Cherufe (3.5e Race)
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From a distance, a Cherufe is easily mistaken for a human—but on closer inspection, they are obviously anything but. Their skin comes in ashen greys that match the volcanic terrain they favor, they typically stand a head taller than the average human, and they possess a powerful tail that extends most of the way to the ground from the base of their spine. An articulated, streamlined carapace runs along their spine and shoulder blades—this reptilian armor comes in colors usually compared to rusted iron or copper, and is also present in patches along their forearms, shins, and abdomen. Despite their externally similar builds, Cherufe have extraordinarily dense skeletal/muscular systems, and are much heavier and stronger than a human of comparable size.
Beneath the surface, a Cherufe's dense musculature is a deep crimson. Due in part to their culture and in part due to their physiological differences, it is more common to be able to see beneath their skin in places than it is for a Cherufe to be spotless. A Cherufe does not heal like other races—an open wound will darken and seal itself after a fashion, but it does not scab over. Instead, the outermost layer of flesh—which already stiffened into the darkened membrane that protects a wound—is gradually converted into a new section of skin. Muscle tissue is then generated to replace that which was lost. The entire process can take up to a month for a mere scratch, making the main disadvantage of this trait its time constraints and the relative vulnerability of their scabless wounds. However, where the common races cannot regrow large patches of skin and require costly transplants, a Cherufe can regenerate any size wound if given the time—amazingly enough, this includes lost digits and even most of a limb, although that process is more complicated.
Cherufe are often garbed in the furs and skins of their kills, but sometimes are seen in more sophisticated garb and intricate plate armor. They do not lack for artisans and armaments of their own, and in times of conflict will tend towards the latter mode of dress. It is common for Cherufe to wear their own blood as a badge of honor, so expect to see the scars of healing injuries accented by this makeshift warpaint. It's usually left exactly as it was spilled, so streaks from the mouth and nose are amongst the most common of decorations. Cherufe have no facial or body hair, and the dark hair that grows from their head is usually worn with little or no ornamentation.
Most races avoid the Cherufe, for obvious reasons. The Cheruvi tribes are fierce rivals, and even relations within a tribe are sometimes strained. However, some more militaristic peoples have an uneasy friendship with the Cherufe, seeing in them a body of disciplined warriors that would be valuable allies in troubled times.
The Cherufe have a brutal culture that very quickly weeds out those they would consider weak or soft. Those who survive are jaded and cynical individuals with a penchant for violence, but a sense of self-discipline rivaling the most ascetic monastic orders. While they rarely have any respect for laws outside the traditions of their tribe, they usually prefer to avoid trouble with law enforcement officers and executioners.
Cherufe are nearly always evil, but are as often lawful as they are neutral. Cherufe that follow the path of chaos are rare, and are generally outcasts from not only their tribes but all of Cheruvi culture and religion. This makes them especially dangerous.
Cherufe are most comfortable in lands that others would consider unbearably hot, and are often found around active volcanoes and geyser clusters; this is doubly true since the scalding fluids found in such locations play a large role in their religious beliefs.
Every Cherufe speaks their own language, Cheruvi. Most also speak Anuvi, if only to taunt those they face in battle.
- +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, −2 Wisdom: the Cherufe are an incredibly strong and hardened people, but their fiery tempers leave them too impatient to read the thoughts and emotions of others, and they lack many sensibilities that other races consider common sense.
- Monstrous Humanoids (Fire): Cherufe are generally human-like in size and shape, but have some truly extraordinary and horrific additional features. They are most comfortable in places that other races would find unbearable, and do not do well in frigid environments.
- Medium size.
- Cherufe base land speed is 30 feet.
- Low-Light Vision: A Cherufe can see twice as well as a human in poor lighting conditions.
- Dense Musculature: A Cherufe counts a Large creature for the purpose of all Special Attacks and wielding of equipment because their body has more power than its size would indicate.
- Resilient Lungs: Cherufe are well adapted to their chosen homes, including a resistance to the toxic fumes naturally present in such environments. They are immune to all inhaled toxins.
- Fearless: The Cherufe are a fierce and disciplined people not given to fits of panic—they are immune to all fear effects.
- +1 natural armor bonus.
- Blood Lightning (Su): 1/day—Cherufe have the ability to use their bodies as a conduit for a supernatural attack that draws its power from the ground beneath their feet. A Cherufe must be in direct contact with the earth to use this ability, which takes the form of a 30-foot line or 15-foot cone of pink lightning. It deals 1d4 electric damage and 1d4 fire damage per caster level (maximum 5d4) to all creatures within its area of effect (reflex halves). At the start of the next round, a Cherufe may use a standard action to attempt to sustain the Blood Lightning for another round, which requires them to make a DC 15 Concentration check. If they fail, the standard action is wasted as the lightning fizzles out. Each subsequent round, the Concentration check's DC goes up by 5. Caster level is equal to 1/2 Hit Dice. The save DC is Constitution-based.
- Automatic Languages: Anuvi, Cheruvi. Bonus Languages: .
- Favored Class: Marrow Priest.
- Level Adjustment: +3
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