Abilen (Escarnum)

This is a variant of the abilen race originally created by Talen Lee for his Cobrin'Seil setting.

Known the world over for their hospitality and smooth social skills, the frail but fine-featured abilen are a much-appreciated fixture of any civilised city. Although human sentiment was initially against them, the abilen seemed not at all bothered by their arrival on Alm; they simply went about their lives peacefully, gradually ingratiating themselves with a fortuitously-timed trade offer or favourable business deal, and became a necessary part of the new kingdom so smoothly it was barely noticed.

Although they are generally believed to have descended from the beast-kin races long ago, abilen are very much creatures of comfort - devout city-dwellers, these gentle felines have even less in common with their savage brethren as they do with the cats they resemble. If they have any predatory instinct at all, it shows only in their business dealings.


Abilen are typically friendly and cheerful, having a natural aptitude for interpersonal skills, and are surprisingly able to make others feel at ease. They tend toward an optimistic outlook, but still rely on common sense to determine their actions; while they hope for the best, and stand poised to take advantage of it, they plan contingencies nonetheless.

The abilen are also naturally mercantile. For all their politeness and social grace, the abilen are ruthless in business dealings - while they frown upon foul play, they think nothing of using their mercantile aptitude and vast trade networks to simply run opponents into the ground.

Physical Description

Abilen tend to be small and slight, unsuited to strenuous physical activity. They range in height from 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 feet, averaging somewhere around five feet; there is no marked difference in size between males and females. Both genders are extraordinarily light - the average abilen weighs little more than a human child as small as half his size. Abilen bear their feline features primarily in their faces; they have short muzzles with sharp teeth, small pointed ears, and generally catlike heads (though they still grow hair like humans). They are covered with soft, sleek fur which ranges in colour and markings between families, and tails much like those of domestic cats.


It's rare to find a community which genuinely dislikes abilen; their kindly disposition, work ethic, and general inoffensiveness mean that few races bear them much distaste. It is also, given the likelihood of any given traveller's inn to be manned by an abilen family, in the best interest of most adventurers to maintain a friendly relationship with them. Like the nation of Independence, the abilen's approach to the recent wars was to take great pains to work themselves into the political and mercantile foundations of all of Alm's important nations, meaning hostility toward them is widely frowned upon.


With their appreciation for city life and intricate social structures, abilen tend toward lawful alignments; they are adept at manipulating laws to serve their own ends while never actually breaking them. This is by no means a rule, however, and the passive nature of most abilen also means that many adapt to their situation - an abilen's alignment is frequently that of the company he keeps.


The desert nation of Ashar is the homeland of the abilen, although there are few civilised places where abilen have not become part of the community.


Abilen speak Common, having taken it upon themselves to adapt to human society when it came upon them. Given their wide dissemination, abilen may select any language as a bonus language. While they once had their own unique language - Abil, also called "Old Abilen" - it has fallen out of use, having little practical value to a race of interracial traders and politicians. Most abilen born today have only a passing familiariaty with Abil.


The only common use of the abilen tongue is in their names. Abilen names are typically short, no more than two syllables, and usually end in vowel sounds. Although some names have traditionally been given more to one gender or the other, abilen names generally do not make distinctions between male and female.

Example names

Adina, Ari, Ashei, Eisha, Janya, Laksha, Leyla, Mia, Myan, Ruhan, Samira, Sanura, Shadi, Shameen, Shema, Tasha.


An abilen adventurer is a rare find, given the race's taste for comfort and structure. However, as with any other race, there are exceptions to the rule - primarily those who see an adventuring party as an investment, an avenue to political gain, or a more physically-adept guard on the way to a more personal goal. Abilen are more likely to take part in campaigns which involve social interaction and intrigue over fighting and dungeon-delving, though tactical warfare can prove just as suited to an abilen's talents as politics and business.

Game Rule Information

Abilen Racial Traits

  • +2 Charisma, -2 Strength. Abilen are friendly and warm, but rarely are they physically adroit.
  • Medium-size: As Medium creatures, abilen have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Light Frame: Abilen are incredibly lightweight and have a hard time bringing their strength to bear on objects, especially those larger than themselves. An abilen is considered Small in any situation where being small is a disadvantage, and they must wield weaponry for a creature one size category smaller than they are. They do not receive a size bonus to armour class or to hit, nor do they receive a +4 to hide checks. An abilen monk deals damage as if he or she were small.
  • Speed: Abilen base speed is 30 feet.
  • Racial Skills: Abilen receive a +2 racial bonus on perception checks; they have extraordinarily keen senses, just like the cats they resemble. likewise, they receive a +2 Racial bonus on acrobatics and stealth checks - they have soft feet and walk lightly, and (thanks to their tails) have an uncanny ability to move easily. Abilen also receive a +2 racial bonus on business checks; they have a natural aptitude for business endeavours. In addition, an abilen may make business checks untrained.
  • Abilen Intuition: Abilen are renowned for being that little bit fortuitous, or for lucky guesses paying off. Once a day, an abilen may re-roll a single saving throw or skill check, and in any role-playing situation where an abilen is in the hands of random chance (flipping a coin, for example), he determines the chance twice and chooses the better result (so, two coins would be flipped, and the desired result would be chosen of either).
  • Languages: Common.
  • Favoured Class: Bard.

Partial Open Gaming Content: Content in highlighted boxes is derived from, and in turn designated as, OGL material. Other content in this article is copyright © {$owner} {$year} unless otherwise noted. The abilen race was originally published by Talen Lee.

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