Information on Races and Subraces
Non-Application Races & Subraces:
Application Races & Subraces:
Plenty of information to make a good (not in alignment) tiefling character, and lots of plot ideas.
Also, it gives an idea on how tieflings are treated by the society, rather than the tieflings-roleplayed-like-humans we get on CoA.
Taken from the Forgotten Realms Races of Faerun:
Carrying the taint of evil in their very souls, tiefling are persecuted and feared in most parts of Faerun. Those with gross physical alterations are often killed at birth, and even those with less noticeable physical traits are sometimes killed by their own horrified parents. Occasionally, a tiefling is born to someone indifferent to its appearance, determined to redeem it, willing to exploit it, or evil enough to not care about its nature, and these tieflings are most likely to survive to adulthood. Most tieflings are evil, but a few have managed to overcome their bloodline's influence to make their own choices about good and evil.
Tieflings are the distant descendants of a human and some evil outsider, such as a demon (usually a marilith or succubus), devil (usually an erinyes, gelugon, or pit fiend), night hag, rakshasa, or even a servant of an evil deity (some of these creatures must use magic to assume a form that is compatible with a human mate, of course). Fiend-touched and similarly tainted mixes of elves (notably the fey'ri) orcs (such as tanarukk), and other races are known, but those are distinct lines and are not true tieflings.
Tieflings look human except for one or two distinguishing features related to their unusual ancestor. Some examples of these features (and the ancestors that cause them) are:
- small horns on head (demon, devil, night hag)
- fangs or pointed teeth
- forked tongue (demon, devil)
- glowing red eyes (demon, devil, night hag)
- cat eyes (rakshasa)
- more or less than 5 fingers (demon, devil)
- goatlike legs (devil)
- hooves (devil)
- non-prehensile tail (demon, devil)
- furry, leathery, or scaly skin (demon, devil, rakshasa)
- red skin (demon, devil)
- bruised blue skin (night hag)
- casts no shadow (demon, devil)
- throws no reflection (demon, devil)
- skin is hot to the touch (demon, devil)
- smell of brimstone (demon, devil)
Tieflings are aware at an early age that they are different from the people around them, and often have strange urges, desires, or needs because of their evil heritage. Because tieflings are born of different creatures, it is difficult to tell if any two of them are related, and because many of them come from demonic bloodlines, even two tieflings descended from similar demons or the very same demon might look very different.
Tieflings have the same life expectancy and age categories as a human.
Most Faerunian tieflings come from bloodlines originating in Mulhorand and Thay. The Mulhorand tieflings are descended from servants or manifestations of Set or Sebek, while those from Thay are usually the result of dalliances with fiends of all kinds.
As with the aasimar from Mulhorand, many tieflings from that ancient land leave the region to seek their own destiny without outside interference. Thayan tieflings are usually the grandchildren of powerful wizards, birthed as part of some power scheme, and usually spend their lives as slaves or pawns to both sides of the family (although Nevron, the zulkir of Conjuration, is rumored to be a tiefling). In either case, tieflings from these two regions usually resemble the human race of their parents, with their inhuman traits making them stand out from other Thayans or Mulhorandi.
Unther is reputed to have a tiefling population comparable to Mulhorand, but in truth this is a misconception, for the evil and mad god-king Gilgeam sired no children for fear of creating something that might usurp his throne. However, Nergal (the Untheric god of underworld) is thought to have fathered at least one child before he was slain during the Orcgate Wars over two thousand years ago, and it is possible that some Untheric men and women still carry that evil deity's bloodline. The mages of Unther may also be responsible for some devil-spawned tiefling as well.
It is often whispered that the survivors of the Nar Empire carried demonic blood and tieflings are incredibly common in this region of the Realms.
Tieflings live as outcasts. Feared for their evil heritage and often acting appropriately to their ancestry, they learn to keep people at a distance and hide that which makes them different. Like all the planetouched, they are different from their own parents; rarely has a tiefling been raised in a home filled with love.
Tieflings are bitter folk who expect eventual rejection from even their best friends and easily fall into lives of crime, depravity, and cruelty. Tieflings look upon true fiends and other evil outsiders with envy and fear.
Some tieflings reject their tainted blood and seek the light. Not many succeed for long, and far more slide to a comfortable place midway between evil and good. But of the creatures who work to be good, good-aligned tieflings probably work the hardest.
Many tieflings multiclass between rogue and another class; even the most skilled tiefling wizard might have a knack for tumbling, opening locks, or sneaking about. A tiefling is versatile enough to be just about anything, although they make poor sorcerers.
Favored Class: Rogue. No other class rewards high Dexterity and Intelligence like the rogue does, and its flexible nature suits the tiefling's status as an outcast.
Prestige Classes: Because of their innate association with evil, many evil tieflings become blackguards. Still others become assassins, shadowdancers, or shadow adepts.
Because of the varied circumstances of their births, most tieflings become adults without knowing another of their kind. Given their scattered heritage and tendency toward evil, tieflings mistrust each other, while at the same time wanting another of their kind near to experience a limited kinship. Therefore it is not unusual to find a small group of like-minded tieflings at the head of a thieves' guild. Sometimes a good tiefling will search out others of her kind in the hopes of rescuing them from evil or persecution, but most tieflings are so used to looking out only for themselves that such a thought never occurs to them.
Thay is unusual because of its numbers of tiefling slaves. An unknown number of fiendish bloodlines exist in Thay, some of them lost for generations. When a true tiefling arises from latent bloodline, there is often a scramble as the Red Wizards struggle to collect the planetouched offspring. Some Red Wizards train these young tieflings with others of their kind, either to work as spies in other households, personal assassins, or as some sort of sacrifice to an evil being. These tieflings can develop a sense of community among their fellows. If they are lucky, they may manage to escape their evil masters, scattering to the four winds to elude pursuit. Some of these slaves start revolts to cover their tracks, otehrs return to kill their former owners, and still others leave and never look back. In this way, certain tieflings have extended families, although how to find their adopted siblings usually poses a problem.
Language and Literacy
Tieflings share no common language. Some learn Infernal or Abyssal, althought since most have no idea where their bloodline comes from as often as not they choose the wrong racial language. A tiefling usually learns the language of her parents and may pick up other languages appropriate to her region.
All tieflings are literate, except for barbarians and commoners.
Tiefling Magic and Lore
May tieflings seek out magic that brings the power of the Lower Planes to them, especially divination magic that lets tieflings ask questions of powerful fiends and conjuration spells that call forth creatures of darkness.
Tieflings have no common racial deity, but sometimes worship powerful demons, devils, or whatever divine being their ancestor serves (or that being itself, if the ancestor is a deity). A tiefling born outside the Old Empires or Thay, or one whose travels have taken her far from those lands, usually takes a like-minded patron appropriate to her new country. The following deities are the most common patrons of evil tieflings but are certainly not the only ones.
Beshaba, the Maid of Misfortune, appeals to a number of tieflings. This wicked and beautiful goddess has created a few tiefling bloodlines over the ages, many of which have white hair and manifested antlers instead of other kind of horns. Tieflings who worship Beshaba do so because they believe they are unlucky to have been born as what they are and seek to pass this misfortune on to others. While Cyric has not fathered any tiefling bloodlines since his apotheosis, tiefling assassins, illusionists, and those drawn to conflict and aggression because of their heritatge often worship Cyric.
Gargauth, the god of corruption, betrayal, and cruelty, has been known to disguise himself as a helpful stranger, befriend a good woman in difficult circumstances, and leave her just before she gives birth to their halfbreed child. These children of evil emulate their father's practices, and so the bloodline of Gargauth has many scions in Faerun. He is worshiped by tieflings looking to destroy a hated rival (possibly a good-aligned temple that harassed them as a youth) or those looking to gain power very quickly.
As many tieflings naturally gravitate toward the arts of the rogue, a number of them have taken Mask for their patron. Only one Maskarran tiefling bloodline is known, a line from Thesk noted for never casting reflections, but Mask's secretive nature means that others could be almost anywhere. Mask is worshiped by tieflings thieves or those who must do their work concealed by shadows. Shar is not known to have any planetouched offspring, but she draws the worship of those who wish to forget their old pains and hurts. She particularly enjoys pitting her tiefling worshippers against the aasimar servants of Selune.
Relations with other Races
Tieflings treat most other races equally– at arms's length. They are very slow to trust others and always wary of a friend suddenly becoming an enemy. Aasimar often trigger an instinctive fear or revulsion in tieflings, making it difficult for them to work together at all.
Half-orcs are the only race tieflings easily tolerate, since they are the only common mixed-breed race that is derided as much as tiefling. Still, a tiefling isn't more likely to trust a half-orcs; she's just more likely to understand his perspective.
Tieflings share no common equipment, although they do have a fondness for weapons that inflict a lot of pain and cause a lot of bleeding. A tiefling usually feels very comfortable with an unholy weapon in his hand.
Animals and Pets
Given their diverse background, tieflings don't have any particular animal that can be recognized as a racial favorite. However, they do favor vicious dogs, rats, snakes, and ravens as pets, and those with talent for magic can sometimes establish a bond with fiendish animal of some sort.
Tiefling (Base Race- HUMAN, Sub Race- Tiefling)
Stats: (Arabel Custom)
Racial Abilities: +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Cha
Special Abilities: Cold, fire, electricity resistance 5, Darkness once per day, +2 bonus on Bluff and Hide checks, Darkvision, Outsider, Quick to Master
Favored Class: Rogue
There is a misconcept that all half-orcs must be barbarians and speak like dumb. Hopefully this information on half-orcs will enlighten a bit on how to plan and play a good half-orc concept.
Half-orcs are fairly common throughout Faerun. They have no true homeland to call their own and as a result most spend their lives wandering the world in search of a purpose. Half-orcs are invariably the product of a human and an orc, but stories are told of half-orcs carrying the blood of dwarves, goblins, hobgoblins, and even halflings, gnomes and elves. Orcs are the fecund race, and such stories likely have some genesis in truth.
A half-orc is usually about as tall as a human and a little heavier. Their skin tends to be gray with green or even purple undertones, and their faces feature sloping brows, jutting jaws with prominent teeth, and flat, squashed noses. This and their coarse body hair make their lineage plain for all to see.
Half-orcs have been a part of Faerun for a very long time, but nonetheless they have never organized into a true civilization of their own. Unique half-orcs often gain great power in their chosen field and become well kown in history texts, but their exploits are always in the name of another people, or (more often) isolated incidents not tied to any particular civilization.
Most half-orcs are surly individuals who endured horrible childhoods. They are too coarse and savage to fit in well with humans, and too fragile and thoughtful to fit in with orcs. As a result, the majority of half-orcs grow up alone and without any influence from orc or human society. Thus, half-orcs speak their mind and act upon their feelings without any fear of repercussions. They are nomads, loners, and hermits at best, and murderers and savages at worst.
Without a place to call a home, and often without a family or close friends to count on for companionship, half-orcs learn from an early age to look out for themselves. This is often interpreted as greed or selfishness by other races, but too many half-orcs have learned the hard way that they are not welcome in any land, and must provide for themselves.
Half-orcs natural strenght and toughness push them strongly toward fighters and barbarians and away from the spellcasting classes. Half-orcs rogues are common as well.
Favored Class: Barbarian; half-orcs shun society as a rule and as a result must be strong and able to survive in the wilderness.
Prestige Classes: Half-orcs, in their nomadic travels, are often exposed to a wide range of prestige classes. As a result, it isn't unusual for a higher level half-orc to possess one or two levels in just about any prestige class she can meet the requirements for.
Although the half-orcs of Faerûn have no true nation to call their own, there are some small regions in the world that are ruled by their kind. Strangely, it seems that when half-orcs gather in large groups like this, they tend to be much more civilizated than their feral orc kin. The city of Palischuk in Vaasa, for example, is a ruined rebuilt by a large tribe of nearly ten thousand half-orcs who now trade peacefully with their neighbors. Another example is Phsant in Thesk, a city with a strong gray orc presence and a growing half-orc community.
Language and Literacy
All half-orcs speak both Common and Orc. They are accepted on the fringes of both orc and human societies, and being able to communicate clearly with both dramatically increases a half-orc's chance to find allies. Although they don't particularly make gifted linguists, half-orcs learn a number of other languages simply as a result of their nomafic, wandering lifestyles. Other languages commonly learned by half-orcs include Damaran, Giant, Gnoll, Goblin, Illuskan, and Undercommon.
All half-orcs are literate except for barbarians, adepts, commoners, and warriors.
Half-Orc Magic and Lore
Half-orcs do not have a centralized society that they can call their own, and as a result have not developed any unique racial spells or spellcasting traditions.
Half-Orc Magic Items
In keeping their proclivity toward warfare, half-orcs prefer magic weapons and armors as a rule. Their dangerous lives often depend on their offensive and defensive capabilities. Items like bats of disguise are popular among half-orcs who dwell in regions where their kind if hated or mistrusted.
Half-orcs who remain among their orc kindred worship the gods of the orc pantheon, often with greater belief and fervor than regular orcs since many half-orcs feel the need to prove to their deities that they are just as powerful and strong as their full-blooded orc kindred. Those half-orcs who do not dwell among orcs are free to choose their deities as they will. Common patron deities for such half-orcs include Bane, Garagos, Hoar, Loviatar, Malar, Talona, Tempus, and Tyr.
Relatons with Other Races
Half-orcs have uphill battles to fight when interacting with most other races, since many are quick to assume that their orcish blood carries with it an inherent savagery and cruelty. Most half-orcs return this suspicion and trepidation when interacting with others. They make friends only with difficulty. Once turst is estabilished, it is often a fleeting thing that can be fractured with one misinterpreted comment. Often, a half-orc joins an adventuring company and never feels fully at ease with her traveling companions no matter how many times they have proven their loyalty.
Half-orcs, as a race, have not developed any unique tyoes of exotic weapons, although many individuals favor orc weapons such as the double axe. Most of them are reticent about owning more equipment and gear than they can easily carry, both because of their nomadic spirits and because they must always be ready to tear up their roots and move on if their neightbors suddenly decide to turn on them.
Animals and Pets
Half-orcs are particularly fond of keeping animals as pets, since pets have few preconceived notions about a person's background or race. Hunting dogs, horses, and falcons are all popular choices, and those with particular skill at Handle Animals sometimes train more dangerous monsters like owlbears, spider eaters, and dire naimals as pets or minions.
Half-Orcs (Base Race- HALF-ORC, Sub Race- None)
Stats: (Neverwinter Nights standard stats)
Racial Abilities: +2 Str, -2 Int, -2 Cha
Special Abilities: Darkvision
Favored Class: Barbarian
Since information about duergar have been asked in some threads.
Dwelling in great subterranean cities of the Underdark, the gray dwarves are deep-dwelling cousins of shield dwarves, known for their cruelty and bitterness. Like their surface-dwelling kin, gray dwarves are famed for their smithwork and craftmanship, but unlike their brethren in the Realms Above, the duergar are grim and cheerless, living lives of endless toil. Like their gold and shield dwarf kin, the duergar have forged great empires, founding such realms as the Deepkingdom of Gracklstugh and the Steel Kingdom of Dunspeirrin in the endless darkness of the Realms Below.
Averaging 4 feet tall, gray dwarves eigh nearly as much as an adult human. While other dwarves tend to be round-bodied and stoutly muscled, duergar are wide of shoulder but wiry and lean, their limbs corded with tough muscle. The skin of a gray dwarf is light or dark gray, and his eyes are dull black. Both genders are usually bald, with males having long gray bears and mustaches.
Gray dwarves are consumed with bitterness; feeling their race has forever been denied what was rightfully theirs. The duergar expect and live lives of never-ending drudgery. While their work rivals that of a shield and gold dwarves, they are relentless perfectionists who take no pleasure in their craftmanship. Only cruel jokes and petty torments bring a momement's smile to most gray dwarves, and they delight in tormenting the weak and the helpless.
Gray dwarves have the life expectancy and age categories defined for dwarves in Tables 6-4 and 6-5 of the PHB, but use the following random height and weight characteristics instead of those described on Table 6-6:
Gray dwarf, male 3'9'' +2d4 110lb. x(2d4)lb.
Gray dwarf, female 3'9'' +2d4 80lb. x(2d4)lb.
Gray dwarves view the world with bitterness, convinced family,clan, other dwarves, and the rest of the world have cheated them of their birthright and their due. They see life as nothing more than endless backbreaking labor, a torment from birth through death. The duergar evince little mercy for the helpless or the weak and enjoy tormenting those they can prey upon. From a young age, gray dwarves are quickly schooled in the harshness of the world, taught that their lot in life is nothing more than never-ending labor accompanied by betrayal and then death.
Gray dwarves rarely adventure out of choice. Those who are exiled or flee imminent banishment often grayitate to the life of an adventure simply in hopes of surviving. Adventuresome duergar are usually focused on the acquisition of material wealth, caring little for the plight of others.
Relations with other races
Dour and suspicious of outsiders, gray dwarves have uniformly bad relations with all other races, including other dwarven subraces. The duergar regard their shield dwarf cousins with particular bitterness, dating back to the shield dwarves' failure to succor Clan Duergar during the Mindstalker Wars: The Kin Clashes forever cemented the mutual animosity between the two dwarven subraces, a hatred that continues today. Gray dwarves regard their gold dwarf cousinds as arrogant rivals and potential threats, but trade is possible between the two groups.
Gray dwarves view the surface-dwelling races–elves and half-elves, gnomes, halflings, half-orcs, and planetouches--with suspicion but willingly trade with those who are foolhardy enough to venture into the depths. The duergar harbor a longstanding hatred of their subterranean rivals, the drow, and the svirfneblin.
