Shaede Folk (5e Race)
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'Lin was cornered - completely and utterly confined by the big, hulking masses of flesh that were ogres. One made to advance and, suddenly, she was gone. All that remained were the wisps of shadow that faded with the night.'
|From Maine Ghost Hunters|
Shaede folk are mysterious humanoids that carry about an aura of darkness around them. They have black eyes and dark hair, contrasting with their ivory like skin. Around their eyes are black cracks that seem to break their skin. They are described to often be light and hollow sounding when struck, like shells. When angered, wisps of darkness accumulate around them and turn their entire form black. Their eyes and cracks them become light when this happens. They also have oddly brilliantly white teeth.
Shaede folk are regarded as the cautionary figures of failed reincarnation. When a person in the afterlife failed the trials necessary to achieve reincarnation, they were not always willing to stay quiet. They would still try to cheat their fates and the gods. So the gods, insulted, condemned these troublemakers into husk-like bodies for the souls. These souls were called shades, and, with a body as such, they were called shaede folk. The shade was trapped within an uncomfortable body which was fragile and threatened to break, which would release them back onto the living world. However, unlike a ghost, it could not survive without its god-given vessel and would vanish into nothing within a few minutes.
The first shaede folk to come into being were supposedly notorious offenders of the realms, back when the troglodytes and yuan-ti had just been created by the sarrukh. Many were murderers and committers of war crimes. As more races graced Toril with their presence, shaede folk remained a constant shadowy being at the fringe of society. People regarded them as bad luck and many believed they deserved their fate of eternal wandering in a brittle husk. Supposedly, that is what the gods wanted all along: to punish these fractious souls by keeping them within a life of fear, unable to join with society as they may have hoped when alive whilst they cling to fragile shells.
There is a legend among shaede folk that if they committed themselves to good deeds, the gods may redeem them with a whole body and a second chance. Others resent the gods and go full-on amok, making as much trouble for the living as they can. And among the outermost layers of shaede folk are those who seek restoration magic or alchemy which may undo their curse. Shaede folk nonetheless exist so long as fools continue to persist in the world. They are a known staple for scary bedtime stories for children.
Over the many years of their imprisonment on earth, shaede folk lived in isolation and seclusion, usually in derelict establishments perhaps left by past inhabitants. It is said that shaede folk encampments usually form after one of them is sighted, usually near some small town or village. The inhabitants are then suddenly besieged by an event which drives them out of their homes, sometimes a disaster or military invasion. The remaining ghost town is then populated by shaede folk if it is not razed to the ground. Shaede folk are thereby often regarded as omens of bad luck or portents of what is to come, which is usually something bad.
Shaede folk encampments are scattered and small. Only shaede folk who have the aims to congregate will do so, so their numbers in their settlements are rather low. Many come together due to circumstance and try to work towards the goal of freeing themselves from their condition. To travelers, they resemble shadowy ghosts floating around the ruins of towns, which often deters most. Shaede folk towns receive little interaction from that of outsiders due to the stigma surrounding them and their origins. People who have stumbled upon their settlements either have tales of oddly helpful creatures, or raving mad beings of rage, assuming the latter witness survived.
In their lowly populated towns, shaede folk try to lead normal lives as the people they once were. Often times, this fails and they go into a bout of despair. Rogue shaede folk develop a more malevolent dark aura about them and often scheme against the gods in their covens. They are also known to go and purposely raze towns. Other shaede folk try to counter this behavior of their cousins by attaining salvation through good deeds. These pure shaede folk resemble humanoids much more and have very little visible aura.
Shaede Folk Names
Usually, shaede folk take the names they had prior. But if they give up in despair or embrace their new lives, they may choose new names, usually that of a titular nature.
Male: Gon, Lhokkien, The Fervent
Female: Illa, Ysmir, Snaggletooth
Shaede Folk Traits
Humanoid husks born of failed reincarnation
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2.
Age. Shaede folk, though they do not age after their divine creation, live only about 600 years in the Material Realm before their husks give out and they crumble to dust.
Alignment. Shaede folk can be fanatic, usually being chaotic.
Size. Shaede folk are skinnier and taller than humans. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. Shades can see in the dark, out of their shells. 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.
Shadow Warp. Shaede folk can utilize the power of darkness innate in their shade souls to momentarily vanish from their positions, crossing planes, before reappearing in another position, like teleportation. As a bonus action, you can magically teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. Once you use this trait, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest.
Husk. You are essentially a construct made by the gods, given form and a tethered soul. You are immune to diseases. You do not need to eat, drink or breathe, but you can ingest food and drink if you wish. Instead of sleeping, you enter an inactive state for 4 hours each day, where the shade withdraws from control of the body to enter a state of soul replenishment. You do not dream in this state and you are fully aware of your surroundings.
Languages. You can speak, read and write in Common and one additional language of your choice.
Subrace. Choose from the Pure and Rogue subraces.
Pure shaede folk possibly have embraced their new lives, or seek yet to redeem themselves. They are not necessarily benevolent, but they have not been driven to the depths of despair as their rogue cousins have.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Perseverance. You are not one to give up, even when confronted with the insurmountable odds that would crush your spirit. When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.
Despair mangles the fragile mind of a shade and turns it into a darker form of the shaede folk. Rogue shaede folk despise the living and the gods, seeking to destroy everything, and often themselves.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Deathly Aura. You have an expanded aura of darkness surrounding you, giving you an ominous look and a bit of a chill in the air around you. You have disadvantage in Charisma (Persuasion) checks. You are proficient in Intimidation. Additionally, you may force a conscious creature within melee range of you, that you can see, to make a Charisma saving throw. The DC is equal to 8 + your Charisma modifier + your proficiency modifier. On a failed save, your aura acts upon the target's mind and body, forcing them to confront horrifying visages of the ends of the world. They become frightened until the end of their next turn. You cannot use this trait again until you finish a long rest.
Random Height and Weight
|5′ 5″||+2d8||130 lb.||× 1 lb.|
*Height = base height + height modifier
When creating a Shaede Folk 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.
Shaede folk can be varied in temperament, as they were living once. Sometimes the personalities get warped or change.
|1||I don't believe in destiny. I make my own way.|
|2||Too much stress sends me into catatonia.|
|3||I hate this world and everyone who enjoys what I lack.|
|4||I keep my emotions all bottled up.|
|5||Power entrances me very much.|
|6||I'm open to trying new things all the time.|
|7||There's a lot I don't know and I'm curious about it all.|
|8||I prefer not to talk.|
|1||Twilight of the Gods. They condemned me here, so I'll bring Hell to them! (Evil)|
|2||Hatred. I hate this world... this... this prison!!! (Chaotic)|
|3||Mutual Destruction. We will bide our time to get back at those who have condemned us to this fate. (Lawful)|
|4||Redemption. Maybe this is my second chance... I'll use it as best I can. (Any)|
|5||Salvation. If the gods see my good deeds, they will surely rethink this punishment. (Good)|
|6||Mundanity. Back to this life, I'll just live it as quiet as I can and survive. (Neutral)|
|1||There are no friends in this world.|
|2||I know the faces and names of the gods I must kill.|
|3||There are people I know, whom I've met, that are good in this prison.|
|4||My body prevents me from making friends.|
|5||I made a family here to try and salvage my life.|
|6||Living like a hermit is the best course of action here.|
|1||I can't make conversation.|
|2||Because I don't need to eat, I'm awkward about it.|
|3||I hear voices.|
|4||Things make me angry for no reason.|
|5||My silence is deafening.|
|6||Trust is not my strong suit.|