Dēmonhosuto (5e Race)
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At first glance, the boy was nothing special. He was neither thin nor brawny. He was around average in height. He wore no armor but simple, well-made traveling leathers and carried a simple but full pack. In fact, but for his dark blue hair, he was completely unremarkable. He didn't even carry any visible weapons, a choice that likely played no small part in his current predicament.
"Oi boyo," the bandits' captain drawled as his men surrounded him. "How 'bout ye drop all yer valuables nice an' easy an' we don' sell ye to them pointy ears in the Underdark, sound good?"
The boy paused, surveying the group of bandits with clear disdain.
"You should run away," the boy told them, his voice strangely calm for a young man facing down a group of brigands. He likely hadn't frequented a house of ill repute in quite some time given how far from civilization they currently were.
There was a moment of incredulous silence before the bandits blocking his path laughed at his words. All but one, who stood stock still, seemingly frozen by the mere sight of him.
Galien was her name and, unlike her fellows, she found no humor in her situation. The world seemed to have faded around her as her eyes fixed on the strange birthmarks like shallow claw tracks slashed into his forehead but long since healed. She could tell that they weren't natural and they stirred something in her, some half-forgotten memory from her homeland. Unlike the others she was from the south just north of the sea; a land of deserts, dead trees... and ghost stories. One story told of a boy with hair like the ocean and eyes like the sky who had marks on his face like the horns of a demon. The stories said that he appeared like a child, but that his rage had leveled cities and laid low the mightiest of foes. He was one of them, one of the hosts, one of the...
The boy turned, his head canting slightly in demonic curiosity when he found her staring at him.
"Dēmonhosuto," she murmured, trembling in fear.
The boy smiled in predatory delight, bearing teeth too sharp to be human as his crystal blue eyes bleed crimson red.
Galien turned and ran without a single backward glance, pursued only by the agonized screams of her former compatriots.
|Asmodian swordsman reg by Vlad Marica aka Vlad MRK|
Dēmonhosuto are creatures used as vessels or living prisons for powerful demons and devils. A dēmonhosuto typically appears larger and healthier than a creature of their background normally would but is otherwise indistinguishable from others of their race. In fact, aside from a subtle aura of unease or otherworldliness that they can project, the only distinguishing features a dēmonhosuto will possess will be a mark of the being they hold (typically a birthmark or other atypical physical feature) and the arcane mark employed to seal the entity they contain. For example, they may have oddly colored eyes or marks that look like horns on their head. These qualities will become more pronounced with rage and can be passed down to offspring.
Dēmonhosuto literally means "Deamon host". They were first used as a means to contain demons and other evil spirits that could not be properly destroyed or banished. It was later discovered that a host could channel a fraction of their tenant's power and many sought to weaponize dēmonhosuto. It is unclear how much of their tenant's power a host can actually wield but it is clear that the level of hostility between the dēmonhosuto and the creature they contain directly impacts their ability to safely use their power.
Over the course of history, nations prized and sought these dēmonhosuto, often committing horrendous experimental acts to try and replicate them even. Dēmonhosuto are commonly thus referred to as the property of the state militia where they were born. They are usually made into vessels from birth and are designated so for their synergy with the demon or their inherent abilities to control and pacify them. Countries keep them like military secrets and they are not well treated in many societies, who call them cursed beings. The creature sealed in them is often one of great destruction and dēmonhosuto carry that stigma around with them. Most dēmonhosuto thus never know what true love or compassion is and further isolate themselves.
Most dēmonhosuto grow up in normal society and are usually kept close to people in power or those loyal to them in order to keep an eye on them; it is not uncommon for a dēmonhosuto to be raised as part of a military. Whatever the case, a wise leader will go to great lengths to ensure a dēmonhosuto is raised in a way to foster the dēmonhosuto's loyalty. However, due to the great power and potential danger to society that a typical dēmonhosuto containing a malevolent spirit can pose should the seal fail or the host loses control, they are generally feared and tend to become isolated from their people. Even the wisest and most dedicated leaders struggle to endear their people to a dēmonhosuto and less diligent leaders often find themselves with a dysfunctional dēmonhosuto of questionable loyalty (if they haven't wandered off entirely). Sadly, it is not uncommon for a dēmonhosuto to suffer severe abuse or other discrimination in their youth and become volatile, unpredictable, and extremely dangerous as a result.
