Durzites (3.5e Race)
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Durzites are crafty little underground dwellers who always appear to be on a schedule or plan, whether it be their own, or by order of their city. Carrying out plans is a favorite pastime of durzites and often makes them very distrusted by others. Durzite schemes can take centuries to enact. Outliving most mortals, they persist for ages. With desire, magic and engineering skills, durzites are often better left alone.
Durzites are very patient by nature, but also heavily driven by desire and greed. They use their intelligence to get what they want, and when that fails, they resort to magic and tools to finish the job. Art and leisure are very important to durzites, but they also find doing light labor and craft work personally satisfying.
Durzites stand 3 to 4 feet tall and weigh 30 to 40 pounds. Their skin is pale and their faces are tight and angular. They have rather long pointed ears that jut back rather than point up like more sylvan folk. Their eyes are commonly unnatural shades, ranging from deep purples, aquas, yellows as well as the occasional human shade of eye. Interestingly, instead of hair, their heads are topped with coarse spines, similar to that of a hedgehog. These spines slowly continue to grow longer as they age. The oldest of their kind have foot-long spines.
Valuing privacy, they often wear loose robes, cloaks and capes to conceal anything that they may have on them, like armor or weapons. Of course, in the constantly briskly chilled underground, these clothes also serve to keep them warm. Having to traipse across hard stone, often slippery with dew or loose pebbles, their craftsman took it to heart to provide their people the best possible footwear made. Durzite boots are renowned as being comfortable, long lasting and sure-footed and fetch prime prices in markets and bazaars.
Traditionally, durzite clothing is drab or dark colored with a few flourishes for personal taste and style. They seldom wear hoods or hats, but can. Their spines don't prevent them from wearing such things, though it does make them uncomfortable.
Durzites don't get along with other races very well, because of their habit of keeping to themselves. Outsiders don't typically trust durzites either, so as long as they stay isolated, political peace is kept.
Occasionally gnomes establish trade routes with durzites, but most races regard them as too sly to be trusted. Dwarves, with similar living environs, have never gotten along with durzites. Durzites keep to themselves and can hardly be expected to bother with the troubles of the outside world. Many creatures of the underdark fear the cities of the durzites and their secret weapons and schemes.
Durzites run structured, organized lives, and thus tend toward lawful. Though, with adventures and outcasts, they tend toward neutrality without the rigors of daily study and schedules. As durzites are varied in their opinions and outlooks, they may be of any alignment.
Durzites live deep within mountains. They build great golems to carve away at the rock and haul away huge boulders. Artisans and stone masons follow after and smooth and decorated their halls. Though it is not the halls that impress as much as their caverns, huge open spaces underground filled with stone buildings shaped by magic and lit from all around by thousands of tiny continual flames. Spiraling walkways line the walls of the cavern, leading off to other smaller chambers. In the center of the city, lies a fortified stronghold, home to the senate of Council Elders, High Mages and High Priests who rule over their city-states. The stronghold reaches to the ceiling of the great cavern, and acts as a support pillar. The Council of Elders is composed of those durzites who win public election, as well as those who live to 500 years, which automatically earns them a seat on the Council.
Elders, Mages and Priests form the city's Governing Commons. They elect one of their own to sit as the High Elder, who rules until his passing, or his retirement. Though, during peace time, the job is easy, as durzite cities, for all their size, are sparsely populated. For this reason, durzites are wary of letting too many outsiders in at one time. Durzites keep track of visitors, never allowing more than 1 visitor per 2 durzites.
Visitors come to trade, as with gnomes, or to shop for goods in their bazaars, which are always filled with finely made crafts. Durzite made boots are well renowned as the finest footwear available.
In every city, there is a Gate Room that has portals that connect to every durzite city and often to other planes of existence.
Durzites speak Common and Durzite. Most also learn to speak Gnome if they are going to be trading for equipment and tools.
Occasionally, other races will refer to durzites as "durzees", or to a single durzite as "durzee". This isn't meant to be a racial slur, it is merely slang.
Durzite names are commonly long and obtuse. In modern ages, their names have gotten progressively shorter. Though, in ages past, it was not uncommon for names to reach past seven syllables. Since they are so long lived and few in number, a durzite will rarely use his surname, saving it for formal occasions only. Surnames are not necessarily taken from the father, and a durzite man may take the surname of his wife if she is of a nobler stature upon marriage.
- Male Names: Adelmorn, Alkin, Diyamaki, Ganikarto, Ganteka, Gurdok, Kakarneb, Ornugon, Varden
- Female Name: Amekmia, Emediomana, Fadameta, Mekanouta, Mesvanterra, Quinata, Votumeta, Zota
- Surnames: Arekton, Bakuearol, Cantemarden, Jotenberki, Kanderlan, Penkaron, Setsaravar, Sotaragas
- −2 Strength, −2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom: Durzites are smart and wise but also weaker than other races.
- HumanoidHumanoid (Durzite)
- SmallSmall: As small creatures, durzites gain a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but they must use smaller weapons than humans use, and their lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of medium-size characters.
- Durzite base land speed is 20 feet.
- Low-Light Vision: Durzites can see twice as far as humans under conditions of poor illumination. They are able to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
- Racial Bonuses: +2 on Hide checks to conceal equipment, as durzites avoid being generally conspicuous. +2 on 4 different Knowledge, Craft and Profession skills of their choice as durzites are keen on various topics, industrious and enjoy working. These skills must be class skills.
- Racial Boundary: Durzites suffer a −2 penalty on Charisma-based skills when dealing with other intelligent races.
- Age Resistance: As durzites age, they suffer only a -2 penalty on their Dexterity when reaching middle age, but suffer the penalties at old age and at venerable age as normal. Aging bonuses accrue as normal as well.
- Exotic Weapon Training: Durzites are practiced in strange ways of combat and gain the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat with the weapon of their choice.
- Automatic Languages: Common and Durzite. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Gnome and Undercommon.
- Favored Class: Wizard. Durzites love to access the powers of arcane knowledge through study.
- Level Adjustment: +0.
- Base Effective Character Level: 1st.
|Middle Age1||Old2||Venerable3||Maximum Age|
|175 years||263 years||350 years||+4d% years|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||3' 0"||+2d4||40 lb.||× (1) lb.|
|Female||2' 10"||+2d4||35 lb.||× (1) lb.|
Durzites have been known to interbreed with gnomes, who share their interest for machines and magic. These half durzite/gnomes are commonly referred to as sharp gnomes. These crossbreeds resemble gnomes with spiky hair and more angular features. Sharp gnomes fit well into either gnomes or durzite society as they are similar to each other socially.
Notes from Wandering Scholar Marza
“I once purchased a pretty amulet from a durzite bazaar. Several years later, as I sat penning notes under a tree, I sneezed and the amulet exploded. Blue ink sprayed all over and swirling lights and smoke left me stumbling in a daze. I staggered about and tripped on a badger hole. The badger, enraged by my intrusion, attacked my foot. It was a very bad day.”