I have another all-female species in my world, and it's Lamia; women from the waist up, snake from the waist down. Sort of like mermaids, but more commonly encountered by humans, as they live in forests, deserts, swamps, grasslands, and even caves (each environment has its own subspecies.)
Lamia (in general)
- Social, but also opportunistic and manipulative, like the stereotypical 'mean girl' in teen literature. Lamia can have friends and loved ones, but they demand loyalty and must ensure they can trust those loved ones. If this is giving you Mafia-ish vibes, well, that was unintentional, but if it helps you understand, then it helps.
- Their society is obsessed with power and logic; Lamia are formal creatures that believe logic takes precedence over emotions and that all emotions should be expressed in a controlled, refined manner. Their obsession with power leads them to believe the strong should rule the weak, which drives every social interaction with a Lamia; if you are an equal, they will respect you, if you're a superior, they will obey and revere you, and if you are an inferior, they will expect compliance.
- Lamia usually mate with those who live in the wild (bandits, outcasts, woodsmen, hunters, and gypsies); they like people just fine, but they generally prefer the peace and solitude of the wilds to city life. I am not entirely sure how this will affect their culture.
So, the question is, How Will They Fit Into a Medieval Fantasy Society? This society is based off of medieval Europe. The different aspects of this question are as follows:
1. Involvement In Society:
Obviously, the points above may make it hard for them to fit into society, but given where they live, they'll encounter humans, and they need the humans, so they'll fit in somewhere. The best answer will take into account Lamia culture and their dependence on human males-or, granted, males of another species-to survive when determining their role in medieval society.
2. Trade: Lamia have tough scales, which they shed and can make into protective garments capable of stopping arrows or daggers in their tracks. They also sell vials of their toxic saliva and/or clones, though clones are expensive, only given to allies, and must be treated well (mistreating a clone is essentially disrespecting the original, so....). The best answer should account for whatever impact trade may have on the Lamia's role in medieval society.
3. Abilities: The role someone takes in a society is often related to their abilities. Lamia have serpentine flexibility, making them great contortionists, and they have enhanced speed and strength as well, with reflexes about as fast as a snake strike and enough strength to overpower an adult male through brute force. Oh, yeah, and the clone thing I mentioned earlier? Lamia are capable of parthogenesis, which means they can have a clutch of eggs all by themselves. The best answer will take these abilities into account when determining Lamia's place in medieval society.
Note: By 'medieval society,' I really mean 'medieval fantasy society,' the stereotypical kind with elves, dwarves, orcs, princesses, adventurers, and of course dragons. There are differences between the archetype and my setting, but for the purposes of the OP, those do not matter and so I have not included them.
2nd Note: I have a feeling someone will ask about how Lamia venom will affect kissing, so I will address this. Lamia can control the levels of venom in their mouth at a given time, so while at first it may sicken the kisser, they can actually build up an immunity if they put in the time. s