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The Races of Talislanta - Part 1
Suggested race by class
|Barbarian||Beastmen, Mondre Khan, Yrmanian, Za, Drukh, Harakin, Kharakhan, Ur|
|Bard||Sawila, Bodor, Muse, Danuvian (man)|
|Chaos Mage||Zandir, Mondre Khan|
|Cleric||Mirin, Aamanian,Rajan, Vajra, Drukh, Dracartan|
|Commander||Thrall, Kang, Quan|
|Druid||Verdir, Manra, Azir|
|Fighter||Thrall, Ahazu, Sauran, Shadinn, Danuvian (woman), Kang, Mangar, Sun-Ra-San, Xambrian|
|Necromancer||Rajan, Thane, Chana, Stryx|
|Ranger||Jaka, Manra, Nagra, Chana, Danelek, Oceanian, Orgovian|
|Rogue||Sarista, Arimite, Darkling, Gao, Farad, Ferran, Kasmiran, Thiasian, Yitek, Zandir|
|Sorcerer||Thaecian, Dhuna, Djaffir, Rahastran|
|Wizard||Cymrilian, Phantasian, Marukan, Ispasian|
“Aa the Omnipotent judges you ever, and you will suffer in the next realm for your transgressions. Shall I send you to Him?”
The Eye of Aa watches all, and there are times when this burden is great. Matters are simpler when you reside in Aaman. The squared buildings and streets, the modest attire of the aspirants, the familiar axioms of conversation - all are comforting to your soul.
Stern of bearing, Aamanians have copper-colored skin, sculpted features, and deep green eyes. In order to promote the Orthodoxist ideal of “oneness in body and spirit”, Aamanians use an extract of the bald nettle plant to remove all facial and body hair, thus achieving a sameness of appearance. Only the most modest attire is permissible in Aaman—colorless smocks, robes designed to conceal the figure, and caps of starched linen.
The Aamanians are descended from the ancient Phaedrans, rulers of an empire that once encompassed the greater part of the Western Lands. Aaman became an independent nation following the long and bloody Cult Wars, which pitted the Orthodoxists against the Paradoxists of neighboring Zandu. Aamanian society is rigidly structured, and is based on a religious caste system. Higher caste Aamanians work in mercantile guilds, elite ranks of the military, or the clergy and its various branches. The lower classes work as farmers, laborers, vendors, or as conscripts in the infantry. Slaves are used for the most odious types of manual labor. They have no rights and are regarded as property, to be bought and sold as desired by their Aamanian masters.
Aaman is a churchstate governed by a theocracy, at the head of which is the Hierophant, ruler and high priest of the Orthodoxist Cult. The Hierophant wields supreme power in Aaman, for he is entrusted with sole curatorship of the Omnival: the Orthodoxist Cult’s Book of the Law. Serving the Hierophant are his representatives, called the Monitors. Each holds the position of ruling prelate in his assigned district, and is responsible for awarding aalms to those worthy of advancement in status, or deducting mana from individuals whom they deem unworthy. Next in line come the Aspirants, members of Aaman’s monastic orders, which include such factions as archimages, warrior priests, inquisitors, and witch hunters.
High Orthodoxy is the official state religion; all other beliefs are regarded as heresy. Aaman’s religious caste system is based on the acquisition and accumulation of mana, or “spiritual purity”, which is measured in units known as “aalms”. One can attain aalms by entering the priesthood or a Monastic Order, making donations to a temple, or by undertaking a pilgrimage to one of the cult’s officially sanctioned holy places. In order of esteem, these are: the Well of Saints, which lies beyond the Volcanic Hills; the Watchstone, situated amidst the Plains of Golarin; the Red Desert in Carantheum; and several places of lesser significance.
High caste: archimage, warrior priest, inquisitor, witchhunter, monitor, acolyte
Low caste: farmer, laborer, conscript, gladiator, craftsman, bodyguard, sailor, siege engineer, street preacher, pilgrim
Casteless: slave, heretic, penitent, exile, musician
Aamanian clerics of the Orthodoxy have access to the Justice, Protection and Sun domains.
|Aamanian||Racial Bonus: +2 Con or +2 Wis|
Blessing of Aa (Racial Power)
Your racial power depends on your standing in the all-seeing eye of Aa. Choose the option that fits your backgrounds and one unique thing. Your standing may change as you collect and lose mana while the story unfolds.
Aspirant: You are the hammer that destroys the infidels. Once per battle, you can smite evil as as per the paladin class feature.
Believer: Aa has blessed you with the power to heal the ails of the believers. Once per battle, you can touch an ally and expend a recovery. The ally can heal as if he or she spent a recovery.
Penant: After losing your faith and becoming and outcast among your people, nothing can faze you anymore. You are Fearless as per the Paladin talent.
Adventurer feat: Once between short rests, roll twice on a religion-related skill check and take the better result.
There are two sub-species of Aeriad: Green Aeriad, who seldom exceed five feet in height, and the taller and somewhat more aggressive Blue Aeriad. Both species are slender and frail in stature, and have skin that glistens with a metallic sheen. A crested coxcomb of feathers adds to the distinctive appearance of these folk. By contrast, their manner of dress is simple and austere, typically featuring a short tunic, loin cloth, and a cape of plain viridian linen. The Aeriad race is in the process of devolving from an avian to a ground-dwelling species. Their vestigial wings, once used for flying, have atrophied from disuse. For the majority of Aeriad, these appendages are now more decorative than functional, though they can still be used for gliding short distances. The Aeriad attribute the process of devolution to the after-effects of The Great Disaster, and believe that the problem is irreversible.
Though they are of the same species, Blue and Green Aeriad have different outlooks on life. Blue Aeriad identify more closely with their avian ancestors. To these folk, their species’ gradual transmutation is a form of “devolution”, indicative of the decline of a once-great people. Blue Aeriad yearn to recapture the glory of the past, when their ancestors flew free upon the winds. To this end Blues sometimes seek the companionship of Gryphs, an avian species to whom Aeriad are closely related. Some Blues have even been known to mate with Gryphs in an attempt to reinvigorate their line, or at least retard its further devolution. Green Aeriad regard the transition of their species as “evolutionary”, rather than “devolutionary”. While they also have great respect for their ancestors, Greens tend not to dwell upon the past. They believe that the future of the Aeriad is among other ground-dwelling peoples, such as the Cymrilians and Sindarans. Like Blues, they are protective of the natural riches of their forest home, though most Green Aeriad express this through their interest in horticulture and botanomancy. By enriching their environment and increasing Vardune’s natural resources they hope to ensure the future survival of their species.
Blue: ranger, crossbowman, mercenary, scout, guide, fletcher
Green: botanist, farmer, river merchant, gardener, hermit, herbalist
|Blue Aeriad||Racial Bonus: +2 Dex or Int|
Glide (Racial Power)
Fly short distances as a move action. You can use this power at-will if the terrain allows.
Adventurer feat: You gain a +1 bonus to melee attacks after gliding in the same turn.
Champion feat: When you start a glide, you can pop free from all enemies.
|Green Aeriad||Racial Bonus: +2 Dex or Wis|
Glide (Racial Power)
Fly short distances as a move action. You can use this power at-will if the terrain allows.
Adventurer feat: You can spend a move action to assume a stance that allows you to glide out of harms way. You gain a +1 bonus to all defenses until the start of your next turn.
Champion feat: When you start a glide, you can pop free from all enemies.
The Green Aeriad of Vardune have perfected the art of Botanomancy, ritual magic that focuses on plants. Unlike standard rituals, these do not require the user to be a spellcaster, and they do not consume spells.
Identify Plant: Enables the botanomancer to identify a plant and determine the specimen’s properties and characteristics.
Locate Plant: Allows the botanomancer to determine the location of a particular type of plant in the near vicinity.
Nurture Plant: Enables the botanomancer to grow any type of plant from seeds or cuttings, diagnose plants for damage or illness, and “heal” or rejuvenate plants that have suffered damage due to drought, cold, neglect, herbivores, weapons, and so forth.
Protect Plant: Allows botanomancers to protect plants from threats such as extreme weather conditions, insects pests, parasitic organisms, molds, and other natural or magical phenomena.
Botanomantic Hybridization: Allows the caster to create a hybrid from any two types of plants. To do so, the caster must have living specimens, such as cuttings, roots or seeds from both kinds of plants, a suitable growing medium like humus and other substances necessary for growth, such as water and light. If successful, the attempt yields a hybrid seedling. A success yields a healthy but sterile plant. Only a critical success yields a fertile plant capable of reproduction.
Adventurer feat: You gain 3 points towards a botanomancy-related background.
These fierce, four-armed folk may exceed seven feet in height. They have bright-yellow skin, with fiery red markings lining the face and neck and running down the back of the arms, legs and spine. Their features are almost demonic: sloping forehead, forked tongue, thin nostrils, and dark-green, pupil-less eyes vacant of mercy or compassion. Long and lean of build, Ahazu dress in reptile-hide loincloths, with numerous thongs tied below the shoulder and at the elbows, wrists, knees and ankles.
Ahazu are nomadic predators who subsist on fresh game, from small creatures like avir and winged serpents to large beasts such as land lizards and even exomorphs. Because they eat raw meat only and use no preserving techniques, Ahazu require plentiful supplies of fresh game in order to thrive. Their tribes make no permanent dwellings, preferring instead to sleep in the treetops. The typical Ahazu tribe is constantly on the move; once they claim a territory as their hunting ground they guard it aggressively, hunt until the area is played out, then move on.
