Scion of the Old Ones (5e Race)
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Scion of the Old Ones
"It is enough to see, too much to know."
Legend tells of three monstrous abominations born at the very beginning of the universe. They lurk outside of time and space- horrors beyond the understanding of mere mortal minds, each a living contradiction of the rules of reality. They are known as the Old Ones, and the scions of the Old Ones are their mortal children. When an Old One manages to reach its monstrous tendrils into the material plane, each being it touches is horribly transformed, becoming a reflection of that dark horror's nature. Each Old One is very different, so the three types of spawn they create appear radically different from one another. They do, however, share a number of common traits other than appearance- their presence bends reality around them. Their forms seem to flicker and shift, occasionally becoming transparent or coming in and out of focus.
The first of the Old Ones is Ged. Known as the Eternal Hunger, Ged is an endlessly large and endlessly powerful void. If Ged wished, it could consume the entire universe without a second thought. However a 'first thought' would be impossible for Ged, let alone a second: the creature is mindless, just an endless yawning hunger. Transformed by pools of chaotic magic where Ged's essence has unwittingly collided with the material plane, those touched by the magic of Ged become creatures that look like a terrifying mish-mash of frog, fish and lizard features. Scions of Ged are predators filled with the eternal hunger of their sire- they stretch their mouths impossibly wide in order to devour their foes.
The second of the Old Ones is M'shukk. Cursed to be unable to directly influence the material plane, M'shukk is the most knowledgeable being in the multiverse. Turned bitter by its lack of power, M'shukk offers its victims a simple trade - knowledge for servitude. Those that accept become Scions of M'shukk: pale, wan creatures with staring eyes dotted all across their body. Only two of these eyes are truly functional, the rest gaze blindly at things only the Scion can see. All scions of M'shukk search endlessly for the secrets of the universe, obsessed with the few tidbits of knowledge that M'shukk grants them.
The third and final of the Old Ones is Nul. While Ged and M'shukk are immortal creatures, both were born at some point. Nul was never born- it has always existed and will always exist. It is without beginning or end. Nul's presence holds off death and prevents decay- freezing everything it touches with its own eternity. Performing certain rites over a corpse raises that body as a scion of Nul- a shrivelled and desiccated figure that looks like the body of an aeons old mummy. While intelligent, Nul is mostly uncaring about the plight of its followers and its scions wander aimlessly about the world, un-tethered to anyone and watching the universe rot away around them.
Scions of the Old Ones are very, very rare. As mentioned above, scions of Ged are created mostly at random, while those of Nul and M'Shukk are the results of ancient rituals that are all but forgotten. For some scions, the transformation was intentional- others were victims of circumstance or forced into the change by a malicious cult serving the Old One.
The physical transformation of a scion inevitably affects their mind as well. Many are pushed to madness, their minds twisted to match the will of their sire. Scions of Ged become mindless predators, scions of M'shukk obsessive seekers of knowledge and scions of Nul eternal and passive watchers of the events of the universe. Some, however, manage to resist the mental strain. These, incidentally are the scions most likely to retain some of the physical traits from before their change and the most likely to become adventurers. Indeed, they are often drawn to the adventuring life since society is unlikely to welcome them back with open arms.
Scions of the Old Ones have existed for as long as there have been living creatures for the Old Ones to corrupt with their magic. Cults that form up around the worship of the Old Ones (regardless of the fact that the Old Ones are usually entirely unaware of their existence) sometimes use ancient rituals to attempt to create a scion of the Old Ones. If they succeed they frequently worship the beast they have created as a living embodiment of its sire (if they're worshipping a Scion of Ged, they often promptly serve as lunch).
All scions receive strange and torturous dreams from their sire, trying to drag them more and more into the ways of their master. Scions of Ged see horrifying images of pitch darkness and feel a sense of boundless hunger surrounding them. Scions of M'shukk snatch glimpses of vast streams of knowledge and reams of arcane lore, just beyond their understanding. Scions of Nul stare into the endless stream of eternity. Each scion reacts differently to these strange dreams- for some they are terrifying and a good reason to avoid sleep. For others, they are an insight into the mind and will of their often cryptic masters.
Aside from these visions, scions very rarely make any contact with the Old One that spawned them. Ged is mindless, so isn't even aware that its scions exist. While M'shukk often plays an active part in creating scions, it usually takes little interest in them- they are merely pawns in its greater game. As for Nul, nothing is truly eternal- even its children, who may be slain by mortal weapons. Some scions of the Old Ones may decide to become warlocks- using their sire as their patron (The Great Old One). If they do, they might come increasingly within their master's notice. Servants of M'shukk, in particular, will find themselves increasingly wrapped within the coils of their master's myriad schemes.
