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Shady Knight
Lord of the Elements
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Join date : 2008-01-20
Age : 28

PostSubject: Updated Naga Entry   Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:47 pm

Yes, it's that time again, folks.  Time for another update on an existing race, with more useless flavor text than you can shake a stick at, because I have nothing better to do with my time.  This time, it's the naga's turn.  I figured since they are more or less THE race of Felarya, it'd only be fair for them to go through an update at some point.  That and some things about their entries have been bugging me.  There's a lot of ground to cover, so I'll post my explanation for some changes at the end.  In the meantime, enjoy.


One of the most well-known species living in Felarya and certainly one of the first things that usually comes to mind whenever people hear the word.  Nagas are a race of creatures with the head and torso of a humanoid, and the body of an enormous snake from the waist down.  Their serpentine lower body, referred to as their tail, are typically covered in smooth, colorful scales featuring a wide plethora of unique patterns, which can range from simple rings and stripes, to elaborate and sometimes foreboding shapes.  Beside their tail, nagas sports all sorts of other snake-like features, the most common of these being a pair of fangs in their mouths, as well as an elongated and sometimes prehensile tongue.  Some nagas may also sport long ears, slitted reptilian pupils, a forked tongue, or patches of scales on certain parts of their upper body.

Nagas are known far and wide as one of the most fearsome predators in all of Felarya.  A highly adaptive race, they have evolved to live in a variety of different environments imaginable, making them one of the most widespread predatory species the world.  In spite of their huge size, they are incredibly agile, able to move quickly and in relative silence.  Their tail, colored to match their environment, provide them with superb camouflage, making it all the harder to spot them before it's already too late.  They possess a huge appetite and a typical giant naga would have no problem eating a dozen humans in a single meal.

Although nagas are most commonly depicted as an all-giant race, the reality is actually quite different.  Much like snakes and humans, nagas are an incredibly diverse species and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Common small nagas often share the same body proportions of an average person and usually stands just a little taller than an adult male.


Biological Traits

Like many creatures descended from reptiles, nagas are ectothermic, meaning cold-blooded.  They rely mainly on ambient heat to regulate body temperature, as their body generate little heat on its own.  In theory, a naga would enter a state or torpor if it became too cold, but since Felarya does not have true seasons, this almost never happens.  For most nagas, this rarely affects them in a significant way as they are typically well-adjusted to their surroundings, though they can sometimes be sluggish at night and in early morning when the temperature is lower.  It's common for them to bask in the sunlight in the morning to warm up before they begin their daily activities, however many like to partake in the activity for no other reason than to enjoy a nice sunbath, which nagas are quite fond of.

The internal anatomy of a naga is largely identical to any other humanoids.  The majority of their internal organs are located in their upper torso and are all situated where you would expect to find them in a human body, sharing the same function and largely level of importance.  The major exception, however, is their digestive system, which is radically different from any other species.

Just like snakes, nagas possess an incredibly stretchable esophagus and stomach, allowing them to swallow just about anything that can fit inside their mouths.  Unlike a human jaw, which is connected to the skull via a complex set of bones, joints and muscles, a naga's jaw is attached to the skull purely by a series of strong and elastic muscles.  These powerful muscles allow nagas to open their mouths far wider than normal, and are flexible to the point that they can swallow large preys whole even if it is larger in diameter than the naga's mouth.  The naga's ribcage lack a sternum and is entirely comprised of multiple movable ribs, allowing large preys to pass through the chest unimpeded.  Theoretically, all nagas are able to swallow very large preys whole, however, many of them are used to eating nothing but small preys, leading their jaw muscles to atrophy somewhat.  Some nagas like Crisis are almost unable to open their mouth wider than the normal human range as a result.

Nagas possess two stomachs: a small stomach, actually more than twice the size of a human's, in their humanoid torso, and a second, much larger one situated within their snake body.  A naga eating a small prey would only use the first stomach, as it would be a waste of energy to "warm up" the larger one.  In that case the food arrives in the large stomach already digested, so the large stomach just acts like an intestine and moves the food along to the intestines proper.  A naga that ate something bigger, on the other hand, would require the use of the bigger stomach, so the smaller stomach would stretch and let big meals pass through, as if it were simply an extension of the esophagus.

Both of the naga's stomachs are very strong.  Not only can they digest just about anything short of stone and metal, but they're very resistant to damage as well.  Trying to upset a naga's stomach with normal blades, conventional firearms, and traditional destructive spells like a fireball, is all but a lost cause.  Once an unfortunate adventurer finds himself trapped inside one, there is really only one thing that can happen...

Although nagas are capable of swallowing a creature of a similar size whole, they very rarely do so.  Due to the shape of their humanoid torso, swallowing a prey this large is very difficult and sometimes incredibly painful if the naga isn't used to it.  Even when completely ingested, the sheer size of such meals significantly weighs their tail down, making it hard to move around and leaving them virtually defenseless against predators.  For these reasons, nagas typically limit the size of their prey to roughly half their own size standing upright at most.  The only time an average naga might consider hunting something bigger is if she is famished and knows for certain she can safely get away with it.

Some nagas, mostly ones who borrows from venomous snakes like vipers, have special glands that secrete highly modified, toxic saliva, designed primarily to facilitate the immobilization and digestion of prey, and defense against threats.  These glands are usually nested somewhere near their cheek bones, resulting in rounder, puffier cheeks, and are connected to specialized hollow fangs.  Naga venom can be roughly classified as neurotoxic or hemotoxic, though the line between the two is very often blurred, with several naga species incorporating both neurotoxic and hemotoxic venom.  Moreover, the venom's exact toxicity differs quite a lot from species to species, with some having similar, but ultimately more potent venom than others.  Although it is most commonly injected after a bite, a few species of nagas are able to spit streams or sprays of venom at an incredible distance, largely dependent on their own size.

