient dragons reborn in humanoid form."
Were it not for three defining attributes, it would be incredibly difficult to tell the spynkazaka apart from their human relatives. They typically stand at roughly human height with identical features, but are given away easily by a pair of curved horns protruding from just above their ears. Despite their appearances, spynkazaka are not related to demons or fiends, but are actually theorized to be descended from spynkoriithi. Another indicator of this are the vestigial grey wings that adorn their backs - according to oral tradition, ancient spynkazaka possessed the ability to fly. In recent history, however, the advent of agriculture has resulted in a reduced need to use wings in search of food. As such, the great wings that the race was known for have shrunk in size over generations, and now very few spynkazaka can truly fly without the use of magic. Another defining characteristic of spynkazaka is that though they have regular, non-clawed humanoid hands, they possess extremely sharp nails that grow rapidly, allowing them to grip and strike like their primordial ancestors. Eye and hair colors range from various human shades, though amber eyes are particularly common in the Thyruuga'tol population in Montiskor. Though they appear of average strength, they can funnel tremendous amounts of power in short bursts, and possess incredible stamina.
The spynkazaka originated in the Abolask Islands many thousands of years ago. Very early on they diverged from their synapsid ancestors and established coexistence with the elves and men found on their home island, Karyba'tol. Initially, they lived as pastoral nomads, traveling around the island with their herds of sheep. Each season, they would relocate to a different portion of the island as a way to allow for the regrowth of foliage in a region, establishing trails and temporary towns along the way. Some of these towns were turned over to small numbers of men and elves, who occupied them until the spynkazaka returned from the cyclical migration. Occasional scuffles with pastoral humans over grazing rights were not unheard of, but oftentimes the spynkazaka conceded due to Hari Hari, knowing that they could graze elsewhere. When the Mt. Nykpazi supervolcano erupted, however, the Abolask subcontinent underwent an extreme environmental change. As the ash cloud spread to Karyba'tol, the fertile pastures that the spynkazaka and their sheep relied on were choked lifeless, and as such the spynkazaka's main food staple soon followed. Prayers for the famine to end fell upon deaf ears until a curious sighting - the first spynkoriithi seen on Karyba'tol in millennia. The spynkoriithi brought fish to its relatives, seeing them in need, spending many hours out at sea to gather enough food to feed the spynkazaka race and keep them from extinction. Humans on the island grew envious and began demanding support from the spynkoriithi as well. The spynkazaka viewed this as an affront on their savior but nevertheless relayed the desire to the spynkoriithi, who complied. After many weeks, the spynkoriithi had exhausted the local fish supply and itself. Having to go on longer journeys and bringing back less fish, the islanders soon suffered a food shortage yet again, leaving many displeased and angry. One night, after it returned from its fishing trip and lay down to sleep in a cave in the island's interior, the spynkoriithi was ensnared in a trap by humans. Stabbing it multiple times with spears, the humans killed the spynkoriithi and consumed it.
Reviled upon discovering the remains of their ancestor, the spynkazaka left a marker upon the site of the spynkoriithi's butchered carcass, which would later grow into the massive temple, Kurginthiigi. Elsewhere on the island, humans had already succeeded in angering the elven population, who had been successful in cultivating crops like mushrooms from the ash. Humans continuously raided elven food stores and butchered their meager livestock, sending them into starvation as well. Starvation and tension climax, and the island's three races killed each other off. The spynkazaka were brutal - historically this event is the only time where they have raised a sword to someone for an affront on a non-spynkazaka. They ultimately were the victors, completely annihilating the human population on the island. The elves and spynkazaka, lacking a grudge, allowed the former to depart from the isle in peace. The elves would later end up in Apsrola, while the spynkazaka sought to burn down any memory of human inhabitance. The spynkazaka learned a few tricks from the remaining elves on the island, allowing them to stave off starvation by surviving on crops like mushrooms and potatoes, and once the volcanic fallout had ended, the spynkazaka were finally able to return to their nomadic lifestyles.
Over time, the spynkazaka began to settle down and adopt an agricultural lifestyle. This resulted in the establishment of Karyba'tol Town in the ruins of an old elvish town, Yeizin. Karyba'tol Town turned into a very prosperous port town, exchanging goods with the outside world for the first time. Despite this, some spynkazaka desired to hold on to their traditional lifestyles. A small schism broke out between the populace, and the spynkazaka more devout to their old pastoral ways than to coin departed for Zypher'tol. There, they established a temple of enormous stature, Kurginkaal. For nearly four hundred years after, both spynkazaka settlements flourished, but it was not to last.
