The material below is Open Game Content from Fehr’s Ethnology: The Dhosari
The Story of the Dhosari
The chamber under the Hall of Silent Voices was not silent, Gola thought to himself. The vela plinked and plonked in the four hands of his uncle Yelu, brown humans shuffled about with trays, and the Master coughed weakly. He didn’t say his observations out loud, as he wished, for his mother Vili was nearby, and would snap him with her bamboo charchari if he spoke without Master’s approval.
Some ‘master’, Gola thought, proud of his inward voice. Gola was bigger than he was, even without standing on his hind legs. The Master was thin, pale, and red-eyed, and coughed a lot. It was fitting that his pact-mate was a gilded skeleton, standing nearby in a brocaded robe, like Erkusaa’s thinnest butler.
At this witty thought, Gola could no longer hold his amusement in, and guffawed loudly, rattling the tray of incense he was supposed to be holding. He tried to dodge his mother’s charchari, and failed; she was not the First Protector for nothing, and she was fiercely devoted to her bacca, scrawny though he was. Gola bawled and scrambled from the chamber, dropping the incense with a clatter. His lower hands helped him clamber up the recessed ladder carved into the stone of the underchamber, and he bolted at speed though the Hall of Silent Voices above, not even noticing the dust. When he stopped to wipe his eyes with all four hands, he found himself in an alcove festooned with strange yellow plants. These are the N’shaa herbs, recalled Gola, remembering his Lessons of Life. They are used to temper the silver for delicate jewelry, but are poisonous to the erkunae. He recalled dimly that some erkunae had been cleverly poisoned by dhosari silversmiths at the behest of master-erkunae rivals weren’t all the plants destroyed?
A rustling in the leaves. Gola put his front feet on the floor, ready to bowl over the attacker and flee… A face pushed through the foliage. A long, dusky dhosari face. Gola was taken aback, not just by seeing a dhosari apart from a house-retinue, but a dhosari with hair on his face, no kohl on his eyes, and, judging by the upper body emerging, no chain jewelry. And so thin. The gaunt apparition seized Gola by his right lower arm, a desperate strength. “Bacca dhosari,” growled the ragged runaway, for that is what Gola knew he was.
“Are you the erkunae’s bloodhound, come to track me down?” Gola struggled. “I am no bacca! The white-skins have not put a saddle on me!” The runaway slave was actually taken aback, and raised his matted eyebrows.
“Such spirit in a slave. Such defiance. Perhaps there is some hope for our poor, deformed race. So. What do they call you when they need a pet to wipe their bottoms?” Gola stuck out his chin. “I am called Gola, son of Kala, son of Tila! Let me go!” The runaway did so, but Gola did not flee. “Bring me food, bring me some wine. If you are a dhosari, and not a lapdog, we shall see. If you turn me in, so be it.. I will do the Dance of Arms one last time.” Gola looked at the ragged being, clutching its hind legs with all four arms. “I will be back, dhosari. I will be your paricharka.” Gola galloped back down the Hall of Silence. He would take a beating, but he knew what he would do. And he knew of a secret entrance to the Dragoncaves.
Dhosari Racial Characteristics
Dhosari characters are defined by class levels and the following racial characteristics.
- +2 Strength, +2 Charisma, -4 Wisdom: Dhosari have the strength befitting a double-bodied race, and their millennia of slavery have developed personalities easy to like but lacking in willpower. The modifiers to ability scores from Large size have already been calculated.
- Large Size: Dhosari have an upper torso extending from the shoulders of a fully human sized body. They take a -1 penalty to their AC, a -1 penalty on attack rolls, a +1 bonus on combat maneuver checks and to their CMD, and a -4 penalty on Stealth checks. They take up a space that is 10 feet by 10 feet and have a reach of 5 feet. Armor for dhosari costs double normal, and may need special fitting.
- Normal Speed: Dhosari walk rather gingerly on their lower arms and hind legs, and have a base speed of 30 feet.
- Quadribrachial: Dhosari have 4 arms and two legs, but typically move about on their lower set of arms and their hind legs, and their legs are not capable of full extension. They gain +4 to CMD against trip attempts, use weapons as if they were Medium (instead of Large) and gain +2 bonus to Climb. If they take a full-round action to rear upward, they can bring all four arms into play, but suffering -1 on all ability checks and to-hit rolls while doing so.
- Songslave: One of the chief tasks of dhosari slaves is entertaining their masters. They gain a +2 racial bonus on a Perform skill of their choice.
- Paricharka: Dhosari are typically bonded with an erkunae child or a dignitary as a type of guardian, and keep this habit even when free. If this bond target (bacca in erkunae idiom) is visibly targeted with an attack, the dhosari gets +1 on attack rolls against that aggressor. A full 24 hours must pass before a dhosari can change the bond target.
- Languages: Dhosari in captivity as slaves were allowed to speak only Common. Dhosari of high intelligence were sometimes taught other languages by their masters, and free dhosari could learn, as
well. They can choose from the following: Protean, Giant, Abyssal, or Celestial.
