Saurials were a rare breed of scalykind - specifically a "sauroid" race not native to Toril. Several sub-races existed, though only four could be found on Toril itself.[note 1] Unlike reptiles, saurials were not cold-blooded creatures.
Description[edit | edit source]
Saurials were a species of intelligent bipedal humanoids. They descended from dinosaur-like creatures of an unknown crystal sphere. On Toril, only four types of saurials existed: Bladebacks, Finheads, Flyers, and Hornheads. All four names were given to them by the natives of the Realms. The names in the saurials' native tongue were a combination of noises, chirps, and scents, unreplicable by other mammalian humanoids.
All the types of saurials possessed fine-sized bright-colored scales of various colors from tan brown to green and aquamarine, with patterns on their backs unique to each subrace. Each of the saurial types were known to occasionally have individuals born with albinism. All of them had sharp claws and tails, but other than that, their bodies were considerably different.
- Finheads - the most human-shaped out of saurials. They were generally shorter than an average human standing around 5 feet (1.5 meters) with a long tail and were named after a very pronounced fin on the top of their heads. They had muscular and agile bodies and often became fighters and paladins.
- Bladebacks - taller and bulkier than finhead saurials, they reached up to 7 feet (2.1 meters) and had rows of sharp bone-hard scale protrusions running from the top of their heads down their backs and all the way to the tip of their tails.
- Flyers - the smallest saurials at 3 feet and 8 inches (1.1 meters). They had thin and delicate bodies, short legs, stubby tails, hands with large stretches of skin that formed their wings. They were clumsy and slow on land but moved with speed and grace in the air. Rarely, fliers could have bright red spots around their necks.
- Hornheads - the largest of their brethren, they stood up to 10 feet (3 meters) tall, had powerful thick tails longer than their bodies, sturdy bulky frames, long and sharp horns on their heads and crowning their tough bony head plates that protected their necks. Despite their intimidating physique, hornheads were likely to take on a spell-caster's mantle.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
The possessed natural resistance to sound-based attacks, that included shout spell, and harpy's charm ability. And saurials were naturally vulnerable to gas-based attacks and effects, such as cloudkill or gaseous poisons.
Saurials were unique among the scalykind for being warm-blooded creatures. But that was also their greatest weakness; they could not keep their bodies warm like the mammals of Toril. Saurials went into torpor when exposed to freezing temperatures. That torpor was referred to as "cold sleep." When saurials entered the said cold sleep, their breathing and heartbeat slowed down to the level others could assume them dead. The smaller the saurial was, the easier and faster they succumbed to the effects of the torpor (fliers could pass out after just 30 minutes in the cold, while a finhead - after 50 mins). The time they could stay conscious in the cold was doubled if the saurials were dressed in warm insulating clothing. The cold sleep effect was dangerous indeed; if exposed to the freezing cold for a day, the saurial died. And they returned to consciousness after returning to warmth within an hour or two.
Magic[edit | edit source]
Saurial paladins possessed the ability called shen sight, somewhat similar to the ability of Toril's paladins - divine sense. This ability granted paladins a second sight, the ability to see the individuals' thoughts, feelings, desires, goals, the ability to see into the spirit and the soul. The soul is presented to the paladin in complex swirls of forms and colors, such as gray - the color of neutrally aligned creatures, purples and reds indicated the evil, the black void was indicating the evil undead creatures, blue for the powers of good, yellow indicated greed, and the clarity of the colors indicated the purity of the soul.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Saurial sub-species treated each other with equality and respect, using each group's natural talents to maximize their shared accomplishments. Because none of the different sub-races of saurials could interbreed, most households were homogeneous.
Mates and siblings shared much stronger bonds than other humanoids, protecting each other from harm whenever possible. They easily made friends and only rarely enemies, though they were quick to respond if there was an obvious danger.
