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My Take on the Lore of Valorant so Far (correct me if I make any mistakes)
Valorant is set in near-future Earth. Technology is extremely advanced, most likely because of Radianite. Cypher’s tools suggest nanotechnology/ advanced forms of storage have been developed, and weaponized laseplasma technology exists, judging from Brimstone’s ultimate. But obviously, modern ballistics are still the weaponry of the age, most likely due to cost and efficiency.
There are people called Radiants. Radiants are simply people who are imbued with superhuman abilities.
There is a new substance called Radianite. It can be mined via a Spike. Since the Spike explodes in a deadly pulse after successfully mining the Radianite, and Cypher mentions that the “radianite must be ours” on attack, we can assume that it is full of energy, and possibly volatile. Since Radianite upgrades gun skins, we can assume that everyone in the world wants Radianite to either augment themselves, or to forge new technology. It is important to note that the explosion emanating from a successfully detonated Spike has the exact same appearance as ultimate orbs, implying that Radianite has energy related to Radiants, and might be the reason for their existence.
There is a large corporation known as Kingdom, which specializes in collecting radianite. They have clearly evil intentions, and are responsible for pain, loss, and suffering in many countries. Several agents in the game have had their lives ruined because of Kingdom. Kingdom is currently trying to expand their reach by finding more and more radianite for their own purposes.The Spike and Defusers are all manufactured by Kingdom.
The Valorant Protocol is an organization like Overwatch, most likely founded by the United Nations (because Valorant has representation from a variety of countries, and the technology Valorant agents have access to is incredible). They oppose Kingdom, and seek to protect the world from Kingdom’s machinations, as well as protecting the radianite. Valorant fields oddballs, technology experts, and Radiants as their agents.
Founded by Brimstone and Viper, if the MMXX Founder Banner card found in the battle pass is accurate. Brimstone is definitely the leader of Valorant, seeing that Sova refers to him as Captain when he kills him.
I think that it might be implied that everyone in the game joins Valorant eventually, seeing that Sage claims proudly “We are Valorant!” with no exceptions.
If the training area in the game is run by Valorant in the lore, then we can safely assume that there is a Valorant headquarters on one of the sky islands of Venice.
People have speculated that there are clones in the lore, judging from the interactions within the game when there are the same agents on both sides. However, this sounds really weird to me, personally, and I just think that those interactions are just in-game jests the developers added for fun.
Information about Agents
Jett: An energetic, sassy Radiant in her late teens, hailing from South Korea. She could be older, in her early twenties, but judging from her childish, playful personality, she’s definitely on the younger side of the Valorant line-up. She has wind/air powers. She can create clouds of fog, and obviously, from in-game, augment her movement using the wind, making her extremely evasive. She can control winds to slow her descent, and perhaps in-lore, even fly, Jason Grace style. The Tier 9 Banner card found in her Contract suggests that she is also capable of larger feats such as creating tornadoes. Jett, to me, seems like the kind of person to either just wander around the world having fun while doing side jobs to survive, or ally herself with some underground resistance against Kingdom. Her allegiance is unknown, but I predict that Jett likely will ally with anyone that can clear her name. She is currently accused of tearing a rift in a large part of Venice with a Spike-related mishap, which she claims she didn’t do in game.
Phoenix: An attractive, cocky young Radiant celebrity, most likely in his early twenties, who hails from the UK. He is famous and well-known for his powers, heroism, and most likely revels in it. He has fire and maybe light powers. His flames must be pure physics-defying magic, as they can hold shape and forms that normal fire cannot (he can form coherent, opaque walls and lob sticky balls of heat that hold shape mid-air). His Curveball suggests that he can probably fire up enough concentrated heat to emit a flashbang effect. It could also just be light encased in a special Phoenix-brand fireball. We also know that he heals from flames. It’s not a wild assumption that he does not heal just from his own flames, but all kinds of flames. But since his flames are special, he could also just heal from his own flames. He can also will himself to defy death, and be reborn when killed. Pure magic, seeing that his clothes come back with him as well. I predicted him to be a Kingdom agent. It makes sense for Kingdom to hire a powerful, cocky, radiant like him. Judging from the cinematic, he could also work for Valorant as well, it's a tossup.
Sage: A former, turned-Radiant scientist with benevolent aspirations, hailing from China. She has ice and healing powers. Not sure how they are related, but OK, Riot. Since she is seen with traditional Chinese temples in her banner cards, and because she dresses in traditional Chinese clothing, we can also assume that Sage also had a monastery background, which leads to her calm demeanor and noble approach to life. The formal, yet inspirational way she talks also suggests that Sage was once a monk. Her powers are pretty cool. From what we see in-game, she has orbs of what seem to be ice, and when they crack, Sage can form different variations from her powers. We know that she can crack orbs to create walls and fields of ice. It’s not impossible to assume that she can perform greater feat. She can also crack orbs to provide, I dunno, life energy/karma/Hamon to heal others. The fact that she can raise people from the dead is not something to pass over, and pretty much no one knows how it works, judging from the interactions between agents. We see that she encases a corpse’s body in ice, restores their life/soul, and the shell cracks open to reveal a fresh, living being. We know that she can still do this after Reyna devours someone’s soul, which implies that Sage could possibly just create life as she chooses. She’ll definitely be suffering a moral quandary when she fully realizes that she is basically playing God, and governments around the world will all want something from her as a result. Sage is currently working for Valorant, as she clearly announced her allegiance in-game.
Reyna: I don’t know much about her, honestly. I know that she is a Radiant from Mexico, most likely in her late twenties, although it could be possible that she is older if her soul slurping powers also come with youth. As you know by now, she has the power to sense and consume the life essence/souls of living beings upon killing them, for benefits such as healing, the ability to become intangible, and invisibility. She is basically a vampire. Her ult Empress suggests that she can enter a blood-lusted, frenzied sort of state that causes her to reload faster and heighten her powers subconsciously. It is quite possible that in-lore, her powers come with the drawback that she needs souls to satiate her, and without them, she would become malnourished. She could also just be addicted to souls. I’m making these assumptions based on the quote where she claims that she is still “hungry” after she aces the enemy team.
Brimstone: A retired U.S Army veteran, he is your typical no-nonsense drill instructor character. It is implied that he is “old”, although that might just be other agents just teasing him about his veteran combat experience. I predict Brim is most likely in his late thirties/forties. Definitely older than the rest of the cast. There is nothing else special about him, he is a normal human who was once a soldier. His abilities in game come via a military orbital satellite and military gadgets. He is the leader of Valorant, and here, we can most likely confirm that Valorant is run by the United Nations, because how is a retired old army dog supposed to have funds to maintain a personal orbital satellite and highly advanced stim beacons by himself? He most likely was convinced by the UN to come out of retirement to protect the world after what happened at Venice, which means he has a noble heart. Or he could have just suggested the protocol himself, I could see him doing that.
Viper: Her real name is Sabine, and most likely is in her late twenties/early thirties. She hails from the United States. Sabine is not a Radiant. She is implied to have been once a normal scientist seeking biochemical remedies for humanity, like Sage. Judging from her voiceline on Bind: “The lies we have told this city, just to pry it open and suck it dry.” Sabine probably worked for Kingdom, as Bind is being stripped down to form radianite plants. I’m not sure what quite happened to her, but I speculate that the corporation she worked for used her research to harm and form weapons instead of helping others, instilling a sense of betrayal within her. Sabine also mentions that her “home was destroyed”, probably by Kingdom, in their quest for Radianite. Now, only Viper remains, and she is out for revenge, with a cold personality, and a reputation of using her research to develop acids, gases, biochemicals and toxins to manipulate her prey. She probably founded Valorant with Brimstone to ensure that her research abuse and personal loss will never happen again. Viper is ruthless, and we know that many like to call her a monster. Her voice lines imply that she has very little regard for collateral damage, and probably tests her chemicals on real humans. She probably commits several crimes every day in secret, which makes one wonder why Brimstone decided to team up with her. Let’s be honest here, though, Viper mains probably would love it if they became her test subjects, if you get what I mean. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Sova: Everyone’s favorite Russian archer hails from, well, Russia; specifically in the harsh tundras, as stated in his bio. He is most likely the same age as Viper. While he is not a Radiant, his marksmanship and hunting skills are probably unmatched, after years and years of practice. He grew up probably using a bow and arrow for most of his life, as he lived in a harsh area, and still uses a bow in game, learning firearms later on. He appears to also have a cybernetic right eye, from his appearance, which helps in his accuracy and probably is how his wallhacks work. He is clearly associated with being Valorant’s premier scout, and was probably recruited by Brimstone himself, seeing that Sova appears to have a deep respect for the old man. Sova’s a respectful guy in general though. He probably got his fancy bow, darts, and the like from Valorant’s funding. But I really want to know how much power his bow uses to fuel Hunter’s Fury. Radianite helps with that, I bet.
Breach: Again, a non-Radiant, hailing from Sweden this time. He has a gangster-like vibe to him, judging from the way he talks, his swagger, and his rash, aggressive belief that no fight should ever be played fair. Maybe he was part of a gang, maybe he was always that badass. Breach probably lost his arms in an accident/combat related incident, so he had them replaced with advanced cybernetic arms. With his new arms, he can do all sorts of wacky things to specifically enemies on the other side of walls, where his enemies think they are safe. Why? Maybe his accident had something to do with walls, I dunno. He can throw breaching explosive charges, breaching flashbangs, and even fucking seismic waves. Breach is really extra for wanting to throw simulated earthquakes during combat. His allegiance is not clear, although I could see him as one of the oddball additions to Valorant, especially if he lost his arms in a Kingdom related incident.
Cypher: Cypher hails from Morocco. He is not a Radiant, but he has cool technology and gadgets to help him spy and gain intel about his enemies. While he is your badass, conniving little hackerman in the shadows, his backstory is actually quite tragic. From what I’ve gathered, Cypher lost his entire family to some Kingdom related incident, and has been on the run ever since, waiting for his opportunity to strike back against the corporation that invaded his home country, while using his hacker skills to survive and gain as much information and dirt on Kingdom as he can. When he is resurrected by Sage, he claims that he “saw them for a moment,” implying that he might have seen his dead family in the after life, which is a heartbreaker. He also has standards. Most notably, he considers using pictures of his enemies' children to blackmail to be way too dark, which means that he refuses to inflict the same sense of loss and pain that he felt on even his enemies. Poor guy. While he might be unaligned for now, I can clearly see him on Valorant, as their goals against corporations like Kingdom are similar, and Valorant does need their intelligence expert.
Omen: Literally, no one knows who this guy is. Many doubt that he is even human. I feel like he is human, and is a really edgy Radiant that is out for hire while having his own secret motivations. If he is a Radiant, then he has shadow magic. He can transverse the shadows to reach places no one expects him to be, which makes him very terrifying as an assassin, as seen with his teleport and his ultimate. He can also throw out shadows of his own creation to blind opponents and obscure vision, which only adds to the terror. His new buffs also suggest that he has access to some sort of Shadow Realm, as he can see into a whole different dimension where distance is trivial. A mix of science and magic for you here. As for his personality, he is mostly just a really edgy Reaper from Overwatch.
Raze: Raze hails from Brazil, and she is not a Radiant. She's probably around Jett's age. I think Raze is young. She could be older than I expected, it’s just that Jett and Raze both exhibit that playful childish immaturity that I associate with those in their late teens. Raze, like Jinx from League of Legends, finds enjoyment in guns, destruction, and vandalism. She makes her own weapons and gear with a little twist of color from spray paint. We know that she built her own grenades, C4 explosives, and rocket launcher, all with a reputation of being incredibly unstable. However, unlike Jinx, I think Raze has a goal for her chaos, and that is to drive corporations like Kingdom out of her home country, like Cypher. And being the energetic rebel that she is, Raze probably would do the job pretty well, and Valorant can recruit her for her passion and creativity. Great, now I want comics or cinematics of Jett and Raze messing around together, with their tired father Brimstone trying to keep them in check.
The Story so Far From what we have seen in the official cinematic story, we are still far away from the current in-game events. Radiants most likely have been around for some time, and the demand/dangers of Radianite are becoming more realized. Valorant most likely has not been formed yet, and Kingdom is still hunting for all the radianite they could get their hands on. Act 1 starts with Phoenix chasing after Jett in Venice, the latter possessing a Spike in her bag. We know that Spikes extract Radianite. If we are assuming the Phoenix is working with Kingdom, then he is trying to stop Jett from reaching a Radianite deposit in Venice, which Kingdom probably wants for themselves. Why would Jett want the Radianite? Maybe she is being paid to do it for someone, or helping a resistance movement fighting against Kingdom to obtain the powerful substance. Maybe she is waging her own personal war against Kingdom. I'll admit, I'm not confident on the allegiances of the two, and it could be the other way around, since someone told me that it might be Sage herself on the comms with Phoenix on mission (the voice is a bit distorted, but I can see her being Sage). If that's the case, then Phoenix and Sage are both part of Valorant, which has already been established recently. They are on an authorized mission to stop Kingdom from planting a Spike in Venice. Jett appears to be a fiercely free-spirited soul that no one's ever heard of until Venice, so I highly doubt that she would work for Kingdom directly. More likely, in this scenario, poor Jett is probably just a devil-may-care "don't ask, don't tell" youngster, looking for small jobs that give her an excuse to stretch out her legs and use her powers. So, anyway, Phoenix chases Jett through the streets of Venice, and the two exchange knives, flames, and gunfire. Eventually, Jett manages to kill Phoenix, and runs off with the Spike. Phoenix had his ultimate up, and was reborn some time later. The cinematic implies that several hours have passed, as the bright sun is now setting when he wakes up. When Phoenix wakes up, he finds out that rifts have torn Venice apart into several sky islands. It is implied that Jett was responsible, but as we know, in-game, Jett mentions that she was not responsible for Venice, which makes us wonder, what really happened? Did Jett mess up when she planted the Spike? Did she even plant the Spike? Was she attacked by a third-party, and something happened in the scuffle? Did she just deliver the package, and someone else blew up Venice? To be continued....
