Shadar-kai

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The humanoid race inhabiting the Shadow Plane. Uncapitalized, "shadar-kai" refers to their language.

Shadar-kai in Diablotin

Since Dozilva do Baru emigrated to Diablotin, more Shadar-kai have moved to the "colour plane," as they call it. The Shadar-kai in Diablotin number a few thousand by 2280. They are easily spotted due to their skin colour, and their cultural differences set them apart as well. They have an enclave of sorts called The Shade in the area around the border of the Shambles and Rhenea - it's not mandatory that they live there, but many of them do, and there are things like restaurants and shops that cater to them there. There is definitely racism against them - common perceptions would include "they're taking our jobs, they look weird and don't dress decently, they're all sexual deviants, they're all atheists", among others. At the same time there is exoticisation/fetishization of them - it is trendy, for instance, for rich folks to have a Shadar-kai bodyguard done up in full SK gear, spiked chain, gal-ralan, etc. And it wouldn't be Diablotin if there weren't at least a few specialized SK brothels. Mild-to-moderate racism against the SK is pretty common - extreme racism is rarer, but not unknown. Interbreeding with humans is possible but is largely frowned upon.

Shadar-kai on the Shadow Plane

On the Shadow Plane there are several cities of Shadar-kai, the largest being Llorfir, which is located approximately where Ariège is in the Material Plane. Traditionally, Shadar-kai have an elaborate and rigid social hierarchy, with varying degrees of obeisance and formality expected for various ranks of people. They live in clans which are female-dominated, and their children are raised communally. They have no concept of marriage as it is practiced in Aveyrone, but they do practice 'thirding', whereby a couple who produce three children together are considered to have a special bond, and the man joins the woman's clan. Romantic relationships are not typically expected for reproduction to take place, however, and many pairings are arranged by the two clans involved, and are only expected to last long enough for a child to be conceived.

The Shadar-kai practice wizardry, but have very few priests, their plane having been severed from the gods for many centuries. They generally have a skeptical attitude towards deities, although they are aware they exist - they would argue that their motives are unknown and unknowable, and as such it is unwise to trust them. Now that the Shadow Plane's connection to divine power has been restored by Bessa du Champe, religion (specifically Serpent-worship) is experiencing something of a resurgence. However, the governing authorities of the Shadar-kai have attempted to quash this rediscovered faith, and so many practitioners have come to Aveyrone.

Shadar-kai in Andusk

Having sprung from the mind of the Tal-Antar, many of the denizens of Andusk are Shadar-kai, more or less.

Shadar-kai Character Creation

Shadar-kai
Medium-size Humanoid (Extraplanar)
+2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Wis

Special Qualities: Hide in Plain Sight: Shadar-kai can use the Stealth skill to hide in dark or shadowy conditions (not illuminated by natural daylight, the daylight spell, or similar bright lighting) even while being observed.

Shadow Curse: The Plane of Shadow exerts a hold over the Shadar-kai's soul. Any time a Shadar-kai is rendered unconscious (other than from natural sleep) she must make a Will save (DC 15) or lose a portion of her soul to the Plane of Shadow. This touch of the Shadow fills her heart with an icy emptiness, which can manifest as selfishness, isolation, a callous disregard for others, and even a lack of concern for her own well-being. In game terms, the Shadar-kai suffers a -1 to Wisdom and Charisma for each failed save to resist the Shadow Curse. A Shadar-kai suffering from this curse who returns to the Plane of Shadow can be healed with a greater restoration spell, while on the Material Plane (or elsewhere) it requires a miracle or wish spell.

Shadow Shift: 1/day the Shadar-kai can plane shift (self + 50 lbs of equipment only) between the Shadow Plane and Material Plane as a standard action.

Stealthy: Shadar-kai gain +4 racial bonus on Stealth checks.

Superior low-light vision: Shadar-kai see four times as far as a human in conditions of dim light.

Special items:

Gal-ralan: This iron armband is lined on the interior surface with spikes that pierce the wearer's arm, causing constant pain (and also taking up the spot where a bracer would be worn). Its purpose is to help affix the Shadar-kai's soul to her body. As long as a gal-ralan is worn, the wearer takes a -1 to Constitution. A gal-ralan provides the wearer with a +1 to +5 resistance bonus to saving throws. This bonus increases by an additional +2 against death effects, energy drains, and effects that affect the wearer's soul (such as the shadow curse). Only one gal-ralan may be worn at a time. Market price: 625 gp (+1), 2500 gp (+2), 5600 gp (+3), 10,000 gp (+4), 15,600 (+5).

Half Shadar-kai
Individuals with one Shadar-kai parent and one human parent have the following characteristics that differentiate them from their parents:
+1 Dex, +1 Cha, -1 Wis (plus +1 to the ability of the human parent's House)

Special Qualities: Hide in Plain Sight: Half Shadar-kai can use the Stealth skill to hide in dark or shadowy conditions (not illuminated by natural daylight, the daylight spell, or similar bright lighting) even while being observed

Stealthy: Half Shadar-kai gain +2 racial bonus on Stealth checks

Low-light vision: Half Shadar-kai see twice times as far as a human in conditions of dim light.

Shadow Shift: Beginning at 6th level in any combination of classes, 1/day the half Shadar-kai can plane shift (self + 50 lbs of equipment only) between the Shadow Plane and Material Plane as a standard action.

Half Shadar-kai can be affected by the Shadow Curse (as described above), however it has less of a hold over them. The DC for Will saves to resist the Shadow Curse upon falling unconscious is 10, and it can be remedied by a restoration spell on the Material Plane or by lesser restoration on the Shadow Plane.