Zashaal (3.5e Race)
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Some races venerate the dead; others fear them. The zashaal are one of the few races whose entire society centers around death, as the great passageway to the next realm. That is not to say the zashaal are grim - they enjoy life as much as any other race does, they simply do not fear its end. Zashaal tend to be philosophical in nature, with a remarkable patience that allows them to dedicate huge portions of their time to self-improvement... because they may not be able to take their belongings into the next life, but they can take their knowledge and experiences. Likewise, they are mindful of those who have come before them, and take time to learn from the experiences of their ancestors.
 Physical Description
Zashaal tend to be tall and somewhat slender, males averaging six and a half feet in height, and females typically topping seven. Their skin ranges from ivory white to sandstone, by way of varied shades of gray and beige. They have large, dark, pupil-less eyes, typically amber or dark crimson. Their facial features are delicate and subtle, with smallish, flattened noses, and ridged eyebrows. Males have no hair whatsoever; females grow hair on their heads, which is usually black or dark gray, and almost always pulled back in a braid or ponytail in day to day wear. Zashaal reach maturity at age 17, and usually live to be 120.
The zashaal focus on self-improvement and regimented lifestyle sits well with the dwarves, although they typically think of them as a bit off in the head. Elves see them as unnerving and unnatural, believing they should enjoy the journey instead of focusing only on the destination. Zashaal and gnomes don't get along much better; zashaal see gnome pranks as pointless (if occasionally amusing), and gnomes see zashaal as little more than dead walking the earth. Many humans get along well with zashaal, if for no other reason than zashaal lands are typically close to human settlements.
Zashaal tend to be lawful neutral. A handful of lawful good zashaal exist, many of those becoming paladins. Just as many zashaal are lawful evil, living as slave barons; however, almost no chaotic zashaal come to be. Neutrality is the closest that the zashaal mindset can typically come to chaos.
The Zashaal have a few small citystates to call their own - typically in temperate lands, often close to the sea. They are experiencing a population surge as of recently, and the largest of the citystates - Qotomit - has claimed the blighted wastes to its west as its own. As the land is considered uninhabitable by the human duchy that formerly owned it, the land claim has gone uncontested.
Zashaal typically venerate Wee Jas, relating to her role as guardian of the dead. Those that do not almost always follow the Temple of the Three Deaths - a religion that follows thee lesser incarnations of doom; the Death of Mercy, the Death of Time, and the Death of Justice. The Temple of the Three Deaths maintains that death is a natural thing, not the end of a journey but the beginning of another, and is to be embraced when it comes. Zashaal clerics who follow the Three Deaths take the Law and Death domains.
Zashaal speak common. They haven't had a language of their own since ancient times.
Zashaal have a single name, given to them four days after their birth. If extended introduction is needed, they will identify themselves by an ancestor of theirs - "Son of Howahnis", or "Granddaughter of Yim", for example. Male names always end in a consonant; female names always end in a vowel.
Male names: Khalam, Qomid, Hahimish, Lopahim
Female names: Emi, Qimalei, Jomaala, Hilia
 Racial Traits
- -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity. The zashaal are lithe and flexible, but few have any sort of appreciable brawn.
- Humanoid (Zashaal)
- Medium size
- Zashaal base land speed is 30 feet.
- Embrace of Death: When a zashaal dies, they can never be resurrected by any means short of a Miracle or Wish.
- +4 on all Knowledge (History) checks. All zashaal learn from those who have come before them.
- Death Familiarity (EX): A zashaal's familiarity with death gives them a remarkable ability to avoid it. They gain a +4 to any save made against a death effect. Likewise, they have no fear of death, and gain a +4 save against fear effects in general.
- Automatic Languages: Common. Bonus Languages: Any (except secret languages, such as Druidic).
- Favored Class: Sorcerer.