Unspirited (3.5e Race)
Rate this article |
Discuss this article
The Unspirited are a race that has its roots in ages beyond human memory, but whose existence took a long time to manifest into the shape their race has today. They came to be from the union between lung dragons and nymphs and overtime departed from their parental heritages and mingled some more with humanoid races. It took a long time before their numbers were large enough to start calling them an actual - or minorly-significant - ethnic group, but once that point in time came they began to stick together and form a bit of culture of their own. The centuries which followed were much like early human civilization, but it took a huge step back when a major event happened that changed them forever: the Rending.
In their early days the Unspirited simply seemed like a cross between nymphs and lung dragons, nothing more or less, and due to their spiritual nature they were called the Spiritfelt. The most influential amongst them was the Spiritfelt Archduke, whom had secured a large amount of land for the Spiritfelt to live on as subjects to a human emperor, who, wishing to be engaged with an elven princess, saw that it was in his best interests to show that he felt a connection to those of other races and of mixed race. The Spiritfelt Archduke was an admirable man and was as such adored by many.
One particular Spiritfelt woman of sorcerous blood - her true name lost to time - was infatuated with him and sought to show him her love. However, the woman, suffering from psychological trauma from her childhood, had twisted concepts of love and common morality. When she confronted the Spiritfelt Archduke and told him of her feelings, his retort that he did not love her back and that she were to cease her crimes struck her hard. She summoned up a storm to consume the entire castle and the city around it and let the thunder and lightning strike people every which way, until the Archduke and his wizards opened a portal to another plane and prepared to throw her to the multiverse and curse her to remain there, blasting her through the portal before sealing it shut, the storm dying soon after.
But it was not the end of her story… The woman was flung to the Far Realm, where she was driven mad and transformed heart and soul, transformed into a deity of unnatural power to the core of her being. And then she returned… and upon her return she tore at the souls of all Spiritfelt and broke them away from their bodies, shredded them apart into tiny pieces, chewed on them and spewed them to the maelstrom of souls bound for the Outer Planes. But the aged and venerable Archduke stood upon his castle walls again as he watched on and send the most humble and even more desperate plea towards their gods to save them and with him joined the pleas of thousands of souls torn asunder and the Masked Deer appeared and took the woman on its antlers and threw her away into the void beyond the planes as she screeched that she would return and her name, Skish, would madden even him. And then the One Darkness came forth and collected all the pieces of all the souls and the Three Lights came forth and put all the pieces back together again and back to the bodies of the Spiritfelt.
But there was something different: the souls could not be patched correctly, not even by these goddesses. The soul that now was tied to each body was a patchwork of pieces of souls, most of which not even previously belonged to that body. Many Spiritfelt experienced strong melancholy or madness because of the discrepancy, as they could feel their souls strongly because of their heritage. They felt powerless, abilities common amongst them before now practically non-existent, their link to their nymph and lung dragon heritage almost turned to nothingness. In their woe, they dubbed themselves the Unspirited, for that was what they had been by the mad goddess Skish.
Unspirited feel a need for structure, and some break down if plans and agreements aren’t made up before acting. They do have a curious streak, as do all fey, and find it easy to explore beyond their lands as long as they can agree to return to civilized lands soon enough. While appearing to a good lot of others as a little stiff or nuts due to this race-inspired OCD, Unspirited are quite social and mean to establish contact with others if possible - due in part because it helps them keep their minds calm.
Unspirited are also fond of pets and some wealthy families possess faerie dragons, while plebeian Unspirited make do with trained ravens and tamed wild animals - showing off the fact that for fey they are yet a little detached from the natural world.
As many fey, Unspirited are of a rather fair-looking kind. Their skin tends to be of pale colours in shades of white, grey, yellow or red. They stand on average a little shorter than humans and are lighter as well, with females usually being taller by a small margin. As they age they grow decorative horns reminiscent of deer or lung dragons (which, frankly, have deer-like horns, really) that sprout from the region between their temples and forehead. Some Unspirited are born with skin that is a little rough and sometimes even flaky, upon closer inspection even looking like tiny scales. This is no doubt due to their lung dragon heritage and simply manifests a little stronger in some than others. Unspirited also often wear heavy clothing that emphasizes their heritage with its appearance, with many married women wearing gowns that appear as if they conceal dragon tails, or actually look like them.
