5e SRD >Races >3rd Party Publisher Races >LPJ Design >

Khymer

The khymer are descendants of those killed, or at least physically destroyed, by an ancient meteor. The necromantic radiation emanating from the blast had many long-lasting effects. For the inhabitants of one city, it meant liquefaction followed by mingling with the ravening light. This process infused the liquid remains with negative energy, which coupled with the latent remnants of that people’s native psionic abilities.

The khymer are a people reduced to a pool of alien blood. They have been infused with powerful psionic energy, but depend upon corpses as vessels to travel in. Without host corpses, they are vulnerable, exposed to extremes of heat and cold and unable to hold weapons or wear armor.

In order to survive, the khymer find freshly killed bodies and ooze into them, reshaping them into a familiar, idealized form, filling their veins and flesh and turning the body into a meat puppet for their own purposes. After a time, the host inevitably breaks down and falls apart from trying to contain the khymer’s psionic and necromantic energies.

The normal reaction to a khymer is disgust. Many folk tales portray them as body snatchers that make their hosts do things against their will. Distasteful as the khymer might be, though, they use dead bodies purely as a matter of necessity, and they are no more inherently good or evil than any given human. Unfortunately, they are all tarred with the same brush.

The khymer crave a return to their original physical form and hope to purge the necromantic radiation that has reduced them to this foul, toxic liquid and damned them to a life of bodilessness, jumping from corpse to corpse for all eternity. Many khymer are remnants of minds from the time of the impact; it is their memories and bodies that urge the khymer on, decade after decade, in their quest for a cure.

The long memories and psionic prowess of the khymer make them valued as viziers, tutors, and advisors to many. However, they are rarely fully trusted and are usually watched in order to guard against the possibility that the legends and stories about them are true.

Racial Traits

As a khymer character, you share a number of unusual traits with others of your kind.

  • Ability Score Increase. Khymer are diverse and varied. Increase one ability score of your choice by +2.
  • Age. While a khymer burns through its host bodies about month, in its natural form can live for centuries.
  • Alignment. The khymer are almost all neutral, and their alignment along good and evil determines to which “pool” they owe their fealty and loyalty. Those of Monad are true neutral, while those of Quiddity are neutral good, and those of Rubicund are neutral evil. Each pool differs in what they are willing to do in order to cure the khymer condition. Those of other alignments are singletons, wanderers cut off or self-exiled from the pools.
  • Size. Khymer are taller and heavier than humans, standing well over 6 feet tall and averaging almost 250 pounds. Your size is Medium.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
  • Darkvision. You have enhanced 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.
  • Aberration. Khymer have no humanoid form. The impact of the meteor, infused with negative energy, broke down the khymer’s humanoid form into a sentient blood-like substance that retained their original psionic abilities. In this new form, the khymer discovered they could invade bodies of humanoid corpses and by some unknown means could genetically reconstruct these “vessels” into their original humanoid form for a limited time. A vessel normally lasts a month, at which time the vessel “burns out” from the khymer’s energy, reverting the khymer to its blood form and necessitating another corpse to invade as a new vessel. (see sidebar). These characteristics give khymer the following additional traits:
  • Toxic Blood. The khymer’s blood form is highly toxic and poisonous to both the living and undead. Any creature that attempts to bite, swallow whole, or blood drain you while you are in blood form will learn about your toxic blood and will often become unwilling or unable to use that attack against you again. If the creature persists or is forced to swallow your blood, it must succeed at Constitution saving throw with a DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier (minimum of 1). If the creature fails this save, it suffers disadvantage on all Strength checks and saving throws. The creature may make a new saving throw at the end of each of its turns, with a successful save ending this effect.
  • Disease Immunity. You are immune to disease, whether magical or non-magical.
  • Naturally Psionic. You gain a number of psychic powers as described below.
    • At 1st level, you gain message, which you can use at-will.
    • At 3rd level, you gain the ability to communicate telepathically. You can telepathically speak to a creature you can see within 120 feet. Although you and the target do not need to share a language in common in order to communicate, the creature must be capable of communication, either spoken or telepathically.
    • Finally, at 5th level, you can cast detect thoughts as an action. Your choice of either Intelligence or Charisma is your spellcasting ability for this power. This power recharges after a long rest.
  • Unnatural Metabolism. You do not heal physical ability damage normally; instead, all damage must be healed magically. If you enter a new body, all damage is healed automatically.
  • Languages.You can speak, read, and write Common and Khymer. The khymer language is a unique form of telepathy that carries as far as a normal human voice, which can only be spoken and understood by other khymer.

