Skithita (3.5e Race)
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Skithita are a race of dark, climbing humanoids descended from twisted, evil humans. Their skin is horribly pale, as white as paper, their eyes weak and shrunken. Although they look frail and bony, their bodies hide a terrible strength...
Dark and brooding, a Skithit will turn on an ally without a thought. Prefering to live in tunnels and caves that they dig into the mountainside, they come out at night to hunt flesh... and they don't care where it comes from.
A Skithit stands about five feet tall, and looks pretty much like a human in most respects. However, their skin is horribly pale, so pale as to be white, and their eyes are shrunken and misty. Whilst their heads are covered only in light, wispy hair, their hands are furred and hooked, and from the palms a strange slime is excreted. This allows the Skithita to climb up near-vertical walls and even across the ceiling. The other strange feature of them is their ability to 'see' heat. Whilst their eyes are weak and underdeveloped, providing merely dark outlines that are just enough to avoid obstacles, they can see the heat outlined on your body. This allows them to track just about any living creature.
As well as their own physical features, some sorcerers, wizards, rangers and druids (although spellcasters of any kind except perhaps rangers and sorcerers are unusual) take a seed from a plant that they grow and implant it into their head. This seed; 'Brainseed' as most natives call it, is a small, rounded bulb about the size of a fingernail. However, after the ritual of implanting it (which also includes several tattoos being added to the head and the actual seed being slid under the skin) it begins to grow, and before long you can clearly see the seed, and the roots that begin to web out from it, through the skin. The first few weeks are intensely painful for the subject, but after this is over, they don't feel a thing. The roots slowly web out and down towards the brain, and about eight weeks afterward they make connection. Slowly, they spread out over both the skin and the brain, increasing mental prowess and also guiding the subject... as the Brainseeds, despite much protest to the contrary by natives, are actually sentient. As the Brainseed's influence increases, however, and it grows larger across the skin, the subject becomes more and more plantlike, first suffering terrible pains in the soulders and chest, then down the spine and arms, then in the tailbone and hips, and then finally down the legs. These pains are the result of the Brainseed's roots finding their way into the bone marrow of the subject and slowly eating it away, replacing it with plant tissue.
Skithita do not get along well with any other race, but they will 'ally' with them if they must.
Although normally neutral evil, a few deviants can be found of almost any non-good alignment among the culture of the Skithit.
Anywhere where brainseed will grow, the Skithit can be found. Generally under the ground, as the Brainseed Plant is an algae.
Skithit follow their own religion which involves the Brainseed. The Brainseed God is known merely as 'Aniku', and his domains are evil and plant. His favoured weapon is the club.
Skithit speak their own language, a hissing dialect, and common. Their own language consists of different pitches of hiss and different tongue-clicks.
Skithita have no names, prefering to be called descriptive names alike to 'he of the brainseed that reaches his chin' or 'she of the crimson-clawed arm'.
Skithita are often forced out of their homes because of a lack of Brainseed, an overpopulation or a permanent exile. All of these are good reasons to leave your old lifestyle behind and become an adventurer. You see, during a time of a lack of Brainseed, if you are not deemed to be a true Skithita by the people, are just disliked or have fallen out of favor, you may be called for the 'extraction'. The whole Skithit clan will mob your cave and pull you out, dragging you up to the temple. Here, you will be thrown over the altar, stripped and chained down, before the clan elder steps up with a knife. He or she will use this knife to forcibly cut the Brainseed from your skin, and seeing as how, over time, the Brainseed pushes through your bone marrow and replaces it with its roots, this can be extremely painful. The elder and, normally, two other strong Skithita will break your bones to see if the cartilage has been transformed, and then cut any Brainseed roots out. They will remove your skin and pull out the roots from beneath it. The climax of the ritual is where they finally take the knife and cut out the seed itself from your head, taking exquisite care to remove the roots going down to your brain.
By the end of the ritual, the brainseed has been removed and planted on to a wall or into a 'volunteer' to grow and bear seeds, whilst you are dead, stripped of your skin, your bones broken, your muscles torn off and thrown to the floor. To avoid this, unpopular Skithit often leave the clan at times of Brainseed shortage.
Skithit Racial Traits
- +2 Strength, -2 Constitution, -2 Charisma. Although strong, Skithit cannot take much damage.
- Medium: As medium creatures, Skithit gain no bonuses or penalties because of their size.
- Skithita base land speed is 30 feet.
- Spider Climb (Ex): Skithit have very fine, yet strong, hairs on their palms and feet alike to those on a spider's legs. This, combined with a adhesive resin secreted from special pores underneath these hairs, allows them to climb as if affected by a Spider Climb spell. However, they must not be wearing boots or gauntlets (or anything on their hands and feet) whilst climbing.
- Poor vision: A Skithita can only see for 10 feet in front of him/her with normal vision (and that blurred), and so recieves a -10 penalty to spot checks and a -10 penalty to hit with ranged weapons.
- Infrared vision (Ex): Extremely sensitive patches on a Skithita's tongue allows him/her to see sources of heat in bright colour. This is overlaid on top of normal vision, and is not subject to blinding spells or any other spells that stop vision.
- Any living creature that gives off heat within 60ft is visible if a Skithita has a line of sight to it, and heat vision has a limited ability to see through thin walls and doors. A wooden door, paper door/wall, thin wooden wall, or cloth hangings do not block heat vision.
- However, if a creature is standing near to other sources of heat (such as torches, lights, a fire, steam) then he is as invisible as if he were not giving off heat at all.
- Golems and other constructs, undead and any other creature that does not give off heat (excepting creatures such as the burning skeleton and the hellfire golem) are invisible on heat vision. Creatures inside or behind a magical or natural barrier that gives off cold (such as a Wall of Ice or a snowdrift) are again invisible.
- Those who are magically invisible may be seen by heat vision.
- Ranged attacks to hit creatures spotted with heat vision do not suffer the -10 penalty to hit caused by poor vision. Spot checks to see things that give off heat are not subject to the -10 penalty caused by poor vision, instead they get a +4 bonus.
- Favored Class: Druid. A Skithita's druid class does not count when determining whether he or she takes an xp penalty for multiclassing.