Welcome to Ishior Week. Now, I know you might be asking yourself what in the hells an ishior is, and why we are spending a whole week on it. The ishior is a brand new race presented in this very article, and we’re spending a week to celebrate it and provide a bit of support for these new humanoids, so that you don’t choose to play one only to end up disappointed by a lack of tailored choices for your new character. Now that the explanations are out of the way, we can get to the meat of this article, a brand new race of small telekinetic humanoids—with antlers.
The ishior are a race of small humanoids with potent telekinetic powers. Though not actually psychic—lacking telepathy or the ability to manifest their thoughts as a physical sensation—all ishior have some ability to move physical objects through strength of will alone. In some individuals, this strength is far more pronounced. Because of their telekinetic powers and strange appearance, most mistake the ishior for monsters of fey or fiendish origins, while others believe they are a race of wizards. This has caused an undue strain on their relationships with other races, and can be chiefly blamed for their lack of interaction with the more common races.
Physical Description: In most respects, ishior resemble tiny, tightly muscled humans, and are distinguished from halflings and other small humanoid races chiefly by their horns or antlers, which they have in place of hair. An ishior’s antlers extend from his forehead with two straight prongs which each split into a forked pair about a foot from his head. Including their antlers, most ishior reach a height of over 4 feet. Though all ishior are tightly muscled, females tend to be larger and more powerfully built than the males, who sport larger, more developed horns. Ishior range greatly in skin color, and their skin tone tends to match that of humans within similar regions, leading some scholars to believe that the two races were once closely related. Ishior have red-brown eyes and blunt ears. Both male and female ishior have deep, rich voices, which many humans find disconcerting coming from creatures so small. Ishior reach adulthood at age 20 and typically live to reach 200 years.
Society: Ishior society seems wild to many humanoid races, helping to give rise to the myth that the ishior are themselves fey creatures, a fact many would find humorous if they knew of the bitter distrust between the ishior and the fair folk. Ishior tend to live in relatively small communities in wooded areas close to water, but far from seas. A typical ishior community features a half dozen large, cube-like houses made from mud bricks or bitumen supported by wooden or iron framework, allowing for larger open spaces. Each house might house 3 or 4 ishior families, each family generally consisting of a mated pair and 4-5 children. Upon reaching adulthood, these children are likely to select a mate from among the children of their housemates. When a household grows too large for the house to sustain them, the youngest families join together and set about building a new house to hold them and their kin, and in this way ishior villages grow over time to be quite large, thought the ishior’s love of space tends to mean that households are often built a good distance from each other. Each ishior village also shares a single massive farm, owned by the community and worked in shifts. During each productive season, 1/3 of the houses work, while the other houses spend the season at leisure. During the winter months, the entire village takes their ease.
Ishior communities always include a large gathering place, often nothing more than a natural clearing or spacious meadow where those who are not working can gather to enjoy each others’ good company and pursue pleasant hobbies. Ishior enjoy music and are fine singers, often accompanied by horn or violin. They also enjoy athletic competition, and they play a complex stick and ball game that none but their own race understands, and which one must be telekinetic to play. Ishior also enjoy honing their skill at arms and craftsmanship, so that they have something to offer, either in defense or in trade, in their dealings with any who would wander into their homes. Ishior combat features tactics which surprise most foes, and usually involve attacks by weapons wielded by mental force by concealed warriors, preceding one or more carefully coordinated ambush charges by surprisingly fierce and physical fighters armed with blades which are renowned for their sharpness and light weight. Ishior are also lovers of animals and keep small furry woodland creatures as cherished pets. Because they must keep their minds sharp to use their telekinetic powers, ishior generally abstain from drink, and consuming strong beverages is highly frowned upon by ishior communities.
Ishior leadership is handled by a council comprised of members from each household, which handles the rare situations which require unilateral decision making for the entire village. Typically such councils are called together when two ishior villages need to interact with each other or when the ishior village is faced with visitors of any kind. Usually travelers are welcomed into an ishior village, provided they either have something to offer the ishior, or don’t stay too long. Armed visitors are asked to leave their weapons with the council during their stay, except in the case that the ishior might need help.
Relations: Ishior have strained relations with most humanoid races due to the fact that they are often seen as monstrous or aloof. In fact, the ishior are a fairly welcoming people and get along well with their neighbors when given the chance. In a conflict not truly understood by either side, though ancient enough in origin to have been recorded in The Book of All, the ishior have a bitter dislike of fey, who in turn do not trust the ishior and often warn others against them.
Individual ishior tend to be outgoing, though they often have a mocking or acerbic senses of humor, and while they get along well with almost everyone, they are typically slow to form real friendships.
Alignment and Religion: Ishior have their own religion and believe in over 3,000 gods which govern existence in this world and beyond. The names of these deities are recorded in the sacred ishior text The Book of All, which describes each being and the circles it is responsible for. The ishior don’t worship these beings directly, however, believing them to be beyond the care of mortals; instead, they venerate saints and demiurges which intercede between the ishior and their gods to provide them with a better life. In some cases, this has led to the errant belief that ishior are ancestor worshipers or even demonic cultists, though close inspection quickly reveals this isn’t the case.
Ishior tend to be good-aligned, though the tendency is only slight, and neutral- and evil-aligned ishior are not terribly uncommon. Ishior live a wild lifestyle in an orderly and considerate way, and are thus as likely to be lawful as chaotic.
Adventurers: Ishior who long to leave the quiet life of home behind occasionally turn to adventuring, an act seen as contemptuous by their people, who generally feel that anyone who willingly leaves the village is abandoning their people and leaving them shorthanded on workers. Such ishior adventurers receive a cold welcome at best from other ishior they meet in their travels. Other ishior become adventurers after their homes are destroyed; ishior communities are more understanding of this, but still prefer that the ishior join their village rather than continue a life of dangerous adventure. However they come to the life, ishior adventurers tend to choose careers as bards, wizards, or as the swashbuckling ishior zephyrblade.
Male Names: Capeo, Dagi, Ipki, Matheo, Piki, Xap, Xoepi, Yagi.
Female Names: Bathu, Egea, Griu, Hithu, Liga, Xegea, Zuriu.
Standard Racial Traits
Ability Score Racial Traits: Ishior are nimble and powerful of mind but lack the health of other races. They gain +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, and -2 Constitution.
Size: Ishior are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their CMB and CMD, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Base Speed (Slow Speed): Ishior have a base land speed of 20 feet.
Languages: Ishior begin play speaking Common and Ishior. Ishior with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).
Skill Racial Traits
Ishior Lifestyle: The ishior lifestyle lends itself well to the practice of crafts and performance; as such, ishior gain a +2 bonus on a single Craft skill and a single Perform skill of their choice.
Senses Racial Traits
Low-Light Vision: Ishior see twice as well as humans in conditions of dim light.
Other Racial Traits
Telekinetic (Sp): Ishior are naturally telekinetic and can move things with their mind. An ishior can cast the spell mage hand as a spell-like ability at will. The caster level for these effects is equal to the ishior's level. Additionally, once per day the ishior can summon up a great reserve of telekinetic energy. This functions in a fashion similar to the spell unseen servant, except that the duration is always 1 minute, and the servant has a Strength score equal to the ishior’s level.