Races

Direling

Direlings are a nomadic race of humans living primarily in the Wildlands that through ritual and spiritualism bond with the animal spirits that dwell on threshold of this world. Upon reaching the age of judgment, direlings take part in a vision quest in which they seek out their personal animal spirits or totems. Those that survive the ritual find that they may then assume the worldly form of their totem among other gifts. Exactly which gifts depends on the totem.

Direling, Owl Totem Racial Traits

  • +2 DEX, +2 WIS, -2 STR: These direlings have the grace and cunning of the owl, sacrificing might.
  • Small or Medium: These direlings are slight of frame. Some are small and get +1 size bonus to hit, +1 size bonus to+ Movement: 20' if small, 30' if medium.
  • Low-light Vision
  • Racial skill bonuses: +2 Perception, +2 Stealth and Fly as a class skill.
  • Languages: Owl direlings start with the same languages as a human and can speak with birds as per the Speak with Animals spells.
  • Owl form: An owl direling may wildshape into an owl as per the druid ability a number of times per day equal to half his character level rounded up. These uses are tracked separately from any wildshape ability granted by a class.
  • -- Fly (30' or 60' speed as per wildshape), average maneuverability class
  • -- +4 size bonus (tiny) to Fly skill
  • -- +4 size bonus to DEX
  • -- -2 size penalty to STR
  • -- +1 natural armor bonus

Direling, Bear Totem Racial Traits

  • +2 STR
  • Scent
  • Racial skill bonuses: +2 Survival, +2 Climb, +2 Swim
  • Languages: Bear direlings start with the same languages as a human and can speak with bears as per the Speak with Animals spells.
  • Bear form: May wildshape into an brown bear (or equivalent) as per the druid ability a number of times per day equal to half his character level rounded up. These uses are tracked separately from any wildshape ability granted by a class.
  • -- Large size (10' reach, +2 STR, -1 AC, -1 attack)
  • -- +2 natural armor bonus
  • -- Grab

The Legend of the Last of the Old People

In time nearly forgotten, Direlings and the creatures of the land were one. All of the Old People were men born with their animal forms as natural as their humanoid ones. And each chose a mate of his own kind from among nature's children. In this way, the herds and packs of the Wildlands were the families of the Direlings.

But one man dared violate this sacred pact and fell in love with an Elven woman, a priestess to her people. Adakar the Grey, last of the Old People betrayed his people for the love of Kulessa, Kensai of the Sigil Elves. But such a star-crossed love was doubly doomed. Not only did the great ancestral spirits abhor this union, but so too did time itself. For the Elves are nearly immortal and the Direlings have but the lifespan of men.

At first this affront was tolerated. But when Kulessa bore Adakar's litter of abominations, the spirits' anger boiled over. For his sins, Adkar was blinded and maimed and left to wander the wilderness alone. His brood was drowned in the cold waters of the Tor Frenga. And his people were cursed by the spirits, thereafter born like men and each having to earn the blessings of their former birthrights.

Thinking her lover killed, Kulessa stormed off into the mountains to pour her sorrow out to the stoic stone monoliths of Tor Maru. Some say that she took her own life. Some say she died of a broken heart. Either way, her Elven body wasted away. But so devout and beloved of her own ancestral spirits was she that Kulessa was reborn in her arboreal form without aid or ritual. A tree alone in the mountains where no tree should stand waiting in anguish for her lost sightless lover to find her upon the crags.

The legend says that so great was their love that Kulessa stands between this world and the afterlife, unwilling to leave without Adakar yet unable to truly live. Half long dead, half verdant with life. And at her roots, an impenetrable darkness wreaking of death.