Duruban

The sixth race of humen created by the saldrash, duruban were intended to serve at the feet of their creators. However, something amiss occurred in their creation that fouled not just their physical appearance but also darkened their souls as a race. So the saldrash would try their hand one final time with the sapien race. Once a prevalent force in Drm, not a single duruban has been seen in the continent-realm for 500 years.

Personality: Duruban referred to themselves as the “Duron,” or the “True.” Duruban were known for their extreme xenophobia and their hatred for all other sentient lives. As a race, duruban were almost schizophrenic. An individual duruban was prone to nervousness if not outright fear when confronted by others beyond his clan or race, tapping his bony fingertips together anxiously. He would avoid all physical contact and generally would not meet the eyes of others. When surrounded by their kind during encounters with other races, duruban were very arrogant and hostile, often attacking without provocation. Those few who encountered them in their own subterranean cities found that they were extremely excitable, self-centered racists who spend a great deal of time celebrating the eventual destruction of all other races. Cities were said to be massive spectacles of religious art dedicated to the eventual ascension of the duruban race. Although duruban valued strength in numbers when interacting with the outside world, they valued their independence among each other, doing all they could to show individual superiority within a group.

While the duruban were known to war among themselves, many non-duruban found it difficult to determine distinct sub-groups or ethnicities within the race. During the few hundred years before their disappearance, the duruban had apparently given up war as the preferred means of their ascension and some groups found ways to overcome their xenophobia enough to trade and interact with other races. Males and females appeared to be roughly equal in status. Although self-centered, it was a proven fact that duruban would sacrifice their lives to save their young, even if a child was a stranger, believing that the perpetuation of the race was extremely important. Although evil, duruban did not keep non-duruban slaves unless they planned on sacrificing them to one of their gods, and they never tortured their victims, finding such activity tasteless and too bloody.

Duruban were omnivorous, but had a preference for vegetables and grains.

Physical Description: From a distance, it was easy to mistake a duruban from a lightly armored sapien. Like sapiens, duruban tended to stand between 5’3’’ and 6’ in height and rarely weighed more than 190 lbs. Proportionately, they were very similar to sapiens; however, closer examination was not required for one to notice a number of significant differences. All duruban moved with an odd stiffness that reminds one of the affliction known as severe arthritis. Duruban were completely hairless and their skin stretched over their bones like dry, wrinkleless, burnished leather; the skin tended to be a rich yellow-brown, although darker colors like reddish-brown were not uncommon. Duruban muscles appeared atrophied (although their strength was not affected) and the only fat on their bodies seemed to collect in their mid-sections. The ends of their hands and feet ended in hard, horn-like growths similar to claws; these were generally filed down to the point of being useless in combat. Duruban faces betrayed no discernable emotion due to a lack of elasticity and their eyes, over-shadowed by heavy brows, ranged in color from pale yellows to dark, murky reds. In place of noses, they had slight ridges under which were two small nostrils. Their teeth were naturally sharp and very hard, but the duruban had taken to filing them down as they did their “claws.” The tops of their heads, their spinal column, and the point where their jaws connected to the skull were lined with bony, horn-like ridges. Males tended to have very long jaw-spines and chin-spines while females had long, curving horns on the tops of their heads. Both genders had taken to allowing these horns to grow and had discovered ways to shape them into elaborate designs; however, the horns were too brittle for use in combat. Due to the way their skin stretched across their bodies, joints visibly protruded and ended in spine-like protrusions; while the males let these grow to significant lengths (a foot or so) to attract mates, females filed these protrusions down.

Duruban attire was very elaborate and designed to showcase their spiny ridges. Their clothing possessed angular cuts and were usually made from leather or specially cured furs and pelts. Duruban preferred reds, oranges, and yellows to other colors. Duruban liked gloves and other hand-coverings and preferred close-toed, yet supple, shoes and boots.

Duruban had shorter lives than any other race, typically 45 years since the Age of Glory until their disappearance. In the distant past, they used to live longer, perhaps to 90 or 100. They blamed the existence of other races for their declining years.

Relations: Duruban hated all races. While the Cilidian offers a variety of explanations as to why, most scholars believe that this hate was simply inbred in the race as a whole. Still, the duruban were capable of interacting with different races to varying degrees. Duruban held a special hatred for elves, viewing them as unruly deviants. Elves returned this hatred in kind, frightened by the almost palpable force of duruban disdain. Duruban detested chirpto, dwarves, and hobgoblins in equal capacity and avoided having anything to do with them beyond limited trade arrangements and then only when absolutely necessary to their survival. Some duruban societies did work with hobgoblin and chirpto nations in the past to great effect, especially during The Darkhold. While duruban had no qualms about killing or harming them when they traveled through their territory, they generally left the kin alone unless provoked. Duruban interacted with sapiens more than any other race because they suspected that they had more in common with sapiens than with the other Humen. Duruban developed a kind of grudging respect for sapiens despite their frequent wars with the greatest sapien civilizations. Of all the other humen races, duruban interacted with sapiens the most.