Scions of the Old Ones mostly live apart from society and apart from each other. Because they are so rare, they never gather and most may even think of themselves as the only one of their kind. Scions of the Old Ones are unable to reproduce and the species is only extended when another creature is transformed by the magic of one of the Old Ones. When scions venture into civilisation they shroud themselves with heavy garments that conceal their alien features. Some scions are very cautious to avoid discovery, while others are less concerned- sometimes delighting in the unease that their presence causes. If people react violently against tieflings entering their town, you can only imagine their horror at the discovery of a scion in their midst. Frequently a scion will find itself facing a torch-wielding mob if it allows its disguise to slip.
Most commonly scions of Ged live in secluded spots on the edges of society. They frequently lurk in marshes, swamps and other places with ambient damp and cold. The unnatural influence of a scion tends to scare off common fauna, leaving the places it haunts deathly quiet and filled with a sense of unease. Plants and trees in the area will frequently wither and fade making the whole place look haunted. From its demesne the scion will hunt any and all living creatures that get too close to it. A truly wild scion has little care for its own safety- tackling foes considerably larger and stronger than itself. As a result, the lives of scions of Ged tend to be brutal and short- either because nearby villagers form a mob on the discovery that some of them have gone missing, or because some other, larger predator tries to take the scion's patch for itself. Whatever the case, the scion's enemy rarely survives the encounter unscathed.
Scions of M'shukk are the most likely to try and re-integrate themselves into society. Shrouding themselves in heavy garments to hide their condition, they often manage to make their way in big cities- where myriad different races abound and people are less likely to ask awkward questions. Sometimes, a scion of M'shukk might even live openly- particularly in a place where their arcane knowledge is prized, such as a mage's school. Most of the time, however, the unnerving appearance of the scion prevents them from unmasking themselves. Whatever the case, scions of M'shukk are compelled to constantly search for knowledge wherever they go- hunting through dusty libraries for tidbits of lore or information on spells that they have never encountered before. For this reason, some scions of M'shukk might become members of adventuring parties- where their 'condition' is overlooked and they can explore the darkest dungeons for the scraps of enlightenment they crave.
Wandering the world constantly, scions of Nul are unlikely ever to settle down. While their bodies are eternal, the mind of a scion of Nul is subject to the ravages of time just as much as any mortal intellect. Unless they keep their brain active, ancient scions frequently forget who they are and lose full understanding of their surroundings. They might wander into a village oblivious to its inhabitants' reaction to their horrifying appearance and promptly be torn apart by terrified locals- while they cannot die of age a scion is vulnerable to physical harm. Those scions that do retain their intellect are careful to keep their true nature hidden and move carefully through the world on their travels. The life of a scion is devoid of the pleasures and pains of mortality and has none of the advantages that eternal life is supposed to bring. As a result, scions often have a morose and depressive demeanor. Sometimes a scion of Nul will fall in with an adventuring party, who may accept their strange new companion on their travels.
Scion of the Old Ones Names
Scions frequently retain the name that they had before their transformation. Those that don't might take up an epithet or moniker to represent themselves.
Ged: Bane of Mortals, Unceasing Hunger, Devourer of Flesh, Unreasoning Terror, Stalker of the Planes.
M'shukk: Endless Seeker, Scholar of Myriad Dreams, Seer of the Darkened Arcana, Vassal of Mysteries, Artisan of the Weave.
Nul: One that Sees, Mourner of Days, Blood Arbiter, Weaver of Destinies, Undying King.
Scion of the Old Ones Traits
Creatures of twisted, alien magic with horrifying forms and reality-bending abilities.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Age. Scions of Ged live short, brutal lives, rarely living for more than twenty or thirty years after their transformation. Scions of M'shukk may survive for about one-hundred more years after their change, though they seek out ways with which to extend their life yet further. While scions of Nul can be killed by physical means they are otherwise immortal and can live untold aeons.
Alignment. Scions of Ged tend towards chaotic alignments and are often evil since their hunger for flesh drives them to act as monstrous predators. Scions of M'shukk and Nul are more usually lawful and they tend towards neutral alignments- vast knowledge and eternal life lead both to see the futility of foolish 'morality'.
Size. Scions of Ged are usually well over 6 feet tall and average 250 pounds. Scions of M'shukk and Nul are both roughly human size, being about five to six feet. Whatever the case, your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Aberrant Nature. You have been touched by the influence of your alien sire. Your creature type is aberration and humanoid.
Alien Mind. Your psyche has been twisted by the touch of your abominable sire so that you are already at the brink of madness. You have resistance to psychic damage and advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened.
Dimensional Shift. You flicker and your form bends and stretches in and out of reality. By spending a bonus action on your turn, you may impose disadvantage on each attack roll made against you until the beginning of your next turn. During this period, whenever an attack roll misses you, you may teleport up to 10ft. Once you have used this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.
Absorb Magic. Your aberrant form twists and punctures the natural magical weave, meaning you can sometimes shrug off spell effects like water. When you roll a 20 on a saving throw against a spell or magical effect, you take no damage and suffer no effects from the spell (such as half damage from a successful save).