In rare cases, hosts of entities of religious significance and are raised in monasteries or other places of seclusion. These dēmonhosuto are seen as objects of worship; generally as a prophet or some kind of avatar or incarnation of the being they hold or a power that being is associated with. These dēmonhosuto can vary greatly in temperament. Some are humble and spend their lives working to further some greater good. Others... well, with the right cult and the right culture, you can produce almost anything. Two things they all have in common though are a deep-seated wanderlust and a skewed worldview. They have spent so much time couped up and revered that they simply cannot wait to get out into the wider world. The trick is, the wider world is a very different place and they are rarely prepared for life away from the cult that raised them. (Warning: a dēmonhosuto with relations to a cult can cause serious complications. Discuss with your DM before choosing this as part of your backstory)
Building and Playing a Dēmonhosuto
Luckily for adventuring parties (and dungeon masters), this means that dēmonhosuto rarely have deep ties or loyalties to places and don't need overly much convincing to wander off if they aren't doing so already. In most cases, the average dēmonhosuto makes an excellent frontline fighter as their abilities lend themselves to dealing and receiving damage while making an excellent distraction; to speak nothing of the destructive power they can bring to bear should they earn the favor of their inner demon. However, under the right circumstances, a dēmonhosuto can be just about anything. A high constitution and a disciplined upbringing would allow a dēmonhosuto to be one hell of a spell caster; some of the beings within the dēmonhosuto might even be convinced to regenerate ki or provide enough power to give their host additional spell slots. Still, other demons are decidedly vain and may strive to make their host a vision of perfection, which can be quite the boon for a charisma focused character.
- The first thing to consider when building a dēmonhosuto is where they came from. What race did they grow up with? Who raised them? Were they reviled for what they held or revered for holding it back? These will be key in explaining your character's beliefs and behaviors. Additionally, a dēmonhosuto typically takes their names from the races/societies to which they belong or in relation to the being they contain.
- Base Race
- dēmonhosuto are not a species unto themselves but members or an existing race who were forever changed when they were used in a ritual to imprison a creature of great power. This leaves some room for interpretation as to how the traits or the base race and those of the dēmonhosuto should interact. If the dēmonhosuto will be playing as part of a full party it would be best that the traits do not stack at all unless stated otherwise. Should the dēmonhosuto be part of a small party or a particularly brutal campaign their GM may approve the use of complex traits like an elf's Fey Ancestry or a halfling's Lucky.
- April Fools Option
- As a dēmonhosuto you gain access to the full breadth of your lineage. So, yes, you can be a canus werewolf variant whose despicable father turned them into a dēmonhosuto and start the game with a 1d8 natural weapon that gets nastier each time you transform or a succubus with a crossroads demon in her gut that just can't stop buying people's souls for a favor or two. Who are we to judge?
Dēmonhosuto are creatures of uncanny strength and constitution who function as a living prison or vessel for a powerful entity.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength or Constitution score increases by 2 and your Charisma score increases by 1.
Age. Dēmonhosuto come of age according to their base race but age noticeably slower. The stronger the entity they contain and the less hostile it is to its host, the longer they will live.
Alignment. Dēmonhosuto have no set alignment. However, fear or reverence of the entity they contain can greatly influence this and should be accounted for during character creation.
Size. A normal Dēmonhosuto is between 5'2" and 6'0". Weight may vary with race. 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.
