Arcaedia (5e Race)
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Almost Hidden in Plain Sight
One would think that wielders of dark magic would be easily spotted, but most arcaedians easily pass for human in most societies. They are often described as larger than average humans with arcane skin patterns that spiral around the arms, legs, and along their spine. They have skin on the darker side usually ranging anywhere from light tan to black. Their eyes can come in any color under the sun, but flecks of gold are always consistent. Their hair is usually black or brown, but red, blond, or even white aren't out of the question. The arcane patterns and characters on their skin are indecipherable, purple and black or white markings that may glow if feeling nervous or angry. Every arcaedian's patterns are different, and that includes the way they manifest. When summoning their spectral limbs, it appears as if the symbols themselves are floating off to form them - the spectral formations do maintain these patterns, with the lines and gaps forming the shape of the selected limb.
The arcaedian people are the result of desperate people with a well-intentioned cause that ended up with interesting after effects. These people were once humans that lived on a remote island kingdom on the Prime Material Plane, the name of this ancient kingdom lost to the ages. This island was constantly under attack from pirates and other nations trying to claim rare treasures and valuable natural resources that it held.
After many centuries of war, the people had had enough. They began seeking help from any source they could to help get the upper hand in the battles that plagued their home. When they received an offer of immense magical power and combat prowess for a mere 5 gold piece per soldier, how could they refuse? But like most things that sound too good to be true, it was. What they thought was a powerful and benevolent sorcerer was an amateur warlock serving an unknown dark entity looking to cause chaos.
The ritual complete, they returned to their homeland and crushed all invaders who would flee after witnessing the terrifying power the people of the island wielded. Only fools with a deathwish would sail near its shores. But as is the nature of the world, things eventually go awry.
Before long, rumors of an island ruled by demons found the ears of many would-be adventurers and holy men across the world from the few survivors that had attacked the island. This mounted another massive assault against the arcaedian homeland. Although they wielded mighty power, the sheer numbers they now faced wore away at their defenses. Faced with few options, they fled to the larger continents under the cover of night to begin a new life. But not without grieving the loss of their fallen kingdom.
Although easily passing as human in most societies, the arcaedian people prefer to keep to their own secluded colonies hidden in remote regions such as high mountains, deep forests, and underground cavern systems, anywhere where people rarely travel. They build housing out of whatever they can find within the area. If abundant in stone, stone dwellings abound. Plentiful wood and animals for pelts? Lodges and tents for all! These colonies form closely-knit, self-reliant communities led by a chief elected every few decades. If the people become unhappy with their new leader, they could petition for a new one, challenge the chief for leadership in a test of strength and intellect, or they could simply leave and start a new colony with any others that disapprove of the current leader.
Since the arcaedia began as humans and still hold strongly to their humanity, they still have human names and naming customs.
They took a risk to protect their kingdom, but was what they got worth it in the end?
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2.
Age. Arcaedians develop to maturity by the age of 13 before slowing to a normal human age rate, though they live an upwards of over 150 years.
Alignment. Being formerly human, they are a mixed bag of alignments. Some were turned evil from the corruption of their newfound power, while others stood tall against the incoming threat and remained good. Similarly, many chose to use it to aid only those who were in need, but few still uphold the code of their fallen kingdom.
Size. They are on the taller side for a human, ranging from 5'6" to 6'4". Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 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.
Spectral Limb. After being tampered with by questionable magic, the arcaedia gained the ability to use the magical energy that now resides within them by way of their runic markings. As an action, you can activate this energy to form enlarged, spectral versions of one of your body parts, usually the arm or leg. You can attack with this limb as a magical, unarmed strike that deals 1d6 force damage plus your Constitution modifier. You are proficient with this method of attack. This power can be harmful when channeled in long bursts or moments of high stress like combat; As such, you can only manifest this ability for up to 1 minute at a time. This power can be deactivated using a bonus action on your turn and can be used once, regaining the spent use at the end of your next long rest.
Unholy Resilience. When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.
Languages. You can read, write, and speak common plus one other language of your choice.
Subrace. Two variants of arcaedia exist. Abyssal arcaedia are those among the original and their descendants; those marked with the same dark patterns as the rest. Ascended arcaedia came about after the fall of their kingdom, their white markings taken as a sign that they had finally left the shadow of evil cast by the dark power that ruined them. Choose one of the following subraces.
Your black or purple markings announce you as an abyssal arcaedia with the darker magic of your ancestors flowing through your veins.
Ability Score Increase. As an abyssal arcaedia, either your Strength or Dexterity score increases by 1.
Darkness Sensitivity. Your senses grow more powerful in the absence of light. You can see in darkness and dim light as if it were bright light with your darkvision.
Shadow Boxer. When you make an attack with your spectral limb, you can choose to substitute the force damage for necrotic damage.
Skillful Subterfuge. Telling lies or stealing can be like second nature to you. You have proficiency with your choice of either the Deception or Sleight of Hand skill.
A bit on the rarer side, but occasionally an arcaedia is born with white markings. Their people take this as a sign of the gods or an omen of greatness for the future of this child.
Ability Score Increase. As an ascended arcaedia, either your Wisdom or Intelligence score increases by 1.
People Reader. You have a knack for picking out people's intentions. You are proficient with the Insight skill.
Divine Protection. You have resistance to necrotic damage.
Shadow Banisher. You know the light cantrip, your casting modifier for which is whichever ability score you chose to increase when you took this subrace (either Wisdom or Intelligence)
Age/ Random Height and Weight
|Child||Adulthood||Middle-Aged||Old||Maximum Life Span|
|5′ 6″||+2d8||180 lb.||× (2d4) lb.|
*Height = base height + height modifier