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Heimrohar, the Half-Dead
The first to name them were the Lerether elves, who called them the Heimrohar. Colloquially they are called the Half-Dead, creatures born from the union between a spirit or other undead creature and a living being.
Heimrohar express themselves with care, hiding their emotions from strangers. They are not dour or shy, but cautious. The world looks upon them with no small amount of superstition. Among friends their true and individual personalities show through. They can be fiercely independent and self-reliant, but few display a desire for leadership until they have become secure in their strengths and feel they have risen above the common dangers of the world. Many reveal a wry sense of humor and an appreciation for irony in the company of friends. When the world bears down upon them or in moments of intoxicated weakness they may wax philosophical or withdrawn. They can be reliable and stalwart companions or the most tenacious and wicked of enemies.
At a glance, the Heimrohar could pass as humans, but a second look and clearly they are not. The features of the Heimrohar are as a human with the hard edges worn away, their skin without blemish or wrinkle. Their facial features are smoother and less pronounced. They tend to be hauntingly slender, although with effort one can become obese. Heimrohar have a washed out complexion, not truly pale, but faded. They are fair-haired, corn-silk blond, gray, or faint browns. There is a strange stillness to them when they are at rest.
Heimrohar do not make many close friendships, but remain true and hold closely to those who befriend them. Many mistake the empty gaze of their eyes for detachment or disinterest, but to know a Heimrohar well it is best to judge them by their actions. The stereotype is that Heimrohar are secretive and contemplative; the truth is that most who live beyond the magic of Larenmorn struggle to find their place in society and their initially cautious demeanor is a trait they learn to protect themselves from the suspicious and fully-living.
The Heimrohar tend towards neutrality or chaos, but from there, moral and ethical traits vary wildly, often influenced by the circumstances of their birth, their ancestry, and how far they have traveled from Larenmorn. Heimrohar tend to value personal relationships more than the law of the land.
In a lost time, the lich-lord Saulos crafted a device to further his mad schemes, and by murdering every living thing in its kingdom, the lich was able to capture enough energy to steal a fraction of divine power from the deity called Qo. In AC12892, in a land shared by the eternal elfin nation of Greentree and what was once the Kingdom of Arend, the creation of Saulos reappeared, this time as a tool of power to bridge the gap between the mortal world and Balbros so that Titalus, the Torment of Slavery, could pass through. During an epic battle, the device’s power was awakened and its mighty magic was released, not into the portal that Titalus craved, but raw upon the land, forever bringing the Land of Restless Dead, the Ethereal Realm, much closer to the mortal world. The result of this event allowed mortals and the spirits of the dead to touch and interact on a scale never before possible. Loved ones reunited and as it became clear that the effect was permanent, new economies and social orders came to be in the land now called Larenmorn. The Heimrohar are the children of this land and its people, born from spirits who live corporeal lives and who mix among the living who have come to dwell in Larenmorn. They live with “one toe in the grave,” somewhere between the living and the dead, yet just ever slightly more among the living.
Those Heimrohar who are close to their deceased ancestor and who embrace religion are often passionate about the cause of their deity and unshakeable in their faith, but those separated by generations from the touch of death upon their family tree are as diverse as any other mortal in the strength of their faith. Some half-dead come easily by their faith, drawn to great purpose by the spiritual testament that wells within them. Others profess a cynical skepticism of the gods until late in their lives when they begin to feel the first gentle calls of the afterlife. Most feel just as threatened by the aspirations of Zhakrin as they feel alienated by worshipers of Arden, both religions leaning to extremes of the corporeal state that the Heimrohar bridge half-way. Likewise, Baeast and Chishleen embody the living world so strongly that many half-dead feel they cannot share fully in the spiritual experience that these deities offer to other mortals. The mysticism of Shistar is a lure to some, as are deities who profess ethics over the world like Lathidus or a lack thereof like Azhull, deities whose call to action focuses on the present, not upon the afterlife.
The Heimrohar are a race without a heritage language to call their own, but many speak Arendish, that being the tongue of the human settled lands closest to Larenmorn. Others speak ancient tongues and dialects passed down to them from out of time by their deceased ancestors who have come to taste the pleasures of "life" in the present once more. For many, this means an understanding of the ancient tongue of Arnor, but others know languages even further forgotten to time.
Most Heimrohar borrow names from the people of the Arend. Among men these are strong names like Aiduric, Bedarac, Culimar, Eringar, Fedwrin, Olvamir, Regibald, Sidrand, Sarduf, Travirus, or Withelm. Women’s names are poetic, such as Aelynn, Arryann, Clanet, Jaynie, Jolyn, Nealine, Nikena, Rhinnion, or Valery.
As beings born from extraordinary circumstance, the Heimrohar easily take to the extraordinary lifestyle of adventuring. Plumbing the depths of tombs, acquiring relics forgotten to time and unearthing ancient history fulfills a certain primal need that many feel to connect to the past while the thrill of conflict and exciting danger of the lifestyle gives them a sense of being alive that is even more intoxicating than the adrenaline rush that many adventurers savor. Heimrohar rogues, rangers, and warlocks are common trades. When adventure calls to the half-dead they tend to take best to adventurer roles that borrow from the fringes of society.
Heimrohar Racial Traits