Faestir (4e Race)
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A Dragonborn people transformed to their current state by a mortal sin. While some might call them beastmen the Faestir live with pride in their origins dragonborn and still consider themselves as such. Once divided into two factions by religious difference, their culture has struggled to survive and join as one again.
|Average Height: 5' - 6'|
|Average Weight: 90 - 120 lbs|
|Ability Scores: +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom or Charisma|
|Speed: 6 squares|
|Languages: Common, Draconic|
|Skill Bonuses: +2 athletics, +2 stealth|
|Dragonborn Heart: You have a +1 racial bonus to your fortitude defense|
Play a Faestirae if you want...
- To be a member of a race that favors the Paladin, Cleric, Mage, Rogue or Scout classes.
- To be able to leap great distances.
|Faestir Leap||Faestir Racial Power|
|You leap into the air and descend upon the enemy with a weapon of choice!|
|Effect: You move your speed. During the move you may make an athletics check to jump with a +10 power bonus. The distance you jump cannot exceed your speed.|
Although they are a race of Dragonborn the Faestir look nothing like their more draconian cousins. Their appearance is deceptively mammalian, appearing as anthropomorphic rodents with tall ears, long thin tails and faces that are decidedly ratlike in appearance. With their almost human proportions one might dismiss them to be beastmen but on careful inspection however, their true nature is revealed.
Unlike actual rodent beastmen or rats, they do not have whiskers. What looks like mammalian skin is actually very smooth and small flesh colored scales. While they have a large powerful hearts and lungs like dragonborn most of their internal organs are recognizably smaller versions of dragonborn counterparts. This includes organs that would usually produce a breath weapon but is rendered inert by their unique physiology. Faestir also possess highly acute senses that are ten times those of a human. Faestir blood also exudes some the same characteristics as that of metallic dragonborn. That, however, is where the physical similarities end.
Unlike normal Dragonborn, Faestir grow fur that ranges in many different shades and patterns depending on the climate they come from. They also grow thick and luxurious manes in shades and hues of brown, red, blonde and black as wide and varied as in humans. Adults tend allow their manes to grow long, braiding it with small embellishments of beads, feathers and other accoutrements or devices to indicate their clan, profession or place of birth. Children keep their hair shorter until they reach adulthood.
Their body structure is sleek and compact, with light but immensely strong skeletons. They are not especially strong, with the greatest concentration of muscle being in the legs. These are like massive coiled springs allowing a Faestir to jump high into the air. What they lack in physical strength, Faestir make up in agility. They are much more nimble than their dragonlike cousins, possessing a deft and keen sense of balance. They use precise movements to channel their strength or energy for maximum damage to their foes and minimum injury to themselves or allies.
The Faestir tail is a a surprisingly strong and prehensile limb. While lending to their overall ratlike appearance, the Faestir are very proud of their tails. Many individuals learn to control it to do mundane tasks such as lifting or holding objects, and a few can even support their own body weight for a short time. If the limb is lost or injured however, an individual is seen as being weak or careless.
While their hands are similar to humans, the fingers are defter in their structure. Free of fur from the wrist down they possess three long fingers and a thumb ending in long, fine claws. Their feet are very large by comparison to their lightweight bodies and lack fur from the ankle down. The balls of the foot are wide, with the toes spread evenly to help support a curved and powerful digitigrade stance. The claws on hands and feet are long and fine, sharp enough to be used in combat or help them climb.
Physiologically there is very little difference between males and females other than obvious gender differences. Faestir grow slowly, remaining between two to four feet tall until they reach their tenth year of life. After age ten their bodies undergo a series of growth spurts which stop when they are about twenty. Faestir are considered adult at the age of thirteen but they age much like elves with individuals living for hundreds of years or more.
Faestir come from a society formerly torn by religious difference. Once divided into Bujuware or Aesurian factions, they have since rejoined a unified race. Though time and circumstance have done much to heal tensions between the two sides there remain small differences between Faestir who grew up in different backgrounds.
Those came from the rainy lands of Bujuware practiced strict code of chivalrous conduct. To them, the tenants of Bahamut were to be defended by strength. Aesurians by comparison are more cautious and reflective by comparison to their rain dwelling brethren. Theirs was a monastic society built around the worship of Bahamut , maintaining spiritual or magical strength rather than physical.
Faestir society has seen many changes since its reunification. The Faestirae embrace both the martial and the meditative aspects together and the melding of these different cultures into a single race has made them stronger than they can recall in centuries.
