Fi'rahli

Fi'rahli - Sub-oceanic beings of fearsome visage and untold origins. Only emerging from their watery depths now, after spending their entire existences below, the Fi'rahli are as variable as humans in their way, shapes, and forms.

Lifespan
Young: 4 Years
Adult: 10 Years
Middle Age: 15 Years
Old: 20 Years
Venerable: 30 Years

Known Language: Fi'rahli

History
Once, long ago, there existed a society of scholarly elitists above an oppressed spiritualistic populace. The Noble class was of another underwater race known only as The Sentients, who forced the Fi'rahli into slavery and servitude. But as the legend goes, some 200 years ago the Fi'rahli organized a destructively efficient rebellion and crushed their oppressors. Each section of the slave quarters rose bearing arms forged from crude iron, or wielding magicks that until now had never been seen or heard of. The Sentients, long since atrophied and controlling mostly through fear, were demolished and wiped from the sea floor, never to be seen again.

From there, the ever industrious Fi'rahli dedicated themselves to searching out and restoring ancient records of their civilization before The Sentients. In the 200 years since they freed themselves they have already formed a new society that is almost a direct rival to that of Humans. They are now governed and protected by a man known as Tyrant Killigan, a most benevolent and effective ruler despite his title.

Most recently the Fi'rahli have made it their mission to seek out the surface world, which was restricted by the mandate of The Sentients. Obviously there was something up there that caused fear in the ancient ruling race, but now the Fi'rahli are free to explore the world as they see fit. They no longer have to tow enourmous bubbles of air down to their cities, but can instead go up for breath. They are seeing peoples, places, and things they would never have imagined possible.

Description
The Fi'rahli resemble closely a typical human (5 to 7 feet tall) with a few key differences, the most obvious of which is their light blue skin colour. Their hair can be blonde, brown, green or black, and will never grey. Their eyes are always black and naturally immune to the effects of salt water, so they can leave their eyes open underwater. Another odd trait is that they have no ears, only small holes which can be covered naturally by small flaps which retract when outside of water.

They are not at all amphibious, but rather purely mammalian. During the reign of The Sentients they were forced to sent enourmous spheres up to the surface to gather air, then tow them down to their cities. This is still done as it is a source of many jobs, but they are now allowed to go to the surface themselves for air, or even go onto land.

All Fi'rahli are natural fishermen and are trained from birth to hone their skills. Polearms are the prefered weapon for Fi'rahli, and even their Mages and Clerics have been known to wield ornate tridents. Metal armors are hard to come by, and all the more uncommon for how cumbersome they are. Because of this, Fi'rahli have had no training in the use of metal armors, and cannot wear them until they reach Level 4.

The Fi'rahli are also expert swimmers, of course. They use a particular style of swimming that is difficult if not impossible for others to learn, and this allows them to gain uncanny maneuverability and speed while underwater. Furthermore, they can hold their breath for over 6 hours at a time, due to an incredibly efficient set of lungs.

The clothing they wear is very sparse at best, with exceptions being made for armors. Fi'rahli are obsessed with decoration, almost to a fault, and will always adorn themselves with as many necklaces, bracelets and rings as they can without clashing. Indeed, for a race of ex-slaves they seem to be quite vain.

Advantages
• Gains Swimming skill automatically, and can move at twice the speed of a regular swimmer when unencumbered by armor heavier than leather.
• Innate Sensitivity to undersea creatures and how to hunt them.
• Can hold breath for 6 hours maximum, and can see/hear without difficulty when underwater.
• Due to their industrious and efficient nature, they will gain +1% per level to any and all craft skills taken, with the exception of Fletching.
• Can use any sort of Polearm, disregarding class restrictions.
• Intelligence +1 for their natural efficiency, both in learning and performing tasks.
• Constitution +1 due to the natural conditioning of living under constant water pressure.

Disadvantages
• Requires two slots to learn Land Riding, and can never learn Air Riding.
• Charisma -1 due to the awkward societal differences between the Fi'rahli culture and the Land-going culture.
• An additional -1 to Charisma checks concerning non Fi'rahli.
• Wisdom -2, as they still lack the moral system and general thought processes of a truly independent race.
• Can never use ranged weaponry other than a crossbow or siege equipment, and when using these takes a -5% to hit AND evade.
• The cap to hit and evade percentages is -5 when outside of the water. I.E., when out of water the to hit cap is 70%. If a prestige or special ability would raise this cap, then the penalty is still -5% from the maximum.

Restrictions
• Cannot become Rangers, due to their general lack of knowledge of forests and the like. Also cannot be Barbarians, for a similar reason of location.
• Cannot ever refuse to perform a task once it has been taken on, nor can they do a poor job just because they were lazy. In general, laziness is unheard of, and most certainly frowned upon when it does show itself.
• Can never use any sort of short or long bow.

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