In general, a naga's five senses are about as sharp as a human's, although depending on the species, one particular sense may be significantly sharper than the others, or they may possess a sixth sense altogether.  Their sense of smell and taste, on the other hand, is a different story.  While nothing special when used individually, when the two are combined, they form one of the most powerful chemosensory devices known to man.  The naga's tongue, though often shaped like a human's, is capable of capturing scent particles in the air, transforming it into olfactory information.  This is accomplished with the help of a vomeronasal organ, also known as the Jacobson's organ.  This organ, located at the roof of their mouth, takes the information gathered by the tongue and transforms it into smell, which they then use to better pinpoint its source.  Thanks to this unique physiology, nagas are among some of the best, and deadliest, trackers imaginable, on par with rigorously trained inus.


Magical Affinity

One of the most puzzling mysteries about nagas is their magical potential.  Despite having no relation with fey creatures, most nagas possess an innate talent for magic, which is strongly influenced by the environment they grew up in.  This results in nagas developing an affinity toward a specific element, making them more prone to learn magic based around it, as well as an innate resistance against spells that make use of that particular element.  For instance, a naga who grew up in a vast forest will usually develop a talent for plant-based magic, while nagas who live in a desert that sees daily sandstorms often acquires an affinity for wind magic.

Unlike elves and fairies, however, this inherent power does not manifest itself during childhood.  Rather, it awakens late in their life, usually when they reach mature adulthood.  The nature behind this gift remains unknown to this day.  One popular theory is that this is thanks to having snakeskin.  Snakeskin, being a fairly common ingredient in alchemy, is known to hold power, even when it is shed, thus it would make sense that nagas, being part snakes, would be able to tap into that power.  This theory is however unsubstantiated, as the risks associated with testing this hypothesis is often too great for anyone to go ahead and do it.  Whatever the reason, everyone can agree that a naga properly trained in the arcane arts as the potential to become an outstanding and powerful spellcaster.  Moreover, because they possess an inherent gift for magic, nagas are one of the few races with the natural ability to sense and detect the presence of magic signature.


Hunting Habits

Nagas, like snakes, are carnivores, and are fond of eating live animals.  They can be either diurnal or nocturnal hunters, but the one thing both have in common is their fondness for ambushing preys.  Typical diurnal nagas roam about their territory, actively searching for game until a prey is detected.  It which point, they go into hiding and then wait for their chosen prey to draw near before striking.  Nocturnal nagas, on the other hand, prefer to sit in a spot of their choosing and wait for prey to come to them than to actively forage for food.  How nagas subdue large preys vary between individuals, with constriction and the use of their venomous bite being the most commonly used methods.

After eating a large prey, nagas tend to become sluggish and sleepy.  This is because digesting meals of that size is an intense activity that requires much of the naga's energy.  The bigger the prey, the more energy it requires to digest properly.  Because it is so exhausting, nagas often sleep somewhere warm following the consumption of a large prey in order to keep their metabolism as high as possible, hence why it is so common to see a naga with a bulging tail napping in the sunlight.  Regardless of the size of the meal, the digestive process is highly efficient, dissolving and absorbing almost everything of their prey.  It is thanks to this incredibly efficient digestive system that nagas don't need to feed as often as other predatory creatures.  Depending on the size of their prey, a naga may need to only eat once a week to once every few weeks.  Even nagas who subsist almost entirely on small prey only need one filling meal every few days to stay well-fed and healthy.

Despite eating mostly meat, nagas can eat a small amount of vegetable matter.  Such cases are usually done when a hunt has gone especially badly and is only a temporary solution until a proper meal can be acquired.  A favorite food of nagas beside live animals is, unsurprisingly, eggs.  They adore eggs, finding them both very delicious and incredibly nutritious, and it's not uncommon for nagas to gorge themselves on an entire nest full of eggs whenever they come across one.  Some nagas are so fond of eating eggs that they form the cornerstone of their diet.


Behavior and Culture

One of the most interesting aspect of nagas is the huge behavioral and cultural dichotomy between small and giant nagas.  Typically, giant nagas are solitary creatures, and although they will ferociously defend their territory from intruders if necessary, they are usually peaceful toward other races.  Once a giant naga has settled around a particular territory, it will remain there for a very long time, rarely thinking about what sort of wonders may be lying beyond their small world.  On the rare occasions when a giant naga leaves its chosen territory, it's usually because food sources have dwindled to the point that they cannot continue to live there, or to look for a potential mate.

Small nagas are another story.  Unlike their titanic cousins, human-sized nagas are social creatures, forming tight-knit tribes of dozens, sometimes over a hundred members.  A nomadic race, they constantly move from one place to another, never staying in one spot for too long to avoid the ever-present threat of the deadly Felaryan fauna.  The few sedentary tribes that exist often adopt a more warrior-oriented culture, but even with this lifestyle, they nonetheless remain primarily hunters like their migratory brethren.

Tribes of small nagas are typically led by a queen, usually the eldest, wisest, or most powerful member of the tribe.  It's a common misconception that nagas, both giant and small, are an all-female race.  While it is true that small naga societies are traditionally matriarchal, male nagas are actually treated more or less as equals by their female peers, and the gender ratio between the two is almost even.  This misconception largely stems from the fact that female nagas are often the ones hunting game while the males remain at home to look after the young, limiting their contact with humans.  In the case of giant nagas, it's mostly because the most notorious giant nagas around all happen to be female.

Regardless of being nomadic or sedentary, small nagas are taught how to fight and defend themselves from threats at an early age.  Nagas mostly employ their powerful tail in battle, either to constrict their foe or to deliver crushing blows, as well lightning-quick punches that come from all sorts of weird and unexpected angles.  Besides their fists, nagas also favor swords, particularly curved swords like scimitars, spears, and occasionally, bows and arrows.  Knowing well that Felarya is a “eat or be eaten” kind of world, small nagas aggressively attack anyone and anything that intrudes on their territory.