The Unspirited usually live in regions where they co-exist with the elves, and while they respect them and their views on nature and the arts, they deem them to act too haughty too often, or too freely and for themselves. In that regard, the Unspirited much prefer the companionship of dwarves, strange though it may sound for creatures of fey blood. They enjoy the structure the dwarves give to almost everything and find it to be soothing in a way, though their gruffness may irk them. Luckily, dwarves often co-exist with gnomes, whose presence washes away the slight unpleasantness of dwarven social interaction. While Unspirited may think that gnomes are worse than elves in their freespirited acting and deem them quite childish, many gnomes have managed to garner respect from Unspirited by their wits and craftsmanship.
Unspirited rarely come into contact with halflings, unless it is in a human settlement, and there they usually try to avoid them due to the idea that halflings are either like gnomes in their childishness, or that they are all thieves, whether or not it is intentional. Unspirited are not shy of human contact and quite enjoy it, seeing their way of interaction as a balance between dwarven and gnomish traits but with an airy and lighter take on it - probably due to not being underground for most their lives.
While Unspirited are just as prejudiced against orcs and gnolls as the common civilized races, especially because they cling to a form of government and society that is only beneficial for the few, or even the lone top dog, a good lot of them are actually quite fond of the company of goblins or kobolds, whose societies usually have a good structure, even though it might not always be fair for all, and they have respect for that. Some Unspirited even manage to become revered by kobolds, who see their dragon heritage as a sign of strength and dominance. This view is not shared by other reptilian races like troglodytes or lizardmen however, though the latter is less opposed to dealing with Unspirited.
Curious among the fey, the Unspirited have come to hang onto the structure of society much more strongly than many others, for fear of letting control slip away again. They wish for the Rending not to happen again and have come to the conclusion that to prevent it, they must all work together in one way or another. It is for that reason that most Unspirited tend towards Lawfulness, but there are as many that are Good as there are ones that are Neutral or Evil.
Unspirited have their settlements located close to nature: near forests, in the shade of mountains or within canyons. They usually pick locations with plenty of shadow, from which their towering buildings rise up. These buildings, often decorated with or built in spiral-like shapes, are made entirely out of bone and have smooth, ivory colours. The bone towers are created by the architects of the Unspirited: faytpriests who specialize in the soul-entrancing power of song. Their songs are infused with magical power as they enter the bones of their dead and make tendrils spiral forth from them and form shapes and forms and expand into a base, then rooms and more and rising higher until an entire tower has been created from a single corpse. The dead Unspirited is also contacted through the song and tied to the building that forms from their corpse, enabling their souls to briefly return if the home needs to be defended or if the inhabitants desperately need guidance.
Unspirited who leave their traditional lands usually try to find their way to fit into the societies of others, usually those of dwarves, humans or goblins, but kobolds and sometimes elves find Unspirited amongst them as well. Most fey don’t have a structured enough society for the taste of Unspirited and they grow restless and mentally uneasy if they’re with them for too long.
The main deity of the Unspirited is the Masked Deer, a deer-like being with glowing, levitating plates covering almost its entire body and face and a web of lightning strung between its antlers. The Masked Deer, a True Neutral greater deity, is known to take the guises of physically disabled humanoids in which he provides cryptic advice to heroes, craftsmen and lonesome wives; his most famous form being a peg-legged masked goblin by the name of Guven. While he is a god of riddles, he is not a god of trickery, for he merely tries to test others while aiding them at the same time. Some even believe that the Masked Deer would be so willing to even take the guise of a villain just to put up a test for others, but his clergy waves off any suggestions of the Masked Deer being Evil. (Note: while the Masked Deer is referred to as ‘he’, this is to make the connection sound more personal. In his natural form, the Masked Deer is genderless.)
Also much revered amongst the Unspirited are the Three Lights and One Darkness. The Three Lights are depicted as distant associates of the Masked Deer, with sometimes one being his consort. In their natural form they are depicted as red, blue and green stars, capturing a dark field between them that symbolizes the One Darkness. The Three Lights are otherwise depicted as female, while the One Darkness is shown in artistic works as male, all Three symbolizing and possessing virtues, showing off the different flavours of Goodness, while the One Darkness stands for the perversion of those virtues or the use of them in the wrong way. Being a prime corruptive force in Unspirited mythology, the One Darkness is also respected greatly for his abilities and for being known to keep his word.
Lastly, there is Skish, the Screeching Lady, the broken Unspirited from old times that was forcefully put through the Far Realm by the Spiritfelt Archduke, returned as a raving mad goddess and caused the Rending. Of course all Unspirited hate her for putting them through that and still suffering the aftereffects centuries later. Many Unspirited quest to destroy her temples, monsters or followers.
