Sylvari, Variant (5e Race)

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Sylvari[edit]

These noble beings travel, seeking adventure and pursuing quests. They struggle to balance curiosity with duty, eagerness with chivalry, and warfare with honor. Magic and mystery entwine to shape the future of this race that has so recently appeared.

Physical Description[edit]

The sylvari are omnivorous humanoid plants. Some sylvari closely resemble humans but with a fey cast to their features such as tilted eyes and pointed ear tips; most display plantlike features such as hardwood for bone structure, have foliage and petals for hair, and bark acting as flesh. They glow faintly during the night. Golden sap moves through their veins instead of blood and pollen falls off of them as they move. They are much more slender than the average human and about a head shorter.

Sylvari emerge fully formed from golden fruit pods which grow on the branches of a massive magical tree known as the Pale Tree. While sylvari can seemingly absorb sunlight and become rejuvenated, they still must eat and drink to survive. It is unknown to outsiders if the sylvari die of old age, as they are known to have died only through violence, poison or disease and do not appear to age. When a sylvari is harmed, tendrils form over the wound and their bark expands to recover the area, leaving no scar. They heal at the same general rate as humans. All sylvari have luminescent cells in their skin, causing them to glow in the dark. Sylvari cannot be corrupted by most necromancy, but simply die instead.

History[edit]

The origin of the sylvari is still unclear. What is known is that the Pale Tree was born of a fist-sized seed from a cave found by human soldiers. This cave was said to have been guarded by monstrous plant-creatures, though few details on them or the location of the cave is unknown, even to modern sylvari who have been looking for this cave since their race's birth from the Pale Tree. The most information anyone has gathered is that the creatures originated from somewhere in the most dangerous parts of the Feywild.

Long after the Pale Tree sprouted and grew, the first sylvari awakened. These firstborn knew comparatively little of the world, having experienced only the Pale Tree's memories of those who had visited during her first years. They knew because the tree taught them of these visitor's wisdom. Born as mature individuals, not children, the sylvari were curious, inquisitive, and eager to explore.

Some of the firstborn roamed far from the tree. Others stayed close, exploring briefly and spending their time on study and learning. Some took up the duty of guarding the Pale Tree and keeping her company, and a rare few traveled to exotic and dangerous lands. For a handful of years, the firstborn were the only sylvari in the world. When the next generation flowered and awakened from the tree, they had new dreams: memories of the skills and emotions that the firstborn had discovered, mixed in with the Pale Tree's own memories.

Unlike many races, the sylvari have an intimate sense of their own history, having lived through it. They can name the first sylvari that ever died. They can tell you who first learned how to write and who, specifically, developed the methods to grow houses. They tell their stories and legends as if they personally witnessed them because, for many, they have at least dreamed of it.

Society[edit]

Sylvari are usually honest, direct and focused, taking most things at face value. With the dream ensuring there is so much in common with the other sylvari, the experience is cherished for creating uniqueness between them. They are eager to learn, experience and understand.

Prior to emergence, sylvari share a bond through the Pale Tree which they call the Dream of Dreams. In this dream, a growing sylvari is exposed to the consciousness of the Pale Tree and the vast pool of knowledge accumulated by all previous sylvari. When a new one emerges, a portion of this knowledge remains with them, including basic wisdom and understanding from the Pale Tree and a small fraction of what other sylvari have seen and experienced, though this rarely includes specific memories.

Despite the kickstart of knowledge from the dream they still seem naive as there are some matters which seem beyond their comprehension. Emotions and tact, in particular, are difficult for them to grasp, so often a sylvari will state out loud something which would normally be politely avoided by other races. Death too is not fully understood but viewed as something to be embraced and, as with many things in a sylvari's life, is viewed with a great degree of curiosity. These views serve to form an acceptance of and fascination with death that other races may find disturbing.

As they are all born from the Pale Tree they could be considered all of the same family; however, their family bond is not as strong as most families, with many sylvari considering others more like distant relatives with few exceptions, such as twins born from the same pod or those who shared dreams, though the latter may also result in lovers. Romance is practiced among the sylvari, disregarding gender between those involved. To a sylvari, love is spiritual and eternal, regardless of physical form and contact, and sexuality is simply a natural part of life. So long as it is entered into with good will and joy, the gender doesn't make a difference.

Sylvari Names[edit]

Sylvari names, as well as place names, are generally inspired by Celtic (Irish, Scots Gaelic, and Welsh) names. Sylvari do not normally have surnames, as they're all part of the same "family," though to each other they are more like distant relatives except in special cases.

Sylvari do not "choose" their names nor are they outright given by the Pale Tree or other sylvari. Instead, the sylvari simply 'know' their names upon awakening, though why is never explored and the sylvari do not question why this is.

