Sprite Warband (5e Race)
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A sprite warband is in essence a miniature army. It is made up of dozens to hundreds of tiny individuals that eat together, sleep together, drill together, and act together. A single sprite can at a distance be mistaken for a dragonfly, and each does in fact share a similar size and bear a set of wings identical to those of the insect, but a closer look reveals the bipedal body that bears them. Balancing on the cusp of a humanoid appearance, the bodily features of a sprite are like tiny, exaggerated elves, giving them an unearthly and timeless appearance. As a whole warband, the effect is very different. Onlookers first see a dark cloud about the size of a large man hovering in the air, accompanied by the eerie drone of dozens of wings. The mass quickly resolves itself into orderly rows and columns in all three dimensions, interspersed with tiny colorful pennants and banners, punctuated by the high shrill of miniature trumpets and bagpipes, and bearing the accoutrements of an army. The flash of the sun on dozens of lances, the terrifying twang of the bows of a hundred archers, or the arcane might of a spell salvo are all replicated in miniature by the warband.
When a goblin menace or a wicked hag threatens the wild places of the world, the militaristic sprites take up arms to battle the menace. Due to their individual sizes, however, even the most battle-hardened sprite is unable to go toe-to-toe with so much as a single goblin. To make up for their weakness, the leaders of sprite armies developed a way to utilize their people's innate ability to read emotions to meld a unit into a singularly focused swarm, where each individual could instinctively react as a part of the whole. Some say that this was possible through nothing more than advanced training techniques among the people, others that the effect is the result of a secret magical ritual known only to the elite of sprite society. Some even whisper that the creation of such a focused killing machine could only be possible through the abilities of a powerful artifact, perhaps even one of fell provenance. Regardless of the truth, one thing is certain - a sprite warband can make an impact much larger than itself.
Sprites are the frontier folk of the good fey. Not only do they often face many threats to their livelihood at the hands of evil creatures, but they're proud of their role as protectors of good. While some of the more "light-hearted" fey may consider sprites to be overly dour and serious, they are in reality some of the most similar to mortals in their dispositions, world-wise in a way few other lesser fey are. They feel a special kinship with wood elves, with whom they often share their domains, as well as with rangers and druids. They are also rather fond of human and halfling farmers, who they see as "good honest folk." Warbands add an extra element to the mix in the form of a sense of purpose. A warband marches under strict orders, and members of one tend to think well of fellow soldiers provided they follow a compatible cause. Usually, a warband will also see the rise of a dominant personality within to represent the interests of the whole, usually a general, archmage, high priest, or similar figure of authority. While some may find it entertaining that one of these figures is in no way a threat to even a regular person on their own, even so far as a sprite archmage being unable to cast spells on his own, these figures take their positions as seriously as any full sized peer might.
The names a Sprite Warband may fly under can vary as wildly as the threats which may cause their existence. They may be named simply after their purpose, indicating the type of enemy they were created to fight or the method by which they were to do so. They may simply call themselves by some easily recognizable moniker, such as "Hell's Hoplites" or similar. In the case of the oldest, most venerable warbands, they may be named after some great hero that flew in the squad, or after some mighty deed accomplished in the past. A warband that bears such a name lives in the shadow of their forebears, and often has a great incentive to return to the heights of power they once wielded.
Purpose Names: 1st Infantry Division, Hag Counter Strike Force, 23rd Airborne Archers, The Mage Militia, Druidic Convocation of Beech Row, Task Force Alpha, The College of Songs.
Monikers: Hell's Hoplites, Battle-Bards, Red-Spotted Circle, Lone Operative, Golden Unicorns, Razor Wind, Giants, Sky Soldiers, Plague of Locusts, White Lightning, Meteor Swarm, Screamin' Banshees.
Heroic Legacies: Ogre-Fellers, Veterans of Rust Hill, Blessed of Titania, Hexbreakers, Snowdrop's Best, Convocation of Saint Belladonna, 33rd General "Buck" Marlie Regiment, Echo's Lament.
A swarm of militaristic sprites united under a single banner.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2 and your Intelligence score by 1.
Age. Sprite Warbands are institutions that vary tremendously in their own age, being anywhere between a few days to centuries in age. Individual sprites reach maturity at the age of 40 and can live up to 200 years.
Alignment. As staunch defenders of the wilderness and adept judges of the heart, both individual pixies and their warbands tend strongly towards good. A chaotic warband may be created to fight an immediate threat, but venerable institutions are usually neutral or lawful.
Size. Sprites are Tiny creatures, but a warband's effectiveness relies upon close cooperation. You are a Medium swarm of Tiny fey.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 10 feet.
Singular Swarm. Though you are made up of many individuals, there is one who channels the power of all. The channeler is always located at the center of the space the warband controls. Any magical items wielded by the channeler apply to the Warband as if it were a single creature. Additionally, the emotional connection every member of the warband feels towards the channeler is so powerful that any individual that leaves the space of the warband, voluntarily or not, is stunned and disoriented for a full minute. Any sprite that leaves the warband's space is considered to have no effective attacks and 1 HP, and also loses any magical benefits that affect the warband.
A Thousand Swords. To be able to use a weapon or a tool properly, a warband equips a number of its members with Tiny versions of that thing that together are equal to the Medium version in weight, value, and power. Rules for attacking, drawing or stashing equipment, interacting with the environment, or anything else remain unchanged from those experienced by a single adventurer, but may be represented by groups of sprites in place of individual actions. For example, a volley of arrows from a warband's shortbows would collectively deal the same damage as a regular, Medium sized shortbow. Much like a Medium sized adventurer may then take an action to draw a longsword, a warband could take an action to ready their longsword users. Some creative latitude may also serve well, allowing the reach from a lance to be explained as a cavalry charge (perhaps on dragonfly mounts) or a healer's kit to be collectively represented by outfitting a medic's brigade. A warband may only benefit from one type of armor at a time, and shares any spell slots it may have among the whole.
Heart Sight. A representative of the swarm touches a creature and magically learns its current emotional state. This is often used to infer a target's alignment based on present conditions.
Poison Brewers. You are proficient with Poisoner's Kits.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Sylvan.