Legacies of Ancient Empires

by Eric L. Boyd (Dragon #350)

All manner of creatures make Faerûn their home: some strange and magical, others terrifying and fierce, and still others from planes beyond the mortal world. Collectively, these creatures of the distant planes are called planetouched. While most planetouched are aasimar (a mixture of human and celestial bloodlines), genasi (a mixture of human and elemental bloodlines), or tieflings (a mixture of human and fiendish bloodlines), other varieties exist. Many of the other planetouched races found in the FORGOTTEN REALMS do not have dominant human bloodlines, resulting instead from a mixture of some other humanoid race and a specific outsider race. Baphitaurs, commonly found in the Labyrinth of the Northdark, magically combine minotaur, human, ghour, and goristro bloodlines and owe their existence to Netherese arcanists in what is now the Dungeon of the Ruins. Fey'ri, sometimes found in the High Forest of the North, are the descendants of Siluvanedenn gold elves consorting with succubi and incubi. Tanarruk, commonly found in the Greypeaks and Nether Mountains of the North, are a race of deliberately created demon-orc warriors.

Some of the most prominent examples of variant planetouched races found on Faerûn are the fruit of ancient empires that dabbled in magic, explored other planes, or served under immigrants from distant worlds. This article presents four new planetouched races - legacies of Faerûn's ancient empires: azerbloods, celadrins, d'hin, and worghests.

Planetouched, Azerblood

This creature resembles a dwarf in height and build but lacks a beard or body hair. His skin looks like brass and even has a metallic sheen, his unkempt flame-red hair dances like real fire and his red irises flicker like candles. He wears a highly polished brass kilt.

Descended from shield dwarves and azers, azerbloods are generally unfriendly and taciturn, proud and unafraid to take action.

Most azerbloods encountered away from their homes are warriors.

Strategy and Tactics

Azerbloods are experts in combat, effectively using their environment and executing well-planned group attacks. They often use fire magic in fights, particularly if one or more of their number is a cleric or sorcerer. If they have time to prepare, they might build fire pits or other traps involving burning oil. In addition to the dwarven waraxe and thrown hammer, azerbloods also use warhammers, picks, and spears.

Ecology and Society

Azerbloods live in small communities, often by themselves in otherwise deserted cave complexes or within larger dwarven cities and enclaves. Azerbloods speak Dwarven and Ignan. Most who travel outside dwarven lands (as traders, mercenaries, or adventurers) also know the Common tongue.

While they favor Gorm Gulthyn or Dumathoin, azerbloods revere the entire dwarven pantheon.

Environment: Azerbloods tend to live with dwarves, often in temperate mountains.

Typical Physical Characteristics: Azerbloods vary widely in their appearance, although in general form they resemble shield dwarves with metallic brass-colored skin, flame-red hair, and irises that appear to dance like tiny flames. They favor little clothing other than azer kilts of brass, bronze, or copper, but they don heavier armor when they expect combat.

Alignment: Like their dwarven cousins, azerbloods strongly favor the rule of law and the predictability it provides. From their azer ancestors they gain a level of detachment from the debate of good versus evil.

Treasure: Azerbloods tend to keep their wealth in coins and - especially - trade goods.

In the Realms

Azerbloods are most common in the Small Teeth mountains of western Amn, as most are members of the remnants of Clan Azerkyn, which once ruled the southern caverns of the Adamant Kingdom of Xothaerin. Individual azerbloods can also be found in shield dwarf clans dwelling in the mountain ranges that lie near the Lake of Steam.

Azerbloods are treated as shield dwarves for purposes of determining available regions. They may also take the Bloodline of Fire feat.

Azerbloods as Characters

Azerbloods possess the following racial traits.

Planetouched, Celadrin

This creature looks like an elf with flame-red hair, bronze skin, and golden eyes. She wears light, breezy silk garments interlaces with silver and gold.

Celadrins are a race of planetouched descended from the unions of elven worshipers of Hanali Celanil and eladrins (usually firre) consummated during summer solstice revels. Most celadrins encountered away from their homes are warriors.

Strategy and Tactics

Celadrins are cautious warriors who take time to analyze their opponents and the location of the fight if at all possible, maximizing their advantages by using ambushes, snipers, and camouflage. They prefer to fire from cover and retreat before they are found, repeating this maneuver until all of their enemies lay dead.

They prefer longbows, shortbows, rapiers, and longswords. In melee, celadrins are graceful and deadly, using complex maneuvers beautiful to observe. Their wizards often use sleep spells during combat because such magic does not affect other elves or celadrins.

Ecology and Society

Celadrins typically live among gold elves, although some wander the world a few decades before settling down with other types of elves. They speak Celestial and Elven. Most celadrins who travel outside their temples (as guardians or wandering troubadours) learn the Common tongue.

Celadrins prefer to live in elven communities with prominent temples of Lady Goldheart. Most celadrins venerate Hanali Celanil and honor the rest of the Seldarine.

Environment: Celadrins typically live in the temperate forests of their elven kin.

Typical Physical Characteristics: Celadrins usually resemble gold elves with flame-red hair, bronze skin, and gold eyes. They favor radiant garments, often diaphanous silks woven with threads of silver and gold.

Alignment: Like full-blooded elves, celadrins enjoy the gentler aspects of freedom and chaos, as represented by the alignment chaotic good.