Unlike giant nagas, small nagas distrust just about any other sapient race.  They are especially wary of humans, nekos and elves, as the fearsome reputation their much larger cousins carry unfortunately bled over to them as well.  Many humans and elves have waged battle against small nagas in the past, believing it to be justice for all the sorrow and destruction their giant kin have caused.  Even to this day, these races don't see eye to eye, with many humans and elves outright refusing nagas seeking refuge entry to their settlement and vice versa.

But the one race nagas have the most interesting relationship with are dridders.  The two races have been mortal enemies for centuries, a sentiment that has been further spearheaded by the genocidal campaigns of Queen Sineria.  Since the war's end, animosity between giant nagas and giant dridders has been steadily vanishing over time, and a few odd friendships have been able to bloom between the two races.  In spite of this, nagas and dridders remain fierce rivals over dominance for territory, and can't help but glower suspiciously at each other.  This, however, does not hold true for small nagas.  To this day, they continue harbor a deep grudge against dridders, the resentment over the atrocities and infamous treachery committed by their late mad queen seared in their consciousness.  Whenever the two races meet, a skirmish almost inevitably follows.

It is commonly believed that giant nagas don't prey on small nagas, but this could not be farther from the truth.  Giant nagas have no qualm eating small nagas, seeing them as no different from any ordinary preys.  In fact, small nagas are usually seen as a rare delicacy and highly sought-after by just about every giant race.  Though they don't taste incredibly amazing, they are very filling thanks to their massively elongated bodies.  One or two fully mature nagas is often enough to satisfy a giant for quite a while.


Reproduction

Most species of nagas lay eggs, although few instead give birth to live young.  After two or three months through pregnancy, a naga will lay her eggs somewhere warm and humid, which will then hatch after several more months of incubation.  Giant nagas do not mate very often and usually lay only one or two eggs at a time.  Regardless, they defend their eggs ferociously from egg-eating animals, or any creature that would dare venture too close.  Nagas born from eggs are much smaller from those that are born live, with giant naga hatchlings being often only a little bigger than an adult human.  Because their diminutive size leaves them so vulnerable to danger, they are taught at a very young age how to hunt and how to remain stealthy at all times.

Small nagas, on the other hand, have a significantly higher birthrate than their giant counterparts, mating much more frequently and giving birth to more young at a time.  On average, a small naga will give birth to a clutch four or six offsprings, but there are occasional stories of a single mother laying as many as ten or even a dozen eggs at once.  As with giant nagas, the sight of a mother naga guarding her clutch is quite an intimidating one, giving the impression that the slightest noise or sudden movement will cause her to unexpectedly lash out in self-defense.  Unlike giant nagas, newborns aren't taught to hunt and fight until they have matured and grown big enough to properly wield a weapon.

Some cases point to a few nagas abandoning their young either shortly after they are born or after laying their eggs.  No one knows what compels them to do this when most are perfectly content raising their offsprings.  This behavior appears to be exclusive to giant nagas as cases of parental abandonment are practically unheard of among tribes of small nagas.

Much like snakes, nagas must periodically shed their snake skin as they grow.  When a naga is ready to shed, the colors of their scales grow slightly dull and their tail starts itching quite a bit.  The rate in which a naga sheds is more frequent during childhood through adolescence where they undergo a rapid growth spurt, which then slows down tremendously once they have reached adult size.  It's also quite common for a female naga to shed her skin a few days before she lays her eggs or gives birth.  Even after she reaches adulthood, a naga never stops growing throughout her life, thus will never stop shedding either.  It is said that human-sized nagas who have lived for a very long time will eventually become so huge, she will dwarf humans and small nagas alike.  Although none have ever seen one for obvious reasons, many believe that an ancient naga, one that somehow managed to live for several centuries, might be one of the most massive and awe-inspiring sights one could behold.


Common Types of Nagas

In Felarya, nagas are most commonly classified by habitat rather than by their elemental affinity.  This isn't a hard rule, however, as it isn't uncommon to encounter a particular naga several miles away from its usual habitat.  This line is further blurred by nagas who have mastered the arcane, allowing them to tap in magic beyond their favored element.

Arboreal Nagas

A species of nagas who make their home atop Felarya's tallest trees.  They are the most common type of nagas and often the first to come to mind whenever people hear the word.  As they are widely found in forested areas across Felarya, their colorations differ quite a bit from region to region, though it is obviously predominantly green.  Adept climbers, they are able to scale up and down trees in the blink of an eye with their long and powerful tail, as well as leap from branch to branch with the greatest of ease.  Complimenting their remarkable agility, arboreal nagas possess the sharpest eyesight of their kin.  They can spot objects sitting all the way down on the forest floor with utmost clarity, and are able to track rapid and erratic movements with little difficulty.  Because they spend so much of their lives in the trees, arboreal nagas often get along well with dryads.  Many dryads allow small arboreal nagas to live in their branches, protecting them from predators.

Subterranean Nagas

Nagas who spend most of their lives underground.  They possess stout and very muscular bodies, a rarity among the chiefly slender race, and scales bearing earthly tones, primarily brown and black with the occasional muted shades of green.  They typically live in burrows in a variety of regions, although many are just as content making their dwellings inside of caves in the mountains.  Because they live underground, subterranean nagas have adapted to see with little to no light, either by seeing heat sources or by possessing some form of darkvision.  Their eyes are however ill-adjusted to see under normal light conditions, with most being unable to see in daylight without dedicated training.  Subterranean nagas possess many more tactile receptors in their body than their cousins, allowing them to sense vibrations in the ground from a much greater distance.  Many make use of this ability when digging to detect where the ground is unstable.

