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 The Iron-sons
The Jherron dwell outside of what the Rukaiin consider "civilization". They live in the forests, in the mountains, the swamps, the deserts, and every other climate unsuitable for heavy construction or agriculture. This suits them just fine, as too much contact with the "Walking Dead", as the Rukaiin are known, can dull the senses and endanger the home. (Some Jherron words are referenced in this entry. These words will always be in Kurron (All-Tribes), however a DM may vary the sounds as they wish to suit an individual tribe's dialect. The whole of the language is not necessary for this endeavor)
Personality: Jherron are tribal in their association, and see the world through quite a different lens than most of the Walking Dead. All the world is a hearth and home, but none of it belongs to anyone. A beast might dwell in a thicket, but if its meat, hide and bones are needed, it comes down to survival, and its territory goes to the next animal. Conversely, a family might dwell on a hillside, but if a pack of wolves decides that their hunting grounds need to expand, the family must either move or face the wrath of the wolves. Nature is not to be avoided; though they do shelter themselves from the rain, use fire to cook their food and forge tools and weapons, and clothe themselves, they do so in a fashion as close to nature as possible. Any Jherron who turns from this path is almost immediately recognizable to other Jherron by an imperceptible sickliness that they exude.
Physical Description: To the Rukaiin, there is not much difference between the outward appearance of a Rukaiin and a Jherron. But to the Iron-sons, the differences are staggering. Jherron height ranges from under five feet to about six feet tall, and they weigh anywhere from 100 to 180 pounds, (This does not take into account the difference in gravitational strength on Jherracz, as it is assumed all creatures thereon have equivalent strength to deal with the discrepancy) with men noticeably taller and heavier than women. Their skin tones are almost exclusively darker than those of the Walking Dead, being anywhere from lead-gray to pitch-black, with lighter-skinned Jherron dwelling in the steppes and forests, and darker skinned Jherron thriving in the tropical rain forests of the South. The Jherron peoples differ in the minor aesthetic details; however, almost every tribe shares one commonality. At the onset of puberty, the young men and women of the village are plucked free of every hair that grows not on their head or their brow. This means very few Jherron have any facial hair, or any hair whatsoever below the neck for either gender. In some tribes, all hair is plucked, but most tribes value at least the coif and brow. The hair that remains is almost always dyed with the juices of a local berry or the crushed shells of brightly colored insects.
Relations: The Iron-sons do not usually get on well with other races. The Rukaiin are considered Anfang-Ehkte, the "Walking Dead" by the tribes, because of their blindness to how their actions affect the world in which they live, and their unwillingness to listen to the cues Nature sends them every day. There are certain Rukaiin that gain their respect, and these they call Kalda-i-Enut "Revenants", those brought back to Nature. The tribes all have a healthy respect for the Uqur and the wild Vaenar, with whom they share ideals and often trade for the bounties of their respective hunts. This does not mean that they always agree on territory, especially when the Vaenar begin to run low on food. The Iron-sons consider the Kaelaen to be almost as bad as the Rukaiin and call them Chtettek, or "Sword-Scales". There are certain other intelligent races known only to certain tribes of Jherron that could almost be mistaken for spirits, and their interactions therein are clandestine. Almost no contact between the Xei and the Jherron is maintained; though any reasons for this to be so are unclear to even the wariest observer.
Alignment: The Jherron respect tradition and cultural law, but they do not recognize the authority of the Walking Dead unless severely outnumbered. The Iron-sons all revere their elders as fonts of wisdom and sagely advice. The vast majority of Jherron will have an alignment that is either Neutral Good, Lawful Neutral or True Neutral. This is not to say that there are not evil Jherron, but entire tribes of evil-aligned Iron-sons, if they exist, are the best-kept secrets of the other tribes.
Jherron Lands: Any land that lacks a paved road or the throngs of stone and wood buildings common to the Rukaiin is potential Jherron land. The Aelirron dwell in the Arctic Circle, and in the steppes. The Kala'i'orron make their home in the Southern and Eastern mountain ranges. The Derron live in the Great Forest in scattered tribes, some nestled so far inside that they have not ever seen any of the Walking Dead. The Cheterron tribe calls the open Plain their domain. Last, the small but notable Shaikurron tribe lives in the side of the tall cliffs on the Southeastern edge of the continent.