Males and females mate for life. ￼￼￼￼Both take turns transporting their young in backpacks made of woven vines. Ahazu young are carried everywhere, even into battle, until they are strong enough to run with the adults. Ahazu who are too old or infirm to keep up with the tribe generally commit suicide by jumping of Leaper’s Ridge.
Ahazu are beset by dark moods and governed by strange passions that other races do not comprehend. They are prone to fits of shan-ya; literally battle madness. When “the rage” is upon them, Ahazu will attack any living creature in their path, even their own comrades. In such a condition, Ahazu are completely devoid of fear, feel no pain, and attack with incredible ferocity. It is said that a single Ahazu in shan-ya can sometimes kill a dozen or more foes in the span of just a few moments. To die during a fifit of shan-ya, slaying enemies by the score, is considered the greatest possible death for an Ahazu warrior.
Ahazu adhere to a secret warrior code that prohibits them from attempting to escape if captured in battle, which is considered a grave humiliation. If taken in such a manner an Ahazu becomes the captor’s slave for life. The pact can be broken only if the captor assaults the slave, at which point the Ahazu will be free to do as it pleases. This arrangement can be deceptive, however, as an angry Ahazu may regard even an accidental bump or touch as an “attack”.
Gladiator, lizard hunter, honor slave, weaponsmith, mercenary, tribal warrior, swamp shaman, performer, raging beast
|Ahazu||Racial Bonus: +2 Str or +2 Dex|
Four-armed: You have access to the Double Melee Attack Ranger talent, even if you are not a ranger. If you take this talent, you cannot use it together with features from other classes. Treat it as if you were multi-classed.
Adventurer feat: You can gain the benefits of a shield and dual-wielding at the same time.
Champion feat: You can wield two shields.
Shan-Ya (Racial Power)
The first time during a battle when your natural roll with a melee attack is equal to the escalation die or lower, you enter Shan-Ya, battle frenzy of the Ahazu. Reroll the attack and take the second result.
While in Shan-ya, you can make a melee attack as a quick action once per turn. If you do not attack during your turn while in Shan-ya, you take psychic damage equal to your level at the end of the turn. The frenzy lasts until the end of combat.
Araq are reptilian humanoids whose features resemble those of a serpent. They have a dorsal crest that runs from the peak of the forehead back to the base of the neck. Araq have scaly brown hide, and dress in arm wrappings, boots, and loincloths of land dragon hide.
Araq are a hybrid of humanoid and Sauran created long ago by an Archaen sorcerer, whose name has since been forgotten. Turning upon their creator, the Araq escaped into the Wilderlands, where they have remained ever since.
Araq roam the wilderlands in small warbands, preying upon all creatures that cross their path. They have hunted the land dragon almost to the point of extinction, utilizing the horn, bones, and hide of these massive creatures to make their weapons and equipment. Araq mate in order to procreate, but have no concept of “love”, “family”, or “affection”. Araq females lay a clutch of eggs, bury them in the soil, and depart the area without a second thought. Upon hatching, the creatures must fend for themselves. Araq young grow quickly, and within a month are sufficiently developed to pass for young adults. At this time they will either latch onto an established Araq band or gather together with other young adults to form their own band.
A sorcerous hybrid of sauran and humanoid, Araq display the worst traits of both these races. They are extremely aggressive, and have a taste for humanoid flesh. From the races of men, the Araq have inherited greed, lust, dishonesty, and a propensity towards fits of unconscionable and murderous behavior. Araq are aware that they are not natural lifeforms, and despise themselves as much as they do other creatures. This self-hatred may be at the root of the highly aggressive and violent behavior exhibited by the species. Only through conscious effort are Araq able to restrain their murderous impulses.
Dragon hunter, caravan raider, giant slayer, seeker of the creator
|Araq||Racial Bonus: +2 Str or +2 Con|
Endurance: You gain a +1 bonus to PD. Araq require little food or water to sustain themselves, and can survive for up to six weeks without food or water. Their scaly brown hide renders them immune to the effects of Talislanta’s twin suns, and their dorsal membranes act as effective regulators of body temperature.
Aggressiveness (Racial Power)
Once per battle, reroll all dice of a damage roll that are a natural 1. Keep the second result.
Adventurer feat: For one battle per day, when the escalation die is 3+, you can use Aggressiveness at-will.
Champion feat: As above, without the escalation die requirement.
Epic feat: Also reroll natural 2.
The Ariane are the oldest of Talislanta’s inhabitants. The fabled mystic, Hotan, referred to them as “the Elder Ones”, and claimed to have discovered Ariane records dating back to the Time Before Time. Talislantan scholars now believe that the Ariane were originally not native to Talislanta, but came here ages ago when their own home was ravaged by a terrible cataclysm.
The Ariane have skin the color of onyx, long snowy-white hair, and grey eyes flecked with sparkling silvery motes. Tall and slender of build, Ariane exhibit grace and serenity. Their mode of dress is simple but elegant: their capes, flowing garments and high boots are all made of spinifax, a silken cloth derived from the flax-bearing pods of the thistledown plant.
In the north central region of Tamaranth, surrounded on three sides by the purple-hued peaks of the Amethyst Mountains, is a sylvan valley of rare beauty. The woods here exude an ancient magic, as if permeated with the essences of a forgotten age. At the foot of the mountains stands the maze-city of Altan, home of the Ariane. Altan is a fabulous city carved from a single mound of violet stone, using only magic. The ways of the Ariane are difficult for others to comprehend. On the surface, they seem closed and introspective, as if dreaming or lost in thought. In truth, the Ariane possess an altogether different view of the world than most Talislantans, and are practitioners of the mystic doctrine known as Transascendancy—a philosophy based on the concepts of reincarnation and animism.
The Ariane’s belief in Transascendancy has influenced their culture in many ways. To the Ariane, all creatures great and small, and even inanimate mate- rials such as stone and water, are alive. Fearing to do harm to some reincarnating lifeform, the Ariane eat only ripened fruits and vegetables. Their tools and utensils are fashioned from stone or dead wood, never from living trees. Ariane make a distinction between physical age and “spiritual age”; i.e., the number of incarnations that a given spirit has gone through. Spirits who have experienced seven or more incarnations are deemed “wise” or “venerable” by the Ariane. All others are still considered “young”.
Ariane value the experience of existence above all things, and consider knowledge to be the greatest of treasures. They record the collective histories and experiences of their people on tamar - orbs of violet stone, magically imbued with the thoughts and memories of those who create them. Each Ariane has his or her own tamar, within which is contained the sum total of that individual’s experiences. The devices are also used to contain messages, historical data, and other information. By the exchange of tamar, the Ariane are able to communicate their thoughts and feelings in ways which mere words cannot convey. The great obelisk that stands at the center of the maze city of Altan is actually a massive tamar, which has served as a repository for the accumulated knowledge of the Ariane and their ancestors for countless centuries.
Mystic, sensation seeker, transcendent hermit, Altanese diplomat, occultism student, planar traveller
|Ariane||Racial Bonus: +2 Int or +2 Wis|
Commune with Nature (Racial Power)
The Ariane possess a unique view of existence, attributing sentient virtues to all things in nature: plants, trees, earth, stone, wind, water... They are able to communicate telepathically with the elemental spirits that reside in such entities - creatures invisible on the material planes, but existing in tangible form on the Elemental Plane. For example, earth and stone are often reluctant to answer questions in haste, preferring instead to ponder for a time before making their reply. Lakes, streams and other bodies of water possess knowledge of events transpiring within their depths but may have a distorted view of occurrences reflected in their surfaces due to the action of waves and ripples. Use the Druid's Nature Talking class feature for guidelines; this talent, however, can be also be used on what other races would not consider living things.
Tamar: Through your orb, you have access to not just your own memories, but a shard of the shared consciousness of your people. Once between short rests, you can access the Tamar to roll twice on a skill check to gather information and take the better result.
Your people have access to the same source of power that the Occultist taps into. Choose one Occultist spell of your level or lower. You cast this spell the same way as an Occultist would, by gathering focus. You cannot take this talent if you are the Occultist.
Adventurer feat: Increase the maximum natural roll by which you retain focus after casting an Occultist spell by 1.
Champion feat: Gain a second occultist spell, at 2 levels lower.
A tribe of the Rajans who prefer fighting with lances.
A dour and moody lot, the Arimites are swarthy of complexion, with long black hair and dark, deepset eyes. The customary mode of dress in this region consists of sackcloth garments, animal-hide boots, and bulky fur vests, accented with wristbands, earrings and knives made of black iron. The origin of the Arimites is uncertain; some say they are descended from Farad traders, who sometimes sail to Arim via the Axis River, and the wild tribes known as the Drukhs. The Arimites hotly deny such claims, and state that they are a distinct and unique ethnic group whose ancestors have occupied the hills of Arim since the Time Before Time.
Arimites excel at knife-throwing, which serves both as sport and as a form of self-defense. Most carry a throwing knife or two with them at all times, thereby helping promote the generally unsavory image that these folk bear among other Talislantans.