River Nagas

Nagas who reside near bodies of fresh water such as creeks and riverbanks.  Their coloration typically range from purple to various shades of blue, somewhat similar to a mermaid.  They are excellent swimmers, but despite their namesake, they do not spend quite as much time in the water as most people might come to believe.  River nagas are notably lazy and prefer basking in the sunlight at the water's edge while they wait for suitable prey to show up.  Though they mainly feed on fish and frogs, they will eat just about anything that enters their territory, birds and mammals included.  Being comfortable living in both water and land, river nagas have a slight resistance to cold and aren't as bothered by changes in temperature.  River nagas have somewhat of a rivalry with river mermaids, both as swimmers as holder of the title of the deadliest fresh water predator.

Desert Nagas

Nagas that are born in the Akaptor region.  Their scales bear sandy tones of yellow and orange, and their upper bodies are very often tanned.  Although most commonly found in the desert, they can be encountered in just about any region that sees very little precipitation such as Lamina.  Because those areas are so arid, desert nagas are able to live comfortably in both hot and cold environments, and have evolved to need very little water to survive.  Unlike most of their kin, desert nagas possess special heat receptors in their bodies.  They can sense slight changes in the ambient temperature, a valuable tool for detecting both prey and predators lurking in the sand, or for hunting at night.  Desert nagas rarely go out of their way to eat more than what they need, a lesson the harsh environment teaches them at a young age.

Volcanic Nagas

A rare species of nagas who make their dwellings near active volcanoes.  They feature very warm colors such as red and orange, or dark gray and black.  Volcanic nagas share most of their traits with their desert-dwelling cousins, such as having darker skin, needing very little water to survive and possessing heat receptors in their bodies.  Unlike other nagas, their magic potential awakens almost as soon as they are born, granting them the resistance they need to survive the extreme heat.  Despite their ability endure incredibly high temperatures, their tolerance against cold is the weakest of all nagas, and they are prone to brumate even in temperate climate if they do not keep themselves warm.  Although fire fails to faze them entirely, volcanic nagas cannot in fact survive in lava.  Volcanic nagas are believed to be naturally passionate and very quick to anger, but due to their natural habitat being so inhospitable to human life, no one has been able to verify those claims.

Storm Nagas

A strange species of nagas whose habitats experience turbulent weather all year long.  Their scales often sport very unusual colors, ranging from light gray to bright blue, the likes of which would provide them with very poor camouflage outside of their given home.  In spite of their unusual coloration, storm nagas possess the most keen hearing of their kin.  Their acute ears can pick up noise from an incredible distance as well as hear sounds that would normally be too faint for most to hear.  This heightened sense of hearing often proves just as beneficial when searching for prey concealed in fog or across vast plains, as it does alerting them when danger draws near.  Storm nagas develop their magic potential much sooner than the average nagas, usually throughout their adolescence.  Their powers allow them to sense slight changes in atmospheric pressure, effectively granting them the ability to predict the weather.

Arctic Nagas

A rare species of nagas that hail from cold, snowy regions.  Unsurprisingly, their coloration is largely comprised of cold colors, most often favoring shades of white, blue and cyan.  Arctic nagas are widely considered to be the counterpart and diametric opposite to volcanic nagas, and indeed, shares many similarities with their fiery kin.  Like them, their magic powers awaken shortly after birth, allowing them to exist comfortably in the biting cold of their homeland.  They are very sensitive to climate changes and would be hard-pressed to live even in a temperate region lest they used their magic to constantly regulate their body temperature.  Just like desert and volcanic nagas, arctic nagas make use of the special heat receptors in their bodies when hunting, letting them find both prey and predator hiding underneath snow and ice.  It's commonly believed that arctic nagas are inherently stoic, showing little emotion both in their voice and facial expression.  Most find these allegations to be cruel and cold-hearted.



Alright, onto the changes and why I went with this.  First, the tongue.  I recently went back and looked at some of Karbo's old work, particularly Naga Feeding Habits and the Chibi Naga comic, and it dawned on me that Crisis' tongue is stupidly long.  It's way bigger than her body proportions would suggest.  While I could have chalked it up as simple mistakes made some 10 years ago (feeling old yet?), which is most likely what it is, I figured "why not turn that little mistake into a feature?"  Plus, most people give nagas and lamias a very long and sometimes prehensile tongue anyway, so why not let Felaryan nagas in on the fun as well?

Next, the fact that they're cold-blooded.  I looked around wikipedia a bit and I found just about enough to make it work without mentioning that they hibernate in winter.  It gives them a unique idiosyncrasy that helps them stand out from the crowd.  It does make me wonder how Crisis can function so early in the morning, but I like to think it's because she's that hyperactive, because I find it funnier that way.

Next is the way their jaw is connected to their skull.  This idea originated from a concept picture of a naga character by Lyiba-MoonEyes.  On picture shows the naga's skull where her jaw is connected to her skull via nothing but muscles, which I thought was a clever way of getting around the whole unhinging jaw thing, especially since that's not actually quite how a snake's jaw work.  Unfortunately, as far as I'm aware, nothing came of that character, which is a shame cause I think her design is pretty neat.  As for the picture, you can see it for yourself right here.  And since this is so short, I'll tack on the part about the ribs.  Long story short, same-size very rarely if ever addresses that pesky thing called a ribcage that, by all accounts, should be a big nuisance.  I decided to be a contrarian and address it.

On the subject of same-size vore, I decided to be slightly more realistic about it and acknowledge the limitations a human upper body would present when it comes to consuming something of a similar size.  I'm actually a big fan of same-size vore when it's done right, and I can forgive the anatomical impossibility for the sake of my personal enjoyment.  But when it comes to Felarya, I feel it would ultimately be for the better to address the elephant in the living room than to cast a blind eye over it.  If a naga were to swallow a human as big as her whole, it would mean that her esophagus would have to open so wide it goes past the width of her own shoulders.  Even in a crazy fantasy world like Felarya where the laws of physics are held together by duct tape and wishes, you have to admit that this is quite a stretch.