Aura. No mortal magic is strong enough to fully contain the terrible power held within, lending a dēmonhosuto an aura of power that can make those around them uncomfortable. You are proficient in the Intimidation skill and when a creature targets you with divination magic they receive the impression of the demon contained within and must make a Wisdom save or be frightened until the start of their next turn. The DC for this saving throw is equal to 8 + your Charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus. On success, they cannot be frightened this way for the next 24 hours.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common, your base race language, and one other language of your choice.
Subrace. template below
Inner Demons Template
Given Name/True Name
Titles, type of being, and brief physical description. You should describe the essence of the spirit your dēmonhosuto contains. What elements do they favor? What traits do they represent or embody? Who are they? These should also serve as the criteria for gaining their favor or, at the very least, getting them to hate you slightly less so that their power isn't burning the life out of you every time you use more than a sliver of it.
Innate Spellcasting. The creature within should passively grants the use of a cantrip and two additional spells received at levels 3 and 5 respectively. The chosen magics should reflect the theme of the entity within the dēmonhosuto (Example: a Lust demon might grant charm person while a Spirit of the Forge might grant heat metal).
Unique Ability. dēmonhosuto aren't created to hold back generic demonic menaces and just use spells. The creatures they house are as exceptional as they are powerful and often times some semblance of these traits get passed on to their hosts. This can be as simple as an "Iron Gut (Goat Demon)" that allows the dēmonhosuto to eat anything as if it were food and immunity to any malady that would normally befall them from doing so (poisons, diseases, blight, etc).
When creating a dēmonhosuto character, you can use the following table of traits, ideals, bonds and flaws to help flesh out your character. Use these tables in addition to or in place of your background's characteristics. When creating a dēmonhosuto character, you can use the following tables to add flavor or depth to you dēmonhosuto.
|d6||Personality Quirks (Normal is boring. What's your damage?)|
|1||I don't like people, they don't make sense and it makes me anxious when they pay attention to me.|
|2||I'm told that I'm condescending and arrogant. I say it's hard to respect people when they do nothing but disappoint you.|
|3||Trusting others is an alien concept and something I could never see myself doing.|
|4||Good people are hard to find. So when I find them, I become quickly attached and protective of those who treat me fairly.|
|5||Impossible is a word used by lesser beings to justify their failure and I don't have time for excuses.|
|6||Some say I should set my sights lower, but what the hell do they know? We remember the doers and dreamers, we don't even think to remember those that don't.|
|d6||Ideal (Strip your character down to a single concept. What do you see?)|
|1||If I want something done, it will get done. If you're in my way? Well, that's your problem.|
|2||I never go back on my word once I've given it. So listen carefully when I do.|
|3||I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly.|
|4||Normal people are just so... useless. I swear the only way to get anything done is to do it myself.|
|5||Kindness and mercy are meant for children, everything else and everyone else is fair game.|
|6||I am the only thing that is real. All else exists for my entertainment.|
|d6||Drive (Everyone has some reason to go on. What drives you?)|
|1||Someone saved me when I was at my lowest, it's time I paid it forward.|
|2||To kill, is to live, as long as I kill, my life has meaning.|
|3||They said I would never amount to anything. Now, I live for the look on their faces every time I prove them wrong.|
|4||By blood or mortar, I will carve my name in history so I can never be forgotten.|
|5||It's a cruel and dangerous world out there. To protect what I love... I need power.|
|6||Life is pain and I'm a coward, so I will run and keep running to avoid my problems as long as I can.|
|d6||Flaw (Nobody is perfect. What's your dysfunction?)|
|1||The monster inside me slowly tears away at my psyche. Unless something changes, I will go mad.|
|2||I wake up every night screaming at the horrors of my past replay in my dreams.|
|3||It is very little in this life that I cherish. For those precious few, I would burn the world to see them smile.|
|4||My story is nothing special. Truth is, when push comes to shove, killing is as easy as breathing.|
|5||I am pathologically incapable of trust. No, I'm not telling you why!|
|6||Most days I can't tell where the monster ends and I begin. Worse? I can't find it in me to care.|