Naiad (3.5e Race)
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Naiads are a variety of fey nymph, found in and around freshwater bodies. It is thought that they contain some connection to primal elemental water. A naiad also possesses an innate talent for handling animals.
Relaxing, hunting, gathering food, swimming, singing, dancing and observing the world around them, naiads enjoy bohemian lifestyles in the comfort of their natural territories. Some are silly and raucous, while others tend to be reserved and introspective. Almost universally, they prefer company that treat others well.
An extroverted naiad may often find herself serving as a muse, aiding others in their tasks or seeking out an accompaniment in which to practice her skills with. An introverted naiad may often find herself honing her own abilities alone before she feels she's mastered her talents (or practiced enough for social critique).
As excellent swimmers, naiads spend much of their time in the water, swimming about, pondering life and doing whatever fey creatures do when others aren't around to observe them.
Naiads, like most fey, can be temperamental, unpredictable, flighty, aloof or prone to bouts of extreme emotion. In many encounters, travelers tell tales of jealous naiads who become possessive or obsessive over others to the point of conflict.
Naiads have the builds of regal, athletic, exotic elves, standing on average at 5 feet tall and weighing about 120 pounds. Their features are softer than the angular countenances of noble elves, however. They're also capable of putting on a fair bit of weight, unlike what is typical among most fey and elves, lending to a rubenesque physique. Naiad hair flows gracefully and comes in shades ranging among pale ivory, bright flaxen gold, sunrise orange, cinnabar red, chestnut brown, auburn, mahogany and blackest coal.
A naiad's skin, often devoid of marks, tans evenly from living out in nature. Their skin's shades appear to vary as much as man or elf, even into the variety found among subraces. According to elven myth, a naiad's skin cannot be scarred or pocked, though this may simply be an old story told among a people who aspire to fey grace. Some naiads exhibit piscine traits, such as patches of shimmering fish-like scales, webbed fingers or gill slits at the back of the jaw or along the neck. In some cases, this only serves to confuse them with the smaller nixie.
The irises of a naiad's eyes may be of any hue and are nearly always brightly saturated. Their color flares when a naiad becomes flushed from excitement or embarrassment. The shapes of their eyes more closely resemble those of half-elves, though their pupils and irises are much larger in proportion.
Naiads retain a youthful appearance throughout their lives and do not die of old age. When a naiad does die, her body collapses into pure water. A naiad that has been raised from the dead takes on the qualities of the water used as her body to raise her. Waterborne impurities are incorporated within a naiad's body as it is reformed during the resurrection process. Most often, this means the manifestation of unusual skin or hair coloration and the appearance of freckling. Toxic, spoiled or stagnant water makes for a poor source water and causes the process to (usually) fail. In the rare case such a resurrection does succeed, the naiad's appearance and personality often become distorted in some manner. Some fey culture's speak tales of naiad's being raised with a new body formed of wine, becoming lewd or spiritous like other fey that covet such drinks, like satyrs.
Naiads are often seen wearing loose, flowing robe-like dresses made of silk or gossamer. These garments are often donned in layers and secured with multiple sashes or ribbons. As naiads predominately dwell near water, they can often be seen wearing nothing at all if they have reason to feel safe, such as when in a commune. Animal bodyguards often accompany naiads in their territories.
Naiads that are prepared for combat often tie up loose cloth and hair and keep a small side arm or two at hand. Most traveling naiads also carry staves or bows at their sides. Armored naiads prefer leather, wood and pearl gear to metal when available.
Naiads aren't exclusively female. There are a rare few naiad males, called naein. These creatures are thought to be other fey who've undergone a ritual to become naiads or have been cursed into becoming naiads. Some anecdotal evidence points to changelings or other fey shapechangers as a source of naein. Some scholars suspect that male merfolk and tritons are capable of becoming naiads under certain conditions.
The offspring of naiads and other races are often unusual, to say the least. Such hybrids retain the racial traits of the father but are often sterile or inter-sexed. Other information on naiad reproduction is unverifiable. What stories have been told are so widely varied that it's assumed they enjoy spreading lies on the subject as a form of common entertainment.
Naiads, as individuals, often manage to get along with considerate races. Those races that are either too cultured (by way of stifling laws), or too barbaric (by way of despoiling and selfishness) become nuisances for naiads. Most elves keep record of naiads near their homes, as both a source of information in the wild and as an asset in times of need, should that time arise.
A naiad's emotions can often be overwhelming for folk unaccustomed to the behavior of fey. More than once, a naiad has been accused of putting on a show and exaggerating her opinion. There's truth to this, of course, as some naiads practice the performance art of acting, often without any prompt during ordinary social settings. A naiad's lusts and obsessions have also been a source of trouble.
Naiads often have little cause or concern for rules and regulations, and are likely to be free-spirited, tending toward neutrality and chaos. Those that favor lawful inclinations tend toward methodical approaches to practicing their skills and talents.