Nevertheless, they regularly trade with both groups, pitting them against one another whenever possible.
I'll complete it later.
Taken from the Forgotten Realms Races of Faerun:
Regions: Any human region, Luiren, Lightfoot Halfling.
The folk of Faerun are more familiar with the lightfoot hin than with either of the other two subraces, primarily because the lightfoots are the more numerous and widely traveled of all the halflings. Nearly every human community of any size larger than a village has at least a few halfling residents. When most Faerunians think of halflings, the lightfoots are the people that most often leap to mind.
Most lightfoot halflings trace their ancestry back to the days when a great tribe of their subrace populated the territory known today as Luiren. Following the events of the Hin Ghostwars, the majority of the lightfoot halflings departed their homeland and spread out across northern Faerun in a great diaspora (see the FORGOTTEN REALMS Campaign Setting, page 196). Though some lightfoot halflings remained in Luiren, the subrace has become ubiquitous throughout the settled lands of Faerun.
Lightfoot halflings may be the most common of all subraces, but their behavior is also the most varied. Itï¿½s impossible to describe the "typical" lightfoot halfling because, much like humans, the race embodies individuals that are the absolute antithesis of on another. This diversity of behavior is mirrored in a diversity of outlooks. Some halflings adopt views and beliefs about the world that are very close or even identical to whatever human community they happen to dwell in, while others retain distinctive points of view that separate them from other races and groups (including other halflings). Itï¿½s not uncommon to meet halflings who, because they spend the greater part of their lives roaming from place to place, have outlooks that are amalgams of those from multiple cultures and environments.
The aspect of the lightfoot outlook that most nonhalflings notice, however, is that they are the hin subrace that is more likely to wander out of an innate desire. It is not unknown for individual lightfoot halflings or even entire families to decide that, after living in the same place for decades, they want to move on to someplace else. Some learned folk speculate that the lightfoot hin experience a habitual need to see many different places and enjoy a variety of experiences. Other sages and loremasters wonder if the lightfoot penchant for the semi-nomadic lifestyle is socialized behavior, learned from centuries of practice. These scholars theorize that the lightfoot hin who left Luiren because of the Ghostwar massacres were unable to find a new homeland that suited them as well, so they wandered. After so many hundreds of years of wandering, the behavior is not natural to the lightfoot hin, or so this school of though holds. Whatever the case, thereï¿½s no denying that many lightfoot halflings seem determined to see a great deal of Faerun and have many interesting experiences during their lifetimes.
Lightfoot Halfling Characters
As befits their name, lightfoot halflings often take classes that work well for wanderers, such as rogue and bard.
Favored Class: Rogue. Lightfoot halflings often pick up an impressive array of skills during their travels, and with their small size and low strength, they need the advantages of stealth and cleverness.
Lightfoot halfling society is hard to quantify, because lightfoots can be divided into three groups: those who live among humans, those who live among other lightfoots, and those who wander from place to place. Some lightfoot halfling families live their entire lives in one place, sometimes as part of a human community, and sometimes in a settlement populated almost entirely by halflings. Others live their entire lives on the roads and byways of Faerun, never remaining in one place very long.
Language and Literacy
Lightfoots speak Halfling, Common, and the language of their home region - which, given lightfoot wanderlust, could be almost anywhere. Wandering lightfoot halflings pick up the languages of the places they live, and often learn other widely spread tongues.
All lightfoot nonbarbarians (the vast majority of the race, in other words) are literate.
Magic and Lore
Lightfoot halflings tend to be generalists when it comes to magic, using a broad array of spells and magic items to make their travels - or their hearths - more pleasant. They are skillful clerics and sorcerers, but sometimes lack the discipline to become accomplished wizards.
Spells and Spellcasting
Because they're almost always fighting foes who are larger than they are, lightfoot halflings favor spells that help them move around the battlefield and negate the physical strength of their foes. Expeditious retreat, fly, haste, various polymorph spells, and especially Evard's black tentacles are common spells in a halfling spellcaster's arsenal.
Lightfoot halflings are fascinated with magic that makes travel easier in some way. It's useful to travel faster, of course, but speed isn't always a priority to a lightfoot who's wandering anyway. Items that make travel more comfortable or safer are especially cherished.
Common Items: Bags of holding, Heward's handy haversack, carpets of flying, and any magic boots can be purchased in lightfoot communities for 10% less them the normal cost.
Iconic Items: One of the most consistent disadvantages halflings face is that their size makes it difficult for them to make use of certain types of weapons. In response to this difficulty, a halfling wizard created the first hornblades - deceptive magic weapons that inflict more damage that their size would suggest (see the appendix). These weapons seem to be in the possession of lightfoot hin more frequently that the ghostwise of strongheart, giving rise to speculation that perhaps the original hornblade inventors was of the lightfoot subrace.
The diversity evident in the lightfoot halflings' outlook and society is also reflected in their religious beliefs. Of all the hin subraces, the lightfoot are the most likely to worship deities other than those belonging to Yondalla's Children. In addition to the deity they most favor, many lightfoot households - particularly those that prefer life on the road to a more settled existence - often venerate a household patron, often inspired by some matriarch or patriarch in the family's history.
Brandobaris, the Master of Stealth, is much beloved by the lightfoot hin for his realistic and good-humored view of lire. Brandobaris is a common patron deity of those halflings who trust to their luck to see them though as they wander from place to place. The worship of Cyrrollalee, the Hearthkeeper, is widely popular among lightfoot halflings born within the last two generations. Her message of the ascendance of the halfling race to a station of respect and power in Faerun had fallen to receptive ears. The ranks of her clergy have swelled with the number of lightfoot hin seeking to spread her message and contribute to the search for a new lightfoot homeland.
Yondalla's faith is popular with the lightfoot halflings, both those who wander and those who prefer to settle in more permanent communities. Recently there has been some tension between her clergy and those serving Cyrrollalee: Yondalla is not at all certain that this younger deity's call for a halfling homeland is wise.
These halflings favor the lightfoot warsling, a deadly and powerful version of the common sling (see the appendix). The warsling fires skiprocks, which halflings delight in throwing with great accuracy as well.
Animal and Pets
Lightfoot halflings make up for their small stature by domesticating some of the largest and most powerful hounds in Faerun. A towering human brigand had a hard time pushing around a halflings traveler with a pair of loyal hounds at his side. See Mastiff Hound, in the appendix.
Lightfoot Halflings (Base Race-HALFLING, Sub Race- leave blank or Lightfoot Halfling)
Stats: (Neverwinter Nights standard stats)
Racial Abilities: +2 Dex, -2 Str
Special Abilities: Small Stature, Skill Affinity (Move Silently, Listen), Lucky, Fearless, Good Aim
Favored Class: Rogue
Taken from the Forgotten Realms Races of Faerun:
Regions: Chondalwood, Ghostwise Halflings
The ghostwise are easily the most uncommon of the three subraces of halfling living in Faerun. They are elusive and do not welcome strangers to their lands. Instead, they prefer to pursue a nomadic way of life within their adopted homeland, the Chondalwood, associating mainly with those of their own clan. Those who seek out the ghostwise most often fail to achieve their goal; the fortunate among them live to regret their intrusion into hin territory.
The history of the ghostwise halflings is detailed in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (see page 196).
The defining characteristics of the ghostwise halflings is their reverence for and devotion to their clans. Family is important to most halflings and halfling communities, but the ghostwise hin regard the familial bond with a degree of respect some might call obsession. Following their self-imposed exile from Luiren and resettlement in the Chondalwood, the ghostwise congregated into groups demarcated along family lines. Those hin without surviving family joined one of these groups. As the hin pursued their quest for atonement, their clan system evolved into the all-encompassing social structure it is today.
Ghostwise Halfling Characters
Many ghostwise halflings are barbarians, but rogues, druids, rangers, and clerics are also common.
Favored Class: Barbarian. As clannish nomads, ghostwise halflings have little need for society's trappings, but the barbarian's skills and class features are essential to survival in their forest homes.
Ghostwise Halfling Society
Because clan is the focus of the ghostwise culture, it is not surprising to find it the central factor in their society as well. The wanderlust that is one of the most readily discernible traits of both the lightfoot and strongheart subraces still survives in the ghostwise, but on a more limited scale. The nomadic wanderings of the ghostwise clans are confined almost exclusively to the Chondalwood and its environs, where the few remaining survivors of the Ghost Wars settles after departing their native homeland of Luiren.
Each clan of ghostwise halflings has adopted a segment of the Chondalwood as its territory. Clan territories very in size from less than fifty to several hundred square miles. The clan travels together as its leader directs. A number of factors influence exactly where the clan travels within its territory, including the presence or absence of hostile creatures and the relative abundance of game. There is ample room in the vast forest for all the ghostwise halfling clans, and so their territories are only loosely defined.
Many clans designate a natural feature - a distinctive rock, a lightning-struck tree, a stretch of a particular stream - as the center of their territory and base their wanderings on their relative distance from this place. Some clans carry a tiny portion of this central feature with them as they travel, to reinforce their spiritual connection with their territory and their homeland. Such tokens might take the form of clay vials filled with stream water, small leather pouches filled with dirt from a specific spot, small bits of rock broken from a boulder and worn as a necklace, or even bits of tree bark carried in the hollowed end of a deer's antler.
Among these clans, such tokens are considered a scared charge: To lose or misplace one is a mistake requiring that the transgressor atone in a manner designated by the clan leader. If the halfling who makes the error is a cleric or druid, the penance is assigned by a representative of his faith. The act of atonement - often a quest of other dangerous mission or errand - must be completed successfully before the halfling may obtain another portion of the clan's central feature. Willfully destroying a clan token is a grievous crime, punishable by exile (a fate far worse than death in the culture of the ghostwise halflings). The only permissible use of the tokens is when a member of the clan falls in battle. In that event, all nearby hin who share the same tribe as the fallen scatter their tokens, be they wood, water, or stone, around the corpse. The hin believe that doing so calls the attention of He Who Must Be and ensures that no fell spirits will disturb the body of their fallen clan member until it can be attended to properly. The ghostwise hin clans cremate their dead rather than inter them.
While clans keep to themselves, they do not shun one another when they meet in their travels. Instead, they exchange news and information about the forests' conditions and creatures. Indeed, the matriarchs and patriarchs who lead the clans often meet formally to discuss matter of mutual interest and importance. Multiple clans cooperate for the purpose of mutual defense when they are threatened by a common enemy, whether it be a band of destructive humanoids or a marauding band of trolls.
Language and Literacy
Because of their particular racial talent (telepathy), the ghostwise hin do not learn tounges other than their own with as much frequency as other races. The matriarchs and patriarchs of the various clans are apt to learn, in addition to their native languages, Chondathan and Sylvan, while clerics and druids most commonly express an interest in Sylvan and sometimes Gnoll. The typical ghostwise clan member, however, speaks only those languages that the race receives automatically (Common, Halfling, and regional).
No ghostwise are literate, except for individuals with player character classes other then barbarian.
Ghostwise Halfling Magic and Lore
Most ghostwise halfling spellcasters are clerics or druids - sorcerers and bards are rare, and wizards more so because do few ghostwise regularly use a written language.
Spells and Spellcasting
Like the elves, ghostwise halflings sometimes add extra components to their spells to further emphasize their connection to the land. Thus they take the Primitive Spellcaster feat (see the appendix). Ghostwise halflings favor divination spells that help them safely learn about threats beyond their land, and illusion spells that keep them well-hidden.
Ghostwise Halfling Deities
The ghostwise acknowledge and give due respect to all the deities in the halfling pantheon. Each clan, however, tend to adopt one specific halfling deity as its patron and venerate that power above all others. Because of their nomadic lifestyle, the ghostwise hin do not build permanent temples to the gods. Rather, they maintain small shrines throughout the Chondalwood and they carry symbols of their clan's patron with them as they wander the reaches of the forest. Two deities are of special significance to the ghostwise: Sheela Peryroyl and Urogalan.
The Green Children, as the clerics of the Watchful Mother are called, encourage the ghostwise clans to maintain a harmonious relationship with their woodland home. They do their best to ensure that the hin treat the forest with the respect it deserves. The druids among Sheela's clergy are frequently at odds with the more aggressively militant druids dwelling in the Chondalwood and warn the clans that associating with such individuals could lead the ghostwise to commit the same grave error for which they are still trying to atone.
Worshipers who select He Who Must Be as their patron deity are more common among the ghostwise than among the other halfling subraces. During their long period of atonement, the hin of the Chondalwood looked to Urogalan for guidance, and they strove to be worthy of his final judgment. To this day, adventurers and travelers venturing through the great forest speak of the disturbing sounds they sometimes hear in the forest depths: quiet, somber chanting and drumming that rises and falls throughout the length of an evening in eerie counterpoint to the natural sound f the wood. Even those who recognize this noise as the ghostwise hin ceremony in honor of Urogalan find it disturbing.
Relations with Other Races
Most ghostwise hin would prefer not to have relations with other humanoid races unless it's absolutely necessary and clearly to the benefit of the clan. Encounters that cannot be avoided must be tolerated with as much patience as the clan can muster, and they do not bother to mask their distrust of outsiders. No ghostwise halfling will, under any circumstances, abuse or attack a guest who has the sanction of the clan matriarch or patriarch. To do so would be an unforgivable offense against the clan's honor. All the clans give a wide berth to the nation's of wild elves that lies within the Chondalwood. The hin don't know a great deal about the elves, and they don't want to. For their part, the wild elves respect the ghostwise desire for privacy and leave the clans to their own devices.
The hin do sometimes seek out adventuring parties that enter the Chondalwood, however, particularly those that seem intent on exploring one of the many old Chondathan ruins that have been swallowed up by the ever-expanding forest. The hin have learned through bitter experience that such expeditions frequently unleash havoc on the wood and any nearby clans in the for of whatever horrors were waiting quiescent beneath those ruins before being stirred up by adventurers. Certain clans, particularly those that have suffered because of the blundering of adventuring companies, sometimes attempt to prevent and further difficulty by intercepting and harassing expeditionary groups. Clans that boast a company of nightgliders among their number often assign some of the mounted warriors the task of discouraging intruders from entering any ruins or dungeons located within the clan's chosen territory.
This is not to say that all ghostwise halfling clans share identical racial likes and dislikes. Some clans get on well with many groups of creatures living in or near their territory. But on the whole ghostwise halflings are wary first and accepting only after experience has taught them that a particular group of outsiders can be trusted.
Ghostwise Halfling Equipment
Ghostwise clan camps have all the variety of gear that one would expect from a nomadic culture: Tents, hunting weapons, religious icons, and so on. Almost everything a ghostwise halfling owns can be carried on his back.
Iconic Item: Ghostwise halflings construct and set footsaw traps (see appendix) to both protect the Chondalwood from intruders and ensnare food for the clan.
Animals and Pets
In addition to the giant owls ridden by the nightgliders, ghostwise halflings also associate with several other types of creatures in the Chondalwood.
Dire Bats: A few adventuring parties who have returned recently from expeditions to the deeper parts of the Chondalwood have claimed that they were attacked by groups of ghostwise halflings mounted not on giant owls but dire bats. According to these rumors, the bat-mounted hin were of a particularly aggressive and hostile demeanor, giving rise to speculation that perhaps not every trace of feral bloodlust has been extinguished among the ghostwise clans.
Tressym: The ghostwise hin consider these strange creatures to be emblematic of cunning and stealth, much as the lightfoot halflings admire the fox. Ghostwise halfling sorcerers and wizards sometimes select these winged felines as familiars. Occasionally, a treesym allows itself to become the animal companion of a good-aligned ghostwise druid or the partially domesticated associate of a clan matriarch or patriarch.
Ghostwise Halflings (Base Race-HALFLING, Sub Race- Ghostwise
Stats: (Arabel custom)
Racial Abilities: +2 Dex, -2 Str
Special Abilities: Small Stature, Skill Affinity (Move Silently, Listen), Fearless, Good Aim
Favored Class: Barbarian
Taken from the Forgotten Realms Races of Faerun:
Regions: Luiren, Strongheart Halfling
The strongheart halflings are, like the ghostwise and lightfoot hin, native to Luiren. They trace their ancestry back to the same long-lost days as the other subraces, but unlike their cousins, the stronghearts elected to remain in their homeland following the events of the Hin Ghostwar. The legacy of Chand, the strongheart war chieftain who galvanized his tribe against the threat of the feral ghostwise, lives on today in a nation that both reinforces and defies many of the expectations nonhalflings have of this face.
Thousands of years ago, Luiren was an unsettles wilderness roamed by the three great Hal fling tribes: the lightfoots, the stronghearts, and the ghostwise. The three races fiercely defended their woodlands against all intruders for centuries, driving off Dambrathan barbarians, packs of rabid gnolls, and sharing the Lluirwood's resources. Feuds between the tribes were not uncommon, but for the most part the three tribes lived in peace.
Around -100 DR, an evil spirit entered the forest. Under the leadership of a powerful cleric named Desva, the ghostwise halflings fell into darkness, worshiping Malar and glorifying in violence and bloodshed. Feral ghostwise hunters, their faces painted like skulls, prowled the forests in search of halfling prey. They grew ever stronger as Desva led them deeper into Malar's worship, teaching the greatest hunters to take shapes as werewolves and poisoning the forest's natural predators with maddening bloodlust. For a generation the Lluirwood was a place of death.
