A cultured and civilized group with strong traditions and a bad PR rap.
A typical Raxar settlement.
The Raxar (also known as Lizardmen, Scettids, Rexar, and Frostbloods) are a fiercely independent reptilian and amphibian race of Natives.
Originating from scattered warrior tribes, a culture of fighting and martial prowess is central to their character to this very day. Occupations, recreation, and even their holidays are almost always combative in nature.
They are instinct-driven, cold, and seemingly uncaringly brutal creatures. They use their highly developed sense of smell to track prey, find weaknesses, and ultimately overcome almost any adversary.
This has led Raxar to be viewed as savages by almost every other race on Serra. The Dal'Ra see them as nothing more than barbaric animals, even the more considerate Bodai and Aabuim generally avoid them.
Despite the mistrust and fear that the Lizardmen instill, they are still a cultured and civilized group. Raxar are on par with most other Natives for weaponsmithing, combat, and even rough but intricate architecture. They relax in their characteristic hot springs after a rousing melee, keep meticulous records of their and their kins' greatest deeds, and raise villages of staggering beauty in Serra's most testing environments.
As the derogatory "Frostbloods" implies, all Raxar are cold-blooded. Most have thick, leathery skin lined with rows of scales which can be used both defensively and offensively. Others without this full-on scale-mail have a rough skin akin to sandpaper.
Some Raxars' scales, or scaly skin, are plain and bland with few variations in hue. In contrast, others have magnificently colored, iridescent coatings. Some strains of Raxar can change their skin coloration at will to signal distress or aggression or to blend into their surroundings using natural camouflage.
Raxar are formidable warriors.
Most Raxar have incredible self-healing capabilities. Their blood clots rapidly, closing off wounds in seconds, letting them shrug off injuries that would have otherwise incapacitated other Serrans.
Some are even endowed with rare genetics that let them regrow whole limbs and even parts of their organs and brain. These Raxar are often targeted and provoked into duels and challenges since defeating them in combat brings much respect and prestige.
The Raxar body shape can range from towering muscular hulks to leaner, more slithery forms. However, all Raxar have an underdeveloped facial musculature resulting in oral communication via sounds where lips aren't required to create. As a result, their language consists of piercing hiss sounds and deep, guttural rumblings with lots of "ch", "g", "k", and rolling "r"'s.
A Raxars' worth is defined by their courage and strength rather than their bloodline and heritage like in Dal'Ra society. Honor duels are commonplace, and even though fighting to the death is now outlawed, the combat often leads to serious injury as the combatants lose control in the heat of battle.
The physical and battle-hardened nature of Raxar has influenced their place on Serra. In general, the Lizardmen can do most work requiring a lot of muscle. Other professions, especially those relying on social skills, are best entrusted to other factions of Serra.
Raxar miners plunder Serra's crust looking for rare metals and hot water sources for their bathhouses. Hired Raxar muscle and mercenaries will do most jobs unflinchingly. Sailors take advantage of many Raxars' natural affinity for water to become valuable assets on every vessel they crew.
There are notable exceptions, however. One of the most prominent being Grachech, the Editor-in-chief of The Serra Chronicle. Although Raxar are more known for physical labor than editing the biggest newspaper on Serra. His fierce independence and strong instincts led Grachech to break with custom and rise to become the most respected Editor-in-chief that The Serra Chronicle has seen since its founding.
Grachech, Editor-in-chief of The Serra Chronicle.
If one does not count the delicacies of combat or their optimal armor placement as an art form, there is little to no culture for art when it comes to the Raxar. Since genetics are unimportant to them, and only the physical abilities of an individual matter, there is also no beauty standard in Raxar society. The only artistic endeavors they pursue are painting, etching, or scratching and constructing linen storyboard tapestries. A pragmatic approach that is best embodied in how they dress.
The most important aspect of their appearance is that garments and armor never impair movement, keeping a Raxar in peak fighting condition at all times. Armor is designed to primarily cover their chest and stomach since their back is naturally the most armored part. It always follows a Raxars' body shape and has no need for overly heavy or large armor plating since scales provide a high level of protection.
No thought is wasted on comfort, luxury, or cushioning: rough leathers hold everything together without ever obscuring. On their armor, long, pointy, triangle, blade-like elements are used both as aggressive embellishments and also dangerous weapons should the need arise. Both of these things form the standard Raxar look: a melange of patterned linen and serrated, pointy spikes.
Perhaps the most curious detail about their clothing is the incorporation of heat pads used to regulate body temperature. Those parts of the Raxar anatomy that are most exposed or that have internal organs lying directly underneath are usually more armored and fitted with these heat pads.
The only real exception to their hyper-pragmatic dress is seen exclusively on the most accomplished Raxar. Being a proud people, Frostbloods take their stories with them for the world to see, literally wearing them on their sleeve.
After a festivity, tournament, or glorious hunt, the most prestigious Raxar have their story meticulously recorded and painted onto their clothing. Some Raxar are so famous that they depict their life's history on linen tapestries hanging from their bodies for the world to see.
More infamous individuals, however, partake in scarring sessions wherein aptly named Carvers scratch past exploits into their scales. This is typically seen as a deplorable practice, though, since it inevitably means weakening one's own body.
Despite this strong tradition for history, for Raxar, words and deeds are not recorded in writing using characters. Always glowingly proud of their triumphs and their ancestors' exploits, communication and history keeping is done using paintings and large, room-spanning murals. Wherever possible, the scales of the deceased are used together with their own and worked into these murals. Painting practices have even developed to such a degree that, aside from verbal communication, it has become the second most used form of sharing information. Color variations, sizes, and shapes have definite meanings, totally beyond the grasp of any other races on Serra.
Raxar live in the here-and-now instead of believing in anything divine or in life after death. Their deed-based and deeply traditional set of ideals drives them to outdo one another on a daily basis. For if your father did good, you have to do even better, and if a rival bested you in combat, you better start training immediately. All feats are recorded in paintings, murals, and tapestry and are cherished beyond anything else for they depict the life story of dozens of generations.
Although tribes are known to change location, this faction is not nomadic. Villages are built and maintained for generations but a sprawling Raxar city seldom develops. Their villages are not planned out meticulously, but rather built on a whim with lots of winding roads connecting multi-story buildings. Houses are made from stone, normally in grey, earthy tones, and sometimes greenish hues. They are lined with long, pointy shapes and edges: often an architectural manifestation of their physical form.
Raxar make sure to settle in places where there is lots of running water. In fact, water informs how dwellings are built. If possible, every house has an integrated hot spring both for recreation and heating the house to keep body temperatures up during the night. They are one of the few groups drawn to Serras' shifting volcanic regions.
Seeing no need to cover their bodies or conceal anything, technology is very visible. The characteristic heat pads cover vulnerable parts of their body, acting as temperature regulators as well as armor. These devices are fitted to the Raxar body specifically and are adorned with sharp, pointy, and blade-like extensions.
Weapons are carried openly, and most of them are bristling with vicious green energy. Larger rifles use a superheated plasma-like substance as ammunition, causing the weapon to radiate with heat haze. When such a weapon is used in the rain, it will vaporize any surrounding moisture instantly, clouding everything in thick steam and emitting a nerve-rackingly loud hissing sound.
Some members of the Raxar do play around with mutations to further their bodily prowess, especially those that lack enough musculature or have too little natural scale mail. This is more of a fringe group, however, and it is generally frowned upon instead of encouraged.