Today on Exotic Encounters, we head into the jungle for a close encounter with a tribe of strange, vegetative creatures called the akori. These strange characters represent the premier choice in plant-based player races. But that’s enough talking about it—check it out!
The akori is an odd, plant-like creature that dwells deep in remote places. Unique among plant creatures for their inherent connection to humanity, akori have little in common with other monstrous plants and in many ways serve as a sort of bridge between common humanoids and garden variety plants. Bizarre in shape and temperament, there is little doubt, however, that akori are far from the usual humanoid. These alien creatures rarely choose to interact on a large scale with other civilized races who cannot understand their culture, and thus it is uncommon to encounter an akori outside of the adventuring profession.
Physical Description: Akori are truly strange to behold. Their bodies are made from soft stem- or vine-like cords covered with large green leaves wrapped tightly around each other, forming a large stalk roughly 5 feet tall. Lacking legs or feet, the akori is propelled by a mass of root-like vines at the base of the stalk. At the center of the stalk, two sets of 10 long grassy appendages serve as a combination of fingers and arms and allows the akori to manipulate objects in much the same way a human does, though with twice as many fingers, given that the akori lack specialized thumbs. At the top of the stalk, amid a crown of large, fern-like leaves is the akori's head, which consists of a small mouth for digesting food and a single large eye which is adapted for seeing in both the light and the dark. Akori speak with shrill and reedy voices.
Society: Akori society is as odd as their physical appearance and is completely alien to those members of other civilizations who come into contact with it. Strangely enough, the most common thing to confuse or baffle observers is that the akori are completely genderless. Akori reproduce asexually and thus have no concept of gender within their isolated communities. Akori adventurers often find the idea that akori should assume a gender role confusing, if novel, and rarely do so unless they spend extensive time out in the world. As a result, there are no gendered pronouns in the akori language (such as he/she or him/her) and all people are referred to by name, or by “akori” followed by some descriptor.
The akori also do not need many of the same things humans and other races do: they need not hunt for food as the sun alone provides adequate nourishment, and they are well adapted to living in a wide variety of harsh environments, meaning that the struggle for survival is effortless for the akori. Driven neither by a need to reproduce nor eat, akori are occupied with their comfort and with their curiosity. Akori cities occupy vast caverns under harsh and often rather poisonous jungles, and feature great buildings constructed from giant nutshells and the exoskeletons of monstrous vermin. Great crystalline structures provide constant sources of bright, nourishing light to keep the akori healthy and happy. In addition to this, akori cities often contain vast insect farms which breed new and ever-changing varieties of bug for the akori to feast upon. Akori curiosity drives them to try all sorts of things, ranging from the innocent and benign to the truly depraved and twisted.
Relations: Most civilized races ignore the akori for the simple lack of knowing that they are there. When a member of a civilized race does encounter an akori, he tends to think of the strange creature as a monster, and so violence is the most common outcome of akori interactions with other races. Akori never come to fully trust members of other races; failing to understand them on any real level, they only very rarely try. That being said, simple curiosity or mutual interest make akori excellent, if somewhat fickle, allies.
Alignment and Religion: Nearly all akori are some kind of neutral alignment, with true neutral being the most common alignment. The akori outlook is wildly different from that of the rest of the world, and their society embraces all akori regardless of their motivations, so long as their actions are not detrimental to theirsociety at large. Thus a neutral evil akori who performed a vivisection on a dwarf in front of its family in order to see their reactions would not be looked down upon in their society, any more than one who spent all their time giving money to human churches in order to see if things would really improve as a result. An akori who attacked another akori, however, would be ostracized from akori society at the very least.
Almost all akori worship nature, and they have a strong druidic traditions focusing on reverence for plant life, particularly for intelligent plants, which surely are nature’s greatest wonder. A handful of akori adopt religions from other lands, though this is viewed as strange and unwelcome.
Adventurers: Akori adventurers are most often curious about the world, and find that their curiosity is difficult or impossible to satisfy in a controlled setting. Most akori adventurers are druids or rangers, favoring careers that expand nature’s influence and championing the causes of plants everywhere.
Names: Aestivalis, Argostemma, Athemis, Chloria, Cyanus, Florian, Gypsophil, Purpurea, Rhan, Viloa.
Standard Racial Traits
Defense Racial Traits
Resistant to Poison (Ex): An akori’s plant-like body makes it highly resistant to poisons that affect most other humanoids, granting it a +4 bonus on saving throws made to resist the harmful effects of poison.
Hearty (Ex): An akori’s vegetative body makes it resistant to many of the woes of humanoid creatures, granting it a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws made to resist sleep, stunning, and paralysis effects.
Other Racial Traits
Modular Body (Ex): All akori have one of three body types which grant it additional abilities. Once chosen, the type of body modification cannot be changed, except through magic which would alter the akori’s body (such as an alter self or reincarnate spell). The three body forms are flowering, bark, and creepers, and have the following characteristics:
Bark (Ex): An akori with the bark body form is covered in a dense bark that serves as a natural armor. This grants a +1 natural armor bonus to AC.
Creepers (Ex): An akori with the creepers body form has a body covered in mobile vines designed for slowly climbing up structures. Akori with this body type gain a climb speed of 10 feet.
Flowering (Ex): A flowering akori is covered in colorful flowers which exude a sweet scent. These flowers give the akori a pleasant appearance and put those who smell the akori at ease, granting the akori a +2 bonus on all Charisma-based skill checks.
Light-Nourished (Ex): An akori draws its sustenance and much of its power from the surrounding light. In areas of normal light, the akori is constantly sustained and becomes immune to the fatigued and exhausted conditions (an akori that already has the fatigued or exhausted condition recovers from that condition in 1/4 the normal amount of time as long as it is in an area of normal or brighter light). Additionally, so long as an akori spends at least 8 hours per day in areas of normal or brighter light, it does not need to eat, though it still must consume water. In areas of bright light, an akori is further empowered, gaining a+1 racial bonus on all ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws. Conversely, an akori is weakened in areas of darkness. Whenever an akori is in an area of darkness, he suffers a -1 penalty on all attack and damage rolls. Additionally, an akori who spends at least 24 hours in an area of darkness becomes exhausted.