In -68 DR, a strongheart hunter named Chand became war chief of his folk and struck an alliance with the was chief of the lightfoot tribe. The two united to root out the madness of the ghostwise halflings. Over three years each ghostwise stronghold and lair was found out and destroyed, until Chand himself slew Desva of the ghostwise in -65 DR. The fighting was merciless and awful ï¿½ entire ghostwise villages were burned and their folk killed. Chand held to his purpose and saw to it that no hin warrior stayed his or her hand.
In the aftermath of the Hin Ghostwars, the ghostwise halflings were reduced to a handful of their former number. Most were exiled from the Lluirwood, although a handful who had repudiated Desva and joined with Chand's warriors were allowed to stay. Those who left settled in the Chondalwood, taking an oath never to speak until they had atoned for the animallike savagery of their past. The atonement is long past, but to this day ghostwise halflings think long and hard before they choose to speak.
Many of the lightfoots, horrified by what Chand and the stronghearts had done, chose to leave the Lluirwood. They became a nomadic people spread across all of northern Faerun, adopting the customs and traditions of the folk they traveled among.
The stronghearts remained in the Lluirwood. Unchecked by the lightfoot or ghostwise ways, they began to clear forest and settled in semipermanent villages that grew larger and more permanent with each passing generation. They changed from woodland nomads to settled farmers and craftsfolk, defending their lands against numerous invasions and raids over the years. In time some lightfoots returned to the new realm of Luiren, but this is now a strongheart land.
Prior to the Hin Ghostwar, the stronghearts were, like their brethren, mostly a nomadic hunter-gather people. During the centuries that followed the terrible conflict, however, the stronghearts gravitated toward a more agrarian-based lifestyle centered around permanent communities. But if the communities were stationery, the stronghearts were not, moving from established community to established community.
This strange duality of nature, consisting of a desire to more about freely with a liking for permanent structures and settlements, has produced some unusual outlooks among the stronghearts of Luiren. Their viewpoint stresses cooperation aboe all other traits, and the ability to work as a team is the most valued behavior in their land. Cooperation trascends many boundaries in Luiren, and even strangers of whom the locals are suspicious can earn themselves considerable credit and tolerance by demonstrating a willingness to cooperate.
Strongheart Halfling Characters
Stronghearts have relatively more clerics and martial characters (fighters, rangers, and paladins) than their lightfoot cousins, but the skilled rogue is still the most common character class among strongheart adventurers.
Favored Class: Rogue. Strongheart halflings can be tricky, clever warriors of glib negotiators ï¿½ or both.
The stronghearts have evolved a unique, semi-nomadic lifestyle, in which business, families, and even entire clans move freely and independently from place to place in Luiren. The fusion of wanderlust and stability is a source of wonderment and confusion for visitors, who find it difficult to comprehend how a society can enjoy such seemingly whimsical mobility while retaining any viable structure. For their part, most of the strongheart hin cannot understand why anyone would want to tie themselves permanently to any one community or structure for their entire lives.
Language and Literacy
Strongheart halflings speak Halfling and Common, and many pick up Shaaran a well. All but the very rare barbarians are literate.
Magic and Lore
Strongheart halflings invest more magic in their communities than lightfoot or ghostwise halflings. Stationary magic items are for more common; strongheart communities have everything from continual flames lighting the town square at night to city walls that magically repel enemy arrows. Not every village has such wonders, for the stronghearts aren't profligate in their spellcasting. But most strongheart spellcasters devote their efforts to improving the lot of their communities ï¿½ even if the spellcasters themselves will be moving on once their work is done.
The scrupulous stronghearts of Luiren take care to honor all the deities in the halfling pantheon, but their way of life reflects the influence of certain powers more than others. They do not favor any deities from other pantheons, and they actively discourage halflings from venerating the gods and goddesses of other races.
Among all the Faerudian halfling subraces, Arvoreen enjoys the strongest worship from the stronghearts of Luiren. While the Luiren hin venerate all the deities of the halfling pantheon in their turn, they hold the Vigilant Guardian in very high regard. His simple dogma has almost become the de facto motto of the nation: ï¿½Vigilance against attack will protect the community. Prepare an active defense, drill continuously, and leave nothing to change. Put down danger before allowing it a chance to rear its head.ï¿½ Clerics of the Wary Sword are among the nation's foremost religious, political, and military leaders; most of them multiclass as fighters.
Strongheart druids and rangers frequently venerate Sheela Peryroyl, the Green Sister, and they encourage their fellow hin to be mindful of the need to balance their communities expansions with the need to preserve nature. Most strongheart communities in Luiren maintain shrines to the Watchful Mother, usually on the edge of the settled area where it borders the wilderness.
Yondalla, the Blessed One, is the most popular halfling deity after Avoreen among the stronghearts. Many of the subrace who dwell in Luiren find the dichotomy of her faith ï¿½ do not welcome violence, but defend the home and community fiercely ï¿½ to be reflective of the strongheart outlook. Yondalla reigns supreme in Luiren whenever matters of family and tradition are invoked, and her clergy enjoys considerable respect and influence in the most important national councils.
The strongheart hin understand that they must be ready to defend their homes and nation literally at a moment's notice. They cannot know when a hostile creature or enemy force may launch an attack from the Luirwood of the Toadsquat Mountains. The have learned from bitter experience that it's best to be prepared, even when engaged in such mundane activities as husbandry and traveling. Therefore they have developed such devices as the wagon shields (see appendix), which can bu used to bolster defenses even in the most unlikely situations.
Strongheart Halflings (Base Race-HALFLING, Sub Race- Stronheart Halfling)
Stats: (Arabel custom)
Racial Abilities: +2 Dex, -2 Str
Special Abilities: Small Stature, Skill Affinity (Move Silently, Listen), Fearless, Good Aim
Favored class: Fighter
Taken from the Forgotten Realms Races of Faerun:
Regions: Damara, Dwarf (shield), Impiltur, the North, Silverymoon, Vassa, the Vast, and Western Heartlands.
Found largely in the northern reaches of western and central Faerun, shield dwarves are the dominant northern branch of the Stout Folk. Renowned for their smithwork and craftmenship, shield dwarves had endured a centuries-long decline in the face of never-ending wars with orcs, goblins, giants, and trolls.
Shield dwarves are descended from the founders of Shanatar, a legendary dwarven empire that once ruled the caverns beneath modern-day Amn, Tethyr, and Calimshan. After Shanatar fell, the shield dwarves migrated north, founding kingdoms such as Ammarindar, Delzoun, Gharraghaur, Haunghdamar, Oghrann, and Sarbreen. Although those kingdoms have also largely fallen, the Stout Folk of the North endure. The Thunder Blessing has served as a welcome reprieve for the beleaguered shield dwarves, giving hope that the descendants of ancient Shanatar may one day reclaim the glory of their forebears.
Taller by half a foot than their gold dwarf cousins, shield dwarves average 4 ï¿½ feet tall and weigh as much as an adult human. The skin of a shield dwarf is fair or lightly tanned, and her eyes are usually green or silvered blue. Both genders wear their hair long, and males (and a very few females) have long, carefully groomed beards and mustaches. Hair color ranges from light brown to red, with all shades fading to silver or white as time progresses.
Shield dwarves keep their word, whatever the cost, and are incredibly stubborn, unwilling to concede an inch unless there is absolutely no alternative. Such intransigence has enabled dwindling shield dwarf populations to hold on to ancient strongholds with just a fraction of their original defenders. However, it has also led to clan feuds and long-standing misunderstandings with other races that have sapped the strength of the Stout Folk. Shield dwarves love worked beauty, seeing the world as raw material to be forged and shaped into something more than the original.
Shield dwarves have the life expectancy and age categories defined for dwarves in the Player's Handbook, but use the following random height and weight characteristics instead of those described:
Shield dwarf, male: 4'2"½, +2d4, 145 lb., X(2d6) lb.
Shield dwarf, female: 4'0"½, +2d4, 110 lb., X(2d4) lb.
Shield dwarves trace their history back to Taark Shanat, third son of the great ruling clan of Bhaerynden. In the legendary times more than twelve thousand years ago, the Great Crusader and his eight sons led a great westward migration of dwarves from Bhaerynden in hopes of founding a new homeland. The Cloaker Wars pitted dwarves who followed Shanat against the mysterious inhabitants of Rringlor Noroth, who rose from the depths of a great chasm in a battle for control of the caverns of Alatorin. The Stout Folk eventually prevailed, after Taark slew four blue dragons who claimed the Rift of Dhalndar as their demesne. By the hand of one of the dwarven gods, probably Dumathoin, the skulls of the four wyrms cam together with a throne that emerged from the cavern floor to form the Wyrmskull Throne. Taark renamed the wyrms' lair Brightaxe Hall and founded of the kingdom of Alatorin. Shield dwarves mark the founding of Alatorin as the beginning of the First Great Age of Shanatar.
One Alatorin was established, the eight sons of Taark Shanat set off to found their own kingdoms in the caverns to the north (beneath modern-day Tethyr and Amn). Each son claimed one of the children of Moradin as his patron deity and so each of the subkingdoms they established became tightly linked with the church of that particular god or goddess. Around -9000 DR, skirmishing broke out between the eight northern kingdoms, as each fought to extend its borders at the expense of its neighbors. Over time, the skirmishes evolved into open warfare, pitting thousands of dwarves against one another.
While these wars raged, the drow of Guallidurth took advantage of the dwarves' distraction to attack the caverns of Alatorin, which were far removed from the frontlines of the fighting. The First Spider War was fought from -8170 DR to -8150 DR and ended with the capture of Brightaxe Hall and the collapse of Alatorin. Aghast at their folly, the eight reigning kings of that era forged an armistice, and turned their armies against the drow. The Second Spider War raged from -8145 DR to -8137 DR, and ended with the drow retreating from the caverns of Alatorin.
In triumph, the eight kings marched their armies back into Brightaxe Hall, pledging never again to fight on another. Seeking to reclaim the vision of Taark Shanat, the eight kings pleaded with their gods to pick one of them to sit on the Wyrmskull Throne. In response, the gods revealed the visage of the reigning king of Ultoksamrin, high priest of Dumathoin. Shield dwarves mark this event as the beginning of the Second Age of Shanatar and the elevation of Dumathoin as patron of their race.
Despite their newfound unity, dissension still lurked within the breasts of many of Shanatar's citizens. The kings of both Barakuir and Drakkalor both thought that they were entitled to sit on the Wyrmskull Throne, backed by the whisperings of their gods who had sought to have Moradin name them patron of the shield dwarves. Before such dissent could erupt into open strife, the illithids of Oryndoll attacked the eastern subkingdons in -8100 DR, beginning a conflict that came to be known as the Mindstalker Wars to the dwarves and the War of Cloven Thoughts to the mind flayers. The illithids were driven back by -8080 DR, but in their wake the surviving Stout Folk discovered that the caverns of Barakuir, which had been cut off in the early days of the fighting, lay empty, Clan Duergar had been carried back to the thralldom in the mind flayer's realm.
The Second Age of Shanatar lasted for nearly 1,800 years. Around -6150 DR, the drow of Guallidruth once again attacked the caverns of Alatorin. The Third Spider War lasted nearly thirty years but ended with the Stout Folk abandoning Brightaxe Hall to the drow. The dwarven refugees brought the Wyrmskull Throne with them, marking the end of the Second Age of Shanatar.
As the Third Age of Shanatar dawned, the emperor of Shanatar made plans to establish a new subkingdom in the Realms Above. Dwarven scouts were sent up to the surface around -6100 DR, where they allied with humans of the region to oust the remaining djinni despots. The alliance between the dwarves and the humans quickly foundered because the rulers in Coramshan turned to evil gods. In response, the dwarves claimed the surface lands north of the Marching Mountains as their won, establishing the kingdom of High Shanatar around -5960 DR.
High Shanatar flourished for centuries under the rule of House Axemarch, but the seeds of its destruction were planted within a century of its establishment. A conflict over a looted tomb led to skirmishing and eventually open warfare. The First Kingdom of Mir was established after Iltaker fell to Murabir Mir of Coramshan in -5330 DR, marking the beginning of the centuries-long expansion of Calimshan at the expense of High Shanatar. By -2600 DR, the last known dwarves of High Shanatar had fallen on the northern banks of the Sulduskoon River, and High Shanatar was no more.
As High Shanatar struggled to hold on to its territories in southwestern Faerun, Deep Shanatar struggled with challenges of its own. Successive waves of emigration led many young dwarves north to found new realms but also depleted the ranks of those who remained. Over time, the northern kingdoms of Drakkolor, Korolnor, Sondarr, Torglor, and Xothaerin slowly dwindled away as their inhabitants migrated north. The kingdom of Oghrann was established beneath the Plains of Tun in -5125 DR. The coastal realm of Haunghdannar was established in the northern Sword Mountains and along the northern Sword Coast in -4974 DR. Ammarindar was founded beneath the Graypeak Mountains around -4160 DR, and Delzoun, the Northkingdom, rose beneath what is now the Silver Marches around -3900 DR.
Unfortunately for the shield dwarves, their conquests in the North proved illusory, and the glory of Shanatar was never reborn. Oghrann fell in -3770 DR, and Haunghdannar in -3389 DR. Delzoun and Ammarindar lasted many more centuries, but the Northkingdom eventually succumbed in -100 DR, and Ammarindar was overrun in 882 DR by lingering horrors unleashed by the Netherese of Ascalhorn.
In the South, after centuries of decline, the final fall of Deep Shanatar was precipitated by the Stout Folk themselves. Impelled by centuries of bitter resentment, Clan Duergar invaded Ultoksamrin and Holorarar around -1800 DR in a series of conflicts know as the Kin Clashes. Only Iltkazar survived the gray dwarf invasion, leaving Shanatar fallen in all but name.
Despite their centuries-long decline and deserved reputation for dourness and cynicism, shield dwarves have never succumbed to fatalism. Shield dwarves had traditionally been divided into two camps - the Hidden and the Wanderers - although such divisions have begun to fade since the Thunder Blessing. While members of the former group have literally hidden themselves away from the outside world, content to pursue their traditional way of life, members of the latter group have gone out into the world, unbowed by their face's relentless decline.
Shield dwarves are traditionally slow to trust and slow to forget slights, but a dawning realization of their race's plight has left many willing to seek out new ways of doing things unconstrained by traditional prejudices or practices. Shield dwarves have a long and proud tradition of adventuring, and many shield dwarves follow this route simply in hope of equaling or exceeding the deeds of those who have come before. Others seek to recover long-lost strongholds and treasures that have fallen to orcs or others beasts. Since the Thunder Blessing, the question for many young shield dwarves is not why they should become adventurers, but why they should not.
Shield Dwarf Characters
Constant warfare with orcs, goblins, trolls, and giants have imbued a strong martial tradition in shield dwarf culture. Most dwarves learn to defend their homes and clan, with fighters, paladins, and martial clerics being commonplace. Other shield dwarves focus on time-honored skills, following the path of the expert or rogue. Arcane spellcaster are quite rare, with few of sorcerous inclination. Common multiclass combinations include fighter/cleric, fighter/paladin, and fighter/expert.
Favored Class: A shield dwarf's favored class is fighter. For centuries shield dwarves have fought a war of genocidal destruction against orcs, goblins, trolls, and giants of the North. Fighters have always served at the core of shield dwarf armies, even defiant in the face of overwhelming odds.
Prestige Classes: Battleragers are legendary dwarven warriors who can enter a divine battle frenzy through ritualistic singing. Given to drinking, rowdy and boisterous singing, and drunken dancing, battleragers love to plunge into close quarters battle, heedless of any danger.
Shield dwarves of some accomplishment frequently adopt the dwarven defender prestige class, and many of their clerics become runecasters.
Shield Dwarf Society
Although clan and class divisions were once strong among shield dwarves, generations of decline have largely broken their once dominant influence. While shield dwarves are still incredibly proud of their bloodlines, individual accomplishments now count for more than longstanding tradition of the dictates of class elders. Shield dwarves life among the Hidden is still dominated by craft and forge, but increasing numbers of shield dwarves are making their own way in the world as adventurers or as craftsfolk dwelling in human-dominated communities.
Shield dwarves are raised in tight family units, with clan elders playing a diminishing role in overseeing their upbringing. Book learning is common, and most children are apprenticed to learn a trade as they near maturity. Adult shield dwarves are expected to support themselves and their family as well as bring honor and riches to the clan. While shield dwarves do not shy away from displays of wealth, they avoid ostentatious or decadent behavior. As shield dwarves age, they are honored for their wisdom and accorded respect for their past accomplishments. Families and clans are expected to honor their elders in death with solemn funeral rites and tombs befitting the deceased's reputation and accomplishments.
Generations of Wanderers have created large and thriving dwarven enclaves within most human settlements, with all shield dwarves welcome as posrt of the loosely knit dwarven ï¿½clanï¿½. Shield dwarves occupy the roles of smith or craftsmen in many human communities and are well respected for their skill as artisans. Few shield dwarves turn away from the venerations of the Morndinsamman, but most are quick to learn the local trade tongue and make friends with other races.
Language and Literacy
Like all dwarves, shield dwarves speak Dwarven and employ the Dethek rune alphabet. They also speak Common. The primary shield dwarven dialect, Shanatan, dates back to the founding of Shanatar and is still spoken by dwarves along the Sword Coast from the Shinning Sea to the Spine of the World. To the east, in northcentral Faerun, most shield dwarves speak the Galenan dialect, strongly influenced by the Damaran human tongue.
Common secondary languages reflect the extensive trading contacts maintained by shield dwarves with their neighbors in the North and include Chondathan, Illuskan, and, to a lesser extent, Elven and Gnome. The shield dwarves of northcentral Faerun are more apt to learn Damaran than Illuskan as a secondary language. Many shield dwarves also learn the languages of their traditional foes, including Draconic, Giant, Goblin, and Orc.