Playing a Faestir
The Faestir have a strong sense of their history and traditions as Dragonborn. They share share a pride fired by their legendary heritage as children of Bahamut which is tempered by their humility at their great losses. The desire to prove themselves worthy of their draconic heritage coupled with the need to preserve and rebuild what remains of their civilization has earned them a reputation for a fierce determination.
Their personalities range far and wide but they are generally more reserved and formal than their dragonlike cousins. Honor, humility, honesty and selflessness are paramount to the Faestirae and they treat even their worst adversaries with a moniker of courtesy and respect. Self-exploration and personal growth is the apex of their desire. They are fiercely independent, cherishing individual freedoms as much as they value and desire to strengthen the group dynamic.
Faestir prefer to draw little attention to their physical form. They dress in outfits of their own making with muted earth tones in order to blend in with their surroundings. Their garments are known for their simple but sturdy craftsmanship while allowing for ease of movement. Usually the design and the materials depend on the wealth or status of the individual. Affluent or noble Faestir favor heavier leather armor or silk while rank-in-file dress in simple wool or lighter leather outfits.
Faestir abhor closed shoes though they may wrap their feet or hands in cloth or leather. This is due utility of their claws for climbing and the shape and contour of their feet. Besides being difficult to fit comfortably, the high-impact leaping Faestir undertake would wear any normal shoe out very quickly. Beyond utility however, they apply a religious connotation to their paws. The Faestir believe that that so long as they live a part of their soul still resides within to the earth. As such, bare paws are considered a sacred obligation.
The Faestir believe the Dragon God Bahamut created them when he took refuge for a time on their world many thousands of years ago. It is said that he created molds from his scales and formed their bodies within from the sacred earth where he had come to rest.
From his breath he filled their lungs and from his veins he filled their hearts with his purity and strength. He gave to them the knowledge of his tenants, yet set within their minds the spark of curiosity. He filled their beings with a desire to seek and learn of new things so that they might pass on his own teachings and wisdom to the races of their world.
Exhausted but satisfied with his creation, Bahamut spoke. “Unto you I give the name Faestir which means Clever Children in my tongue. May you prosper and flourish with my blessings.” He conjured food and water for them, then for himself. “Now eat what I give, but do not partake of my own food. To take of the food of a god would be too much for your young selves.” So saying he spread his wings settled his great body upon a mountain to rest and sleep.
Now at this time Bahamut’s wicked sister saw the potential of His creation. Feeling threatened she sent her agents disguised among them. These agents saw that their feast had neared its end and that many of the Faestir were still hungry. They approached a small group and said to them, “Quite a feast, such in a state as not seen in a thousand years. But surely we may take some from Bahamut to add to the feast.”
At first the group was wary, but then their leader, Davin, spoke. “Surely the God could spare a bit of his food. There is so much and plenty to go around.”
As he approached the God’s food a young female named Miranda caught Davin’s arm. “The God said that it would be too much. We should abide his council”
Davin saw the truth in her words, but the agents were quick to grasp and corrupt it. “Surely his tenants say to share among all.”
Neither side could argue with this fact and so Davin took from the God’s food and passed it among all their brethren. Miranda and her followers were more hesitant, but they too partook and of Bahamut’s food. At this point, the god awoke, sensing danger, and descended down among them. The agents fled in fear at his approach, but He was too late, the damage had been done.
In an instant, the Faestir began to writhe in pain and agony as their bodies warped and changed. Their scales became fur and their tails became slim as their features shifted to those of rodents.
Despaired and despondent, the changing race pleaded to Bahamut to save them but He could not. Yet, the god took pity on them and did not abandon them. “For stealing my food, young ones, you have been given the form of creatures that do so. But you are still yet young, unaware of the darker natures of the world. While your forms have lost much of the gifts I gave them will there is strength and potential to do my work. I deprive none of my blessings and grant you a final boon that you may yet fly almost as dragons do to land with vengeance upon my enemies.”
And so the Faestir were imbued strength which allow them to leap great distances and descend upon enemies without harm to themselves. Then, Bahamut departed back upon his journies through the expanse of space and time. The Faestir believe that he will one day return and grant unto them the form of Dragonborn again.