The clan is the foremost unit of Arimite society, a holdover from tribal days. Blood ties are strong, and often take precedence over local law. Rural Arimites dwell in stone huts with thatched roofs. The live under a feudal-type system, with wealthy land owners providing arable land and protection to families in return for half of what they grow or raise. Their urban counterparts dwell in houses made of stone with black iron sheeted or plated roofs, typically streaked red with rust. All Arimite dwellings have heavy wood and reinforced iron doors and shutters, which are always locked to keep out assassins and thieves. Many Arimites live hard lives as miners of the country’s considerable mineral wealth.
Arimites subsist on grains, wild game, erd’s milk, erd cheese, tubers, and domesticated livestock. Roast avir is a particular favorite. In the outlying hill regions, Arimite hunters and trappers still subsist primarily on wild game, as did their ancestors. Arimites favor chakos, a fiery liquor brewed in black-iron kegs. Abuse of this potent intoxicant is widespread in Arim, especially among the overworked miners, who seek escape from the tedium of their existence. Even discounting the influence of chakos, various forms of pathologically deviant behavior seem to be ingrained traits among these folk. In other lands, the Arimites bear a reputation as cut-throats.
Street thug, carnival performer, miner, field worker, land owner, tanner, blacksmith, assassin, cheese maker, chakos brewer, innkeeper, river trader
|Arimite||Racial Bonus: +2 Con or +2 Wis|
Knife Play: Treat knifes as one-handed d6 melee or (nearby only) ranged weapons that you can wield without penalty, regardless of class.
Adventurer feat: Increase the damage die to d8.
Backhand Throw (Racial Power)
Once per battle, when you successfully disengage from an enemy, make a ranged attack with a knife as a free action.
Champion feat: Gain a +2 bonus to the attack roll.
Arimite Knife-Fighting (Talent)
This talent is the same as the ranger's Double Melee Attack and Double Ranged Attack, but it applies to knives only.
Arimites never forget an affront or insult. This is most evident in the Revenant Cult, a secret society that specializes in revenge-for-hire. Anyone who can afford their fees—which range from as little as ten silver pieces to over 100,000 gold lumens depending on the task — can obtain the services of the cult. This can be done simply by posting a note in a public place and placing the required deposit. A Revenant, attired in customary night-grey cloak and veil, will perform the desired service. Government officials, common laborers, merchants, and even jealous lovers and irate housewives have all been known to employ the services of the Revenants to settle disputes or avenge affronts. The popularity of this impersonal means of seeking redress is such that, in most parts of Arim, the mere shaking or brandishing of a change purse is considered suggestive of a threat to hire the Revenants. The only way for an intended victim to cancel a Revenant contract is to buy it back – at twice the original price. With this talent, you are a member of the Revenants. Besides providing a generous source of income, it also protects you from becoming a target, as the Revenants never fulfill a notice on one of their own.
Ashann, Wanderers of
Azir are dark-skinned and dark-haired. They dress in loincloths, anklets, and bracelets of woven plant fibers, and wear elaborate masks of carved wood, which are said to reflect their moods.
The Azir appear to be direct descendents of the first Archaen tribes. In fact, it is believed that the tribe has always lived on Talislandre, unaffected by the processes of civilization, wars, and even The Great Disaster.
Azir live in large dome-shaped huts of woven grass. Each dwelling provides shelter for an extended family. As many as four generations may live together; the Azir are robust and long-lived, and do not suffer from the diseases that commonly afflict other Talislantans. Azir subsist on wild edible plants, fruits, roots, tubers, nuts. They mate for life, and have no taboos regarding sex or nudity. Children are raised by their parents, with help from the family elders.
The Azir are a peaceful people who live in harmony with their surroundings. Young Azir play contentedly with animals from the surrounding forest; wild beasts seem not to threaten their villages and gatherings. As regards strangers, Azir exhibit overt xenophobic tendencies. Visitors from the outside world are usually greeted with fusillades of stones, and told in no uncertain terms to depart the Azir’s island refuge. This attitude can be traced to the Azir belief that association with other peoples will cause their own people to grow sick and die. They believe that the only reason their culture has survived intact is because the Azir have remained apart from the rest of the world.
Azir are ruled by a council of shaman elders. They are charged with the protection of the Azir culture and people. Azir are practitioners of an ancient pagan religion based on the worship of elemental spirits. Azir have a rich ritual tradition, celebrating the changing of the seasons, days when certain flowers burst into bloom, and other natural occurrences.
In the event of intrusion by hostile beings or entities, the people don “Fearsome Defender” masks and confront the intruders, shouting and making aggressive gestures in an attempt to frighten them into leaving. If this tactic fails, they will throw sticks and stones; again, with intent to frighten, not harm. If this approach also fails, the Azir run away and hide in the forests.
Jungle hunter, mask artist, shaman, canoe craftsman, herb trader, night dancer, bay fisherman
|Azir||Racial Bonus: +2 Con or +2 Dex|
Azir Ritual Mask (Racial power)
Azir wear colorful wooden masks as an indicator of mood and emotion. During a full healup, you can perform a ritual dance to gain a daily or once-per-battle cleric spell of your level or lower; the spell you gain is represented by the mask you wear. Create your own named masks and suggest appropriate spells to the DM. Below is a guidance.
Adventurer feat: You can use your highest ability score instead of Wisdom for the spell.
Champion feat: Choose either PD or MD. Wearing the mask grants you a +1 bonus to that defense for the day.
Epic feat: Once between short rests, roll twice on a skill check to intimidate or scare while wearing the mask.
The Batreans are a primitive folk who dress in rude garments of coarse cloth and dye their hair with indelible blue pigments. Members of their respective genders bear so little resemblance to each other that they seem to be from separate species. Batrean males are huge, slope-shouldered, hairy, and remarkably ugly. Batrean females, on the other hand, are engaging creatures, slender and lovely beyond compare. The males dress in coarse hides; the females, in robes of translucent linen.
The Batreans are believed to be descended from survivors of The Great Disaster, who fled from the Lost Continent after it sank below the waves. If true, then Batreans may be related to the sea nomads of Oceanus.
The Batreans are a simple folk who live in huts made of woven thatch and subsist on a diet of tubers, fruit, fowl, and shellfish. Prior to the island’s occupation, males and females traditionally lived apart. Now the two sexes are strictly segregated by their Imrian masters, who have killed off most of the males, saving only a few dozen for use as breeders. Breeding males are kept in thornwood pens and allowed out only to take nourishment and relieve themselves. The females still live in huts, but are closely watched by Imrian guards. Batrean males seem unmoved by the beauty of their females, whom they largely ignore except during the males’ brief, week-long mating season. Female infants are raised by the women. Male children are largely ignored, which may explain their diminished learning capacities.
The customs of the Batrean people are also divided along lines of gender. The males are crude, boorish, and slovenly, and seem possessed of a limited intellectual capacity. Batrean females, on the other hand, are exceedingly clever. They possess the ability to emit a scent that beguiles males of almost all humanoid species, making them susceptible to suggestion. This talent develops at the onset of puberty, and manifests a sweet smelling musk, so subtle that it may not be noticed. While male Batreans and Imrians are immune to this pheromone, males of most other humanoid species are not. Nasal plugs or filters afford some protection against this ability, though such devices are not uniformly reliable.
Women: seductress, concubine, slave girl, dancer, sorceress, night queen, seamstress
Men: work slave, tribal warrior, escaped slave, Imrian slayer, mating slave, hut builder
|Batrean woman||Racial Bonus: +2 Int or +2 Cha|
Beguile by Scent (Racial Power)
You secrete a pheromone from your skin that makes males and select females of most sentient species weak to your suggestions. Roll twice on all Charisma-based skill checks. Batrean men and Imrians are immune to this.
You can attempt to overdose a target with your pheromones and make it completely subject to your will. This will require you to remove your clothing and embrace the target. This is not just risqué and risky, it is quite exhausting and requires you to spend a recovery. The target can resist with a hard save (16+), so make sure you have exit plan if things go haywire.
Champion feat: Once per scene, add your Charisma bonus to a skill check that is not based on Charisma.
|Batrean man||Racial Bonus: +2 Str or +2 Con|
Dim-witted Brute (Racial power)
Roll twice on Strength-based skill checks and take the better result. Roll twice on Intelligence-based skill checks and take the worse result. You can choose to wield a really big blunt object as a heavy two-handed melee weapon with a d12 damage die. However, if you do, all critical hits count as normal hits.
You are immune to a Batrean female's scent.
Though they are essentially humanoid in form, Beastmen have many features which are more reminiscent of creatures of the wild: coarse fur, fangs, pointed ears, and claws. They dress in crudely made boots and loincloths of animal hide, augmented with whatever items they can steal or scavenge from other peoples.
Beastmen are believed to be descended from the Wild Races that once ranged throughout Talislanta before the coming of the Archaens. The Beastmen range the length and breadth of Golarin in heavily armed packs of a half-dozen to several hundred individuals, preying upon caravans from the Seven Kingdoms, Carantheum, and the Western Lands. The packs are nomadic, stopping only to rest or make camp in the ruined cities that lie scattered across the plains. Some use the ruins as bases, from which they launch raids into the surrounding territories. Those who live in the ruins never build or maintain these facilities, but simply use whatever is at hand. Their lairs are usually littered with shards of bone, scraps of rotten food, and other debris.
Beastmen find it difficult to restrain their baser urges, and may break off whatever they are doing in order to feast on fallen opponents, carrion, or other types of food. Beastmen mate as the urge strikes them, but do not form lasting partnerships. Dominant males commonly fight to obtain the most desirable females for themselves, but quickly abandon them after mating. In a single year an adult female commonly gives birth to two litters of two-to-eight “pups”, as many as half of which may be deformed or still-born. The young receive little in the way of affection or training, and quickly learn that if they are to survive they must fend for themselves. The old, sick, or infirm must do likewise, or be abandoned by the tribe.
