The ophiduan are an ancient race of serpent folk, whom legend states have existed since before the rise of mammals. Consummate scientists and mystics, ophiduans have always excelled in using psi-craft and super-science to manipulate the form and function of living organisms. In more recent times (though still ancient history), they have mystically crossbred with humans and other humanoids, mixing their blood and abilities, the better to understand and infiltrate civilizations of the modern world.

Although largely humanoid in form, the ophiduans still have the mentality of reptiles. Concepts such as mercy and compromise are virtually unknown to them. They are utterly ruthless, have very little of honor amongst themselves, and even less empathy for non-ophiduans. Survival and victory are their only goals, though they are fully capable of employing subtle or deceptive methods to obtain them. For now, the serpent folk plot and scheme to improve their status and racial reputation—but only to better sink their fangs into the political movers and shakers of the modern world. Operating as envoys and advisers, many Lords count ophiduans among their courts. But the serpents are gifted spies, able to infiltrate the circles of any who won’t have them.

The ophiduans have a strict caste system, enforced not by societal laws but by physiology. Each of the three subraces has its position in society, and any attempt to rise above it results in swift reprisal from the paranoid ophiduans above them.

The hominis caste is the most recent creation of the ophiduans, the final result of centuries of crossbreeding and experimentation. Due to their enhanced psionic abilities and fecundity, they were swiftly able to rise to a position of leadership of the ophiduan culture, becoming both secular and spiritual leaders. The hominis caste serves as the face of the ophiduans in their political dealings with other races. (Note: Ophiduan PCs are always members of this caste.)

The oldest of the ophiduan castes, the anguineum are the true progenitors of the race, and the creators of the other ophiduans. These horrors have mostly serpentine bodies and heads seamlessly blended with humanoid torsos and arms—though alternate forms are not unheard of. For most of their recorded history, the anguineum caste ruled the ophiduans, but they were eventually overthrown by their own creation, the hominis caste. While any given anguineum is more powerful than a hominis, the hominis’ greater intelligence, and their incredible versatility in the psionic arts, allowed them to prevail. While some anguineum still resent their reduced position in society, most now accept it as the will of their god. The anguineum caste occupies the roles of low-level politicians, military officers, elite soldiers, and bodyguards.

The semiferum have mongrel, crippled bodies that oddly and deficiently combines aspects of serpent and humanoid. Their caste represents the earliest attempts by the anguineum to create an ophiduan/human crossbreed. Because they are capable of quickly breeding, however, the semiferum have endured, and today make up a servile underclass of ophiduan society serving as manual laborers, foot soldiers, and gladiators.

Ophiduan temple demesnes are scattered across Lanjyr but concentrated in Ber, where most other monsters give them a wide berth. These small cities stand in the midst of thick forests, wild jungles, hidden mountain passes, and anywhere else they can hide from prying eyes. Should anyone draw near enough to see, however, the high walls and sweeping arches of their temples are unmistakable. As befits a race of snake-like creatures, their architecture favors tight spaces, ramps or shallow steps, and rooms built with floors and ledges at various heights. Their tools and weapons are similarly built, favoring flexibility and speed over brute force.

Ophiduans and Ophiduan Racial Traits at the D20PFSRD


Zeitgeist Jim_Mount