Charr, Variant (5e Race)
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I am a charr. In this world of constant battle, I am the deadliest weapon of all. I respect no authority but the clenched fist of my legion. With engines of destruction, we have killed our gods. We reclaimed our homeland of Ascalon, and we planted victory banners on the graves of our enemies. Yet, if we waver, it could slip through our claws. Victory. At any cost.
The charr are carnivorous feline-like humanoids. They stand on their hind legs and are taller than a human by half of an average human's height, but do not have the massive bulk of the norn. They prefer a hunched pose when standing, but will on occasion stand tall and straight. When they are moving, and their paws are vacant, the charr favor running on all four limbs with a loping gait.
They have a short fur from head to toe in a variety of colors and patterns, many of which are similar to those of lions, cheetahs and tigers. Their fur patterns are also like that of leopards, snow leopards, and even some fur types of common housecats. Many charr have a longer mane of fur between the shoulders and on the back of the head and neck.
Their muzzle is elongated, and their mouths are filled with prominent sharp teeth suited for their carnivorous diet. Their heads have four horns; those from the top of the head are more prominent than those between the two sets of ears. The top pair of ears hears high frequencies or ultrasound such as a dog might, while the bottom pair hear low frequencies or infrasound similar to an elephant. However, they have difficulty hearing mid-frequency sounds such as those used in human speech, which can aggravate already tense charr-human relations.
They have a set of sharp claws, which can be used as knives for general tasks, but it appears they tend to rely more on weapons when fighting.
While some sources claim that the males are generally stronger and the females more lithe and quick, studies seeking to prove these claims turn up inconclusive (and occasionally result in grievous bodily harm); the source of this belief likely stems from Flame Legion propaganda associating females with deception and treachery.
The charr were one of the first modern races to spread out from their original homeland. Beginning as a disorganized group of warbands fighting among each other for dominance of territory, one charr stood above the rest and claimed the title of Khan-Ur, uniting the race in the charr's first, and so far only, true golden age. Though still primitive, the charr spread into other territories, moving into the now-called Blood Legion Homelands and Ascalon, taking land from dwarf, grawl, and many other races. They would have spread further, but the charr found a new barricade to their expansion: the human kingdom of Ascalon.
The united charr stood a chance against the humans, however when the Khan-Ur was assassinated without leaving any clear heir, the race fractured into the four High Legions, each led by a cub of the Khan-Ur. Several charr have since held the title of Khan-Ur, however none have been able to unify the charr for longer than a few weeks, each being overthrown or dying in battle shortly after pressing their claim. In this time of strife, though even just one legion could suffice, the charr held back on expanding westward through the Far Shiverpeaks, resulting in skirmishes with the norn that grew to mutual respect of strength, and a strange pseudo-alliance that remains to this day.
In time, the charr began to blame the power of the Old Gods for the humans' victories. This led the charr to seek gods to call their own, and when the Flame Legion encountered demonic entities they called titans at the volcano Hrangmer, they had found them. The Shamans of the Flame Legion decided that they would accept the magic of the titans, and when the Flame Legion returned, so, too, did the Shamans of the other Legions. The Shamans, in particular those of the Flame Legion, became a ruling caste, and before long the charr were unified once more under their banners. One charr, however, spoke out against the titans - Bathea Havocbringer. She led an underground rebellion against the Shamans, but failed and became a sacrifice to the new gods. Her actions also led to the removal of female charr from the battlefield, and being consigned to domestic duties.
Once more united, the charr finally resumed the war against the humans. They struck without warning and with a devastating new power, granted to them by the titans. Using a legendary artifact called the Cauldron of Cataclysm and the power of their Titan gods, the charr shamans summoned forth a devastating magic that rained down burning crystals on Ascalon. The Searing was devastating to both the human kingdom of Ascalon and the land itself. Upheavals and craters reshaped the landscape while fires burnt away the lush forests and fields, leaving barren rock and ash-clogged fields. Water vanished from the rivers and lakes, some being replaced with tar, and without the plantlife to sustain them, all but the heartiest animals died out. Cities were reduced to ruins and villages were all but eradicated.