Next are the naga's senses.  When it comes to the typical way snakes track prey by smell, I'm actually a little on the fence about its inclusion, mostly because almost nobody who has a naga character ever uses it as far as I'm aware.  I figure it's harmless enough to include for the time being, so if Karbo wants to keep it, he can go right ahead.  As for the other senses, this mostly stems from a desire to give the common naga types, which I'll go a little more into detail later, some quirks to help them stand out from another.  Some like the arboreal naga having better eyesight is based on real arboreal snakes, while some others, mostly storm nagas and their hearings, is just something I came up with to give them something remotely unique.

Moving on to their hunting habits and diet.  First, the fact that they're carnivores.  Snakes are carnivores, I re-imagined nekos as carnivores, so do the math.  I'm aware that Vivian has been depicted as being able to eat fruits no problem and that may seem contradictory, but I like to think that Vivian is more than meets the eyes.  The part about needing to eat less often is also derived from real snakes, same with the difference between diurnal and nocturnal hunting.  Sort of.  As for nagas liking eggs, I don't think I need go into details about that one.

Now, onto the big one, behavior and culture.  I'll admit, this one is almost entirely my own personal bias.  I remember in an old version of the known Felarya map, it mentioned a tribe of small naga warriors not too far away from the Giant Tree.  I personally love the concept, as I think it holds a lot of potential for lore and interesting stories, but alas, nothing came of it.  Even without it, I personally think it would be logical that nagas that are at the top of the food chain and those that live at the bottom would behave far more differently from one another.  The idea of small nagas being nomads most of the time is to primarily help them stand out a bit from us sedentary humans.  Everything about their relationship with other races is pure speculation on my part given the circumstances that I'm familiar with.  Since humans aren't the most reasonable creatures on the planet, with elves not far behind, I figured it would only be natural for small nagas to not be very fond of us for a variety of reasons.  The relationship with dridders is mostly a compromise between wanting to ease the stigma of dridders being always chaotic evil, but still maintaining the intended rivalry between the two races.  The way I see it, since giants are mostly solitary, it only seems logical to me that would have already forgotten about the way, whereas small ones still have yet to move on.  And then there's the fact that giant nagas prey on small nagas.  Long story short, a lot of species of snakes eat other snakes.

Now for the other big one, reproduction.  Specifically, the part about giant nagas being the absolute best parents to ever live.  I'm aware of the implications, specifically the part where it says that newborn nagas rarely reach adulthood.  I know that there's been a lot of controversies on this forum concerning child prey.  I'm not here to start a debate.  This is just my personal opinion, but I think we need to reinforce how much of a dangerous dog eat dog kind of world Felarya is, and this is one great opportunity to do just that.  Moreover, it's in line with how most snakes take care of their youngs, which is none at all.  Plus, part of Crisis' backstory is that she was born alone with her parents nowhere to be seen, and in my opinion, this is a good explanation why she was abandoned.  My compromise is that while giant nagas abandon their children and leave them to fend for themselves, small nagas act like traditional human parents, because since they're gonna stay small all their lives, the other predators are going to take care of any potential overpopulation for them.

Briefly touching on shedding, I found out that snakes never stop growing, hence why they never stop shedding.  Now, since it's commonly assumed that you can't die from old age in Felarya, imagine, for the sake of example, if Crisis lived for a thousand years.  Imagine just how much bigger she would be.  The part about an ancient naga is purely flavor text, cause that's what I excel at.

Now for the common species.  Basically, I found the old format where it listed common elemental affinity to be a little too arbitrary, and I thought that simply saying that it's influenced by their environment and leaving it at that would be more natural and leave the door open enough for the creative minds out there.  That aside, you may notice some species are missing, like the field naga.  Simply put, I couldn't really think of a way to make them more interesting.  At their core, they're just nagas that live aboveground, but not in trees.  It couldn't possibly be any more generic than that.  So I figured it was best to axe them and just be the unspoken vanilla-flavored naga.  You may also notice I couldn't help myself giving extra personality quirks to some of them.  Honestly, it just naturally came over to me as I was writing these.  You may also notice that I changed Terrestrial Nagas to Subterranean Nagas.  The reason for that is, when you think about it, all nagas that aren't aquatic nagas are terrestrial nagas, so they needed a more specific name.

Anyway, that about covers it.  I do have a suggestion regarding Anna, though.  Because Anna was born human and the wiki calls her a "Semi-Naga" in her bio, I thought it would be interesting if she didn't share some quirks commonly associated with nagas to further reinforce that she's essentially a hybrid.  For instance, she could be warm-blooded instead of cold-blooded, not that it would make her more of a morning person, and that she could be omnivore rather than carnivore.  What do you think?

But with that said, that about wraps up everything I have to say.  Tell me what you think.


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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:22 am

Shady Knight wrote:
Yes, it's that time again, folks.  Time for another update on an existing race, with more useless flavor text than you can shake a stick at, because I have nothing better to do with my time.

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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Sun Jul 24, 2016 11:06 am

Alright here we go, long read, just putting in things as I go along.

through the most unfavorable of terrains in relative silence. - oddly put

1st paragraph - interesting way of saying they 'hibernate', also you made 'sleep a lot' sound pretty fancy Razz

The problem with how their biology works is that it would take longer for the energy food would provide, because they still
have to pass through the second stomach. I don't know if that'd make any real difference simply other than 'waiting a bit longer
to get energy'.

I still have issues with giant nagas being entirely solitary. I'm sure a full family will live together- the chronology on the wiki
implies that large nagas lived in groups before Sineria's treachery.

Also, how would Giant Nagas reproduce if they're all solitary? They shouldn't be completely solitary - as they need a way to be
able to find a mate for reproduction purposes with relative ease. In all this naga culture though, being nomadic is definitely a
good approach, I think.  They would likely be that way the majority of the time.