The ‘Tree of Knowledge’ that Ohara is built around is 5000 years old, making it the oldest surviving structure in the One Piece World. When it is raided by the Marines, they ‘found something that isprobablyaPoneglyph’ in the basement of the structure, the basement in which Robin spied using her Devil Fruit Powers, and it is via this that she learned how to read the Poneglyphs. ‘Probably’ a Poneglyph? By now, even the viewer has come to be capable of immediately identifying a Poneglyph by sight, and indeed, even within the open, observatory area of the Tree of Knowledge, we see what DOES look like a Poneglyphencased in the wall, presumably for studying: what could the Marines have found in that basement that allowed the Oharans to ‘decipher the Ancient Texts’? The reason I specifically say ‘decipher the Ancient Texts’ is because Professor Cloverspecifically says to Robin that ’we are thefirst people in Historyto learn how todecipher the Ancient Texts’. Once again, I think this is critically important: Oden was seemingly capable of ‘reading’ the Poneglyphs due to his being able to hear the ‘Voice of All Things’, but perhaps like Ohara, Wano has some sort of ‘Rosetta Stone’ that has allowed them to decipher the ‘Ancient Texts’? When Robins mother, Nico Olvia returns to the island, she says that she was travelling with a research team that was attempting to decipher the Poneglyphs: this is an extraordinarily dangerous task, and all thirty-three of her crewmates were killed for this crime. In fact, when Professor Clover rises to give his speech to the ’Five Elder Stars’ as he calls them, he tells Robin to leave for the evacuation ship, because ’listening to what [he] is about to say is a crime’, and that gives me chillsevery time: One Piece is, above all else, a story about stories, and Ohara is very clearly the ‘Library of Alexandria’ of the One Piece World. Oda, like all good people, detests the destruction of knowledge, especially when it is done ‘in the name ofJustice’, and this extends to the forbidding, hiding, and obfuscation of ‘True History’: the Ohara scholars are so dismayed when the Buster Call begins, that they attempt to throw the books of the Great Libraryinto the lake, to save them, filling it with books in their frenzy, before the island succumbs. When Jaguar. D. Saul is washed ashore, before he even notices Robin, he comments, ‘I wonder if she’s alright’. Soon, via Spandine, we learn that Nico Olvia was captured, but more than just ‘escape’, she was aided by someone on the inside in fleeing Marine captivity. Is Saul the one who helped her? More than that, I posit that perhaps Saul is a part of S.W.O.R.D, and that Oda has had that in the works for a lot longer than we expected. Soon to arrive on the island are Kuzan and Sakazuki, before they became Admirals, although they were both already considered ‘monsters’, as Sakazuki and Borsalino were both considered so before they enlisted together. When Olvia lands, we get the only mention of her husband, when someone refers to her ‘husbands unfinished business’. Now, the Ohara Incident takes place about 20 years ago, and it was slightly before that when the ‘Pirate King’, Gol. D. Roger was executed, and it has been a long-time theory that perhaps Olvia was his wife: since then, we have learned that Roger had Ace via Portgas. D. Rouge, and it seems unlikely to me that Roger would have had two women with which he had children. We know that her husband is dead, and died six yearsbefore the Ohara Incident, so it may yet be possible to put those pieces together. What I continue to get odd feelings about is Kuzan: Sengoku was the one to give Spandine the permission to initiate a ‘Buster Call’ on Ohara, and that strikes me as odd. Was it simply a time before Sengoku was as grey and empathetic as he now is, or could it perhaps simply be that even though he already was, he knew of the ‘True History’, and as such, even he believed that it would be better for Ohara to be wiped from the map than for the ‘Ancient Weapons’ to be revived. Kuzan, ‘coincidentally’, permits Robin surviving the incident, and although he is a good friend to Saul, he is still forced to kill the Giant, even as he helps Robin flee Ohara (cough Newgate, Marineford cough). What further strikes me as ’coincidental’ about all this, is when he breaks the Marine rules to visit the Strawhats on their way to Water-7, and where he ‘decides’ tokillLuffy and his crewrather than let that ’dangerous’ woman go free. Luffy, of course, tricksKuzan, by challenging him to a duel, so that when Kuzan defeats Luffy by freezing him, their conflict is essentially ‘over’. I’ve always had a lot of respect for Kuzan for honouring this ‘deal’, when I know that Sakazuki, for instance, would absolutely annihilate the Strawhats afterward. In re-watching this scene, however, I truly don’t believe that Kuzan was ever ‘trying’ tokill Robin: he freezes her solid, before literally telling the Strawhats the only safe way to keep her alive, namely, by slowly heating her up until she thaws out. “Unless”, he says, “I do this”, at which point he moves to ’smash’ Robin, but Luffy grabs her in time: it is at this point that he challenges Kuzan alone. I truly have come to believe that instead of trying to kill Robin then and there, he is instead testing the ‘Will’, the resolve of her Nakama that she has finally found, and comes to see she truly has found a crew who understands the meaning of ‘friendship’. Why, like Sengoku before him, does he then give Spandam a golden den-den-mushi, allowing him to summon a Buster Call, and then tellhimand CP9that theStrawhats are on their way to Water-7? This, again, seems absolutely unlike Kuzan, although it could be argued that once again, as he knew the potential destruction she could initiate as one who could read the Poneglyphs, he simply left it ’up to fate’, knowing that if Robin was meant to live, then the Nakama that she had come to love and rely on would be able to handle it. In the end, it turns out that they do, when they rescue Robin from the very ’Gates of Hell’ themselves. Kuzan has gone on to, after leaving the Marines, join the Blackbeard Crew, which at this point is something I think we all seriously doubt he did without a hidden, second motive. I believe, also, that Kuzan is likely a part of S.W.O.R.D, and that if he is not its creator, then Sengoku very well might be. Swaying both Garp and Kuzan to see ’History’ from the ’True’ side, they both came to a different conclusion than Rayleigh did, in that they all remained in the Marines, and fought for the ‘good’ side from withinthe circumstances that they had found themselves.
THE ‘CELESTIAL DRAGONS’ – THE ‘SPOILED BRAT’ DESCENDANTS OF GOD
Now, Im had allowed his five closest allies to become the Five Elder Stars, the visible, named faces that the World Government, and thus the Marines would report to. Although the ’Five Elders’ have absolute command over everything the Marines might do, there exist the ’Celestial Dragons’, the plethora of ’World Nobles’ that also seem able to give any command, and break any Law that they so desire within the World Government. These Celestial Dragons, are the many, insolent, rude, inhumane, hated, and inbredoffspring of ‘God’ himself: Im, along with the twenty Kings that originally formed his World Government, and the Five Elders who came to rule it for so long beside him, of course had children of their own: these children were the ’children of God’, as they were descended from Im, ’God’, the Man who came from the Stars. As such, they consider themselves not even Human, and do not even deign to breathe the same air as ‘commonfolk’. Instead, they wear what look like bizarre space suits, but are they really so bizarre? I think they are simply the twisted, misremembered remnants of the literal space-suits worn by Im, and others of his kind, when they came down to ‘Earth’. Although they are not needed to survive, like they were in the inter-planetary journey, they are basically seen as such, in that the disgusting Celestial Dragons behave as if breathing the ‘same air’ as ‘commoners’ is putrid, with Mjosgard himself hating the detestable ‘stench’ of the Fishmen when his own suit is first compromised. As well as this, they are born into absolute royalty: they see the entire World as their own ‘possession’, and thus consider themselves free to enslave any single being that they see, and desire. If someone even touches one of these ‘Dragons’, then a Marine Admiral is sent along with battleships to absolutely annihilate anyone stupid enough to have done so.
THE ‘GATES OF JUSTICE’ (HELL) – THE TARAI CURRENT, A PORTAL TO ‘HELL’?
Another of the massive mysteries that most people seem no longer to attempt to explain or include in theory-crafting, are the absolutely monolithic ‘Gates of Justice’ that exist adjacent to Enies Lobby, Impel Down, and Navy Headquarters, the old location of Marineford. The Gates of Justice are titanic, absolutely dwarfing the facilities which they border, and seem to be made of solid steel. What possible hinges could these doors reside on, and how do they open and close? They are clearly far too large for any Human to open, and even someone like Kaido might have to actually exert a lot of effort to open these huge things. The three ‘Gates’ are all adjacent to the ‘Tarai Current’: a massive whirlpool that continuously surges within the boundaries of the Gates. The Marines need not care for any Pirates who make their way into this current, because they will simply be unable to leave, as the Marines will simply refuse to open the Gates, thus leaving the Pirates no way of exiting. It is via this current that the Marines are able to travel so quickly between these three locations, as indeed, the Buster Call on Enies Lobby arrives extremely timely after it has been ‘called’. Gloriosa states that to travel from Amazon Lily to Impel Down would take 7 dayswithout the current, and 4 dayswithinit. As such, it seems that one can travel three days worth of distance in half an hour from within the Tarai Current. I posit that this is how Shanks got to Marineford so fast: he simply used the current that no other pirate should be able to use. Whether this is due to his sheer strength, some technique, the specifics of the functioning of their ship, or due to his relationship to the World Government, are all still arguable. However, I will come to posit that Shanksisnota ‘Celestial Dragon’, but instead is the one and only friend to ‘Im’. As well as this, I truly believe that Shanks is insanely strong: he was perhaps able to deter Kaido from attackingNewgate before Marineford, purely through merit of strength alone. Elsewise, he is simply strong enough that this was a fight that Kaido was not interested in. That aside, I think that the Tarai Currentmay be some sort of massive quarry, where the World Government has either mined in search of, or is actually mining a massive ‘Pyrobloin’ deposit itself. This gigantic hole in the Sea/Earth, combined with the tumultuous and unpredictable way that the Sea is interacting with the exposed, reactive Pyrobloin, is what causes the continuous ’whirlpool’-like current that continuously runs around it. This is why the ’Gates of Justice’ exist in the first place, because along with Enies Lobby, the ‘origin of Justice’ and the original birthplace of the ‘Sunlight Tree Eve’, this is one of the best kept and most important‘secrets’ of theWorld Government. Wano is their source of Seastone, but perhaps that is due to the smithing and craftsman nature of the enslaved, isolated peoples there: perhaps Wano is not the only source of Pyrobloin, but is instead simply an additional ‘secret’ that they have had to fight to keep for centuries, until they could meld and smith itthemselves. This, in essence, makes the ’Gates ofJustice’ the ’Gates ofHell’, and Luffy is the first Pirate to ever step as close into Enies Lobby as he does, and these very Hell Gates as he does, and he does so in order to wrench Robin from the World Governments hands, mere moments before she would have been impossible to ever save again. Amazing, then, that this Monkey is in fact the first person to break INTOImpel Down, after Shiki was the first to break out: he is the Dante of the World. Back to how these massive ‘Gates’ open, I believe that the World Government has enslaved ‘Sky Kings’ in the Tarai Current, perhaps even the old, giant ’continent-puller’ Oni themselves, and perhaps the oldest and largest of these are ‘Sky Kings’ in a way. Of course, by this point, the speculation and arbitrarily created definitions might seem to be redundant, and somewhat shaky, but I am simply throwing the thousands of darts that this theory creates at the monolithic story that is ‘One Piece’: perhaps ’Sky Kings’ or ‘Oni’ are the ones that pull these giant ‘Gates’ open on their hinges, for we see no visible way that they should even becapableof‘opening’.
GOL. D. ROGER – THE ‘FALSE D’
’InheritedWill, the Tide of theTimes, theDreamsof thePeople; as long as people continue to pursue themeaning of Freedom, these things willnever cease to be!’ ’Mytreasure? You canhave it all, but you’ll have to search thewhole worldto find it, I left it all inthat place…One Piece.’ Gol. D. Roger. The man who found, and left, the One Piece. When ’he laughed.’, however, I believe it was because he realized he couldn’t. You see, Roger learned of the ‘True History’, when hefound ’Laugh Tale’. What was there, was the ’truth’, that had been attempted to be erased, destroyed, burned, removed, and killed for so many centuries, but was as all things are: maybe you’ll come to a different conclusion than me? He learned that Joy ‘Dream’ Boy had wanted to be the freest man in the world, just as he had, and that his ‘Dream’ had been strong enough, and pure enough, to produce the Will of the ‘D’, and that everyone who possessed the ‘D’ were the ’Enemies of God’, in that they were stamped as the inheritors of the Man who proclaimed himself ‘God’: Im-sama. He learned that he was too early, that ’Poseidon’ and ’Uranus’ were not Ancient Weapons, they were not even weapons at all: they were his old friends, that travelled with him on this funny, travelling tale, and that he would simply be 20 years too early to even meet one of them, or to fulfill the ‘Will of the D’ that he had inherited. Well, that was just fine: Roger had already got what he wanted! BAHAHAHAHAHA!! So they toasted, and disbanded, with Roger satisfied with achieving his Dream, and being stamped the ‘Pirate King’, ‘Gold Roger’ by the World Government: WHAT A JOKE! Bahahaha, how Im is so petty, attempting to label Roger a mere ‘Pirate’ as if it were an insult, and to think that he could hide the nature of the ‘Will of the D’ in such a way: the next, true ‘D’ that would come along, would not need to know a word of it. So, what was it that Roger told Oden that left him speechless, and sent Newgate into gouts of laughter? ’I’m going toturn myself into theWorld Government, and when theykill me, start a new,Great Pirate Age!!!’ Thus, with his death, Roger ensured that Imbelieved thathe had ‘won’, and that the centuries long ‘wait’ that he had endured to face hisStraw-Hat wearing rival was over. However, before disbanding his crew, Roger talked to a weeping, non-understanding Shanks, who asked him many questions, and received many answers. I believe that Roger left his ‘Will’ to Shanks, or rather that Shanks ’inherited his Will’ of now finding the true ‘D’ to come. Shanks, growing stronger by the year as Rogers Will continued to grow inside him, eventually found Luffy, ’betting his arm on the new age’ as he says to Newgate, and leaving the Straw Hat to Luffy, telling him to only return it once he has ‘become a great Pirate’. By Enies Lobby, one could rightfully ask Why didn’t Im just kill Luffy, then, if he believed he might be the ‘real’ ‘true D’? Well, by Marineford, Luffy is barely making it out alive, after witnessing Akainu kill his brother and send him into shock, while none other than Marshall. D. Teach shows up to kill Whitebeard and steal his fruit. Which of these, to Im, looks like themore likely candidatefor the ’true D’ that he should bewary of? Teach soars through the Schichibukai rank, barely having it long enough before becoming a ‘Yonko’, and thus, at the Reverie, it is both LuffiesandTeaches wanted posters that he holds, and then slashes up.
