Stories of Nagas originated in ancient Hindu writings, but similar stories have popped up throughout Asia and Africa over the centuries. They are rarely seen as dangerous or sinister in stories and legends, but rather as ruled by the same emotions and drives as mortal men. In the poems ‘Mahabharata,’ one of two greatest Sanskrit epics of ancient India, Nagas are described as “snakes of virulent poison, great prowess and excess strength, and ever bent on biting other creatures,” but in other stories they are portrayed as allies or protagonists, no more evil or deceitful then man.
The Nagas were created during the God Wars, likely intended to serve as a race of foot soldiers, but were found wanting. Unlike Oni, the Naga were both of a free will and intelligent enough to understand the motivations of those that sought to use them. They could see the big picture, so to speak. Between their rebelious nature, and their slow rate of reproduction, ithey were all but useless in the great battles of that lost Age, and they were cast aside or destroyed. But they persisted, living always just behind the veil of normal human existence in the warm climates of north Africa, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and the humid jungles of southeast Asia.
The Naga would form small clans of families, hidden away in the forgotten parts of the world, or in places shunned and avoided by humans. Leper colonies and beggar alleys were prime real estate, where they would wrap themselves in rags and robes and hide in plain sight, disguised as diseased beggars.
As technology advanced and medicine made the existance of leper colonies a rare thing, the Nagas have had to slink deeper and deeper into the shadows. Poverty and over population has driven humanity’s poor and abandoned into those places once frequented by the Naga, until finally they had found themselves forced underground. Many large cities have small colonies of Nagas living deep beneath, in abandoned tunnels or forgotten sewers.
While not inherently evil, Nagas have been forced to stay hidden to avoid the seeking eyes of the Atharim and will turn violent if they perceive a threat to their families and homes. Human allies are a rare thing, most often living in squatter camps of homeless people, through whom the Naga’s acquire supplies in exchange for protection.
NAGA PLAYER CHARACTERS
If interested in playing a naga PC, special permission must be obtained before submitting your application. Meanwhile, you may browse the biographies of current naga PC’s to get a sense of the race’s traditions and abilities.
- Sora Ryuu, of Komukai
- Akantha, of Clan Evakiri
- Ethelinda of unknown clan. Possibly also another name of Mucalinda.
The Naga are divided into clans or kingdoms. The Naga located closest to their origin in Southeast Asia or the Indian subcontinent are more likely to be under the rule of kingship while those in other parts of the world are more likely to be organized into clans. Kingdoms are ruled by a Nāgarāja and clans ruled by a chief.
Naga may exist in one of three forms: full snakes, sometimes of monstrous sizes, humanoid with the heads and necks of a snake, or a half-human half-snake hybrid. On rare occasions a naga may take full human form.
They reside in our world, but have access to the shared underworld of the Naga called Patala. Patala is described as filled with splendid jewels, beautiful groves and lakes and lovely demon maidens. Sweet fragrance is in the air and is fused with sweet music. The soil here is white, black, purple, sandy, yellow, stony and also of gold.
- Vāsuki – devotee with Shiva
- Nanda – devotee of Vishnu
- Bāliśikha – a king of naga on the island of Bali.