While the spynkazaka had been busy tending to their flocks and bartering with trade ships, mankind established the city of Brimar just to the east of the Kiinvalga delta on Zemhalla. It was an impressive sight then as much as it remains today, and from there, humans began to exert its influence on the elves and spynkazaka alike. First came brutal taxation. The humans demanded tribute in the form of large portions of coin and grain made by their subservient races. Next came annexation. Humans would frequently take previously-owned spynkazakan land and repurpose it for factories that ruined the grazing land that the spynkazakan had owned for millennia. Finally, the worst of all - genocide. Karyba'tol had given itself easily to humans, but Zypher'tol was not so easily swayed. Launching a massive fleet, King Farlius of Brimar had the island besieged. Losses were immense - an estimated twenty-two thousand spynkazaka were killed. The island was wiped clean of life, and all traces of spynkazakan inhabitancy were burnt to cinders. Kurginkaal was spared due to its size, but the interior of its great marble face was ransacked and torched. Brimar soon looked to Karyba'tol for resistance and was prepared to launch a similar fleet to wipe the race out once and for all.
Almost as if having invoked the wrath of some angry god, a manifestation of evil rose to power on Zemhalla. Based from a mountain somewhere in Coldwind Valley, the one known as "Kruzalg" commanded an army of the undead of great size. With Brimar in his sights, King Farlius was forced to withdraw the fleet from its deployment to protect against the coming siege, sparing Karyba'tol of Zypher'tol's fate. Karyba'tol, unaware that the impending invasion by sea had been called off, sent an envoy to Apsrola requesting assistance. The elves of Ashvale and spynkazaka of Karyba'tol created a united force and set out to attack the supposedly unbreakable metal fortress of Brimar. Leading the forces were spynkazaka Yornlumniir Trytokon and high elf Razeen Fairbreeze. Upon arriving, the joined army discovered Brimar overrun with undead and humanity brought to its knees. The Lich had already marched on the city and was nearing the citadel where the last of the human deployments and civilians had sought shelter. Trytokon made the decision to focus attacks on the undead army rather than the humans, sparing them. Due to the air superiority of the spynkazaka and the ash-enhanced magical abilities of the elves, the lich was driven back to Coldwind Valley, and in a final battle, imprisoned in The Bitter End, an ethereal chamber in a ruined tower somewhere deep in the vale. The undead ceased with the loss of their leader, and Brimar was saved.
With humanity reduced in numbers and no longer a threat, the spynkazaka returned home. Historically, they continued to have fantastic relations with their elven allies. Upon returning to power, King Farlius abdicated the throne to his son, Vincaro, who ruled as a fair and just king. The spynkazaka continued their traditions with humans removed from their lands, maintaining Karyba'tol as their primary city. Zypher'tol was eventually reestablished and repopulated by more moderate spynkazaka, though elements of its zealous past still remain. Hundreds of years later, the Abolask Islands are a place of peaceful, easy life.
A majority of Karyba'tol spynkazaka live fairly modern lifestyles, with varying job specialties. Remnants of their past still exist, particularly the Ishibii ethnic group, who remain pastoral nomads and still traverse the island in the clockwise fashion with their flocks, moving with the seasons. Major spynkazaka settlements on the island include Karyba'tol and Palana'tol, of which the former is the island's capital. There are many coastal villages and as such the spynkazaka have a decent fishing industry. Zypher'tol spynkazaka live similarly to their western relatives, though many ruins of ancient religious sites still dot the island's landscape, especially in Zypher'tol's capital, Zypher'tol Town. Zypher'tol spynkazaka also differ somewhat culturally in that a larger portion of them still adhere to Hari Hari as a moral code of guidance. The weight of a spynkazaka individual's family name weighs heavily on where they stand in society. Children who fail to live up to their family name can be disowned, adopting the shameful surname Buuldagiin until they can either have their surname restored by their family or their town's matriarch.
Spynkazaka groups are typically led by a matriarch, or Haarithoma. The matriarch is the voice of guidance to her community, and with the many years of life under her wing, she is often consulted on village issues. Below the matriarch is the Bynthrokii, or Village Council. The Village Council is represented by the eldest of a family's surname in that particular village. They act to create a sense of community and gregariousness among a town's populace.
