The Sslik are a race of anthropomorphic lizardfolk who dewll on the southern coast of Lesser Aradoth. Throughout most of their history the Sslik have been a nomadic culture who wandered the vast plains of central Aradoth, carrying with them only the bare minimal to preserve their existence and their centuries of culture. Oft misunderstood, they have since grown to become valued members of the Empire and important players in the war against the Aegis.
An adult Sslik stands slightly taller than a human; averaging between 5’7 and 6’6. The biology of the species is reptillian in nature, having an epidermis consisting of thick scales, egg bearing reproduction and three-chambered heart. However, biologists note that the species does not fit the typical classification of reptillians as they show several bird-like qualities; Sslik are warm blooded, have hollow bones and sprout feathers as they reach adolescence.
Sslik are a single gender species; though whether they are hermaphrodites or an entirely female species that reproduces asexually is a matter of debate amongst biologists. Young Sslik develop at a remarkably advanced rate, and are capable of walking and hunt directly out of the shell. Mental development however progresses at roughly the same rate as in other species, so younger Sslik have a ‘feral’ period of development where physical growth outstrips mental.
Sslik bear sizable claws and teeth, which are backed up by a tremendous bite force. their senses are roughly approximate to those of a human, though their sense of hearing is somewhat impaired. Sslik percieve scent through their forked tongues, and their legs are digitigrade similar to the Saris’.
Physical capabilities are similar to those of a Human, with the exception that Sslik have conscious control over their vascular system and metabolism; when injured they can shut down blood flow to the affected area and enhance cellular division, allowing for a highly enhanced rate of natural regeneration. Sslik can replace entire lost limbs with enough time and energy; as a species they do not naturally scar.
Sslik for the msot part have been a nomadic race, and this shows in their cultural identity; even after settling into the permenant city of Sslanis they have remained an impassive and minimalist culture. Perhaps best defined as dutiful and stoic, Sslik are rarely if ever given to emotional outbursts. Sslik typically have few personal posessions, but those they do have will be lavishly crafted and sculpted.
Sslik are tribal in nature, with each tribe typically having a patron in the far past. Families or filiations of Sslik often congregated together during their nomadic wanderings for safety and security. Tribes would conduct ‘raids’ against each other, though these were little more than sporting pranks or one-upmanship; warfare between tribes was a rare occourance.
The Sslik have little in the way of maternal instinct, and so raising and teaching of the young is a task in which the whole tribe shares responsibility and not just the progenitors of the offspring. Young Sslik are free to move between filiations or even tribes, forming bonds with whoever they see fit. In later life, these bonds often develop into apprenticeships.
Note on language: Sslik language is all but incomprehensible to any but themselves, and whilst it may be understood no other race has the vocal apparatus required to reproduce it. Sslik language lacks gender specific pronouns; ‘he’ or ‘she’ does not exist in their tongue. Because of this, Sslik typically refer to beings by name and can have difficulty understanding languages where objects and transitive verbs are given pronouns (real world example would be French).
Sslik government is typically conducted by the consensus of the tribal elders; normally powerful warriors, sages or shamen. Rising to this position normally requires great wisdom on the part of the aspirant, as challenges and tests of their skills are constant throghout. This system carries through to the Imperial Administration, where the Sslik are represented by this consensus of elders.
Society in Sslanis is a well-ordered and structured affair. The integration of the Sslik into the Empire presented few changes to their everyday lives, the biggest being the adoption of a written language to compliment their spoken one. Because the introduction of test is a reletively new innovation, Sslik are often schooled in both Common and their privately developed text at the same time.
Shamen and magic users are prevalent amongst the Sslik, and afforded special privelages as advisors to their leadership.
Sslanis escaped the Great War with little damage and few major enemies; in a twist of fate, the Sslik were spared the majority of the horrors that were inflicted upon the mainland races. This facilitated the city’s rapid ascension to the global stage. Along with the Saris city of Kion, Sslanis is quickly becoming an economic powerhouse.
As a race of artizans, the Sslik produce many fine goods. In particular they have an affinity for masonry and gemworking. Their patient demure also lends them well to the arts of mechanical engineering and tinkering. Primary exports include: Raw metals, raw stone, worked stone, masons, chemicals, exotic hardwoods, worked gems, insence.
As a race of nomads, until recently the Sslik were deprived of the ability to form a cohesive military. As such, personal defence was paramount and this tradition carries throguh to this day; Sslik are often well versed in armed and unarmed combat. Sslanis is defended by a well equipped militia force, and the natural impassiveness of the Sslik makes them very difficult to break.
Thanks to their enhanced regenerative abilities the Sslik often recover from injuries that other races would find permenantly debilitating. As such, a long running tactic of the Sslik is to simply take a blow intended for them, using the momentary opening left by the successful strike to retaliate against their attacker, catching them off guard.
Sslik warriors fit well into the Imperial Army, as their physical capabilities and mindset compliment the doctrines of that force. As such, Sslik are amongst the more valued soldiers of that force. They are often seen as front-line fighters, scouts or spearmen. They also make for decidedly deadly commandos.