Arborial (5e Race)

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Mmm... Yes. I've heard the noise of a falling tree. It sounds very similar to the noise of a falling dead soldier. Just less metal and screams.
Attributed to Hertresanna, "Queen" of the Dark Forest

Very similar to their close cousins, the dryads, the arborials are a race that are born in a similar fashion: from a lesser spirit bound to a tree. The main difference is that this bond was made for grand treason or acts against the existence of the Feywild itself, so their punishment is most severe: being bound to dead or damaged trees. As such, the evil intentions of this fey stays in the Material Plane, where they will either have to hide themselves from everything or be promptly destroyed either by good fey or by humanoids looking for wood. They also lose their magic abilities, and as such it is very rare that they are able to use spells.

Physical Description[edit]

Arborials are a race of fey creatures, and although they look like humanoid forms in trees, just as dryads, this trees always look damaged, burned or broken, with no leaves or fruits to be seen.

Their eyes tend to shine in a red or orange color when they are open and their face is usually burned or full of scars, always looking like an old person. It is not rare for them to miss limbs or to have many of them, up to 4 arms or legs, but in this cases only 2 are functional. Their bark tends to be black, grey or white, if they have bark at all. It is not uncommon they they have been invaded by insects or small animals, adding to their suffering.

They do not use any kind of dresses, clothes or covers but, if they want or have to, they usually use old or dead things: Rusty armors, rocks, bones, dead leaves, skins of animals or even human remains.


Arborials are type of fey found in forests. Arborials have existed since nature's creation, or so they say the few that have told anything about it. They rarely leave the forest where they were bound to, mainly because in another difference to the dryads, they are their bound object and their destruction means their end. As such, they tend to terrorize and scare everyone that gets close, not because they are not strong, but because they think fear is a better deterrent than brutality. Many damaged, burned or otherwise haunted forests have colonies of these creatures, and it is not rare that people living near them have tales about disappearing kids or eaten cows. Hags in particular seem to love being close to these forests and even to use arborials as part of their plans, not only because they are strong and they can be perfect spies for them, but because arborials can't risk getting into the bad side of a hag that may destroy them in one spell. Vampires, liches and drow are also frequent allies with this fey.


It's extremely rare for an arborial to leave the woods they live in. Arborials tend to protect wildlife that may help defend their existence, especially carnivores like wolves, catoblepas and even some dark creatures, such as werewolves and werebears. Grungs, toads, spiders and anansi can also be protected by these creatures, as they eat the insects that tend to eat their wood. They can grow "new" wood to replace some parts of their old and decaying body, but it is so energy consuming that it is better to prevent the problem to begin with. Herbivores in every form are not despised but not particularly liked by them, as they attract the humanoids that tend to look for them for sustenance.

Arborials tend to form very small communes, usually not more than 10, in the deepest and darkest parts of the forests, or even caves, to protect themselves. Their societies usually consists of a leader, that may or may not take a grandiose title, an assistant or a consort, and a bunch of gatherers. Although they can eat normal food like most humanoids, it is hard for them to assimilate and digest it. As such, they prefer sustenance in the form of a very special compost (they are the only ones that can do it, as it is made of various mostly rotten detritus, mud, and algae or rotten plants) in a combination that is easier for them to digest, and with just enough water; this is very important, as too much water in their diets can rot their bodies, but too little water and the sun and lightning may make them burst into flames even more easily.

Fire and lightning are terrifying for them as they are sensitive to both. They will hide from creatures using any of those until they can give them what they deserve without the possibility of their destruction. They also communicate with most living beings in the forest using a very rare form of communication from their unique language: the Arborlern. This tongue sounds as if one tried speaking normally, but using only sounds of hollow wood and winds rustling leaves.

Arborial Names[edit]

Arborials often take names of trees, plants or animals from the forests, although it is not uncommon they modify it to sound more macabre or rimbombante. They get their name the moment they are bound into the material plane. Although they rarely have offspring, this offspring never gets their name from the parent arborial. If both parents are arborial, the name is decided by consensus of the commune.

Male: Quercus, Sambucus, Viburnum, Leafarton, Arberum, Servion

Female: Phytolacca, Salix, Viola, Rosepoise, Hyacintalle, Dandeller

Arborial Traits[edit]

Humanoid fey that resembles a damaged tree
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2, and your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age. Arborials are fey beings, and as such follow into having really long lifespans. There is a registry of one that presumably lived 2000 years old, although by rule they tend to be killed at around 400. A pure-born arborial is considered adult at 200 years old. The few mixed offspring that have been registered tends to live for a little longer than 100 years old and are considered adults at 20.
Alignment. As they are usually fey criminals, they tend to be chaotic to safeguard their livelihood. Although they are almost always evil, neutral ones are not unheard of, especially if the crime implied giving away secrets to mortals. They are exceptionally good otherwise.
Size. Arborials vary in height and build, but they tend to be from 5 to 8 feet tall. Even with this height, you are very light, as your body is made of old wood. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Natural Armor. While unarmored, your Armor Class is equal to 13 + your Constitution modifier. You may use a shield and still gain this benefit.
Resurrected Tree. As you are a dead tree, you are very susceptible to fire. You have disadvantage on saving throws against fire and lightning damage. However, you are also not fully able to be poisoned. You have advantage on saving throws against being poisoned.
Voice of the Wilds. You can cast speak with animals or speak with plants, without requiring any material or somatic components. Once you cast either spell, you can't cast it again with this trait until you finish a short or long rest. When you use this version of the spells, the effects last up to an hour.
Natural Cover. While you remain motionless, you are indistinguishable from a normal old tree.
Fey Ancestry. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed and magic can’t put you to sleep.
Languages. You can speak, read and write Common, Sylvan and Arborlern. Arborlern is a secret language that only arbolern, animals and plants can understand, emmited from the movement of the branches and, to the untrained ear, it sounds like rustling of leaves in the wind, creaks and cracks from the trees and insect noises. It can be written using the elvish script.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

5′ 0'' +3d12 60 lb. × (1d4) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

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