Naiads prefer pristine inland waterways rich with natural life and places just off the touch of nature-friendly civilizations.
They keep to themselves mostly, choosing a specific area as their home that they tend to. Such areas often have bodies of water or prominent natural features. Waterfalls, springs, hotsprings, lily ponds and sheltered bays are common locales for naiads to take residence. Saltwater naiads are called oceanids.
Because naiads are known to defend their home territories with determination and ferocity, they have gained a reputation as defenders of the natural world.
Occasionally, naiads gather into communes of many naiads and the occasional other fey folk, such as dryads, nymphs, and sprites such as pixies and nixies. These communes last from a few weeks to years and serve as meetings of philosophical discussion, artistic collaboration, crafting, trading and fey merrymaking.
As naiads often train and tame wild animals that serve as guards and companions, these creatures are often found in and around naiad territory. Their training makes them notably different in their demeanor and attitudes toward intruders. A naiad's trained pets are no more beholden to her than a dog or horse would be for a human owner.
Naiads are thought by some scholars to be an intermediate phase for nymphs and other powerful female fey. This may be mostly speculation, as a few notably detailed elven myths tell of particularly powerful naiads that wielded elemental water with grace and wrath as defenders of ancient wellsprings of primal water. Other tales tell of expertly skilled naiad archers that would hold contests to challenge and test the competitors who sought to gain some manner of esoteric or exotic prize. One such tale tells of an elven princess who entered the archery contest with an enchanted bow, and in her vanity, attempted to cheat. She was found out, however, and cursed. Some endings of the tale tell of her becoming a frog or toad, while others insist that she became a deer, cursed with eternal life, forever on the run from hunters.
Naiads that take to adventuring often do so as a means of personal training in order to attain enough power to protect their home territories. Others take to adventuring simply because a direct threat to their homes has arisen and they have chosen to take up the cause proactively.
While many choose not to venerate deities, they may pray to deities of the land, water, hunting, femininity, music and nature. Occasionally, they will tend to shrines of these deities in wild areas. Because of this duty in defense of holy shines, some scholars believe that naiads were created long ago to serve as heralds of fey deities and ancient nature spirits.
Naiads speak Sylvan, and have a passable grasp of Elven as well, as it suits their needs to align with elves who dwell nearby. Despite being water-subtyped creatures, they don't initially know Aquan as they aren't elementals. As they're often away from most humanoids, many naiads don't speak Common. Those that attempt an adventuring phase often learn Common out of necessity.
Naiads often choose names based on local ancient epic heroes, natural phenomenon, their home territory or famous landmarks and features. Though, their names are often the Sylvan words for such things, and may sound unfamiliar to those without a grasp of the language.
- -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma: Naiads aren't particularly strong or durable, but they are quick and charming with a good grasp of the world around them.
- Fey (Aquatic, Water): As an aquatic creature, a naiad has a +8 racial bonus on Swim skill checks and can always choose to take 10, even if distracted or endangered. She can use the run action while swimming, provided she swims in a straight line. Swim is always treated as a class skill. An adequate amount of potable water may be used to resurrect a naiad as its body.
- Medium: A naiad gains no bonuses or penalties for her size.
- Naiad base land speed and swim speed is 30 feet (6 squares). Any changes to either her land or swim speed affects the other (unless such a change specifically simultaneously affects each speed differently).
- Low-Light Vision: A naiad can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
- Amphibious (Ex): Naiads can breathe both water and air.
- Proficiency: Naiads are proficient with all simple weapons, shortbows and longbows (including the composite varieties of each).
- Fey Talent: A naiad gains a +2 racial bonus on Perform and Handle Animal skill checks. These skills are always treated as class skills. A naiad may make Handle Animal checks in place of Diplomacy to improve the attitudes of animals and magical beasts. Domestic creatures default to indifferent while wild creatures default to unfriendly. The naiad and the target creature must be within close range (25 ft. + 5 ft. per 2 ECL of the naiad) and aware of each other. The check takes 1 minute.
- Automatic Languages: Elven and Sylvan.
- Bonus Languages: Any (other than secret languages, such as Druidic).
- Favored Class: Any
- Level Adjustment: +0
- Effective Character Level: 1
Naiads often hone their racial abilities as they grow stronger. Some enter into the naiad racial paragon class.
Here are a few [Racial] feats designed for use with the naiad race:
|Sex||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||4' 5"||+2d6||85 lb.||× (1d6) lb.|
|Female||4' 5"||+2d6||80 lb.||× (1d6) lb.|
|Author||Ganteka Future +|
|Effective Character Level||1 +|
|Favored Class||Any +|
|Identifier||3.5e Race +|
|Level Adjustment||0 +|
|Racial Ability Adjustments||-2 Strength +, +2 Dexterity +, -2 Constitution +, +2 Wisdom + and +2 Charisma +|
|Subtype||Aquatic + and Water +|
|Summary||Naiads are a variety of fey nymph, found in and around freshwater bodies. +|