Though fierce when encountered in numbers, Beastmen have seldom been known for individual displays of courage. On the hunt, a pack of Beastmen may stalk prey for hours, singling out the slowest or weakest individuals in a group, herd, or pack. Once a target has been chosen Beastmen pursue the victim relentlessly, harrying the victim until he or she becomes too weak from exhaustion to continue. Skilled trackers, Beastmen will never quit a blood trail. They sometimes set cruel snares in the hope of trapping unwary creatures, and have been known to hunt men for sport when food is plentiful.
Steppe wrestling champion, gladiator trainer, disgraced tribal shaman, hunt pack leader, caravan extortionist, wandering circus attraction
|Beastmen||Racial Bonus: +2 Str or +2 Con|
Claws and fangs: Your natural weapons count as d6 weapons. You do not incur an attack penalty for unarmed attacks.
Adventurer feat: Increase the damage die to d8.
Pounce (Racial power)
Once per battle, when making a melee attack against an enemy you engaged in the same turn, make a second melee attack against that opponent with your natural weapons as a free action.
An amber-skinned people, the Bodor are short, round faced, and somewhat portly of build. Their choice of costume is eccentric, and consists of a loose-fitting smock, blousey pantaloons, chain-loop earrings and bracelets of lacquered metal.
The Bodor are descended from a race of neomorphs created by the ancient Archaens, but abandoned after The Great Disaster. Since that time their people have had no permanent home, but have traveled throughout Talislanta.
Bodor are musicians of consummate skill. Their people travel in musical troupes of up to a dozen individuals, seldom staying in one place for any great length of time. A troupe will always have one or more wagons, in which they carry their young and all their possessions. Bodor parents are loving and attentive, singing their children to sleep with beautiful lullabies. Children are raised on the road; they study music under one or both of their parents, and practice their instruments for hours each day.
Bodor tend to be quiet and soft spoken off stage, but are more animated when performing. They tend to be clannish, but can be outgoing when performing for appreciative audiences. As Bodor have few other talents and are averse to manual labor, they are sometimes considered lazy by other Talislantans.
All Bodor troupes have a leader, or Maestro, who books all engagements, makes travel arrangements, purchases supplies, and contracts mercenary guards or guides as needed. The Maestro also conducts the troupe in performance, a position requiring the most refined sense of sound-sight of all the troupe. In musical terms, Bodorian Virtuosos, or master musicians, may command as much or even more respect than a Maestro. Still, it is the Maestro who resolves all disputes, most of which arise over differing interpretations of the various musical pieces in the troupe’s repertoire, or a clash of creative egos.
Bodor believe in the entity called Creator, whom they regard as an aural, rather than tangible, presence. They envision their patron deity as the first and greatest of all musicians, who composed the music of the spheres. When a Bodor dies, he or she is buriedin a wordless ceremony, while the remainder of the troupe plays a traditional funeral ode over the gravesite.
The Bodor are the most accomplished musicians in Talislanta. Their favorite instruments include the tambour, glass flute, glass bells, the intricate spiralhorn, and the four-man bellows-pipes. Bodorian music is intricate and complex, and requires exceptional virtuosity.
Troupe musician, illusionist, servant of the creator, settled tailor, wind instrument maker
|Bodor||Racial Bonus: +2 Wis or +2 Cha|
Sound Sight (Racial power)
Bodor possess the uncanny ability to see sounds in colors of varying hue and intensity. The Bodorian language, based upon musical notes, makes full use of this talent. The Bodor are also able to use sound-sight to detect lies, which are darker in shade than truthful statements; discern even the most subtle emotions in a speaker’s tone of voice; and identify sounds of all sorts with uncanny accuracy.
Once between short rests, roll twice on a Wisdom-based skill check to determine truthfulness or emotions.
Tall and frail in stature, the Callidians have skin a deep orange in hue. They dress in starched headdress and robes of yellow linen, and walk with a slow and stately gait.
Callidians are direct descendents of a sect of magician-scholars who once lived in the city of Jaalad. They can trace their ancestry back over a thousand years, to the time before The Great Disaster.
The Callidians are members of a cabal that has has helped preserve and maintain the Library of Jalaad since the time of the Great Disaster. They are the keepers of a purportedly vast archive of ancient lore, recorded on stone and metal tablets, faded scrolls, texts, and enchanted orbs. It is believed that perhaps as many as two hundred Callidians live in Jalaad, forming an insular and largely self-sustaining community. Their people live inside the Library, in quarters set aside expressly for their purposes. They are assisted by Monads, who tend the gardens where tubers and provender plant are grown under ancient orbs of illumination. Callidians choose mates on the basis of wisdom and knowledge; in this society, the most studious and knowledgeable individuals are accorded the greatest respect. Children begin extensive education in linguistics and other fields of study by age three. After centuries upon centuries of inbreeding, the Callidian people have grown weak. Alchemical infusions have long been required to prevent sterility, and also to extend their lifespans.
Callidians are serious and studious by nature. They prefer to spend their time reading, and are normally averse to frivolous behavior. Every Callidian specializes in least one field of knowledge, and may have familiarity with a number of minor fields, as well. Though rich in wisdom and lore, Callidian society is essentially stagnant, and has remained unchanged for over a thousand years.
Bodorian opera expert, student of the sociolectic structures of the Za tribes, Second Age historian, Oceanian shell craft collector, cryptomantic runescribe, practitioner of ancient Mandalan meditation
|Callidian||Racial Bonus: +2 Int or +2 Wis|
Linguist: You gain the adventurer tier Linguist as a bonus feat.
Cryptomantic Iniatiate (Racial power)
Once per short rest, choose one of the following:
Adventurer feat: Choose the rune effect instead of rolling.
Champion feat: Change adventurer tier to champion tier above
Epic feat: Change to epic tier
Castabulanese are descendents of the Phantasians.
The Chana are tall and cadaverous in stature, with bilious green skin. To appear fearsome, they fill their teeth to sharpened points, decorate their visages with occult symbols, and carry the shrunken heads of their adversaries around the neck. It is customary for members of the Witchtribes to wear their hair in a single topknot, lacquered and braided with leather thongs or sinew. Ritual scarring is also practiced by them. Their reliance on kesh, a narcotic herb, contributes heavily to their unhealthy appearance.
The Witchfolk live in villages of thatched huts, scattered throughout the jungles of their homeland. Cannibalism is practiced by all the Chana tribes, though more for ritual purposes than as a means of obtaining sustenance. Their usual diet consists of wild fowl, game, and a porridge made of mashed tubers and rock snails. Chana have no set family units. Instead, all females are considered the “property” of the tribe. Children are raised by young girls and old women. At puberty, the males are initiated as warriors or shamans, and the females are designated as breeders or healers. Only shamans can mate with healers, who are instructed in the basics of gathering herbs, mixing potions and healing salves, and preparing heads for shrinking and enchantment. Any male may lay claim to a breeding female, though he may have to aggressively fend off the attentions of other would-be suitors.
The Chana are ruled by superstition. They believe water is the domain of hostile elemental spirits. Most Witchmen and Witchwomen are users of the drug kesh, which enables them to commune with spiritforms. It is common for these folk to cook and eat enemies who have been captured in battle. The Chana believe that by doing so, they acquire their enemy’s strength and powers.
The Witchfolk are practitioners of a primitive form of black magic that is believed to date back to ancient times. They revere the forces of darkness, and despise those who worship the gods of light and order. Chana Witchdoctors are skilled in the concocting of certain dangerous substances, such as devilroot and kesh. The former is an herbal poison that can be prepared in powdered or resinous form. Kesh is a pungent liquid derived from the root of the jabutu, a plant found only in the Jade Mountains. This drug is notable for its profound narcotic and magical properties, and is used extensively in the black magic rituals of the Witchmen.
Headhunter, jungle witch, poison maker, cannibal, healer, tribal warrior
|Chana||Racial Bonus: +2 Dex or Wis|
Spirit Calling (Racial power)
Once per battle, when you kill an enemy, gain a bonus to all defenses equal to the escalation die until the end of your next turn.
Adventurer feat: You also gain temporary hit points equal to twice your level.
Craft Shrunken Head (Talent)
Chana take the heads of deceased tribal leaders and worthy enemies and to shrink and reanimate them.
While still alive, the target is fed a mixture of black lotus, and other magical herbs; the drugs render the victim insensible to pain, and prevent the soul from fleeing the body upon death. Then the head is severed with a ceremonial axe, the skull is removed and the eyes and lips sealed to keep the soul imprisoned within. Finally, the head is filled with hot sand and buried in the ground. After nine days have passed, the witchdoctor returns to the place where the head was buried and listens to the ground. If the witchdoctor hears the voice of the victim crying out to be released, then the operation has been successful. The head, now “cured” and shrunk to less than a third of its original size, is unearthed and is ready for use as a necromantic fetish.
Gruesome as the practice may sound, the fetishes serve as a "library" of the oral history of the tribe, as each fetish retains the memories and personality of the deceased. If the owner is willing to listen to its often sardonic advice, it can grant the wielder a background that represents those memories, equal to half the level of the deceased.