Khymers and Body Switching

A khymer can sustain a body for up to one month before requiring a new one. If a khymer is at 50% or less of its total HP or its current body vessel is within 2 weeks of expiring, the khymer can willingly separate from its current body. When it expires, the khymer’s vessel falls to dust and the khymer reverts into its natural blood state. In their blood form, khymer can only survive for a number of hours equal to 2d12 plus their Constitution modifier before they congeal and die. A khymer in blood form can fit through spaces three sizes smaller than itself but suffers disadvantage on all Dexterity checks and melee attack rolls. They also cannot wear armor or cast any spells requiring verbal components. They retain any ability scores they had in their old body, but with a reduced speed of 20 feet.

Integrating into a new body is a long and private process that takes all of the khymer’s attention. The body must have flesh on it, cannot have been dead for more than one month, and must be from a Medium humanoid creature. The process takes eight hours to complete. If this process is disrupted by an attack or destruction of the body, the khymer must begin the process again with a new body. Once integrated into the new body, the khymer is healed of any physical ability damage it retained from its old body.

Personality

The khymer as a people are introspective and quiet, somewhat fatalistic, but disciplined. They are largely unified within “pools” that exist for the khymer people, and they are loyal to their people despite the divisions between their factions. The khymer are acutely aware that they seem alien to “solid” humanoids and that they are, indeed, becoming more alien in form and psychology as time goes on.

Physical Description

In their natural form, khymer appear as pools of dark blood with a faint unnatural glow to them. This glow pains the eyes of the observers slightly, like staring at a source of strong ultraviolet light. They radiate a combination of negative and psionic energies that, unshielded by a host body, makes other beings around them uncomfortable. While in their blood form, they can ooze about and solidify into a jelly-like substance capable of extending pseudopods and performing basic physical actions, but cannot act with any finesse.

Their physical form is a host corpse that they have invaded and reshaped into an idealized physical form as they imagine or remember themselves. While infected, the host body is essentially reanimated and is considered alive for matters such as breathing and eating. Infection by khymer causes the of the host body to become its eyes While the khymer is very much tied to the body, they can choose to abandon it in an emergency.

Relations

The khymer are respected, but not trusted, by almost all the factions and forces at play on Abaddon. They are known to be scholars and powerful psionicists, which makes them useful, but their unnatural physiology and need for a constant flow of dead makes them sinister and, in many eyes, untrustworthy.

The undead do not mind the khymer so much.

Already being dead and using the bodies of the dead themselves, they see nothing so terrible about what the khymer do; however, the khymer’s insatiable curiosity and constant “poking” at ancient magic, psionics, and lore makes them nervous. Other than with adventuring parties, the khymer usually find themselves alone in a crowd with only each other to turn to for company, should they desire it.

Lands

The khymer claim three lands under their dominion, each being a lake infused with the necromantic energy of the meteor and the psionic energy of many departed souls.

Religion

The khymer hold a reverent and religious respect for the psionic field of Abaddon itself, which is made up of the thoughts and feelings of every living and unliving being on and beneath its surface. They accredit this overmind with all the abilities and powers normally associated with a god in other cultures and refer to it as the Noö.

Names

The khymer always refer to themselves as “We” or “Us,” but do carry individual names split by the gender of their bodyforms, though how they determine gender is anyone’s guess.

They also have Family Names and lines, with the offspring choosing from which parent to take their family name.

Male Names: Ahote, Kanti, Nadie, Sinopa, Wakiza, Yahto

Female Names: Elsu, Hinto, Kitchi, Lansa, Maka, Shiriki, Tasunke

Family Names: Angeni, Fala, Istas, Lomasi, Satinka, Yepa

Adventurers

The khymer are driven to cure their body-swapping ways and to remove the negative radiation infusing their whole beings. This drive has become a ravening need to know, to understand, to comprehend, that has led them to search out knowledge of all kinds, not only to find their cure but merely to sate these desires. Many khymer become adventurers as a way of delving into Abaddon’s past and to learn secrets that they simply can’t let go.

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