|+2 mana per level
increased movement in darkness
The shuddeni are a loathsome race originating deep within the bowels of the earth. Constructing vast cave cities, the shuddeni lived for centuries without contact with the other races, during which time they enslaved the muscular chaja, perfected their magical arts, and grew steadily in power. Then, after thousands of years of solitude, the shuddeni burst forth upon Avendar with a hatred and destruction unmatched among races.
Shuddeni are subterranean, sapient humanoid marsupials who have a distinctive lack of eyes. They instead perceive the world with a passive, pseudo-psionic blindsight, allowing them to discern shapes and distances with ease. Their skin is grey in tone and noticeably wrinkled; they often apply scented oils, glitter, and other cosmetics to these folds as a cultural norm. Their bodies are hairless, making their most notable physical change during maturity the depth and prominence of their skin creases.
Below are sample descriptions from NPCs and past player characters. These descriptions are for reference only; you should not use them for your characters.
Syeirah, Archmage of Void
Petite in build and stature, this young shuddeni woman carries herself with a nervous and watchful air. Her face is thin and angular and bears ragged, fresh-looking burn scars spreading across one side, pulling one side of her aubergine-painted mouth up into a perpetual sneer. Where it is not scarred, the pale cinereous folds of her flesh are densely tattooed with sinuous black glyphs that wind across her scalp and down what is visible of her neck, shoulders, and arms to the tips of her long and slender fingers. Spicy, bitter hints of myrrh waft from the faint sheen of oil coating her skin, all but completely masking the reek of singed bone and old blood that clings to her.
Playing a Shuddeni
Shuddeni must be played as having dark and evil natures. They are dedicated to hatred, greed, and cruelty, and thus require some extra consideration when roleplaying. They are more likely to be attacked by some NPCs and PCs simply because of their race than most characters are. They are more likely to be feared and mistrusted by both strangers and acquaintances.
Power, control, and command are the most significant factors to a shuddeni. Their natural intelligence and charisma allow them to often move quickly through academic or philosophical circles; when combined with their lust for authority, shuddeni make for obvious, if sociopathic, leaders. When in a position of command, they often believe that the inherent supremacy of their decisions or outlook make them superior– and in turn, those who follow them often find themselves belittled, marginalized, or otherwise degraded. A shuddeni may act cooperatively, or encourage cooperation in others, but ultimately, anything which threatens his personal power or autonomy is anathema to them.
A shuddeni typically delights in violence, either their own, or those of their underlings. Their magical, and at times, physical, talents are almost always turned to this end; yet, even if they personally abstain from open war, their rhetoric will willingly compensate. Evil is a biological necessity to a shuddeni, influenced as they are by Tzet-Askhari. Functionally, to them, it is the only true constant. They believe its seed either should exist, or does exist, in all sapient life. This makes them despise all who encourage goodness, purity, peace, or compassion, as these concepts are, to them, merely veils which shroud a mortal’s true and inalienable nature
A powerful tribe of the shuddeni, the Yithoul erected a city and dark temple in a vast underground cavern below the maze of the phase spider. Though far from the only shuddeni settlement underground, it is widely regarded as the most powerful, and has been the heart of shuddeni culture for millennia.
Most commonly found in Var Bandor and Earendam, surface shuddeni tend to be decently integrated with communities in those cities, having twisted the laws in those places to grant them maximum freedoms in their areas of interest. They are more likely to be worshipers of Rveyelhi given the Black Staff’s legacy and rise to power, particularly in Var Bandor.