The fetish can act as an arcane implement for necromancers, as well as spellcasters spellcasters of any class with this talent. The tier of the fetish is determined by the level of the victim (1-4: adventurer, 5-7 champion, 8-10: epic). Fetishes can either have implement item powers, or contain a single spell, which the wielder cast as if he had learnt it. As all fetishes occupy the weapon / implement chakra, you can only benefit from one at a time.
Adventurer feat: You can wield two fetishes at the same time. Their implement bonus to attack doesn't stack, but you can reroll natural 2 on spell attack rolls. You can also gain a spell each from two different fetishes at the same time.
Wrist Viper (Talent)
Chana Witchdoctors have also learned how to charm the poisonous serpents known as Death's Head Vipers. The natives call these foot-long snakes “wrist vipers” and wear them like deadly, living bracelets. The serpents are trained to attack on command. Treat it as a snake Animal Companion, as per the Ranger / Druid talent.
Tall and slender in stature, Cymrilians have pale green skin and hair, with golden eyes and handsome features. A variety of exotic apparel is in vogue, with magical enhancements used to alter appearance as desired.
The Cymrilians are descended from the Phandre, a people related to the ancient Archaens. Exiled from the old Phaedran empire, they fled eastwards and settled in the woodlands of Cymril, where they established an independent citystate.
Cymrilians are not an especially devout people. Most are more interested in magic than religion, which is not surprising given the peculiarities of Cymrilian culture. Though practicing magicians make up less than one-tenth of the populace, Cymrilians of all ages possess an insatiable curiosity as pertains to magic.
Cymrilians are enamored of Magic in all its myriad forms, many of which have become integral to the culture of these people. Almost every Cymrilian owns at least one magical adjunct, and often more. The majority of these items are typically of limited power, and are either practical or frivolous in nature. Young children favor magical toys, such as dolls that “speak” a few simple phrases, or miniature animal-constructs that move of their own volition. Among adolescents, enchanted boots or slippers that levitate the wearer a foot or two above the ground are very popular, as are magical enhancements used to alter the color of the skin or hair, enchanted garments that sparkle or glow in the dark, and so forth. Many popular forms of entertainment are also influenced by the Cymrilian love of magic. Among those held in the highest esteem are exhibitions of enchanted art, such as animate sculpture, paintings done with magical pigments that change colors or move about the canvas, prismatic arrangements that emanate holographic images or whorls of color, and so on. Illusionist-artists are also held in high regard for the fantastic panoplies of color, sound, and imagery that they create.
By craft: Airman, Alumnus of the Lyceum Arcanum, Apprentice Craftsman, Cymril Aristocrat, Burglar, Caravan Master, Charlatan, Courtesan, Diplomat, Duelist, Enchanter, Gambler, Healer, Litigator, Magician, Merchant, Neophyte Magician, Peddler, Pickpocket, Savant, Skycaptain, Urbanite, Warcaster.
By group: The Cymrilian people are divided into three political groups.
Koresian: The moderates make up the vast majority of the population. These folks have no great attachment to the old ways of their ancestors.
Tanasian: The conservatives are a small minority. Once the ruling class of Cymril, they are known for their strict adherence to tradition and and stern views regarding magical lore, which they believe should not be shared with other peoples. Following an unsuccessful attempt to usurp control of the monarchy, most Tanasians were exiled or fled to distant lands. The few who remain in the citystate are regarded with some suspicion by other Cymrilians.
Pharesian: The third group, another small minority, is known as the radicals. Most Pharesians left the citystate long ago, protesting against the discriminatory practices of the conservatives. Many became peddlers of magical paraphernalia, traversing the Cymrilian countryside and beyond.
|Cymrilian||Racial Bonus: +2 Int or +2 Cha|
Arcane Schooling (Racial Power)
This power can represent innate magic talent, unfinished magic training, or just a small collection of arcane toys and trinkets that you carry.
Gain a Wizard utility spell at your level or lower. You can switch the spell on a full heal-up.
The Danelek have glossy black skin, and stark white hair, which is worn in long dreadlocks. They dress in loincloths and sandals, their warriors wearing ornaments such as feathers, ear and neck rings, bones, stripes of paint, animal claws, and the fingers of slain victims.
The Danelek tribes roam the Barrens region of the Borderlands, hunting for land lizards and wild game. They also mine the salt flats for rock-hard salt crystals, which the tribes trade to other peoples. A Danelek tribe may consist of twenty-to-forty families, all living together in huts fashioned from blocks of salt.
The Danelek are a primitive people of harsh and occasionally cruel habits. Travelers passing through the Barrens may be amused by the fact that the Danelek perspire through their tongues as well as their pores. Showing such amusement is ill-advised, as the Danelek do not take lightly to being ridiculed. Danelek warriors are protective of their tribe’s territories, and will attack small caravans or groups of travelers who stop to drink from their oases without permission. Stealth, ambush or a stab in the back are all permissible under their code of conduct.
Although of a single culture, the Danelek are sharply divided into tribal units centered around hereditary family leaders known as the Naz. Each Naz is the undisputed leader of his or her tribe; all others are subservient. The Naz is guided by several traditional beliefs held as indisputable by the Danelek: that their people own the local salt flats and oases, and that the Danelek are permitted to kill those who trespass into their territories or steal water.
Salt merchant, ousted Naz, slave keeper, tribal border guard, rock carver
|Danelek||Racial Bonus: +2 Con or +2 Wis|
Ambush (Racial Power)
If your initiative roll is even, remove yourself from the map and place yourself at a location of your choice at the start of your first turn. The DM may require skill checks for you to reach certain locations.
Danuvian females are tall and bronze-skinned, with strong features. They decorate their faces with bold pigments, dress in martial attire replete with iron torc and corslet, and wear their hair in a stiffly-lacquered crest. Danuvian males tend to be smaller, physically weaker, and somewhat more pale of complexion. They dress in robes and sandals, and arrange their hair in elaborate coiffures.
Descendants of the ancient Phaedrans, the Danuvians were exiled from the Western Lands during the latter part of the Cult Wars. They settled in the eastern Wilderlands and established the independent citystate of Danuvia in the year 480.
The Danuvians live in a walled city of brick, stone, and mortar. Their dwellings are spacious, with high ceilings and hides draped across their furnishings and floors. Danuvian society is divided along the lines of gender. Females hold all positions of authority, while males serve a subservient role and are treated as inferiors. Females may take as many husbands as they can support, and may divorce an unwanted mate at any time. Female children are greatly favored; they inherit their mother’s name and, by association, her status. Women raise their daughters, and men raise their sons. The majority of Danuvian females are employed in positions of influence in the military and government. Danuvian males are housecleaners, artists, horticulturists, weavers and tailors. Though Danuvian females can only procreate with members of their own race, many actively seek males of other races, whom they prefer as consorts. Thus many females will have at least one Danuvian male to father her offspring, but also have several consorts of other races.
Female: veteran mercenary, armor smith, marsh general
Male: troupe dancer, household master, tailor, master gardener, music teacher
|Danuvian (female)||Racial Bonus: +2 Str or +2 Dex|
Voice of Authority (Racial Power)
Once per battle, as a standard action, grant an ally a melee or ranged basic attack.
Adventurer feat: When the escalation die is 2+, you can use this power as a quick action.
Champion feat: Grant a bonus to the attack equal to your Intelligence or Charisma.
Epic feat: The ally can use a flexible attack or an at-will spell or power with the granted action.
|Danuvian (male)||Racial Bonus: +2 Dex or +2 Cha|
Duck for Cover (Racial Power)
Once per battle, when you are attacked by an enemy that is also engaged to another ally, force the enemy to reroll the attack and take the second result.
Adventurer feat: The reroll takes a penalty equal to your Charisma modifier.
Darklings are short and wiry of build, rarely exceeding four feet in height, with soot-grey skin, large pointed ears, sharp fangs, and distorted features. Most dress in rag loincloths, with scraps of discarded metal and slag serving as rude ornamentation.
Darklings are creatures of subterranean origin. Their tribes once controlled the region known as the Darklands, until they were conquered and enslaved by the Ur.
Before being subjugated, most Darklings lived in subterranean cavern-settlements, the largest of which may have accommodated tens of thousands of inhabitants. Using toxic gasses and poisonous liquids, the Ur flushed the Darklings out of their lairs, killing thousands in the process. The survivors were taken by the Ur and brought to their settlements, where the majority are kept in pens or cages and forced to work day and night. Those who escaped capture remained underground, hiding in holes, caves, or whatever shelter was available. Darklings are prolific and unparticular as regards their mating habits. The average female may give birth to dozens of young during her lifetime, most by different fathers. Darkling young are born without eyes, the latent optical nerves typically developing by the end of their sixth year. They cling to their mothers until the female casts them off; generally at the first opportunity, after which the young are forced to grope about for food, using their keen senses to survive and avoid predators or large creatures such as the Ur.
Physically weak, Darklings have learned to be cunning and conniving in order to survive. They have acute senses, including superb night vision, and the ability to sense other life forms by scent. Nearly undetectable in shadow, they are able to hide almost anywhere. The word of a Darkling is meaningless. If given a choice, a Darkling will always lie rather than tell the truth. Darklings see nothing wrong with lying. To the contrary; they regard it as a vital survival skill. Despite their shortcomings it must be said for the race of Darklings that they are durable. They have been known to endure terrible deprivations, hunger, lack of sleep, insults, and abuse, yet they continue their struggle to survive.
