Dark Days in Sion
Medium Humanoid (Human)
- Hit Dice: Same as class
- Speed: 30’
- Armor Class: Same as Human
- Base Attack: Same as class
- Face/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
- Damage: By Weapon
- Special Qualities:
- Darkvision 60 ft. (Ex)
- Light Sensitivity (Ex)
- Abilities: Same as Humans
- Racial Skills: +2 Racial Bonus on Listen Checks. +4 extra skill points at 1st level and 1 extra skill point at each additional level, since underfolk (like their human ancestors) are versatile and capable.
- Starting Feats: None
- Bonus Feat: None
- Special Abilities:
- Camouflage (Ex)
- Saving Throws: Same as Class
- Alignment: Any
- Weapon Proficiencies: Underfolk treat light and heavy picks as simple weapons rather than martial weapons.
- Armor Proficiencies: Same as class
- Favored Class: Any
- ECL: +0
- Camouflage (Ex): Underfolk can change their skin coloration at will to mimic the surrounding terrain, giving them a +4 racial bonus on Hide checks. In rocky terrain, this bonus increases to +10. This ability works even if an underfolk is viewed with darkvision, although true seeing negates the bonus.
- Darkvision (Ex:): Underfolk can see in the dark out to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and underfolk can function just fine with no light at all.
- Light Sensitivity (Ex): Underfolk are dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a Daylight spell.
Underfolk are descendants of Akhenatens who were forced to move underground almost three thousand years ago. Over generations, these humans adapted to this strange world, filled with natural wonders and dangerous creatures. Most have not ventured to the surface in many centuries but they have never forgotten their origins above ground.
Because of the multitude of evil, predatory races and creatures underground Underfolk have become quick, stealthy, and survival-oriented. Although rather primitive and rustic when it comes to technology, Underfolk are adaptable and very clever.
Underfolk are both short and slight, with builds similar to elves. They typically stand between 5 and 5-1/2 feet tall, weighing 100 to 150 lbs. Their eyes are ears are proportionally larger then those of humans, having evolved to enable Underfolk to see in pitch blackness and make out the slightest sounds. Underfoilk have thick body hair to keep them warm in the chill of their tunnels, and they wear their typically black or silvery-white tresses long.
Underfolk have evolved an ability to blend into their surrounding terrain. Their skin has special pigmentation that can mimic the various rocky hues found in the underground, allowing them to seemingly disappear into a nearby wall.
Underfolk are insular and mildly xenophobic. They are suspicious of strangers but deeply loyal to their friends. While not as bound to their grudges as dwarves, Underfolk take oaths very seriously and immediately sever ties with any being who deceives them.
Underfolk have become well accustomed to the depths and have come to understand the subtle rhythms of its seasons. They delight in the natural beauty of underground caves, warrens and grotto’s, and often explore new areas when they find them.
Underfolk have a rich oral tradition and fill their speech with allegories, oaths and hyperbolic statements. Unlike those of dwarves, who share a similar custom, Underfolk stories are poetic and rather dreamlike in quality. Singing is a favorite pastime among Underfolk, and ever individual knows a litany of tunes.
Origins of the Underfolk began in the Sezzara region, west of the Kingdom of Vulkh almost three thousand years ago. Sezzarans roamed their domain in large tribes. Many were devoutly religious towards different deities from a diverse pantheon until the high priest of the Kezzara tribe united them under Zhieros, patron god of civilization, law and order. He founded the Kezzarat Theocracy and became their first Pontificate, or ruler.
His theocracy prospered for four hundred years during which time they built a capital city named Cyrael against a large range of dormant volcano’s known as the Mezzarat Mountains in the center of their domain.
Then a terrible calamity occurred. The dormant volcano’s of the Mezzarat Mountains became active again and erupted. Cyrael was destroyed, the land blanketed with soot and smoke. Flocks of birds fell from the sky, crops died, fish were poisoned in the rivers and lakes. There was no choice for the people but to move underground. Many were preyed upon by evil races and perished. The population rapidly declined but some survived, evolved, even thrived.
