Homoluciola (5e Race)
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|“||"It was then that I knew I was lost. I wandered through the forest for a whole day. I was hungry. I was tired. But then I saw lights that night. I thought they were hallucinations, but they were real. I followed them to a strange village, filled with strange insect people that looked- and glowed- like giant fireflies. I collapsed in the middle of the town. I woke up in one of their homes. The woman who lived there called her race some odd name I don't remember. After I was restored to strength, she showed me the way out of the forest. They all seemed sad to see me go. I'll never forget them."||”|
|—-A man describing a run-in with a Homoluciolian village.|
Homoluciola are, essentially, anthropomorphic fireflies. Their bodies are covered in a chitin exoskeleton like that of an insect, with blackish-brown bodies covered in plates. Their torsos are thick-built. They have rounded, red, somewhat small heads, with a pair of large segmented antennae sprouting out of the top. Their eyes are unlike that of a normal bug, with all the components of most ordinary humanoids' eyes; however, they are black as night on all areas. Their small mouths have a pair of mandibles, which the homoluciola uses instead of teeth to chew its food. Their limbs are thin but sturdy, with 5 thin fingers on each hand and 3 toe-like appendages on each foot. Unlike an insect, the homoluciola has only 4 limbs: 2 arms and 2 legs. All of their limbs are covered very sporadically in long, thick, hair-like strands. Their blood is a very dark orange in color. Homoluciola have a pair of flimsy, transparent white wings on their back, with black wing covers protecting them. Some individuals might have stronger wings than others. Their most notable features are large, translucent, hard, yellow plates, covering a certain area of their lower stomach and abdominal regions. These plates contain bioluminescent fluids that can produce a bright yellow-green light whenever the homoluciola wishes. This mechanism operates by sucking in air through needle eye-sized holes in the abdominal plates, which creates a light-producing chemical reaction. Different genders have slight differences. The males have larger abdominal plates than females, with the largest being considered attractive by women. Men also have longer antennae and larger mandibles. Females have larger, sturdier wings, and are usually a tad taller and bulkier than the men Their abdominal plates compensate size for brightness, being able to shine a slightly more intense light then the males. They also have larger eyeballs, with two pairs of much smaller mini-antennae that resemble eyelashes (males altogether lack these) above their eyes. Homoluciola are omnivorous, both growing crops and hunting prey such as deer or wild boar.
Homoluciola are not a rare race. However, have been seldom seen throughout history, as they live in secluded forest villages, constructed deep in the heart of nature. Some cultures believe that the homoluciola were once ordinary fireflies that were imbued with pure love by a deity, destined to save lost souls of the forest and bring the gift of romance to others. Although homoluciola keep no such religious record of their origins, they have long served as guides of the forest, escorting travelers and lost wanderers through usually dangerous woods. People who have seen a homoluciola village before were usually lead there by the flashing lights of its inhabitants, an unmissable sight among the trees and underbrush.
A homoluciolan village is usually constructed next to a river, stream, or pond, for easy access to drinking water and fresh fish. Villages consist of houses made from logs and river clay, a central marketplace, training areas for the village guard, small plots of farmland that grow vegetables such as corn and wild squash, and a building for the village elders to hold conference. There are 3 classes of homoluciola peoples: There is the working class, the majority of the village's population. People in this class range anywhere from farmers and hunters to seamstresses and architects. Next up, there is the village guard, an honor among homoluciola people. These guards are trained warriors, wielding wood-handled pikes, carved wooden longbows made from animal tendons, and barbed silver shortswords, defending the village from large beasts or other threats and enforcing the will of the village elders (although they almost never have to use force on civilians). They are chosen during their childhood by the elders and trained by the guard's captain. Finally, there are the village elders, a group of 4 men and women who make the big decisions for the village. The elders are a nepotistic leadership, training their children as heirs. If an elder does not produce an heir or dies before he/she can, the village appoints the leader of the guards, and one of the most decorated guards takes the leader's place (as is usual when the captain of the guards dies or leaves his/her position).
A homoluciola individual's clothing is usually only worn for warmth and modesty. They wear heavy fur hide outfits during the winter to keep warm, and loose-fitting pants sewn from plant-based cloth in the heat of the summer. Half-shirts always have large elliptical holes around the shoulder blades through which the wearer can thread his/her wings. Women usually wear head cloths woven with different patterns, while men wear bracelets and anklets decorated with bird feathers of bright colors. Higher-class men wear more jewelry than others. Homoluciola will also wear additional clothing depending on their job. For example, a woodcarver will wear a leather sash filled with hammers, chisels, and knives, and a village guard will wear sword sheaths or quivers, sometimes with a small wooden shield on one arm. The village elders will adorn some sort of headdress fashioned from dyed twigs and thread as a symbol of their power. No matter what, the abdominal region of a homoluciola is always exposed, so that it can shine its light. Most outfits resemble a pair of shorts or pants and a half-shirt, or no shirt at all. Homoluciola almost never wear shoes.