Street thief, escaped slave, low-life assassin, hidden freeman, mushroom farmer, spy for the Ur masters, master liar
|Darkling||Racial Bonus: +2 Con or +2 Wis|
The Big Lie: Once per scene, roll twice on a Charisma-based skill checks to tell a lie
Acute smell: Once per scene, roll twice on a Wisdom check to smell approaching creatures
Small: You have a +2 AC bonus against opportunity attacks
Weakling: You take a -2 penalty to attack with martial and heavy weapons (or your class penalty if it is higher)
Minor Shadow Walk (Racial power)
Once per battle, you can Shadow Walk as per the Rogue talent, except you don't get to double damage when you reappear. If you are a Rogue and have the Shadow Walk talent, you gain a +4 bonus to checks to activate it instead.
An olive-skinned folk, the Dhuna have jet-black hair and expressive features. The females dress in linen robes, cloaks, and tunics, with sandals or boots. Male Dhuna wear shirts, breeches, and cloaks, with knee-high boots of soft leather.
The Dhuna are believed to be related to the Sarista gypsy folk and the Zandir. Persecuted for practicing witchcraft, their ancestors were forced to seek refuge in the forests of Werewood following the Phaedran Cult Wars. Hidden deep in these woods the Dhuna discovered sacred groves, each demarcated by a circular ring of tall runestones. Here they settled and remain to the present day.
The Dhuna live in communal groups, called covens, ranging in size from small family groups of less than a dozen to large fraternal orders that may number into the hundreds. Each coven has its own settlement. Dhuna live in simple huts made of stone and earth, and roofed with woven thatch. The huts are well-hidden by the surrounding woods, and occasionally by certain spells and charms, as well. Dhuna are liberal in their views towards matrimony; both males and females may have more than one spouse. Covens live together in their communal dwellings, but are free to come and go as they please. The Dhuna subsist on a diet of wild berries, mushrooms, roots and tubers, all of which are readily available in the Witchwood - provided one knows where to look.
The Dhuna are practitioners of witchcraft, and are thought to have strange powers, such as the ability to cast curses by means of 'the evil eye'. The womenfolk are said to possess extraordinary talents, not the least of which is the reputed ability of Dhuna witchwomen to capture a man’s heart with but a single kiss. Long persecuted for their pagan beliefs, the Dhuna are highly suspicious of outsiders. Such suspicions are warranted, as the covens are still persecuted by Aamanian witchhunters to the present day.
Witch maiden, forest runner, charm crafter, coven leader, trinket peddler, wandering bard, tavern wench
|Dhuna||Racial Bonus: +2 Int or +2 Cha|
The Evil Eye (Racial Power)
Quick action; Once per battle
The next time the target enemy rolls a natural odd attack, the attack is a miss.
The Djaffir are uniformly slender and wiry of build, dark skinned, and of average height. Flowing head dresses, robes, and cloaks of beige or white linen are worn by both tribes, along with boots of soft animal hide. All Djaffir wear traditional fetish-masks made of cured hide and decorated with occult symbology.
The Djaffir people are comprised of many families and clans, each of which belongs to one of two main tribes: merchant traders or bandits. By far the most numerous of the two tribes, the Djaffir merchants make their living by buying and selling goods from distant lands and importing them across the continent in large caravans. They also breen aht-ra and other beasts, which they sell at markets from the Western Lands to the Quan Empire. The bandit tribes are mainly caravan robbers, though on rare occasions they have been known to raid small settlements and encampments.
It is the peculiar custom of all Djaffir to wear leather fetish masks, which cover the entire face. The Djaffir will not remove these masks except in the privacy of their tents, believing that “the face mirrors the soul”, and that their masks protect them from hostile magics. These devices do indeed seem to confer some protection from magical influences, and certainly are of practical use against sand storms. Individuals of a more skeptical nature claim that the Djaffir wear masks simply to conceal their identities from those whom they intend, by one means or another, to eventually relieve of their money.
Desert guide, peddler, caravan guard, mask crafter, clan wizard
|Djaffir||Racial Bonus: +2 Dex or +2 Con|
Masked Mind, Masked Soul (Racial Power)
Once per battle, force an opponent to reroll an attack against your MD. You can also use this ability out of combat once per scene to force a reroll of an opposed Charisma-based skill check.
Adventurer feat: The reroll takes a -4 penalty.
Formerly a tribe of poor nomadic wanderers, the ancestors of these hardy folk settled in the Red Desert some centuries ago. With the rediscovery of the lost art of Thaumaturgy, the Dracartans learned how to create red iron, a metal superior in all aspects to common black iron. The Dracartan people prospered, and Carantheum soon became a strong and prosperous nation.
With little more than their own ingenuity and thaumaturgical talents, the Dracartans have built a flourishing and sophisticated civilization in the midst of a barren desert. Dracartan architecture tends to be on the grand scale, but aesthetically pleasing. Their cities are comprised of domed towers and circular structures of whitewhashed stone, which the Dracartans make from thaumaturgically solidified sand. Red iron plating is used for defensive purposes, and to add decorative touches.
Safe within their walled cities, the Dracartans practice many a diverse array of crafts and professions. There are food-growers, artisans, metalsmiths, thaumaturges, merchants, priests, teachers, public officials, desert scouts, and many others. The populace subsist on a plentiful diet of dates, erd’s milk, erd cheese, and a type of unleavened bread made from provender plant called t’chall. Kasmiran mochan is a popular beverage. Dracartans consider themselves to be part a single family; “One tribe, one heart”, as they say. Males and females are accorded equal status in the family and in Dracartan society. Children are cared for by their parents and grandparents; education is considered of the utmost importance.
The Dracartans are a moody people, prone to brooding. Most are friendly, if somewhat reserved; frivolity is not a quality associated with these folk. This trait can be ascribed to the unending struggle of the Dracartan people to survive, first as a tribe, then as a nation.
The folk of Carantheum revere Jamba, the mysterious god of their nomadic ancestors. Dracartans build pyramid-shaped shrines in honor of their patron, whose ways are said to be beyond the understanding of mere mortals. According to legend, it was Jamba who guided the Dracartans into the Red Desert and told them where to find the fabled seventeen Ruby Tablets.
Jamba priest, thaumaturge, desert princess, brooding poet, erd shepherd, Red desert scout, weapon smith
|Dracartan||Racial Bonus: +2 Con or +2 Int|
Minor Thaumaturgy (Racial Power)
Once per battle, as a quick action, grant yourself either a an extra weapon die damage to hits with your weapon or a +2 AC until the end of your next turn.
Champion feat: Increase the bonus to two weapon dice or +2 to AC and PD.
Epic feat: Increase the bonus to three weapon dice, or +2 to all defenses.
Drukhs are a rugged people who dye their long hair, beards and skin with the juice of the purple barbberry. They have dark eyes and savage features, and dress in rude hides, furs, and necklaces made from the fangs and claws of wild beasts.
The Drukhs are primitive tribesmen believed to be descended from the Wild Folk of ancient Talislanta. Nomadic hunter-gatherers who build no permanent dwellings of any kind, Drukhs range throughout the central hills and mountains of Arim in loose-knit bands numbering from a few dozen individuals to several hundred. Their warriors ride wild graymanes dyed purple with berry juice — a most unusual sight, or so it is said. Drukhs subsist on roots, tubers, and wild game; they also prey on Arimite livestock as the opportunity warrants, and are known to rob caravans along those parts of the Phaedran Causeway that lay adjacent to their territories, and to launch raids against small villages and outposts. Among the Drukhs, there is no marriage per se; males and females alternate partners as they choose. Children are raised by the tribal elders, who teach them about hunting and warfare. Those who are too old or weak to fend for themselves are slain out of hand, thereby reducing the number of mouths needing to be fed.
Drukhs are taught never to show fear or pain, which they regard as signs of weakness. To show their ability to resist pain various forms of ritual scarring and bodily mutilation are common practices; scars earned in battle are considered signs of courage and are greatly admired. To test the strength and worthiness of their enemies Drukhs often subject captured opponents to slow and excruciating forms of torture – invariably resulting in death, though in rare cases individuals who exhibit uncommon courage and ability to withstand pain are allowed to live. Drukhs do not regard such behavior as cruel. Among these folk, compassion is considered a sign of weakness, and is virtually unknown.
The Drukhs revere Noman, dark ruler of the Nightmare Dimension. They believe that the spirits of their ancestors watch them at all times, and will cause them misfortune if they act in a cowardly fashion. All Drukhs are extremely superstitious. They believe in the power of spirits, curses, and black magic. Any occurrence that can be construed as out of the ordinary may be regarded as an omen, either favorable or unfavorable. Drukhs rely upon their shamans to read these omens and explain the portents to the tribe. Their readings can impel a tribe to attack, to avoid an area or person designated as “cursed”, or to postpone their plans until the appearance of more favorable omens. Drukhs observe no burial rituals. The dead are left to be eaten by animals while the rest of the tribe moves on.
Tribal warrior, shaman or Noman, nightmare reader, master torturer, branding artist, caravan robber, graymane rider
|Drukh||Racial Bonus: +2 Str or +2 Dex|
No fear: Double a Drukh's hit points to determine whether he or she is affected by fear effects.
No Pain (Racial power)
The first time you rally during a battle, you can do so as a quick action.
Adventurer feat: Gain a +1 bonus to attacks until the end of your turn.