Of the non-humen races, duruban had a special antipathy for gnomes and routinely hunted them. Unfortunately for the duruban, gnomish magic and wit often resulted in duruban hunters getting severely injured or killed.

Alignment: Almost to the last, duruban were Neutral Evil. They valued personal independence but believed in the perpetuation of the race at the expense of all other races. They were paranoid to a fault and, as such, most duruban societies had strict laws regarding privacy and stricter punishments for failing to adhere to such laws. Duruban were filled with hate for other races and, earlier in their histories, this hate spread to duruban of different clans or religious affiliations. This hatred was so intense that it consumed every aspect of duruban society. While there were quite a few Chaotic Evil and Lawful Evil duruban, there were a fair number Lawful Evil duruban that played roles in “normalizing” relations with other races. If duruban of other alignments existed, they were never encountered by outsiders.

Religion: Duruban worshipped a pantheon of gods including the Aldra Arcanu, Malvolans, and their chief deity, Masteronus, the god of hate and fire. Since their disappearance, the only god known to still exist within the pantheon is Malvolans.

Languages: Duruban spoke their own tongue called “Duron.” Duron was a very formal, aggressive language that nevertheless had a poetic rhythm. It was relatively easy to learn largely because there were plenty of words to describe negative attitudes and feelings with great detail and conversely few to describe happiness, pleasure, and softer concerns. Most duruban avoided dealing with other Humen and thus never learn other tongues; those that did learned Common or Hobgoblin.

Names: Duruban names tended to be consonant-heavy and rarely had any intrinsic meaning behind them. In fact, some would argue that duruban names were made up based upon what sounds pleasant to the parents’ ear. Furthermore, since the attitude was that children are shared by a community, last names are based upon the overarching state to which the parents identify. Renowned duruban often had monikers attached to their names; oddly, it was unusual for duruban to name their children after well-regarded duruban, viewing such an act as offensive and presumptuous.

The major difference between female and male names tended to be a long or soft “a;” females usually had it while males do not.
Male Names: Budrll, Kivvd, Ooth-Voth, Sorl’S, Zurs

Female Names: Allr, Dsral, L’Ral, N’Rac, Taallk

Adventurers: When duruban adventured, it was almost unheard for them to do in the company of other races due to their racial xenophobia. Adventuring, for a duruban, revolved around their almost religious fervor to destroy all other races. As such, in the distant past, duruban were among the most experienced humanoid beings one could expect to encounter. Duruban of these times adventured in order to kill as many non-duruban as possible, often slaughtering entire elven and sapien hamlets and towns of possible. However, as time progressed and duruban aggression forced their allies to unite against them, duruban slowly lost this unique status. By the end of The Darkhold, duruban only traveled from their cities for trade. Those that traveled under mercantile pursuits were those most likely to have anything resembling an adventure.

Regions: Duruban tended to live in flat plain lands, although they are capable of adapting to other environments, and favored semi-subterranean lifestyles. The duruban often built about 2/5 of their cities above ground while the rest were subterranean, further distancing themselves from other races. Most duruban competed with elves and sapiens for space in the Vast and the Wynding River Valley.

Duruban Racial Traits
• Duruban moved in a halting, stiff fashion, suffering a -2 racial penalty to their Dexterity.
• Duruban were extremely inquisitive and philosophical, benefiting from a +2 racial bonus to their Intelligence.
• Duruban had difficulty interacting well with other races, even if it was in their best interest to do so. That, coupled with their inability to see beyond the “black and white” of their culture, resulted in a -2 racial penalty to Wisdom.
• Duruban hated all other races with almost palpable force, suffering a -2 racial penalty to Charisma.
• Duruban possess a racial proficiency with shortbows, longbows, composite shortbows, composite longbows and any traditional ranged weapon.
• In situations in which they out number adversary hit dice by half, duruban were immune to compulsion and fear spells.
• Duruban received a +2 racial bonus to Will saves against spells or effects from the school of enchantment.
• The leathery skin of the duruban made them resistant to fire and heat-based attacks. Duruban possessed fire resistance 10.
• The leathery skin of the Duruban was resilient, granting them a +2 bonus to their natural armor.
• Duruban possessed low-light vision.
• Automatic Languages: Common and Duron.
• Favored Class: Wizard (evoker)
• Level adjustment +1. Duruban were more powerful than most races; when determining a duruban character’s effective character level, it is equal to his hit dice +1.

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