Endless Blue – Week 12 – Chelon   8 comments

Biology

Chelon – Elqua’s Caretakers of the Coral Reefs

The Chelon are a race in its twilight, a species of piscean more concerned with their own insular ideas and convoluted knowledge than the status of the races around them.  Egalitarian and deeply entrenched in process and Chelon-centric needs, they view themselves as the true piscean and all others of the Periphery as second-class races and those of the Hinterseas as no better than savages.  Despite their self-absorption, it was the Chelon that gifted the world with the ability to manipulate arcane magic.

Personality: Chelons are an obsessive people, obsessing on themselves, their exploration of self-created magic, and their eventual fate.  Generosity is hardly a quality attributed to the species.  They spare more mercy for the precious coral reefs of the Endless Blue than the species that live in them.  It is this strange, seemingly magnanimous dedication to preservation that belies the hidden compassion of Chelon.
Physical Description:
Chelon are descended from shelled reptiles.  Their skin is wrinkled and loose, with hardened growths along the edges of their flippers and a collar of folded flesh around the neck.  Their skulls appear as if squeezed in on both sides by the jaws of a toothless predator and their round eyes are heavy lidded, giving them a look of distraction and a lack of lucidity.  Their upper lip has hardened into a vestigial beak over a down-turned lower lip and weak chin.  A hardened shell forms around their shoulders, extending down their backs to the mid of their pelvic bones, from which their stunted, leathery tail extends.  While genetically analogous, Chelons do have some variation on par to hair or eye color.  Terrapins tend to have more segmented shells,  Turtle shells are usually a single sloped carapace, and Tortoises shells are more bulbous, actually expanding outward before covering the back.
Relations: Chelon treat most all other races as unrefined.  This inherent racist bent does not express itself in hatred or fear, but instead as a dismissive demeanor of ambivalence, as if they could not be bothered to interact with other pisceans.
Alignment: Chelon can be any alignment, though their society tends to nurture more lawful minded individuals that conform to the expected behaviors best becoming a Chelon.
Homeseas: Chelonite settlements are usually located on the intersection of imaginary lines of natural energy that criss cross the sea bed of Elqua, and are camouflaged in well tended coral reefs that the citizens have cultured for generations as a matter of civic pride.  Admirers of the natural beauty are welcome among the Chelon, but they should not forget their lesser place.
Religion: Chelon believe themselves above such things as worship and supplication, and have developed a deity-free version of the Source, the same Source that fuels their magic, which they revere.
Language: Chelon speech is soft and well-mannered. While easily learned, writing the language is exceedingly complex, and requires non-Chelon to devote an additional skill point to Speak Language to learn the intricate script that Chelon used to eventual discover magic.
Names: Chelons receive their names by community consensus, with all members of the local settlement able to suggest names and debate their merit.  It can be a long, arduous process in more densely populated areas, but so important are progressive generations that it is one of the few things they willing let drag their attention away from mystic research.
Male Names: Aulus, Decinus, Gnaeus, Tiqus
Female Names: Appia, Malia, Quilia, Vibia
Family Names:
Cloelius, Lartius, Sapvius, Vilsanius
Adventurers: While not reclusive, it is uncommon for Chelon to leave their homes without some purpose that furthers their race in some way.  It can be as simple as sending funds back home, as patriotic as protecting national interests, or as direct in advancing along the path of magic.

Racial Traits

Ability Adjustments: Intelligence +3, Dexterity -1, Charisma -2
Automatic Class Skills: Knowledge (arcana), Spellcraft
Skill Bonuses: +2 racial bonus on Decipher Script, Knowledge (arcana), and Spellcraft.
Save Bonuses: Chelon have a +2 racial bonus to saves against spells and spell-like effects due to the race’s intimate link with magic.
Bonus Hit Dice: None.
Natural Armor: The shell back of a Chelon affords them some minor resistance to damage in the form of damage resistance 1.  This resistance will stack with any other form given by items or situation.
Natural Weapons: None.
Movement: Medium creature (1 cube tall), base speed 30 cubes.
Senses: Low-Light Vision
Buoyancy: Shoals (adjustable)
Coralcutting: Chelon gain a +2 racial bonus on Search checks to notice unnatural alterations to coral growth such as those made by animals using severed branches as cover or shelter, or any warping made by magic.  Any Chelon passing within 10 feet of a creature in concealment or cover behind coral is entitled to make a Search check to notice it as if they were actively searching.  Further, they enjoy a +2 to Tracking checks through areas of coral growth, just sensing the agitation of the coral polyps in the wake of a passing creature.
Favored Class: Due to their intrinsic link to the arcane arts, Chelon excel at any class that is based on arcane spell-casting.  No arcane-based class counts against a multi-classing Chelon.
Social Flaw: Racist
Base Height: Male – 4’9” (+ 2d6 in.)
Female – 4’1” (+ 2d6 in.)
Base Weight: Male – 225 lbs. (+ height mod. x 2d6 lbs.)
Female – 175 lbs. (+ height mod. x 2d6 lbs.)

Automatic Languages: Chelon, Lumulus
Bonus Languages: Elquan, Koutonese, Locanthic, Sahaguin
Level Adjustment: None

Chelon life is in every aspect graceful and delicate, just like the coral they life amongst.  Xanthellae is the Chelon method of deriving magic from the natural world around them.  By tapping into the vital life essences of the world around them, Chelon spellcasters have learned the art of growing calcium carbonate – coral – into usable forms.  It is the fundamental building block of Chelon construction, and not only comprises most of their shelter, but also their ungues and nautiluses.  These growths of still living coral are permanently attached to the Chelon’s flesh and remain with them all their lives should they choose not to alter or remove them.

Should a Chelon reach a significant venerable age and not have succumbed to the dangers of living on Elqua, they bequeath their worldly belongings and take on a final pilgrimage to an unknown area of the Creche of Civilization.  This migration is one full of sadness and feelings of loss, as the departing Chelon is never seen again, and no sane Piscean would dare travel into the ruins of the Kraken Empire to discover this racial graveyard.  What goes on during this trek is unknown, but conjecture is that those that are not consumed by roaming predators or destroyed by hidden, left-over evils of the Kraken are rewarded with ascendance.

Bringing additional sorrow, for far too long – far longer than any Chelon is willing to admit even to themselves – the death rate of their species has outstripped their frequency of births.  With each succeeding generation the number of offspring halves, and there seems to be no slowing of this decline  This has made children a valued communal commodity, and offspring are treated as if the whole community gave birth instead of just the parents.  Heavy emphasis is placed on the greatness and accomplishments of the nation’s progenitors to such a degree that no Chelon child ever wishes to achieve less.

“The pulse of coral is the tide of life.”
Chelon explaining true xanthellae

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