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Alai

There are places in the world that have been touched upon by its mystical waters, sometimes changing or spawning new life in its wake—like the plantfolk known as alai. Found in forests, jungles, and woodlands of all kinds, these hardy creatures are intrinsically devoted to nature, espousing the magics of druids and rangers at the expense of all things arcane or otherwise divine. Despite this common ignorance alai have both a deep connection to the environment and their inner spirit, a wild force that drives them to survive against many predators and dangers. When encountered alone an alai is usually only a nuisance but when a whole tribe has raised their spears they can rightfully inspire fear in the hearts of the greatest of beasts.

Borne of the Vine

Alai are not a large peoples, few growing taller than 3 feet in height, but they are denser and heavier than similarly sized creatures of flesh. All have green skin and eyes of yellow or purple hue, their hair the same verdant color or orange-brown. For a race with such an unconventional diet they have impressive physicality and wildly different variations, some with mouths like other humanoids, others with plant-like tongues that resemble a thick pistil, and many with vicious fangs never intended for anything more than ripping flesh.

Hostile Peace

As creatures that quite literally live off of the land alai usually lead relatively peaceful, quiet existences isolated in the deep wilderness—they have no need to hunt or harvest anything more than water and rich soil making them unreliable prey. Predators are also dissuaded from targeting the alai because they are only very rarely alone even when they appear to be, traveling together in loose-knit groups that cunningly stalk through the undergrowth to ambush any creature that attacks one of their kind. Their communities are unsurprisingly full of strong bonds that make every plantfolk an equal, treasured and respected by all their kin. What they almost universally dislike are outsiders, some settlements taking their xenophobism to disturbingly violent extremes that have led to alai having dubious reputations in certain regions (sometimes even thought to be cannibals or strange undead).

Verdant Villages

Where the green overwhelms the land and one cannot look without seeing a tree of some kind there is likely a settlement of alai not far away, hidden in the treetops or within tunnels of arched roots.

The plantfolk are cautious but extremely territorial, attacking anyone deemed dangerous (usually arcane spellcasters) with a primal ferocity that belies their ancestry. When an alai takes to the world at large and explores Vast Kaviya they tend to become reserved and observant, not just soaking in their exotic surroundings, the strange people they meet, or understanding new concepts, but also considering the implications of whatever new knowledge they come to hold.

Typically an alai settlement is led by its eldest member aided in turn by a council of elders

Names

This race has no permanent genders, every alai able to act as either parent when reproducing (something done in a fashion more akin to fish than humanoids). Instead a newborn is named the first thing they repeat at length, the sound taken to be a sign from the world of what the wild spirit within the alai yearns to accomplish.

Names: Boosh, Cruik, Fibt, Gaga, Haagk, Krak, Lurrk, Maazsc, Ooaa, Puffba, Razs, Sath, Troov, Vav, Waawaa, Yaapaa

Alai Traits

Your alai character has an assortment of inborn abilities, their verdant heritage making them resilient to the natural world and able to survive in the harshness wilderness.

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1.

Age. Alai reach maturity after only two decades and while most are killed long before then, some are rumored to live as long as a millennia or more.

Alignment. The wilds are inherent to the soul of alai and while they can be evil or good in equal measure they are most likely to have chaotic hearts.

Size. Alai average between 2 and 3 feet tall weighing as much as 50 pounds. Your size is Small.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.

Creature of Nature. You gain proficiency in the Nature skill.

Fear the Flames. You gain vulnerability to fire damage.

Photosynthesize. Alai don’t need to sleep. Instead, they enter a resting state to process sunlight, soil, and water, remaining semiconscious, for 4 hours a day. If you do not have access to one or more of these conditions (in darkness, with no soil, or with no water) you must photosynthesize for 8 hours. After resting in this way, you gain the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.

Plant Ancestry. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened, and magic can’t put you to sleep. In addition, you do not need to eat.

Poison Resistant. You have resistance against poison damage and are immune to the poisoned condition.

Xylem Veins. You have no blood and only sap flows in your veins. When making death saving throws you do not die until your fourth failure.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Alai. Alai is incredibly dialectic, changing dramatically from one tribe to the next. Much of the language is resonant, the subtleties and nuances of speaking it hidden in vibrations that make it nearly impossible for other races to master and easily mistaken for the cracking, snapping, and thrashing of a jungle’s branches rustling in the wind.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Vast Kaviya Campaign Setting © 2019 Mike Myler, published under license by Legendary Games; Authors Mike Myler, Andrew Engelbrite, Will Gawned, Alec Kaknes, Anthony Alipio, Sharene Gilchrist, Matteo Piovanelli, Jesse Jordan, GM Lent, Brian Istenes, and Jeremy Esch.