Magic of the Void. You can twist reality with your presence, warping it with your inner darkness. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the Arms of Hadar spell once per day as a second level spell. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the Hunger of Hadar spell once per day. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Deep Speech.
Subrace. Choose from being a scion of Ged, a scion of M'shukk or a scion of Nul.
Scion of Ged
You appear as a hulking humanoid hybrid of fish, frog and lizard traits, your former species barely recognisable. Your mouth is large and, when you want it to, you can open it impossibly wide to devour your enemies whole.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.
Devour. Overtaken with the savage hunger of your alien sire, you can stretch your mouth and try to consume a creature of a size large or smaller within 5 feet of you. That creature must make a Dexterity saving throw with DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Dexterity modifier. If it fails, the creature takes 1d12 piercing damage and you grapple it. As long as the creature remains grappled in this way you may spend your action to deal it 1d12 piercing damage. Whenever you take damage from the creature, make a Constitution saving throw with a DC equal to half the damage dealt. If you fail the save, you regurgitate the creature. Whenever a creature grappled in this way drops to 0 hit points, you consume it and it dies. Once you have used this feature, you may not use it again until you finish a long rest. As your level increases the piercing damage dealt increases- to 2d12 at 6th level, 3d12 at 11th level and 5d12 at 16th level.
Scion of M'shukk
You appear as a thin, grey-skinned creature with eyes of many colours dotting your body, staring around blindly. You have a well of knowledge granted to you by your patron M'shukk, who teaches you many mysteries.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 2.
Arcane Revelations. M'shukk has whispered all manner of strange secrets and horrors into your ear. You are proficient in the Arcana skill.
Cantrip. You learn one cantrip of your choice chosen from the wizard spell list. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for this spell.
Arcane Knowledge. You prize knowledge over all other things, honing your mind to the detriment of your own health and sanity. Use Intelligence as your spellcasting ability for your innate spellcasting trait, rather than Charisma.
Scion of Nul
You appear as a shriveled, desiccated corpse, walking despite your stick-thin limbs. While you look fragile, you can weather blows of extreme force and remain standing.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2.
Unholy Fortitude. When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can choose to drop to 1 hit point instead. If you do, you can't use this feature again until you finish a long rest.
Functional Immortality. You have the power to watch the world eternally- you don't age and magic can't cause you to age. In addition, you don't require air, food or drink. You do require periods of 'sleep' - mostly by force of habit but also in order to prevent your mind from slowly decaying over time.
Random Height and Weight
Scion of Ged.
|5′ 6″||+2d8||175 lb.||× (2d6) lb.|
*Height = base height + height modifier
Scion of M'shukk or Nul.
|4′ 8″||+2d10||110 lb.||× (2d4) lb.|
*Height = base height + height modifier
When creating a Scion of the Old Ones 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 sleep as little as possible, terrified of the dreams my master sends me.|
|2||I believe that nothing that happens to me is truly within my control- I am a pawn of an uncaring universe.|
|3||I try to convert others to the service of my master with whispered words of corruption.|
|4||I have a fervent desire to understand my master's true nature in the hope that it might rid me of my curse.|
|5||I am obsessed with seeming as much like an ordinary person as possible.|
|6||I think of myself as two separate individuals- one that has given in to my master and one that resists its influence.|
|7||I despise company, but am also terrified of being alone.|
|8||I describe the twisted dreams I receive to others, hoping they can understand what I cannot.|
|1||Subservience. I was created for a purpose and I will fulfil that purpose. (Lawful)|
|2||Superiority. I am one of the true people- everyone else is chaff before the winds of time. (Evil)|
|3||Resistance. My sire's hold must be escaped at all costs- I must be my own person. (Chaotic)|
|4||Understanding. I must understand fully how and why I was transformed in this way. (Neutral)|
|5||Protection. I must shield others from suffering my own dreadful fate. (Good)|
|6||Madness. My mind has been shattered and I have given in fully to the dreams that haunt me. (Any)|
|1||The dreams my master sends me seem to indicate that I have some task that I can't quite understand.|
|2||I was helped to re-enter society after my transformation by a kindly family- I have not forgotten their generosity.|
|3||I have a lead to a source of information about my sire- I will follow it to its conclusion.|
|4||I am obsessed with becoming as much like one particular person as possible, hoping to escape my master's voice by mimicking them.|
|5||I want a former loved one to join me by turning them into another scion.|
|6||I want to recapture the friendship of a childhood companion who was horrified by my transformation.|
|1||I sometimes lapse into madness and babbling- horrified by the revelations the universe has shown me.|
|2||I feel as though I can't trust anyone but the voice of my master.|
|3||I am clingy and possessive of all friends- my one tie to normality.|
|4||I cannot shake the feeling that I am constantly being watched and judged.|
|5||I enjoy fighting, killing and spilling the blood of my foes.|
|6||I try constantly to force others into the service of my master.|