Hressh (Asylon Supplement)
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Hailing from a land of eternally dreary, treacherous swamps, it's possible that only the Krônians of the North understand the phrase "survival of the strongest" as deeply as the Hressh. They are well known for their latent magical talent, volatile tempers, and their black disposition.
Hressh are selfish, ruthless, and cunning. They have accumulated these traits over milennia surviving in the Mire of Troubles, and often have no qualms about killing anything to further their purposes. They are fond of powerful things, whether it be enchanted weapons and tools, or simply gaudy clothing. They often showcase their power and their status as often and as visibly as possible, and expect other races to hate them for it. Weaker Hressh often lie about their accomplishments to make themselves appear more formidable, whereas stronger Hressh simply make their power known by taking what they want, when they want it.
Hressh are capable of living in society, but they will take every opportunity to circumvent the law in a region to satisfy a desire. In civilization, it is uncommon but also unsurprising to see a Hressh in a position of lower-class wealth such as a merchant of exotic, questionable goods, or as a thug boss. It is even rarer to see a Hressh in the position of a government official, but such things are not unheard of, and it is almost always the sign of a corrupt government.
In their homeland, anything goes. Hressh understand that in the Mire of Troubles, you're either willing to kill to get what you want, or you're already dead. They often resort to cannibalism in the Mire, as they believe that eating the brain and heart of a powerful individual will give you a part of his power. Diplomacy is a thing almost unheard of, even amongst the weakest Hressh, as they would rather have the opportunity to grow strong individually than accept the help of another, which is the strongest sign of weakness.
Among the tallest of the races, Hressh are a reptilian humanoid race between 6 and 7 feet tall, but they stand stooped, and thus appear to be only 4.5 to 5.5 feet tall. They usually weigh 180-220 pounds on their wiry frames, with the females slightly larger than males. They more closely resemble lizards than snakes, alligators, or crocodiles. They are covered in scales that can range in color from mottled gray, to red, blue, green, and sometimes black. Hressh have a thick tail that is usually around 3 feet long, and can only manipulate its tail enough to wag it a little, but it can use the tail as a blunt striking weapon. Hressh struggle to contain their magical power throughout their lives, and thus they come to maturity at around age 9, though they may live for as many as 300 years, they begin aging much sooner than other races.
Hressh are selfish above all other things. They rarely make close companionships, and never think about anyone before themselves. The only way Hressh can make a name for themselves outside of their native homeland, the Mire of Troubles, is through deception and ruthlessness. They have almost supernatural skills of persuasion, and are capable of entrancing people to accomplish what they will.
As a culture, they don't even get along with each other. There is weak government control in the Mire, there are not many Hresshi villages, and none of them are very large. Hressh often live in isloated huts which they steal from other Hressh, usually after killing them. Rarely, a Hressh will be powerful and intimidating enough to attract weaker Hressh, but this is more because the weaker Hressh hope for an opportunity to overthrow their stronger masters.
Individually, Hressh usually only come together to mate. In the Mire, the relationship begins and ends here, but outside the Mire Hressh often mate for years on end (most likely because most Hressh outside the mire are neutral, or sometimes good), although mating for life is extremely rare.
Hressh are practically the embodiment of chaos. They are capable of living in lawful societies, but have neither the desire or the ability to be lawful. This often makes them evil in the common sense of the word, but they are not universally so. It is almost completely unheard of for a Hressh to be truly good, and when they are, they often fight with their dark impulses, and are almost never trusted by others.
Historically, the Hressh have lived in perpetual anarchy in the Mire. They lived in isolated huts, and lived out their lives in constant competition with every single living thing they encountered. However, recently the ancient and powerful Darkmask has put into motion his plans for control over the Mire, and has established a powerful cabal of lesser Hressh in the heart of the Mire, in an ancient ruin called Withered Mound. His roaming bands of enforcers exact fealty from nearly half of the Mire, and shows no signs of slowing down. There are many Hressh who despise the thought of being lorded over by anything in their homeland, but separate they are powerless to stop it, and they wouldn't dream of uniting on their own.
The accumlation of power is the only religion the Hressh truly understand. In their homeland, they perform sacrifices to Sseratus, their version of the Draenic Prince Tesuku, and also Vessh'rin (Nex) and Ssylvkvn (Germordl), but they do not worship these gods in the traditional sense of the word. They know that by pleasing these gods they can become more powerful, but the Hressh have no respect or reverence for them.
