Tesso (5e Race)

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Physical Description[edit]

Tesso are creatures that were never meant to be, for they are the unholy creations of a Drow cult who sought to be free of Lolth once and for all. Their progenitors failed, and Lolth took her revenge by cursing the fledgling Tesso to be physically what the Spider Queen saw their creators as being, cowardly rodents.as such the Tesso have the lithe proportions of an elf, mixed with the fur, claw, and tail of a rat. Their furs come in all shades of blacks, whites, and browns. Said fur can be of varying texture, some being course and matted and others silky and soft. Tesso often have their eyes colored red, either just the iris or the entire eye save the pupil. The Tesso also have their faces somewhere between those of a rodent and elf; males often display more squared jaws and overall features will the females tend to have more gentle curves to them. All Tesso are born with a tail that is between half to double their body length, varying between individuals. All Tesso tails are however entirely bereft of hair of any kind.

A Tesso rogue by Kiguri on furaffinity


The tale of the Tesso is one of desperate hubris. The Tesso were born of the mind of one Vermillion Caestus, a Drow who saw the web that Lolth tangled his people in as the source of the Drow’s continued exile to the underdark. Vermillion would go on to found the Children of Ember Webs in order to convert more to his ideology and to gain greater wealth and power for himself while dodging the ever vigilant eye of the priestesses of Lolth. After countless centuries of toil pouring over tomes upon tomes of lore and arcanum from around the underdark and overworld, the Children finally found a rival power strong enough to give them the release they desired without refusing help on the basis of who it was asking for the boon. The Abyss holds many a horror, for it is the pit that Lolth dragged herself from. While Lolth may now be a full Goddess, there are still many in the Abyss who remember her days as a Demon Princess and wish to see her deposed. It was then with the aid of Zuggtmoy, the old nemesis of Lolth, that a bargain was struck. New forms, too powerful to fall prey to the Drow still helplessly entangled as flies in Lolth’s web, and free of the puppeteering of the Spider Queen. But as the Eleventh hour struck, the impulses of the Drow reared their ugly head and Vermillion tried to backstab Zuggtmoy and steal her demonic power for himself. The ritual had been complete enough for the Drow in his thrall to have begun to change, but they were now vulnerable without the protection of a Demon Princess. Lolth decided to leave them free, but enact a horrific curse upon those that thought they her better, those who honestly believed there was any escape from her web but death. She cursed their forms to mirror their master: a cowardly rodent. And as the dust settle and the reborn Drow began to stir and see their bodies they cried out in anguish at their loss, for their beauty, their elven heritage was all but eradicated from them. Most went mad and flung themselves into the underdark, never to be seen again, yet some persisted in spite of the new forms and now dead leader. They would found themselves the beginnings of the Great Clans that would mirror the noble houses of Elvenkind, and they headed to the surface to try and escape the Drow that sought to hound them and slaughter them in the name of their Goddess.


Tesso Society is one that has only existed for a few short centuries. As such, they have yet to compose the great volumes of lore and law seen in the older species. The Tesso do have one advantage conferred by their new forms that their Elven forbearers could never dream off: a sense of mortality. Tesso do not live for the millennia elves do, in addition to breeding at several times the pace of elves. As such, the Tesso have unrivaled ambition that perforates the very essence of what it means to be a Tesso. With such incredible drive, they were able to multiply rapidly and expand across the material plane, setting up wherever they were allowed. Because of their newness and rodent features, they are often shunned by other races, but they take this in stride, as they would rather get dirty looks than knives in the back. Tesso are ruthless in the pursuit of resources and power, both physical and arcane in order to better secure their races' future. To better weather the storm of tumultuous survival, the Tesso's clans have become the basic and defacto leaders of Tessodom in a given territory or continent Their clans are loose organizations that keep Tesso under their jurisdiction in communication with others of their race and step in to negotiate with other political bodies on behalf of individuals or families. While Tesso have no issue stealing from others, they are mostly civil among each other, as they all share the weight of the world’s scorn together.

Tesso Names[edit]

The Tesso have no set naming structure, however many choose to give their children Elvish names in remembrance of their origins.

Tesso Traits[edit]

Drow who tried to harness the powers of the Abyss to defy Lolth only to be turned into Ratlings by the very evil they sought to overcome.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1 and your Constitution score increases by 1. Additionally, choose either your Charisma or Dexterity scores to be increased by 1.
Age. Most Tesso are born into lives of desperate survival and prejudice. Because of this, though a Tesso can biologically live to be about 100 years of age and mature at around 20, many will only make it to about 60 years old.
Alignment. Because of the nature of their creation, most Tesso are true neutral or chaotic neutral simply as a reaction to the world they live in, as the base instinct of a Tesso is to survive as long as possible. There are, however, some Tesso, particularly those heavily involved in the Clans, that lean towards lawful good as they try and use diplomatic and official channels to better the lives of their kin.
Size. Tesso are shorter than the Drow they were bred to be, standing more along the height of the average human. 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.
Cornered Rat. When you are surrounded by more than two enemy creatures without an ally within 10 feet you go into a reckless frenzy. You gain advantage on attacking the creatures that are surrounding you and can add double your Strength or Dexterity modifiers to damage done if both attack rolls would have hit.
Dark-lit Inheritance. The remnants of Drow blood within you allows you to dip slightly in to the magics that were meant to be your kinds' birthright, albeit in a warped and more base form. You know the Dancing Lights cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the Disguise Self spell once per day. When you reach 5th level, you can also cast the Darkness spell once per day. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Rodent Blood. You gain proficiency in either the stealth or slight of hand skills in addition to the perception skill.
Cowardly. When you make a saving throw against being frightened you must roll the save without any modifiers and must make a save against being frightened if you can see an ally be knocked unconscious or killed.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write both common and undercommon.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

4′ 5″ +2d6 75 lb. × (1d4) lb.

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

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

When creating a Tesso 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.

d8 Personality Quirk
1 You squeak involuntarily when frightened.
2 When you see an object of a certain color you feel compelled to steal it.
3 You find harsh sunlight to be irritating and will try not to stand in full sunlight if you do not have to.
4 You have an odd obsession with a certain kind of cheese that makes you seek it out at any opportunity.
5 You try to pass yourself off as an Elf wearing an elaborate costume.
6 You like to write a letter home to your family every week.
7 Sometimes you will spontaneously get the urge to pick through the garbage for food.
8 You love to drink, but will often start drinking and not stop until you cannot physically stop vomiting long enough to take another sip.

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