The Anurids

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Physical Description:

The Anurid mostly resemble anthropomorphic toads. They even go through the same stages of metamorphosis as a toad does. Their young tadpoles live strictly aquatic lives until they reach about 12 years of age, when they lose their gills. An Anurid has vestiges of a tail until they reach full adulthood between 16 and 20 years of age.

Because of their prolific nature, Anurids come in many shapes and sizes. Some of which still have a post-anal tail or gills. The tribes that have moved more inland grow a bit more robust in size and are less susceptible to extreme temperature changes. These are usually the kind most seen venturing far from the ponds and bogs of their homeland.

They stand between five and six feet in height and have a very strong musculature. Their skin can be nearly any color, the most widespread colors being greens and browns, but with spectacular patterns on them that help to distinguish the identity of one Anurid from another. Such markings are as distinguishing as fingerprints.

Society:

They still rely on laying hundreds of eggs. Only dozens survive to adulthood, but that is still a very successful method of populating. This happens during a yearly spawning season, where males go to ponds and bogs and begin their mating call, which can be heard by females for many miles through the open air. The sound is most audible in the water, even if the water is not the same source. Females will go pond to pond, listening to see if they are getting closer to the male with the most irresistable voice.

The great distance between Anurid breeding grounds makes it hard for different clans or tribes to stay politically cohesive. As a result, the Anurids do not have a united government. One defining factor of Anurids is their racial loyalty to one another. Regardless of what one’s strength of character is, they are culturally obligated to send and receive messages from each other. An Anurid who fails in this duty is considered a clan outsider and is not allowed to participate in their annual mating rituals.

The “singing” that Anurids do is quite unique. They have adapted their mating call into a way of communicating over great distances. The language differs tribe to tribe and is unique to each individual, but all Anurids instinctively understand this language. Whenever new mates come to a tribe, they blend their genetics and learn a new mating song. Old and well travelled Anurids will often know a dozen or more mating songs.

The seasonal migrations of Anurids have made them a heavily mercantile race, moving goods over great distances, but generally only in hot or temperate lands and only in good weather. More determined travelers take upon themselves the mantle of the bard, bringing beautiful music in the form of songs from many lands.

Origins:

The Anurids are a fairly recent race to arise in Isaldor. Six centuries ago, they started appearing in and around Moorian villages and towns. They are hearty and agile. The average Anurid can live up to a hundred years, much like a human. They adapt the customs of whatever parent society they live in, making them very adaptable. They are most renowned for their amazing vocal skills.

The Anurids appear to be the creation of magic by a denizen of the Blackmarsh, an Avarxi bog shaman by the name of Grippa. She died shortly after creating the creatures, but her magic still lives on in the marshy area where these people arose from. It is not known exactly why she created them, but the reason why Anurids have become prolific is that they breed quickly and in abundance.

Relations:

Anurid people do not get along well with the Avarxi, who have traditionally hunted them for sport and even eat their tadpoles. Other than that, the Anurids do not have any particular like or dislike of any race. Most elves tend to look down upon them as magical aberrations who have not existed for long enough to have a worthy culture and customs.

Alignment and Religion:

The typical Anurid does not pray to the dragon gods that their creator race do. Instead, they have drawn close the old religion and to Astral, the goddess of balance and of magic. They worship her because they see her as the one whose power was used to create them and she must now be their patron. More progressive Anurid tribes worship Gaia, the Wild Queen because of their bond to nature. Anurids who have followed a darker path worship Mal, the Whisperer, because she is the goddess of secret communication.

Anurids are also as diverse in personalities as humans, but they tend to lean more towards lawful alignment because of their fierce loyalty to their own people.

Adventurers:

Most Anurid adventurers are those who have gone out to see the world. This is driven by the genetic desire to seek out new breeding grounds so that they can diversify as a species and become more successful. This wanderlust drives Anurids to become adventurers of many kinds. There are few religious types and most tend to lean towards the path of bards and mercenaries.

