The tale of civilization on Geb began with the iaret when this reptile-like people first raised cities in the jungles of Akhet under the tutelage of the apkallu. Given to rational and orderly pursuits, they built great monuments, carved roads from horizon to horizon and founded the first empire. While their dominion has contracted back to their jungle homeland in a mire of decadence, iaret can still be found wherever their laws once held sway. In their long history, the iaret have tried their hand at every skill and pioneered the techniques, spiritual, magical or otherwise, that underpin modern practices. An iaret is sophisticated and carelessly proud, the heir of traditions which shaped the known earth.
|IN THE FORM OF GEB|
|Iaret are slender and gracile, with narrow skulls and scaled skin. Greens, browns, and tans predominate among their coloration, with white, black, blue, and rust colors being more rare. Fine hair grows from their scalps above high foreheads in nearly every color imaginable, but is absent on most of the rest of their bodies. Iaret mouths stretch wide to reveal round, sharp canine fangs and long, forked tongues. Most walk on two legs and believe themselves to be the direct descendants of the earth, while some slither with the lower body of a great serpent and form a minority underclass.|
|A SNAKE'S WISDOM|
|Though their movements can be quick and agile, in many ways the iaret are conservative, considered thinkers. Strong emotion is foreign to them, the province of mythological figures rather than civilized beings. They are not automatons and feelings still burn bright within scaled breasts, but iaret take pride in being able to order themselves rationally. Iaret magistrates are the hallmark of just interpretation of the law and iaret merchants are reputed to assess value fairly even if they’re acting in self-interest.|
|THE POWER OF TRADITION|
|One of the touchstones of iaret culture is their
belief that they were ordained to rule from horizon to
horizon. The divine origins of the Suzerainty give that
nation’s ways and traditions a special cachet to the iaret.
Rulers rule, priests interpret and administer, and the population
peoples the world. Every few centuries a reform-minded
Dynast or other authority figure will crop up but the changes they
seek are usually incremental, or even reactionary when a certain
system has grown corrupt or was perverted from its original
purpose. Iaret living in other nations tend to be
civic-minded, law-abiding, and eager to take up what they see as
their role in a community.
|FROM HORIZON TO HORIZON|
|Geb might have given the iaret to rule the known
earth, but he did not serve it to them on a silver platter.
The horizons call to some iaret: not with esoteric curiosity
but a willful “why shouldn’t there be iaret here?” impulse.
Other iaret might have fallen into the adventuring lifestyle from
losing their standing in polite society or being alienated from it
in the first place.
|Iaret names often evoke a famous ancestor or
historical figure, and thus appellations such as “the 23rd of His
Name” are not unknown.
Example Male Names: Hamset, Rehu, Osirtesen, Se-pthah, Urshu, Khait
Example Female Names: Ain, Taf-nekta, Neirioui, Hasina, Karo-amat, Iousaas
|Age. Iaret reach adulthood in
their late teens and live less than a century.
Alignment. Iaret are pragmatic and muted in their passions. They tend slightly toward Lawfulness.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. 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 grey.
Innate spellcasting. You know the Poison Spray cantrip. You can cast Animal Friendship an unlimited number of times with this trait, but you can only target snakes with it.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Iaret. Iaret is siblant and drawn out, full of flowery turns of phrase.
Subraces. Two subraces of iaret exist: pure and fallen.
As a pure iaret, you descend from the direct lineage of Geb, sprung from the earth when the sun first crossed the horizon. Your people once ruled the known earth, and their legacy is still felt in every facet of civilization.
Ability score increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2 and your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Size. Pure iaret can be between 5 and 6 feet tall and weigh around 160 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Unblinking: Starting at 3rd level you can also cast Suggestion with this trait. Once you cast it, you can’t do so again until you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
As a fallen iaret, your form is twisted from the perfection of your pure cousins. It is said that your kind crawls like a serpent for some unknown transgression against the gods. You are suffused with a more animal strength and physicality than the decadent pure.
Ability score increase. Your strength score increases by 2 and your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Size. Fallen iaret can be between 8 and 10 feet long. They can weigh up to 400 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Natural Armor. Your scales are tough and resilient. When you aren’t wearing armor, your AC is 12 + your dexterity modifier.
Poison Immunity. You are immune to poison damage and the poisoned condition.
To other mortals, iaret can seem overly dispassionate in their dealings. Indeed, genuine histrionics are rare even in the face of extreme stress. Overwhelming emotion such as panic more often manifests as immobility while such responses are considered and mastered by the iaret or fade and pass naturally. As a corollary, an iaret who is emoting in an overt fashion is likely putting on a show for others. Displays of friendship toward members of other races can have a sense of awkwardness with the iaret being either too matter-of-fact or overly gregarious in their affection. Nevertheless, this is a matter of expression, the iaret feel as deeply as any other mortal.
Despite the often inverse comparison found here, most things are measured by iaret standards. As they set forth toward the horizons, the iaret set their discoveries against their own metric. For example, ozrut are taller than the iaret, beastkin are shorter and more hirsute, humans are very close in form to the bodies wrought by Geb, but lack scales. Even modern ideals of attractiveness among most civilized races stem from iaret tradition. Transgressive or humanist natural philosophers might sometimes refer to bipedal creatures with features similar to the iaret as “humanoid” but the civilized scholarly community uses the term “gebbiform.” The arrival of gebbiform extradimensional creatures like the soldati is cause for spirited debate on the origins of such features, but has done little to shake the paradigm of divine ordination.
A Nest of Serpents
The iaret are famously tolerant and curious of other races due to their national myth of learning from the apkallu. No other race receives quite the same affection and respect that their longtime pelagic partners get, but the Suzerainty administered a diverse population in a fairly evenhanded fashion. The iaret regard themselves as first among equals by privilege of their creation in the form of Geb, but don’t hold it against most other races that they diverge from that template. Indeed, they are curious about others and their traditions, eager to compare and contrast and sometimes even integrate with their own. Some are seen as more trouble than others, like the ferocious or insular ozrut, but individuals are judged on their own merit. With the end of the immediate threat of the Gate War, this attitude extends even to the invaders.
In the Manner of Beasts
The exception to the fair relations the iaret maintain with others is their attitudes toward the beastkin. The origins of the iaret domination of the beastkin and their prejudices toward them predate their contact with the apkallu and are thus indistinct. Modern natural philosophers note that early iaret words for “animal,” “chattel,” and “beastkin” all have the same root, though they have diverged greatly over time. It is possible that unlike the apkallu, and then other races, the iaret once saw beastkin as animals, given to them in their dominion from horizon to horizon.
A Watery Grave
Seas and oceans have been major barriers to iaret exploration, and as a people they were not traditionally skilled sailors. The reasons for this are a complex melange of historical and cultural factors. While the apkallu came from the ocean to help the iaret, that contact was made away from the still-mysterious water, and the iaret could not easily go to their new friends’ pelagic home. The early Suzerainty was later devastated by the star which pierced Apsu’s breast and the subsequent deluge of monsters from the depths of the ocean. Before all this however, there were divine associations which predisposed iaret caution towards open water. The oceans are the domain of Apsu, but she was never as beneficent as Geb or Ranute, full of dark secrets, caprices, and too swayed by Ash’s moods. Darker still are the utter depths, where the Drowning Girl holds sway and where souls too heavy with sin sink forever into her clutches.