The Searing broke the once proud kingdom of Ascalon, leaving it an empty husk of its former self and close to collapse. The armies of the Charr proudly marched through Ascalon territory believing that what resistance remained would be easily overcome. Yet those that remained would not yield to the invaders from the north. A group of human heroes and charr rebels, King Adelbern of Ascalon and Pyre Fierceshot among them, struck out and slew the titans in front of the charr's own eyes. The proof that the titans were, in fact, mortal rocked charr society and caused chaos at the top of their hierarchy. Individuals and even entire warbands began breaking away from orthodoxy, and the religious establishment struggled to keep both the heretics and the humans at bay.
Despite the turmoil within the charr's own ranks, the Flame Legion imperator of the time decided to end the war once and for all and besieged Ascalon City for days on end. Just as it looked like the charr might finally have their conquest and the Ascalonians' will would falter, King Adelbern unleashed the power of the legendary sword Magdaer, bringing forth his own cataclysm, the Foefire. All humans within range of the spell were killed and their spirits were bound to the land, rising up to fight the charr in spectral undeath. The ghosts persist to this day, and as long as they do, the charr will never truly hold Ascalon.
With the fall of the Flame Legion's 'gods' fresh in memory and the Foefire denying the charr any hope of victory against the humans, a rebellion against the Shamans began. Even in their weakened state the Flame Legion proved a match for the other legions, and it wasn't until Kalla Scorchrazor joined the battle with an army of female charr who had been training in secret for generations that the tides truly turned. After the Flame Legion surrendered, they were cast out of charr society and females regained their place alongside males. Now stronger than ever, the charr were able to turn their attention to the Ascalonian ghosts and the remaining human kingdoms.
An agreement for a ceasefire and treaty negotiations was brokered between humans and and the Black Citadel, the Iron Legion's capital city on the condition that the humans return the Claw of the Khan-Ur, an artifact whose ownership is a requisite to become Khan-Ur, but was lost in the Foefire. If an intrepid party of adventurers is able to retrieve and return it, then for the first time in the charr's long history it looks like peace with the humans may actually be a possibility.
The charr are a military culture and their society, technology and relationships are very much focused on supporting war. Society is built around military units which charr become a part of from childhood. Non-military tasks, such as farming and trade, can be left to the young, retired, and injured. But no matter a charr's vocation they are always viewed as a soldier and view life like a soldier. Weakness and foolishness from individuals is viewed with particular contempt, some of such acts can result in a charr becoming a gladium- a charr without a warband- or in a worse case, the charr's name being stricken from the race's history.
Charr on occasion mate for life, but most relationships are more casual than that. Families are recognized but adult charr have very little contact with their parents or offspring, but sometimes keep tabs on each other for events which could reflect back on the family's reputation. As soon as a cub is weaned, around being a year old, they enter a fahrar of one of their parents' legion. The fahrar is the cubs' first warband and they are trained as a military unit under supervision of an adult and are considered an adult when the warband no longer needs supervision.
The cubs are taught to unify and define their own social structure and the warband shares a root name which they incorporate into their surname. While ancestry is known and acknowledged, the parents have little to do with the raising of the cub, and as such warbands are viewed as a charr's family and the bonds of loyalty and kinship formed between them are stronger than those of other races' families. Though some charr leave, change, or lose their warbands, these strong bonds usually leave a deep impact on the charr; charr changing warband must change their name and fit in quickly if they are to survive. However, charr have been known to choose the fate of becoming a gladium rather than risk losing those bonds again.
When the oppression of the female charr by the Flame Legion ended, male and female charr were once again viewed as equals. Male and female charr do not differentiate themselves through wearing differently tailored or styled clothing.
The charr are highly industrious, their forging superior to even the dwarves, and are renowned and feared for their military technology – weapon development, war machines and mass production, having pioneered the creation of airships and submarines. Their rifles and pistols are particularly finely made. However, not all of their advancements involve weapons – they also make some of the finest clockwork and spring-driven devices in Tyria. Their development in technology eventually led to the printing press, which in turn propagated the widespread use of the New Krytan language. While the average charr is willing to embrace technology, many view the use of magic as a sign of weakness and will distrust magic-users as a whole.
Much of their land has been converted to ranches and fields for herding and growing of winter feed for the animals. Cattle, sheep, warthogs, dolyaks and devourers are their primary sources of food. "Meat festivals" (such as the Meatoberfest) are held as a type of cultural celebration.
