Moving on to 3rd edition OA there are a few new monsters in this book that were not in 1e. Converting them here.
Though these specific naga/yuan-ti are from Legend of Five Rings they do have an extensive history in the East, in particular India. To me they are good yuan-ti which I find pretty cool. Converted/mapped where appropriate.
The naga is a nice way to bring in all the not-so-comptible lizard humanoids into Kara-Tur.
- Alignment Lawful Neutral
- Telepathy. Nagas are all part of a communal consciousness they call the Akasha. This shared consciousness facilitates communication between nagas near and far, and contains the memories of their entire species. A group of nagas within 30 feet of each other are in constant communication. If one is aware of a particular danger, they all are. If one in a group is not flat-footed, none of them are. No naga in a group is considered flanked unless all are.
- Masculine. All naga are male. The naga are not born from eggs, like their feral reptilian cousins, but are birthed from special pools and ponds located within sacred regions of jungle. This birthing of a new generation are called Spawnings.
The culture of the nagas revolves around the Akasha — at once a communal mind, a racial memory, and a divine being (or at least part of the divine being called Atman). The social castes of naga society — the vedics, the warriors, the scouts, and the jaklas — are defined by their relationship with the Akasha, the Eternal Mind. All the castes are guided by the Akasha, and all contribute their learning about the world to the Akasha.
The nagas revere Atman, or the Akasha itself, as creator, sustainer, and destroyer of all things, wellspring and goal of life. They worship the two eyes of Atman, which see all that is good in the world, and the Pale Eye, which sees only evil and passes judgment on it.
In ancient times, six naga cities flourished in what is now Kara-Tur, each named after one of the major ideals of the naga race: Candas (“freedom,” the city of the chameleons), Iyotisha (“astrology,” the city of the constrictors), Nirukti (“joy,” home of the greensnakes), Siksa (“courage,” the home of the asps), Vyakarana (“magic,” home of the cobras), and Kalpa (“rebirth,” a homeland for all the bloodlines). Candas remains beautiful and intact, for it lies beneath the waves of the southern ocean, tended by ningyo (merfolk) as the chameleons slumbered. Kalpa lies in ruins somewhere in the mountains to the far north of Shinomen, and no word has ever come from its inhabitants since the end of the Great Sleep. Nirukti lies in ruins as well, at the southern tip of the forest where it has been picked clean by Rokugani explorers. The other three cities still stand, in varying states of disrepair, within the depths of the Shinomen forest.
The race of nagas spent a thousand years in a magical stasis called the Great Sleep, from the time of the founding of the Empire of Rokugan to the time of the Great Clans’ war against the Shadowlands. They awakened slowly, made war against humans and oni spirit creatures alike, and after a very short period have, for the most part, returned to their torpor. Some nagas see this as the only way to preserve their race, for their spawning pools are drying out. A few nagas— mostly greensnakes and asps—reject the fatalism of the vedics and jaklas, and remain awake in the hope of finding a way to reverse the decline of their people. A very few others hope simply to enjoy what life remains to them, rather than crumbling to dust while they sleep.
Naga society has five castes and any type of naga sub-race can be part of any particular caste though some of the sub-races have an affinity for a certain caste over another:
Greensnakes. The greensnakes are the most numerous bloodline, and the smallest nagas. They are in- quisitive and fast learners, and have adopted a diplo- matic role in naga society, facilitating naga interac- tion with the humans of Rokugan.
Chameleon. Chameleons are aquatic nagas, equally at home above or below water and able to breathe both air and water. They average 13 to 17 feet in length, and weigh 520 to 680 pounds. Their most remark- able feature is their ability to alter the coloration of their scales, which makes them ideally suited to the role of stealthy scouts.
Asp. The asp are among the most numerous of naga bloodlines, second only to the greensnakes. They are the warriors of their people: strong, sturdy, and aggressive.
Cobra. The cobras are the most mysterious bloodline of the nagas, because they are the practition- ers of the nagas’ strange pearl magic. They are similar in size to asps, but more slen- der and agile. Cobras are the most prone to physical mutations of all the naga bloodlines, prob- ably because of their constant proximity to powerful sources of magic. All cobras pos- sess hoods like those of the serpents whose name they carry, which can extend about 15 inches to either side of their head and retract at will. A few (10%) cobras’ hoods do not retract, and some (20%) manifest serpentine features such as elongated tongues, snakelike eyes, or long snouts. Cobras also sometimes (40%) have natural weaponry, including a bite (1d6 damage), claws (1d6 damage), or scythelike bones emerging from the elbows (treat as Large armor spikes—1d8 damage with a successful grapple check).
Constrictor. Constrictors are the mystics, priests, astrologers, and magis- trates of the naga, somehow more intimately connected to the communal mind and memory of their race than the other bloodlines. They are also the largest nagas, 25 to 30 feet in length and weighing 1,000 to 1,200 pounds. Despite their size and bulk, they are generally peaceful and gentle. The majority of constrictors have elaborate patterns of scales, and are called the Children of the Bright Eye. These nagas are teachers, philosophers, healers, seers, and guardians of peace. A few constrictors are born with scales of uniform black, and are known as the Children of the Pale Eye. These nagas serve as magistrates, filling the judicial roles of judge, jury, and executioner for crimes against the laws of the nagas.
Banner Credit: “Mist-Syndicate Naga” by Randy Vargas.