Friday, May 19, 2017

Character Crunch. Tuathans and Faiths of Sublanarya: Dagda the Stag Prince

The following is an excerpt from a previous article... Witchcraft Part 4: Morgana La Fey the Terrible and Magnificent 

When an animal dies in Sublanarya, they move onto the afterlife just the same as any other sentient life forms, usually finding an immortal resting place in the Heavens. When animals die in the Feywild, they instead become spirits until they can reincarnate. Being touched by the fey changes these animals and, after many generations, a tribe of these animal spirits became sentient and known as the Yenna-goshi.

Yenna-goshi are one of the most mysterious species of shape-changers since they have a non-corporeal spirit form, an animal form, and a humanoid like form. They are strange primal entities that, in their humanoid form, having a mix of nondescript animal traits obscured by a cloak of animal hides with great glowing eyes looking out from under the hood.They usually watch over special places of nature in the Feywild and material plane. They are the spirits often responsible for the creation of Hengeyokai, sentient animals, born from normal animals, with the ability to transform into a human-like form. They are responsible for other yokai such as giant beasts, "animal gods", that serve as paragons of their kind and protectors of nature. There are also responsible for the Tuath De Yenna or Tuathans.

Thousands of years ago, there was a tribe of humans. They were known to be a peaceful and friendly craftsmen with use of bright colors, ornate patterns and unusual materials that create designs that were somehow both natural and unnatural. They were a simple people, living in harmony with the land, and did not seek war. They once had a homeland but were chased out by invaders. They became lost on a foggy morning and found themselves in a strange land, having crossed over into the Feywild, and it seemed there was no escape.

The tribe was lost in a strange and dangerous place, but they soon found friends. They had found themselves in a secluded forest, deep in the Dawn realm, protected by the yenna-goshi. Usually anyone foolish enough to step into or, much worse, damage the lands of the yenna-goshi would be scared off or meet some misfortune. It is said the yenna-goshi were bewitched by the colorful garments and tents of the people, the aroma of their tea and food, and the songs played by the young and old. Rather than scaring off the tribe, the yenna-goshi helped the humans and befriended them, allowing them to make the woods their home.

And, as the humans spent time in the Feywild, they changed as they were touched by the spirit of the animals. They gained the ability to shape-change into animals, they learned fey magic and knowledge, and helped protect the forests of the yenna-goshi. In time, they became known as the Tuatha de Yenna-goshi or "tribe of the animal spirits" or tuathans ("the tribespeople") for short.

Some tuathans eventually discovered a way to return to the material plane and, with their knowledge of fey magic, shape-shifting, and other gifts they had obtained abroad, they became a powerful small empire that stood for a thousand years. And then, mysteriously, the empire collapsed. Today, descendants of the tuathans can be found in the material plane and it is still believed they live hidden away in the forests of the yenna-goshi. They do not advertise their shape-shifting or heritage to avoid the superstitious fear of humans but also other enemies.

Their blood, their very heritage, is sought after by any number of powerful magic users and fey lords that seek to tap into the power of their mysterious race.

Tuathans are a race scattered to the four winds with small families, clans and communities hiding themselves away in the corners of the wild. They try to preserve their heritage but mostly want peace from the "wild hunt". A few tuathans either seek adventure or, by tragedy, are forced to seek out their own path in the world.

They resemble humans with fey-like features, often being mistaken for half-elfs or having elf blood, but have features resembling their unique animal form. From unique eye color and shape, such as having the eyes of an eagle, to hair the color of their fur or feathers in their animal form, such as tawny brown hair that turns white in the winter and back in the spring. Their closeness to nature, or at least their kindred animals, often leads them to druidism or ranging.

