Among the strangest of planetouched races, xaolings are mortals imbued, gifted, cursed, or infected with the wild and unpredictable essence of chaos. Many xaolings originate as the offspring of mortals and proteans, the serpentine outsiders that swim Limbo’s unfathomable depths. For reasons unknown, such unions produce planetouched xaolings, rather than more overt, half-blooded beings as expected from similar couplings between mortals and fiends or celestials. Others arise spontaneously like unwanted gifts or physically incarnate jokes to parents who journeyed to Limbo or dealt heavily with its natives— ironically, more than a few xaolings were born to parents that fought against Limbo’s chaotic influence. Many others, however, never know or understand the precise origin of their protean-touched blood; they are what they are by random chance or cosmic fluke. Like a keketar might say, things happen and they don’t need reasons, causality be damned. For these xaolings, their genesis remains hidden in the past, their protean blood having lurked unseen and unnoticed in their family line for generations before surfacing in them.

Rare and misunderstood, whatever their particular origin, most xaolings can pass as particularly odd-looking tieflings or aasimar. Born with a simmering, impulsive, and oftentimes rebellious call in their blood to create and cavort without thought to the consequences, xaolings often find themselves getting into trouble of their own making, both by accident or by intent. Most of them would have it no other way.

Physical Description
Xaolings defy categorization; no two xaolings share the same peculiar and whimsical expression of their protean blood. Their heritage manifests with a scattered, unpredictable arrogance, providing a haphazard selection of traits merged with the normal form of their mortal stock. One xaoling might appear as a human with a forked tongue and serpentine eyes that change color randomly. A second xaoling might appear as a normal elf whose shadow appears sinuous and protean-like. A third xaoling might resemble a patchwork doll, stitched together by an incompetent or brutally whimsical deity, providing it with legs ending in one cloven hoof and one eagle’s claw, a humanoid torso with human arms and hands, but with one tipped by razored claws, and finally a lithe elven head crowned by mismatched horns and brilliant green hair that would make a gnome jealous. For all their randomness in form, however, there’s often something of the protean chaos-wyrm to be seen, be it scaly skin, a serpentine cant to the face, forked tongue and fangs, a sinuous reptilian tail, or something as overt as an imentesh’s feathered crest on the head or a plumed spine down the back, or even a keketar’s floating ephemeral crown. Limbo’s touch is obvious if you know what to look for.

Though the frenetic expression of their protean blood makes for a taxonomic nightmare for planar sages, xaolings do come loosely grouped into three types. Xaoling traits and appearances mirror the three most well-known castes of chaos-wyrm: naunet, imentesh, and keketar-kin. Any particular xaolings might or might not descend from one of those three types of proteans, but their chaotic essence manifests in their mortal flesh to suggest one of three lineages regardless.

Xaolings rarely gather in enough numbers to possess a society of their own. Mistaken as tieflings or aasimar, they often hide within such communities, flitting in and out as they see fit to play along or resume being outsiders among outsiders. This can have drawbacks, depending on how those host races are viewed within a given society.

On the outer planes or on the Material world in areas near concentrations of chaotic energies—be they gates to Limbo or the result of some historical planar breach—xaolings paradoxically come together,
organize, and form communities of their own. True to their progenitors, xaolings refer to their societies as choruses. But unlike Limbo’s chaos-wyrms, they aren’t fractured into cults of differing philosophies and goals. Among their own kind, they find a comforting release from the social expectations of other races, and a non-judgmental acceptance of their physical peculiarities and fiercely free-thinking individualism.

Given their wildly varied appearances, xaolings are often confused for members of other races. Because of this, they receive the acceptance owed—or bigotry reserved for—members of the race they’re confused for rather than whatever their host society might think of them. Xaolings are most frequently confused for tieflings. As a result of the distrust, suspicion, and fear that both races experience, it is among the fiendspawn that xaolings feel most comfortable. Given their mutually motley appearances, the two races have common ground on appearance alone. Their place on society’s fringes, their penchant for getting into and causing trouble, and the xaolings’ streak of acting against the grain (and frequently against the law), make the two races frequent bedfellows, in every meaning of the word.

Outside of tieflings, xaolings view gnomes as kindred spirits possessing the same otherworldly spontaneity and wanderlust. Feeling like perpetual outsiders, xaolings find common ground with halfelves, half-orcs, fetchlings, aasimar, and the various elemental-touched mortals who experience much the same alienation.

On the Material plane, xaolings are most often found within human society, both for the generally accepting nature of their human hosts, and the fact that proteans, for whatever reason, seem more prone to gift humans with their touch than any other mortal race. Most humans who don’t confuse them for chaotic tieflings don’t know what to make of xaolings. The beings aren’t evil by nature, but their adoration of chaos and disdain for authority is a frequent cause of trouble in many human nations.
Because of this, most xaolings are prone to wander before overstaying their welcome. Only in the largest and most cosmopolitan of cities, do their numbers rise enough to form racial enclaves of their own.

