*The Adhene are a playable race for the D&D game that can be easily dropped into virtually any campaign setting that runs d20 (and you can mod them to work with 5th-edition without too much work, too). They’re based on Celtic mythology and are appropriate for virtually any high fantasy setting. If you’re interested in more information about the campaign world they’re from, check out The Lost Codices, available here:
my books on sellfy
If you’re not sure what all this tabletop RPG stuff is all about, check out my series “Get a LIF2,” featured on this blog.*
“Philosophy will clip an angel’s wings.”
Long ago, when the world was new, the Adhene (Ad-en-ay) fell from the favor of the Elder Gods and were cast down to Eos, where they tumbled into the Dreaming. Today, they live in the shadows of human settlements, mysterious and enigmatic, often finding work as craftsmen, sages, scholars, and problem-solvers. Great tempters of mortals, the Adhene are never far from their roots as instruments of chaos and desire, ever seeking to draw others with them. Whether loved or feared, the Dark Fae are always agents of change. Adhene see themselves as distinct from the Elves and resent comparisons. While their origins are similar, their outlooks and culture are radically different from the forest-dwelling fae.
The Adhene are a capable, intelligent, and industrious people with great natural talent for invention, storytelling, art, and poetry. Unlike the Elves, they thrive in urban centers and love social settings, though they rarely rise to any position of great authority within their social circles. Prejudice and distrust toward them tends to limit their advancement, but their reputations as mysterious and powerful strangers tempt many rulers to invite them into their private counsels.
Drawn to magic and spellcasting, they see in the Art the secrets of the universe itself. Whereas most Humans see magic as a collection of tools or tricks, Adhene Sorcerers and Wizards think of themselves as the initiates of a wondrous mystery.
Adhene are the quintessential tall, dark, and handsome strangers who captivate many with their charms. A typical Adhene stands roughly the height of a man, with dark olive or dusky skin. Their eyes are perhaps their most striking feature: they glow when the Adhene is impassioned, often fiery red, golden, blood-orange, or brilliant blue. Adhene are often mistaken for humans at first glance, but their distinctive eyes, musical language, and exotic countenances quickly give them away.
The Adhene have somewhat of a bad reputation, whether deserved or not, and many distrust them on sight. Others find this irresistible. Many has been the blushing bride to be seduced just before her wedding by a mysterious stranger with flashing eyes and a hint of danger in his voice. For their part, Adhene females tend to have huge circles of suitors, each one vying for her affections, and quickly become known as heart-breakers.
Chaotic Neutral. The temptation of mortals is in the blood of every Adhene; they tend strongly toward chaos, with equal numbers of malevolent, neutral, and relatively benign individuals.
No organized Adhene nations exist in Eos, but they can be found in positions of influence in most civilized lands. They are much more likely to be found near civilization, among crowds and near to resources, than in the wilderness. Adhene architecture tends to be practical without being completely spare; straight lines, muted colors, and unobtrusive adornments predominate.
While they make an exhaustive study of religion, few of them follow a given one closely, preferring to pick and choose aspects of different faiths they like. Those who do follow a given god often turn to Malicia, Dark Queen of the Fae.
These enigmatic beings speak their own tongue, Adhenian, a flowing and beautiful language thought to be derived from Celestial. They also speak the common tongue. Their speech has little connection to Elvish and the two are mutually unintelligible, but speakers of Celestial or Sylvan can sometimes follow bits and pieces of Adhenian.
Most of these beings have some amount of magical talent; their high Charisma and penchant for spellcasting make Adhene natural Sorcerers and Bards. They will often multiclass as Rogues or Fighters in order to take advantage of their other abilities (namely their combat training vs. humanoid creatures), and they typically have access to a vast number of skills and feats to match any situation.
Adhene Racial Traits
- +2 to Charisma, -2 to Wisdom. Adhene are charming, sensual, and dangerously attractive, but also capricious and untrustworthy.
- MEDIUM: As Medium creatures, Adhene have no special bonuses or penalties based on their size.
- FAVORED CLASS: Sorcerer
- SPEED: An Adhene’s base land speed is 30’.
- MORTAL BANE: An Adhene gains a +1 racial bonus to attack rolls when fighting Humans, Elves, and Dwarves (and racial variants with those base types). Adhene have extensive training against these foes.
- DREAMSIGHT: Adhene can see using the life forces of other intelligent creatures. Every intelligent (INT 3 or more) living creature within 20’ (not including themselves or other Adhene) gives off radiance equivalent to a torch only they can see. The light shed by Dreamsight can extend past the 20’ limit, meaning that it’s possible to see up to around 40’ using this power. Since Undead and other non-mortal beings don’t give off this living light, Dreamsight can also be used as a de facto Detect spell for an alert character.
- TEMPTATION: Add +1 to the DC to resist any Enchantment spell cast by an Adhene.
- DISBELIEF: An Adhene gains a +2 racial bonus to save against Illusions and is immune to Enchantment (Charm) effects.
- MASTER CRAFTSMAN: When crafting an item where the DC is at least 20, the Adhene can make the roll twice, taking the better result.
- SOCIAL DYNAMICS: An Adhene gains a +2 racial bonus to Bluff and Sense Motive skill checks. They have an intuitive understanding of the ways of mortals.
- GLAMOUR: An Adhene with a Charisma score of at least 11 can use Charm Person as a spell-like power 1/day. The save DC against this ability is 10 plus ½ the Adhene’s level plus its Charisma bonus (if positive).
- AUTOMATIC LANGUAGES: Common and Adhenian. Bonus Languages: Celestial, Draconic, Dwarven, Elvish, Sylvan.
*Comments? Ideas about how to improve game balance? Leave me a comment below*