In the Shadow of the Tyrant
“Ensouled Sidhe don’t come from the Blightmoor; they come out of it.”
Sidhe, or Aos Sí, are small fey creatures native to Blightmoor, not dissimilar to the sprites or pixies found in other locales, except that sidhe are mindless creatures without true souls, driven only by an animal, instinctual urge to cause their own primitive idea of “mischief.” While almost wholly negligible in their own right, sidhe are regarded as incredibly useful tools by the necromantic Blightmoor Hags, who possess the mysterious, unique power to quickly— and almost effortlessly— rip out the otherwise troublesome souls of sleeping humans and deposit them into the empty bodies of nearby sidhe so that they can easily harvest the human bodies to make immaculate undead thralls. This power is much more reliable and much less costly than most death spells, so many hags relish in its use.
These new, Ensouled Sidhe, when not immediately destroyed by the hag who created them, are torn from their old minds, born completely amnesiac, though those that live long enough eventually slowly piece together the remnants of their old identities, and eventually many may even remember enough to return to their home kingdom and possibly even their (likely long-abandoned) household.
Ensouled Sidhe have smooth, glossy skin in shades ranging from pale bluish-grey to deep violet, and possess transparent, glassy wings with an opalescent sheen. Their hair grows like a human’s and is usually jet black, streaked with one or two other colors. Most have two short black horns that curl up slightly, and a long, segmented tail like that of an insect. While sidhe are born with bodily proportions resembling those of a gnome (albeit much smaller,) after being ensouled the sidhe’s proportions will, over about ten years, grow to be identical to a human’s. None are sure what mechanism causes this effect, and no other changes will occur no matter how long the Ensouled sidhe lives.
Ensouled sidhe society— if they can even be said to possess a society— exists in “phases,” dependent on how much time has passed since the sidhe has been ensouled. Newly-ensouled Sidhe possess no knowledge other than the manic instincts of natural sidhe, and for a few years may act no differently, joining the soulless sidhe in their mindless revelry. “Teenage” sidhe, having lived for one or two decades and regained their judgment and self-awareness, may find others of their kind and form small packs or families to support one another and team up against the multitude of enemies found in the Blightmoor, but they all possess a sort of listlessness and confusion, aware they’ve lost something important but unable to discern what that it is.
After around thirty or forty years, most sidhe have recalled enough details about their former existence to know the general details of who they were and where they came from, along with a few more specific memories, and most will desire to leave their younger, more confused companions and the gloom of the Blightmoor to investigate their origins. Stories of ensouled sidhe are prevalent enough that none in the kingdoms bordering the Blightmoor can be said to be mystified or horrified by them; they are simply regarded as a cautionary tale, a tragic reality, and most sidhe learn that little of what they remember actually remains (though there are exceptions; stories exist of one ensouled sidhe who reunited with his elven lover after fifty years, though details of how the elf received him vary depending on the storyteller.) Whether they find anything for them or not, most adult sidhe choose to remain in their kingdoms of origin, preferring life on the outskirts of society to the hostile nothingness of the Blightmoor.
Alignment and Religion:
All ensouled sidhe begin life chaotic, though most drift to neutrality after the first few decades. As all sidhe have human souls, many eventually turn to the worship of human gods, particularly Cayden Cailean, not so much for the dogma of his church as that they regard him as the god most acutely aware of their particular sorrows. Sidhe who were evil as humans are not necessarily more predisposed to being evil as sidhe, because most can’t remember enough of their human lives to reembrace their former morals.
Most ensouled sidhe turn to adventuring out of necessity, as most humans have no place for them anymore, unless a sidhe is very proficient in magic or lucky enough to find employment doing clerical work. Some may be used as scouts or spies, owing to their great mobility and small size, but any adventuring party might be willing to take on an ensouled sidhe, as they potentially contribute a great amount of utility while not being very costly or troublesome to keep around.
Standard Racial Traits
Ability Score Racial Traits:
Possessed of souls which have inhabited two different bodies, Ensouled Sidhe are empathic and highly perceptive, in addition to being incredibly agile, but their puny stature makes them much weaker than other races. They gain +4 Dexterity, +4 Wisdom, and –6 Strength.