ENEL - THE NEXT GOD
Thus, Enel was born. Surviving on his home Sky-Island of Birka, Enel learned all about the 'True History', and he did not take it well: he stole the Lightning-Lightning Fruit, one of the most powerfulFruit in existence, perhaps being kept safe for the 'coming D', and destroyed Birka completely. He took his advanced knowledge of mechanical engineering and electricity, and perhaps he had the very plans for Pluton itself, or at least the first 'Ark' that had come to Earth, and fled toSkypiea. Here, he enslaved the populace, and forced them to make his 'Ark Maxim', knowing above all else that he truly is 'God'. He leaves our world for the 'Fairy Earth', the home which he knows the Angels, Devils, and Humans of old used to inhabit many millennia ago. When he gets there, he finds the long abandoned City beneath the craters on the Moon, and utilising his completely intentional choice of Devil Fruit, he re-awakens the City, using it to build a legion of automaton, his army once again strong.
Enel. Will. Return.
The cycle, will, continue
THE ‘WANO WAR’ – THE RETURN OF XEBEC
Now, my ‘predictions’ for Wano. Whoo boy. Sakazuki tells Fujitora of a potential alliance between Kaido and Linlin, to which Fujitora breathlessly responds that its ‘like the return of Rocks’. Does he mean the crew, or Rocks. D. Xebec himself? Borsalino moves to head to Wano, but Sakazuki stops him, saying they need a better understandingof Wano’smilitary capabilitybefore making a move. Kaido specifically chose Wano because, like with the Artificial Devil Fruit, he knows a secret that the World Government is desperate to keep: the source of the Seastone. ’Chance’, or perhaps ’Fate’ brought Linlin there while the Strawhats and their company moved through their plan, and they allied with each-other, knowing that with their combined power (a powerlargely borrowedfromXebec), they could be the King and Queen of the World. Of course, people don’t change, and they both plan to screw over the other by the time the plan is completed. The adventure of Momotaro, the story that Momonosuke seems to be highly ‘based on’, involves Momo heading to the island of Onigashima, in order to slay an Oni, and along the way he has the help of three creatures: a Pheasant, a Dog, and a Monkey. Law, Kidd, and Luffy fit these quite well, and are aiding him on his journey. However, I propose that not only is the parallel twofold, but that it is quite literally telling us who is going to show up at Wano. Kuzan, Sakazuki, and Borsalino will all come: Sakazuki and Borsalino will come after being ordered to by the Five Elders, something even Sakazuki will not ignore, in order to ensure that their ’assets and interests’ are not interfered with by the meddling of Pirates. Lucci will also be there, as CP0 has already been shown to be heavily involved in the ensuring of Wano’s co-operation, with Orochi being shown to be more than willing to even trade with them, in order to receive more Marne battleships. Remember what happened when Teach tried that with Sakazuki? I mean, Lucci was effectively sold to the government by the very same ‘Sheeps House’ that Linlin ended up at. Teach, of course, will himself show up, as a gathering of that much power, and thus, powerful Devil Fruits, will be something he cannot ignore. Alongside him, thus, will be Kuzan, under the apparent role of a Blackbeard Pirate crewmate, but whom is really there not to serve the interests of Marine or Pirate, but S.W.O.R.D, the closest thing to in-between we’ve seen so far. At some point, I believe that Shiki might very well even show up: he failed in his attempt to side with Roger, and since, has been laying in wait for a few decades. He isn’t likely to be the ’lurking legend’ we are waiting for, as he is said to be introduced in Wano, and will be the toughest thing standing in the Strawhats way to date. Shiki, Kaido, and Linlin, will ALL lose their ‘Haki’ taken from Xebec, perhaps when Linlin attempts to yank it out of them, stealing it for herself, and forcibly taking the ‘life debt’ that Kaido owes her. At this point, the critical moment of Xebec’s master plan, so long in the making, will come to fruition: Teach will attempt to ’attract’ all of this ’Soul’, this massive amount of raw Haki power, and when he absorbs all of this, he will no longer be able to resist Xebec’s Will: taking over Teach’s body, with it breaking and twisting to more accurately form its new Masters Will, Xebec will have returned.
THE NATURE OF ‘IM’ – WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN HIM
Now, I will conclude this series, for better or for worse, by positing the biggest and boldest ‘theory’ that this post arguably contains, and many of you, I imagine, will hate it. Dracule Mihawk, isIm. If you’ve made it this far, not only do I once again immensely congratulate you on reading a short novel, but I also honestly ask how the bloody hell have you tolerated me for so long??? By this point, the claim that Mihawk is Im will probably not even surprise you, as long ago did I cross the boundary where a reasonable person would absolutely dismiss me as a raving lunatic: however, if you have made it this far, then it means you’ve either felt that thrill of excitement that comes from reading such fantastical theory-crafting, you’ve seen the ‘dots’ I’ve attempted to ‘connect’ and actually think there ’might be something’ to all of this raving, or you’re just plain interested to see how deep my madness goes. Nevertheless, whichever it may be, I shall attempt to ‘explain’ why I think that Mihawk being Im might not only be the case, but why it makes sense within the ‘themes’ of the One Piece story, and why it might even make ’sense’ within the facts and events that we’ve seen within that story. Donquixote Doflamingo informs us in Dressrosa, that the power of the secret technique of the Ope-Ope no Mi, combined with the national treasure of Mary Geoise, will allow one to rule the World. With the perpetual youth surgery already performed on Im, he would prepare himself as best he could for the return of his rival: with Jewlrey’spower, he would be de-aged until he was but a young child. As we’ve seen, the people that are affected by her power retain all of their faculties, instincts, knowledge, and for the large part, their capabilities. Although he would appear as a young boy, Im would still have the absolutely dominatable Hakistrength that he had previously. Shortly before Rogers time, Im had decided to do this once again, a sort of 8-century ‘sneak attack’. This time, he would use a single means of combat, utilizing his entire strength into a single discipline, in order to strengthen and master that discipline to its highest potential: swordsmanship. I’ve already informed you how ‘Im’ could, when written with certain characters, be translated as ‘Buddha’, and this is because above all, Im considers himself ‘God’, ‘Kami’. The opposite of ’Im’, therefore, would be ‘Mi’, or ’Me’: Im would take this name ’Me’ largely for his own amusement, as well as to ‘walk amongst theHumans’ as simply ‘me’. Over time, he incredibly quickly earned a name for himself, rapidly becoming the ’Worlds Strongest Swordsman’, and over time, his name changed. First he earned the nickname ‘Hawk’, for his incredibly unique and piercing eyes: these eyes are yellow in the anime, but they are RED in the manga, the same colour and appearance of Im-sama’s eyes. Due to these eyes, he came to be known as ’Hawk-Eyes’, and ’Me-Hawk’ was eventually simply appropriated to ‘Mihawk’. Finally, the Strongest Swordsman in the World was known as Hawk-Eyes Mihawk. Now, what about ’Dracule’? Well, if we look at the most basic assumption we can make from that name, it appears to be referring to Dracula, who was the strongest vampire amongst vampires. He had many powers, which he is believed to have gained through deals with the Devil, and has amassed ’cunning and wisdom’through the Centuries, leaving him ’unable to die by the mere passing of time’. He has superhuman strength, speed, and agility, as well as the ability to shapeshift, and of course, his telepathic and hypnotic control over his underlings, and anyone else that he should choose to afflict. He can, within limitations, also teleport at will, and travel rapidly in this way to places he can envision in his mind. It is because of all of the above that I believe ‘Mihawk’ chose the name ‘Dracule’: he has been the immortal, Ancient, powerful ‘shadow King’ that sits upon the Empty Throne, ruling the World from the shadows, using obfuscation, destruction of knowledge, and the forbidding of the learning of History in order to maintain his influence, and control, and Justice, over the entire Globe: but there was one thing that, with all of his power and capabilities, he still could not achieve, and that, was the reading of the Poneglyphs. At Rogers execution, ’Mihawk’ thought that he had won. Over time, he befriended the ex-crewmate of Roger, Shanks, and dueled with him repeatedly, probably pushing Shanks strength even further, and Shanks was, in this way, the only ‘real’ friendthatImhad thepleasure of knowingin almosteight Centuries. He even brings Luffies wanted poster to his old friend, whom he refuses to duel anymore, as there is ‘no point’ in fighting a ‘cripple’. He encounters them at the Baratie, although Luffy is coincidentallynot wearing his ‘Straw Hat’ at the time, and recognizes the fierce spirit in Zoro, a swordsman’s honour that he has ‘not seen in a long time’, which is a BIG compliment. Why does he ‘help’ Luffy? Well, because his nemesis is already defeated, so as he says to Don Krieg, he is simply ’killing time’ at this point. By Enies Lobby, as I’ve said, he is starting to get annoyed: this ’Straw Hat’ is doing things that no Pirate has done before, and perhaps he was wrong about the ’D’ that was Roger…but, alas, by Marineford, Luffy is crippled and in need of rescue, while Marshall. D. Teach is killing Newgate, and becoming the ’first’ person in History to have more than one Devil Fruit power. If ANYONE should be cause for concern, it seems Teach is the one. Come Sabaody, and Bartholomew Kuma sends Zoro to none other than ’Mihawk’sabode, a lonely island which is a complete metaphor for life, and the stories in stories: the Humandrills there learned to use weapons from watching Men, and wiped out the Kingdom living there, and later Mihawk resides in the castle alone. Was it ’chance’, or perhaps an experiment in increased intelligence, for the sole purpose of providing Im an isolated, protected, and Kingly reside…either way, Mihawk and Perona eventually start to till the land, and the Humandrills again learn to live peacefully. In fact, when Zoro asks Mihawk to train him, it is one of the only times we ever see Mihawk laugh, and I think it is because he is bemused by the ’huge coincidence’ that would once again place Zoro in front of him, his own rival, to be trained by him. Of course, he accepts: he knows there is norealchance for Zoro to ever beat him. At Marineford, everyone is shocked that Mihawk even shows up: we’ve already learned from Doffy and Sengoku that it is rare for Mihawk to show up to even the Schichibukai meetings. At this point, you might even ask why the Schichibukaiexist at all: using pirates against pirates makes a lot of sense, especially with the Yonko already stomping about, and it is a perfect way for ‘Mihawk’ to not be pursued by his own Marine force. When Mihawk leaps atop a barrier, Doffy asks him, ‘Oh? Are you actually going to fight?’, but Mihawk replies that he merely ‘wants to test the level of difference, between that man and us’, he wants to see with his very own Hawk-Eyes what Newgateis capable of, before the man is done in. He is not weaker than Newgate: he is stronger. He uses an unnamed attack, a flying slash towards Newgate, and Newgate displays his power by trusting his children to protect him, and Jozu, with immense effort, deflects the attack, which slices through the frozen tidal wave adjacent to them, earning the shock of many onlookers. Jozu has, with the Diamond-Diamond Fruit, a specifically defencerelated Devil Power, and still only manages to deflect the attack. When Mihawk then decides to pursue Luffy, he apologises to ‘red hair’, saying that he will not hold back. He watches Luffy advance from ages away, his Observation Haki on another level, and moves to slash his arms: in this moment, Luffyuses‘future-sight’, stating that if he’d attacked, he would have lost his arms. Vista, a swordsman worthy of being a Yonko commander, moves to block Mihawk, and as Im, he cannot simplyone-shotVista without attracting the immenseattention and scrutiny of those around him. What does Luffy do? He has Jimbe throw him in front of the three admirals, that fantastic moment we all love, and from here on out, there is no good moment for Mihawk to move in on Luffy, and as the fight progresses, more and more he doesn’t even see Luffy as a real threat. By the time Shanks shows up, ‘Mihawk’ decides to leave, saying that fighting Red-Hair was ‘not part of the arrangement’, or something to that effect: it is not that he is scared of Shanks, he simply doesn’t want to fight him. With that, the War is over. Shanks was able to visit the Five Elders without being immediately targeted both because he is strong and skilled enough to do so, and also because he is somewhat protected from them, as they know that he isIm’s friend, and to kill him would be to attract the ire and wrath of the World King himself. By the time that Xebec returns at the end of the Wano War, I think that Im will be even more sure that Luffy is not the ‘true D’ that he need fear, but that Teach, or rather nowRocks. D. Xebec, is, and was, the one he need fear: the ’lurking legend’ hadreturned, and the race for the One Piece, was now on. ===-===
