The Xotecah

From fire and ash, we rise!
— translated Xotecah saying
  Very little lives in the volcanic wastes of Xotlan - indeed, Tzoltekan is little-contested for its control of the area. Poisonous fumes and geological instability are only a few of the threats faced by the inhabitants of the rough lands at Takawaoku's east, though the northern ridge prevents the Rage of the Sunari from continuing its havoc.   The Xotecah survive here, their bodies well-adapted to the rough environment through generations of struggle. They carve their homes from black lava-forged stone and decorate with obsidian, and build sturdily into the mountains least affected by the constant threat of earthquakes and eruptions.   They gather rich volcanic soil to grow flourishing gardens ripe with rare crops that can grow only here, bolstered by the unique environment, and practice protective divine magic to secure their communities. Their devotion to the gods is incredibly strong, as is common across the Southern Continent - it is to the gods that they give thanks for all they have.  

Geographical Distribution

Takawaoku
The continent of Takawaoku shelters its people under thick rainforests and around the life-giving waters of the Sea of Souls, ever resisting the Starsear's burning touch.
Xotlan Farmlands by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
Related Locations
Singular form
Xotecatl
Plural form
Xotecah
The Xotecah are largely found in Xotlan, home to their people and the place where they found themselves reforged. However, some Xotecah are wanderers and loreseekers who seek information for their families and ancestral home. These wanderers can often be found visiting or living in neighbouring Rhaead, Merahilani, Mijhel, and Bharaduz, to varying levels of societal acceptance.  
Xotlan Wastes by Hanhula (via Midjourney)


Shiari Biological Studies of the Xotecah

Shiar, despite not maintaining the best relations with Tzoltekan and often perceiving the distant state as a country of barbarians too eager for death, welcomes many Xotecah students into its schools and universities. It is through Shiari research, practiced unethically and considered a high offence by Tzoltekan, that Xotecah biology was first studied in-depth.   These studies have also caused irreparable harm to the Xotecah people, and are forbidden from the borders of Tzoltekan and her neighbours - it is often argued that they treat Xotecah as no longer peoples of their original species, but as natural fauna no different to an unintelligent beast. Prior to Gaia's Lament, rumours of war over the continued Shiari defence of these studies and their continuations were oft heard in the eastern nations.   Rhaeadan diplomats sought to ensure peace and had begun talks to arrange a treaty between countries - a peace that now falls regardless of any country's actions due to tragic humanitarian disaster, rather than being earned through reparations and debate.

 

Effects of Gaia's Lament

The Lament has not challenged the Xotecah like it has other groups, though those living throughout Merahilani struggle the most. As a group known for their outstanding prowess in the face of hardship, the Xotecah have easily fallen back on centuries of strong agricultural practices and small populations, and the presence of the Den of Luxury so close by allows for the close bonds of demonic alliance to offer the Xotecah far greater protection against the influence of one of Istralar's most powerful Shards.


Species

The Xotecah are not a singular species; they are a collective of multiple, and should be treated as such - much peril is offered to those who think otherwise, as Shiar has found out.   However, they share a number of traits unique to the region, and most humans have long since morphed into one of the largest collectives of demonspawn tieflings, lavasoul ifrits, smokesoul sylphs and oreads across Istralar. Outsiders outweigh humanoids within most Xotecah communities.   Aasimar, also, are not particularly uncommon, but are closer to the rarity they usually are in human populations. Xocateh aasimar are most commonly peri-blooded (emberkin).   The sheer amount of elemental and fiendish exposure simply overwhelms humanity, even without the habit of seducing humans practiced by the region's frequent geniekind and demonic residents and visitors.  

Firesoul

The Xotaceh are adept in handling flame and poison. A Xotecatl with this feat alters their natural elemental resistances to replace one with fire resistance 5, and a second with a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws related to poison effects.   Humans may take this trait in place of the bonus feat trait, and gain a further +2 racial bonus on Fortitude saving throws against the effects of a hot climate,
We are one people, and we stand together. Confuse us not for a monolith to be tested upon!
— angry Xotecatl woman to Shiari researcher

Alternate Racial Traits

Smogsight

Xotaceh with this racial trait can see double the normal range in dense fog and smoke (including magic effects like obscuring mist) and ignore concealment from smoke or fog for targets within 5 feet. This replaces a planetouched race's spell-like ability.   Humans may take this trait in place of the Skilled trait, also gaining darkvision to a range of 60 feet.  

Shadow Familiarity

Whenever a Xotecatl with this racial trait benefits from concealment due to darkness, dim light, or smoke effects, they gain a +2 racial bonus on Perception, Survival, and Stealth checks.   Humans may take this trait in place of the Skilled trait, also gaining darkvision to a range of 60 feet.

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