Lagano are any of a variety of anthropomorphic reptiles. Colloquially, they are referred to as lizardmen.
There are three major distinctions of lagano.
Sea lagano are the smallest variety, typically smaller than most humans, and have subtle coloring. They are usually blue, beige or pink, evolved that way to blend into their underwater environment. They typically have fanned tails and occasionally webbed hands and fingers.
Standing about equally or slightly taller than most humans, marsh lagano are dark green or blue, and occasionally grey.
The largest variety of lagano is the vicious jungle lagano. They are similarly colored to the marsh lagano, but they are huge, standing a full head or more over most humans. They can also have an even deeper tincture. It is not unheard of to see black or brown lagano.
Clothing and Adornment
Among the lagano, many wear fairly little clothing. Jungle lagano, in fact, have no shame, and often remain naked unless they are going to battle.
When the reptilian race is donning various garments, it is usually ritualistic. They’ll wear necklaces of small skulls or teeth, perhaps bands of feathers on their heads. Loincloths are typically the most that they will wear, beyond belts that they can use to hold various containers.
Rather than clothing, lagano prefer to alter their bodies. Some opt to dye their bodies with body paint, while others choose a manner more permanent, and tattoo their flesh. Lagano clerics have even been known to sew horns onto the heads of their greatest warriors.
When preparing for battle, the race isn’t adverse to any specific types of armor; however it is considered taboo to wear leather into a fight. Mostly, they will depend on padded cloth. They also sometimes don chainmail, though because of their environments, this is usually a rare choice.
Relations to Other Races
While there have been some direct comparisons between lagano and the various dragonkin that populate Tellest, nothing definitive has ever been set in stone to prove the relationship between either race. In fact, their similarities haven’t made them any friendlier to each other, and various times throughout history, they’ve come to find each other on opposite sides of the battlefields.
It is also spoken of in whispers that the underwater race of sahagin might have evolved from lagano that spent too much time beneath the depths. Even sea lagano typically dwell in underwater caves, but they cannot breathe water as the sahagins can.
One of the most prevalent myths of lagano origins is that they were the “elves that were left behind.” Within their societies, and even in the way the strain presents in their culture, so much is similar between the two races. Yet, there is no love lost between the lagano and the elves.
As different as their appearances, the diverse types of lagano have varying temperaments.
The sea lagano have often been linked to merfolk, and sometimes even confused with them. They are curious and forgiving, by far the most benevolent of their race. But they are also prone to shy away from danger. These lagano are the most devoted to family and society on a deeper level, rather driving forward as a primal force.
Mainland lagano are somewhat less lenient. They are typically more violent and aggressive, but there have been various groups of marsh lagano who have been known to be friendly to nearly every race they have been confronted by.
Jungle lagano are vicious and driven by blood frenzy. They will openly invite confrontation whenever they can, and they refuse to wait for anything. Their impatience can often lead them into trouble, which leaves them slightly more disorganized than the other kinds of their race.
Relationship and Family
For the larger lagano, prowess ultimately governs which mates are chosen. However, opposed to many other races with primal mating rituals and hierarchies, the male lagano are not the only ones who must show their potential. Female lagano are just as important to gauge in the grand scheme of things. Once the greatest of the tribes are established, they are deigned to mate for life, or until either is deemed too weak to continue. Because of this, it is not uncommon for one of their kind to take another mate once the first can no longer serve their purpose.
Smaller lagano are a curious lot. Not much is known about them, but sailors tell of stories that they’ve heard from merfolk. According to the tales, some lagano are monogamous, and live their whole lives with one another. Others are more sexually open, living in polygamous societies. These social entities tend to avoid contact with the outside world.
Lagano tend to be very absent in the growth of their young. This may be, in part, because lagano are one of the few humanoids of Tellest that lay eggs, rather than give birth to a fully formed child. Because of this established biology, lagano are known to give life to more children at once.
Unfortunately, rather than strengthening their race, they utilize this early phase of development to strengthen the individual. A lagano isn’t brought into society until they’ve dispatched their siblings, and are the sole survivor of their litter.
As previously indicated, the lagano live in societal structures that are very similar to that of the elves. Rather than splinter off into sub-tribes to spread a semblance of an empire, they continuously strengthen their immediate habitat. Their borders spread organically in this manner, rather than through settlement.
Still, the variety of lagano directly affects the depths of that base model society. Variants of marsh lagano, for instance prefer to colonize the marsh on various compass points of its outset.