Alternate Racial Characteristics
With GM permission, a dhosari character may possess one or more of these alternate characteristics.
The dhosari (singular and plural) are a bizarre, ancient race that are the original inhabitants of the island of Erkusaa. They have been enslaved for millennia by the erkunae, a near-human race that has gained power through arcane pacts with extra dimensional beings. Dhosari are a large, strong race, but have little magical power and have been used as house slaves and shock troops by their masters; in the recent past they have established a few, small, independent communities on nearby islands and on the mainland. They have four arms that enable them to do tasks unheard of for normal bipeds. If the dhosari gain their freedom, and the acceptance of the core races, they might achieve a golden age of their own.
Physical Description: Dhosari are among the more bizarre-looking sentient races, appearing as a wellformed human upper body attached to the shoulders of a robust human body. The lower arms are heavily muscled, and the lower ‘hands’ are thick-fingered and usually calloused. The hind legs cannot extend fully, and dhosari cannot travel in a bipedal manner much more than a clumsy scramble, half normal movement rate. The kneecaps extend farther than a human’s do, and are thicker. Though they are classified as large creatures, and able to rear up to a full height of up to 9 feet in males, the two ‘bodies’ are proportioned normally to a human’s. Skin tone is light amber, and hair and eye color tend to be only a shade lighter; darker and lighter tones vary slightly but do occur.
Society: Fragments of stories passed down by the dhosari speak of a time before the erkunae, when their people lived in a cave-riddled mountain, and were privy to the secrets of heaven. Then, as the dhosari say, “The waters came,” and their land became the island of Erkusaa. The sorcerous erkunae saw them as the perfect slaves, and easily dominated them with their magic. Under the rule of the erkunae, dhosari had little society, being bred for characteristics like cattle, treated like sentient pets and used for shock troops when war demanded.
But every now and then a dhosari would be born that would chafe under the lash, and encourage his fellows to flee bondage, even turn on their masters. There are several cells of free dhosari even on Erkusaa, living in abandoned sections of the City of Dreams, G’sho’laa’n’rr, in the caves that honeycomb he island, or even on the few wild, undeveloped sections. Unfortunately, these free Erkusaan dhosari are hunted for sport by erkunae when found. Due to the decline in erkunae attention to practical matters, some dhosari have migrated off the island to other, nearby islands and to the mainland itself, probably by finding salvageable shipwrecks, being left behind by military expeditions, or by the use of spells. These communities are somewhat xenophobic, but freedom-loving, and seek only to find their way back from millennia of captivity; outsiders that think of them as demons or freaks are the least of their worries.
Relations: Dhosari are very shy around the core races, less so around humans of darker complexion, due to their shared heritage of slavery. Pale humans or erkunae elicit mixed emotions, anger and/or solicitude in varying degrees, until trust is formedwith erkunae this might never occur, outside of Erkusaa. Most dhosari grow to be fond of gnomes and halflings, and enjoy giving rides on their backs, as it reminds them of their child charges in Erkusaa.
Human cities and communities make dhosari uneasy, as they will doubtless be pointed to, stared at, and heavily questioned as to their race and nature. It is difficult for dhosari to cope outside their own communities, and they can be clingy to friends and members of their inner circle, when immersed in foreign cultures. They are fascinated by centaurs, and see them as long lost kin.
Alignment and Religion: Most dhosari believe that they have been abandoned by the gods, indeed, not created but cast away due to irredeemable flaws. The disingenuous nature of erkunae religious habits emphasizes this irreligiousness, and they merely smile at the frenzied piety of others. This being said, dhosari enjoy life, even in slavery, as they do not worry about pleasing any gods, only their masters, and, each believes, they will follow their own destiny someday. If they followed any gods, they would be of song, art, and possibly battle. Alignment of enslaved dhosari tend to lawful neutral, as order and routine are important to them. Chaotic good communities of dhosari are led by the most charismatic male. Adventurers: Those of the dhosari race that adventure often do so as part of their struggle for freedom from their traditional slavery by the erkunae. There is often some goal for the adventurer; gaining power and allies to free their fellows, fighting slavery wherever it is found, defeating monsters that oppress the weak, what have you. Among free dhosari, reasons for adventuring are much as any other race, with the added incentive of proving oneself to the colony in order to establish status and/or mating rights.
Joining adventuring parties often takes place as part of an adventure, or by the simple reason of being
hired as a mercenary or sentient mount.
Names: Dhosari names are relatively simple, devolved carryovers from pre-erkunae era. Erkunae masters sometimes give nicknames to their dhosari slaves, usually degrading or childlike.
