From the upcoming Crypts & Things, I present the Serpentstory of the early rise and origin of Zarth’s Serpent Men.
The Rise of the Mara
The Serpent Men have their beginnings in a group of Lizard People known as the Mara. In Ancient times this small enclave of magicians was tasked with experimenting with powerful magics that dealt with the enhancement of the natural world around them, in a place far away from the main Lizard People nests for safety’s sake. Already remote and cut off they were further isolated when a magical disaster raised the waters around their nest-complex and broke the land into rough mountainous terrain. Once the survivors dusted themselves down and collectively rejected the idea that they were in any way shape or form responsible for the disaster, they found they had the ideal environment to carry on their questionable magical experiments. Without any moral restraint or condescending ethical disapproval from the rest of their race they quickly discovered Black Magic and became tainted by the use. Because they were few in number – developed Vivimancy to enhance their own genetics, taking a serpentine form and completing their separation from the Lizard People. Later they would further developed this blasphemous form of magic to twist and hybridise other creatures, leading to the creation of other servitor races. The Mara also found that the disaster, which they now saw as a blessing from the Dark Powers, had also opened many portals to hellish Other Worlds in theirbroken land. Contact with the Others, both Minor and Great, gave them access to more Black Magic.
When they started gradual expansion into the lands around their immediate sphere of influence employing the corruption of the Dark Arts this soon led them into conflict with the Lizard People.