All shield dwarf characters are literate except for barbarians.
Shield Dwarf Magic and Lore
Shield dwarves have been engaged in a perpetual war against goblinoids and giants for centuries, so their magic reflects a martial bent. Anything that helps slay more giants is a welcome addition to the shield dwarf arsenal.
Among the Hidden, magic from the Illusion and Abjuration schools are immensely important, because they guard a dwarf clan from discovery and attack. The Hidden create layer after layer of protective spells to guard entrance to their strongholds. Many an invading orc horde has been tricked into leaving or frustrated into exhaustion without even seeing the shield dwarves they're fighting.
Spells and Spellcasting
Shield dwarves have a strong diving spellcasting tradition, with many of the Stout Folk called to serve the Morndinsamman as clerics, paladins, runecaster, or runesmiths. Arcane spellcaster are much more rare, but increasing in number.
Spellcasting Tradition: Shield dwarves often take the Shield Dwarf feat, which reflects their knack for creating armor and shields with magic.
Unique Spells: Shield dwarves have created many divine spells over the years, including mindless rage and shape metal.
Racial Magic Items
Shield dwarves favor magic items that aid in combat, whether offensively or defensively. Whether magic is best employed to protect of attack is a centuries-old argument among the shield dwarves. With Wanderers favoring magic weapons and the Hidden favoring magic armor. In any case, all shield dwarves revere any magic item that facilitates craftwork, because the urge to create flow strongly in dwarven blood.
Axes and other blades are commonly crafted with keen, holy, lawful, flaming, flaming burst, mighty cleaving, sundering, and stunning special abilities. Hammers and maces are commonly crafted with holy, impact, lawful, returning, shock, shocking burst, stunning, sundering, and throwing special abilities. Armor is typically crafted with fire resistance, fortification, and invulnerability special abilities, reflecting a long tradition of battles against orcs, goblinoids, trolls, and giants, and a deep understanding of metalworking.
Common Magic Items: Common examples of items favored by shield dwarves include anvils of the blacksmith, belts of dwarvenkind (often given as gifts to nondwarves who help a dwarf clan), boots of the winterlands, forges of smithing, banners of the weaponsmith, tongs of the armorer, and whetstones of keen edge.
Iconic Magic Items: Shield dwarves have fabricated many unique magic items as well, such as doorbreakers, hammers of staggering blows_, and stonereavers. They are justly famous for foesplitter axes, which are +1 keen battleaxes.
Shield Dwarf Deities
Shield dwarves have venerated the dwarven deities of the Morndinsamman since the dawn of Shanatar, although their mythology has evolved significantly over the millennia. Taark Shanat and his followers in Alatorin venerated Moradin and Berronar, but worship of those deities receded as Taark's eight sons set out to found their own kingdoms, each choosing a patron deity of his won from among the eight children: Dumathoin, Laduguer, Abbathor, Clangeddin Silverbeard, Vergadain, Sharindlar, and the twins Diinkarazan and Diirinka.
When the eight kings came together to choose who would first sit on the Wyrmskull Throne, Moradin selected the king of Ultoksamrin, who was also the high priest of Dumathoin. This act cemented the Silent Keeper's position as patron deity of the shield dwarves but strongly disappointed Dumathoin's chief rivals, eventually leading to Laduguer's bitter exile and Abbathor's enduring corruption. By the fall of Shanatar, the shield dwarves had abandoned the worship of Laduguer, Diinkarazan, and Diirinka, while younger gods such as Thard Harr, Gorm Gulthyn, Marthammor Duin, Dugmaren Brightmantle, and Haela Brightaxe had arisen.
Dumathoin is considered the patron of shield dwarves, and his church has by far the most adherents among shield dwarves. Miners and smiths venerate the Silent Keeper, but he also has a small following among those good and neutral-aligned shield dwarves seeking secrets of arcane lore. The Mountain Shield is also considered the guardian of the dead and is propitiated by most shield dwarves during burials. Dumathoin's clerics take charge of all burials, inter the dead in secret vaults, and guard the funeral wealth of great shield dwarves.
Marthammor Duin, the Finder-of-Trails, is venerated be those shield dwarves who consider themselves Wanderers. He watches over good-aligned adventurers, craftsfolk, explorers, expatriates, travelers, and wanderers. Marthammor has a secondary aspect as the dwarven god of lightning, which curiously has attracted a small growing number of wizards and sorcerers who specialize in evocation magic.
Relations with Other Races
Shield dwarves get along with most other dwarven subraces, although they regard gold dwarves arrogance as naive and have little understanding for their barbaric wild and arctic dwarven kin. Shield dwarves have a longstanding enmity for the descendants of Clan Duergar, dating back to the Kin Clashes that marked Shanatar's final chapter, and they attack duergar on sight.
Despite centuries of squabbling with elves and half-elves, shield dwarves have always managed to put aside their differences with the Tel-quessir in the face of outside threats. Shield dwarves have always gotten along well with gnomes, particularly rock gnomes and deep gnomes. Colored by their experience with lightfoots, shield dwarves find halflings to be somewhat unreliable buy easy to get along with. Shield dwarves get along well with most humans, particularly Illuskans, Tethyrians, Chondathans, and Damarans.
Shield dwarves see half-orcs as little better than their hated brethren, although exceptions do exist. The Stout Folk of the North associate most planetouched with the horrors of Hellgate Keep and view them with suspicion. Earth gensai are a notable exception and are commonly welcomed in dwarven delves across the North.
Shield Dwarf Equipment
Shield dwarves commonly employ equipment such as armor lubricant, mobile braces, rope climbers, thunderstones, and sunrods.
Arms and Armorer
Shield dwarves favor a wide range of weapons, including battleaxes, crossbows, gauntlets, handaxes, heavy picks, light hammers, light picks, longswords, half spear, short swords, mauls, throwing axes, and warhammers. More unusual weapons include dwarven urgroshes, dwarven waraxes, horned helmets, spiked chains, spiked gauntlets, spiked helmets, and spike shooters. Typical forms of armor include breastplates, chainmail, half-plate, full plate, large steel shields, and small steel shields. Less common forms of armor include dwarven plate, grasping shields, and large mithral shields.
Whenever possible, shield dwarves fashion their armor from mithral; their love of the metal matches the gold dwarves' admiration for adamantine.
Animals and Pets
Shield dwarves favor bats (especially the common bat), canaries, and small lizards such as the spitting crawler as pets and familiars. They use pack lizards and mules as beasts of burden. Shield dwarves commonly employ ponies or war ponies as steeds, except in Iltkazar, where riding lizards are still the norm. Favored breeds include the Island pony, the Nether pony, and the Whiteshield (war pony). The shield dwarves of the Far Hills employ dire bats as steeds (fitted with exotic military saddles) to navigate the subterranean wells they call home. Shield dwarf barbarians and battleragers often employ boars as steeds.
(Base Race- DWARF, Sub Race- leave blank or Shield Dwarf)
Stats: (neverwinter nights standard stats)
Racial Abilities: +2 Con, -2 Cha
Special Abilities: Stonecunning, Darkvision, Hardiness vs. Poisons, Hardiness vs. Spells, Offensive Training vs. Orcs and Goblinoids, Defensive Training vs. Giants, Skill Affinity (Lore)
Favored Class: Fighter_
Taken from the Forgotten Realms Races of Faerun:
Regions: By base humanoid race or region.
Lycanthropes aren't a race, so much as a group of people whom all suffer from a common curse. Lycanthropes have the ability to change into animals or hybrid forms, and the sometimes do so involuntarily. Any kind of giant or humanoid can suffer from lycanthropy. In Faerun, the following kinds of lycanthropes are common: Werebats, werebear, werecats, werecrocodile, wererat, wereshark, weretiger, werewolf, and the elven lythari, a special kind of werewolf. Each of these lycanthropes can transform from its normal humanoid form to that of a particular animal or a hybrid form that is a cross between the humanoid and the animal forms.
In their humanoid forms, lycanthropes are essentially the same as they ever were. While their chances to die a violent death have likely increased greatly, their natural life expectancy is the same as it was before they became lycanthropes. Their height, weight, and other physical features are unchanged as well. In their animal forms, lycanthropes appear to be of an age proportional to their human forms. In other words, an elderly human werewolf in her wolf form looks like an elderly wolf, despite the fact that a real wolf her age would have long been dead.
There are, in fact, two kinds of lycanthropes: those who have contracted the condition as a curse (afflicted lycanthropes), and those who were born with it (natural lycanthropes). The child of a natural lycanthrope is always a natural lycanthrope, but the child of an afflicted lycanthrope is a normal example of his or her race until puberty, at which point there is a 50% chance that the child manifests lycanthropy as a natural lycanthrope.
Lycanthropes have the same life expectancy and age categories as characters of their base race.
Lycanthropy appears to have been a plague on Faerun since its earliest days. Some say Malar, the Beastlord, created the first lycanthropes from barbaric human tribes thousands of years ago in order to infuse the race with the feral cunning and strength of the predatory animals they admired. Others believe that lycanthropy was a gift from the goddess Selune to human children orphaned in the dangerous wilds, a blessing to help them survive. From these ancient humans, old lycanthropic bloodlines have descended through the ages, few in number but scattered through all the wilderness of Faerun.
Lycanthropes have no racial history, since their story is the story of an individual here, a family there, or more rarely a pack of bloodthirsty marauders in another place. While evil lycanthropes have slaughtered whole villages on occasion, and good lycanthropes have valiantly defended the homes of the innocent against evil raiders, lycanthropes have never assembled in numbers greater than a few dozen, founded cities, or raised kingdoms.
Rumor has it that a number of new kinds of lycanthropes have been found in Faerun since the Time of Troubles. There have been scattered reports of werebison, weredogs, weredolphins, wereleopards, wereowls, and werepanthers.
A lycanthrope's outlook is usually based upon its life in its humanoid form. However, there are some generalizations that can be made. Natural lycanthropes rarely have a problem with their lycanthropy. They view their "curse" as a gift. These folks realize that their lycanthropy makes them special, and many of them take up careers as adventurers. If lycanthropy is feared or reviled in their humanoid culture, they may feel some shame for being so different from those around them, but they rarely if ever wish to be "cured" of their condition. Natural lycanthropes of evil alignment revel in their feral nature, and view themselves as stronger and more fit than their normal fellows. Their strength gives them the right to murder, plunder, and terrorize any who are too weak to defend themselves.
Afflicted lycanthropes are often horrified to find that they have contracted the condition. Waking up covered with blood and a convenient case of amnesia is bad enough. To learn that this is a situation that is going to repeat itself three nights every month for the rest of your life can be nearly intolerable. Most such people try to find a cure as quickly as possible. Of course, not everyone has access to belladonna which must be taken within an hour of the attack anyhow or to a high-level spellcaster who can remove the condition.
The worst part for a cursed lycanthrope is that any voluntary change into an animal or hybrid form immediately changes the humanoid's alignment to that of the lycanthrope form. If this differs from the character's current alignment, it can be a jarring shift, and the larger the shift the worse it is on the character. It's hard for a paladin-werewolf to remain a paladin for long in the face of the seductive lure of giving to his feral side.
Once a character's alignment is in accord with that of her animal shape, though, the afflicted lycanthrope comes to terms with her curse. The battle between the two sides of her personality her humanoid and her animal selves is over.
Most lycanthrope adventurers are loners. They may join a band of like-minded adventurers and even work with them for several tendays at a time. Once that full moon rises, though, they disappear in search of a place to be by themselves. They know all too well that many people are not fond of lycanthropes, so they take great pains to conceal their true nature.
A lycanthrope's humanoid form determines her class. Many cursed lycanthropes were adventurers to begin with, since these are the sorts of people most likely to have the kinds of encounters that lead to such troubles. If the lycanthrope wasn't an adventurer before, she is likely to become one now. Entire chapters of an adventurer's saga can be written about her quest to find some way to have the curse removed, even if the story's protagonist was once a simple commoner who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Natural lycanthropes often come from a family of lycanthropes who have passed the "curse" down through the generations. They are usually careful to conceal their true nature from people they don't know very well, since there are many non-lycanthropes who believe that the only good lycanthrope is a dead one. Children of natural lycanthropes can start to change form on the first full moon after their birth.
Afflicted lycanthropes rarely have any kind of society or family to support them. Unless they are found by the lycanthrope who bestowed the curse on them in the first place, many afflicted lycanthropes never meet another of their own kind. Evil lycanthropes have been known to carelessly spread their curse in order to create a pack of followers. Of course, if the new lycanthropes are less than thrilled about their affliction, this strategy can easily backfire.
Lycanthropes age, become adults, and die just like anyone else of their humanoid race. Their animal forms ages proportionally of with their humanoid forms. A young lycanthrope becomes a young animal. An elderly lycanthrope who can barely walk finds herself in the same situation as an animal.
Again, lythari are the exception. Lythari are almost always friends with each other to begin with. They often run in a pack together, and are usually revered by other elves as creatures of powerful magic.
Language and Literacy
A lycanthrope speaks whatever languages are common to her humanoid form. She also can communicate empathically with normal or dire animals of the same form as her lycanthropic animal shape.
A lycanthrope's literacy is determined by her humanoid form.
Lycanthropy as an Affliction
When a character contracts lycanthropy through a lycanthrope's bite, no symptoms appear until the first night of the next full moon. On that night, the afflicted character involuntarily assumes animal form and forgets his or her own identity, temporarily becoming an NPC under the DM's control. The character remains in animal form, assuming the appropriate alignment, until the next dawn.
The character's actions during this first episode are dictated by the alignment of its animal form. Good-aligned creatures seek to avoid settlements or travelers and non-natural environments, seeking out wilderness environs. They may hunt the natural prey of their kind, but avoid attacking non-evil intelligent creatures. Evil creatures seek to murder as many intelligent creatures as possible, often killing their own family members and friends. They generally seek out places where such victims may be found. Neutral creatures seek remote areas and avoid contact with civilization, but might attack travelers or other folk abroad in the wilderness out of natural ferocity and hunger, no malice. In any case, the character remembers nothing about the entire episode (or subsequent episodes) unless he succeeds at a Wisdom check (DC 15) on awaking, in which case he becomes aware of his lycanthropic condition.
Thereafter, the character is subject to involuntary transformation under the full moon and whenever damaged in combat. He or she feels as overwhelming rage building up and must succeed at a Control Shape check to resist changing into animal form. Any character not yet aware of his or her lycanthropic condition temporarily becomes and NPC under the DM's control during are involuntary change, and acts as described above.
A character with awareness of his condition retains his identity and does not lose control of his actions if he changes. However, each time he changes to his animal form, he must make a Will save (DC 15 + number of times he has been in animal form) or permanently assume the alignment of his animal form in all shapes. An evil lycanthrope who is aware of his actions in animal form is not compelled to murder and kill indiscriminately, but be delights in bloodshed and will certainly seek out opportunities to slaughter intelligent beings, preferably those of his own race.
Once the character becomes aware of the affliction, he can now voluntarily attempt to change to animal or hybrid form, using the appropriate Control Shape DC. AN attempt is a standard action and can be made each round. Any voluntary change to animal or hybrid form immediately and permanently changes the character's alignment to that of the appropriate lycanthrope.
Changing form is a standard action. If the change is involuntary, the character performs the change on his next turn following the triggering event. Changing to animal or hybrid form ruins the characters armor and clothing (including any items worn) if the new form is larger than the character's natural form, carried items are simply dropped. Character can hastily doff clothing while changing, but not armor. Magic armor survives the change if it succeeds at a Fortitude save (DC 17). And afflicted character who is not aware of his condition remains in animal form until the next dawn. An afflicted character who is aware of his or her condition can try to resume humanoid form following a change (voluntary or involuntary) with a Control Shape check, but if he fails the check, he remains in animal (or hybrid) from until the following dawn.
A lycanthrope's racial deities are determined by her base race. Born lycanthropes usually worship a nature god in their race's pantheon if there is such a deity. Selune and Malar are also the patron deities of good and evil lycanthropes respectively.
Relations with Other Races
A lycanthrope's relations with other races are mostly determined by her base race. However, since the alignments of most lycanthropes are fairly well known, most people assume that the lycanthrope has the same alignment in all of its forms. If they know of the lycanthrope, they often base their opinion on the lycanthrope by how close they are to each other in alignments.
Lythani Chaotic Good
Werebat Neutral Evil
Werebear Lawful Good
Werecrocodile Neutral Evil
Wererat Chaotic Evil
Wereshark Neutral Evil
Werewolf Chaotic Evil
Hybrid Form Bonuses: +2 Wisdom, Darkvision, Animal Empathy +4, , +2 Armor Class, Damage Reduction 10/+1, Hide +4, Listen +4, Move Silently +4, Spot +4
Damage: 1d6/1d6/1d8 (means 2/3 of the time 1d6 for the claws and 1/3 of the time 1d8 for the bite)
Level Adjustment (ECL) +1
Hybrid Form Bonuses: +2 Wisdom, Darkvision, Animal Empathy +4, , +2 Armor Class, Damage Reduction 10/+1, Hide +8, Listen +4, Move Silently +8, Spot +4
Damage: 1d6/1d6/1d8 (means 2/3 of the time 1d6 for the claws and 1/3 of the time 1d8 for the bite)
Level Adjustment (ECL) +1
Hybrid Form Bonuses: +2 Wisdom, Darkvision, Animal Empathy +4, , +2 Armor Class, Damage Reduction 10/+1, Listen +4, Spot +4
Damage: 1d8/1d8/1d10 (means 2/3 of the time 1d6 for the claws and 1/3 of the time 1d8 for the bite)
Level Adjustment (ECL) + 1
Taken from the Forgotten Realms Races of Faerun:
Regions: Chondalwood, Cormyr, Dalelands, Dragon Coast, Great Dale, Impiltur, Moonsea, Nelanther Isles, Sembia, Silverymoon, the Vast, Vilhon Reach, Western Heartlands, Waterdeep, Chondathan.