Later on in your description, you could rephrase it to sound more like the reason people don't see male nagas all that much, is
because of their matriarchal society, females are often the hunters while males stay at home. This makes contact with male
nagas to be disproportionately low.

Also remember that feral snakes function on instinct, while sapience is given to nagas. Sapience and instinct are not friends.

Grammatical error later on: With their long and powerful tail, they are able to them scale up - should be "then scale up"

also "Nagas that hails from cold" you probably don't want to pluralize hail there.


"It does make me wonder how Crisis can function so early in the morning, but I like to think it's because she's that hyperactive,
because I find it funnier that way." Laughing

"On the subject of same-size vore, I decided to be slightly more realistic about it and acknowledge the limitations a human upper
body would present when it comes to consuming something of a similar size.  I'm actually a big fan of same-size vore when it's
done right, and I can forgive the anatomical impossibility for the sake of my personal enjoyment."

If you want to be completely realistic, snakes cannot feed on anything more than 1/3 their size. They risk injuring themselves at that point.

Next: You shouldn't need to go into detail about snakes being carnivores either! Razz Also, Vivian is an oddball, but an oddball
we all love. Can she be my aunt? I bet she'd be fantastic.angel

Also, I like the part about Anna. It makes sense to me as well. I assume to make anyone a morning person, coffee would be
required. I wonder if you wandered up to Crisis with a large delivery of coffee for Anna, would she let you pass, or just eat
you and then take the coffee? ^^ (Crisis may be asleep, too. Lazy snek.) Evil laugh
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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Sun Jul 24, 2016 12:55 pm

Alright, I did some tweaks, thanks for the suggestion, as well as the free picture that could have been replaced by actual feedback.

The fancy way of saying "they hibernate" is because reptiles don't actually hibernate, they brumate. Unlike hibernation, like I described, they aren't actually asleep, just awake but lethargic to the point that they're completely inactive. I changed the term to be a little clearer.

As for you idea of giant nagas not being solitary? One, I'm following Crisis' backstory, where she hatched alone in the middle of nowhere. I know you could say that her mother and father was killed before she hatched, but if that were the case, I think there would be a very high probability of her egg being destroyed in the attack, not to mention, two very conspicuous piles of bones sitting right next to her. And two, snakes just aren't social creatures to begin with. In the case of small nagas, it makes sense that they'd shed this mentality for the sake of improving their odds of survival. But giant nagas? They don't really need it because they're already sitting at the top of the food chain. In my opinion, them laying very few eggs and raising the newborns like a happy little family is just boring. If Karbo doesn't agree with it, then he's free to change it to however he sees fit. That is all I will say about it to avoid this thread being swept up by just one argument.
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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:14 pm

Fair enough. I think my concern about Giant Nagas being solitary is more likely from the "how do they find a mate and reproduce" aspect than an actual concern because "I just feel like it should be this way" which is also partly true, but culture exists because of varying reasons. They're not snakes anymore, they're sapient species - so their culture would develop according to what is likely to be more convenient, regardless of what I think about the matter.

I wonder if we cant come up with a special way for giant nagas to track each other down for mating. Specific markings in areas, or specific calls. Many animals make a very specific mating call. ...If we can come up with some sort of similar, inspired method, it would make it plausible for them to be able to live more solitary lives, because they'd be able to...exploit this particular function/custom in their biology/culture, to track down a mate in the first place.
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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:28 am

Shady Knight wrote:
as well as the free picture that could have been replaced by actual feedback.

if that's what you want (what you really really want)

Shady Knight wrote:
I do have a suggestion regarding Anna, though.  Because Anna was born human and the wiki calls her a "Semi-Naga" in her bio, I thought it would be interesting if she didn't share some quirks commonly associated with nagas to further reinforce that she's essentially a hybrid.  For instance, she could be warm-blooded instead of cold-blooded, not that it would make her more of a morning person, and that she could be omnivore rather than carnivore.  What do you think?

i was under the impression that Nagas are warm-blooded, given that 'Hotel Vivan' has centeral heating, which implies her body has body heat. (How does Vivian know what centeral heating is? or Hotels? XD) Also a warm body is part of the appeal for voraphiles, which is probably why we shoulden't think too much about this. XD
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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:33 pm

DarkOne wrote:
i was under the impression that Nagas are warm-blooded, given that 'Hotel Vivan' has centeral heating, which implies her body has body heat. (How does Vivian know what centeral heating is? or Hotels? XD) Also a warm body is part of the appeal for voraphiles, which is probably why we shoulden't think too much about this. XD

Do not underestimate Vivian Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:41 am

Really nice job on this one once again Smile

you bring up some interesting traits as well as a much smoother reformulation of the whole entry. It's more structured and clearly flow better. I like it ^^

Now there are two points where I am a bit more unsure : the cold blooded question and the absence of care for their youngs for the giant ones. Like you said this one is controversial. Personally I just can't really wrap my mind around it. Since they are fully sentient I'd imagine them to do the opposite. I mean you could have some nagas laying eggs and just going away but I feel that most wouldn't.

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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:26 am

The cold-blooded part is easy to answer. All this really means is that they get most of their body heat from environmental heat sources like most reptiles. Because winter is a non-issue in Felarya, all this mean is that they tend to get sluggish and sleepy at night or early in the morning when it's colder. In practice, this trait won't really come into play in a story since writers usually prefer for things to happen during the middle of the day. I just prefer to think of nagas as more than just people with a snake tail for legs because that's more interesting to me, and making them cold-blooded is a very logical way of doing that. Plus, it gives them a logical weakness that can make for tense moments in a story, assuming the writer is skilled enough to pull it off.

