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Neraphim

A neraph (plural neraphim) is sometimes mistaken for a slaad at a distance, due to the similarity of their appearance. However, neraphim and slaadi are distinct species, at least so far as any species can be considered distinct in the roiling boil of chaotic Limbo.

Neraphim are a nomadic people who hunt through the maelstrom of Limbo, following and hunting their elusive and ever-moving prey. Neraphim have developed special hunting tools and techniques, giving them exceptional skill in bringing down the game they seek above all else: the chaos beast, one of which provides a neraph tribe nutrition and raw materials for clothing for a week. They are proficient leapers, able to jump from mote to mote of stable earth in the otherwise ever-changing chaos of Limbo, tracking prey.

Instead of solid borders, the neraphim houses claim hunting routes, access to resources, and rights of prestige when the various houses meet once every seven years to conduct their great racial festival known as the Festival of Spawning.

Personality: Neraphim cannot afford to be as variable as the plane they inhabit and the game they hunt -- stern discipline separates a neraph from starvation and the rest of his quickly moving house. Each "house" constitutes a bonded group of neraphim made up of several related families and one matriarch. The various neraphim houses meet only rarely, and then often in war over disputed hunting grounds, although alliances between houses are also common, if a particular threat warrants.

Within each house, the rule of the matriarch is law, and her rule can be harsh. Exiles are common, though most are slain by other houses, slaadi, githzerai hunters, and roaming chaos beats. Some exiles have open personalities and strike up friendships with travelers from other planes, hoping to accompany them home and leave the dangerous realm of Limbo behind.

Physical Description: Neraphim are roughly humanoid, with coarse red hide. Though bipedal, they have no neck and have massive, flat, toadlike heads. Chitinlike encrustations of the neraphim's skin provide them some natural protection; however, neraphim also prefer to wear strangely colorful body-covering bone spiked leather (stabilized and cured chaos beast hide).

Relations: A nomadic people, neraphim encountered while still associated with a house are generally unfriendly to strangers, even if of the same race. However, exiles are more open-minded and may team up with others in order to survive, whether neraphim, githzerai, or some off-plane race. On the other hand, because neraphim remind some of smaller, skinnier red slaadi, other races are usually a bit hostile at first.

Alignment: Despite holding themselves above the general churn of Limbo, neraphim can't help having one chaotic component to their alignment. They try not to give in to their chaotic natures, and generally are very successful in this practice.

Religion: Giving some ammunition to those who believe that the neraphim are a subspecies of slaadi, a few neraphim houses worship less bloodthirsty and less insane aspects of Ssendam and Ygorl (who are normally considered to be, if not slaadi deities, at least very powerful slaadi entities worthy of respect).

Language: Neraphim speak their own language and Slaad. Some learn Common, which allows them to better communicate with creatures of other planes, and some learn Abyssal and Celestial.

Names: Neraphim have given names and house names. Those exiled from a house are usually ceremonially stripped of their house name, though some continue to refer to themselves as such, while others take appellations similar to "the Exile," "the Stricken," or "the Houseless."

Male Names: Anh, Cado, Hao, Sam, Tam, Teo, Thanh, Thuan, Van, Xuan.

Female Names: Chi, Hyunh, Lan, Mai, Nam, Tham, Trinh, Yen.

House Names: Spent River, Hanging Cliff, Invisible Sea, Lost Mountain, Burning Water, Living Stone.

Adventurers: With little to no prospect of returning to their house, and with even less prospect of joining another house, exiled neraphim make perfect adventurers. Exiles who embrace this path soon learn to excel, for the skills that allow them to hunt in the changing seas of Limbo are useful elsewhere. Against all odds, some exiles adventure in order to complete a great quest or meet some other condition imposed by a house matriarch that might allow them back into a house. However, once a neraph discovers the greater cosmos, few wish to return to their primitive and nomadic lifestyle.

Neraph Racial Traits

Outsider: Neraphim are native to the plane of Limbo, and thus have the outsider type. They gain the extraplanar subytpe when not on Limbo. They are not subject to spells or effects that affect only humanoids, such as charm person or dominate person.

Medium: As Medium creatures, neraphim have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.

A neraph's base land speed is 30 feet.

Neraphim have darkvision out to 60 feet.

Neraph Camouflage (Ex): When charging an opponent or when using a thrown weapon, neraphim can use a technique known as motion camouflage (also called neraph camouflage by other races), which predatory insects use to trick prey into thinking they are stationary even though they are moving closer. The target creature can be fooled into believing that the charging neraph or the neraph's thrown weapon is in fact not moving closer, or moving closer only very slowly.

A neraph may make only one camouflage attack per enemy per encounter (once a foe sees the attack in action, the foe can discern it for what it is for the duration of that combat). Creatures that are subject to a neraph charge or who are targeted by a weapon thrown by a neraph may not apply their Dexterity bonuses to their Armor Class. All conditions that pertain when a foe cannot apply his Dexterity bonus to Armor Class also pertain to the neraph's attack (for instance, a sneak attack could also be made with this attack, if the neraph can make such an attack).

Leap (Ex): Neraphim are natural jumpers. They have a +5 racial bonus on Jump checks.

Weapon Familiarity: Neraphim may treat the annulat (introduced in Chapter 4: Equipment and Magic Items) as a martial weapon rather than an exotic weapon.

+2 natural armor: Natural skin encrustations grant neraphim some protection against harm.

Skills: Neraphim receive a +2 racial bonus on Spot and Search checks.

Automatic Languages: Neraph, Slaad. Bonus Languages: Common, Celestial, Abyssal.

Favored Class: Ranger.

Level Adjustment: +0

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