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Cecrops

Cecrops are half-serpent beings that sprung up from the earth, literally the children of Gaia. Cecrops come into being when the motion of the universe is reversed. This reversal is caused by the movement of the divinities—upon their withdrawal, everything begins to slide backward.

These times are tumultuous, causing the extinction of animal species and wiping out most of humanity. But the survivors are affected by a complete reversal of their natures: the old become younger and younger until they transform into newborns and then disappear completely into the earth. When the divinities return, these cecrops spring up from the ground itself and begin to age forward again.

Fang And Tail

Cecrops vary in appearance, but all have serpent tails and fangs. Cecrops lack body hair except on their heads and are covered by a fine sheen of nearly invisible scales. They have a compelling presence that makes them impossible to ignore.

Cecrops are insufferably arrogant, demanding instant allegiance from all whom they perceive to be their lesser— and they believe everyone is their lesser except other cecrops. That said, some species can earn their respect through heroic action, but those are few and far between.

Cecrops do have an appreciation for the wisdom of age and station and tend to see themselves as equals to kings and gods when they cross one.

Born To Rule

Cecrops divine heritage makes them natural rulers— whether or not mortals agree with their right to rule. They tend to be cruel and decisive in their actions and alien in their thoughts.

Cecrops worship no gods as they do not believe them to be superior. They worship Gaia alone and thus become druids, should one be so humble enough as to take up a life of service to her.

Staying Put

The cecrops have ruled in Libya and Athens. Cecrops established dominant monarchies with themselves at the top and a cadre of human servants and sycophants.

Cecrops reproduce rarely, so worship by other sentient beings is critical to their society. Cecrops have also sprung up in Arcadia, Argolis, Atlantis, Attica, Messenia, and Opuntian Locris.

Generally, cecrops stay put once they have firmly established their authority—cecrops that are adventurers have ventured forth to establish their legacy. They are usually in search of a long-lost lineage, to conquer a kingdom, or to reclaim their divine heritage. Whatever the goal, cecrops are always scheming to place themselves in the power they feel they deserve.

Traits

Your cecrops heritage manifests in a variety of traits you share with your kin.

Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1, your Wisdom score increases by 1, and your Charisma score increases by 1.

Age. Like humans, cecrops reach adulthood in their late teens. They show no signs of aging beyond that point except for growing larger, so in theory, cecrops could live well over a century.

Alignment. Cecrops lean towards neutral alignment because of their selfish natures. They are more likely to be evil than good as a result. They are also more likely to be lawful than chaotic, as law reinforces their authority.

Size. Cecrops stand about 5 feet tall when upright, but the total length of their bodies, head to tail, ranges from 10 to as much as 20 feet. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet. You also have a swim speed of 15 feet.

Darkvision. You have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Natural Armor. You have tough, scaly skin. When you aren’t wearing armor, your AC is 13 + your Dexterity modifier. You can use your natural armor to determine your AC if the armor you wear would leave you with a lower AC. A shield’s benefits apply as normal while you use your natural armor.

Natural Weapons. Your fanged maw and constricting serpentine body are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with your bite, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, and your target must make a Constitution saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier). On a failed save, the target takes 1d4 poison damage. If you hit with your constrict attack, you deal bludgeoning damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier, and the target is grappled (escape DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and you can’t constrict another target.

Poison Immunity. You are immune to poison damage and the poisoned condition.

Serpent Tail. You cannot wear any equipment that requires legs, knees, or feet. Conversely, you cannot be knocked prone.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Draconic.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

5E RPG: Ancient Adventures. Copyright 2020, Mal and Tal, LLC; Author Michael Tresca.