Due to their history many charr shun religion. They do not accept any god's authority and quickly anger on topics of charr worship or manipulation by god-like beings. Charr acknowledge other races' gods as beings of power but do not see them as something worthy of worship. In the case of the Human Gods, the charr view the deities as beings to fight and strive to kill. At best, their reverence and respect is limited only to great heroes and their deeds in their history, such as Pyre Fierceshot and Kalla Scorchrazor.
Charr society is built around the military chain of command which every charr is brought up to respect. The true head of the chain of command is the Khan-Ur, considered the primus imperator. He ranks above the imperators of all four High Legions and coordinates all the armies of the charr. There is currently no Khan-Ur because no charr holds the leadership artifact, the Claw of the Khan-Ur.
The charr nation is therefore currently led by a kratocratic oligarchy, built around the four High Legions. Each legion has a primus warband which the legion is named after and is led by an imperator, a descendant of the original Khan-Ur. If an imperator can obtain the Claw and perform a great deed, that charr will become the next Khan-Ur.
All of the four legions are fiercely independent from the others, maintaining their own lands and city-state strongholds. Three of the primary legions – Ash, Blood, and Iron – are allied and work together to maintain their lands and push for military conquest of lands outside those already held by charr. The fourth legion, Flame, is outcast and at civil war with the other legions. No legion allows the other three to rule over them, but the Iron legion is stated as taking a leading role within the lands of Ascalon.
In times of emergency, the High Legions are known to hold defense quorums in which the highest-ranking members of the area meet to plan out a solution to whatever the emergency is – be it repelling enemies, or managing refugee movements.
The charr military has a multitude of ranks. Directly beneath each legion's imperator are the tribunes; there are rarely more than ten tribunes per legion (Iron currently has six), and this office oversees an entire theatre of war or large swath of controlled territory. Centurions command a number of warbands (a "company") and coordinate maneuvers on a broad scale under a tribune's authority. Legionnaires lead their warbands on missions and guide them to victory. Under their command are the soldiers of each legion. Officers cannot officially order soldiers of other legions, unless given permission by an officer of said other legions.
The bottommost rank in the High Legions are the gladium, charr without a warband. They are the lowest grunts, given little respect or responsibility – regardless of their previous titles or rank. A charr away from their warband on assignment or on duty is not viewed as a gladium.
There are also other ranks and titles within the structure of the High Legions that do not contribute to the direct chain of command.
Main chain of command ranks:
Khan-Ur Imperator Tribune Centurion Legionnaire Soldier
Aide-de-camp Brevet Gladium Primus Quaestor Scrapper
Charr first names often have names based on their culture (e.g., Pyre, Ember, Forge). Along with this male names are also sharp sounding with the consonants (e.g., using D, R, T, G, K, etc.) whereas female names are smoother (e.g., using C, L, S, Z, etc. ); both genders often start with a sharp consonant though, but this is just generally and exceptions to this do exist. Some charr use Roman or Greek (inspired) names as well.
Charr surnames consist of two words put together, one of which (either suffix or prefix) denoting the warband of the individual (e.g., Rytlock Brimstone is of the Stone warband and Scylla Rustcloud of the Rust warband). Charr individuals generally get to pick variations of their surnames within the forming of their first warband which express their personality, ideals or history, though some limitations may apply. The second word often refers to occupation chosen by the charr such as Primus Gravepelt choosing "pelt" due to being a good trapper or Radarr Boommaker whose job is to create fireworks.
Members of the same warband can also have their warband name in different order than other members of their warband, though this is rare – some examples include Lightbringer Swordshatter and Legionnaire Bloodsword of the Sword warband, and Vitus Silverpick of the Pick warband (where all other warband members have Pick as the prefix of their surnames).
Male: Rytlock, Brakkurn, Tybalt, Farth, Volante, Aurus, Ferroc, Evon
Female: Almorra, Rox, Micka, Cadell, Nerys, Dieste, Firca, Galina
Surnames: Shadowclaw, Tendonbane, Truthbringer, Bramblepelt, Scalecatcher, Meatracer, Breaksteel, Fizzlebeef, Lampjaw
The charr are powerful feline soldiers that have mastered the art of war over thousands of years of conflict.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.
