This is part of my ongoing series on the Shattered World setting, which contains pieces you can drop into your own game. This time, we look at the sahuagin or sea devils of D&D, and imagine if they were civilized.
Sea devils have been boogey-men since the times of the Old Ones. Considering their tough, scaly skin, webbed hands and feet, large claws, and surprise raids from the sea, the fear is understandable.
Sea devils claim to be the original humanoid race of our world, which the Old Ones molded into humans, elves, and dwarves, supposedly never satisfied with these “degenerate” forms of the sea devils.
Sea devils think of only one thing: consumption. This has bred a strong and vicious race. Unfortunately, they prefer to consume the flesh of intelligent creatures, particularly elves.
While sea devils have always posed a danger to sea-going vessels, for the past few hundred years their aggressiveness and organization have grown dramatically. Sea devils now occasionally attack whole flotillas at a time.
There are few enough humanoid meals to support the lizardmen race, of course, so sea devils eat mainly fish and other sea creatures. They are hunters, and eat only meat. They care little for possessions—what’s the use of a bauble one cannot eat?—and go naked, strapped with strong leather pouches to carry supplies.
They live in a vast undersea city, Saguahain, that they carved out of a lava plain deep in the ocean. Tens of thousands of sea devils live here, though they spend much of their time out hunting or raiding. The city is laid out in nine districts, patterned after hell, and this is where sea devils bred sharks, squids, and giant octopi for food and combat.
Saguahain is ruled by a King or Queen, though the crown swaps heads frequently as the many members of the Undersea Kingdom vie for power.
Mating and Young
According to Darro Crater’s observations, sea devils form surprisingly strong attachments to their mates, and seem to mate for decades. A female will hatch dozens of tiny sea devil spawn, which take only a few months to develop into tiny but otherwise self-sufficient sea devils. They demonstrate no concept of childhood, maturation, or adulthood; all must hunt, and young sea devils must learn quickly or die in a shark’s gullet.
Sea devils can live for centuries, and appear to grow stronger but less agile as they do. However, they are usually killed by a rival before reaching their first century.