===-=== In summation, Luffy will win. Not because he is part of a ‘prophecy’ or a War many hundreds of years in the making, he doesn’t even know that he’s a part of it, and that is why he is the only one who can find ‘One Piece’. Because, you see, although I do believe that there will be a physical treasure of some kind, that is not the ’One Piece’ Roger spoke of: when Luffy has overcome the World Government, when he has saved Kingdom after Kingdom, has opened the borders of Wano, re-united the Minks, and the Fishmen, with the surface-World that they can now call home, when he has united every race, creed, Kingdom and peoples, he will have found, One Peace I really, really hope, god forbid that you actually just read the entire word vomit above, that you enjoyed your time reading it, whether you think any of it could even be right, or whether it’s a huge load of stinky poop! I had a lot of fun writing this, and this theory has been weeks in the making, festering in the back of my mind uncontrollably until every facet of the story was being twisted and tested to see if it fits. Again, literally all of this could be wrong, and I would not mind, as I had the time of my life writing it, and I am immensely blessed and grateful for even a single person having read and enjoyed this. If you didn’t, leave a comment saying why, or don’t bother, and simply downvote, because as I have said before, if I am right, then I will feel immensely bad for even having ‘ruined’ the experience for a single person. I am so comforted by the 99% certainty that I have not ‘figured it out’, and again, I don’t even believe that’spossible, as the fantastic, wonderful, and beautiful story that Oda has penned is so immense and gargantuan in its scope, that I think it is possible to theorize many different explanations for ‘all the answers’, without any of them being ‘right’. Looking forward to seeing where that Bodhisattva takes the rest of this story, it truly is, the greatest story ever told Love, peace, happiness, and have a great day, and stay safe, dannydankwood <3
South American Wishlist: A very long post on my hopes for post release Cultures from Pre-Columbian South America
(Long post alert) Yello. I think it's uncontroversial to say that so far, humankind's representation of Pre-Columbian cultures is just fine, apart from the fact that it's unexistant outside of Mesoamerica, luckily, this problem will probably be one of the first addressed by DLC, but for now, as someone from two Latin American countries, I think I'm somewhat qualified to give some opinions/recommendations about what could be added later (or at launch in some cases), or at least what I think could/should be added Note 1: I'm not indigenous, I don't speak any indigenous language and I'm not an expert on indigenous subjects, I'm using knowledge from wikipedia, school, and my knowledgeable dad Note 2: I won't be addressing First Nations representation, someone that actually knows anything of note about them could do a much better job than a total rando Note 3: I don't wanna come off as negative, I'm really hyped for the game (which you can probably notice by my 3 posts yesterday), I just wanna give les gars chez amplitude (and the fans) some ideas Introduction When I learned about Humankind I was really excited about being able to play as precolumbian civs, in a lot of other games, the only thing we ever get is the aztecs, and maybe the inca and maya if the devs are feeling generous, maybe even a first nations culture if they're feeling extra representative, of course, this isn't bad representation by any means, the problem is how cliché it has become to include the aztec and inca in particular, specially compared to Europe over there getting like 4 or 5 times the civs compared to other places (including South America). Following this you can probably see that I was kinda disappointed when there wasn't anything precolumbian outside of central america, the cultures they chose are actually great (albeit very expected) and they nailed their traits and special abilities (apart from maybe not giving the aztecs the little rafty farms), the problem comes from the lack of anything else, the fact that the *NEW WORLD* has only three peeps is a weird design decision, specially considering how many gamers there are in Latin America, now I'm expecting to see at least Mexico and Brazil later down the line, maybe even Argentina and Colombia as well, which is swell, but if the players are anything like me they'll be kinda sad to not be able to be american apart from the mesoamericans. Now, considering that the Andes are the sixth cradle of civilization, I'll mostly be focusing around them, mostly because A. there were a lot more kingdoms/empires here than anywhere else on the continent, B. we know a lot more about those people that lived there, C. I live in the Andes so I was taught about these guys at school and D. there are actually still indigenous people here, making studying them a lot easier than say, Uruguay. Also I'm only going to be talking about deconfirmed (for now) cultures, from the ancient, classical and medieval eras, because there could easily be some indigenous boys waiting for us in early modern, and I find it more interesting personally to talk about something less possible Ok, let's get into the meat of this, who are the dudes that we (and by we I mean I) want in the videogame. Here's my narrowed down list of options
(I'm also expecting either the Mapuche or Guaraní for early modern, so I'm excluding them from this list) First up you'll probably see that all of these cultures are andean, I'm not kidding with the sixth cradle thing, it's like if you took the avengers, but instead of Thor you picked War Machine, and Iron Patriot, and a lot of other dudes whose names I don't know because I'm not a marvel fan (looking at you MENA), all of these cultures were important and left their mark on future andean societies, plus I think they could all be relatively unique and different. You might be asking yourself, why is the Andes so prosperous? The answers are simple, a. the mountains give freshwater, b. relative isolation, c. the only domesticated animals in the Americas (llamas and alpacas), d. good food, that's a recipe for cvivilization right there. (I've excluded a couple of cultures, mainly Chavín, Chimu, Moche, Nazca and Moxos, these in particular could still very easily be added) A big thing that makes this weird is the time frame, the american continent uses a different method to mark the different periods of its history, there was no bronze, or copper, or medieval, or renaissance ages here, we use a system divided into pre-ceramic and ceramic halves, the latter being subdivided into formative, intermediate and horizon eras. I'll try to go off this model and the time frame set by the mesoamerican cultures, so if it's a bit sloppy then I'm sorry (mind you that's still hard, because the mayas have existed for a veeeeeery long time, so being honest idk), taking into account that the ingame the "early modern" era has the dutch and the "medieval" has the aztecs, I'm choosing to interpret "early modern" as colonial in America, I'm classifying these cultures in this order. Ancient: Norte Chico Classical: Wari, Tiwanaku Medieval: Inca, Muisca I know it doesn't line up the best with the rest of the world, here specifically I'd really like some criticism from people who know about this stuff about not only the eras but the cultures chosen, thank you in advance. The Cultures
Caral, built around 3500 BCE, home of the oldest known civilization in the Americas, possibly even the most densely populated area in the world at that time, rivaling northern China, all of this according to Wikipedia of course. It's honestly surprising that Norte Chico isn't already in the game, it beat out the olmecs by 2000 years yet they beat out our dear Little North to Humankind, oh well, we can still dream right? Some info on them, they relied a lot on fish and other seafood because they lived next to the ocean, had a distinctive lack of visual art and pottery, liked to build mounds, probably had a theocratic society (the first signs of the staff god, a famous religious motif are found here) and engaged in what is known as "ecological steps" trading, where a tribe from the shore, would trade for goods from the mountains, and those mountain folks would trade with guys from the jungle for their stuff, creating a chain of trade where people could acquire food and valuable items from completely different biomes, this continued until the conquest by the spanish and portuguese, this was essential for life in the Andes, and most big andean cultures used this strategy, including all of the ones I've chosen for humankind (except maybe the Muisca I'm not sure), a lot of interaction between different andean peoples was caused by this. EDIT: u/pachakamaq01 showed me some sources showing that the Norte Chico did indeed have some sort of visual art, in this html article right here Mechanically I'd say their best bet is Builder for their focus, but it could be all other ones but militarist and expansionist, it's pretty hard to place such a different society to that which we're used to into this honestly, for their emblematic quarter, it will be a **mound** for sure, their emblematic unit on the other hand is hard to choose, mostly because we have found no real proof of violence related to the Norte Chico, it'd probably be something like with the olmecs, where it's a big, important predecessor weapon to posterior cultures, so it'd probably be a slinger in this case. Before we close this out, can we talk about how badass these guys were? They made seats out of whale vertebra and flutes out of pelican bones, they originated the famous quipu (or at least a prototype) a system of knots and cords that can be thought of as an alternative to writing, used to store information coded in the length, color and placement of the knots (they're really interesting I'd recommend you reading up on them), and did all of this without using pottery?! like damn these guys were metal as hell.
I'm a bit biased here, but can you blame me? The archaological site of Tiwanaku is 2 hours away from where I live, and I've visited it a couple of times, it's a pretty nice place (and there's llamas walking around over there), if my memory serves me, the site was a place where many people from different cultures all came together, in a sort of pilgrimage, that was where Tiwanaku's power came from, as we haven't really found evidence of weapons there, the "empire" of Tiwanaku had territories from southern Peru, to western Bolivia and northern Chile, and had political power far from it's center near lake Titicaca. These guys made amazing architecture, their stonework is honestly jawdroping, the (probably) most famous structure from the main site is the "Gate of the Sun" featuring our good old friend the staff god, there were also a number of monoliths (or stelas), probably of previous rulers, that curiously represent certain crab motifs, showing us the effect of "ecological steps" trading. A large temple called Pumapunku (quechua and aymara for "Puma door" or "Door of the Puma"), that sadly is kind of in ruins and the sunken platform kalasasaya, where the alien guys from history channel went once to argue that some of the heads in the structure represented martians. The tiwanakotas (demonym of someone from Tiwanaku) even exported high quality stone from quarries kilometers away for their buildings, their building style incorporated big grafts of stone and bronze in the shape of the letter H, that could lock together in order to mantain the integrity of the structures where they were used. In game they'd probably be either aesthetes or builders, I'm leaning more towards the former myself but they could really be either, their emblematic quarter could be a monolith (the unique structures should be reserved for wonders in my opinion) and once again we are at a crossroads for an emblematic unit, but it'd probably be some sort of monk or other religious figure. Of course I didn't pick them just because of my personal circumstance, but because I could easily see them being DLC along with Wari in particular, their relationship was compared to that of the US and USSR in the cold war, so I feel like they could be compelling choices for new cultures if they came together, speaking of Wari...
Wari, also called Huari, were a culture and empire that ruled in western and southern Peru, just north of Tiwanaku, these two together were part of the middle horizon historical era, their dominance can be attributed to the spread of knowledge of agriculture and communication, most notably some of the first definite usage of terrace farms, quipu and the mit'a system where instead of currency there would be a system of reciprocity, where if you helped your neighbor shear her alpacas, she would help you harvest your corn when it's due for example (oh and taxes would be handled this way too), all of these would later be adopted by the famous Incan empire. Peru in particular has a lot of choices for cultures, I chose Wari mainly because of their heritage from cultures like the Moche, Lima, Nazca, and ironically Tiwanaku, their rivalry with the latter, and their successors, like the Chimor and the kingdom of Cuzco, who would later become our friends the Incas. You can correct me if I'm wrong, since I'm neither peruvian nor an expert on peruvian history, but I feel as if the Wari could be a good representative for pre-Incan Peru in general, kind of like how the Teutons represent the HRE and medieval Germany as a whole. The Wari themselves were famous because of their textiles, that featured highly abstract representations of things such as good ol' Staff God, they also were great at metallurgy, utilizing metals such as gold and silver. In the last millennia or two since Norte Chico the andean cultures learned how to do pottery, and they were absolute masters of it, ceramics being some of the most common objects left behind by these mysterious people, being used to make pots, vessels and containers for chicha (corn beer), the latter specifically being smashed after their contents have been drunk as part of a ritual. I would like to mention Moche ceramics in particular, one time I had the pleasure of going to a museum in Lima, and there was a temporary exhibit showing their ceramics and other art forms, and my god they were horny, very very horny, a lot of jerking off and things like that. Moving on, their focus could be agrarian, my reasoning is that they would have the terrace farms as emblematic quarter, the Incas could have them as well, but when we get to them shortly I'll explain why I'm giving them something else, plus originating the technology is a pretty good case for having it in the game, contrary to our previous two cultures these guys have proof of combat, there isn't much info on it on the web, but I could find that they used clubs and slings, both of those would work well. Now for the moment you've all been waiting for...