Unspirited have some slang of their own, developed from bits and pieces of Common, Draconic and Sylvan, which usually refer to how structuralized their society is or sneakily poking fun of a third person regarding their odd-but-still-interesting racial traditions.
Names: The Unspirited have a few specific naming conventions. Personal names are usually long, but a short version is used when among very close friends and directly-related family members. Family names refer to titles of ancestors or of the family itself and may be adopted from other languages, titles their allies or enemies gave them that they have come to bear with pride.
Male Names: Male names often end in soft, hiss-like sounds or nasal hums, while the beginning of the names rarely do. Examples include Boubarsbalaxs, Dooírquan, Ganatúsh, Jerikso, Kamasse, Rraneshem or Wansukun.
Female Names: Female names, like male ones, can have large differences, but usually end in sounds that emphasize the tongue. Examples include Celavile, Devoda, Liliúzel, Malalÿde, Tÿrelle, Zathoina or Zygcelièra.
Family Names: Below is a list of family names and the story they tell of how they received it. Also given are mechanical benefits the family bestows on its members. However, this is merely optional and need not see use in a game.
- Blackstar: Followers of the One Darkness, the Blackstar family is proud of that fact and engraves black stars in all their weapons, which family blacksmiths forge for them. Obviously, this is also where they derive their name from and other Unspirited families have often suspected them of being involved with highly dangerous and criminal activities or dealings with fiends and evil clerics. Few are crazy enough to dare speak the idea they might have something to do with Skish, however.
- Benefits: A +2 racial bonus on Bluff, a -2 penalty on Gather Information. Allies within 5 feet get a +2 bonus on Hide and Move Silently.
- Durvthrunmar: An Unspirited family known for having detached itself very much from main Unspirited society and having integrated into dwarven cities with great success. They are known for their bards and strongly-built war drums which they carry proudly into battle alongside and behind their dwarven allies.
- Benefits: A +2 racial bonus on Intimidate and Perform (percussion instruments), a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy when dealing with dwarves, -2 Diplomacy in other situations, -2 Bluff, -2 Gather Information. Perform (percussion instruments) is always a class skill.
- uf Fierbasher’s Blood: Descendants of a famous drakeknight - prior to fame known as Darvleshz ás Toothbreaker - who was known for his campaigns against evil fey and the destruction of forests corrupted by them. They aren’t really popular among the Unspirited, but at least they are respected, though grudgingly so by the elders. Elves still do not get along well with them as they have not forgotten, nor forgiven, Darvleshz’ acts.
- Benefits: A -2 penalty on Diplomacy and a +2 racial bonus on Sense Motive when dealing with elves or fey. A +1 racial bonus on attack rolls made with the handaxe, battleaxe, greataxe, and dwarven waraxe.
- Kuvleahs: The Kuvleahs family is known in dwarven and gnomish cities as crafty dealmakers, illusionists and tricksters, which has earned them their name, an inversion of a popular gnomish phrase meaning “empty box”, as if to show that that is exactly what they aren’t. Some gnomes use the name a little mockingly though, as Kuvleahs aren’t as sharp in some areas as in others.
- Benefits: A +2 racial bonus on Disguise, Forgery and Sleight of Hand, a -2 penalty on Listen and Search.
- Masketeer: A family that is commonly seen in human cities and has ties to noble families whom they often serve as bodyguards, the Masketeers are known for their swordsmanship and the fact that their faces remain hidden behind masks while they deal in public.
- Benefits: A +2 racial bonus on Disguise. Automatically proficient with the club, dagger, rapier and longsword.
- Nashkerym: One of the fewer Unspirited families with strong ties to elves, they have fought alongside elves in many wars against orcs or defended from raids by that despicably chaotic race. They have a strong sense of honour in battle, but this is accompanied by a free spirit in easy times.
- Benefits: A +1 racial bonus to AC and attack rolls when being attack by an orc or attacking one. Automatically proficient with the short sword, shortbow and composite shortbow.
- de’m Seele-cutters: This family started as a group of siblings that lost their parents to a raid upon their village by evil fey and they took it upon themselves to vanquish them, eventually not even settling there but slaying all fey that came on their path, forming a band of thieves and monster-slayers. For this they became wanted by Unspirited authorities and they fled to another plane. Their descendents have told that they got lost and wondered the planes for a long time and ended up continuing their trade, but with the inhabitants of the planes they visited as their targets instead of fey. The family has since settled in Sigil, where they got their name, for they are not simple berks in the planescape no more, but an entire family of true cutters. Cutters that hunted for fey and now hunt for souls.