Names:

Male: Almo, Bobob, Dilku, Mogi, Waddo, Yog
Female: Ackie, Bibi, Gadae, Kellipa, Peppa, Yeba

Racial Traits:

Ability Score Traits: Anurids are generally more agile and adroit than other races because of their powerful jumping legs. They get a +2 Dexterity, though they are not as hearty as other races and suffer a -2 Constitution.
Size: Anurids are medium category and thus get no bonuses or negatives due to size
Type: Anurids are “humanoids” with the “toad” subtype.
Base Speed: Anurids have a loping run, but still have a 30’ base land speed. They also have a 60’ swim speed.
Languages: Anurids begin play speaking Common and the secret language, Anurid. The Anurid language can only be heard and spoken by Anurids and can only be heard by Bog Shamans.

Racial Detriments:

Poor Camouflage: Anurids are generally bright and colorful and are easier to spot, losing one level of concealment if they try to hide.
Toadskin: Anurids have a minor -2 weakness to cold, fire, and acid due to their amphibian skin.
Toad Swallow: In order to consume anything in combat, even potions, an Anurid falls one order in initiative and is temporarily blinded until their next turn.

Racial Skills

Anurid Song: Anurids are particularly skilled at singing. All Anurids begin play with the Perform: Sing skill at a 2. They also get a +2 circumstance bonus to any perform check.
Anurid Reflexes: Anurids begin play with the Evasion feat and gain a +2 bonus to Reflex Saves.
Master of the Fens: Anurids gain a +4 bonus to all survival checks made in swampy or aquatic areas.

Racial Powers

Poison Immmunity: Anurids are immune to poison.
Night Eyes: Anurids have an improved version of darkvision and have the ability to see color even in near complete darkness.
Anurid Leaping: Anurids have the ability to leap much greater distances and heights than other races, receiving a +4 to Acrobatics checks. Not only that, but they have the ability to leap at half of their movement speed in any direction so long as the path is clear and visible. They can even do this whenever there is a Reflex save needed. They attain this ability once per day per 3 levels attained, a maximum 6 at level 18.
Fall Any Distance Anurids have the uncanny ability to fall from any height without taking damage. They do not, however, avoid damage from spiked pit traps or any other instance where the surface of impact itself is not designed to be the damaging factor of the fall.
Sticky Tongue: Anurids have a tongue equal to their height in length with which they can make grapple attempts with any object at least 2 size categories below them as a free action.
Waterbreathing: While specifically in water, Anurids can hold their breath indefinitely because they can diffuse oxygen through their skin.

Favored Class Bonuses

Barbarian: Anurid barbarians are much stronger and bigger than other classes and gain +2 to Strength and lose their -2 Constitution, but also lose their +2 to Dexterity. They also gain the rage power Raging Leaper for free at level 1. The Rage Power Bestial Leaper is also given for free at level 6. When this favored class is chosen, an Anurid may only increase his rounds of rage by 1 every two levels. That is the bonus.
Bard: Bardic Anurids not only get a +2 to all perform checks, but gain a +4 to Perform: Sing. At level 4, they also gain a 1d6 ranged touch sonic attack which they can use once per day. The target must make a DC15 Willpower save or be stunned for one round. Every time this favored class is chosen, they only receive an increase of one use of this sonic attack per day for every two levels attained.
Alchemist: Anurid alchemist lose their weakness to cold and fire, and their skin becomes poisonous to the touch. It is a DC 15 Fortitude Save for any living creature touching the Alchemist. Every time this favored class is chosen, the alchemist may use his own toxin to coat weapons. The poison deals 1d2 points of temporary Constitution damage per application.
Rogue: Rogues lose the Poor Camouflage trait and get a +4 bonus to climb checks. Every time this favored class is chosen, the rogue only gains +1 to his/her acrobatics for every 2 levels attained.

The Anurids

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