Spynkazaka families usually consist of a set of parents, their children (usually 1-3), and maternal grandparents. In the case of nomads, multi-generational families can number into the thirties, though as more and more continue to settle down in a rapidly changing world, these numbers are declining. Traditional spynkazaka homes employ a hip-and-gable style to their roofs, and use of bamboo or wood for walls. More elaborate and modern homes typically consist of a large, ornate door which leads into a courtyard - the home encompasses the entirety of the courtyard and is typically made of limestone bricks with ceramic roof tiles. Wealthier families can be distinguished from others by the size and intricacy of the door leading into their courtyards.
The spynkazaka actually refuse to consume a large portion of the animal kingdom in accordance to Hari Hari, sticking only to their staples of poultry and fish, and supplementing their diet otherwise with tropical fruits and vegetables. Spynkazaka are especially fond of the fruits that they've begun cultivating in the past millennia. Potatoes and mushrooms account for a huge portion of the spynkazaka diet, but they also farm banana, taro, coconut, pineapple, sugarcane, palm, and rice. The spynkazaka love cocoa; it is their largest export and highest-yielding crop. Cocoa is often combined with milk and sugar to create white chocolate, and from there it is used to make Tuurnama, a cold, sweet drink unique to spynkazakan culture.
Hari Hari is a unique code, first created through instinct by the Spynkoriithi, then refined by the spynkazaka to suit their needs as a civilized race. Hari Hari's basic principles follow the idea that all life is interconnected through a shared ability to perceive and feel - scholars have described it as extensive empathy. Empathy is thought to stimulate a very primitive part of the spynkazaka brain, resulting in a powerful surge of adrenaline and other similar effects. As such, spynkazaka seek empathy much as dragons seek treasure for their horde - they are naturally altruistic and will strive to do right if it means that someone's happiness can become their own. Spynkazaka use this as a means to respect and treat all life with care, though like their ancestors, they are not opposed to taking life if it endangers other life, including their own.
The race also has several historical artifacts that are kept closely-guarded secrets, capable of bestowing ancient power on the wearer.
Naming traditions for the spynkazaka always tend to favor rough, draconic-sounding names. Spynkazaka always incorporate ii and y at some point in the name. The letter "O" is used only in male names, as the letter is considered masculine. The letter “X” is only used at the start of names and is reserved for nobility only.
Male: Esylnotiip, Yornlumniir, Eyospiin, Spiinhyroto, Iroyeshii, Iryobiiri, Sodriinyr, Nynyolviir, Riikirnhyroto, Kiinyorshii, Viinhyroto, Iroxythriin, Gaekylokiirn, Agiinolyrmin, Aorkiiyuern, Volgiinthyrm, Olkynviir, Xynoskniir, Xoraiinnlyr
Female: Spiinyashi, Spiinyinnir, Miinkynn, Yaniirkaan, Krykshiin, Maynyaraii, Vystiia, Saiihalnyr, Viimnuuya, Yalniivak, Nynkalii, Liinduryin, Basiinya, Tsuumybii, Fiineyka, Xynvaliin, Xalaniivanyn
Descendants of pseudo-dragons with a knack for empathy.
Ability Score Increase. Your strength is increased by 2 and your constitution is increased by 1.
Age. Spynkazaka typically reach maturity in their late teens. They age much slower than humans beyond this point, however, with records of one particular individual living to be nearly 190 years old.
Alignment. Most spynkazaka align themselves either good or neutrally to conform to Hari Hari. As Hari Hari is a very strict code, they are largely lawful as a society. Individuals may take on neutral or chaotic stances, however, depending on their personal values.
Size. Spynkazaka typically stand between 5-6 feet tall, but usually somewhere in the middle. They can weigh between 100-240 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Draconic Offenses. You are considered proficient in unarmed strikes utilizing your claws and horns. These attacks deal 1d4 slashing damage and 1d6 bludgeoning damage, respectively.
Vestigial Wings. Despite being unable to fly, spynkazaka can employ their wings briefly to prevent themselves from falling. You can choose to deploy your wings to hover in place for one turn while airborne as a reaction, after which you must either move or fall.
Natural Empath. Whenever you make a Wisdom (Insight) check related to the intentions and emotions of a sentient creature, you are considered proficient in the Insight skill and add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Draconic. Your dialect of Draconic is referred to as "Spynkazi."