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Like reptiles, the Slithzerikai are cold-blooded creatures and require warmth to remain active. Cold environments make them to extremely sluggish, which is made evident in Avernum 3. Sliths are known for their strength and intelligence, as well as their resilience to fire and skill with pole weapons.
Role in the storyline
The majority of the Slithzerikai population dwells far below the subterranean caverns known as Exile. (Due to a naming conflict between the Exile and the Avernum series, the name "Exile" is used below to indicate the geographical place, and the name "Avernum" to indicate the nation. In practice, the names are interchangeable.) in a land inaccessible to humans known as "Bahssikava". The Sliths who live in Exile itself were exiled from their homeland similarly to how Avernite humans were exiled from the surface. As legend goes, the Slithzerikai of Bahssikava were a highly civilized and cultivated race living in tribal societies. Fighting was rare and there were no wars among them. Records indicate they were a highly religious and valued spirituality. They were also great artisans and skilled in the crafting of stone statues, which also played a role in their faith.
Some of the tribes rebelled under the leadership of a cruel warlord named Ssss-Thoss. The rebels became cruel and bloodthirsty war-mongers. It is also believed that they turned from Slith deities to worship demons. After causing an unrest in their home country of Bahssikava, they were sentenced them to exile and banished to caverns far above their country. The Sliths continued to worship darkness, though some repented and began searching for ways to return to their homeland of Bahssikava. These Sliths now live in Gnass and worship a Mother Goddess.
Centuries later, when the humans discovered Exile and explored it during the famous First Expedition, the Slithzerikai attacks were one of the biggest threats to their explorers. When the exiled humans founded their subterranean nation of Avernum and began to call themselves "Avernites", they had great trouble defending themselves against the Sliths, who were united under the grandson of Ssss-Thoss, a Slith named Ssss-Thsss. Ssss-Thsss was later slain by adventurers at the request of Avernum's king Micah. Most of the remaining Sliths chose to make peace with humans.
Sliths are excellent smiths and in Avernum 4 can be found in several smithies across Avernum. They are strong and resilient, making the powerful fighters. Sliths are masters with pole weapons (spears, staves, etc.) in combat, and have developed a special variety of two-pronged spear. Slithzerikai are also talented mages. In Avernum and Avernum 2, the civilized Sliths rarely leave their city of Gnass in the Great Cave.
Sliths as characters
From Avernum 2/Exile 2 onwards, users can create Slith characters. A Slith character gains less experience, but has a bonus to pole weapons and a resistance to fire (resistance to poison in the Exile series). The game recommends a Slith character in the default group. In Avernum 3 certain characters are terrified of Sliths and will attack the player's party if it contains a Slith character.
- Nephilim, another major non-human race in the games
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