The Naga Bloodline

Definition

The naga are a mortal bloodline descended from the interbreeding of the original Naga Spirits and Mortal Humans. The work under a very strick heirachy of breeding, castes and leadership with an isolted, almost religious culture ruled under the Three Great Naga to raise the bloodline's children to slay whatever monsters may threated humanity.

Origin

Since the birth of this world, the Naga have existed, great water serpents who serve as the hands of gods, the guardians of life and destroyers of monsters. They have served numerous deities and slain countless beasts to save the world, but long ago, they fell into complacency. The Naga had done their job a little bit too well and were no longer needed in the world.

With the world safe, they retreated into their personal havens, the spiritual realm of Ananta, a beautiful world of water where they could rest in the life-giving waters and enjoy their success. But now, with the Naga gone, the monsters slowly began to return (the most prominent being The Vampires). Having lived in the waters of the Ananta however had changed the Naga, they grew addicted to the life giving waters and realized they could never again leave.

So they found an alternative, the three greatest Naga gathered all their numbers and sent them into the real world, knowing they would die, but before their deaths, they passed on their spirits to unborn mortals and created the Naga Bloodline. These new humans with Naga souls could enter Ananta but could also survive in the mortal world to act out the Naga’s will and once again fight back the monsters.

When a member of this bloodline is born, they are brought to the Ananta and trained under the Three Great Naga who still live. They periodically shed their mortal skin and become closer to a true Naga when they are found worthy.

Structure

Culture

The Great Naga

Birth Castes

  • Kamakshi - Born of Spring: Those who are born into the loving warmth of spring are the most connected to others, feeling the need to work as part of a group. They are almost all assisstants or second-in-command to other castes, often filling support roles and helping the others acheive their own goals. They are perhaps the most balanced of the castes, developing all abilities equally to help them better fill whatever role is needed of them.
  • Kartikeya - Born of Summer: Those who are born in the raging heat of summer are passionate and aggressive, letting their emotions guide them to victory. They form the bulk of the frontlline soldiers and often serve as leaders in battle and act as figures of inspiration to younger naga. Of all the castes they are the most physically oriented, being incredible strong and resilient with many of them growing their fangs and venom at a much earlier shedding.
  • Kamsa - Born of Autum: Those born in the sterile cold of autum are aloof and logical, relying on their intuition and knowledge to plan out the attack. They consist of an entire group of tacticians and planners, looking at the avaliable information and looking at the strengths and weakness of their own team to formulate the best plan. While physical in nature their development focuses on sensory perception and quick wits.
  • Kali - Born of Winter: Those born in the death frost of winter are cold and emotionless, forsaking their emotions in favour of wisdom and logic to gather knowledge. They are the record keepers and archievers of the naga castes, gathering every little detail on their opponents and building up huge vaults of knowledge to aid their team. They are the least physical of the castes but are surprisingly capable of surviving in any environment in order to obtain their knowledge.
  • Wani - Protectors of Children: A caste avaliable to all of the seasons that can be joined by any naga once they reach a certain age. When a naga finally reaches the point when they stop getting powerful and actually start to get weaker with age, they can choose to 'retire' and join the caste of the Wani. This caste is given the incredibly noble task of caring for and raising the children of other Naga, they serve as surrogate parents, care-takers and teachers until the child is ready to go before the three great naga. It is also the Wani's job to look at the avaliable children and heritage and assign them their future breeding parterns when the children have their second shed.
  • Sannyasin - The Birthless: The rarest of the all the castes are Sannyasin, a disgusting sub-class that are born completely sterile and cannot pass on the blood of the Naga. When they are found to be sterile they are taken away in secret and trained non-stop to be the most violent, agressive and unrelenting of all the naga; since they cannot breed it is considered that they have nothing to lose in life and are considered dead by many. Sannyasin often form into small groups and relentlessly hunt every day of their life until they die in combat.

Biology

When a naga i born they are practically identical to a baby human (apart from being born from large eggs rather than a womb), however as they age they will periodically shed their skin, each time becoming less and less human and growing closer to the original naga.

Around the age of 6 they will shed for the first time, becoming much more flexible than normal and being able to hold their breath for roughly 5 - 10 minutes. At the age of 12 they will shed again, gaining small webbing between their fingers, the ability to slow their metabolism and a gift known as the blood of the naga which makes them immune to snake venom and makes their blood highly toxic to ingest.

The third shed usually occurs around the age of 18 but does not occur naturally like the first two; instead the naga must complete a pilgrimage where they go out into the world to learn more about it. This shed is often more personal and tied to their birthing caste with the Kartikeya becoming extremely strong and can go far longer without rest, the Kamsa gain supernatural tracking abilities, the Kali become resistant to heat and cold and the Kamakshi become truely amphibious.After this, a naga will periodically shed every few years, gaining more and more abilities each time. Enhanced stats, improved senses, less dependance of food or sleep are all common benefits.

Around the 4th or 5th shed a naga will also grow their fangs and venom; these fangs are about three inches long and retractable with the venom being based on the caste. Kamakshi gain a generic poison, Kartikeya gain a form of acid, Kamsa gain a paralytic and Kali gain a fast acting sedative.

Usually a naga will shed between 20-30 times in their life and each shed brings other changes beyond powers. Commonly skin will become dry and rough and their eyes will turn either yellow (Kamakshi or Kartikeya) or black (Kamsa of Kali) and clawed finger nails are all common with shedding as is eventually gaining a forked tonuge. The older naga are completely scaled and hairless with no visible ears of nose and razor sharp teeth with fully webbed hands and feet. When an older naga joins the Wani caste they grow a cobra-like hood and usually grow a foot in height.

Naga can also learn various rituals known as Serpent-Sorcery that can confer various powerful, yet temporary, abilites. Rituals are forbidden to those who have not reached their third shedding. Famous rituals include…

  • Freedom of Flesh - By burning the bones of a fallen opponent and inhaling the fumes, a Naga is capable of leaving their body behind for a short time in a form of astral projection where they appear as an etheral snake linked to their body by a burning gold thread.
  • Child of Storms - By spending 24 hours in meditation in an isolated cave, the Naga will then be free from whatever burdens the environment might bring for the next 24 hours. They can walk across a freezing tundra or around the mouth of a volcano without fear, they can stride through a hurricane as if it were only a faint breeze and never need fear drowning of being struck by lightning.
  • Shed the Years - If the naga sheds underwater, in the presence of at least 3 other naga then they can choose to leave behind their age with their old skin, becoming younger as they shed the skin. Usually a naga can shave off 3-5 years worth of aging in the shedding.
  • Assassin's Pit - By slashing their own tonuge and licking the forehead of a dead body, the Naga can instantly dispose of it, sending the body to a mysterious chamber on the Ananta where the dead are recycled and recorded known as the Pit. Usually this is used to quickly hide a body of a monster so as not to alert others.
  • Breath of the Dragon - By swallowing a live snake, the naga can call upon the power of the Azhi-Dahaka and turn the snake into raw destructive energy. The naga is granted a one use attack in which they breath out a billowing stream of scalding hot, acidic vapors that can burn even the most powerful of opponents. Only the oldest of the Kartikeya are supposed to learn this ritual.
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