- Finheads tended to be smart, curious, and emotional. They often had a black-and-white view of morality and the world. They were easily excited about new tasks and experiences, often charging headfirst into dangerous situations. This personality combination made it very likely for the adventuring saurials found outside of the Lost vale to be a finhead.
- Hornheads were prone to slow, careful, rational thinking and impeccable planning and analytical skills. They spoke slowly, carefully choosing every word. They had a knack for arts, sciences, and crafts that involved physical strength. Like any other race in the Realms, they could be of any profession, but generally, they were swayed towards being clerics, wizards, and sorcerers.
- Bladebacks were highly social beings that loved diverse companies and engaging conversations. They tended to be trusting, direct, and straightforward, being empathetic and understanding. Often, it was hard to anger a bladeback, but if they were pushed to anger or were wronged, they were slow to forgive. Bladebacks often took on positions of leadership, advisory roles, and clergy.
- Flyers were small, quick, curious, nervous, and both irritable and irritating. They often preferred flight to fight and loved conversations and gossip. Most commonly, flyers took on the roles of messengers, scouts, fighters, and rogues. There were many flyers that defied stereotypes throughout the saurial history, and it was one of the things flyers loved to mention in conversations.
Combat[edit | edit source]
Sarurials, when pushed into combat, used a wide variety of skills and weapons, defined by their class. The most often used types of blades, crafted by saurials for saurial use, had short grips and diamond-shaped barbed tips. Most other races found it difficult and uncomfortable to handle, and vice-versa, saurials found other humanoids' weapons uncomfortable and tough to handle.
Even unarmed, saurials were far from defenseless. Most saurials were trained in the most ancient martial arts that involved the use of claws, tails, bites, and horns.
Saurials had thick natural armor but were known to wear sturdier types of armor when pressed to, even though it was somewhat alien to them.
Society[edit | edit source]
Many heroes and defenders of the saurial tribe found in the Lost Vale perished, battling the god of decay Moander before they were transported to Toril. The surviving tribesmen were simple villagers, craftspeople, hunters, and farmers. The craftspeople included weavers, carpenters, masons, blacksmiths, and musicians. The Lost Vale tribe also lost all their young during the time of their enslavement. But after Moander's demise, saurials returned to procreation and peaceful lives. That experience left the first generation of saurials with somber attitudes and heavy memories, but they looked with hope at the young generation.
Older generations remained mostly isolated, but not xenophobic, due to the trauma. On the other hand, the younger generations were showing curiosity about the bigger world, and some chose to venture out exploring and adventuring. Due to their community-centric culture, those young saurial adventurers often found a group to stick with, creating strong bonds with them.
Culture[edit | edit source]
In their mundane lives, saurials rarely wore anything but loincloths and simple cloaks when they resided in places with the tropical climate. They wore decorated robes crafted out of various fabrics and animal hides during cultural ceremonies and events. They could wear armor but preferred not to because of how restricting and uncomfortable it was.
Oftentimes saurials decorated their bodies, scales, and bone plates with tattoos, especially the spell-casters. Depending on the species of saurials and the location of the body decorations, they could be carved or tattooed.
Saurials liked decorating their habitats with carpets and wall tapestries, they knew how to work metal, craft curiously-shaped saurial broadswords, and enchant swords similar to Toril's holy avenger that could negate magic on command.
Saurials preferred single-family homes. A typical house was solidly built using wood and stone, with heavy insulation to protect them during winter. The homes were built one room at a time as the need for space arose.
Most saurials were spiritual and worshiped either Finder, Chauntea, Tymora, or Tyr. Finder was their patron deity and the rescuer of their species, while the other three reflect aspects of their ancestral gods.
After their experience at Moander's slimy hands, many saurials developed a superstitious fear of evil deities.