Do these guys need an introduction? yeah probably, the Inca empire was the largest empire in Pre-Columbian America, their contributions include steamrolling all other cultures in the Andes, and being the final users of many of the Andean technologies and techniques I cited before, seriously, these guys were beasts, they controlled territory in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, and they did all of this without the wheel, draft animals or western writing, very deserving of a spot if you ask me. Some more info on these guys, the "inca" people still exist! they're called the quechua (inca means king or ruler in quechua), I even know some of them, such as my grandparents' maid/housekeeper, and their language is still alive too, thanks to efforts by the Peruvian, Bolivian and Chilean governments. The Inca empire was divided into 4 "suyus": Chinchaysuyu to the north being the most populous "suyu" where a lot of empires were conquered and reaching up to southern Colombia, Antisuyu to the east lying in the high Andes, Kuntisuyu to the west being located mainly in the southern peruvian coast and finally Qullasuyu, named after the aymara speaking Qulla people and the largest "suyu" by area, encompassing the Bolivian altiplano down to the southern Andes of Argentina and Chile, the whole Incan empire being known as Twantinsuyu. The Inca believed in a pretty well known mythology, including Viracocha, the old man upstairs, Pachamama, literally "Mother Earth" and Inti, our favorite sun god, the Inca being the "son of the sun" and an absolute monarch. They were pretty good builders too, with that whole Inca Road System and Machu Pichu and whatnot. They also carried on the traditions of textiles and ceramics. They could record information, including calculations in Quipu and solve them using Yupanas (basically abacuses) (abaci?)), they were also good at skull surgery and chewed a lot of coca, this plant was revered as sacred and was used in many religious and medical ways (and still is). And they even had two calandars, one for the sun and one for the moon. But now we'll really look at the main part I wanna focus on for the Inca, their army The incan army was their main asset, you ain't getting the biggest empire in the continent without some blood, sweat and tears, even though not all of their territory was gained by conquest, a lot of it was. Their equipment consisted of javelins, slings, bolas, maces, spears, bows, axes and their most common weapon, the macana, a blunt weapon made of stone or obsidian (EDIT: u/Affectionate_Phase98 helped me correct this mistake, they didn't actually make obsidian weapons) in the shape of a star to maximize force when attacking, capable of breaking bone. Their armor consisted of shields, helmets and body armor, made of wood, leather and sometimes copper. Their armies were amazingly organized, having comparable roles to modern armies, such as generals, liutenants and captains, and it's said that their armies could reach 100 000 people, but their main advantage came from their road network and the mit'a system. Shelters called "tambo" and storage silos called "qullqas" were situated 1 day's traveling distance apart from each other, that way an advancing or retreating army would always have fresh equipment and a place to rest relatively nearby, this coupled with the mit'a system being able to enlist any capable male of age into the army meant that the Inca always had potential soldiers that could be enlisted and equipped very fast, solidifying their status as "empire" Mechanically, there's no way they aren't expansionist, I've seen some people say agrarian or builder, and from an outside perspective that might make sense, but looking a but deeper it's difficult not to make them expansionist, their emblematic quarter would be the Inca Road System, allowing the player to build it in segments in order to help advance their army and solidifying the Inca's playstyle. Their emblematic unit could be a guy with a macana, idk if they have a specific quechua name but yeah, another possible unit could be a chasqui, fast and agile messengers that were essential in the organization of the Empire, being charged to deliver quipus, messages and gifts through the road network, either way if they didn't at least have the road they'd really not feel like the Incas. EDIT: u/Pachakamaq01 showed me some possible names for the macana wielders in quechua, being Maqaq (the one who beats), Maqanayuq (the one with the Maqana) or Maqana Kamayuq (the Maqana specialist) From personal experience most people don't know too much about the incas, apart from the fact they lived in the mountains and had llamas and farms, I hope I explained what made them so interesting to me and cleared up some misconceptions. Finally, last but definintely not least
After the wall of text that was the Inca I'm kinda tired, I just wanna preface that I know way less about the Muisca than the previous guys, so this part in particular is very vulnerable to my mistakes, if any of ya could review it to check that there are no errors that'd be lovely. The Muisca were, according to some faceless expert, the fourth "advanced" civilization of the Americas (implying that other cultures in the Americas weren't advanced *grumble* *grumble*), these guys weren't an empire or a kingdom, they were a confederation of sovereign states, subdivided into tribes lead by chiefs or caciques, they were also not as big as their contemporaries in size, but they stood up very well in terms of impact and what they produced, a couple of years ago I went to the museum of gold in Bogotá, and there were some absolutely beautiful golden Muisca artifacts, they are honestly some of the most aesthetically pleasing things I've ever seen. P.S. If you ever go to Bogotá please go there, it's amazing Anyhow, their society was mostly based around the agriculture of coca, quinoa, yuca, and looots of different kinds of fruits and the extraction and refinement of emeralds, copper, coal, salt and most importantly **gold**. Most of their legacy is cultural, they had a heraldry system, a complex religion that we know a fair bit about, a sport that still survives to the modern day (*cries in mesoamerican ball sport*), a calendar and they even inspired the myth of "El Dorado". Aparently they also had complex art, cuisine and mummified people, like I said I'm not very qualified to talk about them, but there's a lot, and I mean a **lot** of info out there about them, so you're completely free to use up an afternoon studying them. Mechanically I'd personally make them aesthetes, not only would that give us a medieval aesthete culture (*doots*), but from what I've read it could really show their "non-empire" status and celebrate their heritage of gold crafting. Their emblematic unit would be the güecha warriors, a carefully selected group of young men that fought with clubs, darts, bows, spears and slingshots. As for their emblematic quarter, from what I read they didn't construct large stone structures and a lot of what they did build was destroyed, their living quarters (a.k.a. houses) were called "bohíos" and that could be a candidate for their EQ, if not that then some sort of temple or religious structure would be ideal.
Wow, that was a thing, this took around 8 hours of work including research, I did this because I really want this game to as good as possible, so I'll try to contribute to it in any way I can, I'll probably make a second post on other south american things that could be implemented, like resources and wonders, also like I said, I'm expecting either the mapuche or some guaraní culture for early modern, as well as argentina and colombia for late and brazil for contemporary so mark my words if (and only if) I'm right. I greatly welcome any criticism, if an expert on any of these cultures is here then I'd love it if you could correct some of my mistakes, even if you know as much as me (not much) I welcome your suggestions and thoughts. Peace! Olivia the bored person
A synopsis of the Ron Magill segment.See the2020 Indexfor other shows. Happy Bastille day! Greg Cote Tuesday with Dan, Stugotz. Mike is on paternity leave and I've lost track of who is in the studio. Are they even in the studio? Because the Clevelander is closed.
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I just don't understand why their brains don't function in a way to give them common sense
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Billy Gil: I saw pictures you had taken. A gorilla had gotten into a scuffle with another gorilla and it had to have surgery, you gave it Covid tests, they were cool pictures, but I was wondering, have you ever had an animal that you didn't give quite enough of whatever dosages to knock him out that woke up mid-surgery? Because that seems like it would be horrifying. Ron: It would be horrifying. I'm fortunate to say that animal's under general anesthesia. There's one person there, just constantly with the anesthesia monitoring the anesthesia, so it's very unlikely to happen. But having said that, I worked with a veterinarian once at the old Crandon Park Zoo with a huge chimp. His name was Colonel. We pulled him out, he darted him because he had to stitch up an arm, we had him laying down on the grass, the veterinarian is kneeling between his legs, leaning over stitching up his arm. I'm on one arm on one side, another keeper is on the other arm on the other side. And then all of a sudden -- and I'm not exaggerating one second -- this chimp just sat up, put his face literally 6 inches in front of the veterinarian face who was kneeling between his legs, and just went WAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Screamed at the top of his lungs. The one guy holding the arm on the other side jumped into the canal behind him. I just froze. I didn't know what else to do. I just froze, holding his arm. And then his eyes rolled back in his head and he fell back down. I looked at the vet, the vet didn't even flinch, and I go "WHAT HAPPENED?" And he said, "That happens often." They used a drug called ketamine and when they use ketamine the chimp will often hallucinate. Though he's totally under anesthesia will hallucinate like sleepwalking and have that kind of effect. I said, "next time, please tell me about that crap because that was a very horrible moment for me."
Garlic Feet, Chris Cote: Do animals in the wild get to enjoy anything that could be thought of as a dessert? Ron: They don't eat things in the sequence we eat things. In other words, "ok, this is my main meal and now I'm going to have the dessert." Usually, if they find something that they like, that would be equivalent to our dessert they'll eat that first. They eat the tastiest parts of things first. But there's certainly some things -- flowers to some animals, some nectar in flowers, the pure sugar they love that. Fruits of course. There's a tree called the amarullo(?) tree that when it blossoms out and the fruits fall down they actually so much of it they can get drunk. It ferments. You've probably seen those youtube videos of baboons tipping all over themselves. Even elephants can get tipsy eating that. It's sort of a dessert, a pleasing high-sugar content that they will eat to extremes sometimes.
Dan: Billy, why were you laughing? Were you laughing because someone simply coughed straight into a microphone? I can take a betting favorite on who that was. Who was that? Because I couldn't see who did it. Stugotz: We know. Billy Gil: Everybody knows. Dan: Alright, great. You are totally useless, Greg.
Tubby: I just want to remind everybody when you're running up on a squirrel in the road toot the horn and they'd get out of the way. And why can't squirrels figure that out on their own? Me: No. Just aim for the squirrel and it will most likely move. Whatever you do, don't crash the car over a dumbass rodent. Ron: Squirrels are notorious for panicking. People will see a squirrel on the side of the road and think "well as I drive up it'll just go up a tree to the right." Many times they run right to the car and people don't understand why they do that. Squirrels have tons of what we call fast twitch muscles. If you watch squirrels the way they jump onto trees and the way they run it's like a lightning bolt. I just don't understand why their brains don't function in a way to give them common sense to run away from a car instead of running into it. Me: Because they're dumbass rodents who deserve to die. Ron: It's like armadillos. They do this same thing. When they panic they jump straight into the air like 2-3 feet and a lot of times they're crossing the road. If they didn't panic the car would go over them without running over them, but then they jump up and they get killed by the car that way. I can't explain it, I'm not a squirrel Me: Anyone else ever driven I-16 in Georgia between Macon and Savannah? My pastime on that highway is to count all the dead armadillos on the side of the road. I usually average seeing around 7-8, though my high is 19.
Dan: Is there another panicky animal you'd put in that class with them? Ron: Not in the jumping thing, but vultures when they panic they projectile vomit. Like Exorcist type crap really comes out and it's the most horrific fluid you can imagine -- smelling, feeling, and god forbid if your mouth is open -- tasting. Dan: That hasn't happened to you, has it? Ron: Uh, yeah, it has. Dan: No. [mimics wrenching sounds] Ron: That's exactly what happened to me. I haven't thrown up since I was like 6 years old. But that was as close as it came to me.
Steve: [dead air] This is Bryant if that works. Dan: Sure, go ahead Bryant. Bryant: Did you see a documentary awhile back on Serengeti? Ron: Yes, I did. Me: Go to the next caller! Ron: It was a great documentary. It's awfully anthropomorphized, so to speak. I think there's a lot of CGI that goes on. They had some great footage, don't get me wrong. But there's a lot of CGI composed over and above that. It's a nice story, I thought it did a nice job, but AT THE END OF THE DAY if you really travel to Africa you'll realize it's not quite as story-like.
Stugotz: I read a story about a black bear entering a Colorado home. I'm wondering -- you wake up one day, there's a bear in your home roaming through your kitchen, what is the proper thing to do? I run and call the cops, I did that on a frog. This guy decided to take on the bear. What do you do, Ron? Ron: The bear saw him and didn't do anything, but then he got freaked out and he said ket me see if I can get the bear out. So he went to open the garage door with the remote and as the garage went KARHHHHHH and went up, all of a sudden the bear came at him and took a swipe at him and ran away. Because the bear panicked. The point here is if that bear was mean/vicious/horrible, it would have killed him. It took one swipe at him, but let's look at the end result. He wanted nothing to do with the guy. We need to learn to coexist with these animals. Lock your flippin' doors, lock your garbage cans...the bear was just looking for food. If you see bear, step back. Go away. Do not worry about it. Just get away, the bear will go away.
Stugotz: Best running back in the animal kingdom -- is it a squirrel? A little scatback? Ron: Nah, it's not going to be squirrel. I've said it over and over, it's a freakin' elephant or a rhino. You don't have to be fast, you don't have to be cunning, you just have to be unstoppable. Who's going to stop a rhino or an elephant going straight up the line? Dan: I love that he said "I've said this over and over again." It's like the 50th time we've asked him a version of that question.
