Not that hard to explain these guys since they are what you would expect from the picture above. The Giltris are lizard people who live in various tribal systems throughout Windemere. Being cold-blooded, most of them stick to swamps and jungles, but there are some that have found ways to survive in mountains. This is typically through the finding of hot springs and wearing pelts from animals they kill.
The other tribes only wear loin clothes and the occasional armor into battle. Laying eggs instead of live young, the Giltris don’t suckle their babies. This means both males and females have the same chest structure that is primarily muscle. You can tell them apart from the size and various natural ornamentation. Males are bigger with a colorful part that retracts, which can be found anywhere from the top of the head to the tip of their powerful tails. Females are smaller and faster with sharper teeth and they lack the ornamentation since they are not the ones that have to do the wooing. Each tribe has its own method of mate selection, but it’s always a competition between the males.
There are two leaders to each tribe and the two are not always related. A male is chosen as the Tribe Baron and he is the military leader who makes most of the decisions. He is always the strongest and most intimidating, but he does bow to one person. This would be the shaman who is typically a female with a strong connection to the spirits of nature. She influences the Tribe Baron’s decisions through visions and advice while making sure the internal workings of the tribe are running smoothly. Her male counterpart focuses more on the outside stuff. In some groups, the roles are reversed because a male might be born with a strong connection. Yet, there is always a male/female pairing to keep balance within the tribe.
You might have noticed that I haven’t really described the Giltris. That’s because they are what you think they would be. Large, muscular humanoids with reptilian scales, faces, and tails. Coloration could change as well as the male’s ornamentation, but they all share these similarities. Many tribes are primitive since they have no reason to expand their technology beyond Stone Age tools. Not feeling comfortable in cities, the Giltris are almost terrified of the idea. If you do find one in a city or village then it is probably a rogue who has been exiled. Once released from the family structure, they will go to where they will find other sentient beings for comfort. Surprisingly, people aren’t that scared of a solitary Giltris since this situation is well known. This is why you might find one working in a mercenary group.
Now, some people might remember that there is another reptilian species in Windemere called Fireskins. These are bulky lizard people who are highly intelligent, civilized, and can cast magic. Many believe they are related to Giltris, but they actually have no common ancestors. While the Giltris descend from mundane lizard people, the Fireskins are connected to dragons. Both have scales, claws, sharp teeth, and powerful tails, but they stem from different sources. Oddly enough, the Fireskins take more offense at the misunderstanding than the Giltris. The latter find it amusing that anyone would think they are related considering, to them, they are entirely different. It would be as if one was claiming a human and a parsnip were closely related.
I do hope to do more with the Giltris down the road. It hasn’t been easy, especially when I primarily throw them in for fodder. They make some really good challenges since they’re very cunning and organized. I do plan on having a heroic one at some point in a future series, but I have to get there first. Beyond that, I’ll slip them in whenever I see an opportunity.