The erkunae are a race of people similar in many ways to humans, but they have allowed sorcerous pacts with outsiders to alter their race substanially. They hail from the mist-covered island of Erkusaa. They spend much of their time plotting against each other instead of enslaving nearby nations as they once did. The erkunae have access to many magical and martial resources, and are very skilled in both disciplines. They keep slaves, both mundane and magical, and have a reputation of aloof cruelty and a certain alienness of attitude.

Physical Description: Erkunae (singular erkuna) are very nearly human, with differences due to inbreeding and commingling with outsiders. They are pale to the point of albinism, with eyes that shift from red to blue to purple during the day. Hair is typically black, but can be white or blonde. They have prominent bone structures, with sharp facial features, and rangy, bony builds. They are sometimes mistaken for half-elves or albino humans, though they consider themselves a breed apart. A human could disguise themselves as an erkunae as they would another human.

Society: Erkunae reside almost exclusively on the island of Erkusaa, which is itself almost completely covered by the City of Dreams, G’sho’laa’n’rr. Several centuries ago, they once ruled more places and races, controlling them in a callous and exploitative manner. The people are ruled by the whims of the Opal Throne, the holder of which is hereditary in that most of the noble families are interrelated, and the Opal Throne must be from a noble family. A great deal of the people’s resources are created magically, even their food, and the Opal Throne’s power is consumed by manipulating the martial and magical factions to keep its own status intact. The Pact of the Elder Powers has also backfired somewhat on the erkunae, as much of the strength the erkunae could bring to bear on the outside world is spent to please extra-dimensional powers, and doing their bidding. Much of the erkunae’s time is taken up in plotting against one another in power games and intrigue, or fighting duels. The population of Erkusaa is not growing, and their society is becoming stagnant and decadent. Some few erkunae seek to restore the power of the race, and to expand the pacts that served their ancestors.

Relations: Often mistaken for half-elves or albino humans, erkunae see themselves as a race apart, though cross-breeds are not possible, children favor their non-erkunae parent. They look down on other races, and see drawves, eventuals, and orcam as freaks. They are a slave-owning society, and are not picky about the race of their slaves: the majority of them are of the amber-skinned, southern islanders, and there is ill will towards the erkunae among free members of those peoples. Coastal peoples near Erkusaa often have long memories regarding the domination of the erkunae.

Religion: An erkunae with good or evil intentions is a rarity in their culture, as that degree of emotional depth is seen as gauche in their culture. Religion is focused on deities and beings that can directly give long-term power to the worshipper, hence the Pacts with the Elder Powers. Elemental lords, beings of Pure Chaos (such as the protean Speakers in the Depths known as The Slithering Symphony,) death worship, nature worship, it all flies on Erkusaa. It is a common phenomenon for one sect or another to lobby the Opal Throne to outlaw a rival sect, so flavors of the month come and go.

Adventurers: A large proportion of erkunae have class levels, but few adventure outside their island. However, exile is a common non-capital punishment for rule-breakers among the erkunae, and these exiles bring much-needed change to their moribund society. Some few others are disgusted with the decadent ways of their people, and wish to see something new, and every now and then, a hero sets out from this strange place to change the world.

Names: Erkunae of high family enjoy adding numerics to hereditary names. Otherwise, erkunae names are discordant and odd , borrowing from the mercurial Protean language.

Male: Saterik the 147th, Kkelyion, Yyakoric, Aunic the 301st, Iilior
Female: Amoril, Celaena, Rhaedel the 103rd, Cillanel, Yeshella the 99th

Erkunae Racial Characteristics
Erkunae characters are defined by class levels and have the following racial characteristics.

  • +2 Strength, +2 Intelligence, -2 Constitution: The Erkunae have a long martial and academic tradition of conditioning, but inbreeding has resulted in weak overall health.
  • Human Blood: Erkunae are an ancient race of decadent near-humans with strange customs and traditions. They are humanoids with the human subtype.
  • Medium: Erkunae are medium creatures with no penalties or bonuses due to size.
  • Normal Speed: Base speed for erkunae is 30 feet.
  • Castle Dwellers: Many erkunae never leave the halls of their ancient, endless castle homes. They gain +1 to Knowledge (dungeoneering), Knowledge (engineering), and on Sap checks.
  • Court Intrigue: Erkunae are naturals to the Machiavellian world of royal courts. They gain +1 on Diplomacy, Knowledge (nobility), and Sense Motive checks.
  • Duel of Honor: Erkunae solve many of their conflicts with blades, to differing levels of satisfaction, whether “number of cuts” or to the death. They gain +1 to hit when when fighting with a one-handed weapon and a free hand.
  • Pact with the Elder Powers: Ancient pacts, promises, sacrifices and bonds have been made between the Erkunae and various Powers From Beyond, so that servants of these lords will come when the Erkunae call. This behaves as a limited type of summon monster spell-like ability with different characteristics. An Erkuna makes a choice of the nature of their Pact when they come of age:
    • Powers of Death: Once per day, summon the skeleton of one who swore themselves to the Pact. This skeleton serves until destroyed, and can be armed and armored as the erkuna sees fit. The nature of this servant increases with level, it has the same HD as the erkunae that called it, and 8 hit points at first level. At 6th level, this becomes a skeletal champion
    • Powers of the Elements: Once per day, summon an elemental. At 1st-3rd level call a Tiny elemental, at 4th-6th a Small elemental, at 7th level and higher a Medium elemental. This elemental serves until destroyed.
    • Powers of Nature: Once per day, an erkuna can call an exceptional animal to serve them. At 1st-3rd level they can call a CR 1/2 animal, at 4th-6th level they can call a CR 2 animal, at 7th level or higher they can call a CR 4 animal.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Erkunae are fascinated by slashing weapons of any kind, and gain proficiency with any weapons that do slashing damage. They suffer a -1 damage penalty with piercing and bludgeoning weapons as a result of this martial focus.
  • Linguists: Erkunae characters being play speaking Common, and their cultural language of preference, Protean. An erkuna with high intelligence can speak any other language that is nor secret or prohibited.
OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a - All text is Open Game Content.