As for the idea of giant nagas abandoning their children after birth, like I said, if you're not comfortable with that, you can get rid of it. But if that were to happen, then I think giant nagas would need to give birth much less frequently than small nagas to keep their numbers relatively low for the reasons enumerated.
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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:14 am

Karbo wrote:

Now there are two points where I am a bit more unsure : the cold blooded question and the absence of care for their youngs for the giant ones. Like you said this one is controversial. Personally I just can't really wrap my mind around it. Since they are fully sentient I'd imagine them to do the opposite. I mean you could have some nagas laying eggs and just going away but I feel that most wouldn't.

This point is how I feel as well. Since they are sentient they have the ability to reason to make that choice, unless they were completely overcome by instinct.
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PostSubject: !    Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:10 pm

Okay shady I'm gonna just tell you right up I love the changes except for like two things. Let's hi-light my favorite things:

Shady Knight wrote:
It's a common misconception that nagas, both giant and small, are an all-female race. While it is true that small naga societies are traditionally matriarchal, male nagas are actually treated more or less as equals by their female peers, and the gender ratio between the two is almost even. This misconception largely stems from the fact that female nagas are often the ones hunting game while the males remain at home to look after the young, limiting their contact with humans.

Thank you for crushing this silly rumor once and for all that there are no male nagas or that they are like 99% female or something by using the logic of sightings and implying males are more parental. ^_^ Painted the male nagas in a nice light which I approve whole heartily.

Shady Knight wrote:
nlike giant nagas, small nagas distrust just about any other sapient race. They are especially wary of humans, nekos and elves, as the fearsome reputation their much larger cousins carry unfortunately bled over to them as well. Many humans and elves have waged battle against small nagas in the past, believing it to be justice for all the sorrow and destruction their giant kin have caused. Even to this day, these races don't see eye to eye, with many humans and elves outright refusing nagas seeking refuge entry to their settlement and vice versa.

Yes. This is the biggest challenge with being a naga in a city. Nekoes think humans are racist to them? Try being the poster child for one of the most regcognized predators in all of Felarya. -.-; Poor critters. Especially after the Great Disaster and mini pred/demi human hate was at it's height. I bet allot of unsolved murders of demi humans consisted of Naga victims.

Shady Knight wrote:
Because they spend so much of their lives in the trees, arboreal nagas often get along well with dryads. Many dryads allow small arboreal nagas to live in their branches, protecting them from predators.

I really hope this inspires some nice mini naga x Dryad relationships in stories now. cheers

Shady Knight wrote:
Even after she reaches adulthood, a naga never stops growing throughout her life, thus will never stop shedding either. It is said that human-sized nagas who have lived for a very long time will eventually become so huge, she will dwarf humans and small nagas alike, making them essentially mini-giantesses.

This is a good factoid to add. Especially the mini giantess growth capability for smaller nagas. That would be an interesting thing to see after a long time skip.

Now on to what I didn't like/ have issue with. =/

Shady Knight wrote:
It is commonly believed that human-sized nagas are able to swallow a human whole, which isn't true at all.

Ugh. I want to go with this, from a sceintific position I can see it as logcial since the digestive tract is more limited than our imaginations....but I like same size naga vore now and then and I'm sure there's others who do and might take issue with this. I know you can use the 'offworlder nagas are different' rule but honestly that'll encourage less resident small nagas. Also what about Nagas who swallow other preds and are supported? Like the one that was terrorizing Milly in French's stories?

Shady Knight wrote:

Being cold-blooded, the surrounding temperatures also play a large role in their digestion.

>-<; Again sceince supports it but there's some people who don't want this to be cannon and I'm on the wagon. I thought about this when I made Clare. I thought about adding towards her weaknesses but then I liked the idea of warm blooded. Granted Clare is an offworlder, but her parent's may not be. <.< Still in flux cause I don't like spoilers and my story seems to have mind of it's own. =P But back to the subject at hand! You contridicted yourself too when you classified each species by land type rather than magic. <.< If all Nagas had cold blood then Artic Nagas would die off. I know you latter made a addition to their race profile but I would still state that cold blood is common, but warm blooded ones are not unheard of and some species like the Artic nagas have adapted to have warm blood to survive the harsh winter conditions. Either that or go like that fish in Anartica that has a natural anti-freeze in it's blood.

Now lastly something neutral/question of my own. You list all the nagas by land type, grr I liked Terrestrial Nagas but I see the sense in classifying them with a new name using the environment so I'll let that go, but I'm curious if you left off Pit Nagas, Krait and others cause it's up to the owners or are you planning to possibly just cut them out cause only some of the sub types can be classified by environment? I don't think you would but I gotta ask just cause I'm curious.
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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:23 am

From what I can tell, the crux of your arguments against nagas not technically being able to swallow something as big as them or being cold-blooded is that some people either might not like it or already went ahead and did it. I'm sorry, but that's a sentiment I just cannot share. If I had to give up on an idea every time a few people might get upset, then things wouldn't be able to progress.

In the case of same-size vore, I already said that I think ignoring the elephant in the living room for the sake of catering to a specific fetish group would ultimately be detrimental in the long run rather than address it. If French-Snack didn't think about it at the time, then he'll just have to get creative to make it work.

As for nagas being cold-blooded, bear in mind that it's practically a non-issue due to the lack of true winter in Felarya. And it's not contradictory for arctic nagas either. I stated plainly that their magic powers awaken shortly after birth specifically so that they can live in such cold environment. Them being ectotherms would only be a problem when it gets colder than normal, mostly at night, at which point, they'll only have less energy than normal if they're nocturnal hunters. If people can't make a quirk like that work in their stories, then I don't see how their writing can improve.

And as for the other types of nagas like pit nagas and sea kraits, it's because they already have their own sub-articles in the wiki.
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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:35 am

Shady Knight wrote:
 If I had to give up on an idea every time a few people might get upset, then things wouldn't be able to progress.

Progress towards what though?