Homoluciolian villages are very accepting of outsiders, no matter what race they belong to. They will provide food and lodging to any who need it, usually tired (and, in bleaker cases, dying) travelers. Homoluciolian villages are usually very spaced out, but an outsider homoluciola is just as welcome (sometimes more welcome) as any other. Since homoluciola lack true currency and buy everything with bartering, an adventurer weighed down with gear can grab some quick food or a piece of handcraft in exchange for some of their belongings or findings. Homoluciola dishes are usually vegetable or grain-based, often with meat, such as stews, unleavened breads, meat cooked over hot logs, and vegetable mashes. Most are either sweet or savory. Homoluciola favor silver for their metalwork, as it is usually rich in the earth of the areas they inhabit, and they have an inherent fear of lycanthropes of all kinds. A warrior might be able to purchase a silver pike or sword if they share such a fear or hunt those with the curse. In many ways, a homoluciolian village is always a welcome sight to any forest trekker. However, its inhabitants have one crucial weakness: They are always disappointed when an outsider leaves. Most simply leave, ignoring their clingy requests to stay just a little longer, but some stay out of guilt. In many cases, a homoluciola will fall in love with an outsider, and either follow them into the outside world to be with them, or the opposite end. Many people who find a homoluciolian village and decide to stay long-term never leave, as they are a much more sophisticated race than many people think. Outsiders who have never heard their race name or have a hard time pronouncing it (HOH-moh-luse-ee-OLE-la) may incorrectly call them "beetlekin," or just simply "firefly people."
Attitudes and Beliefs
The defining belief of homoluciolian culture is true love. Although the principle of love at first sight is held in esteem by some individuals, it is a huge part of a homoluciolia's life, even if they never find love themselves. The homoluciola are known for their extravagant wedding ceremonies, which are a mish-mash of other cultures' practices. A homoluciola and his/her spouse will wear matching pendants with a silver-lined, flat wood carving that is uniquely crafted for every couple. A Homoluciola's true love is believed to be of any shape, size, character, or even race, and it is not uncommon to see that a homoluciola outside of a village is married to a different race. A homoluciolian romance is usually quite torrid in its early stages and usually lasts a lifetime, as divorce is not a part of their culture (and most never want to leave their spouse anyway). Because homoluciola are incapable of interbreeding with other races, having children is usually not a priority among a couple, even among two homoluciola spouses. If a Homoluciola paired with a different race does want children (or the spouse does), the couple will usually adopt a child instead. Homoluciola are said to make exceptional partners, always providing for their spouses and easy to get along with. When a homoluciola's spouse dies, they are plunged into terrible depression and grief.
Magic and Religion
There is no predominant religion or deity among the homoluciola. However, some villages may be devoted, in part, to a single god, with a church building and the village elders leading the townspeople in worship. Oftentimes, an outsider may spread religion to a Homoluciola village. Many clerics and paladins find homoluciola villages excellent spots for church-planting. A homoluciola outside of his/her village will usually follow the religion of the culture they live in, or the religion of their spouse.
Homoluciola are not know for their practice of magic, but they are no strangers to the occult arts. Occasionally, one of the village elders might practice a bit of magic, or an outsider might school the ones who took him/her in in magic. Usually, a homoluciola who is fond of magic will try to create his/her own spells. Most homoluciola practice spells designed to heal and strengthen, or to interact with nature and the physical objects around them.
A homoluciola's life begins when two spouses decide to mate. Over the course of two weeks, the female's lower back and pelvic area begins to swell rapidly, similarly to pregnancy, but much faster. During this time, the female will likely experience a major increase in appetite. When these two weeks have passed, the female will go into a brief labor period, conceiving a large, white, spherical egg, about 1.5 feet in diameter and fully fertilized. After seven months, this egg hatches (in a rare natural occurrence, or if the egg was handled very roughly or broken, the baby inside the egg will die beforehand). The newborn homoluciola is quite plump, its limbs are short and stubby, and its exoskeleton is soft and pale tan all over. Baby homoluciola tend to flash their lights on and off at random intervals, soon picking up the refined sequences of the Homoluciolian tongue. Unlike many humanoid babies, they are silent, becoming noisier as they grow up. When they are first born, homoluciola lack wings. Twins, triplets, and quadruplets are much more common among them, with the odds of twins standing at 1 in 12 and as many as 11 hatching from 1 egg (although, the more babies hatch from a single egg, the sicklier and less likely to grow up they become. Twins and triplets usually aren't at risk, however). The first thing a homoluciola baby does after hatching is eat its empty eggshell. After this, it can be fed solid food. At the age of 3 or 4, the child's exoskeleton begins to darken and grow thicker chitin layers, and they grow much thinner as they mature, shedding their skins every half-year to accommodate all these changes. By 6, most will have learned to walk on two legs, can speak Homoluciolian well, and know basic phrases in Common. They continue to grow in this way until they reach 12-16. Aside from height, this is the final transformation of the homoluciola's body, as their wings grow in (females' wings grow in at a sooner time than males). They reach full maturity by 21, the same age as humans, and begin to fly at such an age. As they grow old, homoluciola will become physically weaker, but their appearance hardly changes. Overall, they live to be anywhere from 100-135 years old before dying of age.