Chondathans are hardy folk, not afraid to take risks, travel, or settle new lands, and are always looking to better themselves and their families monetarily. As Chondathan culture has taken root in so many distant lands, Chondathans are comfortable in most human societies. Many Chondathans are merchants of one sort or another, selling their skills and the fruits of their labors for coin. Although Chondathans make skilled mercenaries and cunning rogues, Chondathan culture has not encouraged study of the Art of great religious fervor. Notable exceptions exist, particularly in the study of the Art among the Netherse-influenced Chondathan cultures that lie north and west of the Inner Sea.
From the cradle of Vilhon Reach, Chondathan emigrants have settled most of the western and central Inner Sea region as well as much of the Western Heartlands. Outside their homeland, Chondathans form the primary racial stock of Altumbel, Cormyr, the southern Dalelands, the Dragon Coast, the Great Dale, Hlondeth and the north shore of the Vilhon Reach, the Pirate Isles of the Inner Sea, Sembia, and Sespech. Thanks to for-wandering Chondathan traders, the Chondathan tongue is spoken even in regions where the number of pureblooded Chondathans is small or nearly nonexistent. Chondathan ancestry, language and culture form a significant portion of Damaran, Vassan, and Tehtyrian heritage.
Chondathans are slender, tawny-skinned folk with brown hair ranging from almost blond to almost black. Most Chondathans are tall and have green or brown eyes, but all builds and hair and eye hues may be seen. Those Chondathans who dwell north and west of the Sea of Fallen Stars (except in Sembia) are more likely to have blue eyes and have fairer complexions and darker hair than those born in the South, evidence of a significant Netherese heritage. In Chondath itself, particularly in the lands bordering Sespech, a significant Shaaran influx in recent centuries has given many natives of Chondath more of an olive-skinned hue.
Chondathans regard themselves as having come to dominate central Faerun almost by accident; they have “conquered” more land through trade and settlements than with armies. They show little arrogance and only a small amount of pride regarding the predominance of their language and culture. Likewise, Chondathans are more apt to identify themselves by their national origins (such as Cormyrean, Dalesfolk, or Sembian) than by their ethnic group. If Chondathans do have a common vice, it is perhaps their cultural focus on wealth and its acquisition. Among Chondathans, prestige and influence are often directly tied to wealth, and it is no accident that the merchant nobility plays a strong role in most societies influenced by Chondathan culture.
Chondathans trace their ancestry back to the Twelve Cities of Swords in ancient Jhaamdath, founded around -5800 DR by the great warrior-king Jhaam. Jhaamdath lay north of the Chondalwood along the south shore of the Vilhon Reach, with outposts stretching from the Dragon Coast to the Akanal. Only the armies and axes held at bay for many years by the wood elves of Nikerymath.
In -5032 DR, Jhaamdath clashed with the Kingdoms of Mir and Cormshan over control of the Lake of Steam, precipitating the unification of Calimshan. After several decades of fighting, Calimshan and Jhaamdath agreed to a truce in -5005 DR. In the millennial that followed, Jhaamdath sank into stagnation, its inhabitants becoming increasingly xenophobic and withdrawn. Jhaamdath even fell under the sway of Unther from roughly -1500 DR to -1069 DR. Not until -276 DR did Jhaamdath's inhabitants turn outward once again, after Jhaamdath's last warlord seized power and called for the building of a strong navy to sail out upon the Inner Sea and conquer new lands. Such ship-building required the felling of many trees, a move that reignited war between Jhaamdath and elven-ruled Nikerymath and led to the elven realm's destruction.
Seeking vengeance, four High Mages of Nikerymath unleashed a gargantuan tidal wave that roared up Jhaamdath's bay, smashing the Twelve Cities of Swords and reshaping the topography into what is known today as the Vilhon Reach. The actions of the High Mages were not without consequence, however, for their Art precipitated the fall of the sea elven empire of Aryselmalyr and unleashed an inexorable tide of humanity that eventually displaced most of the elven realms of northcentral Faerun.
Many of those who survived the Year of the Furious Waves (-255 DR) set out to colonize lands that would later become known as Impiltur, Thesk, and the Vast, in a vast tide of pragmatic prospectors, elf-hating soldiers, merchants, and a sprinkling of peaceful scholars and farmers. After occupying much of the northcentral Inner Sea region, the descendants of Jhaamdath began migrating westward from Impiltur in the year 1 DR, settling the Dalelands and the northern shore of the Dragonmere. The latter group founded the Forest Kingdom of Cormyr in 26 DR under the rule of House Obarskyr.
Back in the Vilhon Reach, those who remained established new cities around the year 50 DR, including Iljak, Musssam, Samra, and Arrabar. After suffering yet another plague and again incurring the wrath of the elves of Chondalwood, the cities united to form Chondath in 139 DR. Chondath existed ever since, although it was reduced to little more than a collection of city-states during the Elfblade Stand of 877 DR and the Rotting War of 900-902 DR.
A third wave of Chondathan migration occurred in the 380s DR, when settlers from Chondath established the colonies of Chancelgaunt (later Selgaunt) and Chondathan (later Saerloon) along the coast of what would later become the Merchant Kingdom of Sembia. Hostilities with the elves of Cormanthyr led to defeat at the Battle of Singing Arrows (844 DR) and led Chondath to renounce the governance of its far-flung colonies in the aftermath of the Rotting War. This in turn led to the founding of Sembia, the Land of the Silver Raven, in 913 DR.
Traders from Sembia and, to a lesser extent, Cormyr and the Dalelands continued west and northwest in smaller numbers in the centuries that followed, spreading Chondathan culture and language from Tethyr to the Savage Frontier. The rise of Silverymoon as a center of magical study in 659 DR precipitated the migration of a small, but influential, number of Chondathans to Silverymoon and established Chondathan culture and langauge in a land that had only been reached by a handful of Chondathan merchants until that time.
Today, Chondathan culture and language dominates much of central and western Caerun. Thorass, the alphabet that arose from interactions between Jhaamdath and the Old Kingdom of Calimshan, is commonly employed as the alphabet of most human tongues. Moreover, Common, the trade language of Faerun, is simply a modern version of Thorass ("Old Common"), which in turn was largely based on Jhaamdathan ("Old Chondathan") and Alzhedo, the language of Calishan. While the Calishites, the Imaskari, the Mulan, and the Metherse may have each forged the greatest human empires of Faerun in their day, it is the Chondathans whose culture now predominates, and empire spread by commerce and coin, not by sword or staff.
Chondathans measure others by how much wealth and influence a person or family has acquired. To a Chondathan, all things are for sale, assuming one can agree upon a price. Intrigue and covert manipulation are simply means to an end, but unnecessary bloodshed is destructive and wasteful. Chondathans have found that power inevitably swings to whoever controls the purse strings, not whoever carries the biggest sword, and set their aspirations accordingly. Fierce competition in all walks of life is the guiding rule of Chondathan society, and those raised within its confines are used to seeing fortunes won or lost, with commensurate gains or losses in stature. Chondathans expect each individual to look out for himself or herself, and they are often surprised when others act selflessly.
Chondathans are drawn to adventuring for one of two reasons: Some take up arms and spells to defend that which they hold most dear, a tradition hearkening back to the early Chondathan settlers. Others are drawn to a life on the road by the same impulses that send Chondathan merchants into unfamiliar lands in search of trading opportunities, a hunger to search for wealth in the unknown. Most Chondathans who adopt adventuring as a career are drawn to the potential of acquiring great wealth by looting some long-forgotten tomb or recovering some fabulous treasure from an ancient ruin.
Chondathans typically make good fighters drawing on their culture's long-standing mercenary tradition. Likewise, many Chondathans find their calling as rogues, a product of their culture's emphasis on the acquisition of wealth and the wide ranges of skills. The most common multiclass combination among Chondathans is fighter/rogue (But I doubt this is so that they can max out thier UMD and Tumble skills ~ Deadlock). Chondathans are rarely barbarians, sorcerers, or wizards, as no sizable group of Chondathans has reverted into barbarism; ancient Jhaamdath had relatively few relations with dragons, social or otherwise; and wizardry had long been associated with the unleashing of plagues in Chondathan folklore. Those Chondathan sorcerers who do exist usually hail from lands north and west of the Inner Sea and have one or more High Netherese ancestors in their heritage.
Prestige Classes: Chondathans often take up the study of the divinely inspired prestige classes, such as arcane devotee, divine champion, divine disciple, divine seeker, and heriophant. Chondathans worship evil deities as well as good, so blackguards are not unusual among evil-aligned members of this ethnic group. Many Harpers are of Chondathan heritage, so the Harper scout prestige class is also common. Similarly, the folk of Cormyr are largely Chondathan descent, so many Purple Dragon knights are Chondathans.
Chondathan culture varies widely across Faerun. Compared to other cultures, particularly Calishite and Mulan, Chondathan societies have relatively weak class divisions. Hard work and good fortune have been enough to catapult more than one member of the lower classes into the merchant nobility. Commerce plays an important role in all Chondathan-dominated cultures, giving rise to the maxim that everything is for sale at some price. Chondathans honor their word, although not for moral reasons. One's reputation is like a purse with a fixed number of coins that, once squandered, is costly to repurchase.
As Chondathans place a high value on book learning, many receive some amount of schooling while growing up. Chondathan youths are apprenticed to a master by the age of 12 and are expected to learn a trade during their apprenticeship. Chondathans have little patience for able-bodied indigents, and all adults are expected to earn their own keep in whatever field they were trained. Wealthy persons are afforded great respect in Chondathan societies, and those who squander money foolishly are looked down upon. Chondathans are expected to work until no longer physically capable or until death. Even those too infirm to earn a living often pass their days at their former place of work, offering advice to those who have replaced them.
Outside Chondathan-dominated lands, Chondathans strive to integrate into the local culture, even if that means learning a new tongue or converting to the worship of the local gods. Of course, such integration strategies do not interfere with sharing Chondathan necessities and customs with the local populace, a practice that over time slowly subsumes the local culture. Chondathan minorities usually organize themselves into merchant houses or trading costers for protection and to maximize their opportunities for profit.
Language and Literacy
Chondathans speak Common and Chondathan, two closely related tongues. Chondathan, one of the root tongues of Common, is the modern form of Jhaamdathan ("Old Chondathan"), which was one of the two root tongues of Thorass ("Old Commonï"). Chondathan employs the Thorass alphabet, a set of characters used to represent the trade tongue that came into use thousands of years ago along the shores of the Lake of Steam.
As many Chondathans dwell amid other human cultures (or at least have extensive trade contacts with such societies), many individuals learn the local tongue or the language of their nearest neighbor. Commonly learned second languages include Illuskan if the individual in question lives in the Western Heartlands or the North, Damaran if she lives south of the Vilhon Reach, Turami if she lives along the shores of the Lake of Steam. Spellcasters, particularly those who dwell in Cormyr or the Dalelands, usually learn Netherse and Elven in order to acquire magic from old sources. Few Chondathans outside those area learn Elven, a legacy of generations of conflict and a likely contributor to future conflicts.
All Chondathan characters are literate except for barbarians.
Magic and Lore
Chondathans do not have a strong arcane spellcasting tradition, no do Chondathan bloodlines include the ancestry that gives rise to a great number of sorcerers. However, many Chondathans are drawn to the divine and become clerics or druids. In their great diaspora of a thousand years past, the Chondathans carried the worship of many of their gods to all corners of Faerun; it's sometimes said that Chondathans conquered a continent with their gold and their gods.
Spells and Spellcasting
Chondathans who study wizardry remain generalists, become transmutters for the wide spell selection, or learn the abjurer's art for the protection such spells afford.
Spellcasting Tradition: Chondathans have strong divine spell casting traditions, especially among those devoted to deities attuned to nature, including druids and rangers. Any spell that helps travel across the far-flung Chondathan lands is appreciated, whether it's a lowly rope trick for a safe evening's rest or a powerful wind walk spell. Also favored are divine spells that assist in commerce, such as zone of truth, sending, tongues, and mark of justice (to enforce contracts). Among Chondathan clerics charged with spreading the faith, the Chondathan Missionary feat is common.
Unique Spells: The widespread nature of Chondathan culture, combined with the lack of an arcane spellcasting tradition among Chondathans (except where introduced by Netherese refugees), has ensured that few spells are uniquely associated with Chondathan culture. The plague magics of ancient Jhaamdath, such as mass contagion and plague carrier, are much feared for their fell effects but are fortunately recorded only in long-hidden tomes.
Chondathan Magic Items
Chondathans favor magic items that provide personal protection or comfort, facilitate travel, guard against theft, and enable the surreptitious gathering of information. Swords and daggers are commonly crafted with defending, keen, and speed special abilities. Armor is typically crafted with arrow deflection, fortification, and spell resistance special abilities, reflecting Chondathan culture's long-standing fear of elves and rogues.
Common Magic Items: Hand of the mage, hat of disguise, Heward's handy haversack, gloves of arrow snaring, Murlynd's spoon, and periapt of proof against poison. Due to the prevalence of these items in Chondathan lands, they may be purchased at a 10% discount from the normal price in any large city in Cormyr, Sembia, the Dragon Coast, or the Vilhon Reach.
Iconic Magic Items: Again, thank to the influence of Chondathan merchants, there are few magic items unique to Chondathan culture that have not been widely disseminated across Faerun. One exception to this rule is the catseye brooch, a good luck charm worn by many well-to-do Chondathans, who view cats as good luck and defenders against the threat of disease.
Chondathans honor the deities of the Faerunian pantheon. Such is the magnitude of the Chondathan diaspora that no deity is particularly favored by the majority of Chondathans across Faerun. In fact, Chondathans have traditionally adopted the deities of other cultures, incorporating them into their sprawling pantheon. Gods and goddesses venerated in regions inhabited primarily by Chondathans include Azuth, Chanteua, Deneir, Eldath, Helm, Kelemvor, Lathander, Lliira, Loviatar, Malar, Mask, Mielikki, Milil, Mystra, Nobanion, Oghma, Selune, Silvanus, Sune, Talos, Tempus, Tymora, Tyr, Umberlee, and Waukeen.
Ancient Jhaamdath was one of the first human cultures to develop the written word, and, as such, literate Chondathans have long honored Deneir, the Lord of All Glyphs and Images. The church of Deneir has spread to other cultures as Chondathan traders spread the trade tongues of Common or its antecedent, Thorass, bringing with them the Thorass alphabet. At present, the church of Deneir has its greatest influence among those literate Chondathans who dwell in Cormyr and Sembia.
Similarly, ancient Jhaamdath's wars were fought with horrible magical plagues, so Talona has been part of Chondathan culture since the rise of that culture. The church of Talona is widely feared and reviled among moder-day Chondathans, despite the activities of other faiths that have wreaked far greater devastation across Faerun in recent years. Nevertheless, a small number of Chondathans turn to the Mother of All Plagues precisely because of the fear and misery she has engendered and in hopes of acquiring the ancient plague-spawing magic her cult is said to control.
Relations with Other Races
Chondathan history is replete with clashes with carious elven realms, and, as a result, few Chondathans (with the exception of some Cormyreans and most Dalesmen) have good relations with the Fair Folk or their half-elven brethren. Likewise, Chondathans have traditionally regarded the planetouched with a great deal of suspicion, as Chondathan culture has never had a great deal of interaction with outsiders and most planetouched they have encountered were representatives of rival cultures (such as air and fire genasi of Calimshan, or the aasimar and tieflings of Mulhorand and Unther). Half-orcs are considered little better than their full-blooded brethren by most Chondathans. They are seen as little more than raiding party scum intent only on disrupting the flow of trade and pillaging the farms of hardworking settlers.
Chondathans have good relations with dwarves, gnomes, and halflings, for all have proved to be good trading partners and have traditionally d welled in small enclaves within Chondathan societies. Among human cultures, Chondathans get along best with Calishites, Damarnas, Shaarans, Tethyrians, and Turami. Relations with the Mulan have never been warm, Illuskans are regarded as little better than orcs, and other cultures are largely unknown.
Through centuries of commerce, Chondathan merchants have spread their culture's trade goods across Faerun, making their favored weapons, forms armor, and other equipment the norm throughout the region, not the exceptions. Similarly, Chondathans have adopted the most useful items of other cultures as their own, making them commonplace across Faerun. As such, the equipment lists found in the Player's Handbook can be seen as reflecting the Chondathan norm.
Arms and Armor
Chondathans do have distinct equipment preferences. Favored weapons include crossbows (except in the Dalelands where longbows are the norm) and all manner of blades, including the longsword, the short sword, and the dagger. Commonly employed forms of armor include leather armor, studded leather armor, chain shirts, chainmail, breastplates, half-plate, and shields of all kinds. Heavier forms of armor are more commonly employed in the cooler climes to the north of the Sea of Fallen Stars.
Common Items: Chainmail, chain shirts, longswords, and crossbow can all be purchased among the Chondathans for 10% less.
Unique Items: Somewhat broader in the blade than usual for a longsword, Chondathan steelswords are favored by mercenaries and merchant guards.
