Chaparrans
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Hiding in the deep woods across the world, the elves of chaparra evolved concealment to an art form. Their xenophobia rivals even laudenians. An ironic fact exists that almost all descendants of fey believe they are the true form of the ancient race. Chaparrans are almost as close to laudenians to that claim. Their race dates back further than anyone can recall, including them, as they keep few records.

Chaparrans believe most other races forgot their origins. The fey birthed from trees. They should always remain tied to them. The chaparrans grow their homes from the wood, developing towers, temples, and whole communities from the soil. Their mere presence encourages growth with vegetation. As a result, chaparran communities grow from the tallest, thickest trees. They mostly keep to themselves, refusing to involve
in any war. The few attempts made to invade their growth always resulted in failure. All chaparrans contend that their souls will move from wood to flesh every generation. Killing one of them simply moves their soul to a tree for its lifetime. After an era, the soul returns to flesh.

One could walk through a chaparran forest without ever knowing their presence. Unless threatening body or tree, trespassers often cross without worry or encounter. More nefarious individuals often vanish soon after entering. Most communities are small and ones growing larger often split. With such an obscure people, numbers are impossible to come by. Estimates range from 80,000 to 800,000 chaparran elves across the world, scattered among a thousand forests of varying size. One optimistic guess claims that number closer to a million. They defend the forests when necessary, exclusively with arrow fire. The bows and arrows grow naturally from wood, a result of the symbiosis with the trees around them.

Where other elvish races pride written words strung into poetry, chaparrans seldom write anything down. They enjoy dance but seldom speak at all, let alone in verse and rhyme. Chaparrans' outward emotional displays are reflected mostly in their music and dance. They pound beats into fallen logs with amazing speed and augment those sounds with kinetic syllables of words strung so fast as to make the words themselves
meaningless. Chaparrans' passion for dance knows no equal. The flailing of body and limbs pulse with speeds unheard. A chaparran's heartbeat will increase to virtually that of a hummingbird in spasm. The bodies move almost violently, with fists pounding and legs striking. Only their absolute discipline prevents injury to others involved. Watching a chaparran dance charges the soul and pumps the heart. Every move denotes a meaning few others understand. To outsiders, the dance looks chaotic with thrashing appendages and whirling bodies without care for people or objects around. Ones involved in the dance hardly open their eyes, confounding outsiders to how the dancers don't crash into each other. All chaparrans know this dance and all must practice daily. The art connects to a form of martial arts called Manora Chaparra, believed to push the darkness from their souls, allowing them to fight with clean spirits. This form developed after the first war with the pagus. The majority of the pagus that birthed and walked on the night of migration came from chaparrans and the elves left behind swore an oath to eliminate all pagus from the world. The obsession continues today.

When they die, tradition decrees the body must be dropped into a grave without a coffin. After prayers are finished and before the dirt is
placed back over, a single acorn is placed in the mouth. This seed always grows, despite surrounding competition and available water. These trees grow taller and wider that any tree grown of nature and many claim the great temples of Jibaro and Libanus emerged from fallen chaparranpriests. This belief passes to wandering chaparrans as well, and travelers across the world always know where one is buried by the
massive oak tree dwarfing all around. These lone sentinels appear in deserts, atop great peaks, and even under the earth, declaring all those who see it that a chaparran rests there.

Personality: Many assume a wild behavior when spotting a chaparran. In truth, they are quite civilized and maintain good grooming and health. Unlike other elves, often known for being austere, chaparrans wear their emotions on their sleeves. Everyone knows immediately when a chaparran is upset. Thankfully, this passion spreads to upbeat emotions as well. When chaparrans express their feelings positive, or negative, the recipient knows very well.

Physical Description: Chaparrans, although as tall as damaskans, give the illusion of much greater size. This is due to their increased muscle mass and physical stamina. They also often wear furs and pelts, adding to their girth but usually exposing a great deal of skin to maintain agility. Of all the fey descendants, the chaparrans have the greatest spectrum of skin tones, from light tan to ebony black. They hate adorning themselves with gems or shiny rocks and seldom wear metal of any kind. Their ears are short and flush with their heads, making them almost indistinguishable from humans at a distance. A chaparran's eyes usually reflect green and bluish hues. They will often pierce their ears in several areas and color their bodies with tattoos, especially around the face, shoulders, and back.

Relations: Chaparrans maintain no official relations with any other major fey descendants but do hold alliances with dozens of peaceful woodland races and a few fey minorities like the nymphs and centaurs. They also maintain surprisingly strong ties to the Travelers.

Alignment: Chaparrans are usually chaotic. Even though many claim a selfish attitude (neutral), the majority of them are good.

Location: Chaparran villages dot the globe in the hundreds. Several large communities have appeared in the past few centuries. The two largest feature impressive works of wood and magic. One is the temple of Libanus in Indoaus, and the other is the three Towers of Jibaro in Canam.

Religion: Chaparran clerics seldom exist, replaced by druids. Chaparrans worship the trees and plants around them through Erufu.

Names: Unlike other elves, often taking human-like names to better associate with the human world, chaparrans refuse to do so. Their names, like all fey, are personal and only meant to be heard by pointed ears. A chaparran's family name merges with their given name. The given name is usually one or two syllables and the full name usually features one to several 'K's when spelled in the English tongue. Since they
don't adopt human names and refuse to let humans address them by their given titles, most simply ask that outsiders refer to them each as "Krysis" which means "Fey-Born" in their tongue. It was more than a century after mankind's initial contact with chaparrans before they figured out why they all had the same name.

Examples: Marakenassa, Jassakerak, Brassekonnas.

Language: Chaparran elvish differs so greatly from other elvish languages in that it falls into its own separate category. Someone fluent in elvish can make out the odd words, mixed in a muddled mess of chaotic pops and whistles that chaparrans verbalize when talking.

Adventures: Chaparrans seldom seek adventure outside their forests. Of all fey races, they and the tenenbri are the least encountered. Many claim to meet a laudenian before meeting a chaparran. Since crossbreeds seldom result in chaparrans, few outcasts can be identified as such. Crime is virtually nonexistent, so outcasts seldom occur that way. Only in extremely rare cases do chaparrans brave the outside world for a different calling. Only young and curious ones disobey their culture and heritage to brave the world outside.

RACIAL TRAITS

  • +2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution.
  • Medium: As Medium creatures, chaparrans have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Chaparran base land speed is 30 feet. Their speed climbing trees is also base 30 feet and they can move through branches at full speed without needing to make Athletics skill rolls as long as the trees are within arm's reach of each other. Chaparrans can run and charge through difficult forest terrain, and their speed is unaffected while moving into it or through it.
  • Low-Light Vision: A chaparran can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
  • Weapon Proficiency: A chaparran receives the Martial Weapon Proficiency feats for longbows and shortbows (including composite).
  • +2 racial bonus on Perception checks if the chaparran rolls when in a wooden forest.
  • Chaparrans are adept at hiding in their natural terrain (forests and undergrowth). They receive Stealth as a class skill regardless of the class they choose.
  • A chaparrans gains Track as a bonus feat.
  • A chaparran suffers no penalties to any Dex-based skills checks or from Spot and Listen skill checks from forest terrain.
  • Automatic Languages: Elven.
  • Favored Class: Druid. A multiclass chaparran's druid class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.
  • Avoided Class: Rogue. Chaparrans despise thievery and assassination, so few choose the rogue class, despite their natural hiding ability.
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