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Fortreal

FORTREAL   (plant/tree-kin)   Hit Points: 1d8   Speed: 20’   Weapon Training: Club, Javelin, Long Sword, Pole Arm, Staff, Battle Axe, Spear, Longbow… Fortreal cannot wear armor.   Alignment: Because of their lack of place in the cosmos, they tend towards neutral.   Magic: Innate use of spells: Mending & Wood Wyrding & Second Sight (Fortreal can “see” the future). No spell burn. No corruption.   Fortreal may speak with plants at will.   Caster Level: Same as level as Fortreal. Use Intelligence for casting.   Blindsight: Fortreal are blind, but sense vibrations/forms through their other heightened senses. False Appearance: While motionless, indistinguishable from a normal specimen of its plant type.   Entanglement: Once per level a Fortreal may sprout grasping roots and vines in a 15’ radius centered on itself. These roots wither after 1 turn/level or when desired by the Fortreal. A target must succeed on a REF save vs the Fortreal’s base DC of 12 + its AGI modifier. Grappled upon failure. Once grappled, target is subject to normal grappling rules, to which the Fortreal gains an additional +1 bonus/lvl. Regeneration: The Fortreal regains 1 HP per level/each round, unless damage is from fire. Ability ceases at 0 HP, until body rolled.   Fire Vulnerability: Fire does 2x damage.   Languages: Common and Fortrealese   Natural Armor: Bark carries an AC Bonus of +4. and rolls a d12 on fumble table. Slow Speed: 20’   Asexual Reproduction: The Fortreal are a genderless species that reproduces through “seeding” prime locations. The best location is within the rotting remains of a mammal, which tend to produce stronger and healthier Fortreal. It is considered a great honor to, upon death, become the host for a Fortreal's brood.   Attacks: As Halfling.   Action Die: As Halfling.   Saves: As Dwarf.   Action Dice may be used for attacks or innate abilities.   Luck: Modifier applies to both innate spell casting and entanglement.   Languages: Common, Fortreal, + 1 language/point of INT modifier.   **Fortreal fully petrify approximately 2d6 hours after death, at which point they are far more difficult to raise or resurrect. As a side note, the petrified wood of a deceased fortreal carries magical properties. It is called Wyrdwood, and weapons crafted from it are supernaturally sharp and virtually unbreakable. If enough can be procured, even plate armor or shields may be crafted from it. Weapons and armor crafted from Wyrdwood carry a +1 bonus and weigh half as much as their steel counterparts. Fortreal used to be hunted and killed for their petrified remains. This practice only relatively recently fell out of favor.**   Secret Lore: Fortreal were the first sentient race “planted” (as seeds) by the gardeners of the gods, the Grogans. Forteal must control their growth through force of will. When they grow too large they become feral and dangerous. Treants are Fortreal grown beyond the “safe” range, becoming rather destructive beasts, and are best avoided.       LEGACY OF THE FORTREAL     1. The fortreal were created by the grogans as tenders to the gardens of men. They needed help, as their numbers alone weren’t sufficient. And grogans have difficulty reproducing. Typically when they “seed” an area (grow more of their kind), the results come back as unintelligent fungal life. Grogan births are thus, unpredictable and not easy to replicate. Fortreal, however, are within their means to “manufacture.”   2. Due to their “built” nature, the fortreal were gifted to men as their property. Worker drones that, while intelligent, were compelled to obey the commands of men.   3. There was a secret reason why fortreal were created. Wyrdwood, a substance only made from the petrified remains of sentient beings, is unique to their kind. There is no way to artificially create wyrdwood. It must come from a deceased fortreal.   4. For a time, fortreal were harvested simply for their wyrdwood. But this was eventually considered inhumane and the process ceased. At least publicly. However, up through and even beyond the age of Lumeria, fortreal were still kept as slaves.   5. It wasn’t until the coming of the Kingdom of Wyeth that the fortreal were granted their freedom. And even this was more in theory than in practice. Underground slavers and bandits still trafficked in live (and dead) fortreal. And even in cities where they could walk as free men, most fortreal were confronted with extreme prejudice. In fact, when employed amongst the other species, their pat rates tend to be far lower than average. Even Angleport turns a blind eye to this discrimination.   6. Wyrdwood is sacred to the fortreal. Some say a portion of wydwood contains the will and memories of the fortreal that spawned it.   7. Petrified wyrdwood shrivels in mass, becoming less than a third its original size. But in the process, the resulting wood becomes far denser, and stronger.   8. Ancient giants often fought with weapons made from wyrdwood. Some even purported to commune with the spirits of dead fortreal via their spears and swords.   9. Fortreal were not raised or bred for community life. They have a difficult time organizing en masse, and likely this leads to them remaining subservient to other species (at least for as long as it did). Some would say they lack the motivation to assemble in protection of their own rights, but this is a fallacy. In fact, they simply have a hereditary and tradition-based block when it comes to the concept of family.   10. There’s a particular irony in that the ever peaceful beings become weapons of destruction upon their deaths.  