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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:55 am

Progress toward nagas being more than just humans with a snake for legs. Progress toward the races being more distinct beyond just what animal they have in place of their legs. Progress toward writers having actual restrictions they must now learn to work with rather than just doing whatever due to ill-defined limitation. Not that I expect the latter to actually happen since rules concerning the setting are not very well enforced here.
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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:57 am

Shady Knight wrote:
Progress toward nagas being more than just humans with a snake for legs.  Progress toward the races being more distinct beyond just what animal they have in place of their legs.  Progress toward writers having actual restrictions they must now learn to work with rather than just doing whatever due to ill-defined limitation.  Not that I expect the latter to actually happen since rules concerning the setting are not very well enforced here.

But in turn this could restrict Karbo, i've already pointed out how the cold-blood contradicts the manga for example.
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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:55 am

Alright, I did some slight changes. Mostly, I specified that nagas brumating because it gets cold is almost unlikely to happen, and removed a couple of things here and there. I'm still very much for nagas being cold-blooded in general.
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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:18 pm

Also its cute to see a naga cuddle someone for the warmth value. Wrapping around a rock - or around a person! Simply not eating them because their warmth is more valuable. Haha.

Imagine Negav having a special spa for human sized nagas, haha.
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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:09 pm

Went ahead and changed a few things in the Reproduction paragraph. Mostly, I made it so that giant nagas have a much lower birth rate than small nagas, though I still snuck in a reference to cases of parental abandonment, because I can.
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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:13 pm

Okay, changed something again, a bit of a compromise when it comes to same-size vore. Basically, they can do it, but it happens rarely because it's usually not in their best interest to do so.
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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Sat Aug 27, 2016 1:18 am

Archmage_Bael wrote:
Fair enough. I think my concern about Giant Nagas being solitary is more likely from the "how do they find a mate and reproduce" aspect than an actual concern because "I just feel like it should be this way" which is also partly true, but culture exists because of varying reasons. They're not snakes anymore, they're sapient species - so their culture would develop according to what is likely to be more convenient, regardless of what I think about the matter.

What I've written in one or two of my stories is that female nagas are territorial whereas male nagas are nomadic. So males travel across large areas, looking for females to mate with by entering those females' territory.

This, though, would presumably apply more to giant nagas than to smaller ones. Although for smaller nagas, I can also imagine males travelling outside the territory they grew up on, and fertilising females from other communities, thus keeping the gene pool nicely varied. A form of exogamy, in other words.

Very nice work overall, by the way, Shady. Nagas feeling the need for the sun's warmth is a nice idea, for example. I also agree about them being very protective of their nest (as I've portrayed). And I really like the idea of dryads being protective of small arboreal nagas! Maybe I'll have some of those seek Shelny's protection some day.

Shady-Knight wrote:
Although nagas are capable of swallowing a creature of a similar size whole, they very rarely do so.  Due to the shape of their humanoid torso, swallowing a prey this large is very difficult and sometimes incredibly painful if the naga isn't used to it.  Even when completely ingested, the sheer size of such meals significantly weighs their tail down, making it hard to move around and leaving them virtually defenseless against predators.  For these reasons, nagas typically limit the size of their prey to roughly half their own size standing upright at most.

Fair enough. I have several naga characters who do eat large prey. Giant naga Tilhian eats giants and giantesses (as jedi-explorer mentioned), but obviously not all the time. When she's eaten one, she'll find somewhere to hide while she digests, so as to make herself less vulnerable. My tiny naga character Rivwin does the same: when she's eaten a tomthumb or a neera (which, to her, is very large prey indeed), she'll nestle down under the bushes, or somewhere else where she can stay hidden and sleep it off, until she's digested.

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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:51 am

Well the wiki went through some technical difficulties just as I was formatting the entry >> ah well.

I ended up changing some little things here and there :
I kept the cold blood but made it a bit less clear cut. Tepid-blooded you could say ? XD
i removed the egg-eating part. This one, when I was writing the entry , it striked me as a little too much.. snake. It's ok to have them take on snakes of course but there were a lot of elements already and this one was the one too much I think.

I made some changes about matriarchal societies for small nagas and the reason why you see less male specimen ( there is actually less of them instead of just them staying in villages ).
I kept the parental abandonment part but I highlighted it as rare. And I think that's about it, the rest is more or less unchanged, besides some small formulaic things. Great job on this once again Razz

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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:10 am

A damn fine job. It definitely cleared up a few misconceptions I had about nagas.
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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:23 pm

Karbo wrote:

I made some changes about matriarchal societies for small nagas and the reason why you see less male specimen ( there is actually less of them instead of just them staying in villages ).

Arrgghh why did you have to do that? -.-; I was happy that that stupid rumor was lessened if not killed. We all know there are a fair number of male nagas in actuality, which was not helped by the stupid rumor that males are nearly non0existant I might add, but I suppose word of Karbo is law so I'll accept it. It's not so bad as saying they don't even exist as used to be the case years ago.
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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:16 am

Well, I looked at the entry now that the wiki isn't on the fritz like it was all day yesterday, and, other than the reason why male nagas are less common than female, not much has changed. The wording for them being slightly less cold-blooded is still mostly in line with how I envision them. The mention of loving eggs being removed is fair enough. Only a couple of species of snakes eat eggs in real life, anyway. I kind to have to side with jedi over the reasoning why male nagas are less common. I'm fine either way with that, better to have an explanation than nothing at all, I just think the reason could have been a bit more substantial. That aside, nice touch on mentioning harpies as one of the main predators for small nagas, I didn't think about that. Not so sure about slug girls, but I'm going to assume is because they're immune to their potential venom.
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PostSubject: Re: Updated Naga Entry   Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:34 pm

(Sorry late to the party) I'm fine with a gender imbalance in nagas so I don't care that much, but I don't really think it makes sense. Giant nagas have 3 males confirmed on the wiki. As far as sapient predators go, that's a lot.
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