Age. Charr cubs are able to walk mere days after birth, but still mature at the same rate as humans. Charr tend to live as long as humans- if they don't fall in battle first.
Alignment. Your alignment is influenced by your subrace.
Size. Charr stand around 7-9 feet tall, but prefer to walk with a stoop that leaves them standing around 6 feet tall at the shoulder. 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.
Menacing. The size of your teeth makes friendly interaction with other races difficult. You gain proficiency in the Intimidation skill.
Ears To The Ground. You have two pairs of ears, finely tuned to hear low frequencies over long distances, and high frequencies to hear subtle movements nearby. You gain proficiency in the Perception skill.
Claws. Your claws are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one other language of your choice.
Subrace. Long ago, the charr were united in conquest under the banner of the Khan-Ur. After his death, the mighty charr nation splintered into factions. Today there stand three factions of note: The Allied Legions of Blood, Ash, and Iron, the disgraced Flame Legion, and the peace-loving Olmakhan tribe.
After the three legions defeated the Flame Legion and rebuilt their infrastructure to replace centuries of flame legion rule, there was no guarantee that the legions wouldn't immediately fall upon one another and take advantage of any weaknesses, potentially eradicating themselves. Luckily, the ghosts of Ascalon provided a constant, unending threat that forced the legions to cooperate against a common enemy, and taught the three legions how to work together without sacrificing their individuality.
Currently, the Iron, Ash, and Blood Legions operate under a shaky alliance. Although the three legions bicker and occasionally squabble, they have managed to maintain the general state of accord. Each legion is independent, but all three send troops and support to Ascalon to eradicate the ghostly threat.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Alignment. The alliance between the legions was founded on principles of independence from both gods and tyrants- but the rank and file still know better than to question orders. Allied Legion charr trend towards Neutral alignments.
Martial Training. You are proficient with two martial weapons of your choice and with light armor.
Tool Proficiency. You gain proficiency with the artisan's tools of your choice: smith's tools, thieves' tools, or tinker's tools.
Unbowed. Your unbreakable will grants you advantage against skill checks and saving throw effects that cause you to move against your will or knock you prone.
The Flame Legion is defined by zealotry and superstition, and until two centuries ago, had unified the charr more than any other force since the days of the Khan-Ur. Unfortunately for the charr, the basis for the Flame Legion's dominance was deceit, and so when their treachery was discovered, it was outcast from the other Legions in a spectacular fashion. Since then, the Flame Legion has waged a war against the other three High Legions, hoping to restore the shaman caste to power.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Alignment. The xenophobic and dogmatic Flame Legion are desperate to regain their former dominion over the other legions at any cost. Usually this involves dark rituals that twist and blacken the very earth into hellish craters, sacrificing innocent lives to any Evil entity that'll listen.
Shaman's Vengeance. You know the fire bolt cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the hellish rebuke spell as a 2nd-level spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the continual flame spell once with this trait without material components, and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Dark Zealot. You gain proficiency in the Religion skill.
The Olmakhan are a tribe of charr named after Olma, the first sandshifter. They fled from the Flame Legion before the eventual Charr rebellion. They feared that the insurgency of Kalla Scorchrazor was doomed, like other minor insurgencies before. Throwing off the caste system and the taboo on magic, they were able to make their escape from the charr homelands. The trek led them along the Shiverpeak Mountains south towards the Crystal Desert. During the five year exodus their warband slowly changed into a tribe, led by a council of five elders.
The Olmakhan's separation from the High Legions and distaste for violence has diverted their culture from other charr. The core dictum of their lifestyle is peace with nature. They live maintaining balance with nature, and survive by hunting, fishing and farming. They utilize magic and do not use the fahrar system of raising cubs. Instead they form families that take care of their children.
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Alignment. Since leaving the legions and their petty wars behind, the Olmakhan have rediscovered many values long thought alien to the charr. Familial love and a spiritual connection to nature are at the heart of their cultural experience. As such, the vast majority of Olmakhan favor Good alignments.
Sandshifter. You know the mold earth cantrip. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the wall of sand spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Earth's Bounty. You gain proficiency in the Nature skill and with the herbalism kit.
Random Height and Weight
|6′ 10″||+2d12||275 lb.||× (2d6) lb.|
*Height = base height + height modifier