Ability Score Increase. Increase two ability scores of your choice each by 1 or one ability score of your choice by 2.
 It is recommended you base the ability score on your Kindred Animal. EX. A bear would have a +2 to Strength and a +1 to Constitution but a Bat would probably have a +2 to Dexterity.
Alignment. While Tuathans were once the ruling class of an ancient kingdom, since their downfall they have returned to their wild heritage. They tend towards neutrality, focusing on the survival and welfare of their kin, but some take their desire for freedom and turn it into an ideal of allowing themselves and others to live free. They tend towards neutral and chaotic alignments.
Size. Your are similarly sized to a human. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Wild Folk. You have proficiency in the Nature skill.
Kindred Speech. You have the ability to comprehend and verbally communicate with beasts similar to your kindred animal as if using the Speak With Animals spell.
The following are the beasts you can choose as your Kindred Animal. If you want to use a different beast, consult with your GM.
Ape, Axe Beak, Baboon, Badger, Bat, Black Bear, Blood Hawk, Boar, Camel, Cat, Constrictor Snake, Crocodile, Deer, Draft Horse, Eagle, Elk, Flying Snake, Frog, Giant Badger, Giant Bat, Giant Frog, Giant Goat, Giant Lizard, Giant Owl, Giant Poisonous Snake, Giant Rat, Giant Weasel, Goat, Hawk, Hyena, Jackal, Lizard, Mastiff, Mule, Owl, Panther, Poisonous Snake, Pony, Pteranodon, Rat, Raven, Riding Horse, War Horse, Weasel, Wolf, Vulture,
You can pick from the following but must be at least Level 4.
Brown Bear, Dire Wolf, Giant Eagle, Giant Hyena, Giant Toad, Giant Vulture, Lion, Tiger
Kindred Animal. You can take a bonus action to magically transform into your specific and unique kindred animal. Pick a creature from the list above. You can use this ability for up to twelve hours. Every time you use this ability to turn into your kindred animal and then turn back into your normal form, it expends at least one hour of your potential time in your kindred animal form. You regain this ability when you take long rests.

You can willingly return to your normal form by using a bonus action to do so.

The creature is limited in the actions it can perform by the nature of its new form, and cannot perform spells. Your intelligence, wisdom, and charisma ability scores remain the same and you may choose to use your hit points from your normal form instead of those of the creature. If your hit points become 0 or less in this form or you are knocked unconscious, you remain in this form.
 
The target’s gear melds into the new form. The target can’t activate, wield, or otherwise benefit from any of its equipment. 

Extra Languages. You may speak, read and write Sylvan and Elven.

The racial god of the Tuathans, Dagda, is similar to Sylvanis. In fact, some legends say that he is the son of Silvanus and a powerful Fey lady. While able to take any animal form, as a god of nature, his kindred animal is the stag and his favored form is that of a great and powerful stag. For this reason, he wears a crown of stag horns. He is said to be a capricious personality; wild, untamed and unpredictable. And yet, incredibly cunning and skilled. His guile allowed him to lead the Tuathans to rule an empire that is still spoken of in legend that stretched across many forested lands. And yet, even quicker than he rose to power, Dagda vanished. This was the beginning of the end for the empire and, shortly after his disappearance, it fell to ruin.

Those who still adhere to Dagda see him as a savior who will return to reunite the Tuathans. Some say he is still out there now, helping his people when he can, and punishing the wicked. He is said to take the forms of a beautiful young man or a bearded giant. He is also said to carry a long oak club that could take life or give it with a single swing, a cauldron that never runs empty of whatever drink or elixir he pleases, and a magical harp that can change the seasons as easily as it can change moods.

And yet, if he is still out there, why has he abandoned his throne?

It remains to be seen, but his people still wait for him.

  DAGDA THE STAG PRINCE
Title(s)
King of the Tuathans, The Mighty and Many-Skilled, The King of the Forests, Cernunnos, The Wild-Eyed Lord

Pantheon(s)
New Gods

Power Level
Lesser Deity

Alignment
Chaotic Good

Symbol
A pair of antlers with a star between them
Portfolio
Druids, the forest, tuathans, rangers, talent

Domains
Nature

Worshipers
Druids, foresters (hunters, trappers, loggers), tuathans, fey, wood elves
Favored Weapon
Clubs, mauls

Holy Day(s)
Festivals and rituals for the seasonal equinoxes

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