Thought by some to be genasi descended from human pairings with earth and water elementals, slyths are humanoid shapechangers found in small numbers throughout the Underdark. Another theory traces their origin to aboleth experimentation with humans and derro, while one ancient legend holds that slyths were actually created by Shar, who shaped a gelatinous cube into a humanoid and then breathed life into it. Still another myth tells the same tale but maintains that Chauntea created the slyths to tend the deep places of the earth.
Although their origins remain a mystery, slyths care deeply for the world of the Underdark and work to ensure that the many races and species that occupy it do not defile it. Slyths are few in number but strong in influence. They live long and make their presence felt in many ways.
Personality: Slyths view themselves as the custodians and caretakers of the Underdark. At peace with the natural world, they consider it their duty to help others interact harmoniously with the environment.
Because they maintain amicable relationships with most races, slyths are welcome almost anywhere. In peaceful communities, they offer advice on animal husbandry, food cultivation, or foraging. In conflict-threatened areas, they often act as arbiters. When feuding and raiding erupt into actual warfare, however, the slyths refuse to take sides - they simply leave. In times of open conflict, the slyths retreat to faraway niches that are difficult, if not impossible, for anyone without their alternate form to find.
Physical Description: In her humanoid form, a slyth appears as a bald human, slightly taller than average, with softer and more rounded features. Her skin tones can vary in color, but brown hues are the most common. The slyth's real form is that of an amorphous, oozelike creature whose body is midway between a solid and a liquid. In this shape, she resembles a puddle of syrup, mud, or oil.
Relations: In general, slyths get along well with almost all the humanoid and monstrous humanoid races, especially svirfneblin and orogs. Aboleths and illithids raise the ire of the slyths; in fact, the latter have been known to go out of their way to avoid mind flayer settlements.
Alignment: Slyths unequivocally favor neutrality. No member of any other race has ever encountered a slyth that wasn't neutral. Perhaps this predilection for neutrality indicates that slyths are somehow part of nature's own essence, or perhaps it results from their breeding or environment. Darker rumors speculate that slyth children who incline toward obdurate alignment extremes are abandoned, and few, if any, survive.
Religion: The deep spirituality of the slyths usually manifests itself in the worship of one of Faerûn's gods. Chauntea, the Earth Mother, is popular among slyths with good tendencies, and Shar is the deity of choice for those with evil tendencies.
Language: Slyths speak Common and Undercommon. Most speak at least one other elemental, humanoid, or monstrous humanoid language, although many powerful slyths supplement their linguistic expertise with magic, such as a helm of comprehend languages or potions of tongues.
Names: Slyth names reflect their interest in nature. First names are often onomatopoeic, resembling natural sounds of the Underdark. A typical surname is a compound word that unifies two aspects of the natural world. Male: Drypp, Garock, Glythum, Ploawp, Rumble. Female: Ffflla, Mrrwa, Ploosh, Scritch, Shooh. Surnames: Deepflight, Glowstone, Mushroomlake, Rockridge, Rockriver, Silenteave, Swiftlight.
Adventurers: Because slyth families typically settle in an area and become its keepers, slyths who take up classes usually become druids or rangers. Even slyth commoners or warriors devote themselves to the study of animal husbandry and try to learn more about nature. Eventually, these classed slyths leave the community, seeking other areas that have greater need. Sometimes a slyth travels and explores for many years before finding a place that seems suited to her.
Regions: The slyths live in all levels of the Underdark, though only in the lower Underdark is the population large enough to warrant permanent settlements. Virtually all slyths choose the slyth region.
Slyth Racial Traits
- -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom. Slyths are wise in the ways of nature and reasonably agile, but their amorphous forms are not especially strong.
- Medium size. Slyths have no bonuses or penalties due to size.
- A slyth's base land speed is 30 feet. A slyth in amorphous form (see below) has a swim speed of 30 feet.
- Alternate Form (Su): As a standard action, a slyth can change shape, assuming an amorphous form. Any equipment the slyth is wearing or carrying transforms to become part of this new form. Material armor (including natural armor) becomes worthless, though the slyth's Dexterity bonus, deflection bonus, and any armor bonuses from force effects (for example, from the mage armor spell) still apply. In her amorphous form, she cannot be flanked or stunned and she is immune to critical hits, but she can't attack or cast spells with verbal, somatic, material, or focus components. (This limitation does not rule out spells that the slyth may have prepared using the metamagic feats Eschew Materials, Silent Spell, and Still Spell.) The slyth loses all other supernatural abilities while in amorphous form, and her magic items cease functioning. Her amorphous form is nearly fluid and boneless, enabling her to pass through holes or narrow openings as small as 2 inches in diameter. Resuming her normal form is a full-round action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. A slyth can remain in amorphous form for up to 10 minutes per class level, but after resuming her normal form she cannot change again for as long as she spent in amorphous form.
- Water Breathing (Ex): A slyth can breathe underwater indefinitely.
- Immunities (Ex): Because of their shapechanging abilities, slyths are immune to polymorphing and poison.
- Resistances (Ex): A slyth has sonic resistance 5.
- Racial Bonuses: A slyth has a +4 racial bonus on Disguise, Escape Artist, and Survival checks.
- Weapon Familiarity: A slyth may treat flutter blades as martial weapons rather than exotic weapons.
- Automatic Languages: Common and Undercommon. Bonus Languages: Aquan, Elven, Gnome, and Terran (or by character region).
- Favored Class: Druid.
- Level Adjustment: +2. See Powerful Races