Heartbound (3.5e Race)
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No one truly knows where the Heartbound came from however the most persistent myth within their own kind suggests that some diety, most commonly believed to be either Obai-Hai, Pelor, Ehlonna, or possibly even Heironeous, created them from a large number of animals around the world, primarily forest dwellers. Regardless by the time most of the common races discovered them they already had a culture and lands to call their own. The first common race to discover their existence were the forest-dwelling Elves who immediately decided that their existence should be a secret and that they should teach this new people about things in the modern world, such as the ways of adventuring, the powers of nature and magic and other such things. If ever asked why they kept the Heartbound a secret at first, most elves who do give a reply will say that they wanted the Heartbound to find and explore their sentience without fearing being slaughtered by those who might not understand them, indeed the Elves believe that the deity who created them did so to allow non-elven races to get to know and respect nature better.
Regardless the Heartbound either do not know or do not reveal their origins to even many of their own kind. Those who believe their do know their own origins, such as some elves, believe it best that they do not reveal their origins anyways, as doing so might prove to be a mistake.
Of note is that while the Heartbound are immortal they have a rigid bloodline and cannot produce offspring with anyone other than another Heartbound; is the two animal bases of a Heartbound couple are different (a fox and a raccoon for instance) then the children will most likely be based on only one race of their parents, unless the crossbreed that would be produced is possible in nature (such as with a lion and a tiger). However even in the former case the child will inherit a couple traits from the non-dominant parental animal, such as a bear and tiger Heartbound's child being a bear with stripes and who can make some cat noises.
While the Heartbound are immortal, only those who live in their own cultures tend to survive more than a generation and those born away from such homes rarely survive, that and 95% of Heartbound have low fertility rates, making producing offspring a difficult task, most couples only having 1 or 2 children in their entire lives if they wish to at all. The remaining 5% need to be both a male and a female in one relationship to have children often (if just one has the rare high-fertility then attempts to have children are a bit higher but not by much able to have 2 or 3 children where most only have 1 or 2) thus large families are extremely rare.
The Heartbound are kind sociable creatures who enjoy making friends but have such a wide variety of interests that they are much like humans in terms of everyday activities, found in any profession they aspire to.
The Heartbound Look like humanoid animals of any kind imaginable and they vary in height between 3.5 feet and 5 feet in height and weigh about as much as a human for the same height would. The color of their skin and fur varies greatly, both having the original colors of the animal they look like and more variant colors like green, red, pink, purple, or even multicolored. There is no conformed difference between the height and weight of male and female Heartbound
Heartbound get along with most races quite well but they are particularly close to the Elves, who's long lives and affinity for nature allow strong bonds to form between them, however the relations beyond this vary a lot, some Heartbound Animals like or distrust humans from personal experience and most have suspicion of Half-Orcs. Their relations with Dwarves and Gnomes are good overall but they rarely have contact so their relations vary from person to person. Halflings tend to view Heartbound Animals with some suspicion but not to the point of distrust and they can get along quite well.
Heartbound value good over evil and it is rare, but not unheard of, for one of them to be evil so Heartbound are often good and sometimes neutral. Their alignment in regards to Law and Chaos varies more than most races, able to be lawful, neutral, or chaotic depending on how they feel about such things; those who are chaotic good are the most likely to attempt to live with elves.
The land of the Heartbound similar to those of elves, their dweelings blending into the trees without harming nature; these are often referred to as "feeling forests". Those who wish to live in a more urbanized setting will leave their forests and head to human lands to create their own live, or become adventurers. Some heartbound who wish to become even closer to nature move into elven lands, where they are readily accepted if they follow the rules and customs of the Elves.
The religion of the Heartbound varies a lot but they primarily worship either Pelor, Ehlonna, or Obad-Hai. However those who discover their inborn talent as Paladins will almost always choose to worship Heironeous.
The Heartbound speak common and, because they are close to elves, they also know the elven language. They can take any language as a bonus language. The Heartbound have no language that is truly their own but some among their number consider elven to be their true native language.
Heartbound often have two sets of names, their first set, given at birth, is their true name and often reflects their nature, emotional or otherwise, such as "Impulsive Bear" "Anger Heart Fox" or "Spirit Heart Wolf". Most Heartbound, especially adventurers and those in lands other than their own and those of elves, take on a second name that is just like a human name and can be whatever they want it to be, sometimes the first letter of both of their first names is the same such as Anger Heart Fox taking on the name Alex Kitun. Heartbound who are born outside of their lands will not get their true name until they travel to heartbound lands and meet the elders who bestow such a name, if they want one.
- +2 Charisma, −2 Constitution. Heartbound are very sociable and get along well with others easily but they’re more frail than most races.
- Humanoid Type: While they appear monstrous or animalistic, the Heartbound's physical characteristics, internal metabolism, and other biological characteristics are almost identical to that of a human's.
- Medium: As medium creatures, Heartbound get no bonuses or penalties relating to size
- Heartbound base land speed is 30 feet
- Skill affinity: Heartbound gain a +4 on diplomacy checks. Heartbound are known for their ability to easily settle disputes between people and most are more willing to listen to their arguments and reasoning just because of their reputation.
- Lucky: Heartbound gain a +1 luck bonus to all saving throws.
- Heartbound Animals also gain a +1 on listen checks as most of their species have more sensitive hearing than other races but less so than the animals they are based on.
- Immortal Blood (Ex): Between their 25th and 75th year of age a Heartbound can, through a special force of will, voluntarily force their aging to halt or start at their will (as some choose to remain young to be strong warriors while others choose to age to gain mental prowess or to settle down and have an excuse not to go adventuring); when they reach the age of 75 the cease aging regardless of their internal will. They will not die of old age at any time and are middle aged at 35, old aged at 53, and venerably aged at 70 and accrue all bonuses and penalties associated with aging if they choose to do so.
- Automatic Languages: Common and Elven. Bonus Languages: any.
- Favored Class: Paladin. While they are connected to nature, the Heartbound inherent goodness and how much they despise evil means that the chance of one heartbound being able to become a paladin is much higher than that of most other races.
- Level Adjustment: +0
|Middle Age1||Old2||Venerable3||Maximum Age|
|35 years||53 years||70 years||n/a|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||3' 1"||+4d6||65 lb.||× 2d4 lb.|
|Female||3' 1"||+4d6||65 lb.||× 2d4 lb.|