The light of the sun was beginning to dwindle in the sky and the people of Elemira began making their preparations to call it a day. Stores began to shut down slowly, selling their last wares even as the taverns filled up. Slowly but surely, the bustle of the streets reduced as the sounds in the taverns got louder and more boisterous with each passing second. City guards changed their shifts, doing their best to not appear as tense as they felt. The air carried a danger that most of the citizens of the capital didn’t know and they had been instructed to keep it that way. The smell of roasted lamb and fresh bread forced some of the poor to draw near to the back of the taverns, looking through the painted glass and wishing for some scraps off a table or two. On days like these, sometimes, they’d get lucky. Sometimes. A cold wind blew through the street, causing a few people to shiver. Anyone with a keen sense would immediately tell that it was going to rain that very night. For most, it was just a cold breeze. Still, the wind travelled from through the districts softly, wrapping around bodies and passing on as if it was leaving a greeting kiss. Eventually, the wind would reach the gates of Diamond fields, passing through the black and gold metal bars that formed the monstrous barrier between the people and their king. The wind picked up speed, causing a slight gust. The fires of the already lit braziers of the royal houses danced as the wind swirled around the district. It wrapped itself around the castle and the servants running through the castle to finish their chores shook as the cold seeped into their skin. Guards pulled their cloaks tighter around their bodies as they wished for warmth. In one of the courtyards in the castle, in front of a memorial adorned with freshly picked wildflowers and roses, Xioden sat quietly. It was there the wind met him dressed in a soft white linen shirt and black cotton trousers. If he was cold, he didn’t show it. Instead, he remained staring at the headstone of his deceased mother. After the meeting with his council members, Sera had gotten him to have some lunch but he had taken a few bites from the food set in front of him before he excused himself to sit in the courtyard. He had been sitting for hours, staring at the grave and thinking. Thinking about what he was going to do with the war. About what he was to do with the assassinations taking place in the city. He hadn’t heard from Lady Kana and Lord Timon in so long and he wasn’t even sure why. He sighed, scratching the side of his face as he tried to remember much happier times. The memories in his mind flashed by quickly but he couldn’t recall anything solid. His past and his thoughts were hazy. Too hazy to lift him from the dreary mood he found himself in. Perhaps, I should call it a night, he thought to himself as he leaned towards the grave. Then again, it’s not like sleep will be particularly welcoming… “You can’t stop running away to think and not eat, Xio…” a soft voice called from behind him. “I know. But it’s hard to eat when all I taste is ash,” he replied. The owner of the voice walked gently until they stood just behind him, casting a large shadow with the setting sun’s last shine. A hand touched his shoulder and he felt his body relax, though slightly. “Everything’s falling apart, Sera. I was a doomed king from the start,” he said after a few seconds. “I don’t believe that, my king,” she replied. “It’s what is happening before our eyes. Sabotaged from all sides before even having a chance to serve the people.” “I know it’s what it looks like but this is your destiny,” she said with a restrained urgency that made him turn his head to look at her. “My destiny? To lead and die before the year is out?” “To lead. There are many parts to victory, my love.” “Is there any that I can take then? I don’t know what Thomas is doing but the war is going badly. Even with Vyas’ help. Kattus tells me there are Nafri in the city, killing my people. Who would house a Nafri? Right now? While we’re at war with them?” It wasn’t until he felt a hand on his cheek that he noticed he was ranting on his feet. Anger bubbled underneath his skin and he found himself breathing heavily. Looking around quickly to catch the eyes of passing servants who regarded him with anxious looks, a slight panic began to build in him. “I was loud. Did they..?” “No one heard anything, my love,” Sera replied, gently bringing his face to face hers. “But…” “You don’t have to worry,” she said even more gently. He noticed a slight green tint in her eyes and suddenly, he saw a soft jade colour aura form around her body and then his. He froze, his eyebrows raised in confused and she laughed. “I did say I could protect myself if need be, didn’t I?” she joked. He didn’t reply immediately, his eyes darting around the passageways. When she had told him that she could take care of herself, he was expecting knives or maybe a hidden guard but not magic. Not that she couldn’t have magic, he was just not expecting that development. “Magic?” he asked, meeting her eyes. “Magic,” she answered. “What kind of magic?” he asked. “A little bit of this and a little bit of that,” she said playfully as the aura vanished from them. “I dabble in simple spells but if I was to class it, I’d say… Foretelling.” “Fore-” A finger touched his lips so fast he blinked in surprise. “I haven’t told you this for such a long time for you to blurt it out to anyone passing.” He nodded curtly and she removed her finger, before reaching for his hand. His hand slipped into hers and she gently pulled him away from the grave. He gave a last look at his mother’s resting place before following her out of the courtyard. “We’ll discuss it more in your chambers,” she said. “Alright. I guess I can-” “Your majesty!” A voice cut through his chain of thoughts and he turned to see a palace guard kneeling before him. He grimaced before removing his hand from Sera’s and turning to face the guard. “What is it?” he asked. “A general from the front line wants to see you. Privately,” the guard said. “Privately?” “He says it’s of the utmost importance,” the guard replied. Xioden sighed before looking back at the courtyard. He glanced at Sera. “I’ll need you.” “And you? Bring the general here. Bring him immediately.” “As you command.” The guard bowed his head before hurrying down a passageway. Xioden led Sera back to the courtyard, whispering quickly into her ear. “Can you do what you did before? Stop others from hearing?” “Yes. Is that what you need?” “Yes. Please,” he said. “Anything for you, my love,” she replied with a smile and he saw the aura surround her once more. She touched him on his arm and the aura covered him too. He marvelled at it for a few seconds, opening his mouth to make a comment when he saw the guard return with another walking behind him. The general walked in a comfortable but urgent gait, whispering what looked like a ‘thank you’ to the guard before presenting himself before him. The man appeared like a well-built man, not stocky or slim but relatively average looking. That said, he knew the man was extremely capable. He could feel it in the way the general carried himself. “My lord,” the general said with a bow before glancing at Sera. “Be at ease, General…” “Katsu, your majesty,” General Katsu replied. “General Katsu,” Xioden said the name before nodding and continuing. “I know you said privately. She’s with me for a reason.” Sera smiled at the general before stepping forward and grabbing his hand. Slowly, the green aura covered him as well. “Are we secure?” he asked her. “Yes, my king.” “Speak, general. What is so urgent that you would leave the front lines?” The general opened his mouth then closed it. Xioden kept his gaze on the man, patiently waiting. After a few moments, the general sighed deeply before holding himself up straight. “My lord. What I am about to say is not something I wish to say so lightly but it is something I believe to currently be true. But, before I can say what it is that has brought me back, there’s a question I must ask, your majesty,” the general began. “Ask,” Xioden replied. “Did you send a group of Sanctuary priests to assist us?” the general asked, his voice cautious. “I did. I am hoping to hear some good news of their activities,” he replied. The general gritted his teeth but nodded. “My urgent report is as follows, your majesty. I met your Sanctuary priests last night and they informed me that they would be reporting to Lord Thomas in the morning to relay your message to him.” The man licked his lips. “Early this morning, before my army and that of my friends clashed with the Nafri and Ireshans, I inquired from Lord Thomas as to the whereabouts of the priests but he told me a falsehood. “Your majesty. I have on good authority that the priests have been killed. More importantly, based on their disappearance and from what I’ve seen at the front, I believe Lord Thomas is working against your success.” Xioden kept quiet for a few seconds, watching the man closely. He felt a tug on his sleeve and turned to Sera who nodded. He wanted to ask if she meant what he thought she meant but she shook her head so slightly when he opened his mouth. He nodded and turned back to the general. “You know that this is not something little. To accuse a royal house lord of treason.” “Aye, my lord.” “Good. Go back to your family and rest, general. Report to me early tomorrow morning. We will discuss it more then.” --- The atmosphere in the throne room was heavy and no one dared to speak. Instead, the general kept his focus on the map in front of him to avoid looking at the king. No one in the room could speak. Not after the news he had delivered from the front line. As a result, his hands felt clammy, clasped behind his back. General Katsu gritted his teeth but waited anxiously for something to happen. In all his years of battle experience, he was just as confused to what was happening as the people standing in front of him. A country with a good defensive ground either had the advantage or was beaten relatively quickly. But that wasn’t what was happening. Instead of a battle of a home-field advantage or stalemate, it felt more like both armies were locked in a tug-of-war with one side slowly winning despite the disadvantages they had. He had made his concerns known to Lord Thomas, as the head of the army, and the lord had dismissed his worries as nothing more than petty concerns. “It’s a war, Katsu… What did you think would happen?” Lord Thomas had said. Nevertheless, he didn’t become a veteran by simply taking information on face value. He had sent some of his men out to survey how the battle was going from vantage points as well as confirm the issue with the Sanctuary priests. And they gave him answers which led to more questions. And a particularly disturbing piece of information proven true. Shifting his gaze from the map, he took in his surroundings once more, noting the council members present. Their faces mirrored his, though some of them tried to hide the unease they were feeling. Only two of the lords seemed to keep their emotions under check and he couldn’t help but question whether they were involved. Then again, apart from those two, the rest were faces he had no recollection of. He knew they weren’t the new heads of their houses as the current heads were still alive to his knowledge. After all, Lords Thomas and Vyas were still at the war front. The only recognisable lords around the war table were Lord Dekkar and Lord Harlin. He made a mental note to keep an eye on them moving forward to see what they did. There was nothing the new king had done to warrant the betrayal, especially after taking over after his father who was, to all accounts, nothing short of evil. Still, he understood the battle for the throne between the royal houses. He just thought such things would be on hold until after the war. “Seeing as no one has said anything, I guess this is as good a time as any to ask,” the kind began, leaning forward on his throne. As the king spoke, his guards walked in from the doors beside the throne as well as the main doors to the room. They marched in and lined the walls of the room, turning their attention to the council. The lords and ladies around the table looked at the guards with apparent shock. Katsu saw Lord Dekkar raise an eyebrow at the guards, frowning for a moment before shrugging as if accepting the course of events. Lord Harlin’s expression didn’t change. “Are any of you involved in whatever plot Thomas is planning?” the king asked, glancing at the woman standing next to him. Katsu wasn’t sure who she was to him but if he was a betting man, he would say he had bedded her. There was an intimacy to them that he only saw in couples. Perhaps she is to be his queen, he found himself thinking. The woman nodded and turned to look at the council members. The general couldn’t see what she was doing but he guessed it was something similar to what she did the night before in the courtyard. He assumed she had a way to determine whether or not someone was lying. “My loyalty is to the throne, King Xioden. And as you are on the throne, my loyalty is to you, my lord,” Lord Harlin said in a grave tone, bowing his head. The king raised his head at that before nodding. A small smile formed on the man’s lips and the general wondered if there was a joke he was missing. The affirmation was almost detrimental. Almost. “I expressed how I felt about you when we met, your majesty. With that said, however, I want what is best for the kingdom. And you are that person, for the moment,” Lord Dekkar replied. “That was somewhat heartwarming,” the king said. “I try,” the head of House Tevan replied with a smile. Silence returned to the room and Katsu glanced at the other council replacements around the table. They were nervous, he could tell, but he hoped they weren’t involved either. The situation looked grim already. “The rest of you are quiet,” King Xioden said in a cold voice. Their heads jerked up but the replacement of House Krumare was the first to talk. “I swear to you on my life and that of my family, your majesty. I know not of any plot against the throne or the kingdom…” the woman began, walking forward to kneel with her head bowed in front of the throne. “My hesitation to speak was because I do not know Lady Unora’s plans.” Before she had even finished speaking, the other replacement, that of Lord Timon, ran forward and threw himself to the ground before the king. “It’s as she says, my lord. House Forthen is your loyal subject.” “As is House Claren, your majesty. I don’t know if Lady Kana has any plot but I believe she serves you truly with her life,” the woman from House Claren spoke calmly and bowed her head. And that leaves two, General Katsu thought to himself. The replacement heads of House Janaya and House Sengh looked at each other, licking their lips before attempting to run out of the room. At once, the guards sprang into action and blocked their exit, unsheathing their swords in a smooth motion. The rest of the council, as well as the king, focused their attention on them and the general could feel the tension in the room rise. “And then, we have you two,” the king said slowly, rising to his feet. “You will tell me all I need to know of our lords’ plan and maybe, just maybe, your family escapes unscathed by your betrayal.”
Lizardfolk are the cold-blooded hunters of the swamp, hunting humans for their delicious flesh - Lore & History
These scaly, emotionless lizards think about food and not much else beyond that. They’ve been around since the beginning of the game, starting as one of the stronger humanoid foes your fighter or magic-user would run into and promptly be eaten by. As the editions progressed the Lizardfolk became a player race. In our mythos, Lizardfolk of one sort or another has existed since ancient times. The mythical first king of Athens, Cecrops I, was described as half-man, half-snake, Wahuang, also known as Nuwa, is the mother of Chinese mythology and is described as half-human and half-serpent, and the ancient Egyptians had the patron goddess Wadjet, depicted as a snake-headed woman, a snake, a woman with two snakeheads, or even a snake with a woman's head. In the present day, Lizardfolk abound in TV, cinema, and literature. Dracs, one of the main characters in the book Enemy Mine (1979), is a fighter pilot from the alien race of lizard people at war with Earth, it was later made into a movie starring Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr back in 1985… it bombed except in the Soviet Union. There’s the Cardassians from Star Trek, Dracoians from Doctor Who, The Lizard - also known as Dr. Curt Connors - an enemy of Spiderman, Cobra Commander from GI Joe…the list goes on and on. There’s even the conspiracy theory believed by millions, that Lizardfolk secretly runs the United States government. It’s no wonder that Lizardfolk have such a prevalent existence in Dungeons & Dragons when the cultures of ancient and current civilizations are so full of them and their representations. Let’s jump in and see how these creatures have evolved through the generations and maybe you’ll find a soft spot for these man-eating Lizardfolk… or you’ll find out your pet leopard gecko is secretly running the US Commerce Department.
OD&D - Lizardmen
No. Appearing: 10-40 Armor Class: 5 Move: 6”/12” Hit Dice: 2 + 1 % in Lair: 40% No. of Attacks: 2 claws / 1 bite Damage/Attack: 1-3/claw, 1-8/bite Treasure: D
The Lizardfolk make their debut in the Greyhawk Supplement (1974) under the moniker of Lizardmen. While the term Lizardmen is used up until the 3rd edition, we will be referring to them as Lizardfolk from here on out. One of the most important facts about the Lizardfolk we should bring up from this edition is the fact that their artwork actually looks like time was spent drawing it out, and is pretty scary. If we were walking through a swamp and stumbled on one, we’d scream and run away. That’s high praise seeing as how the beholder art just makes you pass out from laughter. As with all creatures in the early editions of the game, the description is brief and all the information we are provided is composed in 3 sentences. What information is provided is pretty sparse and doesn’t provide much of a basis to work off of. The few things we learn is that Lizardfolk are considered to be intelligent, but its referred to as a ‘rude intelligence’ in that they only use that intelligence to make weapons. After that, we then learn that the favorite dish of the Lizardfolk is human flesh. We aren't sure what it is with all these monsters and their desire for human flesh, but apparently we are incredibly delicious. Not only do Lizardfolk love eating humans, they will capture a group of them from a village and bring them back to their lairs where they will hold large feasts and gorge on our flesh which… feels like a compliment. The next tidbit of information provided shows that maybe these are really, really special lizards… or maybe the designers of the game just did not know that much about lizards. In this edition, 65% of all Lizardfolk live completely underwater, which is crazy to think about as no other lizard can spend more than 15 minutes under water at a time. It’s also horrifying to think that all those captured humanoids will probably drown before the great feasts of the Lizardfolk, which is a shame because the Lizardfolk have been cooking all day! Looking at the mechanics of the Lizardfolk, they are humanoid creatures that are much stronger than many of the other creatures in that catergory. Their AC of 5 puts them in the same league as ogres and giants, but their Hit Dice are on the low side making them pretty susceptible to being wiped out in low numbers. Where they thrive is the number of attacks and the amount of damage they can do in a single round. Three attacks is a whole lot of ass kicking in this edition and with the potential to do a maximum of 14 points of damage in a round, the Lizardfolk would make quite a fearsome opponent. These two factors, along with the fact that you will be running into 10-40 of them at a time, make these creatures the party would not want to encounter at lower levels… especially if they were invited over for dinner.
