Ssurrans are nomadic, humanoid reptiles. Some are raiders while others are simple hunters. As lizard men of the desert, they have adapted to the heat of the Athasian day and are active even during the blazing mid-day heat.
Adult ssurrans are 4 to 6 feet tall, weighing from 180 to 225 pounds. There is little difference between males and females. Their skin tones range from light green to brown to red. Their faces are humanoid. but they have forked tongues. Ssurrans speak their own language that sounds like grunts, growls, and hissing. Their tails are 2 to 3 feet long and are not prehensile. Ssurrans typically dress in little more than loin cloths, bone jewelry, and armor. They usually carry weapons they have taken from past victims.
Combat: Ssurrans are fierce but disorganized fighters who prefer to outnumber their opponents in a fair fight. They ambush their intended victims and attack from behind as often as possible should their intended victims be greater in number than they wish to handle. They fight an opponent until that single opponent is dead, then they loot the body and mark it with their claw so they can claim it as their own food after the battle.
Ssurrans attack with either their weapons or their claws Because of their great strength and the sharpness of their claws, each claw causes 5-12 (1d8+4) points of damage. If they become desperate, they can also bite their opponents for 5-8 (1d4+4) points of damage.
For each group of 10 or more ssurrans encountered, one is a shaman/leader with maximum hit points and 3rd level clerical abilities. If 20 or more are encountered, there are two subleaders with 5 HD and 3rd level clerical abilities along with one leader with 8 HD and 6th level clerical abilties. The leader is 50% likely to be protected by 1-3 bodyguards with maximum hit points.
Habitat/Society: Ssurrans roam Athas, seeking shelter and food. There have been cases when multiple tribes have joined together against a common threat. These multitribal groups are led by a council of elders formed from the shaman/leaders of each tribe. There is a 50% chance that there is also one central leader who has 14 HD and 9th level clerical abilities. This leader is protected by 2-5 personal bodyguards.
Ssurrans are strict carnivores. They prefer the flesh of halflings, but prey upon any living thing they find. Ssurrans are nomadic creatures and they generally stay in one area for only a few weeks before moving on.
Ecology: Ssurrans have few natural enemies, but many required ones. They prey on human, demihuman and humanoid settlements whenever possible. If they capture a large number of these creatures, ssurrans hold a great feast and sacrifice the rest to their obscure gods.
Ssurran eggs are inedible, as is their flesh, but their skin is sometimes worked as scale armor (AC 6) that is resistant to heat.
Slavers and mercenaries often attack tribes of ssurrans in hopes of acquiring their young. Most tribes have about 25% their number in young. These young often tram as gladiators since they are exotic and their natural strength and fighting ability make them worthy combatants.
Some ssurrans earn or purchase their own freedom. They often become bodyguards to the wealthy, desert trackers, mercenaries, and even templars. The merchant houses highly seek their services as scouts because of their great survival instinct.
Nature DC 15: The nomadic ssurrans, also called sandscale lizard folk, traverse the blistering desert sands in loose tribes. Several groups, with reptilian beasts in tow, make up a tribe. Some groups hunt while others raid settlements. They allow inhabitants to flee, and kill only those who resist. The ever-practical ssurrans then strip a village of its usable goods and move on. The tribe’s hunters follow behind, clearing away signs of their passage and laying false trails.
Ssurrans rarely live outside a tribe. On rare occasion, a ssurran wanders alone, either as an outcast or the last of its tribe. Sometimes, slavers capture young ssurrans to sell in city-states as exotic merchandise.
SSURRAN SHAMAN Despite being derided as primitive beasts, ssurrans have a wealth of tradition. Preserving that tradition, communing with the elements, and protecting and adding to the tribe’s oral history are a shaman’s foremost duties.
SSURRAN HUNTER With a carved bone pick and nimble feet, a ssurran hunter serves the tribe as scout, protector, and raider. A hunter is the first to greet the sun when it leaves camp at daybreak, and its plate sees the best ofthe day’s foraging.
SSURRANS IN COMBAT A ssurran shaman draws in the searing heat of the land as it chants quietly to the elements. As the symbols carved into its scales begin to shimmer, it raises its palms and blasts its foes with the sun’s fiery kiss. Inhibited by this attack, foes are vulnerable to the ssurran hunters that then rush in from all sides.