HISTORY & LORE

  The species of fortreal was created some 40,000 years ago by the fungi-like grogan transplanted to Gothenya. The grogan were tasked by their masters, the Ulta, to create an arboreal world more attuned to their needs and desires. Thus the creatures began populating the woods of the world with alien flora, doing their best to smooth over any innate incompatibilities. Within due time, the alien arborists learned that some of the indigenous plant-life, particularly the trees, of Gothenya weren’t adapting well to their new neighbors. Something must be done to negotiate a peace, of sorts. The grogan put their heads together and came up with a marvel solution. They would create an intelligent, ambassador species. One that could bridge the gap between native and colonizer. Thus, with the aid of magic gifted to the grogan by the Ulta, the fortreal were born.   Fortreal, sometimes referred to as “tree-kin,” are a species made entirely of plant matter, with most resembling ambulatory trees. They have limbs and digits, slightly resemblant of most other species, and can manipulate complex objects and tools. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but most are “kept” to the size of a typical human, albeit a tall one.   Fortreal will, if left unchecked, grow to immense size. It isn’t unheard of to see a fortreal that tower over the ancient redwoods of the western forests. What’s important to note is that most fortreal do not wish to assume these heights. It’s considered a sign, a loss of control. For as long as fortreal can dream, they maintain their “humanity.” This was something instilled in them by their creators, perhaps as a form of control (for a giant fortreal is virtually unstoppable).   Fortreal were gifted with limited prescience. They have the ability to look slightly into the future, and opine on what is to come. They are a peaceful species of philosophers, albeit one with great physical strength. As long as they pursue intellectual pursuits and are allowed to use their gift of foresight, they seem to be able to control their growth. However, when isolated or distracted from their mental abilities, they tend to “lose” themselves, and begin to slowly grow. Soon this growth reaches a point where it’s out of their control. Thus, the larger the fortreal, the more “animalistic,” and the more dangerous, they become.   True to their design, the fortreal quickly established harmony with the native trees and plants of the various forests of the world. They spoke a language that even the grogan, with all their horticultural knowledge, couldn’t reproduce. They gained the trust of nature. Tamed the flora of Gothenya.   And then they were enslaved.   The fortreal were bred to serve. They never thought to rise up against their masters. It simply wasn’t a consideration. Once the forests were in order, they no longer seemed to have a direct task to handle. For those who couldn’t sense the subtle interactions that they maintained with the living spirits of the world, it appeared that they had grown useless. So the other species of Gothenya found uses for them.   For millennia, the fortreal toiled in quiet servitude, manning the various mines, constructions, and any other dangerous or back-breaking task their masters could find for them.   The Vala’Suun, for all their “benevolence,” turned a blind eye to the depredations of the tree-folk. They even had a hand in the wholesale introduction and selling of the species to the newly “civilized” human race. The fortreal, it seemed, were on their own.   And they were for many, many thousands of years. It was only through the establishment of the Faith Zenithal, and its edicts promoting equality and freedom for all intelligent species, that the fortreal were eventually granted emancipation.   It was at the, perhaps reluctant, hand of the king of Wyeth that the tree-folk found their eventual freedom. His edict, freeing the fortreal, took many years to truly have any impact. News travels slow in the land, especially in that age, and many were reluctant to relieve themselves of their tight-lipped, pliable servants. It took several large skirmishes, and the near outbreak of outright war, to finally break the chains of servitude.   The fortreal were finally free. Now they only needed to find acceptance and integration within the predominantly human-centric society of Wyeth. Thankfully, not long after their freedom took hold, other nations began to enact similar policies. Finally, after nearly 30,000 years, the fortreal were free, if not fully treated as equals.   Change of public opinion takes time, and fortreal integration took many centuries to fully lock in. During this period, they faced many hardships. They were hunted by many, forced into illegal chain gangs bent upon continuing the former racist policies of the land. They were murdered by those who couldn’t enslave them. They were denied the basic rights of most other species when they did cross the boundaries of civilized settlements. As such, they tended to band together and avoid the various towns and cities of the world.   To this day, the fortreal are a rather isolated species. Some of this, however, has been forced to change due to the constant encroachment of humanity into the woodlands of the west. Many fortreal have been left homeless, and as such, have need to enter the civilized lands. Many look for work. Many find it in the form of demeaning and difficult jobs, ones that most humans would avoid for obvious reasons. They tend to be paid at rates far below that of comparable human workers. But the fortreal are not the sort to complain or form any resistance to such measures. If there is a fortreal underground, it has been kept remarkably secret.   In all, the fortreal are a rich and varied species, with as many different points of view as that of any other. There are some who do oppose their “lot in life.” It’s less a question of whether or not they would do something about it. It’s more an issue of finding enough of the typically hermetic fortreal to band together in such a size that promotes an ability to produce change.


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