For generations untold, the little, hearty people known as the krampek have served one oppressor or another. They toil throughout the tunnels under Fenrilik with no knowledge of their origins, save a scant oral history that they maintain despite their overlords. Only a handful have found freedom, guarding it with a tenacity rarely seen on Scarn.

Skerrai control the majority of the krampek population, using them to mine near thermal vents for valuable minerals.

The krampek perform this duty, as they do every task their masters assign, with little resistance. Sadly, the state of their people has bred a culture of acceptance in most of the population. The skerrai thus put minimal resources toward the security of the krampek, confident they will stay put or go where they are told.

In recent decades, more and more young krampek reject the idea of “the krampek purpose” that is handed down from their elders. Some have even escaped their slave settlements and found habitable geothermal chambers away from the grasp of their cruel former masters. They take advantage of their physical gifts, burrowing these villages vertically and dotting them with natural pitfalls for those less adept at climbing. This gives them time to observe approaching wanderers and judge whether to help, hinder, or leave be.

Physical Description: Small of stature, krampek tend to be a foot and a half shorter than a human. At first glance, they seem harmless, even cute — a misconception that krampek can use to their advantage. Their large eyes are nearly entirely black, adapted to their dark home. Flat bushy tails trail behind their satyr-like legs, aiding their balance.

Another prominent krampek feature are opposable antennae that sprout from the head just about above the eyebrows. One would not be blamed for mistaking them for eight-inch horns: they have hardened exterior exoskeleton similar to an ibex horn. These stalks are constantly active, swaying and perking the direction of stimuli. However, they are most animated when krampek speak, as the krampeki language directly incorporates their movements.

Society: Krampek under the thrall of the skerrai, live in extended family units and rely on their masters for most day to day governance. The skerrai encourage and reward this convenient tradition of deference — anything to leave the krampek utterly dependent upon them. Forbidden the skill of reading and writing, krampek have no written language. Their extensive oral tradition lauds krampek who demonstrate the virtues of perseverance and fortitude in the face of great hardship. Lately, these stories have evolved among the young into dreams of a way to live free.

When krampek do escape, it is usually as an extended family unit striking out into the tunnels together. Existing escapees welcome the lucky survivors into their settlements.

As a result, several dozen small, hidden krampek villages dot the underground thermal tunnels of Fenrilik.

As krampek are adapted to extreme cold and darkness, clothing is an artifact from their days in service to their oppressors. They prefer to express their personalities using the many multi-colored fungi they grow and tend around their homes. Vertical terrace gardens dot the walls of their large chamber-homes, offering a riot of bioluminescent spores to spread on their skin..

Relations: Considering their survival hinges on hiding in tunnels from their former captors, it’s no wonder that krampek have no concept of ‘relations with other peoples.’

Few other outsiders pass through the tunnels; even fewer seem trustworthy enough for the krampek to reveal themselves. The truly rare individual offered that trust must pass a sort of test of their heart.

Once a village scout vets a traveler as worthy and capable of keeping their secret, the krampek welcome them warmly.

They offer their meager means with joy and eagerness, treating the lucky outsider like family..

Only the skerrai meet with immediate hostility. While krampek do all they can to hide their presence, they fight without mercy to make skerrai hunters regret ever approaching their villages.

Alignment and Religion: While the krampek have a firmly druidic faith, they do not worship any specific Titan or god.

One may mistake this for the surface’s Ushadani religion, but krampek faith is far more focused. They pray and offer tribute to the spirits of their immediate habitat. The spirits of tunnel winds, waters, and fungus receive deference for their blessings.

Krampek fear the terrible spirits of fire and see them as evil, a practice that the skerrai instilled in them to deny them the means of growth. Most societies that worship this way also revere spirits of ancestors. Krampek, though, believe in a never-ending cycle of reincarnation and thus believe there is no one on the other side to pray to.

This, combined with a desire to improve the world around them, leads nearly all free krampek to be chaotic good; those still serving under the yoke of the skerrai tend to be lawful neutral.

Adventurers: Rare is the krampek that leaves behind their family, but those that do are unyielding and determined people. Few beings are as steadfast with their traveling companions as a krampek. Should a krampek adventurer’s companions visit their home village, they welcomed as siblings. Adventuring with a krampek is the fastest, best way to learn the krampek language.

Male Names: Aval, Cretch, Drivsni, Hagel, Mish, Nysno, Snaer, Sned, Yso

Female Names: Bloots, Löss, Meja, Mödd, Nivis, Pudera, Skare, Slask, Uppelga

Krampek Racial Traits

With so many years surviving under the uncaring hands of one oppressor or another, the krampek have developed into hardy underground survivors.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2, and either your Constitution or your Charisma score increases by 1.
  • Age. Krampek mature in their late teens and few live beyond 120 years.
  • Size. The typical krampek is just under three and a half feet tall and weighs just over 60 pounds. Your size is small.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
  • Born with Inner Fire. Though you make your home within hot spring chambers deep beneath the tundra, you travel often through the deep ice and frozen tunnels of Fenrilik. You have resistance to cold damage and immunity to the effects of extreme cold weather.
  • In addition, as a bonus action, you may use the bioluminescence of your torso and hands’ exposed skin to cast a dim light, in any color you choose, out to 60 feet.
  • While using this feature you have disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks. You can use this feature up to 20 minutes per day and may douse the light at will.
  • Unique Metabolism. Poisonous gases from thermal vents and toxic fungi or mold spores have little effect on the krampek after years of hereditary exposure. You have resistance to poison damage and advantage on saving throws against poison.
  • Cloven Hooves. Born to the perilous tunnels beneath the tundra, the krampek maneuver on near-sheer surfaces almost as they do on flat ground with their cloven hooves and satyr-like legs. You have proficiency in Athletics and advantage on checks that involve climbing. When climbing natural vertical surfaces, you have the same movement speed as when running.
  • Senses Darkvision (30 ft). Dwelling underground for the entirety of their collective existence, the krampek are greatly adapted to living in dark environments. Within 30 feet, you can see in dim light as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You cannot discern color in darkness, only shades of grey.
  • Disarming Appearance. A krampek’s appearance causes many foes to let their guard down. Your first successful attack against a medium or larger creature in combat does additional damage equal to your character level times two, after all other damage has been calculated. Creatures that have taken damage in such an attack are not vulnerable to it again, having learned their lesson.
  • Languages. Krampeki, Primordial, and one language of your choice.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Frostlands of Fenrilik © 2020 Travis Legge

This is not the complete section 15 entry - see the full license for this page