Animals and Pets
Chondathans favor small felines as pets and hunting companions, particularly in the Forest Kingdom of Cormyr. Tressyms are highly favored by those who can afford them, as are lynxes. Dogs are owned to a lesser extent and consist primarily of guard, herding, and hunting breeds. Horses play an important role in Chondathan society, but those who can afford them also employ hippogriffs, particularly along the shores of the Vilhon Reach and in the service of the War Wizards of Cormyr.
Associated Creature: In Hlondeth, serpents are the norm, with flying snakes imported from the Mhair Jungles achieving widespread popularity in recent years.
Human (Base Race- HUMAN, Sub Race- left empty)
Stats: (Neverwinter Nights standard stats)
Special Abilities: Quick to Master (1 extra feat at 1st level)
Favored Class: Any
The Feytouched are Fey. They are generally several steps down from Half-Fey (which are the offspring of a human or giant crossbred with a Fey) and another human or giant (therefore, Feytouched are quarter-Fey although they may be even less than that).
The fey are known for their curiosity (some would say obsession) with humanoids and giants, and sometimes a fey falls in love with one of these creatures. A resulting offspring of a Fey and a human or giant is a Half-Fey. If such a Half-Fey mates again with another human or giant, the offspring is the slightly more removed from their Fey heritage creature described here.
Feytouched have no cohesive culture; either they become isolated loners, or they immerse themselves in cosmopolitan society, sampling everything life has to offer. They are also drawn to the same natural settings that other fey called home. Most fey respond favorably to Feytouched and consider them distant cousins.
Feytouched rarely think of combat as something serious. They enjoy toying with their opponent, but can become truly enraged when things turn against them. They are usually baffling and erratic in combat.
Feytouched like most fey first try to avoid combat by using their charm person ability. If that fails, they will fend off attacks until they can safely flee.
Feytouched retain several powers granted by their blood heritage; although not every feytouched has all these powers–as with everything fey--there is an element of random chaos.
Greencloak +10 Hide in natural environments.
Fairy Glamour Invisibility once per day as a fifth level spell.
Indistinct Form Ghostly Image once per day once per day as a fifth level spell.
Fey-Touched gain a +4 racial bonus to the Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Spot skills. The Fey-Touch template can be added to any standard race.
Githzerai look very human, though they are thinner and their skin tone is frequently gray or yellowish. They are, on average, six feet in height and about one hundred sixty pounds in weight. Most have a high natural resistance to magic. Most Githzerai roaming the Planes are either monks, mages, or rogues. Combinations thereof are also possible. They seldom become priests. Instead of worshipping a godâ€”a form of slavery, in their opinionâ€”they revere the memory of their ancient hero, Zerthimon. His followers call themselves zerth.
Unlike their relatives the githyanki, the githzerai do not normally fight with weapons, nor do they utilize long-distance psionic attacks against their enemies. Rather, the githzerai prefer to bring the "good fight" to their enemiesâ€”typically meaning the githyanki and the illithids. Their combat abilitiesâ€”including their psionic powersâ€”are geared more toward unarmed combat, hence the large number of githzerai who become warrior monks. Githzerai often organize war parties called rrakkma for the explicit purpose of hunting illithids. A rrakkma does not return from such an excursion until it has killed at least as many illithids as there are githzerai in the war party.
The ancestors of the githzerai (the "forerunners") were once slaves to the illithids, a race of powerful telepaths who mentally enslaved sentient humanoids to work as the backbone of their vast worlds-spanning empire. It is believed these slaves were originally humans transformed through selective breeding. Eventually, these slaves developed mental resistance to their masters' mind control and, under the guidance of their leader Gith, revolted. This led to the fall of the illithid empire.
Gith, however, was not satisfied with the destruction of the illithids alone, and sought to spread the war to any race that could potentially enslave her people again. She was opposed in this endeavor by the followers of Zerthimon, who believed that such a path would lead their people to corruption and ruin. Thus, at the Pronouncement of Two Skies, the gith race factionalized into the githyanki and the githzerai, the former of whom settled in the astral plane.
Zerthimon's teachings can be summarized as following.
1. Strength lies in knowing oneself; those who do not know themselves are lost and open to the manipulations of others.
2. A willingness to learn is a sign of strength.
3. Endure. In enduring, grow strong.
4. Learn to see the whole, or be blinded to the truth.
5. Many in unison can accomplish more than many alone.
6. Seek balance, or lose sight of your goal.
7. Patience is a virtue.
8. Focus and discipline are the key to strength; diversion is the key to weakness.
They get Daze 1/day as an innate ability. They have +2 DEX and WIS, and a -2 INT.
Taken from the Forgotten Realms Races of Faerun:
The aasimar bear the legacy of a celestial being or even a deity in their ancestry, and have incredible potential to do good in the world. At the same time, their heritage marks them as different and often leads to persecution, ridicule, or exile from superstitious or backward communities. It is not unknown for an aasimar to give in to bitterness in the face of adversity and turn to evil.
Aasimar are the descendants of humans and some good outsider, such as a true celestial, a celestial creature, couatl, lillend, or even a servant or avatar of a good deity. (Some of these creatures must use magic to assume a form that is compatible with a human mate, of course.) While elves, dwarves, gnomes, and halflings with good outsider ancestry are reputed to exist, those crossbreeds are not true aasimar.
Aasimar look human except for one distinguishing feature related to their unusual ancestor. Some examples of these features (and the ancestors that cause them) are:
emerald skin (planetar)
feathers at the shoulder (astral deva, avoral celestial, planetar,
solar, trumpet archon)
feathers in hair (avoral celestial)
pearly opalescent eyes (ghaele celestial)
powerful ringing voice (lillend, trumpet archon)
brilliant topaz eyes (solar)
silvery or golden skin (solar)
iridescent scales in small patches (couatl or lillend)
Aasimar understand that they are special, even if they do not understand their true heritage. Many aasimar from a latent bloodline don't even know what creature engendered the line in the first place. Two aasimar from the same bloodline often have the same distinguishing feature. Aasimar have the same life expectancy and age categories as a human.
Most aasimar in Faerûn are derived from the deities of Mulhorand. When the mortal incarnations of the Mulhorandi pantheon defeated the Imaskari (see the FORGOTTEN REALMS Campaign Setting, page 185), they settled and took mortals as lovers and spouses. The half-celestial offspring of these unions became nobles of that country, and dilution of the divine essence through marriages to pureblooded humans created aasimar. Many of these aasimar left the country in search of a destiny not tied to their grandparents, and so the lands around Mulhorand have more aasimar than any other area.
Most aasimar are wary of their human neighbors. Even those raised by parents who understand their heritage cannot escape the stares of other children and adults, for humans fear that which is different. Aasimar usually experience a great deal of prejudice, which is all the more painful to the goodinclined aasimar who truly wants to help others survive in a hostile world. Aasimar are often seen as aloof, when in many cases this is a protective measure born of years of misunderstandings. Aasimar often look upon true celestials and other good outsiders with a mixed envy and respect. The lucky ones receive occasional guidance and advice from their celestial ancestor, and these aasimar are more likely to exemplify the stereotypical celestial virtues.
Because an aasimar's favored class is paladin, a majority of them follow that path, at least for a time. The philosophy of the paladin class resonates in the aasimars' hearts, and they are innately suited for a career championing law and good. Some aasimar, particularly those descended from a nonlawful outsider, instead become clerics, since they are naturally wiser and more charismatic than most humans. Even aasimar who don't become divine spellcasters gravitate toward divine-related classes such as the divine champion, for the call of the light is very strong.
Not all aasimar live up to their potential. An aasimar blackguard or sorcerer of evil is a terrible opponent, and deities such as Shar and Set love to corrupt an aasimar, turning her into a bitter, angry creature nursing old grudges from unjust persecution.
Because they feel the pull of deific power so keenly, aasimar are often clerics or paladins. Some aasimar bring their otherworldly sensibilities to the art of music, becoming accomplished bards. Rarer still are aasimar who fall in love with Faerûn's deep wilderness, becoming druids and rangers.
Favored Class: Paladin. Aasimars' very blood compels them to seek out and oppose evil wherever it may lurk.
Prestige Classes: Divine champions, divine disciples, and hierophants are the most common prestige classes for aasimar.
Aasimar rarely have siblings who are other aasimar, for the heredity of the
supernatural is a chancy thing. Because of this, few aasimar get to know another of their kind. On the rare times they encounter another aasimar, there is a sort of unspoken understanding between them, and an aasimar is likely to take another aasimar's side in an argument, regardless of other affiliations, just for a taste of kinship.
Aasimar, being more rare than even half-elves, have no true society of their own. Few have the opportunity to meet other aasimar or celestial beings, so they attempt to blend into the culture of their parents. If they had such a thing, aasimar would have a lawful good or neutral good society, focusing on charitable works, helping the needy, and campaigning to eradicate evil. In a few rare places, aasimar can find true acceptance and search for news of other aasimar born in other lands, hoping to make arrangements to have the child brought to the sanctuary and raised in an environment where he or she is cherished, not considered strange.
Language and Literacy
Aasimar have no cultural language, although those that realize their heritage usually learn Celestial. An aasimar usually learns the language of her parents and may pick up other languages appropriate to her region.
All aasimar are literate, except for barbarians.
Aasimar Magic and Lore
Aasimar have no spells unique to their race, but favor divine spells that enhance their innate powers or allow them to blast evil. Some are lucky enough to learn secret magic from a true Types of Aasimar celestial, and guard that knowledge carefully to show that the celestial's faith in them is not unfounded.
Aasimar Magic Items
Aasimar have no particular racial magic items, but some find ways to acquire weapons common to true celestials, such as magic greatswords (used by ghaeles, archons, planetars, and solars) or maces of disruption (used by astral devas)
Aasimar have no common racial deity but often worshp whatever deity their supernatural ancestor servers (or that being itself, if the ancestor is a deity). Because most aasimar in Faerûn are desceded from Mulhorandi powers, a large number of them serve those gods. An aasimar born outside the Old Empores, or whose travels have taken her far from those lands, might take a like-minded patron appropriate to her new country.
Because serral Mulhorandi deities are portrayed with animal heads or have strong ties to certain animals, aasimar descended from these deities or their supoernatural agents often have an affinity for that sort of animal, and sometimes have a faint resenblance to a creature of that type.
Relations with other Races
Although aasimar are mostly human, they rarely feel like they fit in among human society. Instead, they get along best with other halfbreeds - namely, half-elves and half-orcs - because they and aasimar usually share the same sort of semi-outcast blackground.
Dwarves, elves, gnomes, and halflings are neither embraced nor shunned by aasimar, for while these races have no history of persecuting the planetouched, they don't have a reputation for sheltering them either. Genasi of all tupes are too alien compared to an aasimar to elicit sympathy or a sense of kindship.
Tiefling are the one race that garners the most suspicion from an aasimar, for those touched by the holy understands its callking and therefore can guess what sort of temptation those with unholy blood must hear.
Aasimar have no unsusual racial equipment, although in their armaments they favor weapons with the holy or evil outsider bane special abilities.
Animals and Pets
Because of their lack of a true society, aasimar as a whole don't raise any particular creature as a pet more often than any other kind. Because of their celestial bloodlines, however, they are more likely to gain the trust and acceptance of a celestial animal than a true human might. Also, aasimar of Mulhorandi descent have an affinity with the animal associated with their divine ancestor.
Aasimar (Base Race- HUMAN, Sub Race- Aasimar)
Stats: (Arabel custom)
Racial Abilities: +2 Wis, +2 Cha
Special Abilities: Acid, cold and electricity resistance 5, Light once per day, +2 Bonus on Listen and Spot checks, Darkvision, Outsider, Quick to Master
Favored Class: Paladin
Air genasi are fast and free-willed. Because the traits that identify
an air genasi are subtle, many go unrecognized for what they
are for many years and are sometimes mistaken for sorcerers.
Those who are overtly different quickly learn to disguise their
nature from common folk, at least until they are able to protect
themselves and strike out on their own.
Air genasi are descended from outsiders native to the Elemental
Plane of Air and humans. Most air genasi in FaerÃ»n
come from bloodlines established over nine thousand years ago
by the djinn who founded what is now Calimshan. A few rare air
genasi derive from djinn summoned in other parts of the world,
and some are said to be born of a line founded by a powerful air
mephit sorcerer who lived on the Great Glacier hundreds of years
ago. The numbers descended from the servants of air deities such
as Akadi, Auril, and Shaundakul are unknown, but likely to be
very small. Legends tell of elves similar to air genasi, possibly
descended from followers of the elven goddess Aerdrie Faenya,
but it is likely that these legends are just confused reports of
Air genasi look human except for one or two distinguishing
features related to their elemental ancestor. Some examples of
these features are:
light blue skin
pale white skin
light blue hair
a constant slight breeze in their presence
flesh that is cool to the touch
voice that can be heard over any nonmagical wind
any sudden movement is accompanied by whistling wind
Air genasi revel in their unusual nature, although few ever try to
locate the being who founded their bloodline, since most are long
dead or banished back the Elemental Plane of Air. Because the
Calimshan djinn bloodlines are so old and have suffered many
crossbreedings, it is almost impossible to tell by normal means if
two air genasi are from the same bloodline. As a result, all air
genasi treat each other as â€œcousins,â€
Earth genasi are patient, stubborn, and contemplative in their
decision-making. Marked at birth with obvious traits reflecting
their heritage, earth genasi are often shunned by others, but
their physical gifts make them able to defend themselves against
most attackers. Their strength and girth means that they sometimes
become bullies, attracting sycophants out of fear and
respect for their power.
At least three-quarters of the earth genasi in FaerÃ»n are
the descendants of outsiders native to the Elemental Plane of
Earth and humans. The rest are descended from earth deities
or servants thereof instead of elemental outsiders. Most of
the elemental bloodlines originate in the North, particularly
near the Spine of the World, as natural portals to the Elemental
Plane of Earth form there, allowing meetings between
natives of both planes. The bloodlines spring up wherever
worship of earth deities is common. It is thought that the
Ludwakazar clan of shield dwarves deep in the Earthspurs in
Impiltur and the Tobarin family of rock gnomes in the Great
Dale have elemental blood, but both are mute on the question
and neither would be a true earth genasi, but something
Earth genasi are obviously not human, but have mostly
human features except for one or two distinguishing traits
related to their elemental ancestor. Some examples of these features
eyes like black pits
eyes like gems
very large hands and feet
iron gray hair
sweats mud instead of water
metallic sheen to skin or hair
Earth genasi, like all elemental planetouched, are proud of
their nature and abilities, but their pride is a quiet, confident sort
rather than a boastful one. Earth genasi are pragmatic about
their parentage, usually not going out of their way to learn their
ancestry but not avoiding the topic either. Earth genasi have no
special relationship with others of their kind, although they seem
to prefer others who share their physical differences.
Earth genasi have the same life expectancy and age categories
as a human.
Proud of their heritage despite the opinions of others, earth
genasi know they are born of beings touched by the might of
the earth itself. Although they know the circumstances of their
outsider heritage are rare and mark them as unlike anyone they
might meet, each still feels a strong kinship to the earth itself.
Earth genasi feel most comfortable when their feet are on the
ground and prefer to go barefoot if appropriate for the
weather and environment (earth genasi develop
thick calluses easily and can even walk on gravel
without discomfort). They are used to being
treated differently, but have the strength to
defend themselves if harassed. Earth genasi
respect their earth elemental cousins for
their strength but are usually indifferent to
other earth elemental creatures.
Earth genasi like to stake out a piece
of land as their own and defend it,
which makes them particularly
valuable homesteaders in frontier
regions like the Silver Marches.
A few unusual ones come down
with a strange form of wanderlust, wishing
to plant their feet on every nationâ€s soil
before they die. Such a journey might take
thirty years, but with methodical determination
certain genasi have become famous for
their long-distance travels.
Most adventuring earth genasi are
combat-oriented, whether fighter, warrior,
ranger, or barbarian. They usually learn styles of combat that
rely on their gifts, so an earth genasi armsman is either capable
of incredible bloodshed or capable of enduring devastating
attacks and remaining unshaken. Earth genasi wizards are
uncommon, but those who do embrace arcane magic often learn
spells to enhance their fighting skills or become masters of earth
Favored Class: Fighter. Some earth genasi may opt for a
more specialized martial path, but the majority of earth genasi
characters prefer the many bonus feats that only the fighter
Prestige Classes: Earth genasi favor any prestige class that
helps them fight better, particularly the divine champion.
Earth genasi clerics have an affinity for runes, and often
Earth Genasi (Base Race- HUMAN, Sub Race- leave blank, will be set IG)
Stats: (Arabel Custom)
Racial Abilities: +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Cha
Special Abilities: Acid resistance 5DR,
Favored Class: Fighter
The result of four noble houses of sun elves breeding with demons
in an attempt to strengthen their bloodline, feyâ€ri are a type of
planetouched that breeds true among their own kind. Marked by
their fiendish blood, feyâ€ri are unique among most planetouched
in that they have a self-sustaining community, so they are raised
among their own kind. Because of this, young feyâ€ri do not suffer the feelings of ostracism that other planetouched do despite
growing up among creatures with strong fiendish blood. Most
feyâ€ri are evil, but a few are able to shrug off the fiendish taintâ€s
influence on their behavior and emulate some small part of the
innate good nature of the elves.
Feyâ€ri are the descendants of sun elves and demons (usually
succubi in male or female form). Having bred with these demons
and among their own kind, feyâ€ri are a distinct race and share the
same common fiendish traits. In general form they resemble sun
elves, although all have large batlike wings. They all have one or
more unusual features reflecting their fiendish heritage, such as:
fiery red eyes
fine scales all over the skin
long pointed tails
deep red skin
Feyâ€ri are obviously different from normal elves and would
quickly be killed by most other elves if discovered. Luckily for
them, their demonic bloodline gives them several abilities,
including the ability to change their shape. Thus they can pass
freely among other creatures without causing an alarm.
