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Infernals

Infernals are the offspring of demonic outsiders and humanity or the result of a tainted bloodline throwing up a child bearing the mark of past transgressions of natural law. Infernals are relatively common, given the nature of the world as a “planar trap” and the natural proclivities of the demons who find themselves here, as they are trapped, frustrated, and have only a few playthings to assuage their boredom.

Infernals are the cast-off spawn of these bored demons and succubi. A great many of them multiply as a result of intermarriage and the strength of demonic blood now coursing through the bloodlines of mortal communities.

Self-reliant and cynical, the infernals are often shapers, doers, and makers; they are ambitious and defiant, channeling the strength and rebellious nature of their demonic heritage to force their way up and out and to make their mark upon the world.

Infernals are the epitome of defiance in the face of adversity.

Despite their dual nature, they fit into the world as neatly as a jigsaw piece, thriving while others are ground under, despite the dubious status of their birth and the suspicions of most people. Ironically, the “demon children” are perhaps the best hope against undead domination, though it remains to be seen whether rule by those of demon blood would be any better than rule by the legions of the dead.

Personality

Infernals present a mask of wry, scathing sarcasm, making light of the most horrific situations with gallows humor and a keen sense of irony. They are intensely loyal to those they consider their brothers-in-arms, a behavior that compensates for their often extremely fractured and difficult childhoods and parental situations outside the enclaves of infernals.

Their devil-may-care attitude has become a racial stereotype, one they both consciously try to live up to and try to confound in equal measure.

Physical Description

Infernals have red skin and horns—sometimes pronounced, sometimes more subtle—that arch back over their heads from their brow. Infernals also have sharp, elongated nails that can be extended into claws. Often, they have pronounced canines and incisors, forked tongues, and other subtle demonic traits, including lightly glowing or unnaturally colored eyes and hair, sometimes reaching a deep black. Some even have tail stubs or long, pointed tails, useful for expressing themselves but useless for anything else. Infernals tend to stand taller than normal humans and have arrogant demeanors, dressing and holding themselves in a way to capitalize on their unnatural beauty or ugliness derived from their demonic parent.

Relations

Infernals try to be gregarious and can be found in all kinds of company, whether they’re welcomed or not. As they can rarely resist pricking at an inflated ego, infernals can grate on those who take themselves too seriously, especially the exalted—a favored target of infernals.

Otherwise, the infernals are distrusted but tolerated practically everywhere and by all other races. Only the ruling undead find reason to loathe them; however, the hatred that the infernals return may simply be a function of their lordly positions rather than any inherent racial hatred.

Lands

Infernals integrate themselves into existing communities and, unlike many other races, rarely ghettoize themselves, preferring to remain relatively intermingled with other peoples. The infernals have founded their own city, a chaotic city in constant flux with no cohesive rulership, this settlement is burrowed into, onto, and around harsh and uncompromising mountains. It is spared conquest only because of its location and its relative lack of worth to any would-be conquerors. If united, though, it might become a genuine force and a mecca for infernals everywhere.

Religion

Infernals tend to regard the whole establishment of religion as a sort of elaborate scam and a means of control. They reject organized religion entirely, the temples and tithes and formal prayers—all of it. However, they do engage in personal, private worship, typically of trickster gods, as well as those of thieves, assassins, and others at the margins of society: those they regard as the “true” gods behind the scam as a whole. Deities of luck are often popular second choices, as infernals recognize the necessity of having luck on your side, whatever you might do.

Racial Traits

Infernals share certain racial traits thanks to their demonic ancestry. You are considered both a humanoid and an infernal creature.

  • Ability Score Increase. Choose one ability to score to increase by 2.
  • Age. Infernals mature at the same rate as humans but live a few years longer.
  • Alignment. Infernals tend to be creatures of chaos, disliking order and—save where they find common cause with each other for something like survival—squabbling over the tiniest difference in opinion. In contrast, one will find infernals across the full spectrum of good and evil, from reluctant heroes to spiteful villains and all things in between.
  • Size. You have a similar size and build compared to humans. Your size is Medium.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
  • Claws. Infernals have a pair of vicious claws. As an attack action, you can make two claw attacks. These are natural melee weapon attacks that deal 1d4 points of slashing damage plus your Strength modifier.
  • Darkvision. Thanks to your demonic heritage, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
  • Infernal Taint. To reflect the specific effects of your demonic blood, choose one of the following benefits for this trait:
    • Acid Resistance. Acid runs like water off your flesh. You possess resistance to acid damage and advantage on saving throws against acid-based attacks.
    • Barbed Flesh. Sharp barbs stud your skin. You are always considered to be wearing armor spikes, which deal (at your discretion) 1d6 points of piercing damage on a successful grapple attack. Otherwise, as an attack action, you can attack with the spikes as if wielding a light melee weapon.
    • Cold Resistance. Tainted blood keeps you warm from within. You gain resistance to cold damage.
    • Lightning Resistance. Lightning holds no fear for you. You gain resistance to lightning damage.
    • Fiendish Anatomy. Your internal organs are arranged differently compared to normal humanoids. As a reaction, you can turn a critical hit into a normal hit once between short rests.
    • Fire Resistance. You can endure flames of any intensity. You gain resistance to fire damage.
    • Poison Resistance. Like your fiendish ancestors, you have little to fear from poisons. You gain resistance to poison damage and advantage on saving throws to resist poison.

Languages.You can speak, read, and write Common and Infernal.

Variant Racial Traits

  • Infernal Magic. Choose two of the following wizard spells: cause fear, magic missile, protection from good and evil, ray of sickness, and witch bolt. Use your choice of Intelligence or Charisma as your spellcasting ability for these spells. You can cast each of these two spells once between long rests. This replaces the infernal taint racial trait.
  • Luck of the Devil. As a reaction, you may reroll a failed saving throw. This trait recharges following a short rest. This trait replaces infernal taint.
  • Venomous Bite. You gain a bite as a natural melee weapon attack that deals 1d6 of piercing damage plus your Strength bonus. In addition, a number of times per day equal to your proficiency bonus, you can coat one weapon with your venomous saliva as a bonus action. An envenomed weapon does bonus poison damage equal to your proficiency bonus on a successful hit. Once you use up your venom, this ability recharges following a long rest. This trait replaces the claws racial trait.

Names

Infernals name themselves with a single word, typically one as tongue-twisting and difficult as possible for those who do not know the Abyssal tongue or lack the teeth and fork necessary for proper pronunciation. Last names are only used outside their home cities to identify where they are from; for example, the last name of an infernal from Moab would be al-Moab.

Male Names: Korax, Qa, Stien, Xykon, Xazarian

Female Names: Karybdis, Shakalar, Pheniak, Cerys, Gwynnea

Adventurers

Infernal rebellions often put them at odds with the established order, and a swift exit is sometimes called for. The transient nature of an adventurer’s life is perfect for avoiding the entanglements that lead to imprisonment or execution, as many an adventurer has moved on before their “crimes” are found out. Infernals are not averse to seeking wealth for themselves, and while they don’t necessarily try to better their people, they tend to prefer doing business with other infernals. Many infernals are curious about their past and their demonic bloodlines, a curiosity that leads them to investigate the doings of demons and lore of the planes. They also seek ways to throw off the shackles of the undead lords, an aim much hastened if the infernals can acquire powerful artifacts and ancient magics.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Races of Obsidian Apocalypse Copyright 2018 LPJ Design; Authors JP Chapleau, Kalyna Conrad, Eric Hindley, Jeff Lee, Owen K.C. Stephens, Richard Pett, Rich Redman, Louis Porter Jr., Mark A. Hart