Basic D&D - Lizardfolk
Armor Class: 5 Hit Dice: 2 + 1 Move: 60' (120' swim) Attacks: 1 weapon Damage: By weapon + 1 No. Appearing: 2-8 Save As: Fighter: 2 Morale: 12 Treasure Type: D Alignment: Neutral XP Value: 25
The Lizardfolk is introduced in the Basic Set (1977) and later makes appearances in the updated Basic Sets that are released in 1981 and 1983. If the Lizardfolks could be stripped down and made even more boring, we aren’t sure how you could do it. The descriptive paragraph is filled with simple sentences that provide less flavor than the original edition and simply describes the Lizardfolk as man-shaped but with a lizard head and a lizard tail. Furthermore, they are considered semi-intelligent and enjoy eating humans in great feasts. Now, it isn’t all bad for the Lizardfolk in this edition as they are finally shown a little love as they gain a +1 bonus to their damage. Though they no longer have their multiple attacks and instead only have a single weapon attack, so we guess it makes some sense to give them a boost to their damage even if it isn’t as awesome as having three attacks and tearing apart that troublesome magic-user. This is the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons that players can play as a Lizardfolk thanks to Dragon Magazine #185 (September 1992). In the magazine we are introduced to the Squamous Ones; lizard men, gator men, and the cay-men, all of whom can be used as player characters. These playable reptile creatures all played a role in episode 32 of the Voyage of the Princess Ark, an old series in Dragon Magazine. Without going down the rabbit hole of experimental player characters and rules, just remember that some races were treated more like classes than as just races. If you choose to play as a Lizardfolk, you would be leveling up in a Lizardfolk class though you could multiclass into actual classes like magic-user or fighter… it was just really difficult and there were a lot of limitations. With that being said, out of all three of the lizardkin, the gator men are the by far the strongest and intimidating. Their physical attributes were high, they had more hit points, but their mental stats were the lowest out of any of them. After the gator men, in terms of strength, came the lizard men followed by the cay-men. The cay-men were known for being smart, and by that we mean they don’t have a negative bonus to their intelligence, while the lizard men were middle of the road at best between the two others. In Dragon Magazine #186 (October 1992), we are introduced to another race of playable lizardfolk in the next chapter of the Voyage of the Princess Ark. The chameleon men, also known as the wallara, are pretty weak like the lizard men, but they have a special talent that makes them pretty awesome. The chameleon man can use a Vanish ability, allowing them to disappear from sight, or they could teleport as per the dimension door spell… so long as they passed an Intelligence check which seems a bit mean. Regardless of the intelligence check, that’s a pretty awesome racial ability!
AD&D - Lizardmen
Frequency: Rare No. Appearing: 10-40 Armor Class: 5 (4) Move: 6” // 12” Hit Dice: 2+1 % in Lair: 30% Treasure Tpe: D No. of Attacks: 3 Damage/Attack: 1-2/1-2/1-8 Special Attacks: See Below Special Defenses: Nil Magic Resistance: Standard Intelligence: Low (average) Alignment: Neutral Size: M (about 7 feet tall) Psionic Ability: Nil
The Lizardfolk first appears in the Monster Manual (1977) and things are looking up for this edition. Unlike in Basic D&D, which AD&D ran alongside, we are given a full paragraph about the Lizardfolk, about their lairs, and well… It doesn’t paint the Lizardfolk in a great light… At least they get artwork in this edition and again, it looks pretty good! We suppose you have a choice in these early editions, good art or good lore - not both. The lizardfolk don’t get a lot of new lore, even though there is more information provided. The books now clarify that they are semi-aquatic and that, while they prefer to live underwater, they live in underwater caves that are not submerged. They love to kill and capture humans, bringing back bodies and slaves to their underwater realms and then holding rude feasts. We aren’t sure what they mean by rude, but we suppose the Lizardfolk can be considered rude if they don’t ask permission to eat you first. If you ever encounter Lizardfolk above the water, they live in small huts and these are the ‘evolved’ Lizardfolk who are more intelligent. These Lizardfolk wield crude weapons like shields, barbed darts, and javelins that they use to attack from range, and then run into the melee with their clubs. There is no mention of a changed diet, so we must assume that they still enjoy the taste of humans and have no problems with attacking villages and eating all the inhabitants. The first variant for the Lizardfolk, the Lizard King, is introduced in 1981 and is found in the Fiend Folio. The Lizard King is a ruler of a large tribe of Lizardfolk and are taller, stronger, more intelligent, and described as more human-like. They could be found near their watery lairs and one of the few ways of actually seeing one was being offered as part of their weekly sacrifice where the Lizard King will then devour you. Every week, the Lizard King would demand two humans to munch on, if those humans weren’t available the Lizard King would then choose four Lizardfolk and eat them… which we feel like creates a bit of an unhealthy working environment. The next bit of information about the Lizard King is, not only do they have a large tribe of Lizardfolk who bring them humans to eat every week but also they wield a powerful trident that can skewer enemies and deals some real nasty damage. The description goes on to state that there is some sort of magical connection between a Lizard King and their trident, as no one else can use the trident as effectively as the Lizard King and that no one else gains the benefits of using the trident unless you are a Lizard King. This seems like a missed opportunity for some cool lore, but the description comes to an abrupt end, which is a real shame but we aren’t too surprised as the Lizardfolk just doesn’t get any love in these editions.
2e - Lizardfolk
Climate/Terrain: Tropical, sub-tropical and temperate swamp Frequency: Rare Organization: Tribal Activity Cycle: Any Diet: Special Intelligence: Low (5-7) Treasure: D Alignment: Neutral No. Appearing: 8-15 (1d8+7) Armor Class: 5 Movement: 6, Sw 12 Hit Dice: 2+1 THAC0: 19 No. of Attacks: 3 Damage/Attack: 1-2/1-2/1-6 Special Attacks: Nil Special Defenses: Nil Magic Resistance: Nil Size: M (7’ tall) Morale: 14 XP Value: 65, Patrol Leader 65, Subleader 120, War leader 270, Shaman (3rd) 175, Shaman (5th) 650, Shaman (7th) 975.
The Lizardfolk made their second edition debut in the Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989) and then reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993). In typical 2e fashion, we are given a lot more lore about the Lizardfolk though a lot of the information is just rehashed from the previous edition but with more colorful language. Also, their artwork in the Monstrous Compendium looks… fine? They look a bit like they ran into the wall and broke their snout, but it's passable which only further proves our point. Good lore or good art, can't have both. Much like before, the Lizardfolk are tall, strong, and have below-average intelligence. They don’t really use weapons unless they are ‘advanced’ Lizardfolk and like to live next to the water or under the water in their caves. A key difference is that now they are omnivores and that they are only ‘likely to prefer human flesh to other foods.’ This is of great relief to anyone who isn’t a human as now, maybe, just maybe, you can interact with them without them carrying you off to their cave for more rude feasts. What other information is pretty interesting and helps to flesh out this monster. When fighting, they aren’t great at tactics and typically just rush in hoping to overpower their opponents. To make matters worse, if they are hungry, there is a chance they will stop for a quick snack of dead human on the battlefield, allowing their quarry to retreat, regroup and reinforce. They are distracted by shiny things too, and we have decided to skip past the easy blonde joke here. Despite their lack of coordination or tactics, they do have several tiers within their society like shamans, priests, patrol leaders, and chieftains. The shamans and priests have additional hit points and have access to priest abilities like spellcasting. Patrol leaders are even beefier and are used as the bodyguards of the Lizard King who is at the top of the food chain and will lead tribes up to 150 Lizardfolk strong. Of course, if the Lizard King doesn’t get their weekly sacrifice of two people, they eat four Lizardfolk which it specifies is their bodyguard… which seems like a bad idea, why not eat the peasant Lizardfolks? You have way more commoners than bodyguards. We also start to get a little better idea of the physiology of these creatures as they can vary in color from green to brown to gray. Tails can be up to 4 feet long and, while they cannot be used to grab any sort of object, it does seem like its a missed opportunity for a tail attack. Like all lizards, Lizardfolk are hatched from eggs but we strongly encourage you to not eat the eggs as they are described as bitter. The last thing we learn is the question burning on everyone’s mind how do you figure out if the Lizardfolk you’ve been hitting on all night is male or female? The answer is: You don’t know unless you ask. We recommend asking from a safe distance with lots of blonde, dead human bodies in the way. If you wanted to play as a Lizardfolk, you are in luck as the Spelljammer campaign setting provides character information in The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook (1992). What is interesting is that if you wish to play as a Lizardfolk, you lose some of the natural abilities and flaws that the normal Lizardfolk has, though you do get a few bonuses. You don’t gain a bonus to your Strength, on the other hand, you don’t get a penalty to your Intelligence, which is nice. You have natural armor, you can wield a shield and you can only wear armor that would reduce your AC below 5, like plate mail. Of course, getting custom armor will cost you twice as much then for a human as we can only assume blacksmiths find it hard to add in a tailpiece for you… or they don’t like your kind because you ate their brother. One of those. Speaking of eating people, you no longer have a bite attack. Instead, you are given a tail attack which is… well, we support having a tail attack but we guess biting people is considered uncivilized. The last bit of awesomeness for your Lizardfolk character is you now have infravision which helps you see in the dark, which is the first time this controversy will come up. Apparently, in the Forgotten Realms specific lore, Lizardfolk has darkvision but they lose it the moment any information is talked about in a setting neutral book. The Lizardfolk and their information are further refined as a playable character race in The Complete Book of Humanoids (1993). It is here that you get the first real information on how a Lizardfolk should be played when you decide that being an elf just won’t do, why be the eaten when you could be the eater? Lizardfolk have a totally different mindset than other humanoid types, looking at things in a very black and white, food or not food type of way. Civilization as a concept is beyond them, so traveling to and spending time in a city will be a foreign and overwhelming experience for them. Fiercely independent, they might not fit into the party setting very well but can be forgiven when they wipe out a horde of kobolds by themselves. They are still extremely brutal and cruel on the battlefield, so sometimes it may just be best to get out of the way and watch the bodies fly. Another reason to back away is that when shiny stuff or dead bodies appear in battle, Lizardfolk must make a successful Wisdom save or get distracted, and even stop for a little snack of halfling. Considering most combat results in someone or something dying, be ready with those Wisdom checks. Furthermore, we learn that for a Lizardfolk, skincare is an essential part of your adventuring day and you must moisturize every day or you start getting sick and dehydrated. If you spend too long without submerging your body in water, you dry out and die. On the flip side, you start with two weapon proficiencies, which means you are the advanced Lizardfolk and not just the hilly-billy Lizardfolk who don’t use weapons and have no intelligence. More lizard-kin are introduced in this edition, though many of them claim to have no relationship to the Lizardfolk. We are introduced to agrutha, crocodillians, varanids, geckonids, tokay and the iguanid in the Dragon Magazine #268 (2000) though none bear many resemblances to the Lizardfolk but rather are considered subspecies or apart from them. One of the few kin to actually be related to the Lizardfolk are the Gator Men from the Monstrous Compendium Mystara Appendix (1994) and a horrifying secret is exposed. The Gator Men were once Lizardfolk that were magically experimented on by a wizard who was trying to give them alligator properties. Some of the wizard’s Gator Man prototypes escaped into a nearby swamp and quickly reproduced, wiping out all other predators in their area. Gator Men hate Lizardfolk and will do everything in their power to destroy and kill every last one of them if they learn of a Lizardfolk tribe.