There may be other feyâ€ri in FaerÃ»n other than those allied
with House Dlardrageth, but since the likelihood of an elf breeding
with a demon is very small, such an individual would be
essentially unique outside these four elven houses. The rest of this
section assumes Dlardrageth feyâ€ri are the subject matter.
Feyâ€ri have the same life expectancy and age categories as a sun elf.
Thousands of years ago, the sun elves of House Dlardrageth (in
what is now the forest of Cormanthor) secretly bred with succubi
to strengthen their bloodline. Although they were eventually discovered
and imprisoned in a series of caverns, before their confinement
they allied with three minor noble houses of the elven
nation of Siluvanede in the High Forest. These nobles acquired
caches of Dlardrageth magic items and bred with demons as well,
using these items and their fiendish powers to strike out at their
enemies. These nobles were defeated and magically imprisoned in
the Dlardrageth cache sites.
Three Dlardrageth half-fiends were accidentally released when
Hellgate Keep was destroyed in 1369 DR. When they broke
through the magical seals on their armories they were surprised
to find the descendants of their allies from Siluvanede within.
Now freed, the planetouched elves joined with their old allies and
began to enact their long-awaited plans.
The feyâ€ri associated with House Dlardrageth originally numbered
less than 60. Since their release, some of these feyâ€ri have
broken from their families, trying to find a place in the world
after centuries of magical imprisonment.
Most feyâ€ri live for revenge. They feel wronged by other elves,
particularly moon elves, and superior to all other races (as befits
their lineage, which ties them to the ancient elven kingdoms that
predate human civilization). While their plans for revenge unfold, they wish to restore the glory of the elven empires with
themselves at their head, not realizing that their fiendish taint
has corrupted the sun elf qualities that they prize the most. Individual
feyâ€ri comply with these goals, knowing that their halffiend
rulers are too powerful to challenge and feeling that they
themselves have been punished unfairly by the moon elves with
their too-long magical imprisonment. The feyâ€ri also suffer from
unfamiliarity with the changes to the world and are still learning
about its current state. A feyâ€ri is patient, calculating, and suspicious,
but her fiendish blood makes her prone to undeserved
acts of cruelty and rage.
Of special note are the feyâ€ri who have chosen to
leave the banner of House Dlardrageth. The
members of the house considered these
renegade feyâ€ri a great risk to their
plans, for the Dlardrageth nobles
know their numbers are too
small to survive a concerted
effort to eradicate themâ€”they
must act in secrecy, or risk discovery
and death. This makes
any renegade feyâ€ri a creature
marked for death by
the entire house. Since
Countess Sarya Dlardrageth
(CE female half-fiend sun elf
Sor18) is a powerful spellcaster,
these renegades must
be even more cautious than
their isolated kin, or they could
be discovered and destroyed.
Feyâ€ri are usually chaotic
evil. Some hear an echo of their
elven heritage and are chaotic
neutral, and a few may be entirely
neutral. None have yet been found
who are lawful or good.
Feyâ€ri blood practically overflows with sorcerous power, so many
feyâ€ri characters become sorcerers. Those who donâ€t become
rogues or fighters, although a fair number are sorcerer/rogues or
Favored Class: A feyâ€riâ€s favored class is sorcerer. Their
demonic bloodline and the type of magical training they get
pushes feyâ€ri to develop as sorcerers instead of wizards (the typical
sort of magic a true sun elf practices).
Prestige Classes: Feyâ€ri sorcerers often aspire to become archmages,
while those of a more martial bent consider becoming
ranger/blackguards or rogue/assassins. Because feyâ€ri have elven
blood, the arcane archer prestige class is open to them as well.
Feyâ€ri society is very close-knit. They are all close relations, and
so each feyâ€ri has a very good idea how each of his or her family
members would react to a situation. Yet they have a subtle loathing for each other, both because their elven nature rejects
the taint of their kin and because their demonic ancestors are so
chaotic and rebellious that they find it difficult to work together.
As a result, feyâ€ri society is based on power and fearâ€”power to
make your commands obeyed, fear that your superiors could
destroy you if you fail to comply. House Dlardrageth is a house
that cannot stand the test of time, and the only reason it has
lasted as long as it has is the magic that imprisoned its members
for centuries. In the next hundred years, it is likely that the feyâ€ri
will scatter across FaerÃ»n, creating their own pockets of evil, possibly
accompanied by near-adult offspring. Until that time, this
group of evil-tainted but magically powerful
elves has the potential to incite a great
slaughter of their enemies.
Because of their taint and their alignment change, most feyâ€ri
no longer worship the good elven deities of the Seldarine. However,
unlike tieflings, they rarely worship demons, preferring
true deities rather than powerful agents of their own fiendish
The foul creature known as Ghaunadaur manifested to one of
the elders of House Floshin nearly a century ago, and since that
time the worship of Ghaunadaur has grown to encompass most
of the feyâ€ri associated with House Dlardrageth. The fact that
most of these sun elves now worship a drow deity is evidence of
how corrupt they have become.
Fenmarel Mestarine lives on the outskirts of the elven pantheon
and, as the god of elven outcasts and those who live
away from others, he appeals to the rare neutral feyâ€ri. A few
have started to worship him in secret, hoping to learn the
secrets of survival in modern FaerÃ»n but not wishing to draw
the ire of their family members who worship Ghaunadaur.
Shevarash, an elven deity consumed by bitterness and a thirst
for revenge against the drow, also has some small appeal to the
feyâ€ri. While some feyâ€ri whisper his name in secret, he considers
them as vile as the drow and does not reward them for
Feyâ€ri speak Common, Elven,
and Abyssal. Individuals
often learn Gnoll,
Goblin, and Sylvan because
of the creatures that did
and still do live in the High
Forest. Feyâ€ri spellcasters
usually learn Draconic to
acquire magic from old
All feyâ€ri are literate
(none of the demonfey are
Feyâ€ri have the following racial traits:
â€¢ +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, â€“2 Constitution. Feyâ€ri are quick
and smart, but their inbreeding makes them weak.
â€¢ Feyâ€ri land speed is 30 feet. When in their winged form, they
may fly at a speed of 40 feet with a maneuverability rating
â€¢ Darkvision up to 60 feet.
â€¢ Low-light vision: Feyâ€ri can see twice as far as a human in
starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor
illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and
detail under these conditions.
â€¢ Immunity to magic sleep spells and effects.
â€¢ +2 racial bonus on Will saves against enchantment spells
â€¢ Alter self (Sp): Feyâ€ri can use alter self at will to assume any
humanoid form, and can remain in that form indefinitely.
â€¢ +2 racial bonus on Bluff, Hide, Listen, Search, and
Fire genasi are usually thought of as
hot-blooded and quick to anger, and
they have earned that reputation.
Mercurial, proud, and often fearless,
they are not content to sit
and watch the world pass them
by. Fire genasi have obvious
physical traits that mark them as
different from humans, and they
are often the target of mistrust and
persecution. Some fire genasi are able to
use their quick wits to turn the tables on
their tormentors, while others find that
their barbed words only make their foes
more angry. Many fire genasi are destroyed
as infants by their own parents, who fear that
they are demonspawn.
Most fire genasi in FaerÃ»n are descended from the efreet
that once ruled Calimshan. Planetouched of this derivation live
all over the Lands of Intrigue, and some have traveled away
from their ancestral homeland to escape the fear and prejudice
that Calishites bear for genies. Chult, the Lake of Steam, and
Unther also have a small number of fire genasi, for those lands
bear volcanoes that sometimes act as natural portals to the Elemental
Plane of Fire, allowing efreet and other fiery outsiders
to make contact with humans. A large family of fire genasilike
halflings was known to live in Unther, but the war with
Mulhorand has displaced them and their current whereabouts
Fire genasi are obviously not fully human, having mostly
human features except for one or two exceptional traits related
to their elemental ancestor. Some examples of these features are:
charcoal gray skin
deep red skin
red or orange hair that waves like flames
eyes that glow when the genasi is angry
unusually warm skin
large red teeth
always smells like smoke
Fire genasi are proud of their ancestry and consider themselves
superior to normal humans, although the smarter ones
donâ€t make an issue of it. Because the efreet-descended genasi
of Calimshan have almost no chance of finding their original
elemental ancestor (who have long since been
slain, banished, or imprisoned
when their empire was overthrown),
they make no effort to
do so and enjoy the gifts that
ancestorâ€s blood has granted
them. Fire genasi enjoy the
company of their own kind and
have been known to form elite
groups of mages or fighters that
hire themselves out on the basis
of their skill and heritage. They
have been known to adopt the
fire genasi children of human
parents as well.
Fire genasi have the same life
expectancy and age categories as
Most fire genasi in FaerÃ»n are
the result of human-efreeti
unions that occurred thousands
of years ago in Calimshan. These
efreet rulers took human lovers,
and their half-elemental offspring
served their outsider
parent as guards, advisors, or
diplomats, eventually having children
of their own, which as often
as not were fire genasi. The overthrow
of the genies resulted in a great
slaughter and scattering of all the planetouched
in that land, and since that time those
people carrying the bloodline of efreet have mixed with
humans in other lands. Now fire genasi of these bloodlines
might be of any human race, and many do not resemble the
people of Calimshan at all.
Fire genasi who originate in other lands have no common history,
as their bloodlines are rare and unassociated occurrences.
The fire genasi are a proud people, knowing that they are born
of great genies. They prefer to dress elegantly and flamboyantly, reveling in their differences and advertising their superior taste
and abilities. Fire genasi respect their pure elemental kin, and
most treat efreet and other large fire outsiders with a great deal
of courtesy and respect, both out of a sense of the creatureâ€s
power and as a subtle gratitude for their own bloodline-granted
talents. Because of their high opinions of themselves, fire genasi
often elect themselves the leader and spokesperson of a group,
even if they have no particular talents in those areas.
Fire genasi are impatient and donâ€t take well to pursuits that
require a lot of time and study. They like to travel, if only to
escape the presence of their enemies or people who frustrate
them. Fire-genasi enjoy collecting treasure, preferring jewelry to
bags of coins.
FIRE GENASI CHARACTERS
Fire genasi make smart fighters, but many follow the barbarianâ€s
path instead, because it is easier and espouses the heat of bloodlust.
More fire genasi become sorcerers than wizards, even
though their natural talents would indicate otherwise. Fire genasi
would much rather talk about themselves than other people, and
that and their own short tempers make them poor bards. The
rare fire genasi who feels the call of the paladin is often the hotheaded,
take-no-prisoners sort who risks losing control.
Favored Class: Fighter. The mayhem of combat is easy for
someone born of fire to understand.
Prestige Classes: Fire genasi have no particular favorites
among the warfare-oriented prestige classes. Many become
arcane devotees of fire deities, especially Kossuth.
Language and Literacy
Fire genasi share no racial language, although some learn Ignan
for the sake of cultivating an exotic air. A fire genasi usually
learns the language of her parents and other languages spoken in
her native region.
All fire genasi are literate, except for barbarians.
Water genasi are patient and independent, used to solving
problems on their own and not afraid to take a lot of time
doing so. At times they are fierce and destructive like terrible
storms, but more often than not they present a tranquil
appearance, despite whatever emotions run underneath that
quiet surface. Because their elemental forebear usually has no
interest in them, water genasi are often abandoned by their
human parents and raised instead by aquatic creatures such as
aquatic elves, dolphins, locathah, merfolk, sahuagin, or even
aboleths. Water genasi usually leave their parents (real or
adoptive) upon reaching maturity, taking to the open sea in
order to explore, learn, and develop their own personality and
place in the world.
Most water genasi are descended from a water elemental
outsider such as a marid (water genie) or triton. A rare few are
born of outsider servants of the evil water goddess Umberlee
(although it is not known why these matings eventually produce water genasi instead of tieflings). Aquatic elves tell of
a lost line of sea-elf planetouched descended from minions of
Deep Sashelas, but these are not true water genasi, lacking a
genasiâ€s human heritage.
Water genasi look human except for one distinguishing feature
related to their elemental ancestor. Some examples of these
lightly scaled skin
blue-green skin or hair
large blue-black eyes
webbed hands and feat
Water genasi feel that they are unique and superior to the
humans who bore them. They have little or no interest in others
of their kindâ€”since they can wander both the land and the seas,
they feel there is room enough in the world that water genasi
need not crowd each other or even meet. Only in large communities
of aquatic elves are two or more water genasi likely to
spend much time together.
Water genasi have the same life expectancy and age categories
as a human.
Water genasi take pride in their special abilities and can be boastful
if in the right mood. Tougher than humans and able to
breathe water, these genasi sometimes view human sailors and
naval merchants as vulnerable fools who are as likely to drown
at sea as they are to get seasick. The people of the Sea of Fallen
Stars are familiar enough with the stories of water genasi to recognize
them and ignore their rude behavior.
Water genasi have the best of both worlds. They can walk on
land for an indefinite time (unlike aquatic elves, whom they
secretly pity) and can always retreat to the tranquil depths of
the ocean. Often loners, they sometimes establish a home in a
remote underwater cave, going for years without encountering
another intelligent being. They feel a kinship to other aquatic
creatures, particularly tritons and water elementals, who can
easily outswim the genasi.
Water genasi tend to be neutral and therefore avoid extremes
in politics, opinion, or career. Some find a quiet spot to call
home, others enjoy riding the currents for months, allowing the
water to take them places hundreds of miles away.
WATER GENASI CHARACTERS
Water genasi often multiclass between fighter and another class,
keeping their levels relatively even.
Favored Class: Fighter. Water genasi prefer combat styles and
weapons that unbalance, bind, or disarm their opponents.
Prestige Classes: Water genasi have no particular prestige class
Water Genasi Society
Water genasi have no society of their own, but often subconsciously
adopt traits of the people who raised them, so a water
genasi raised by aquatic elves is likely to believe in personal
freedoms and good behavior, while one raised by sahuagin will
be bloodthirsty and militaristic. Water genasi from different
cultures can be as radically different as a quiet spring and a
Water genasi do not prefer the company of other water
genasi. If anything, it makes them feel less special and unique in
the context of the other beings they live near. Accordingly, they
rarely live in the same communities and none have been known
to marry. This keeps the population of repeat-generation water
genasi low, with new genasi coming from new bloodlines or
from lines that skipped a generation.
Their self-contained nature makes water genasi unlikely leaders.
A water genasi is more likely to guard or support a person
he respects and admires than to be a person who attracts or welcomes
Language and Literacy
As most of them are born on the Sea of Fallen Stars, water
genasi learn Common because of all the mercantile traffic.
Many learn Aquan or Serusan in order to converse with other
aquatic creatures, and the ones who live with or near aquatic
elves usually learn Elven as well. Those raised by sahuagin
All water genasi are literate, except for barbarians, commoners,
Water Genasi Magic
Water genasi prefer spells that produce cold, ice, snow, and
water. Water genasi spellcasters are usually clerics or druids, for
they rarely have the talent for sorcery and water ruins scrolls
and spellbooks (although at least one water genasi wizard has
developed a method for scribing â€œscrollsâ€
Taken from the Forgotten Realms Races of Faerun:
Region: Dragon Coast, Dwarf (gold), Unther, Western Heartlands.
Found largely in the South in the immediate vicinity of the Great Rift, gold dwarves are the dominant southern branch of the Stout Folk. Renowned not only for their smithwork and craftsmanship but also for their military prowess and legendary wealth, gold dwarves have maintained their empire for millennia, unbowed by the passage of time.
For generations, the Deep Kingdom of the gold dwarves has stood unconquered, dominating the surface lands and subterranean caverns that surround the Great Rift. As their numbers never declined in the face of endless warfare like their northern cousins, the Thunder Blessing has actually filled the great caverns of the Deep Kingdom beyond their capacity. As a result, for the first time in many years, large numbers of gold dwarves are setting out to establish new strongholds across the South and the rest of Faerûn, including the Smoking Mountains of Unther and
the Giant's Run Mountains of the Shining Plains.
Averaging 4 feet tall and weighing as much as an adult human, gold dwarves are stocky and muscular. The skin of a gold dwarf is light brown or deeply tanned, and her eyes are usually brown or hazel. Both genders wear their hair long, and males (and some females) have long, carefully groomed beards and mustaches. Hair color ranges from black to gray or brown, with all shades fading to light gray as time progresses.
Like their northern kin, gold dwarves harbor a great deal of pride, both in their own accomplishments and those of their ancestors. They also share the philosophy that anything worth doing is worth doing well, and that the natural world is but raw material to be worked into objects of great beauty. Unlike the long-beleaguered shield dwarves, gold dwarves have not faced a serious challenge to their way of life for thousands of years. Confident and secure in their isolated realm, gold dwarves do not share the pessimism or fatalism of their shield dwarven brethren. To the contrary, having seen the rise and fall of countless elven, human, and shield dwarven empires, their endurance has fostered a deep-seated belief that their traditions and culture are superior to those of all other races.
Founded more than sixteen thousand years ago, the original dwarven homeland of Bhaerynden occupied a vast cavern deep beneath the southern plains ruled by the elves of Ilythiir. Bhaerynden claimed great swaths of the Underdark, but remained largely unknown in the Realms Above. Little is known about the history of Bhaerynden except that a great exodus of dwarves led by Taark Shanat the Crusader left to found a new kingdom in the west about -11,000 DR. The end of the elven Crown Wars and the Descent of the Drow in the years after -10,000 DR directly precipitated the fall of Bhaerynden. The first drow civilizations arose in the southern Underdark around -9600 DR, but the drow quickly directed their anger against the Stout Folk. Within the space of six centuries, the Stout Folk had been scattered and the drow empire of Telantiwar ruled supreme in the dwarf-carved halls of fallen Bhaerynden.