Religion: The Jherron pay no mind to the idols of the Walking Dead, nor to the heroes of the Lizards. They are, first and foremost, Animists. They revere the spirits that inhabit every living thing, most tribes paying homage to totem spirits of the local apex predators. Ceremonies in the Jherron way often involve draping the village elder in the untreated furs or hides of a great beast, wearing wooden masks adorned with real horns and teeth, to see through the eyes of the Great Spirits. While most Divine-spellcasting Jherron would be Shaman, there are some who take Cleric levels instead. The Domains available to Animists of the Jherron way are: Air, Animal, Death (If Neutral or Evil-aligned), Earth, Fire, Healing, Plant, Sun and Water. A DM may choose to expand upon this list, or limit it based on tribal affiliation. The DM may also wish to limit certain choices, such as preventing a Jherron spellcaster from choosing both the Death and the Healing domains.
Language: All Jherron speak Kurron, but each tribe also has its own dialect, which is usually referred to by the tribe's given name. A DM may require Jherron players to also have Common as one of their languages, whether that means giving them the language automatically or requiring it to be one of their chosen bonus languages.
Names: An Iron-son has one name to himself, one name to his tribe, and a name to outsiders. For instance, the name Kaldrakai-In-Cheterron (Swiftfoot of the East Plains-tribe) would be the full tribal name, but that same person might be known as Bat to outsiders, because he wears a charm made of a stitched bat-wing pouch filled with warding herbs around his neck. Self Names: (A name is not gender-specific in Jherron, though some topics of nomenclature or Nature may be considered masculine or feminine by a given tribe) The Self Name is typically passed from father to son, and from mother to daughter, and is either a combination of an adjective and a bodypart, or a reference to an Animist scene that was significant to the child's birth or conception. For all intents and purposes, a DM or Player may choose not to translate the name for Jherron player characters.
Tribe Names: Aelirron (Steppes tribe), Cheterron (Plains tribe), Derron (Forest tribe), Kala'i'orron (Mountain tribe), Shaikurron (Cliff tribe), Zhong'Aelirron (Desert tribe). These affiliations, especially when dealing with two different cells of the same overall tribe, are augmented by the use of cardinal directions, and are all relative. The directions are Ru (North), Re (South), In (East) and Vai (West).
Outsider Names: These are entirely up to creative license, and may range from parts of an animal body, animals themselves, a weather pattern, a certain tool, or any number of sources of inspiration. The choice, however, should be something that can be depicted either with the object in question or a representation of it, because where language barriers are heavy, images are still quite strong.
Adventures: A tribe without a home must venture into the wilds to seek new space where game is plentiful and the earth bountiful. Jherron are not unknown for separating from their tribe for periods as long as a decade in order to seek out their own identity. During this time, they may join with outsiders and learn their ways, if for no other reason than to test their own resolve.
Jherron Racial Traits
- +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma. The naturalistic lifestyle of the Tribes cultivates hardiness and fortitude, but leaves them socially distant from the other races.
- Medium: As Medium creatures, Jherron have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Jherron base land speed is 30 feet. (Six squares)
- Low-light vision: A Jherron can see twice as far as a Rukaiin in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
- +2 racial bonus to Fortitude saves vs. poison.
- +2 racial bonus to Craft checks involving iron, or any steel alloy that can be manufactured without industrial foundries. +2 racial bonus to Hide checks made in home environment. (I.e. Cheterron = temperate plains, prairies)
- Automatic Languages: Kurron, Native Tribal language, Common. Bonus Languages: Other Tribal Languages, Epanuqucz (Shallows Uqur), Vaenar.
- Favored Class: Ranger. The Jherron tribes are usually hunter/gatherers, and the intrinsic track ability suits them very well. A multiclass Jherron’s ranger class does not count when determining whether they take an experience point penalty for multiclassing. (See PHB 3.5, pp 60)