After Bahamut’s departure a time known as The Sundering began. Angered at the loss of their divine gifts Miranda and a group of followers left their brethren. Guided by a vision given to Miranda, they set out upon a migration to the far north. The journey would be a long and arduous one spanning through badlands and swirling desert sands. These nomad Faestir came to call themselves Aesur, which means the wanderers, further divorcing themselves from their now distant brethren. After a hundred years of toil, the Aesur would find their promised land in a set of natural caves on a tall cliff overlooking the ocean.
They set to work building a city against the cliffside the likes of which has not been seen since. The jewel of this desert oasis was a grand library where all the knowledge and experiences of the Aesur were preserved. They fortified their home, concealing it in illusion so that only a Faestir or a true follower of Bahamut could beyond the shifting sands.
The Aesur named their new capital Miranda, in honor of their first matron and set her daughter Sera as the first of many High Priestesses who would lead them over the centuries. The people of Miranda practiced a peaceful, artistic and academic society. They built smaller cities outlying Miranda, with smaller oasis outposts spread throughout the desert. These cities and outposts traded with other races, though few outsiders ever found the location of of Miranda itself.
Davin’s followers, though shamed, had their pride and refused to abandon the name Faestir. Guided by a vision of endless rain, they found a land where it flowed without cease over fertile plains. Here Davin built a city of iron and stone against the arms of a cliff and called it Bujware, which means “The Rains”.
Faeran was a marvel of architecture. Built in a series of tiers carved into a mountainside it culminated in a huge palace at its top. Here, Davin founded Martial Academy where those filled with the fires of Bahamut could practice the disciplines of battle. Outlying the city were farms and fields with walls and gates defending approach to the capital. Over the centuries the Faestir developed into a two tiered feudalistic society. Those with blood, wealth and title held lands that were then rented by those without such things.
The wealthy entitled were given education and a degree of military power to protect their vassals build infrastructure and maintain law and order according to Bahamut’s code. By the same token, they could not interracially marry nor leave their fief or the lands of their birth so long as they lived. Known as Knights of the Rain, the legend of their strength and valor would spread and prevail over centuries.
Made up mostly of artisans, farmers, adventurers and treasure hunters, Faestir commoners enjoyed a certain degree of freedom their lords did not. Commoners were allowed to sit in juries judged by their respective lord; they attended primary and secondary school. Commoners were allowed to interracially marry, to travel far beyond their lands and settle in other nations or cities.
Although the races went their separate ways, there came a time when their respective kingdoms grew and overlapped. Known as the Great Peace, overtures of a truce began to form and trade between the two nations was opened. Before long they had joined into separate but equally powerful empires that expanded into most of the known lands.
As with any empire, however, the power of the Faestir began to wane as their borders became too wide. Thousands of years after Bahamut left, a terrible horde of Tiamat’s monsters attacked Bujware. The Knights of the Rain managed to make a desperate stand to allow a retreat of the city’s populace. Alas, their effort was in vain, the city was routed from all sides and only a handful of individuals survived. These fled north to the lands of their Cousins, led by a female Knight of the Rain. She was Kelra, the last remaining member of Davin’s own house.
Thus the sons Davin found themselves at the doorstep of the daughters of Miranda. Steeling themselves to eat crow they entered the city though they found it eerily empty. Fearing for the worst, the survivors of Bujware stole quietly through the streets, to the great halls of the library. There they found the small remainder of what had been Miranda’s chosen.
The people of Miranda had been no less lucky in their plight. Tiamat could not send a direct force against them, and so she had sent a plague that had wiped out most of the populace before the virus could be controlled and neutralized. Now only a few dozen of the proud Aesur, charged to guard what remained of their history. At their head stood Ardis, the last descendent of Miranda and the first male high priest in their entire history.
The reunion was bittersweet. The Faestir race had dwindled to but a few hundred individuals, but now gathered together With the preservation of their civilization so dire, Ardis and Keyra set aside old debts. They gathered their remaining followers and announced an official end to the Sundering. From that point on the sons of Davin and daughters of Miranda would be one unified Race as Faestir. As a show of solidarity, the two leaders joined in union of marriage and set about the long task of rebuilding their civilization. Since then the Faestir have grown in number and power once again and seek to regain the pride and glory of Bahumut as a unified people.
The Faestir remain too few in number and too closely knit for class distinctions to be maintained. Though joined as one race the Faestir now face a generational gap. Most of the survivors who are old enough to remember the fall of their respective country see their calling in practice and preservation of history and culture out of duty to their forefathers. They do not understand the younger generation who sees the fall of their race as a call from Bahamut to venture out and seek the same dangers that caused their decline in the first place.