The most respected members of the saurial society were the soul singers, a unique type of bard, that preferred divination magic, and had a mystical connection to their tribe and could feel their well-being or strife via songs they performed. When the soul singer sang while their tribe was suffering, the words of the song and its melody changed to reflect the dark fate. The soul singers were born with their gift that was passed along the family lines. In 1358 DR, Alias discovered herself being a soul singer, due to her sharing a soul with Dragonbait. In the fifteen years that followed, the Lost Vale Tribe produced an unprecedentedly high number of soul singers, seven.
Language[edit | edit source]
Saurials physiologically could not speak any language found on Toril, their voices were naturally pitched too high for most humanoids to hear and frequently humans assumed them mute. They punctuated their speech with scents that defined emotions and bird-like chirps. Interestingly enough, the saurial language had some commonalities with draconic, making it possible for dragons to communicate with saurials. Some fey could hear saurial voices. However, they didn't necessarily understand the draconic language but could understand the emotions associated with the scents created by the saurial race. It was known for some dedicated individuals to train themselves to speak in audible tones, allowing the communicating in languages of Toril.
Other creatures could interpret some of the common, stronger scents to understand the mood of a saurial. The scent of brimstone meant confusion, the aroma of roses meant sadness, lemons meant pleasure or joy, baked bread meant anger, violets meant danger or fear, honeysuckle meant tenderness, wood smoke meant devotion or piety, tar meant victory, and the smell of ham meant nervousness or worry.
Saurials did develop a form of writing that appeared very simplistic. They carved lines and etches on sticks. That form of communication and record-keeping was mostly used by spell-casters and for important records. Saurial wizards used these notched sticks as spellbooks, some people unfamiliar with saurial language confused those spellbook sticks with staves.
Saurial Names[edit | edit source]
Saurial used their language, which was similar to draconic, along with a scent as their native names. The names that were used for them in common were either loose translations or nicknames. Saurial used objects and concepts of value or importance to name the hatchlings after, instead of abstract names that bore no meaning. Saurials were comfortable using nicknames of they could not find a suitable translation and used their saurial language name when around their kin.
Ecology[edit | edit source]
After 1358 DR, saurials settled in the Lost Vale, also known as Tarkhaldale, in Desertsmouth Mountains. The Lost Vale numbered at 110 in 1358 DR, consisting of various subspecies of saurials who lived in peace and mutual respect, considering them one tribe. The saurials did not venture far from their home in the early years after forming their new home, but that changed with years' passing and growing numbers. That group of saurials came to be known as the Lost Vale Tribe.
Saurials tended to mate for life, producing one or two eggs a year. Males and females cared for the egg keeping it safe and warm, and later feeding, caring for, and teaching the hatchling. Saurials reached adulthood at the age of five, but it took them much longer to achieve emotional and intelligent maturity, akin to a human youth. They had a long life span, with some individuals living for much longer than 200 years old (sages did not know the accurate life expectancy of a saurial, theorizing that they could live as long as a dwarf, but in 1357 DR, the saurial leader Grypht was already far past 200 years old without the use of magic promoting longevity).
Different subspecies of saurials could not crossbreed, and most households consisted of only one type of saurials.
The bigger subspecies required to consume a lot of vegetation to survive, which limited the numbers of saurials a piece of land could support.
History[edit | edit source]
The first saurial to be brought to Toril was the paladin Dragonbait in 1357 DR by Phalse as part of the process to create Alias. The god of rot Moander was part of the alliance of dark powers that joined together to create their perfect construct weapon. After Moander's avatar was destroyed by Alias, Dragonbait, and their friends, the god of rot used the last of his divine powers in the Realms to track Dragonbait's origins.
