7' - 8' (males)|
300 - 400 lbs (males)|
180 - 200 lbs (females)
|Hair Color:||None (Hide colors vary)|
|Country of Origin:||Najjir|
|Significant Populations:||Lake of Brine Area (Isska Hinterlands, Southern Najjir)|
|Major Religion:||Divine Kingship|
These tribes of bipedal lizardmen inhabit the desert in southwestern Najjir, surrounding the Lake of Brine. Hostile and territorial, they are uniquely adapted to survive in the salt flats of their home.
The reptilian race known as the Isska have called the southern Najjir home since a time before it was the barren wasteland. Once, within lush jungles, the Isska thrived in a single population, with great cities and flourishing agricultural resources. Now, driven mad by the heat and noxious waters of tainted oases, the nomadic Isska travel the expanse of their desert home, hunting and often scavenging to survive.
Very rarely do the Isska travel beyond the reaches of the desert, as they are unfamiliar with other races and cultures. This xenophobia often results in fear-driven confrontation that almost always ends in the death of the opposite species.
In days past, the Isska society operated as a client-state of Amas'kyaa, somewhat of its own accord. In this capacity, they functioned peacefully in the midst of the other nations and their people.
With the decline of both the empire and the prosperity of their society, the Isska were exposed to the growing harshness of their failing environment. As the tributary of the Siham river dried up, their dependent way of life began to crumble around them. In response, the Isska came to blame Qarsythe and its obsession with sorcery for the resulting detriment. This disposition led to many bloody conflicts as the Arcanists sought power over the region.
The wary trade-peace that the Isska have with another nomadic people of the Salt Desert, the Shushan, is the product of their practiced scavenging, as well as daring and intermittent raids on Qarsythe caravans, where the lizardmen procure valuables and magical artifacts that they barter for provisions.
The world of the Isska has devolved into a comparatively simplistic one, since the decay of their empire. With little social structure and few laws, fewer still are the methods with which they are enforced.
Though the Isska have retained the discipline of their ancestors, they have also become vicious and territorial. Broken into innumerable and nomadic tribes of varying population, they follow a hierarchy similar to that of a pack of wolves. A single chieftain, regarded as divine, with many subordinates and a harem whose loyalty lies only with his status as leader.
The lifespan of the Isska is unknown, but it can be assumed that the chieftain of a tribe is more often also its elder member and, if there are no challengers to his status, his eldest heir is to fill the role at the time of his death. Should a challenger to the title arise and the current chieftain feels he is not strong enough to sufficiently defend himself; his heir might take his place in battle. These battles are fierce, brief and rarely involve armor or weaponry, with the exception of tooth and claw.
It is not out of place that the defeated Isska is eaten, his heart offered in respect to the power and divinity of the reigning chieftain.
Typical Racial Characteristics
The Isska are a tribal race and know very little of the world beyond their own existence. Their low-tech civilization is reflected in their rudimentary, piecemeal armors and weapons. Traditionally, both warriors and the more domestic members of the tribes will adorn themselves with assorted, multi-colored feathers and hides.
In the case of warriors, the lizardmen will thread together heavy pieces of wood or bone to create basic chest pieces, helms or leg and arm guards. Rarely are their entire bodies fully clad in armor. Isska hunters and warriors are highly skilled in the use of long, narrow spears used to impale fish or strike birds from the air.
Adult, male Isska are massive in size. The largest can stand near 8 feet tall, though their relaxed posture is slouched and lumbering. Males may also display brighter colors in their scales that darken and become less impressive with age.
Females are smaller in size, normally never exceeding 6 feet in height. They are thinner and have smaller eyes than their male counterparts. Often, female Isska will use feathered headdresses to mimic humanoid hair. Females are also prone to covering the entirety of their slender bodies in leather or cloth, as if displaying some form of modesty.
All Isska have four prehensile fingers on each hand, tapered into strong, sharp talons. Two thick toes adorn their feet in the front, with one pronounce appendage acting as the balancing heel. Their tales are long and thick, in most cases, extending to the ground and dragging behind them, though they are prehensile and can be used to inflict deadly wounds. The Isska are heavily scaled, with broad plates naturally decorated with rosettes of varying color and brilliancy.