Champion feat: Increase the attack bonus to +3.
The Farad are a dark and saturnine folk of above average height, with flint-grey skin, stony visages, and narrow eyes as black as coal. The customary mode of dress for Farad males includes elaborate headdress, voluminous robes, broad sashes, and velvet boots, all hung with ornate tassels, fringes, and beads of colored glass. Men over the age of twenty wear their beards in twin braids bound with silver fastenings, the length and the degree of ornamentation employed being considered signs of status. Farad women wear long silken gowns and veils, and adorn themselves with necklaces of silver loops, and rings on each of their fingers.
The Farad are a mercantile people who live in walled villas made of brick and stone, with wrought iron bars on the doors and windows. They like to indulge in fine foods, and shun simple fare as “peasant fodder”. Generally speaking, the wealthier the Farad, the more costly his or her home, style of dress, and style of dining will be, as wealth is a sign of status among these folk.
Farad marriages, like their mercantile contracts, are essentially business affairs. The usual procedure is for the heads of two mercantile Houses (families) to arrange the marriage. The purpose of the union is to gain competitive advantage over rival Houses, and bidding for especially desirable mates is not uncommon. Since “love” is not usually a factor, husbands and wives often use consorts to fulfill their emotional and physical needs. Farad children are raised through infancy by paid or slave attendants. At age five they are enrolled in boarding schools, at which time they begin their formal education in Farad mercantile practices. Parents are usually much too busy with their careers to bother with their children until they are old enough to bring into the family business.
Farad bear an unsavory reputation as unscrupulous merchants that is tempered only by their great wealth and apparent competence in mercantile endeavors. Generally speaking, a Farad will buy or sell anything from anyone, with no questions asked. Trusting no one, Farad merchants require prospective clients to sign elaborate mercantile contracts for all but the most basic transactions. Bribes, favors, and special incentives are common Farad practices; when attempting to make a deal, a Farad can be most accommodating, and even obsequious. Conversely, Farad possess a capacity for cold-blooded, emotionless behavior that is matched only by the soulless logic of the barbaric Harakin.
Merchant scribe, coin collector, fine cuisine cook, marriage deal maker, heiress of a merchant house, con artist
|Farad||Racial Bonus: +2 Wis or +2 Cha|
Offer a deal (Racial power)
Once per battle, as a standard action, you can make a Charisma "attack" vs. the highest MD of your opponents. If you succeed, you can exchange quick words to negotiate a deal, such as an end of hostilities or a safe retreat. You could even try to hire your opponent as a mercenary. Note that the first roll only guarantees that your opponents listens, not that he agrees. In case of animals and other beasts, you can try to "negotiate" by offering food.
Ferrans are rodent-faced humanoids of short stature. Their bodies are covered with a coat of dirty brown fur, and they dress in scavenged bits of clothing and gear. During The Great Disaster, their ancestors hid in underground tunnels and burrows in order to avoid the destruction. Eventually, they adapted to their subterranean surroundings, smaller and more agile forms being best suited to movement underground.
Ferrans live in underground warrens comprised of a maze of narrow tunnels, pits, shafts, and peepholes. Compact of size, with excellent night vision and keen senses, Ferrans navigate such places with ease. Ferrans congregate in groups called packs, which may range in size from well over a hundred individuals to as few as a dozen or so. The packs come forth at night to scrounge for food or to rob unwary travelers of their possessions, taking stolen goods back to their lairs and hiding them in deep holes. Ferrans will eat practically anything except carrion; what others regard as garbage may well be considered a feast by Ferran standards. Ferrans are incredibly prolific; the average adult female will give birth to a litter of a dozen or more babies every three months. Males and females change partners often, females being attracted to males who have acquired the most goods and loot. The young are raised in underground nurseries until they are old enough to scavenge with the rest of the pack.
Ferrans are virtual pack-rats who hoard items of all sorts. Every male has his own hide-hole, in which he keeps his most prized possessions – much of it useless junk by the standards of other folk, but every piece a precious treasure to a Ferran. Scavengers by trade and preference, a Ferran will not acquire by honest means anything that he or she can steal — however, the preferred term for such activities is “finding”. Ferrans avoid direct conflict whenever possible, preferring instead to utilize stealth, speed, and the element of surprise. If attacked, they are capable of releasing a noxious scent that most creatures find repulsive.
Tunnel guide, body collector, scavenger, expendable young male, tail dancer, ratmen mafia godfather, street thug
|Ferran||Racial Bonus: +2 Dex or +2 Wis|
Foul Odor (Racial power)
Once per battle; quick action
Target: 1d3 nearby enemies
Attack: Con + level vs. PD
Hit: the target is dazed (save ends)
Champion feat: The target is weakened instead.
Gao (Sea Rogues of Gao-Din)
The Gao are a people of mixed blood originally descended from the ancient Phaedrans. Gao have intermarried with many different peoples over the course of time, and so exhibit no single set of characteristics. The local style of dress is both diverse and flamboyant, and features a wide array of cloaks, sashes, tunics, pantaloons, bandanas, ear baubles, eye-patches, and high boots.
Formerly a penal colony of the old Phaedran Empire, Gao was abandoned by its makers during the Cult Wars of the early New Age. The prisoners incarcerated in this heavily fortified installation were simply left behind to fend for themselves. Showing a degree of ingenuity born of desperation, they salvaged an abandoned Phaedran vessel and embarked upon a career as sea-roving pirates. Soon thereafter, Gao-Din was declared an independent city state, and the Rogue City of Gao was made its capital. Since that time the sea rogues of Gao have prospered, and their small settlement has become a haven for thieves and outcasts of many races and nationalities.
The formal penal colony of Gao has grown into a city of sorts, its old fortifications expanded upon and modified for purposes of defense. Gao buildings are made of stone, brick, driftwood, or anything that’s available. Architectural styles reflect the preferences of dozens of races and ethnic groups. The city’s current population, comprised mostly of thieves, outcasts and freed slaves, is a remarkable admixture of racial and cultural types. Rivals and even deadly enemies under normal circumstances, the inhabitants of the Rogue City generally co-exist with a minimum of difficulty on Gao-Din.
In popular folklore, the Gao are perceived by many Talislantans as glamorous adventurers, a perception that the Gao work hard to encourage. Crude, crass, or abusive behavior is not tolerated among the Gao, who value good manners. Though the sea rogues' swashbuckling antics and charming manners set them apart from the murderous tactics employed by the Mangar Corsairs, there is no escaping the fact that the Gao are pirates who rob and plunder for a living.
Gentleman pirate, ship cook, knife master, rogue navigator, false merchant, landside contact, harbor master, novice sailor, runaway good girl
|Gao||Racial Bonus: +2 to any ability score|
Rogue Blood (Racial Power)
A) Once per battle, as a move action, you can perform a stunt without rolling an ability check (similar to the Rogue's Swashbuckler talent).
B) Create the PC as a different race, and give the character an appropriate Gao-Din background.
The Gnomekin are a diminutive folk who average just over three feet in height. They have nut-brown complexions, muscular bodies, and wide-eyed, almost childlike features. Both the males and females have a crest of soft, black fur running from the center of the forehead to the small of the back.
Gnomekin claim to be descended from an ancient subterranean race related to the Gnorls of Werewood. However, some Talislantan scholars believe that the forebears of the Gnomekin may have been a people who originally lived on the surface, but fled underground in order to escape the effects of The Great Disaster.
Gnomekin live in underground colonies, each comprised of a number of single-family dwellings known as nooks. Gnomekin nooks are like small caves, lined with carpets of soft and sweet-smelling moss; furnishings are spare and made from polished stone covered with moss for comfort. Underground streams and brooks provide fresh water. Phosphorescent fungi provide a faint illumination — enough for a Gnomekin to see clearly, though outsiders sometimes have a hard time getting acclimated to the gloom.
Gnomekin are a warm and friendly folk, possessed of an almost childlike innocence. Their families are close-knit, and often quite large. It is not uncommon for a Gnomekin couple to have a dozen or more offspring. Gnomekin subsist on mushrooms, tubers, roots, and lichen; many tasty dishes are made from these simple ingredients. A sweet and nutritious syrup, made from the sap of certain roots that extend far below the earth, is a favorite drink of the young. Adult Gnomekin prefer mushroom ale.
Of all the Talislantan races it is likely that none knows more about the Underground Highway than the Gnomekin. The Gnomekin began a concerted effort to map the full extent of the Underground Highway in the year 607. To date, they have charted most of the tunnels that extend beneath the Seven Kingdoms, and have surveyed parts of the system extending as far east as the Volcanic Hills, as far north as the borders of Narandu, and as far south as the borders of the Dark Coast. Maps and geomantic studies of the Underground Highway may be purchased in the city of Durne.
Durne is ruled by a pair of hereditary monarchs known simply as the King and Queen of Durne. The Gnomekin Queen is the matriarch of all Gnomekin families. She is responsible for determining fair prices for the goods produced in Durne’s subterranean gardens, which are delivered to Cymril via the Underground Highway. The King of Durne serves as commander-in-chief of the country’s small but fierce army.
Gnomekin have a deep reverence for the earth and for the earth goddess Terra, who is revered as their people’s benefactor. They are not much for dogma or formal ceremonies, but prefer simple prayer services conducted in sacred caverns by the female priestesses of the Great Mother. Gnomekin inter their dead deep in the earth, or as they say, “close to the Goddess”. Crystalomancy is a field of magic practiced extensively by the Gnomekin. They consider crystals to be a gift from Terra.
