Cross Breeds

Logic decrees fey descendants capable of mating with each other with varying success. Fey descendants and humans mate as well, with a lot of help.

MATING

All rules being equal, humans and fey are not biologically compatible even though looking similar. The problem is first with time. All fey races are long lived, embalmed with an amazing degree of patience. Most elf gestations take more than fourteen months, and an opportunity for conception revolves once a year or more, not monthly as for human females. Many fey races refuse to take non-fey mates not out of bigotry, but because of fear of loneliness. Fey mate for life and the idea of outliving the short lifespan of their mate by hundreds or thousands of years frightens them. However, a strange side effect occurs to those rare situations where fey bond for life with a shorter-lived species (to which human is the only one of mention). Throughout all fey species, the process of pair bonding forces both sides to give up part of heir soul to the other. The ceremony, differing with each species, can take less than fifteen minutes in a private encounter, to several hours or even days in a public venue. The after effects stay eternally.

Fey descendant marriages result in a sharing of one's soul. Only one side requires a fey. One can be a human or both can be fey, it makes no difference. They can even be of the same sex. After the ceremony, the effects are permanent.

• Both mates know each other's exact position within 5 miles and general direction within 25 miles.

• When together, both sides gain a +1 bonus to all fear checks (stackable with all other fear bonuses).

• The known languages of each side become class skills for the other (paying of the skills are still required).

• The side with the lesser life span lives longer. 20% of the difference between their venerable ages is added to the venerable age of the lesser-lived species. All other age quantities are unchanged. This nugget of information is less common and few outside of the fey know it. The longer-lived side looses that same 20% quantity from their venerable age. It's the trade-off both must be willing to accept. The human lives longer, the elf lives less. This also applies to different elf races with vastly different age limits as well.

• Message (Supernatural, similar to spell) at will. Sides can both whisper messages and receive whispered replies from each other with little chance of being overheard. When each whispers, the whispered message is audible to the other if within range and within sight. Magical silence, 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal (or a thin sheet of lead), or 3 feet of wood or dirt blocks the whisper. The effect transmits sound, not meaning. It doesn't transcend language barriers. Note: To speak a message, one must mouth the words and whisper, possibly allowing observers the opportunity to read lips. The effective range is 1 mile.

• Dreamspeak: After two hours of sleep, both sides can carry on a conversation as if they were next to each other. Both must be in this state so this often only occurs at night. The effect lasts for ten minutes and has no range limit.

• If one side fails a WILL or FORT saving throw, the other must also make the exact save at -5 to the DC (Min DC10) or suffer the same effects. This effect occurs regardless where the other is. In addition, if one fails a WILL or FORT save and the other succeeds, the other still incurs a -2 penalty to further saving throws while the infected suffers from its effects.

• A techan human become an echan human forever. He radiates an EDF and loses his Defense Bonus.

• If one side dies for any reason, not only do all these bonuses vanish (sometimes resulting in the surviving mate dropping dead instantly if their time is up), but they also suffer a -2 to all Will saving throws and -2 to all Fort saving throws for life. This cannot be removed BY ANY MEANS. Re-bonding to a new mate does not recover this penalty and another death compounds further consequences. The shortened life of the longer-lived side stays shortened.

The longest bonding ceremony (taking three days without sleep, exchanging thirty pages of vows) is with the laudenians, whom rarely ever take human mates. Laudenians exchange magical spirit via a special chant cast by a cleric. The shortest ceremony, with the tenenbri and chaparrans, takes less than fifteen minutes. With chaparrans, a tree is planted and the blood of both sides drip into the roots. With tenenbri, the two sides simply mate in private.

Gimfen ceremonies involve some poetry and vow exchanging, drinking from enchanted waters, and prayers to whatever god they worship (if so). Damaskans include vows but also exchange colored ribbons, sashes, or scarves (depending on family tradition), which the married couple wears for life. Limshau custodians specifically also exchange small blades. These blades, not much use in combat, are ornately decorated with merging family symbols. Sometimes offering said ribbon or blade is akin to a marriage proposal.

Humans and fey races cannot reproduce with each other without this ceremony. The bonded souls push past scientific barriers. Humans may not be born enchanted creatures, but they instantly become one when they bond with a fey. Their offspring are as well. Although bonding is technically not necessary between fey races, many frown on married couples not bonding.

Several mobs of humans emerging after Attricana openly hunted elves out of fear and resentment. Humans banded together despite culture and race. Many put aside their differences out of survival. Others banded together because of a common need to find someone to hate.

Several bastions discarded this hatred earlier, preferring to concentrate on their own development. Some continued their mistrust. Even though man suffered horrendous casualties after their war, they still greatly outnumbered the fey races emerging from the gate. The hunting cadres from both echan and techan communities dwindled substantially but they didn't totally fade out. Because elves are immune to all human disease, elf females became sought after for slaves. Sexual merchants bought and sold stock from the backs of carriages for centuries. Many governing bodies attempted to close these crime rings, but rumors point to a few still circulating. Baruch Malkut, for example, still operates several slave rings. Some believe those are urban legends meant to scare elves from leaving their homes.

Although a few have tried, no one has ever successfully forced a bonding in order to extend one's life. Both parties must be willing or else the procedure can never finalize. Elves never jump into marriage and few fey marriages to another fey or human have ever ended in divorce. Even when peers frown and forbid the pairing, once it occurs, nothing more is said on the matter.

Unfortunately, there resides one exception to this rule, the pagus. They somehow found a way to mate with anything successfully, regardless of bonding or not, and they do it often. Pagus can bond for life like all other fey, but this situation is extremely rare and is usually reserved for those few embracing the path of good. Bonding is strictly forbidden in Kakodomania and in any villages run by evil dragons, under penalty of death. The reasons are unexplained. The pagus ceremony, when occurring, looks strangely alluring and involves hours of synchronized chanting from the couple and a dozen friends and allies around. The chants blend into a moan that shakes the ground. Compared to the usual negative views many have of the race, this remains one aspect of the pagus still beautiful.

NOTE

No character can be created at 1st level prebonded without DM authorization.

FEY HYBRIDS

Crossbreeding fey races occur often. Because of many similarities between the many descendant species, common features are always inherited:

•Medium: As Medium creatures, elves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.

•Land speed is 30 feet.

•They gain a +5 racial bonus against sleep effects and can make Perception skill checks while asleep without penalty.

•Sleep: All fey hybrids gain the fey sleeping cycle. Any additional features depend on the strength of the species' magic and capacity to pass on their distinction to their children. Here is a simple formula:

Pagus > Gimfen > Tenenbri > Damaskan > Narros > Chaparran > Laudenia

This translates to mean that if a pagus mates with any other fey, their children will always have pagus special rules and a laudenian mating (always losing out) will always result in the other race. This doesn't mean the child will look laudenian. Like all children, they will possess certain physical features that resemble both.

Special notes:

•No cross-species mating with the pagus gains the pagus aging benefits (see later).

•Crossbred tenenbri gain their eyesight and low light or darkvision (depending on the other species). They lose blindsight.

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