Ensouled Sidhe are Tiny creatures and gain a +2 size bonus to their AC, a +2 size bonus on attack rolls, a –2 penalty on combat maneuver checks and to their CMD, and a +8 size bonus on Stealth checks. Tiny characters take up a space of 2-1/2 feet by 2-1/2 feet, so up to four of these characters can fit into a single square. Tiny races typically have a natural reach of 0 feet, meaning they can’t reach into adjacent squares.
Ensouled Sidhe are Fey creatures. Their human souls become fey as a consequence of decades spent in a sidhe body.
(Slow Speed) Ensouled Sidhe have a base speed of 20 feet. They also have a fly speed of 50 feet with average maneuverability.
Ensouled sidhe begin play speaking Aklo and Common. Ensouled sidhe with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Sylvan, Elven, Gnome, and Goblin.
Defense Racial Traits
Shadow Resistance: Sidhe must endure harsh weather and dark magics to survive in the Blightmoor. Ensouled sidhe gain cold resistance 5 and electricity resistance 5.
Dual-Minded: Ensouled sidhe, being both fey and human, gain a +2 bonus on all Will saving throws.
Deathless Spirit: Having already had their souls ripped out once, ensouled sidhe are much more resistant to further attempts. Ensouled Sidhe race gain resistance 5 against negative energy damage. They do not lose hit points when they gain a negative level, and they gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against death effects, energy drain, negative energy, and spells or spell-like abilities of the necromancy school.
Feat and Skill Racial Traits
Skill Training: Ensouled sidhe quickly learn how to hide from predators and notice deadly magic. Stealth and Spellcraft are always class skills for Ensouled Sidhe.
Magical Racial Traits
Spell-Like Ability, At-Will: Ensouled sidhe can still use the minor fey powers of their sidhe bodies and can cast Snapdragon Fireworks as an at-will spell-like ability, though they can choose to have the power deal another damage type instead of fire.
Movement Racial Traits
Flight: Ensouled Sidhe have a fly speed of 50 feet with average maneuverability.
Senses Racial Traits
Low-Light Vision: Ensouled Sidhe can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Other Racial Traits
Prehensile Tail: Ensouled Sidhe have a long, flexible tail that can be used to carry objects. They cannot wield weapons with their tails, but they can retrieve small, stowed objects carried on their persons as a swift action.
Alternate Racial Traits
Flexible Bonus Feat: Some ensouled sidhe may recall enough of their former heritage to regain some of their lost abilities, though they tend to be somewhat out of sync with their fey bodies. These sidhe may select one extra feat at first level, but their flight speed is reduced to 40 feet. This ability replaces Spell-Like Ability, At-Will.
Firefly Tail: In some parts of the Blightmoor, a subspecies of sidhe is capable of flashing a bright green light from its tail to scare off predators and attract mates. They will retain this ability after being ensouled, and these ensouled sidhe have the at-will ability to emit lime green light from the tip of their tail as though a Light spell were cast upon it. This ability replaces Low-Light Vision.
Legless: Some varieties of sidhe are more insectoid than humanoid, and have no legs at all, merely a long, thick, carapaced tail. They cannot be tripped (although few sidhe experience that problem) and have a land speed of 5, though they are much more aerodynamic and have a fly speed of 70 with perfect maneuverability. This ability replaces Prehensile Tail.
Infused With The Wild: Though sidhe are less attuned to nature than many fey, a token few ensouled sidhe possess some natural aptitude for wild magic, though this may perhaps be because they were druids or rangers in their previous existence. Sorcerer sidhe with this trait and the Fey bloodline treat their Charisma score as 2 points higher for all sorcerer spells and class abilities. Sidhe clerics with the Chaos domain use their domain powers and spells at +1 caster level. This trait does not give ensouled sidhe early access to level-based powers; it only affects powers that they could already use without this trait. This trait replaces Shadow Resistance.