written as a short summary by Yahya Ibn-Samuil
Given the terrific support given to us by the Executive Tribunal for our continued efforts of spreading all the multiplanar knowledge gathered by RHL and his associates, I myself have been tasked with answering some of the most common questions our readers have about our work and about ourselves as a publishing house. Today, a highly requested topic given to you as a summary: the way Salamanders function in society within the Elemental Plane of Fire.
As our most avid readers know, Remarkable Creatures of the Planes is already vastly comprehensive when dealing with the description of fauna in its most intricate sense. We delve into the anatomy, biology, taxonomy, and development of creatures and their relationship with their surroundings. But, save for some of the most intelligent ones, we seldom state explicitly the kind of society they have built for themselves. This is especially true for the Salamandra, a Genus so ramified and complex we had to focus on some aspects to the detriment of others. This article might correct that.
Salamanders, as readers know, come from a “larva” form in which they’re born called a “Fire Snake”. During this phase, they survive merely on instinct and have, therefore, no real organization or values of their own. It is only after a year of growth and then a metamorphosis that takes between four to six months (18 months in total) that a Fire Snake fully becomes a Salamander.
Once it matures, a Salamander is an intelligent creature, albeit not exceptionally. Although the very nature and customs around their reproductive cycle have not allowed them to develop a sense of “family”, as far as we can tell, they do possess a strong sentiment of community. The adults nurture the youngest and protect the elders in each of their settlements, in which the strongest individual leads the rest in a sort of tribalistic form of self-government. It should be noted that given the asexual nature of the Salamanders’ life cycle, a division between males or females is not relevant in their communities, and therefore has no visible impact on their political life.
A typical Salamander settlement, usually located near hatcheries for their young which, in turn, needs to be close to mineral veins to feed both infants and adults, comprises about 150 adults in average. Given the regularity in which they have offspring plus the fact that not many Salamanders decide to actually reproduce for cultural reasons, this number can remain spectacularly consistent through generations. It has even been observed that many settlements regulate reproduction in periods of food shortage only to increase again during more forgiving times.
Architecture is virtually non-existent save from the most utilitarian and pragmatic constructions, like bridges or defensive walls; but even then, these are scarcely decorated or complex. Tasks like building, gathering, defending their territory, or guarding the hatcheries are usually determined by the leader of a settlement. Interestingly enough, however, some instances of improvised councils may form on the spot when a decision is not seen favorably by the community. These councils then either reach a new agreement more to the liking of the many or, as seen in some cases, turn into a violent conflict in which a new leader ends up replacing the former one. This, however, has not been documented to be a common occurrence.
As a conclusion, Salamanders have a simple, yet efficient society and government. Not many settlements are connected to one another, but those that are close enough typically treat each other with respect and tolerance, perhaps given their rivalry with the Efreet (what one can understand as a common enemy, perhaps).
This information was taken mainly from RHL’s travel notes, complimented recently by a diverse team of academics and explorers lead by Rakso Gibran, RHL’s former colleague and friend, whose findings can be read in Remarkable Creatures of the Planes, Volume II.