This led to the saurial community Dragonbbait was from to be brought to Toril by Moander in 1358 DR, to a place called the Lost Vale, a hidden locale near the Dalelands. The god of rot and decay corrupted the saurials with the Seed of Moander that enslaved them, forcing them to destroy life in the area, including their own eggs, in an effort to build Moander's power in the Realms to its past levels. The god used Dragonbait's old lover named Coral as the main pawn, the Mouth of Moander. The plan failed when Finder Wyvernspur, Dragonbait, and Alias defeated Moander, freeing the saurials from their slavery. Coral, unfortunately, was completely rotted from the inside by the god's corrupting vines and was freed from her torturous existence by Dragonbait. The surviving Saurials, with Elminster's aid, decided to build a life for themselves on Toril, restoring what Moander had forced them to destroy. The Lost Vale was turned into a permanent settlement as a result.
In 1363 DR, a group of six finhead saurials was residing in the jungles of Chult, transported there years prior by a helpful wizard. That group was not aggressive but proficient in jungle surviving and spoke a mix of saurial language, Batiri, and Monkey spider.
By 1373 DR, saurial were becoming less reclusive, on occasion leaving the Vale to trade and travel. They remained mostly unwitnessed by the folks of the neighboring regions. Still, the stories of the curious "dragonfolk" were spreading further and further away from the Dalelands. By 1373 DR, the number of members of the Lost Vale Tribe increased dramatically from the original 110 to 485 individuals.
By 1479 DR, saurials had multiple settlements throughout the Lost Vale. With the return of the Netheril Empire to northern Faerûn and taking control of Tarkhaldale, many of the saurials were driven underground.
Notable Saurials[edit | edit source]
- Copperbloom - a finhead cleric of Finder Wyvernspur and Dragonbait's mate he met after Moander's destruction. They sired offspring together, named Handful.
- Coral - a finhead saurial cleric, Dragonbait's lover, and unfortunate victim of Moander's corruption.
- Dragonbait - the champion of the saurials, a "soul brother" of a hero Alias, and the protector of his tribe.
- Grypht - a hornhead wizard who led the saurials of the Lost Vale from 1358 to 1373 DR, and possibly much later. He was the tribe's protector who played the key role in defeating Moander. He had three apprentices.
- Rex - a bladeback saurial who claimed to be the Lost Vale tribe's leader before their arrival on Toril.
- Sweetleaf - a bladeback cleric of the saurial world's goddess of harvest and agriculture. Chauntea was answering her prayers while on Toril. Sweetleaf had five acolytes.
Appendix[edit | edit source]
See Also[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- The second group of these creatures existed in the southern jungles of Kara-Tur and were known as the "Lacerials." This group was introduced in the Malatra Living Jungle setting by the RPGA network to go along with their Living Story campaign. They were identical to the saurials of Faerûn, but at the time, the RPGA was not allowed to use the term 'Saurial.'
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Curse of the Azure Bonds • Tomb of Annihilation
- Referenced only
- "The Runes of Chaos"
- Azure Bonds • Song of the Saurials • Masquerades • Finder's Bane • Once Around the Realms
- Referenced only
- The Ring of Winter • The Sorcerer • The Maelstrom's Eye
- Forgotten Realms (#2, #3, #4, #24)
- Video Games
- Curse of the Azure Bonds • Eye of the Beholder III: Assault on Myth Drannor • Tales from Candlekeep: Tomb of Annihilation • Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms
- Board Games
- Tomb of Annihilation
- Card Games
- AD&D Trading Cards • Spellfire: Master the Magic
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Further Reading[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Darrin Drader and Sean K. Reynolds (2004-07-17). Saurials: More Lizardkin (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 1. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-11.
- Christopher Perkins, Will Doyle, Steve Winter (September 19, 2017). Tomb of Annihilation. Edited by Michele Carter, Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 217–218. ISBN 978-0-7869-6610-3.
- Darrin Drader and Sean K. Reynolds (2004-07-17). Saurials: More Lizardkin (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. pp. 5–8. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-11.
- Jon Pickens ed. (November 1996). Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Three. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 90–92. ISBN 0786904496.
- Darrin Drader and Sean K. Reynolds (2004-07-17). Saurials: More Lizardkin (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 4. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-11.