Hresshi is a language that sounds like the hiss of a dire basilisk, and while it's possible to learn to understand the language, it is impossible to be repeated by the vocal cords of man, mer, or Ra'Virr. It is theorized that their language might be one of the keys to their latent magical power, but this has never been tested, much less proven.
Hressh are given a name by their mother before she abandons them. These names reflect a part of their personality or physicality in their first years of life, and sometimes simply describe something the Hressh happens to do regularly. They are given a name in the Hresshi tongue, but it must be translated into another language (most frequently common) in order for anyone else to call them by name.
Names: Waits-in-Shadows, Long Tail, Swims-with-Beasts, Hides-his-Eyes, Sleeps-in-Tree, Scar-Tail, She-Wanders-There
Hressh adventure for three reasons. First (and most commonly), a Hressh was born outside of the Mire, and adventures for the same reason of other members of that society, albeit probably with more selfish intentions. Second, the rare good Hressh is born in the Mire, and eventually survives until they make it out into the world. These Hressh are often callous and scarred from their time in the Mire, but nevertheless try to make a name for themselves as a force of good in the world. Third, a Hressh has become powerful enough in the Mire that she begins to develop amibitions to grow more powerful. The only way she sees to accomplish this is by descending on the outside world like a tempest of power and fury.
Hressh have a casual proclivity towards brutality and cruelty. This is especially inhuman because it is not really a choice, as it is with humans. If a human saw a slave drop a platter of food, he could become angry, and then choose to beat/execute that slave. For a Hressh, violence is a natural conclusion, with no other real options. When your nose itches, you sneeze; when a servant displeases you, it dies. Also, in Hresshi society, there is an absolute lack of social stigma towards this behavior. In the above example, those who witness the human's barbaric treatment of another human being would at least illicit some reaction, be it looking away in disgust but saying nothing for fear of your own life, or cheering out of a genuine appreciation for bloodshed. Among Hresshi, you would see no more a reaction to this than you would if someone excused himself to go to the restroom. For this reason, Hresshi have no concept of mourning for someone's death.
Hresshi also have a thoroughly literal sense of time which borders upon the sacrosanct. To them it is more fundamental and pervasive an element than water, air, fire, or earth, and is thus deserving of the highest reverence.
While a Hressh will calmly wait years or even decades for an event to occur at an unknown time, they typically have no patience whatsoever for tardiness. If a time has been given and not honored, violation of that promise is a serious offense both to the waiting party and, in a sense, to time itself. Time is a gift, a currency which can only be misspent if it is not spent at all. To wait is a kind of reverent meditation, but to wait in vain is akin to sacrilege. This can sometimes make Hresshi seem testy or difficult to please; in truth, "at Midday" means when Moiar's Eye has reached its zenith: seconds after means a violation of that trust.
Though no explicitly religious philosophies follow from this sacred sense of time, the mystical respect for its passage engenders an affinity for time pieces. Even the most ascetic of swamp-dwelling Hressh will establish an unmarked sundial by which to follow time's march, and those more acclimated to civilization may have collections of clocks and watches of all types.
For Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 edition
- +2 Charisma, −2 Intelligence: Hressh are wells of natural magic, but are mentally inferior to most other races.
- Humanoid (Reptilian)
- Hressh base land speed is 30 Feet: Swim 30 Feet
- Hold Breath (Ex): A Hressh can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to four times its Constitution score before it risks drowning. For a typical Hressh, this is equal to 40 rounds, or almost 7 minutes.
- Immune to disease
- Automatic Languages: Hresshi. Bonus Languages: Common, Draconic, Abyssal, Infernal.
- Favored Class: Sorceror.
- Level Adjustment: +0
For Pathfinder RPG
- +2 Cha, +2 Con, -2 Int
- Speed: 30 feet.
- Hold Breath: A Hressh can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to four times its Constitution score before it risks drowning. For a typical Hressh, this is equal to 40 rounds, or almost 7 minutes.
- Immune to Disease
- Hresshi Magic: Hresshi receive a +4 racial bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance.
- +2 Knowledge (Arcana)
- Languages: Hresshi. Hressh from their native land need to invest in learning Common if they choose to speak it. Hresshi from some other region are free to speak both Common and Hresshi.
|Middle Age1||Old2||Venerable3||Maximum Age|
|30 years||45 years||60 years||+3d% years|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||5' 10"||+2d8||150 lb.||× (2d4) lb.|
|Female||5' 4"||+2d10||110 lb.||× (2d4) lb.|