Homoluciola sometimes take their names from other cultures. More often, they'll name their children after words for "light" (or some form of it) in different languages, usually Common. Their last names usually reflect their occupation (or, more specifically, their ancestor's occupation).
Male: Spark, Ligero, Flicker, Svet, Destello
Female: Yarky, Leclat, Hellen, Brillar, Resplandor
Neutral: Lux, Licht, Shine
Family Names: Builder, Huntress, Fisher, Stitcher, Silversmith
Firefly-like humanoids that live in secluded forest villages. Known for their kindness and romantic aspirations.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2 and your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age. Homoluciola usually live up to over a century, as old as 135 (see Life Cycle above).
Alignment. Homoluciola typically belong to a Good alignment.
Size. Adult homoluciola stand between 4 to 6 feet tall, but their antennae add about another foot and a half to this height. They weigh anywhere from 200 to 475 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Exoskeleton. While unarmored, your AC is equal to 11 + your Dexterity modifier. You can use a shield and still gain this benefit.
Bioluminescence. You are capable of shining a light from your body at any given time, without expending an action, provided that you are not incapacitated, asleep, paralyzed, or unconscious. This light emits bright light out from you in a 20-foot radius, and dim light for an additional 20 feet. Alternatively, you can emit a dimmer light, casting bright light in a 5-foot radius and dim light for an additional 10 feet. You can dismiss this light source at any given time, without expending an action. This light goes out automatically if you are knocked unconscious or killed. If your abdominal area is obscured by clothing or armor, the light is blocked. While obscured in this way, you are incapable of speaking Homoluciolian aloud (or rather, flashing it aloud).
Lesser Flight. You have a flying speed of 35; however, you can only fly for up to 1 hour (this can be done in short bursts). If you try to fly after you have used up your flight time, you instead fall. However, you fall slowly enough that you do not take fall damage. You regain this trait after you complete a long rest.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Homoluciolian. Homoluciolian is not a spoken language, rather, it is a sequence of light flashes of varying length and brightness. It still has its own system of runes for reading and writing, however. The bioluminescent portion of this language is, of course, unlearnable by any non-homoluciola, but other races can learn to read and write it.
When creating a Homoluciola 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.
|1||I am very generous, and regularly make donations to charities.|
|2||I am a child at heart, but I like it when others look up to me.|
|3||I know my one true love is out there somewhere. I enjoy crowds and gatherings, since I get to meet new people.|
|4||I adore nature, and spend as much time as I can observing animals or tending to gardens.|
|5||I have a refined palette and enjoy cooking and baking. I dislike it when people think that I have simple tastes.|
|6||I am a good listener, and hard to offend. I open my earholes to anyone who talks with me.|
|7||I am a follower, not a leader. I work very hard when it is someone else's will, but tend to give up on my own ideas.|
|8||When someone is hurt or ill, I immediately feel the urge to help them, even if my medical knowledge isn't the best.|
|1||Everyone has kindness in them, and I try my best to bring it out. (Neutral)|
|2||Bullies and sharp-tongues make me mad! I think everyone deserves only the best from his or her peers. (Chaotic)|
|3||I want to become the best version of myself I can be, both physically and mentally. (Neutral)|
|4||I wish to be an aid to all who need one. I always help those who cannot help themselves. (Lawful)|
|5||I'm out to prove that my people are not simple forest creatures. I flaunt my skills and expertise whenever I can. I might just impress someone. (Chaotic)|
|6||I want to find true love, no matter who it is with. I do not yearn, but my desire is strong. Every person has their match. (Any)|
|1||I was an honored member of my village's guard. I am grounded in responsibility and dignity.|
|2||I've always felt a connection with my own people, but I love to experience new cultures.|
|3||I'm a respected workman back at my village, and I left to hone my skills and meet others of the trade.|
|4||While many are still searching for their one true love, I've already found mine. He/she means the world to me.|
|5||I grew up outside of my own people, and I've always been unable to fit in. Despite that, I gravitate toward my adoptive culture.|
|6||I was in love once, but a part of me died with my spouse. I manage to push through and go on with life, but my grief weighs on me yet.|
|1||I don't know much about unaccepting cultures, since my own was so kind to outsiders. I give people too much of a chance.|
|2||I'm too flirty for my own good, and I often make others uncomfortable with my friskiness.|
|3||I sometimes shine my light without realizing it and hurt people's eyes. Don't they know that I'm just muttering to myself in my native tongue?|
|4||I'm so nice to others that I'm easy to take advantage of. I feel bad over myself when this happens.|
|5||I am quite clingy around others. I am always disappointed to see someone leave, and I may try to convince them to stay with me.|
|6||I don't know much about life outside of the forest. Other locations and biomes scare me a little bit.|