- Benefits: A +1 racial bonus on opposed Strength and Dexterity checks or opposed skill checks (Bluff, Disguise, Escape Artist to escape from ropes, Forgery, Hide, Intimidate, Listen, Move Silently, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Spot, Use Rope to tie someone up) when dealing with elementals or outsiders. A -1 on such opposed checks against all other creature types. Knowledge (the planes) is always a class skill.
- vanthe Zandpoorter: Living away from most Unspirited, or really from most societies at all, this family resides in desert cities, where they make their trade of sandsailing, using boats adapted to gliding through the sand at high speeds. Many of them pick up the trade of a pirate, and even those who move away from the desert find that they have the urge to create boat-like modes of transport, be it through sand, snow, sea or even the air.
- Benefits: A +2 racial bonus on Appraise, Craft (boat) and Profession (sailor), a -2 penalty on Hide and Move Silently. Knowledge (geography) is always a class skill.
Whilst as all the races Unspirited may adventure for many reasons, most do it out of curiosity for other societies, to find more applications of their abilities or to fight against Skish in whatever way they can. If they belong to a famous family they may often even be encouraged to become adventurers for whichever reason the family is well-known for.
- +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence
- Fey (dragonblood, incarnum): Unspirited are fey with the dragonblood (Dragon Magic 4) and incarnum subtypesMoI 169.
- Medium: As Medium creatures, Unspirited have no special bonus or penalties due to their size.
- Unspirited base land speed is 30 feet.
- Low Light Vision: An Unspirited can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
- Extra essentia: The essentia pool of an Unspirited increases by 1. If they have no essentia pool they gain one with 1 essentia in it.
- Caste ability (Su): The Unspirited are divided into three castes, which are called the palechildes, the faytpriests and the drakeknights. The palechildes receive neither of the caste abilities listed below. The faytpriests have the fragmented focus ability. The drakeknights have the dragonfire initiation ability.
- Fragmented focus: By investing 1 point of essentia in this ability, the Unspirited can use all mental skills (those based off Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma) untrained. Furthermore, they count as having a virtual minimum effective skill rank in all mental skills equal to (essentia invested -1).
- Dragonfire initiation: By investing essentia into this ability, the Unspirited’s melee attacks and attacks with thrown weapons deal extra damage equal to 2 times the amount of essentia invested. This extra damage is either acid, cold, electricity or fire damage, chosen at the time of investment. To change the energy type, all essentia invested in this ability must be removed first and may not be re-invested until a full turn has passed.
- Washed Skin: The skin of an Unspirited seems almost constantly washed over by a very thin layer of water, thanks to their lung dragon heritage no doubt. They take only half damage from non-magical fire.
- Automatic Languages: Common and Draconic, Common and Sylvan, or Draconic and Sylvan.
- Bonus Languages: Aquan, Auran, Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Gnomish, Goblin, Ignan, Sylvan, Terran. The Unspirited usually have at least one person in the family who keeps contact with their distant fey relatives and for that reason also often come into contact with beings of elemental descent. Unspirited also often live in societies where another humanoid race is prevalent and they adopt their language, if they find themselves able to.
- Favored Class: Totemist. Most Unspirited try to find a stronger bond to their souls and their hardy nature allows them to do so easily as Totemists, despite it being more common among tribal races. (One could always ‘fix’ this by making Unspirited Totemists automatically literate, since they have that different, more educational background.)
- Level Adjustment: +0
- Effective Character Level: 1
|Middle Age1||Old2||Venerable3||Maximum Age|
|82 years||130 years||163 years||+1d100 years|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||4' 2"||+2d12||75 lb.||× (2d4) lb.|
|Female||4' 4"||+2d12||75 lb.||× (2d4) lb.|
|Author||Morpholomew Bark +|
|Effective Character Level||1 +|
|Favored Class||Totemist +|
|Identifier||3.5e Race +|
|Level Adjustment||0 +|
|Racial Ability Adjustments||+2 Constitution + and -2 Intelligence +|
|Subtype||dragonblood + and incarnum +|
|Summary||The Unspirited are a race that has its roots in ages beyond human memory, but whose existence took a long time to manifest into the shape their race has today. +|