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T'skrang: noun, both singular and plural.

In FASA's Earthdawn role-playing game, the t'skrang are one of the eight known Namegiver races. The shortest description of t'skrang would probably be lizardmen -- humanoid creatures with beaks or snouts, tails, and scales.

Of course, the problem with such a description is that it's very vague, which led to problems in the game's illustrations. Any fantasy artist worth his salt can draw an elf, or a dwarf, or even a windling, which is pretty much a barbaric fairy, with pretty much the same results as any other artist. A lizardman, however, can look like anything. As a result, the rulebook has illustrations of t'skrang which look like alligators, geckos, dinosaurs, and even humanoid dragons. The game designers' response to the variety? They made it in-universe. T'skrang, more than any other Namegiver race, are subject to mutation, and can have just about any racial trait that seems reasonable. A standard t'skrang tends to be green and scaled, amphibious, with a powerful but only slightly flexible tail, but in a campaign you can run into chameleon t'skrang, t'skrang with prehensile tails, t'skrang with and without gills, and even the rare t'skrang with wings.

T'skrang culture also varies, and according to the Denizens of Earthdawn books has three main branches: the river t'skrang, jungle t'skrang, and mountain t'skrang. (T'skrang enclaves in caers will probably be variants of one of these cultures, removed from their environment.) Most t'skrang are matriarchal, with a mother figure who leads the village or trading clan. Marriages are frequently arranged by this Great Mother. T'skrang lay eggs, and many villages raise children communally. Sometimes parents don't even know which hatchling is theirs, although just how communal the family is varies from village to village.

River t'skrang consist of trading clans of varying sizes, reminiscent of the large Italian merchant families during the Renaissance. These clans range from single extended families with a village and one riverboat, or huge alliances which run entire underwater cities and several trading fleets. The culture of the river t'skrang centers around their boats and trade, with most children serving on one for a period of several years. The "stereotypical" t'skrang, if such a thing exists, is a flamboyant member of a river t'skrang clan.

Jungle T'skrang are more primitive, and have a culture reminiscent of Amazonian Indians. Mountain t'skrang enclaves are rare, and consist primarily of winged t'skrang who take advantage of the cliffs to help them fly. In an effort at game balance, winged t'skrang tend to be mute. Hatchlings with this particular mutation are often ostracized in their home communities, and gravitate to the mountain t'skrang cities where they can live with others of their kind.

Of course, the true uniqueness of t'skrang as a race is their variety, physically and culturally. Local culture may vary with the whim of the GM.

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