Crystal collector, fungi harvester, Terra priestess, tunnel mercenary, mapmaker, underground gardener
|Gnomekin||Racial Bonus: +2 Dex or +2 Int|
Small: Gnomes have a +2 AC bonus against opportunity attacks.
Glittering Crystal (Racial Power)
Once per battle, when you roll a natural 16+ with an attack, you can also daze the target until the end of your next turn.
Champion feat: Instead of being dazed, the target of your glittering crystal ability is weakened until the end of your next turn.
Gnorls are short and squat, with wrinkled skin and deep-set, glowing eyes. They dress in voluminous robes and veiled headdresses, which serve to conceal most of their features. Rings, bracelets, and necklaces of many sorts are also favored.
Gnorls are secretive creatures about whom very little is known for sure. Some believe them to be related to the Gnomekin of Durne.
Reclusive by nature, Gnorls prefer to live alone. There are no known Gnorl settlements, nor has there ever been any reported sighting of a Gnorl family or couple.
Gnorls live in hidden underground nooks or burrows of elaborate and mysterious design. Thystram described one such place as “decorated with rustic furnishings of appropriately small stature, with carpets of many hues covering the dirt floors and long roots dangling from the ceilings. From a main living area tunnels led this way and that: up stairs and down, to root cellars, secret passageways, hidey-holes, a well, and places too eerie to warrant exploration. Illumination was provided by dozens and dozens of candles, set into alcoves dug into the earthen walls.”
Gnorls shun contact with the outside world, and with outsiders in general. They are suspicious of strangers, and go to great pains to conceal their homes and activities from other peoples. Thystram believed that the creatures keep a watchful eye upon the surrounding environs at all times, possibly through the use of scrying devices or spy-tubes. No individual is ever allowed into their burrows unless a Gnorl determines beforehand that the person is trustworthy. Just as important, the person must be in possession of something the Gnorl wishes to have, such as an important secret, a rare book, or other esoterica. Gnorls sometimes leave their homes in search of rare herbs and other materials, or to trade secrets with trusted confidants.
Rhabdomancer, blackmailer, peddler of secrets, recluse, swamp oracle, old hag
|Gnorl||Racial Bonus: +2 Int or +2 Wis|
Small: Gnorl have a +2 AC bonus against opportunity attacks.
Rhabdomancy (Racial power)
You gain a 5 point background as a Rhabdomancer. With the skill, you can consult minor spirits to learn secrets. If the secret involves knowledge that the spirits are not likely to have, they will travel in search of the the information. The higher check difficulty, the more powerful a spirit the rhabdomancer can contact and the more information it will have or be able to acquire. The rhabdomancer can ask only one question of the spirit contacted. To determine whether the spirit can answer the question, make an appropriate skill check.
At normal difficulty, the Rhabdomancer can learn minor information such as "Where does the magician Tandala hide her valuables?" or "Where is Ebo Inoma?" Hard checks include such questions as "Who stole the Wand of Bedazzlement?" Ridiculously hard checks include questions like "What is the magician Tandala's greatest weakness?"
Green Men (Symbions)
Green Men are small in stature, with mossy green skin and hair, and bright yellow eyes. Imp-like in appearance, they dress in abbreviated garments made of soft, woven mosses.
Green Men are the gentlest and kindest of all Talislantan races. They possess the ability to influence all things that grow in the earth, and enjoy a symbiotic relationship with their environment. Green Men derive all that they need to survive in the rain-forests: shelter, clothing, and sustenance. They reproduce by budding, the young sprouts reaching adulthood in about six months' time. Green Men make their homes in the boles of great, living plants which they call D'Oko. They live in communal groups of up to eighty individuals, reproducing by means of a process similar to cross-pollenization. Here, they tend the great d’oko plants that serve as their homes with great care and affection.
Green Men view all things in nature as connected: part of the same living, breathing organism. They coexist with many species of plants and animal that are regarded as dangerous or hostile by other Talislantans, including the giant mantrap plant, stranglevine, exomorphs, alatus, and others.
Green Men have an affinity with the elemental spirits of plants, earth, water, and air, but practice no formal religion. Their reverence for the rain forest is derived from a love of all things in nature. Green Men observe the changing of the seasons; in particular, the coming of spring. They have certain secret rituals and celebrations which no outsider has ever seen, involving organized chanting, singing and perhaps dancing.
D'Oko symbiont, faerie friend, rat tamer, curious wanderer, tree shaper, celebrity gardener
|Green Men||Racial Bonus: +2 Int or +2 Wis|
Small: Green Men have a +2 AC bonus against opportunity attacks.
Speak with plants: You can speak with plant life. Use the druid's nature talking for guidance.
Influence Plants (Racial power)
You can cause all sorts of living plants and trees to move, entwine, entangle, form barriers or specified configurations, and so forth.
Once per battle; standard action
Target: One nearby enemy
Attack: Intelligence or Wisdom + level vs. PD attack
Hit: The target is hampered (save ends).
An impressive race of winged humanoids, Gryphs stand up to seven feet tall, with wingspans in excess of twenty-four feet. Their bodies are covered with a thick feathery down, usually brilliant red or orange in color. They have hawk-like visages and bright, piercing eyes.
Originally the first inhabitants of Tamaranth, the Gryphs claim descent from an ancient race of avians who are said to have fled from their ancient homeland by non-avians a somewhat chancy endeavor. A Gryph settlement may consist of as many as forty eyries, each housing a family of up to eight individuals. The largest settlements often include great “Council Eyries” spanning two or more trees in length and breadth.
Gryph couples mate for life and are intensely loyal to and protective of one another. While the female sits with her eggs the male stands guard from a higher vantage point; any creature that approaches the nest in a threatening or strange manner will be attacked. Young Gryphs remain in the “nest”, fed and tended by both parents, until they are capable of independent flight. Once this is so they are expected to learn to hunt for their own food.
Like the birds of prey they resemble, Gryphs are hunters by nature. They have exceptionally keen vision, which enables them to spot from great altitudes even the slightest movement on the ground. The clans subsist primarily on fresh game.
The Winged Folk (as Gryphs are sometimes called) are an independent and strong-willed race who prize freedom above all things. Gryphs are uncomfortable in enclosed spaces, and cannot survive for long in captivity. They are an honorable people; a Gryph’s word is his or her bond, and their promises are never broken. Gryphs despise Stryx, whom they regard as a living plague. Gryphs will break off from other activities in order to attack Stryx who have ventured too close to their domains. A Gryph who has been touched by a Stryx will scour the affected part of his or her body with sand and water at the first opportunity; the same process is used to clean weapons used to kill Stryx.
Gryphs revere the deity Creator, whom they depict as a powerful winged warrior. Unlike the Aeriad, Gryphs hold no formal religious ceremonies or observances, though every Gryph warrior says a silent prayer to his or her god before going into battle. Like Aeriad, Gryphs believe the legend of the “Tree of Life”, which is thought to be the ancestral home of the original avian race. When a Gryph dies, the body is borne aloft and laid to rest on a bower of branches atop the tallest span-oak tree.
Holy warrior, winged healer, falcon tamer, Stryx hunter, worshipper or the creator, protector of the mountain nests, dragon hunter, air scout
|Gryph||Racial Bonus: +2 Dex or +2 Wis|
Flight: You can fly. You rely on warm upwinds to gain height without exerting yourself. You can circle in the air but you cannot hover. While airborne, you are vulnerable to attacks as your maneuverability is limited. You gain a -2 penalty to attacks against enemies on the ground.
You can fly short distances in light armor and require a DC 10 strength or constitution check at the end of each turn to keep your height. In heavy armor, that check is a DC 15.
Adventurer feat: You do not take an attack penalty while flying. You keep airborne in light armor with a DC 5, but a natural 1 still fails.
Sharp eyes: You can spot prey over long distances.
Diving Charge (Racial Power)
Once per combat, after taking a move action to fly to sufficient height, dive downwards as a standard action for to engage and attack an enemy in melee. Hit or miss, the attack deals extra damage equal to your Dexterity modifier. Double the extra damage at 5th level, triple it at 8th. If you attack with your claws, you can grab the target.
Champion feat: Deal extra 1d12 damage on a hit with the charge attack.
Aamanian: Machiol Quinto - Monk (Pathfinder Ultimate Campaign)
Aeriad, Ahazu, Arimite, Batrean, Bodor, Cymrilian, Danelek, Djaffir, Gnomekin, Green Men: Pulpe de Poulpe (Talislanta French edition)
Araq: P.D. Breeding (from "A Naturalist's Guide to Talislanta")
Ariane: Smaragdia - Malum
Azir: Bob Kehl - Tiki Dude
Beastmen: Freejimmy - Beastman
Callidian: Adam Black - Callidan Cryptomancer
Cymrilian: Artgerm - Lina DotA2
Danuvian: Adam Black - Tears of Danu
Darkling: Matthias Snygg - Darkling (Darkness game concept art)
Dhuna: Nathan Rosario - Dhuna
Dracartan: Japanese Lineage 2 fanart - Female Orc (page no longer active)
Gao: Sea Dogs 3 (Keith Parkinson??)
Gnorl: Larry Dixon (from Talislanta 4th edition)
Gryph: Christopher Burdett - Aarakockra Concept 2 (D&D5 Monster Manual)