The Kobolds of Ilauris

Kobolds believe in dragons. Despite there being no actual physical evidence ever found of the existence of giant magical flying lizards at any time in the entire history of the world, kobolds firmly believe they are descendents of such magnificent beasts. They site their own reptilian appearance, the nubs on their backs that could be devolved wings (or just horns), and the structure of their language, which is utterly unlike any of the other languages in the world (just like all the other languages). Also,  their shamans (claim to) receive visions from the Great Dragon every so often.

The Great Dragon is also called Braxidezil, though a kobold would never use His name unless they were trying to get His attention. The Great Dragon is a scary, dangerous, angry creature with vast power, but not a god. Kobolds attribute bad things that happen to His anger, and often make sacrifices in His name, even to the point of offering up blood to appease Him. When good things happen, they assume it is because their latest sacrifice was good enough to get the Great Dragon to leave them alone.

On the whole, kobolds are a cowardly lot, but they have spawned a few heroes through the ages. They tend to be wary of outsiders, and stick to their known people and places. An average kobold will likely live his whole short life in the same village with the same neighbors. They do not have any specific rituals to mark special times in their lives, like adulthood, and neither do they have any sort of marriage ritual. Kobolds prefer to not attract the Great Dragon’s attention at any time if they can help it, unless they are making a sacrifice, and so celebrate quietly and infrequently.

Kobolds hatch from eggs, the shells of which are prized for decorative use. The eggs are cared for by a circle of kobolds, men and women, who all raise the younglings together. Thus, no kobold actually knows who his parents truly are, and they have no incest taboos. Of all the races, kobolds have the closest to equality between the genders, and have no specific gender roles defined in their society. Whomever is good at a given task is the one that performs it, and all kobolds are given the same schooling, such as it is. Baby kobolds eat regurgitated food from adults, and both genders are equally capable of providing it.

As a general rule, kobolds are crafty with regard to traps. They excel at designing, setting up, and detecting mechanical traps, and every kobold encampment is surrounded and laced with them. Unwary strangers quickly find themselves in pits, hung from ropes, or in other various unpleasant predicaments if not escorted by a native. They also excel at guerrilla warfare, finding ways to use terrain, ranged attacks, and traps to best effect so a small number of kobolds can usually defeat greater numbers of foes, as long as they are not caught by surprise.

The average kobold lives about 50 years, very few live to 65. They reach adulthood at age 12, middle age at 25, old age at 40, and venerable age at 55. Kobolds are highly fertile and a female can expect to lay 10-15 eggs in her lifetime, usually 2-3 at a time. Eggs are carried for about one month and need to be kept warm once laid for about three more months. A typical kobold community has a specific structure for the eggs, called an Eggery, and the adults take turns tending them.

A typical kobold community is set up in a five-armed spiral. The Eggery is in the center, with five Trappings around it, then housing in clusters along the spiral’s arms. A Trapping is a structure where materials and tools for traps are constructed and housed. The actual placement of structures is highly dependent upon the topography of the particular swamp, but all kobolds strive for the spiral shape.

Laws in kobold communities are nonexistent. Every kobold works for the good of every other kobold, and disputes are easily settled by virtue of an innate interest in working together. Outsiders who fail to act for the common good of the kobold community tend to find themselves wandering down the wrong path, then subject to the carefully laid traps there.

Most kobold communities are insular, uninterested in the world outside their swamps. Occasionally, one group or another will antagonize outsiders, usually due to perceived threats or building settlements ‘too close’. Rare individuals may roam the world, but most prefer to stick to the swamps.

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