- Males: Siva, Kala, Rana, Jada, Qalu
- Female: Lani, Reeni, Sirani, Dotu, Neni
Vital Statistics - Age
|Adulthood||Martial Classes||Spontaneous Casters/Psionics||Studied Casters|
Vital Statistics - Height (quadraped)/Weight
|Gender||Base Height||Base Weight||Modifier||Weight Multiplier|
|Male||6 ft. 5 in.||500 lbs.||2d10||x5 lbs.|
|Female||6 ft.||2 in.||430 lbs.||2d10||x5 lbs.|
Given the opportunity to enjoy freedom, dhosari enthusiastically take to the adventuring life, eager to see all the world has to offer, and challenge themselves. As they, as a race, have gotten used to caring for others and protecting them, they take naturally to the bonds of the adventuring party atmosphere, and are fiercely loyal. That being said, their resentment at being treated as beasts of burdern for millennia has left its scars, and some dhosari seek to dominate and lord it over others, with all the advatages loot and power can give.
Alchemist: Assistants and helpers to the caste of alchemists among the erkunae have learned as much alchemical lore as their masters, and dabble in all areas and archetypes of the discipline.
Barbarian: Feral dhosari in the wilds of Erkusaa, small islands, or the mainland are savage creatures, indeed, bringing their strength and weight to bear on those that would impose slavery on them.
Bard: Dhosari are born to entertain and perform, and many are personal bards to noble families on Erkusaa. Free dhosari bards are compiling the legends and stories of a newly-freed race.
Cavalier: Since dhosari are large and quadrupedal themselves, being a cavalier would be difficult, if not impossible (see playtest notes below1).
Cleric: Dhosari are not a religious race, and do not take well to metaphysical ideas. There have been a few firebrand clerics of the race, however, that attempt to rally and lead their fellows. These prophets have been of any and all stripes, good, evil, lawful or chaotic.
Druid: Some dhosari are trained to gather herbs and plants on Erkusaa, but are poor spell-casters. A few free groups follow druidical religion at the leadership of an exceptional druidical dhosari.
Fighter: Dhosari shock troops with their whirling, exotic weapons are still legendary in the histories of coastal races of the world, and an armed dhosari warrior can give any enemy pause.
Gunslinger: Erkunae masters will not let their favored slaves near firearms, and dhosari are quite in agreement to stay away.
Inquisitor: A few inquisitors following mainland gods look after the interests of the dhosari people, acting as guardians and punishers of those who would oppress them.
Magus: The jealous erkunae would never let a dhosari practice their ancient art, and free dhosari would only do so to prove their disdain for erkunae traditions.
Monk: A trained dhosari monk is a truly terrifying sight, though there are few that have the mental
discipline for that path. A slave that knows the Dance of Arms is a prized possession on Erkusaa.
Oracle: Oracles are common among the dhosari, and typically conceal their ability from their masters; among free dhosari, they fill the role of clerics in other cultures, mostly choosing from the mysteries of Ancestor, Battle, Life, and Waves.
Paladin: Paladins are war-leaders among free dhosari, also acting as mediators with the other civilized races. They are among the few dhosari to experiment with heavy armor (see playtest note2).
Ranger: The erkunae have trained a few dhosari in beach-patrol skills, barely a token. Free dhosari are either animal hunters, or select humanoid (erkunae) as a favored enemy.
Rogue: Dhosari are rather too large to be effective rogues, taking penalties to Stealth and AC; some become quite effective with bows, even two bows, as a deadly sniper.
Rook: The innate power of rooks is attractive and enjoyable to the dhosari, who focus on concealing their forms and altering their appearance; the glamorspex schism is their favorite.
Sorcerer: Dhosari with inborn sorcerous power are closely watched, and sometimes culled while in captivity, and often serve as leaders of free dhosari. The bloodlines of Aberrant, Djinni, Maestro and Rakshasa are the most commonly manifested, though those of the Elemental bloodline are most prized by erkunae.
Summoner: Summoning is forbidden on Erkusaa, but outside of the erkunae’s influence, the dhosari are accomplished summoners. Their favorite eidolon is a medium humanoid that rides on them like a steed!
Witch: Those that follow the mysterious patrons of witchcraft are usually solitary dhosari that are searching for inner meaning. They favor the patrons of Animals, Occult, Spirit, and Water, and seem to enjoy avian familiars.
Wizard: Rarely given the opportunity for arcane study, when do become wizards they usually study Transmutation as a primary school.
Favored Class Alternatives
Instead of gaining an additional skill rank or hit point for gaining a level in a favored class, dhosari have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending on the favored class. The following options are available to all dhosari that have the listed favored class.
Bard: Add +1/2 on Bluff checks to pass secret messages, and +1/2 on Diplomacy checks to gather information.
Fighter: Add +1 to the fighter’s CMD when resisting a bull rush or a trip.
Monk: Add +1/3 to CMD.
Oracle: Add +1/2 to all Knowledge (History) and Spellcraft checks.
Paladin: Add +1/4 uses of smite evil.
Rook: Add one spell to the list of spells known. The spell must be one level lower than the highest level of spells the rook can cast.
Sorcerer: Add one spell to the list of spells known. The spell must be one level lower than the highest level of spells the sorcerer can cast.