Within each of the societies, a strain is often present, or at least some kind of evolutionary trait. The Goanna tribe of Nanland, on Lustra, for instance, has a bite that is venomous to many other races. They will smear their blood on their weapons to administer the same effect. There are also societies that demonstrate regenerative abilities, and the means to camouflage themselves.
Behavior toward Other Races
Lagano are typically neutral of other races unless they infringe on their borders, or their desire to expand. Across much of Tellest, however, many of the tribes have banded with packs of gnolls and the greater numbers of the goblins.
For the gnolls in particular, the reptilian race had their concept of religion between them. Cebrum is one of only two gods that are worshipped, although the two races have their different views of him.
Of all the goodly races that the lagano are at constant odds with, it is the elves and the humans. It may just be that they are encountered far more often than many others, like orcs or dwarves.
Silent, but very well informed, lagano are intelligent enough to speak, but wise enough to listen more often. They can very easily pick up on the languages, as well as the mannerisms of other races.
Larger lagano are quite vocal compared to the smaller varieties, however. With hisses that sound like roars, they can be unsettling. Despite this, they have no difficulties controlling their voices, beyond an odd lisp here and there.
Like gnolls, the lagano herald a great deal of their faith from the god of death, Cebrum. There are similarities in the way they worship him as well. Weakness is meant to be snuffed out, and as such, lagano warriors become messengers of the dark god. They are delivers, who carry out Cebrum’s will.
So, too, are they worshippers of Nerot. The god of war inspires many of their battles, and though they see him as a human, they revere him implicitly.
Ritually, lagano will partake in the eating of flesh. Warriors that they kill on the battlefield are typically consumed this way, however they are wary of doing the same with the so-called weaker willed, including mages and clerics, who depend far too much on their magic. This flesh eating carries even through their race. They see it as a way to strengthen their resolve, as they embody the strength of the fallen opponent.
Myths and Legends
The lagano are well known on Ippius because of fairytales that have been passed down through generations. One of the islands of the isle nation is home to the lagano. Norkoth was named after an evil warrior that went against the humans of Ippius.
Not much credit can be given to the validity of the myth, because very few people will choose to brave the small island.
There have also been rumors about the existence of a tremendous healing spring that the lagano guard. Legend holds that it is hidden somewhere in Lustra, but because there are so many different tribes of lagano on that continent, the mythic origins are hard to come by. The most prevalent believed location is somewhere in Yadain, but no one has been able to put any truth to the suspicion.
Among the lagano people, they hold several people their heroes. The reptilian folk of Norkoth revere the island’s namesake for uniting them. Dirang is a name that is passed down among several of the lagano tribes, harkening back to a glorious hunter who shot down a golden serpent from the sky. Adnotia was the only survivor of his tribe, which was decimated by a great flood. When he integrated into a neighboring society, he was able to protect them all from famine with the skills he had developed.
Lagano do not actively seek to advance their technology. Of the racial groups upon Tellest, they are among the least known to employ tools in their day to day activities. This includes the constructions of their domiciles. More often than not, the lagano will dwell in caves, or crude huts in the swamps or jungles they call home.
It is fairly uncommon to see lagano as practitioners as magic. They view the arcane arts as an excuse to be weak. Another large reason that the reptilian race absconds from the arcane is that various evolutionary traits or the presence of the strain among their society is typically enough to empower them.
However, they are not so foolish as to completely discount ritual magic or divine intervention. Lagano clerics are not unheard of, and tend to be just as vicious as their warrior brethren.
The jungle lagano have a very strong military presence. They are incredibly organized, and fight viciously. It is often said that if all of them mobilized at once, the world would collapse under their weight.
Marsh lagano tend to distribute their forces toward defensive measures. Home is very important to the race, and they don’t tend to leave it if they can avoid doing so.
Weapons and Tools
All lagano prefer spears and barbed weapons. Though body modification is usually performed for cosmetic reasons, the greatest warriors among many of the tribes are given horns that are meant to aid them in battle.
Wars and Enemies
While the lagano are positioned to involve themselves in wars across the globe, their battles are fairly small in scale. Usually, their numbers are so overwhelming that retreat for their enemies are the only options. Even with that in mind, however, they tend to stick to their own territories. Rarely, members of tribes will find themselves aligned with gnoll or goblin raiding parties.
The most famous wars have been with humans, and the most notable of them was the one on Ippius.