- Bill Slavicsek (1993). The Complete Book of Humanoids. (TSR, Inc), p. 58. ISBN 1-5607-6611-5.
- Darrin Drader and Sean K. Reynolds (2004-07-17). Saurials: More Lizardkin (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. pp. 1–3. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-11.
- James Lowder, Jean Rabe (1993). The Jungles of Chult. (TSR, Inc), p. 34. ISBN 1-5607-6605-0.
- David Cook (1991). Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix (MC11). (TSR, Inc), p. 53. ISBN l-56076-111-3.
- Jeff Grubb, Kate Novak (March 1991). Song of the Saurials. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 3. ISBN 1-56076-060-5.
- Darrin Drader and Sean K Reynolds (2004-07-17). Saurials: More Lizardkin for Serpent Kingdoms (PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 6. Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
- Darrin Drader and Sean K Reynolds (2004-07-17). Saurials: More Lizardkin for Serpent Kingdoms (PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 5. Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
- Darrin Drader and Sean K Reynolds (2004-07-17). Saurials: More Lizardkin for Serpent Kingdoms (PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 7. Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
- Darrin Drader and Sean K Reynolds (2004-07-17). Saurials: More Lizardkin for Serpent Kingdoms (PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 8. Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
- Darrin Drader and Sean K Reynolds (2004-07-17). Saurials: More Lizardkin for Serpent Kingdoms (PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 3. Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
- Dale Donovan, Paul Culotta (August 1996). Heroes' Lorebook. (TSR, Inc), p. 44. ISBN 0-7869-0412-7.
- Darrin Drader and Sean K Reynolds (2004-07-17). Saurials: More Lizardkin for Serpent Kingdoms (PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 2. Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
- Richard Baker (1993). The Dalelands. (TSR, Inc), p. 48. ISBN 978-1560766674.
- Darrin Drader and Sean K. Reynolds (2004-07-17). Saurials: More Lizardkin (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-11.
- Ed Greenwood, et al (1989). Hall of Heroes. (TSR, Inc), p. 23. ISBN 0-88038-711-4.
- Jeff Grubb, Kate Novak (October 1988). Azure Bonds. (TSR, Inc.), p. 345. ISBN 0-88038-612-6.
- Darrin Drader and Sean K Reynolds (2004-07-17). Saurials: More Lizardkin for Serpent Kingdoms (PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 4. Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
- Sean K. Reynolds (February 2002). “Lords of the Lost Vale”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #292 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 38.
- Dale Donovan, Paul Culotta (August 1996). Heroes' Lorebook. (TSR, Inc), p. 11. ISBN 0-7869-0412-7.
- Dale Donovan, Paul Culotta (August 1996). Heroes' Lorebook. (TSR, Inc), p. 41. ISBN 0-7869-0412-7.
- Sean K. Reynolds (February 2002). “Lords of the Lost Vale”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #292 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 36–43.
- Jeff Grubb, Kate Novak (October 1988). Azure Bonds. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 21, pp. 247–255. ISBN 0-88038-612-6.
- Bill Slavicsek (1993). The Complete Book of Humanoids. (TSR, Inc), p. 57. ISBN 1-5607-6611-5.
- Sean K. Reynolds (February 2002). “Lords of the Lost Vale”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #292 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 39.
- Dale Donovan, Paul Culotta (August 1996). Heroes' Lorebook. (TSR, Inc), p. 42. ISBN 0-7869-0412-7.
- Dale Donovan (July 1998). Villains' Lorebook. (TSR, Inc), p. 50. ISBN 0-7869-1236-7.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 112. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- Dale Donovan, Paul Culotta (August 1996). Heroes' Lorebook. (TSR, Inc), p. 83. ISBN 0-7869-0412-7.
- Jeff Grubb and Kate Novak (August 1997). Finder's Bane. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-0658-8.
- Strategic Simulations, Inc. (1993). Eye of the Beholder III: Assault on Myth Drannor. Strategic Simulations, Inc.