After the calamity many underfolk abandoned the Kezzarat Theocracy believing the calamity was the result of the wrath of the gods. These groups reverted back to the ancient shamanistic beliefs and tribal ways of their ancestors. Some even embraced the power of arcane magics, like those mastered by the Drow and Duergar, as their best option to survive.
Tribes occasionally go to war with the remnants of the Kezzarat Theocracy, and vice-versa, but as a whole they coexist in an uneasy truce. Those loyal to the theocracy founded a new capital underground named Kezzerach that serves as the primary stronghold and hub for underfolk society.
Many underfolk are deeply religious, worshiping a large pantheon of deities. Originally their pantheon was made up of the following gods. Zhieros, father of civilization, law and order is at the top. He is depicted as a king with three eyes. Beneath him is Baezu, patron deity of hunters and the warrior caste with the head of a lion and the body of a man. Anuvega is a goddess of fertility and nature who always has flowers blooming from her hair. Muirra is a goddess of poetry, art and music who serves as a muse to all who seek to express themselves creatively. Traxis is a god of craftsmanship and hard labor, depicted as a strong man holding a hammer and chisel. Several other lesser deities were also worshiped.
However, after the volcano’s erupted and their society went underground some of those gods lost their portfolios and much of their followers. Anuvega’s portfolio of nature was abandoned because for all intensive purposes the Sezzarans wouldn’t see the sun again for thousands of years. An evil goddess of corruption and sin, Shaktasati, gained a strong following.
|Governor||Lord General||Predicant||Grand Champion||Lord Merchant|
|Mayor||General||High Priest||Champion||Head Merchant|
|Official||Commander||Priest||Lead Warrior||Senior Merchant|
The ruler of the Kezzarat Theocracy is known as the Potentate, elected by the priesthood of Zhieros. Sezzarans believe that whoever they choose becomes the living voice of Zhieros. He must be honored, respected, even worshiped much like Zhieros himself. Failure to heed the words of the Potentate is one of the gravest sins in Sezzaran culture. Publicly he is never challenged but it is not unheard of for the Potentate to be persuaded to change his views in private.
The Potentate is not a monarch. When he dies, another must be chosen. A candidate for the Potentency must have the blood of a former Potentate somewhere back in their family tree. This holy bloodline is impossible to fake (though there’s no guarantee the clergy will acknowledge it). Candidates chosen for the Potentency are usually popular and well respected figures in the theocracy, but even an outsider tribe occasionally produces a charismatic descendant who wins the vote with promises of reform or new discoveries. Potentates by and large are traditionalists who seek to honor the old ways but a few promoted social change.
Ostensibly the priesthood casts their vote for the best candidate, but when they choose poorly they never accept the blame. Instead they claim their judgement was fouled by the evil goddess Shaktasati.
If the Potentate himself ever goes mad or otherwise behaves irrationally, the priesthood may declare his mind corrupted by Shaktasati and depose him. Such a thing is highly inauspicious and usually shakes the foundations of the priesthood. A large turnover of priests typically follows, and things eventually return to normal.
- High Priest
- Lord General
- Lesser Official
- Grand Champion’
- Lead Warrior
- Lord Merchant
- Head Merchant
- Senior Merchant
|Warmage Council Member||High Shaman||Speaker of the Council||Champion||Head Ranger|
|Senior Warmage||Shaman||Steward||Lead Warrior||Lead Ranger|
Oversee’s the affairs of the chiefs household, keeps records and advises the chief in all things.
Handles errands, delivers messages and enforces orders of the chief.
- Speaker of the Warmage Council
Oversee’s Warmage Council matters and reports to the chief.
- Warmage Council Member
- Senior Warmage
- High Shaman
- Lead Warrior
- Head Ranger
- Lead Ranger
|Customs, Kinship, and Marriage|