3e/3.5e - Lizardfolk
Medium Humanoid(Reptilian) Initiative +0 / HP 2d8+2 (11 hp) Armor Class 15 (+5 Natural) or 17 (+5 natural, +2 heavy shield), touch 10, flat-footed 15 Speed 30 ft. (6 squares) Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+2 Attacks: Claw +2 melee (1d4+1) or club +2 melee (1d6+1) or javelin +1 ranged (1d6+1) Full Attack: 2 claws +2 melee (1d4+1) and bite +0 melee (1d4); or club +2 melee (1d6+1) and bite +0 melee (1d4); or javelin +1 ranged (1d6+1) Space/Reach: 5ft./5 ft. Special Attacks: None Special Qualities: Hold breath Saves: Fort +1, Ref +43 Will +0 Abilities: Str 13, Dex 10, Con 13, Int 9, Wis 10, Cha 10 Skills: Balance +4, Jump +5, Swim +2 Feats: Multiattack Climate/Terrain: Temperate Marshes Organization: Gangs (2-3), Band (6-10 plus 50% noncombatants plus 1 leader of 3rd-6th level), or tribe (30-60 plus 2 lieutenants of 3rd-6th level and 1 leader of 4th-10th level) Challenge Rating: 1 Treasure: 50% coins; 50 % goods: 50% items Alignment: Usually neutral Advancement: By character class Level Adjustment: +1
The Lizardfolk makes its third edition debut in the Monster Manual (2000/2003) and is the first edition where the term Lizardfolk is used, replacing the term Lizardmen permanently. To quickly cover the normal parts of our scaly friends; they are organized into tribes, they are a cruel and vicious opponent on the battlefield, and they still live in swamps and marshes. You may notice the fact that their favorite meal of 'you' is not on that list, that's because the Lizardfolk will eat anything and it's only a malicious rumor that they prize human flesh above all else, they just happen to kill a lot of humans and eat them. They’d eat anyone, they aren’t picky. Another change is that they no longer speak Lizardfolk but rather draconic as they now can be found in the employ of dragons. Societal structure is detailed just a little bit more, giving a tiny more depth to the creature. A tribe exists to eat and perpetuate, and they will do whatever is necessary to make sure these needs are met. Sure, Lizardfolk can hunt and fish like other humanoid races, but when there is a village of humans nearby, you can bet they will be sending out raiding parties and having grilled human for dinner whenever possible. This primitive need for survival has tribes uniting to fight a common foe, even if that foe is another, larger Lizardfolk tribe. It will occasionally drive them to serve more powerful creatures such as dragons, cause in the mind of the Lizardfolk, it is better to serve than to die. The tribe is set up in a very simple manner - the strong rule the weak, and it’s a man’s world in the Lizardfolk kingdom. This stays with the concept of the powerful rule and the weak serve. The shaman is still alive and well in the Lizardfolk society, acting as a councilor for those in charge, providing insight and knowledge, we expect most of the insight revolves around food. The shaman, along with the rest of the Lizardfolk, now has a deity to pray to, as we are introduced to the patron deity of Lizardfolk, Semuanya. Not surprisingly, Semunya’s primary focus is on the survival and propagation of its charges, once again sticking with the common theme of the Lizardfolk; eat, propagate, and eat some more. The Lizardfolk appears as a player character race for the Forgotten Realms setting in the Races of Faerûn (2003) and again, they gain darkvision while existing in the Forgotten Realms. Beyond gaining the ability to make three attacks with their claws and bite, there is nothing new when it comes to being a Lizardfolk as a player character. The next month in April we are introduced to the Monster Manual 3 (2003) and with it, two new types of Lizardfolk come to ruin everyone’s day. The Blackscale Lizardfolk is a massive brute of a Lizardfolk who specializes in pummeling you into the ground and then eating the tenderized meat. Blackscales are large and their presence makes even the tallest Lizardfolk look small as they are typically around 9 feet tall as opposed to the 7 foot Lizardfolk. After the Blackscales are the Poison Dusk Lizardfolk who go in the opposite direction from their Lizardfolk ancestors and are tiny, reaching a max of 5 feet tall and 50 pounds. They specialize in being sneaky, attacking from range, and using poison to bring down larger opponents for the purpose of dinner. As we are always excited to check out new old rulebooks we’ve never used before, it was exciting to find out that Lizardfolk have their own chapter in the Serpent Kingdoms (2004), though it is centric to the Forgotten Realms setting. There we find out more about asabis, firenewts, khaastas, troglodytes, and trens, but it is the Lizard King and Queen that we were excited about. These creatures are now half-Lizardfolk, half-fiend. A Lizard King resembles a common Lizardfolk, but gets to be even scarier by having demonic features, such as glowing red eyes, extra-long arms, long fangs, or additional scaly frills. They are despised in Faerun since, not surprisingly, they view humans, elves, dwarves, and almost all other humanoid races as food, not as allies or neighbors. Remember how we’ve always said that the Lizardfolk can be cruel and mean? Well, the Lizard King combines the worst traits of Lizardfolk and demons, making them brutal overlords of a tribe, but their tribe means everything to them and they take great care of its members. They use their vision, intelligence and sheer force of will that comes with being half-fiend, to transform a simple savage tribe into a stable civilization that can endure for many generations. We are also provided information about some of the poisons Lizardfolk use like the blue frog paste, which sounds like a powerful form of LSD, but in fact, it is a toxic oil that can be applied to weapons and causes paralysis. The second is the rather boringly named sleep poison, which renders the victim unconscious for a few hours. Dragon Magazine #335 (September 2005) brings us the ecology of the Lizardfolk, unfortunately, the article is a combination of all the previous editions information, presented in a colorful description, and provides only a few new pieces of information. Religion plays a much more important part in the lore and creation of the Lizardfolk, as the article opens with a section on their goddess, Semunya and the origins of the Lizardfolk. Semuanya was a primitive lesser god who thought only about food and survival while her mate, Kecuala, was an intelligent creature that spent its time doing little physically, as it was trapped in its own philosophical thoughts about the world. One day, Kecuala split itself into two creatures, one male and one female, allowing it to put into action the deep thinking that it had been doing all these years. These two Kecualas were the first Lizardfolk and Semunya took the initiative with them and set them up in an environment where they could hunt and multiply, holding out hope that Kecuala would finally stop thinking so much, merge back into one being, and rejoin Semunya. Building on the tribal/communal system of the Lizardfolk, we do find out that each tribe has a community-style hatchery where all the eggs are kept until little lizard children erupt from their shells. Lizardfolk reach maturity by 2 years of age, skipping those awkward teenage years and for the brief two years of being young, they are raised by the tribe as a whole and not by individual parents. The last of the Lizardfolks are introduced in the Monster Manual IV (2006) where we are introduced to the Dark Talon tribe of Lizardfolk and provided an example lair for them. They are similar to the Lizardfolk but have been toughened by alchemical infusions of black dragon blood and seek to take over and control the lands of everyone else. They are brutal, mean and vicious but they don’t provide much information on the whole of the Lizardfolk race but rather how their specific tribe operates but, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything in there to learn. We learned a very important lesson, if you find a massive wasp the size of a horse, you can totally ride on it with a massive lance. Yup, the Dark Talon tribe has a small troop of Wasp Riders who wield lances and charge into battle on their battle wasps. We aren’t sure that the riders are really needed as seeing wasps large enough to be ridden by Lizardfolks already scares us more than a Lizardfolk.
4e - Lizardfolk
Greenscale Hunter - Level 4 Skirmisher Medium natural humanoid (reptile) / XP 175 Initiative +6 / Senses Perception +8 HP 54; Bloodied 27 AC 17; Fortitude 15, Reflex 14, Will 13 Speed 6 (swamp walk) Spear (standard; at-will) ✦ Weapon +9 vs. AC; 1d8+3 damage Sidestep Attack (standard; at will) ✦ Weapon The lizardfolk shifts and make a melee basic attack. Alignment Unaligned / Languages Draconic Skills Athletics +10, Nature +8 Str 17(+5) | Dex 15 (+4) | Wis 12 (+3) | Con 14 (+4) | Int 8 (+1) | Cha 8 (+1) Equipment light shield, spear
The Lizardfolk is introduced in the Monster Manual (2008) and we are provided with stat blocks for different roles that a Lizardfolk could be in a tribe like a shaman or a hunter, as well as information about the Blackscales, the massive brutes of Lizardfolk. While the lore doesn’t go very deep, we at least have some pretty great art, especially when compared to the previous Monster Manuals, so 4e has that going for it at least. The first type of Lizardfolk presented are the smaller and more common Greenscales who are, while not of the highest intelligence, are still considered the intelligent and advanced Lizardfolks who become shamans and leaders of their tribe. The next type are the Blackscales who go around smashing and pulverizing creatures and are often intermingled into the Greenscale tribe. Occasionally the Blackscales will be part of an opposing tribe, but the text reveals that Blackscales just aren’t smart enough to be the leader and, while Lizardfolk believe the strongest should lead, that doesn’t mean that the Lizardfolk are willing to trust a dumb brute with the welfare of their tribe. There are also a few tidbits of lore that you can pick up on in their description like halflings are too small to bother eating, since they are the preferred humanoid trading partner for the Lizardfolk. Also, that Lizardfolk would occasionally serve dragons, though more often than not they would have servitors of their own like behemoths, crocodiles, and drakes. And finally, that Lizardfolk do not worship any gods but rather they elevate their tribal leader into a living deity. This Lizardfolk becomes the King Lizard and is rumored to have been tainted by primordial or demonic forces to make them so unnaturally strong and powerful. The next group of Lizardfolk is brought out of the swamps in the Monster Manual 2 (2009) and they are known as the Poisonscales and, as their name might suggest, they really like poisoning creatures. The Poisonscales are a type of Lizardfolk that is less strong and healthy, though far more intelligent and are quite affluent with traps, ambushes, and using their naturally produced poisons to kill creatures and then eat them. These Lizardfolk come in a variety of roles from the magus that can hurl poison magic at their enemies, to the Poisonscale Collector that has the all-important task of gathering food and the plants the Lizardfolk eat to exude their poison, to the poisonless Poisonscales Myrmidons who cannot produce poison but makes up for it with being stronger and having thicker hides. The Poisonscales are a slightly weaker group of Lizardfolks, which is hard to believe as the Greenscales are so low powered to begin with. The only true threat coming from the Lizardfolks in this edition is that a tribe consists of over a hundred of them, and when its just you and your 3 best friends wandering the swamps and being filled with tasty human meat, well… maybe you can kill enough of the Lizardfolk so they don’t have to share their meal with others in the tribe.
5e - Lizardfolk
Medium humanoid (lizardfolk), neutral Armor Class 15 (natural armor, shield) Hit Points 22 (4d8 + 4) Speed 30 ft., swim 30 ft. STR 15 (+2) | DEX 10 (+0) | CON 13 (+1 ) | INT 7 (-2) | WIS 12 (+1) | CHA 7 (-2) Skills Perception +3, Stealth +4, Survival +5 Senses passive Perception 13 Languages Draconic Challenge 1/2 (100 XP) Hold Breath. The lizardfolk can hold its breath for 15 minutes. Multiattack. The lizardfolk makes two melee attacks, each one with a different weapon. Bite.Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage. Heavy Club.Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) bludgeoning damage. Javelin.Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage. Spiked Shield.Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage
Lizardfolk can be found in the Monster Manual (2014) and with it comes a nice, chunky bit of lore on these Lizardfolk, though it mostly repeats the previous edition. One thing that has been missing the last few editions is finally back, and that’s that they have a hankering for human flesh, even if they are omnivores. It’s no longer considered a mean and unfounded rumor that they like the taste of you, though the lore doesn’t stop at them eating you. These Lizardfolk are willing to forge alliances with others like humans, halflings, dwarves, and more, once they have these alliances made they are fiercely loyal to the other ‘tribe’ and we hope that means they won’t eat you at that point. Though one shouldn’t expect to have too many interactions with Lizardfolk as these creatures are fiercely xenophobic, hunting and killing anyone who trespasses on their territory. They rarely leave their territory, as they might become the hunted as opposed to the hunter, and that is something they actively dislike. Though, that isn’t to say they never leave their territory, if a dragon, most likely a black dragon, shows up in their swamp, the Lizardfolk will begin offering it gifts and immediately begin serving the dragon. The dragon may be a nice ruler, watching over its Lizardfolk with an eye to protection… or they may be horrible and send out raids of Lizardfolk to help it build up its treasure hoard. Now, let’s say you get eaten by the Lizardfolk because you were thinking you could walk on their territory and set up a trade agreement and they thought you’d taste better than the terms you were offering. You might, in this situation, be worried that your bones and other inedible bits won’t be treated with the proper respect you think they should be treated, but don’t worry as the Lizardfolk now love to craft crude jewelry and tools from bones of their meal! Lizardfolk will often craft clubs, shields, darts, and other weapons from the bones of creatures they have killed, seeing no point in good materials going to waste just because the previous inhabitant of those body parts are no longer using them. Really, they are just being responsible hunters and using every part of the kill! In Volo’s Guide to Monsters (2016), the Lizardfolk is presented as a playable race, along with other favorites such as the goblin and kobold. One of the best parts about the Lizardfolk being made a playable race is that we are given an in-depth look into the essence of being a Lizardfolk and how such strange creatures act and think. A Lizardfolk’s mindset is described as alien, but not in the sense that they are from some distance world from the Spelljammer setting, instead, they are described as cold and calculating with few emotions as we would know them. This doesn’t mean that you should roleplay your new Lizardfolk fighter as some hissing jerk, but as a character that genuinely doesn’t understand why other creatures are horrified when they want to fire up the campfire and celebrate the life of a fallen comrade by roasting and eating their corpse. The existence of a Lizardfolk is centered on doing things that make them feel good and avoiding things that would cause them pain or discomfort. A Lizardfolk doesn’t have emotions that control its fight or flight reflex but instead reacts accordingly to the situation. If it is going against a powerful opponent, it doesn’t run away in fear but rather realizes that the opponent is best to leave alone due to how fearsome it is. If the Lizardfolk finds a magic item that provides a great benefit, it doesn’t gain pleasure from that item but realizes it makes life easier and must protect this magic item so others don’t take it away. The mindset of a Lizardfolk is assigning traits to creatures and objects and reacting accordingly to that trait as they don’t hold grudges or allow rage to overcome them. The last book we will look at for 5th edition is the Ghosts of Saltmarsh (2019), though it originally came out in 1982 for AD&D, and in it is an adventure focused around these creatures. In the adventure, a party of adventurers is tasked with going to a Lizardfolk lair and investigating the Lizardfolk and seeing if they are responsible for the recent attacks on the city. This is a roleplaying heavy adventure and allows a group of adventurers to explore the lair of Lizardfolks without using violence to get a peek into every room. This adventure provides helpful tips about the mindset of a Lizardfolk and helps to explain that the way they communicate can be quite unsettling or unnerving to those not used to such an alien mind. Even though they have been around since the beginning of Dungeons & Dragons, and that they have such an overwhelming presence in our legends, the Lizardfolk still have a lot of untapped potential. While they appear in a wide variety of adventures and core rulebooks, they rarely change and when they do so it is incremental. Other humanoids that have been around since the beginning have seen endless amounts of time and effort put into their backgrounds, while the Lizardfolk haven’t been so lucky. They are still the same highly mistrusted brutes that they were before, and maybe that’s all they will ever be as everyone needs a monster to fight. Maybe one day we will see new sub-races or more development on their story as well as their culture. We certainly hope so, as the Lizardfolk deserves more recognition than the few adventures and lore that they currently have. Have a monster you'd like to see explored throughout the editions? Let us know in the comments!
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