Alignment and Religion
Befitting their protean-blooded nature, xaolings skew towards chaotic alignments, reveling in their rebellious, mercurial, and even wantonly anarchic nature. True to that quixotic essence, xaolings buck any rules and limitations, including the notion that they cannot be lawful (though a lawful xaoling is exceedingly rare). They display no preference towards good or evil, and roughly equal numbers embrace these opposing sides of the moral compass, gleefully engaging in lawless versions of both.

Ultimately, though, despite their preference for chaos above all else, xaolings can be of any alignment. As such, they worship all manner of deities, especially deities of chaos, creation, and destruction, with
special preference for finding patronage among the myriad ranks of protean lords.

Like the dualistic gods of their protean ancestors, xaolings embody a similarly paradoxical nature of conjoined opposites. Both in behavior and physical form, xaolings stand out like ice mephits in the City of Brass when they so desire, yet they remain capable of fitting in when it suits their needs. The wandering nature of the adventuring life deeply appeals to them, allowing them to explore new places and new experiences, or at times escape retribution for whatever mischief they perpetrated in their last point of egress. Xaolings make skilled barbarians, bards, clerics, magi, oracles, rogues, sorcerers and witches. Much rarer are classes such as wizards whose highly structured methods of memorizing spell formulae taxes xaolings’ patience. Even rarer still are paladins and monks whose innate nature grates heavily with their chaos-wyrm blood.

Male Names

  • Nera’min, Ill’sarin, Draes’sass, Ts’tsyamiin, Zarya’ssin, Venya’ssin, Ness’siss

Female Names

  • Ill’setsya, Silmens’ya, Kera’ssina, As’asillii, Nera’tila, Keke’tilla, Venya’ssina

The inherent chaos and alien mindset of proteans meld awkwardly with the stability of form and relatively simple, straightforward minds possessed by most mortal races. Xaolings are prone to impulsive, seemingly irrational behavior that can range from obnoxiously outgoing, to inscrutable, to dangerous in their habit of doing what seems best— or most interesting—at the time.

Just as tieflings and aasimar descend from many varied fiendish or celestial races, three xaoling bloodlines exist, one for each of the three primary protean castes (though physical descent from one
of them need not be the case). Given the boundless, untamed depths of Limbo, other varieties of xaoling exist, but the naunet-kin, imentesh-kin, and keketarkin are the most common.

Xaoling Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 5 ft. 4 in. +2d10 in 120 lbs. x5 lbs.
Female 5 ft. 2 in. +2d10 in 85 lbs. x5 lbs.
Xaoling Aging Effects
Middle Age Old Venerable Maximum Age
150 years 200 years 250 years 250 + 6d% years
Xaoling Random Starting Ages
Adult Intuitive Self-Taught Trained
30 years +4d6 years +5d6 years +8d6 years

Xaoling Racial Characteristics
All xaolings share the following racial characteristics plus a species specific adjustment.

  • Native Outsider: Xaolings are outsiders with the native subtype.
  • Size: Xaolings are Medium creatures and thus have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Xaolings have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Darkvision: Xaolings see in the dark for up to 60 feet.
  • Skilled: Xaolings have a +2 racial bonus on Bluff and Escape Artist checks.
  • Protean Resistance: Xaolings have acid resistance 5, electricity resistance 5, and sonic resistance 5.

Languages: Xaolings xaolings begin play speaking Common and Protean. Xaolings with high intelligence scores can choose any of the following: Abyssal, Aklo, Aquan, Auran, Draconic, Ignan, Sylvan, and Terran.

Naunet-kin Xaolings
Touched by the bestial naunet, naunet-kin xaolings tend to be physically powerful, larger, and impulsive in their actions. Fiercely independent and severely ill at ease with laws, codes, and external restrictions,
they revel in fighting against anything they deem promotes oppression and tyranny.

  • Ability Score Racial Traits: Naunet-kin have the speed and stamina of creatures of the wild, but are brash and impatient. They gain +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, -2 Wisdom.
  • Entropic Strike (Su): Naunet-kin xaolings gain the power to make a single melee attack with a morale bonus on damage rolls equal to ½ the character’s level (minimum 1). An entropic strike must be declared before making the attack, and if the attack misses the power is wasted. This ability can be used once per day.
  • Protean Magic: Naunet-kin sorcerers with the aberrant, maestro, or protean bloodline treat their Charisma score as 2 points higher for all sorcerer class abilities.

Imentesh-kin Xaolings
Just like their namesake, the imentesh-kin xaolings tend to be gregarious, whimsical, and outgoing, sometimes obnoxiously so. As the imentesh serve as the heralds of their race and Limbo itself to the other planes of the cosmos, they are the most frequently of their kind encountered, and similarly the imentesh-kin xaolings are the most common xaoling subtype. Swift and beautiful, quick of tongue, and equally adroit in whimsy and deceit, the imentesh-kin possess a measure of the chameleon-like power of their progenitors.

