The naga are an aquatic race of snake-like Sentients who were part of the original Aquatics Alliance in 785 AE, before the International Alliance was formed. Though they are generally one of the races more forgotten by land-dwellers, naga have had a huge impact on the world’s history and culture.
They are an overall peaceful race, often called the “farmers of the sea” for their large underwater farms. However, their farms are not based solely in the ocean and there are many freshwater naga colonies across the known territories.
Av. Height (Standing): 4’10”
The naga are a hairless humanoid race with a snakelike lower half. They have a mix of scales and leathery skin, of which amounts and patterns can vary greatly between individuals. Their skin and scales can be any colours, though they are usually vividly bright and colourful.
Naga are one of the shorter Sentient races and when standing comfortably they are only about a head taller than the average foxen. Though, when in water naga seem much larger as their tail’s length can be anywhere between two to five times the length of their torsos. These long tails have their advantages and naga are the fastest natural swimmers of all Sentients; even faster then the valenor, who are a substantially larger race.
All naga have fins on their faces and down their backs. These fins are mostly decorative, though some naga with larger back-fins are able to use them to aid their turning when going at high speeds. There are naga also have fins along their arms and sides, though not all do.
As a water-dwelling race, naga are born with strong gills that filter the air out of water when they breath. Some naga have gills so small they are may be difficult to see at first, especially if the naga has patterns or scales around their necks. Unlike other aquatic Sentients naga are able to inhale through their mouths while underwater and can still filter the water through their gills to breathe perfectly; this is believed to be related to their ability to smell underwater.
Almost all naga have flat noses with broad bridges. This aids in above-water breathing and makes their sense of smell very strong both on land and underwater. When underwater, naga smell by exhaling through their nose; this breath is trapped by mucus and remains attached to the naga’s face as a large bubble until they choose to inhale them again. Naga can make mucus bubbles while above water, but most choose not to because most land-dwelling Sentients find them unappealing and “gross.”
Naga have mostly-fanged mouths. Their canines are extended, and all of their molars are sharp and pointed. Their incisors are less pointed, however, and their tongues are long and prehensile, reaching around 30 centimetres in length. They use these tongues for reaching into long underwater plants commonly called sweet pitchers. Mostly naga will keep their tongues tucked away in the back of their throats as it’s considered rude to stick them out unless eating.
There is not much visible sexual dimorphism for naga. Mostly, male and female naga look the same. The only noticeable difference is in female naga who are actively breastfeeding; their mammary glands swell and they gain visible breasts. However, these disappear shortly after nursing stops and it becomes difficult to tell the naga’s sex at a glance.
Rattlesnake naga are a very rare, desert-dwelling race of naga native to I’reka. They make their communities by desert oasis and are often found farming cacti, grasses, and palm trees among various livestock.
They have no gills, instead they have a large frill along the side of their necks which they can raise and lower at will. These frills naturally decorated with brightly-coloured markings and patterns. Alongside their frills, they also have loud rattles on their tails that they use to signal to each
The rattlesnake naga are known for being very friendly, but rather cut off from the rest of the world. Their language varies slightly from other nagas, with different groups of rattlesnakes having different localisations and most not being able to speak International. However, the basics of their language is still the same as other naga and it isn’t impossible for outsiders to communicate with them, with a bit of effort.
Leathertail naga are a race of naga that live in the oceans at the base of the Howling Cliffs. They have thicker skin than other naga, and very few of them have been known to have scales. Their colours are more muted and their skin usually has brown, beige, or black patterns.
They are secluded, often described as mysterious, and prefer to keep to themselves. Though they won’t turn away outsiders they are not as welcoming as most other naga communities and make it very clear to visitors that it is best to move on quickly.
They discourage people from climbing the Howling Cliffs and say that very few people who have entered the wastelands above their home, leathertail or otherwise, have returned. The leathertails that have returned are described as “changed”, but this has never been elaborated on.
Because of the mystery of their home there are many conspiracies around the leathertails and their communities.
Deformities and Disabilities
Joint inflammation is a very common issue in naga. It is not something many are born with, but due to their strenuous working lifestyle injuries are common, and these injuries almost always leave permanent aches and pains that never truly go away. Even after an injury is fully healed, a naga may suffer stiffness or aches.
It is also common for older naga to develop bone and joint issues.
Many naga have respiratory issues when above water. These issues are believed to link with their ability to smell so well underwater and the amount of mucus they have in their airways.
Because of the potential problems that can arise from breathing with their lungs instead of their gills, many naga never learn how to lung-breathe and live their lives completely underwater.
It is very common for naga scales to become damaged due to injury or weakened due to illness. When this happens, the protective, waterproof layering over the scales thins and water may seep into the scales and cause scale rot.
The most common solutions for naga with scale rot are to either move above water and stay dry until their scales heal, or to pluck the old infected scales and wait for new ones to grow in.
Reproduction and Lifespan
Naga are polygamous, and will have multiple partners at a time. These groups usually form tight-knit polycules, where most of the members consider themselves dating most of the other members— Though there are often one or two outliers who aren’t interested in each other. In their youth naga may bounce from relationship to relationship, but as they get older they settle into a routine with their partners, especially after moving into their own territory and starting their own farms. Being able to live and work together is integral to naga relationships and forming a working bond is very important.
A naga polycule is a hardworking force that relies on the strength of every individual member to keep things working smoothly. If one member falters, the other members will feel it. Because of this they are very tight-knit and protective of each other, and sometimes this leads to them being overly cautious of outsiders.
Because of their snakelike body shape, naga genitalia is completely internal. They have a barely-visible slit at the front of their pelvis, which contains all of their reproductive organs.
Males have a prehensile penis that is short and triangular in shape, like a small tentacle. While females have a urethra, vaginal opening, and an internal clitoris.
There are a lot of variation in naga sexual organs, and likewise, their sexual habits can differ greatly between individuals.
Naga have the shortest gestation of all live-birthing Sentients, at 4 months. Due to their short gestation naga infants are born fairly weak, with their eyes sealed shut, and need constant supervision until their first year when they start to open their eyes.
Although naga are born functionally blind, their sense of smell is still very acute and they can learn to recognise people and things by smell. They will blow large mucus bubbles and press them against people to sniff them.
These mucus bubbles are also used in an infant’s communication. As most naga language is visual body language, closed-eyed infants have a hard time communicating with their parents. Instead, they express emotions through their mucus bubbles. Happy naga babies will blow large bubbles, filling them with multiple breaths until they burst. They do this by breathing in through their gills and out through their nose. This can be uncomfortable for mothers who are breastfeeding, as the mucus sticks to their chests and (while they don’t often think of it as gross) if it’s not cleaned off properly it can cause irritation.
To express discomfort or displeasure an unhappy naga infant will, instead of crying, blow lots of small mucus bubbles into the water around them like floating tears. These bubbles will stick to most surfaces and are usually an unexpected menace for inexperienced parents to deal with. Most naga will grow out of this during their childhood, and rarely carry the habit into their teen years.
From birth, naga have what’s known as the “baby curl” instinct. Young, blind naga curl their tails around things and people and grip as hard as they are able. Once they find something they like to wrap around they will refuse to uncurl their tails, even in their sleep, until they find something else to hold onto. Parents usually wrap their children’s tails around their own arms, so that they aren’t separated.
The baby curl instinct may carry on after a young naga opens their eyes all the way into early childhood. This is considered the equivalent of a land-dwelling child sucking their thumb, and many naga children will have specific comfort items, such as blankets or toys, that make them feel most secure.