Naga

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.

Physical Appearance

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.

Sexual Dimorphism

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.

Genitals

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.

Racial Variations

Rattlesnake

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.

Leathertails

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 compared to Mystic races, 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 ever returned. The rare few leathertails that have returned from the mountains 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

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.

Respiratory 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.

Scale Rot

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.

Relationships and Life-Cycle

Polycules

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.

Life-Cycle

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 second 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 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.

Naga children develop rather slowly compared to other Sentients and are completely physically reliant on their parents until their 6th year, when they leave their infant stage and begin early childhood.

During their childhood, naga are very social. They are encouraged to reach out to others and make as many friends as they can. These friends are integral in a naga’s adult life as they become connections who can be relied on during hard times.

Naga have a large growth spurt after their 11th eclipse, and their development increases very quickly. They generally begin working alongside their parents on the farms at 12 eclipses, though the work is rarely laborious or difficult.

Their 13th eclipse is when naga begin to develop critical thinking skills and physical strength. Their workload with their parents is slowly increased up until their 18th eclipse, when they are encouraged to leave their family and start their own. By their 20th eclipse most naga will have decided whether or not they want children of their own.

As naga get older they tend to become more closed off, mostly socialising with their already-trusted social circle and rarely seeking new connections. By 25, most naga will have their completed social circle.

Lifespan Facts

• The life expectancy for naga is 75 eclipses.


• The oldest naga known was a man named Lini Tekin, who died at 106 eclipses after a lifetime of service at the Ferraset farms.
• The largest birth count for a single naga pregnancy is 8. There have only been 2 recorded incidences of octuplets in naga history.
• No naga has been known to survive a premature birth; and almost 60% of naga who go into premature labour become infertile.

Culture

Community

Naga live in extremely tight communities that that look out for each other and band together during hard times. These communities are generally wary of outsiders, and it is very difficult to enter an already-established naga community.

Though naga families each have their own land that legally belongs to them, the spaces they use often overlap with their neighbours; many naga don’t recall where their land starts and ends, and instead they share the most fertile edges of their farms with their community. Most families have no issue with others in their communities taking food from around the edges of their homes— And many encourage it, planting easy-to-pick foods for people to take as they need. They don’t consider food taken by others in their community to be theft; though they don’t allow outsiders to forage their lands.

Because of naga’s community-based and peaceful lifestyle, there has never been a war of different naga lands.

Farms

Naga farms are generally a mix of plant and meat farms, and farmers will grow several things at once in order to provide their families and community with a variety of foods and medicines.

Ocean farms are known for growing kelp, clams, crabs, medicinal algae, and starfish; while freshwater farms are more likely to have lilies, otters, penguins, waterweeds, and rice. Both are known to grow turtles, fish, eels, and seaweed.

Naga are not picky eaters, and will eat almost everything that is edible, regardless of how it looks or how off-putting other races may find the taste. They are known to focus on the size of their harvests, not caring to separate small faults such as bruised plants or stringy meat. If they do separate their harvests by quality, it is likely for sale and export to non-naga territories.

Though naga aren’t picky eaters, they do have preferred foods. A favourite of many naga are stinging sea pitchers; they are a plant that resemble the carnivorous land-pitchers, but have stinging nettles like an anemone inside that trap their prey. These nettles can be ground into a sweet-tasting paste. Most farms will have a small, personal crop of stinging pitchers for their families.

Common Religions

Okara
Aurn
Emaltoni

Language

Above water, naga speak with hiss-like voices. Their voices tend to be rather high-pitch because they suck air in from their gills while talking.

Below water, naga use sign language and fin-flicking for specific languages; but most of their communication is done with generalised body language. Because a lot of their communication is done from a distance while working, they prefer not to waste time trying to read hand symbols and have learnt to read body language extremely well. Most naga can tell each other’s intentions without issue, especially those who live together in groups.

Written languages are not common for naga; they usually only write in International. However, some naga communities have developed their own short-hand written languages in order to leave signs and community boards around; these languages are unique to each community and tend to change with each generation.

Naga laughter comes out of them as a stream of sticky mucus bubbles. They throw their heads back and make a sound as if they are gargling water in the back of their throat. Many Sentients witnessing a naga laugh for the first time have panicked— thinking the naga is choking.

Clothing

Naga clothing is almost completely made out of seaweed, and seaweed fabrics. It is rare to find clothing made out of any other material— Although there are exceptions, and there are a few freshwater naga communities that use cotton imported from Fallen Cloud to make their clothing.

There are several types of naga fashions; the most popular being sashes, wraps, and tight-fitting skirts and bandeaus. Naga prefer not to wear loose-fitted clothing as it can encumber them while swimming, and get caught or hooked on things while they are doing farm-work.

Any clasps they put onto their clothing tend to be made out of water-resistant materials such as coral, shells, or stone. They avoid metal clasps due to rust and the difficulty of smelting underwater.

Other

Names

Like many other Sentients, nagas have first, middle, and last names. However, unlike many other Sentients, they only receive their last names after becoming adults and getting into a relationship.

When a naga is young they only have 2 names: their first and their middle names. Their first name is chosen by their parents, usually their biological mother, and their middle name is their parents’ polycule’s last name.

As naga get older and create a polycule, that polycule will give themselves a last name to use, which their children will inherit as their middle names.

Misc

Naga skeletons have visible, half-fused femurs. Because of this it’s believed naga and seces share a common ancestor. Some say naga may have originated from mixes of seces and maren, though there is no viable proof of this.

There are several different swimming styles for naga, which usually come from different areas. Some swim like snakes, while others swim more like seahorses.

Seaweed is one of their most-used resources. They use it to make clothing, paper, food, and bedding, among just a few things.

In naga culture, those found guilty of sexual assault are executed and the victim is presented with the tip of their tail; if there are multiple victims the tail is cut until all victims have a piece. The victims may do whatever they see fit with the tail; many choose to feed the meat of the tail to wild fish and crush the bones that are left into a powder to fertilise their farms.