Felbraug (Escarnum)

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

To nobody's great surprise, elves have always maintained that they are the oldest of the world's living races, having millennia of meticulously maintained histories to prove their claim. And most people are happy enough the believe them - especially humans, whose brief time in Alm pales by comparison. There is one race who might challenge them, however, and they are the felbraug.

Diminutive, rodent-like creatures who share a racial gift of psionic power, the felbraug first came to the world's attention when humans colonised the island now known as Independence. In the layer upon layer of dilapidated buildings below the island's surface, a tiny population of felbraug had used their psionic talents to survive in an otherwise inhospitable environment, living humbly in the ruins of what had come before. Claiming to have been there for countless years, the felbraug were a source of mystery to the races of Alm; nobody had heard of them before, and nobody knew from whence they had come.

The rat-folk, however, told stories of a great precursor race who had walked the land in ancient times, harnessing untold forces with their advanced knowledge and powerful psionic abilities, until some dreadful tragedy struck them from the world. Although many doubted the veracity of the felbraugs' claim - certainly that their own race had lived alongside these precursors, and their mysterious racial memory was the only surviving record of it. However, the scattered ruins of such an ancient civilisation - and its remarkable technological advancement - lend some credence to their tale.

In any case, the felbraug seemed greatly excited by the humans' coming, and eager to work with them as they found their place in Alm. Although it is generally unknown to the other races, it is whispered in the deepest tunnels that humans and felbraug are kin, and that - in time - both the felbraug and the Awakened will once again begin to grow in number, and the precursors will one day return to Alm.

Personality

Felbraug are somewhat mysterious, patient creatures who tend to spend a great deal of time observing their surroundings. Although they are shy and reclusive as a race, keeping ages-old secrets in the depths of their tunnels, as individuals they are natively inquisitive and open-minded. In short, their curiosity is well-tempered by carefulness and common sense, and by the weight of generations of experience granted by their racial memory.

A felbraug's racial memory is a somewhat bizarre evolution resulting from their psionically-linked minds - not so overt as empathy or mind-reading, but a curious sort of "pool" of common knowledge from which they all draw. Such an ability means they are often somewhat superior in their dealings with other races - not out of any ill intent, but simply out of honesty.

Physical Description

Felbraug share many physical traits with rats, and small humans. They are short creatures, ranging from barely four feet tall to just over 4 1/2 feet. They are quite frail, and tend to weigh little - significantly less than a human child of a similar size. Their most striking feature is the presence of a tail, or rather, tails - felbraug have a single prehensile tail extending from their coccyx, and also a series of smaller tails extending from the head, forming what appears to be hair. Indeed, it is a common misconception amongst other races that felbraug wear their hair in many small, tight braids as a matter of cultural style.

A felbraug's ears are long and thin, appearing at first to be pointed; in fact, they are composed of a rubbery material that is capable of fanning into a dish-like shape, like a much larger version of a rat's ear. Echoing more common rodents, they also have prominent incisor teeth extending upwards on their lower jaws, although their facial structure is such that this isn't noticeable when the mouth is closed.

Felbraug men and women are almost indistinguishable, certainly to members of other species. Except when with child, female Felbraug have almost no breasts to speak of, and neither gender tends toward specific markings or body shapes more than the other.

Relations

As psionic creatures, the Felbraug share a certain kinship with Awakened humans, and seem fascinated by humanity at large. From the beginning, these reclusive people seemed unusually eager to ally themselves with Alm's newest residents.

Alignment

Felbraug tend strongly to lawful alignments. Their mental contact with others of their kind gives them a sense of certainty and unified purpose, and makes them thoughtful, careful creatures.

Lands

The homeland of the felbraug seems to be Independence - or rather, the bizarre underworld below it. Since their emergence into the world at large, some felbraug have found homes elsewhere, but few stray far from their people.

Language

The felbraug do have their own native language, known as Fel. It is of little use to other creatures, however, being a complicated mixture of speech, psionic impressions, scent and tail signals that has evolved over many years of seclusion. Similarly, they have no written language, and most felbraug are completely illiterate. Therefore, those felbraug who walk the surface world have now adopted Common from the humans of Independence, and reserve their language for when they are amongst their own kind.

Names

Felbraug have names in their own language which are generally very complicated and totally unpronounceable to beings without tails and psionic abilities. When interacting with other races, felbraug usually adopt the name of their function for the sake of simplicity.

Example names

Archer, Brewer, Caller, Carter, Hunter, Mender, Runner, Seeker, Smith, Speaker, Trapper, Wayfinder, Weaver, Wright.

Adventurers

Having spent so long in seclusion, felbraug are a curious race with a great thirst for learning - especially since acquiring new knowledge means sharing that knowledge with their kin. Although they are careful in choosing their travelling companions and the tasks they undertake, they are usually quite happy to seek new experiences.

Game Rule Information

Felbraug Racial Traits

  • +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Strength, -2 Charisma. Felbraug are alert and quick, but because they're smaller, they simply aren't as strong as larger creatures. In addition, they have evolved to use their minds as much as their voices when communicating, and often seem awkward when interacting with non-psionic creatures.
  • Small: As a Small creature, a felbraug gains a +1 size bonus to Armour Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a -4 size penalty on grapple checks, trip checks and overrun attempts, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks. He uses smaller weapons than humans use, and his lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
  • Speed: Felbraug base speed is 30 feet.
  • Racial Skills: Felbraug receive a +2 racial bonus on perception checks, but in bright lght (such as daylight) this bonus is lost when trying to detect something by sight. Felbraug have very keen ears and noses, but their over-sensitive eyes are less reliable in the surface world. In addition, a felbraug always treats perception as a class skill.
  • Darkvision: Felbraug can see in the dark up to 30 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and a felbraug can function just fine with no light at all. If the game allows it, a felbraug may take Light Sensitivity as a flaw.
  • Natural Weapons: A felbraug has a natural Bite attack that deals 1d4 piercing damage.
  • Naturally Psionic: Felbraug gain 2 bonus power points at 1st level. This benefit does not grant them the ability to manifest powers unless they gain that ability through another source, such as levels in a psionic class.
  • Self-augmentation: A felbraug can spend a power point as a swift action to grant his natural weapons (including unarmed attacks) a +1 enhancement bonus on attack rolls, and a +1d6 bonus on damage rolls, for one round.
  • Strong Stomach: A felbraug suffers no penalty for eating spoiled or rotten food - he can subsist on almost anything . A felbraug can eat and gain sustenance from any non-magical substance which can be chewed normally (hardness of 0) or is in pieces at least three size categories smaller than him, or can be damage with his bite attack. This does not allow him to eat a living creature.
  • Racial Memory: A felbraug can make any Knowledge check untrained, regardless of the DC of the check. A felbraug receives a +2 racial bonus to Knowledge checks.
  • Illiteracy: Because the felbraug have no written language, a felbraug begins play unable to read or write. A felbraug cannot remove this illiteracy by gaining class levels, but he may spend 2 skill points to gain the ability to read and write all languages he is able to speak.
  • Languages: Fel and Common.
  • Favoured Class: Lurk. The powers of the mind are easily reached and touched by the felbraug, and their small size lends itself to stealth and cunning.

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 felbraug race was originally published by Talen Lee.

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