  • Ability Score Racial Traits: Imentesh-kin are numble and friendly, but sometimes don’t know when enough is enough. They gain +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, -2 Wisdom.
  • Native Outsider: Imentesh-kin are outsiders with the native subtype.
  • Fluid Form (Sp): As a standard action for 1 minute/level , an imentesh-kin xaolings can assume the form of any Medium creature of the humanoid or native outsider type. If the form assumes has any of the following abilities, the imentesh-kin gains the listed ability: darkvision 60 feet, low-light vision, scent, and swim 30 feet. The ability’s duration does not have to be used all at one time, but it must be used in 1-minute increments. The imentesh-kin does not gain any ability score increases for the new form. This ability otherwise functions as alter self.
  • Protean Magic: Imentesh-kin xaoling sorcerers with the aberrant, maestro, or protean bloodline treat their caster level as one level higher for all 1st- and 2nd-level sorcerer spells.

Keketar-kin Xaolings
Infused with the essence of Limbo’s priest-kings, the keketar-kin xaolings are brilliant and charismatic. Mortal minds cannot fully comprehend the whispered wisdom of alien gods and remain grounded in reality. Aloof and distant they are as much preoccupied with the voices in their heads as with their own
actions born of bizarre whimsy. A crownlike cloud of ethereal, translucent runes drifts above their head, changing and moving of their own accord, marking their peculiar descent in much the same way as their keketar progenitors are crowned by Limbo itself.

  • Ability Score Racial Traits: Keketar xaolings are wise and insightful, but their cautious deliberation of everything occasionally leads to them pausing before undertaking a physical task, or over-thinking a simple action. They gain -2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma.
  • Lesser Spatial-Riptide (Su): Keketar-kin xaolings can infuse a creature with a crippling burst of chaotic energies as a melee touch attack, leaving the creature sickened for 1d4 rounds. Keketar-kin xaolings can use this ability once per day.
  • Protean Magic: Keketar-kin xaolings with the chaos, destruction, liberation, madness, or trickery domains (or their subdomains) treat their class level as two levels higher for level-based calculations of their domain powers. Keketar-kin xaoling with access to the dark tapestry or outer rifts mnysteries treat their class level as two levels higher for level-based calculations of their revelations.

Alternate Racial Characteristics

The following racial traits might be selected instead of existing xaoling racial traits. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.

  • Chameleon Skin: Sometimes the best way to stand out is to be able to blend in when it’s most opportune. To this end, some xaolings possess skin that subtly shifts color to match their surroundings. They gain a +4 bonus to Stealth checks. This racial trait replaces the Protean Magic and Skilled racial traits.
  • Creation and Destruction: Embodying the protean association with both creation and destruction, some xaolings gain an affinity to those skills that best exemplify them. They gain a +2 bonus to Disable Device and Craft (any) skill checks. This racial trait replaced the Skilled racial trait.
  • Empowered Scales: Most xaolings’ bodies are covered at least partially in some variety of scales or flesh that resists certain elemental energies. Some xaolings eschew their elemental resistances for

tougher armored scales, bony plates, or even flesh that hardens on contact but giving no obvious sign of being unnatural. They gain +1 natural armor. This racial trait replaces the Protean Resistance racial trait.

  • Serpentine Body: Some xaolings take after their progenitors in more physically obvious and overt ways, possessing a serpentine body from the waist down rather than humanoid legs. As a result their movement rate is reduced to 20 feet, and they gain a constrict attack (1d6+Str) as an extraordinary ability. This attack may be used as a primary attack as a standard action, or as a secondary attack if other attacks are made in the same round. This racial trait replaces the Skilled racial trait.
  • Unfettered: Many xaolings’ minds yearn for release from gravity’s tyranny and to swim the depths of Limbo. Some xaolings take these aspirations more literally than others, and as a result, they intuitively grasp the mechanics of flight and swimming, like an echo of a true protean’s melding of the two concepts. They gain a +2 bonus to Swim and Fly skill checks. This racial trait replaces the Skilled racial trait.

Favored Class Options

The following favored options are available to all xaolings who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed favored class reward.

  • Barbarian: Add +1/2 bonus to trap sense or +1/3 to the bonus granted by the lesser chaos totem

rage power.

  • Bard: Add a +1 bonus on Perform checks to use the countersong bardic performance against creatures with the chaos or law subtypes.
  • Cleric: Add +1/2 to the cleric’s channeled energy total when healing non-lawful creatures, and add +1/2 to damage when using Alignment Channel to damage lawful outsiders.
  • Magus: Add +1/4 to the magus’s arcane pool.
  • Oracle: Add +1/2 to the oracle’s level for the purpose of determining the effects of one revelation.
  • Rogue: Add a +1/2 bonus on Bluff checks to lie and a +1/2 bonus on Diplomacy checks to gather information.
  • Sorcerer: Add +1 to your daily uses of 1st level Bloodline powers for aberrant, maestro, or protean sorcerer bloodline.
  • Witch: Your familiar gains +1 acid, electricity, and sonic resistance.

See Also