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Psychic Warrior by Sam Wood

A primarily sea-faring race, maenads are a dichotomy. To outsiders, they appear to be extremely reserved, yet they are rumored to be exceptionally emotional. Both sides are actually true. As a race, maenads must maintain control over their internal emotional turmoil, except when they unleash these bottled-up emotions in powerful displays. Born with raging emotions that threaten to tear their psyche apart unless properly controlled, maenads do not know why they have these powerful emotions warring within them. Their legends speak of being wronged by an ancient deity that the maenads revolted against and overthrew, resulting in the emotional curse they maintain to date. Maenads have a proclivity to martial studies, as it gives an outlet for their bottled emotions.

Racial OriginsEdit

Maenads were once human.  Oh it's true, they were at one time, human. They were stone age hunter and gatherers living on the Continent, amid virgin forest and virgin growth, eking out an existence. They lived a simple life, putting bones into ostuaries and worshiping the spirits through a religion called Atraru.  However everything changed when someone woke up a lich.

That lich found a crystal in a lake with which it could try to take over the whole region and form an Empire as great as one of the early Empires that it fled from. The crystal responded to emotions, and can cause things to happen according to the emotion near it.  Or so the Maenad legend says.

However, the people, in order to preserve their freedom, fought against this lich and their emotions of anger and indignation overwhelmed the Crystal, causing it to explode in a spectacular fashion that was not unlike an atomic bomb.  The lich perished in the blast, but tiny pieces of the crystal came down as fallout.  The psionic fallout made a lot of people sick.  First from radiation sickness and next to trying to get the crystal out of their bodies by excreting it through the skin.  The first generation of adults were almost wiped out by the fallout.  The children were next, but some of the children developed a resistance to the psionic crystal. In about five generations, the ability to create psychic crystals in the skin was developed and the first Maenads were born. Eventually, the race gravitated to the sea and became seafarers almost as great as the Phoenicians.

SocietyEdit

As a primarily sea-faring race, maenads tend to live either in coastal regions, or on islands and archipelagos. The nature of the ocean tends to soothe the internal turmoil of the maenad mind, for the calm waters that can turn to a deadly tidal wave are something to which a maenad can relate. As a result, much of maenad society revolves around the ocean: fishing, sailing, and swimming are the main activities of a maenad society. Most maenad villages tend to be no larger than a few hundred residents. Many maenads turn to tradition and ritual as ways to control their emotions. In some villages, this ritualization can take over, where every aspect of life is defined by a ritual that must be followed, although this sort of extreme situation is uncommon among the race as a whole.

RelationshipsEdit

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A maenad psychic warrior participates in a battle.

Maenads are typically distant towards other races, although they are most comfortable with humans, who have various temperaments that are not very different from their own. The open emotions of halflings, gnomes, and xephs confuse maenads, who have a hard time understanding living in such a capricious and carefree fashion. Elven society flows at a good pace for most maenads, and the lightness of being soothes a maenad's spirit,. While the dwarves are often civilized, their brazen ways, physical tendencies, and love of drink tend to be off-putting for maenaeds, although they respect the dwarves' ability to hold a grudge. Maenads view the violent dispositions of half-orcs and half-giants as a good excuse to channel their emotions in combat, but recognize that they should partake in such events sparingly.

Alignment and ReligionEdit

Maenads prefer to worship gods of dichotomy to represent the dual nature of the maenads' emotion. Most maenads are lawful, seeing the structure of rules as helpful toward maintaining composure and self-control. Generally, they seek to help others also maintain their own self-control, and have a tendency toward good alignment as a result.

Racial TraitsEdit

  • +2 to one ability score: Maenads gain a +2 bonus to one ability score chosen at creation, to represent their varied nature.
  • Medium: Maenads are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Maenads have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Naturally Psionic: Maenads gain the Wild Talent feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. If a maenad takes levels in a psionic class, he instead gains the Psionic Talent feat.
  • Maenad Psionics: Maenad gain the following psi-like ability. 1/day—energy ray. A maenad can deal only sonic damage with this ability. It is accompanied by a tremendous scream of rage. The manifester level is equal to 1/2Hit Dice (minimum 1st). The DC for this power is equal to 10 + the power's level + the maenad's Charismamodifier.
  • Sonic Affinity: Maenads add a +1 to the DC of any spell or power with the sonic descriptor.
  • Outburst: Maenads can dampen their mental processes for an increase in raw power called an outburst. As a result, they take a -2 penalty to Intelligence and Wisdom but gain a +2 bonus to Strength. The character must spend one power point at the beginning of each round during an outburst and may stop an outburst at any time.
  • Inner Rage: Maenads are able to rage one additional round per day should they have the rage ability and they gain an additional round per day every odd character level. In addition to using these rounds for rage, maenads may use them to fuel their outburst, instead of power points.
  • Ordered Rage: Maenads may take levels in the barbarian class even if they are of the lawful alignment.
  • Natural Sailors: Maenads have a +2 bonus to Swim and Profession (sailor) checks. In addition, they gain a +2 bonus to Acrobatics and Climb checks made on sailing ships.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Maenads are proficient with flails. Maenads treat any weapon with the word “maenad” in the name as a martial weapon rather than an exotic one.
  • Psionic Aptitude: When a maenad takes a level in a favored class, he can choose to gain an additional power point instead of a hit point or skill point.
  • Languages: Maenads begin play speaking Common and Maenad. Maenads with high Intelligence scores can choose can choose from the following: Aquan, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, and Goblin.

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