Athelings (Human Racial Variant)1

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There is still a core group, mostly rural, of humans that have passed down remembrances of the “World-That-Was” and are suspicious of the new planet they have joined. When the New Gods made the transition to Porphyra, all of the languages spoken by humanity were converted, even in the books and minds of the people, into the language known as ‘Common’, to facilitate the spreading of the various faiths. ‘Athelings’ stubbornly held on to a few phrases of the human language of the ‘World-That-Was’, but apart from that, refuse to speak anything other than the Common language thrust upon them, in grudging deference to their Goddess. ‘Atheling’, in that lost tongue, means ‘nobleman’. Constant agitators for isolationism, athelings keep to themselves, for the most part, but still send representatives to local and national government in the Kingdoms to fight for their point of view. Individuals of that group also strike out into the larger world, to fight against threats imposed on them by ‘the unwanted’- as they refer to the rest of Porphyra, or anyone from those lands.

Athelings have a large enough population in the Kingdoms to stay genetically viable, but it takes some work; the ‘cleric’ in their communities, often a ceremonial position, keeps detailed bloodlines, fragments of ‘The Auld World’, and bits of atheling lore, sparse as they are. Gerana’s response to the Calling is seen as something between a betrayal and a judgment, and worship of the Arbitress is somewhat grudging among them- but enough to avoid Inquisitions from the Codion, except in a few notable uprisings. They have not accepted Rolterra’s revolutionary doctrines as of yet, but inroads are being made within the more dissatisfied communities.

To most humanoids, especially non-humans, athelings look no different than the Landed human norm, but a DC 12 Knowledge (local) check can recognize their physical traits; somewhat shorter and more compact than their more cosmopolitan neighbors, large, typically bright green eyes, and almost comically snaggly teeth. The city term ‘buck-toothed bumpkin’ usually refers to athelings, though using the phrase to their face will almost guarantee subtle vandalism of one’s goods- or person.

Atheling Racial Characteristics
Atheling player characters are defined by class levels—they do not possess racial hit dice. All atheling player characters possess the following racial characteristics.

  • +2 to One Ability Score, +1 Wisdom: Atheling characters gain a +2 racial bonus to one ability score other than Wisdom and gain a +1 bonus to Wisdom bonus, to reflect their varied nature and their inherent suspicion.
  • Medium: Athelings are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Athelings have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Eye for Talent: Athelings have great intuition for hidden potential. They gain a +2 racial bonus to Sense Motive checks. In addition, when they acquire an animal companion, bonded mount, cohort (human only) or familiar, that creature gains a +2 bonus to one ability score of the character’s choice.
  • Heart of the Fields: Humans born in rural areas are used to hard labor. They gain a racial bonus equal to half their character level to any one Craft or Profession skill, and once per day they may ignore an effect that would cause them to become fatigued or exhausted.
  • Skilled: Athelings gain an additional skill rank at first level and one additional rank whenever they gain a level.
  • Languages: Athelings begin play speaking Common, and only Common, in a dialect that uses many words from the dead language of their home world. Apart from magical means or speaking Druidic, athelings must invest skill ranks in Linguistics to learn other languages, gaining one language for every two ranks invested.

Racial Traits
The following are race traits specifically for atheling player characters, who may take one race trait.

Gang the Auld Way: The old stories of the World-That-Was make it sound so perfect but you’ll never tell the Unwanted about them. You gain Knowledge (history) as a class skill, and gain a +1 trait bonus to Bluff checks.

Duplicitous Peasant: “Yes, m’lord, yes m’lord- ooh what a lovely saddle…” As long as you don’t wear medium or heavy armor, or an outfit worth more than 10 gp, you gain +1 to initiative and Stealth checks.

Xenophobia: You dislike what you don’t trust, and you don’t trust much. You gain a +1 trait bonus to saves vs. mind-affecting effects, except fear.