The collapse of the cavern of Bhaerynden destroyed Telantiwar and created the Great Rift, scattering the drow around -7600 DR. Gold dwarves believe Moradin destroyed Telantiwar with a blow of his axe, but scholars of other races have suggested that the drow weakened the cavern roof through excessive tunneling and reliance on magic to support the ceiling's weight. In the aftermath of Telantiwar's fall, there was a great scramble to claim new territory in the Underdark. The Stout Folk quickly returned to their ancestral home and established the Deep Realm, occupying lesser caverns and miles of tunnels spreading out under the Eastern Shaar. Drow refugees claimed lesser caverns to the north, south, and west of the Great Rift, establishing cities in nearby lands.
In the millennia that followed, the Stout Folk of the Deep Realm became known as gold dwarves. Once the borders of their realm were firmly established and defended, they set about building great subterranean cities and harvesting the bounty of the earth. While external threats from the drow and other Underdark races such as aboleths, cloakers, illithids, ixzans, and kuo-toa never entirely abated, no other race could match the unity of purpose evinced by the gold dwarves, and the sanctity of the Deep Realm was never challenged. The dwarves profited in trade with each successive human empire that reached their Great Rift, including ancient Jhaamdath, the folk of Mulhorand and Unther in their heyday, the Shoon Imperium at its height, and in more recent centuries the mercantile Chondathan nations of the Inner Sea.
In 1306 DR, the Thunder Blessing shook the gold dwarves out of their millennia-long quiescence. In the decades that followed, a burgeoning population forced the gold dwarves to seek out new caverns to claim and settle across the South, upsetting the longheld status quo of the southern Underdark. The largest exodus to date from the Deep Realm began in 1369 DR, when the Army of Gold set out on a great crusade to reclaim the caverns of Taark Shanat and restore the glory of Shanatar, the ancient kingdom of the shield dwarves. That expedition has become bogged down in warfare with the Army of Steel, dispatched by the gray dwarves of Underspires. Fierce battles rage in the tunnels beneath the Lake of Steam and the Cloven Mountains.
Gold dwarves measure others by how much honor and wealth each individual garners as well as the status of his or her bloodline and clan. To gold dwarves, life is best lived through adherence to the ancient traditions of the Deep Realm. The very persistence of their own way of life indicates that other shortlived cultures are inherently flawed. As such, those who lack a meaningful cultural tradition or reject their elders' dictates are untrustworthy and possibly dangerous.
From birth, gold dwarves are taught to conform to the traditional strictures of their society. Every important decision, from choice of profession to their mate, is dictated by the circumstances of their birth. Those who do not act honorably in their dealings are shunned from an early age, breeding a tremendous societal pressure to fit in.
Gold dwarves lack the longstanding tradition of adventuring found in their shield dwarf cousins in the north. However, population pressures induced by the Thunder Blessing have given birth to a new generation of gold dwarf adventurers. Most gold dwarves who wander beyond the familiar confines of the Deep Realm do so in order to found new strongholds of their own, but many find the lure of adventuring hard to ignore once it has entered into their blood.
Gold Dwarf Characters
Gold dwarves are painfully aware that many once-proud empires have been brought low, and they are therefore vigilant about maintaining their own. The keen awareness gold dwarves hold of the dangers to their eternal rule ensure that all gold dwarves are trained to fight from a young age. Most are trained as fighters, although clerics, paladins, rangers, rogues, and even the occasional arcane spellcaster play important roles in defending the Deep Realm. Gold dwarf sorcerers usually trace their ancestry back to a powerful dragon or some creature of elemental earth or fire. Common multiclass combinations include fighter/cleric, fighter/paladin, and fighter/expert.
Favored Class: A gold dwarf's favored class is fighter. Only a strong and fierce military tradition has kept the Deep Realm secure from its enemies above and below, a result of generations of gold dwarves training as fighters.
Prestige Classes: Battleragers are legendary dwarven warriors who can enter a battle frenzy through ritual singing. Given to drinking, rowdy and boisterous singing, and drunken dancing, battleragers love to plunge into close-quarters battle, heedless of any danger. Most battleragers are shield dwarves, but a small number of gold dwarves rebelling against the discipline and tradition of their society have joined the ranks of the berserkers. More disciplined gold dwarves lean toward the dwarven defender or divine champion classes.
Gold Dwarf Society
Gold dwarf culture does not exhibit a great deal of variability, the result of generations of gold dwarves insulated from outside influences. Class and clan divisions are strong among gold dwarves, and great importance is attributed to bloodlines when ascribing social status. However, the Deep Realm is so swamped with petty, decadent royals and nobles that little real power is invested in anyone but the governing council of clan elders. Commerce and craftsmanship both play an important role in gold dwarf society, as does the never-satiated grasping for more riches. Pride and honor play an important role in all aspects of daily life, for disgrace applies not only to oneself, but also to kin, clan, and long-dead ancestors.
Gold dwarves are raised in tight family units, but the clan elders play an important oversight role in the upbringing of every child. Book learning is common, as is an apprenticeship to learn a trade. All adults are expected to support themselves and their family as well as bring honor and riches to the clan. Ostentatious displays of wealth are important for maintaining one's prestige, so poorer gold dwarves often scrimp and save to keep up appearances. As gold dwarves age, they are accorded increasing respect for their wisdom. Clan elders form a ruling gerontocracy that strongly enforces traditional practices. Families' and clans are expected to honor their elders in death with elaborate funereal rites and tombs befitting the deceased's reputation.
Outside the Deep Realm, gold dwarves hold themselves apart, forming small, insular enclaves that attempt to replicate traditional clan life. Few gold dwarves have any interest in adopting local practices except where it furthers their ability to hawk their wares.
Language and Literacy
Like all dwarves, gold dwarves speak a dialect of Dwarven and employ the Dethek rune alphabet. They also speak Common, the trade language of the Realms Above. The primary gold dwarven dialect (sometimes referred to as Riftspeak) has changed little since the glory days of Bhaerynden. Gold dwarves dwelling in the colonies in Unther and the Giant's Run often learn the languages of the nearby lands.
Common secondary languages reflect the extensive trading contacts maintained by gold dwarves with their neighbors in the South and include Shaaran, Untheric, and, to a lesser extent, Durpari, Dambrathan, Mulhorandi, Halfling, and Halruaan. Gold dwarves who have extensive contact with other subterranean races often learn Terran, Gnome, or Undercommon.
All gold dwarf characters are literate except barbarians (who are very unusual among the folk of this ancient civilization).
Gold Dwarf Magic and Lore
Gold dwarves have a strong divine spellcasting tradition, with many of the Stout Folk called to serve the Morndinsamman as clerics, paladins, runecasters, or runesmiths. Arcane spellcasters are much rarer, but they do exist.
Spells and Spellcasting
Gold dwarves favor spells that aid their abilities in combat or assist in craftwork of mining. Most are divine spellscasters, but the gold dwarves' millennia-old civilization has ensured both ancient libraries of wizardry and strange, sorcerous bloodlines.
Spellcasting Tradition: Many gold dwarves take the Gold Dwarf Dweomersmith feat, which grant them advantages when creating or enhancing weapons with magic.
Unique Spells: Gold dwarves have created many spells over the years, many of which are now employed by the Stout Folk across Faerûn. One such example is detect metals and minerals.
Gold Dwarf Magic Items
Gold dwarves favor magic items that aid in combat, facilitate craftwrok, provide personal protection or comfort, guard against theft, ore are adorned with keen, holy, lawful, mighty cleaving, sundering, and stunning special abilities. Hammers and maces are commontly crafted with holy, impact, lawful, returning, stunning, sundering, and throwing special abilities. Armor is typically crafted with fortification, invulnerability, reflection, and spells resistance special abilities, reflecting a long tradition of battles against the drow and other creatures of the Underdark.
Common Magic Items: Magic items particularly prevalent in the Great Rift and the trade cities at its edgef includes anvil of the blacksmith, belt of dwarvenkind, forge of smithing, hammer of the weaponsmith, and tongs of the armorer. These items can be purchased at a 10% discount in the Great Rift.
Iconic Magic Items: Gold dwarves have fabricated many unique magic items, but they are best known for the stonereaver greataxes.
Gold dwarves have venerated the dwarven deities of the Morndinsamman since the founding of Bhaerynden, but centuries of relative isolation and security have made their culture far less religious in nature than their shield dwarven kin. Among gold dwarves, the churches of Moradin and Berronar are so predominant and have been for so long that many lesser dwarven deities enjoy little more than token obeisance. High-ranking clerics of both faiths command a great amount of institutional authority in gold dwarf society. The clerics of Berronar's faith are responsible for preserving records of the extraordinarily ancient genealogy of the noble families and serve as the guardians of tradition in the home and comminuty.
all gold dwarves revere the Soul Forger as the founder of the dwarven race and his church is the predominant faith of the Deep Realm, centered in the monastic city of Thuulurn. Moradin's clerics sponsor many craftfolk, particularly armorers and weaponsmiths, and serve as the principal judges and magistrates of gold dwarf society. The Soul forger's faithful are drawn promarily from those who labor as smiths, craftsfolk, or engineers, but he is also seen as the protector of the entre dwarven race and is thus worshiped by many lawful good dwarves regardless of profession.
Relations with other races
Confident and secure in their remote home, gold dwarves have a well-deserved reputation for haughtiness and pride. They look down on all other dwarves, even shield dwarves and gray dwarves whose achievements and kingdoms have matched the glory of their own. Gold dwarves regard elves and half-elves with suspicious after generations spent battling their deep-dwelling cousins. Gnomes, particularly deep gnomes, are well regarded and welcomed as trading partners. Their impression of halflings is shaped by the strongheart inhabitants of Luiren, whom gold dwarves find to be suitably industrious and forthright.
Gold dwarves know little of half-orcs, but usually lump them in with the rest of orc and goblinoid scum. Gold dwarves are very cautious in their dealings with humans, having found great variability in their dealings with Chondathans, the folk of Damabrath, Dupari, Mulan, Shaarans, and Halruaans. Planetouched are almost unknown but are usually viewed in the same light as the Mulan, since most planetouched the gold dwarves encounter are either Mula aasimar or earth genasi followers of Geb.
Gold Dwarf Equipment
The gold dwarf craft guilds have had centuries to master their artisanship, so almost any finished good has some filigree, runic mark, or other decoration that marks it as unmistakably the work of the gold dwarves. Even a simple bucket will have carefully marked gradations along the inside, graven runes identifying its owner, and a curved handle shaped to fit a thick dwarven hand.
Commong Items: Sunrods, thunderstones.
Unique Items: Gold dwarves commonly employ well-engineered equipment such as mobile braces and rope climbers. The hippogriff-mounted skiyriders of the Great Rift are known to employ drogue wings and exotic military saddles.
Arms and Armor
Gold dwarves favor a wide range of weapons, incliding battleaxes, crossbow, gauntlets, handaxes, heavy picks, light hammers, light picks, mauls, throwing axes, and warhammers. More unusual wepoans include dwarven urgroshes abd dwarven waraxes. Typical forms of armor include breatplates, half-plates, full plate, scale mail, large steel shields, and small steel shields.
Common Items: Battleaxes, light crossbow, heavy pick, dwarven urgrosh, scale mail, full plate armor. The gold dwarves manufacture adamantine heavy picks and battleaxes for those who can afford suck things; adamantine weapons are svailable at 10% discount in the Great Rift.
Animals and Pets
Gold dwarves favor small lizards such as the spitting crawler and shocker lizard for pets and familiars. Deep rothe are the prefered type of livestock. They employ pack lizards and mules as beast of burden, usually breeding the latter from Lhesperan or Meth horses crossed with donkeys. Gold dwarves commonly use riding lizards as steeds in subterranean locales, and war ponies for travel in the surface lands. The gold dwarf skyriders of the Great Rift employ hippygriffs as aerial mounts.
(Base Race- DWARF, Sub Race- Gold Dwarf)
Stats: (Arabel custom)
Racial Abilities: +2 Con, -2 Dex
Special Abilities: Stonecunning, Darkvision, Hardiness vs. Poisons, Hardiness vs. Spells, Offensive Training vs. Abberations, Defensive Training vs. Giants, Skill Affinity (Lore)
Favored Class: Fighter
Of the various elven subraces, none are more notorious than the
drow. Descended from the original dark-skinned elven subrace
called the Ssri-tel-quessir, the drow were cursed into their present
appearance by the good elven deities for following the goddess
Lolth down the path to evil and corruption.
Also called dark elves, the drow have black skin that resembles
polished obsidian and stark white or pale yellow hair. They commonly
have blood-red eyes, although pale eyes (so pale as to be
often mistaken for white) in shades of pale lilac, silver, pink, and
blue are not unknown. They also tend to be smaller and thinner
than most FaerÃ»nian elves. Most drow on the surface are evil
and worship Vhaeraun, but some outcasts and renegades have a
more neutral attitude, and there are even groups of good drow
who worship Eilistraee or other deities not of the traditional
Though divided by endless feuds and schisms, the drow are
united in one terrible desire: they seethe with a hatred for the
surface elves. By their way of reckoning, they proved themselves
the superior race in the Fourth Crown War, and the fact that
the Seldarine (and Corellon in particular) punished them for
their success is a poison that churns in their hearts and minds
eternally. They burn with hatred for the Seldarine and their coddled
children, and want nothing more than to return to the surface
and bring to the elves there suffering a thousand times
greater than that which the drow have been forced to endure
over the past ten thousand years.
In the beginning, the Ssri-tel-quessir were the most successful
of the elven colonists to the new world of FaerÃ»n. The nation
of Ilythiir quickly became one of the most powerful of the
early elven nations. But the Ssri-tel-quessir were not only the
most successful of the elves of their time, they were also the
most cruel and jealous. Despite their own accomplishments,
they envied those of their neighbors all the same. While the
First Crown War raged to the north, the dark elves waged their
own war against their neighbors, seeking to dominate the elven
realms of southern FaerÃ»n.
Unsuccessful in three attempts to subjugate the neighboring
realms, the dark elves of Ilythiir turned to a new and secret
patron at the opening of the Fourth Crown War. The dark elves
pledged their loyalties to the outcast Seldarine of the Demonweb
Pits, and to Lolth in particular. The Spider Queen and her fellow
exiles (with the notable exception of Eilistraee) granted the dark
elves of Ilythiir great magical powers, fiendish allies, and support
in return for their allegiance, and the Ilythiiri wreaked great
havoc among the other elven realms.
But their success and victory were short-lived, for Corellon was
shocked and deeply enraged by the traitorous acts of the dark
elves. By his decree, the Ilythiiri elves were cursed, transformed
into drow and banished from the surface world into the Underdark.
They became known as the dhaeraow (the elven word for
traitor), and over the centuries this word has since given them
the name by which they are known: drow.
After their exile below ground, the drow lived as nomads, scavengers,
and feral beasts. Eventually, through the guidance of
Lolth, they drew themselves together as a race and began to
make the best of their situation, colonizing large portions of the
Underdark. The first underground drow civilizations were established
in southern FaerÃ»n around â€“9600 DR. In â€“9000 DR, the
drow seized the great cavern of Bhaerynden from the gold
dwarves and established the first great drow kingdom, Telantiwar.
Unfortunately, the drow of Telantiwar quickly fell into terrible
civil wars, the eventual result of which were several massive
magical explosions that collapsed the caverns of their nation and
formed the Great Rift in southern FaerÃ»n.
The few drow survivors of this cataclysm scattered throughout
the Underdark, slowly settling regions farther and farther
away from their original homelands in the South. In time, the
drow built dozens of magnificent, terrifying cities deep underground,
quite an achievement for a people so predisposed toward
treachery, infighting, and civil war. Sshamath, the City of Dark
Weavings, was founded beneath the Far Hills in â€“4973 DR.
Menzoberra the Kinless, a high priestess of Lolth, established the
city of Menzoberranzan in â€“3917 DR. House Nasadra, exiled
from Menzoberranzan, founded Ched Nasad in â€“3843 DR.
Many other cities lie beneath other parts of FaerÃ»n, sometimes
exerting their baleful influence on the lands above, such as the
conquest of the human realm of Dambrath by the drow of
Tâ€lindhet in 804 DR, or the centuries-long rule of Maerimydra
over Shadowdale hundreds of years ago.
Recently, the drow have begun to extend their influence to
the surface in greater numbers than ever before, moving into
abandoned elven cities and homes. They have begun training
and conditioning to allow them to function in the brilliant surface
world. Much to their surprise and delight, they have found
that due to the Elven Retreat the presence of surface elves is
much smaller and more poorly organized than they anticipated.
Small bands of drow opposed to this return to the surface have
made efforts to alert the surface world of this new threat, but
so far no organized resistance to the drow invasion of the surface
world has appeared.
Drow are, on the whole, sadistic, destructive, and treacherous.
They view themselves as the rightful heirs to FaerÃ»n and still
remember the perceived injustice of their exile to the Underdark.
They hate other races and either wish to make war upon them or
view those others with contempt and tolerate them only as necessary
for trade or temporary military alliances. Even among
their own kind, drow are cruel and suspicious. There is little room
for love and friendship in drow society. They may value alliances
with other family members or acquaintances, but no drow truly
trusts another. Drow forge alliances only when they are more
powerful than an â€œally,â€