Treasure: In addition to their gear, celadrins carry the standard amount of gear for their challenge rating. They tend to carry their wealth in elaborately carved jewelry and bright gemstones rather than coins.

In the Realms

Not uncommon in the forests of Cormanthor, most celadrins trace their ancestry back to the height of Myth Drannor. Since the Weeping War, many celadrins have settled in Deepingdale and the forests surrounding Lake Sember. Celadrins are found in other elven communities where the church of Hanali Celanil plays a prominent role, including Evereska and Evermeet. They are usually strongly associated with the arts, either as craftsmen, performers, or guardians thereof

Celadrins are treated as gold elves for purposes of determining available regions.

Celadrins as Characters

Celadrins possess the following racial traits.

Planetouched D'hinni

The bald creature looks like a tall halfling with darker skin. He wears loose-fitting clothes made of cotton and silk with multiple earrings hanging from his ears. He wears a stern and disapproving look.

D'hin (singular d'hin'ni) are a race of planetouched descended from lightfoot halflings and djinn. They are generally impulsive and somewhat flighty, unable to concentrate on a single task for more than a moment. Most d'hin encountered away from their homes are warriors.

Strategy and Tactics

D'hin prefer to fight defensively usually sniping with ranged attacks as a foe approaches. They rely heavily on hit-and-run tactics, very much like those of halflings, but they place more emphasis on mobility and less on cover and concealment.

Ecology and Society

D'hin live among halflings and fill all the myriad roles of their pureblooded kin, although they do tend more toward the study of magic than true halflings. D'hin speak Auran and Halfling, while those who travel outside halfling lands (as traders, mercenaries, or adventurers) also learn the Common tongue.

Most venerate Brandobaris or Shaundalkul, although the entire halfling pantheon (including Tymora) is revered.

Environment: As they tend to live among halflings, d'hin usually make their homes on warm plains.

Typical Physical Characteristics: D'hin vary widely in their appearance, but adult males are universally bald and females wear their dark hair long. They tend to stand a little taller than halflings, but not so tall as to be mistaken as dwarves. Most favor comfortable loose-fitting clothes made of cotton or silk.

Alignment: From their halfling ancestors d'hin retain a certain amount of disinterest in moral or ethical debates, but from the djinn they keep a level of capricious unpredictability. Most, then are represented by the chaotic neutral alignment.

Treasure: D'hin possess the finest scimitars, curved daggers, and ornate clothing they can afford. Jewelry, especially earrings, features prominently in their personal possessions as well. D'hin carry the standard amount of wealth for their challenge rating.

In the Realms

D'hin trace their ancestry back to halfling slaves of the Calim Empire and their djinn overseers. Persecuted by the genie-hating humans of early Coramshan, the d'hin fled northward into the Calishar Emirates as part of the great halfling migration. Today; d'hin are most common along the Sword Coast, concentrated in halfling communities in Calimshan, the Purple Hills of Tethyr, the eastern shore of Lake Esmel, the Sunset Vale, and in the vicinity of Secomber.

D'hin are treated as lightfoot halflings for purposes of determining available regions.

D'hin as Characters

D'hin possess the following racial traits.

Planetouched Worghest

The blue-gray creatures resembles a hirsute goblin with a short lupine snout, sharp teeth, and blue-black hair. Its orange eyes glow with unconcealed fury. The being wears a ragged leather loin cloth and a rough hide cloak

Worghests are a race of planetouched descended from barghests and goblins. They are generally cowardly, finding courage only in packs and when attacking from ambush. Most worghests encountered away from their homes are warriors.

Strategy and Tactics

Worghests can bite in wolf form. Although they love killing, they have little stomach for direct combat and attack from ambush when possible.

Ecology and Society

Living among orcs and goblinoids, worghests demand - and receive - respect and fear from their pureblooded cousins. Despite often being the most powerful warriors in a tribe, worghests rarely attempt to become leaders - they prefer to live more freely than leadership positions allow. Worghests speak Infernal and Worg. Most who travel outside their packs (as raiders, mercenaries, or adventurers) know the Common tongue.

Most worghests venerate Malar or deities of the goblin pantheon.

Environment: Worghests live with their surface-dwelling kin on wide temperate plains or within safely hidden confines among equally temperate hills.

Typical Physical Characteristics: Worghests vary widely in their appearance, although in general form they resemble hairy goblinoids with sharp teeth within wolflike snouts and hair of any blue shade. Worghests' eyes glow orange when they become excited. They favor hides as clothing, but often wear loincloths or nothing at all.

Alignment: Barghests typically possess powerful personalities - particularly when compared to orcs and goblinoids. As such, their descendants take on many of their personality traits, including a penchant for advancing within a group by playing within the rules and laws of the area.

Treasure: In addition to their armor and their weapons, worghest carry the standard amount for creatures of their CR, usually in coins and gems.

In the Realms

Worghests are most common around the Mines of Tethyamar - north and west of the Desertmouth Mountains - as many descend from the barghests that overran these dwarven holdings. Individual worghests also appear in goblin tribes across Faerûn that were led by barghests in generations past.

Worghests are treated as goblins for purposes of determining available regions

Worghests as Characters

Worghests possess the following racial traits.

Planetouched Races
Races of Faerûn
Character Creation