Heni (3.5e Race)
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The heni (hee-nee) are a radical off-shoot of contemporary humans and merfolk native to Brux, the second layer of the Beastlands. They are, however, supremely adapted to living in arctic climates and hunting in freezing waters.
The heni are a social group of humanoids, seeking love and friendship in their tribes and occasionally in others. They mate for life and only rarely seek partnership outside of an established relationship. They are an uncommonly law-driven race than the chaotic Beastlands is accustomed too, and while this might encourage predators to seek heni out as food, they live in such a cold and remote corner of Brux that little else can live there. This has indentured a xenophobia in the heni, so much so that when they actually encounter another sapient species they have been known to flee and sequester their entire tribes until the outsiders leave. The people who are aware of the heni give them a wide birth, figuring that the underdeveloped people should just be left alone as they couldn't possibly contribute anything meaningful to the more advanced civilizations.
Despite using only basic tools and existing solely as a hunter/gatherer species, the heni are hearty and have centuries of survival knowledge at their disposal. This knowledge is primarily applied to spearing fish and warding off polar bears, but should they ever come under hostile fire from outsiders, they have the numbers and the martial power needed to defend themselves - should they overcome their xenophobia, of course.
Male and female heni differ only as much as male and female humans do - the men are taller and heavier than their fairer halves. Areas of their skin have blotchy brown or black spots arranged randomly but tightly gathered, usually on the shoulders and down their backs. Their bodies are completely lean and do not sag at all, giving the males an impressively muscular but lithe physique. The females have wide hips, narrow shoulders, and perky, perpetually uplifted breasts. Neither gender has any body hair to speak of but they do mimic the appearance of it. The "hair" on their heads is actually colorful, seaweed-like growths, and they even have false "eyebrows" - thin folds of skin above their eyes.
To assist in hunting underwater, heni have developed fins that trail behind their forearms and ankles, but they do not have gills so they are incapable of breathing underwater, although even infant heni can hold their breath for at least five minutes, while adults can hold it for thirty or longer. In order to survive the freezing temperatures where all heni make their homes, their skin has a nearly invisible layer of hyper-insulated down. Even up close the tiny hairs are barely visible, but they provide unmatched warmth. Even lying nude in the snow (not uncommon) and diving into frozen waters is not enough to phase them.
Heni have five webbed fingers and toes but the keratin that makes up their nails is roughly ten-times harder than that of a human, equivalent to unwrought iron, that naturally do not grow a quarter-inch past their fingertips. This makes their nails ineffective as weapons but adequate for chipping rocks into primitive tools. Heni have three eyelid membranes, one of which is transparent to protect the eyes underwater.
Heni exist in dozens of tribes, all of which have the same biological functions and, for the most part, the same social and economical goals. The only difference is skin and blotch pattern colors, which exist in a myriad of pigments of which only one actually helps to camouflage them in their natural arctic environment. That is the charybdis tribe, an entirely albino group of heni that have evolved their hunting skills to incorporate ambush tactics.
Except with other heni tribes, the heni do not associate with other races and actually possess a deep xenophobia of them. Of those races that do know about the isolated heni, all consider them primitive but having an alien beauty, especially the females. However, heni are known to keep certain arctic animals as pets, but being non-sapient they do not have the same fear of them as they would goblins or humans.
Heni can be of any alignment but they are mostly lawful neutral. Chaotic heni are generally shunned for their free-spirited ways and may even be exiled should they refuse to conform.
Heni are supremely adapted to living in freezing environments much lower than absolute zero (−273.15 °C or −459.67 °F). While they are capable of surviving in warmer climates they are not at all used to it, and unless born in such they may suffer from a debilitating and potentially fatal lethargy. The handful of known heni tribes (each numbering in the hundreds) live solely in the northernmost reaches of Brux on an archipelago made up of nearly two-hundred islands. This landform is known in the heni language as the Cradle of Life.
Heni treat nature itself as a deity. They often gather in circles around a campfire (used for light, not warmth) and dance and sing, praying to nature for a bountiful supply of fish and for protection against predators. Unique is that heni clerics garner spells this way, making them one of the few races that not only gain divine spells from a non-divine source, but they also don't have to sit in quiet prayer for it.
Heni speak Hashuurihe, a language made up of clicks and throaty croaks, all spoken with calm, soothing inflection. Hashuurihe has no written form but heni often draw or carve familiar shapes and images on the inside of their homes, like hieroglyphs. They can learn other languages such as Common, but because they are rarely exposed to outside cultures they never have the opportunity too.
Heni names are made up of a short, simple first name and the name of their tribe. Adpositions like "of" are said as "n". An example would be Tallk n' Vurondtr, Hoon n' Mnrmor, and Sayl n' Kiklran.
- +2 Constitution, -2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma: Heni are a hearty and physically attractive people, but their fear of any culture other than their own makes them narrow-minded and predictable.
- Humanoid (Cold).
- Medium: As Medium creatures, heni have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Heni base land speed is 30 ft., swim is 50 ft. (+8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line).
- Floetreading (Ex): All heni have intimate knowledge of arctic environments, and gain +4 racial bonus to Survival and Track checks in these places.
- Love the Land, Need the Sea (Ex): A heni can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 2x its Constitution score before it risks drowning.
- Low-Light Vision.
- 1 extra feat at 1st level. A heni must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums.
- +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison.
- +4 racial bonus on attack rolls against animals with the aquatic or cold subtype.
- Automatic Languages: Hashuurihe. Bonus Languages: Common or Aquan.
- Favored Class: Shaman. Barbarian's and fighters are slightly less common, while druids and bards make up a smaller population. Other classes are all but unheard of.
- Level Adjustment: +0
|Middle Age1||Old2||Venerable3||Maximum Age|
|40 years||58 years||77 years||+2d20 years|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||4'11"||+2d10||125 lb.||× (2d4) lb.|
|Female||4'7"||+2d10||80 lb.||× (2d4) lb.|