Male: Abhean, Cadeyrn, Dagonet, Diarmad, Itheann, Lachaidh, Kahedins, Malomedies, Melydiod, Pellan, Trahearne

Female: Aife, Alainn, Amaryl, Benerla, Brigh, Brigit, Caithe, Cinea, Faolain, Geileis, Killeen, Meme, Morwyn, Muireall, Niamh, Noxia, Padra, Rhyn, Saeraquel, Vanus, Vella, Wisteri

Sylvari Traits[edit]

A race of curious and sometimes naive plant people, all born from the same magical tree.
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 2, and one ability score of your choice increases by 1.
Age. Sylvari are mature at birth but do not age and are estimated to live as long as elves.
Alignment. Sylvari range from good, to neutral to evil depending on their subrace.
Size. 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.
Sylvan Magic. You know the druidcraft cantrip and you are proficient in the Nature skill.
Plant Anatomy. As a completely different class of organism from most humanoids, Sylvari are affected differently by certain spells and magic effects. You have the plant and humanoid creature types. You're still a plant while shape-shifted or polymorphed. You are immune to lycanthropy, vampirism, and any other magical diseases, curses, mutations, or corruptions that would change your creature type. When you die, your corpse cannot be raised as an undead through any means, as if you were under the effects of the gentle repose spell. Your corpse still decays normally.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Sylvan.
Subrace. The Dream of Dreams presents each sylvari with a presupposition of their purpose in life, and while most sylvari - those who follow the Pale Tree - accept this responsibility, certain factions - the Soundless and the Nightmare Court - choose to reject the Dream for their own reasons.

Sylvari Subraces[edit]

Groveborn[edit]

The majority of sylvari are filled with a great appreciation for the Pale Tree and the Dream, and strive to make the world a better place.

Alignment. Groveborn can be of any alignment, but the Pale Mother encourages her children to always strive to do Good.
Dream of Dreams. The Pale Tree uses the Dream to connect her children and shield their minds from outside influence. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can't put you to sleep. In addition, you gain proficiency in History.
Sylvan Hound. Over a long rest, you can use your connection to the Dream to grow a Sylvan Hound, a loyal, dog-like companion made of ferns, in a patch of soil at least 1 cubic foot in volume. The Sylvan Hound uses a wolf's statistics, though it has the Plant Anatomy sylvari racial trait.

This Sylvan Hound becomes magically and emotionally bonded to you. While bonded to your Sylvan Hound, you can telepathically sense its emotions, and it can sense yours.

The Sylvan Hound obeys your commands as best as it can. It takes its turn on your initiative, though it doesn’t take an action unless you command it to. On your turn, you can verbally command the Sylvan Hound where to move (no action required by you). You can use your action to verbally command it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, Dodge, or Help action.

Like any creature, the Sylvan Hound can spend Hit Dice during a short rest. If you are incapacitated or absent, the Sylvan Hound acts on its own, focusing on protecting you and itself. You may only have one Sylvan Hound bonded to you at a time.

If your Sylvan Hound dies, you feel its pain and sorrow as your bond is severed and are stunned for 1 minute or until you take damage.

Soundless[edit]

The pressure of sylvari culture - and the burden presented by the Dream - can be so overwhelming to some sylvari that they prefer to run away and lead a life of isolation. Usually they form small, rustic communities of like-minded individuals, or find refuge among non-sylvari. Through meditation and mental exercise, the Soundless cut themselves off from the Dream of Dreams and shut out the voice of the Pale Mother. These exercises need to be performed regularly to maintain their disconnection from the Dream and other sylvari, however, they can never be truly separated from the Dream - only minimize their connection to it and their kin.

Alignment. Most Soundless lead quiet, simple lives, and value independence above all. As such, they favor Neutral alignments.
Mental Discipline. You have advantage on saving throws against being frightened, and you have resistance against psychic damage.
Self-Reliant. You gain proficiency in the Survival skill.
Healing Seed. You can cast the goodberry spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest.

Nightmare Court[edit]

The Nightmare Court is a home to those sylvari who reject the Pale Tree's teachings, embrace the nightmares encountered within the Dream of Dreams, and are attempting to understand them while giving life to them with acts of evil. The primary goal of the Nightmare Court is to corrupt the Pale Tree herself, bringing her around to their twisted ideals so that the sylvari may be freed from the "shackles of morality" and replace the philosophy the Pale Tree learned from "lesser races" with one which is uniquely sylvari. Many Nightmare Courtiers are converted by force, kidnapped from their pods and subjected to torture and brainwashing so that their connection to the Dream can be used to fill it with more and more Nightmare.

Alignment. The Nightmare Court do not consider themselves "perverse" or "Evil," and have even been known to form brief alliances with their enemies in order to combat greater threats. However, once within the court, their converts are forced to commit dreadful acts that destroy every last ounce of virtue they may have left. The only "Good" Nightmare Courtiers are former Nightmare Courtiers.
Toxic Affinity. Toxins are one of the signature tools of the Nightmare Court, used to corrupt and disorient their opponents and victims, or on themselves so they may better indulge in pain. You have advantage on saving throws against poison, resistance against poison damage, and proficiency with the poisoner's kit.
Menacing. You gain proficiency in the Intimidation skill.
Grasping Vines. You can cast the entangle spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for this spell.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

Base
Height
Height
Modifier*
Base
Weight
Weight
Modifier**
5′ 4″ +2d6 110 lb. × (2d4) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

5.00
(one vote)

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