To the young, returning to Faeran is akin to a turtle retreating into its shell. They see opportunity to reclaim their fallen lands and help other races beset by evil. Young Faestir seek to prove themselves to Bahamut by deeds and actions that will inspire others to emulate them. To the elders, remaining in the city is a necessary evil. While they may venture out into the world to trade, their primary goal is in seeking relics to return to Faeran so they may preserve the sanctity of their bloodlines and protect the remains of their culture treasures.
Faestir see themselves first and foremost as Dragonborn, as creations of Bahamut. Faestir faith is descended from that of their precursors where He is seen as a creator in the most literal sense. The younger generations still proudly call themselves children of Bahamut, though they more freely accept worship of other faiths than their elders. A few brave souls have sought means to find a ritual known as the Rite of Rebirth. This ritual of transformation is seen as the one true way to return a Faestir to their form and the full potential of Bahamut’s glory.
Those who fled Bujware brought bees from the prosperous farms outside their now ruined city. Since then, they have bred them the native desert bees with unique results. These bees produce two very distinct products of wax and honey. The wax has been found to waterproof cloth or leather while allowing it to remain supple. As such Faestir artisans also create many waterproofed articles. The honey in turn has been found to have unique healing properties. Spread over a wound or eaten raw, it can slowly mend tissue and draw out impurities if taken in regular doses over a period of time.
Faeran is small and not particularly important on a global scale. The desert surrounding the city is dotted with dozens of small outposts or oases but entry into the city is difficult at best for most outsiders due to the magics which protect it. Only a Faestir can see beyond the illusions cast to cloud the city from preying eyes.
Those adventurers foolish enough to brave the perils of the desert and persist to the cliffs face a vertical maze on the side of the mountain filled with sand pits and strange monsters. Once arriving at the top however, travelers emerge into what is known as the Cleansing House. Here, they are bathed in natural hot springs to cleanse their bodies of impurities. Then they are fed and robed in Faestir garments and allowed to walk the city freely so long as they are among a Faestir guide.
The city itself is carved from the native rock, formed into the face of a cliff topped with the Central Library and its dome made of pure mithril. The shops and stores of Faeran are stocked with the mundane to the most exotic and magical of items and weapons imaginable.
Legendary Dungeon – Rite of Aesur
Set beneath the footprint of the library is a set of Catacombs called the Rite of Aesur. It is said that the last king of Bujuware was a devout follower of Bahamut who heard the call of his god from an early age. After arriving in Miranda he went into the catacombs of to weep and pray to Bahamut for the forgiveness of his race among the bones of his brethren. Moved by the boy’s actions, Bahamut took pity and transformed him into a platinum dragonborn.
The extent of this dungeon is filled with puzzles, traps and monsters meant to test strength, wisdom and cunning of adventurers may be tested. No single is is the same with the catacombs shifting and resetting after adventurers leave leaving no sign of the former disturbance. At the center of the dungeon lays a sacred pool said to be the tears shed Raess. This pool is guarded by the soul of Raess given the form of a Golden Dragon. In defeating Raess, he reverts to the form of a platinum dragonborn and adventurers are given the following choices. -- Those who are non-Faestir may choose between the following options:
1. Undertake the Ritual of Aesur.
Those who are non-Faestir may choose to bathe within the pool of tears and abandon all pretense of their former life and become Faestir. In doing so they give up racial characteristic to gain those of the Faestir. Following the encounter with Raess the individual must set aside all possessions and equipment and speak their intention to Raess. Once asked if they are certain of their choice Raess will transport them alone to a separate area. There the individual must set aside all possessions and equipment. They must meditate alone for 24 hours upon all that they are giving up. The following morning, Raess will reappear and once again ask their certainty. If affirmed, he will lead them to the pool of tears and allow them to bathe within. When they emerge it is as a Faestir, a noble, transformed dragonborn version of their previous shape, ready to become a permanent champion against Tiamat and her spawn.
2. Partake of the Treasure Trove.
Those that choose to not undertake this transformation are rewarded according their valor and abilities.
(Note, original concept of Faestir is not my own. The original origins and racials of Faestir can be found here: The Faestir are solely based on the Burmecians of Final Fantasy IX. I have always liked the concept and lore behind these people and expanded what I found for a broader Dungeons and Dragons universe. All art used here is copyright its respective artist.)