Returned

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A race of psuedo-undead, living again and sometimes pretty happy about it.

Groaning and crackling, dust shaking loose from his mail-clad shoulders in a gray-tinged cloud, Dulsk rubbed the back of his neck and sat up in the pile of unrecognizable, splintered wood. "Where in the wastes am I?" He stood, brushed off knees- a bit bonier than he remembered- and slowly, slowly, sensation flooded back to atrophied limbs, stretched body and slowed heartbeat. Skin stretched over bones. He looked down at his hands, free of gauntlets for the first time in...how long had it been, after all? They were pallid, dusty. Dead. He reached up to his face,felt the bones, felt the glacous flesh where his eyes had sucked backed into his skull. Glancing back, he recognized the shape of the woodpile. A coffin. "Well..." he mused, gruff as ever. "This is new"

Whether by random chance, arcane meddling, or divine caprice, some people just don't stay dead. Beginning only a few centuries ago, the cemeteries of all civilizations began giving up their dead in droves; and though many were tragically slain, mistaken for vampires or worse, many more survived. In the present time, these Returned, pallid continuations of their former lives, can be found in almost every nation and city, in almost every role. As diverse as the dead themselves, the Returned are, as might be expected, survivors and opportunists, eking out a 'living' as best they can.

Personality: Because they are born, or rather reborn, from members of all the common races, Returned represent a diverse spectrum of personal styles. Some are flamboyant arabesques, flaunting their psuedolife for gallows humor or the thrill of the taboo; others are skulkers in the shadows, as silent as the graves from which they sprang. Still others are stoic, taciturn warriors, so tough-as-nails (or so they claim) that even death couldn't keep them down for long.

Physical description: Returned can be as short as four feet, or as tall as six, and range in body type from lanky to positively rotund. Though they come from all types of original species, all share certain characteristics. Returned skin tones range from pallid, marble white to unhealthy parchment yellow; their eyes are usually jaundiced or deep, pupil-less black. All returned are distorted by their journey back to life- skin is stretched, faces moved about, and teeth ground to splinters. Some can pass for living humans or Claern in dim light, but most are obviously and almost always unsettlingly dead.

Relations: Most Returned share the opinion of their original race regarding other races and classes- but a few have taken on a new outlook based on their experiences. This new leaf can manifest itself as tolerance- or as manic xenophobia. There's no telling which way a Returned will swing under stress.

Alignment: Returned tend to be chaotic more often than not- moving from town to town and living to dead usually induces a relaxed attitude to temporal power. However, some few Returned are among the staunchest servants of order, protecting it even past death. Returned show no strong inclination towards good or evil, nor indeed toward neutrality.

Returned Lands: The Returned have no homelands; they live among and beneath (and, rarely, above) those they once were.

Religion: Returned tend toward worship of no one God. Some believe their new chance is an act of divine providence, and are strongly religious. Others wonder where their promised afterlife is, and are equally strong in their defiance of faith.

Languages: Returned speak common, the racial language of their former life, and either Celestial, Abyssal, or Infernal.

Names: The Returned tend to either keep the name they possessed before their revivification, or take on a new name or nickname indicative of the role they wish to assume for their 'second chance'.

Adventuring: Most Returned adventure for mercenary reasons, or to enact some personal goal. Few are employed by any political powerful person, and few serve abstractions well enough to be motivated by them (with the notable exception of Returned clerics, who are zealous in the extreme).

Returned Racial Traits:

  • +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma, -2 Strength: Returned are canny and difficult to meaningfully harm, but even the most charming must contend with their appearence, and their atrophied muscles are less potent than a truly living being's.
  • Medium: As medium creatures, Returned have no special bonuses or penalties due to size.
  • Returned base speed is 30 feet.
  • Low-light vision: A Returned can see twice as far as a human in moonlight or other conditions of poor illumination.
  • Vivification: Though they have returned from death, for all intents and purposes, a Returned is a humanoid, not an undead creature.
  • +2 racial bonus on Move Silently checks: Returned pad along with a memory of the tomb's silence.
  • A Returned does not need to eat, sleep, or breathe, though they must still rest to gain their spells (if they would otherwise) and can still imbibe potions or similar items.
  • +2 racial bonus on savings throws against poison: Returned have a slow metabolism and few truly vital organs; poisons are less likely to adversely affect them.
  • Returned heal damage naturally at three-fourths of the usual rate, rounding down. They can be magically healed, but such a spell is only half as effective on their unliving flesh; by the same token, they take only half damage from negative energy attacks.
  • Minor fortification: Whenever a sneak attack of critical hit would effect the Returned, there is a 10% chance the sneak attack is negated and damage is instead rolled normally. This effect stems from the Returned's decentralized life processes.
  • Favored class: Rogue. A multiclass Returned's rogue class does not when determining whether he or she takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.
  • Ageless: Returned do not age like other races, and do not gain penalties or benefits according to age category.
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