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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.
    Most Heimrohar descend from the union of dead spirits, given corporeal and life-like existence due to the strange magic of Larenmorn. Others are born from encounters between the same life-like dead and the truly living. Nearly all descend from unions among those once or presently human. Lerether sages and dwarven priests say it is because humans live too quickly to appreciate the peace of death and often seek ways to avoid departure to the afterlife, while the longer lived races embrace and fear not the end of their lives because they understand the immortality of their spirits better. Whatever the case, non-human Heimrohar are a curiosity, often those born to a strange destiny or of unusual circumstance.
    As time has passed there are now generations of Heimrohar. While some have taken living partners rather than other Heimrohar, when a child is born of such a union they are never half-Heimrohar, they are either fully kin to their race or they are fully Heimrohar.


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 When the world bears down upon them or in moments of intoxicated weakness they may wax philosophical or withdrawn.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 men and women grow to a height typical of their parents. For a Heimrohar of human ancestry, this means that men are typically between five-and-one-half to six feet tall and women average a few inches shorter. Roll 3d6+60 inches for a male Heimrohar of human ancestry’s height or 3d6+56 for a women’s height.
    Heimrohar mature as quickly as is normal for their ancestors, but enjoy lengthy lifespans of nearly perpetually youthful appearance, oft twice what one might expect for their mortal ancestor. A Heimrohar who does not die of violence eventually chooses the time of their death. They describe it as a pulling sensation in their mind, a slow departure of mortal senses, a spiritual detachment which develops between them and the world of the living. Eventually the lure of these sensations grows strong enough that the Heimrohar simply releases their spirit from their body and peacefully expires.


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.
    Elfin races and fey find particular discomfort in the presence of a Heimrohar, many believing that such beings have little place in the world. Heimrohar of elfin descent are outcasts, even further removed from their kin than half-elves.
    Dwarves see Heimrohar as an uncomfortable paradox, being neither living, nor dead, nor undead; yet they usually judge them as individuals. Like other dwarves, ancestry favors strongly into one’s status and many Heimrohar are descended from warriors and heroes who fought against the demon hordes of Titalus, in the battle during which the realm of Larenmorn was birthed. While dwarves see their “condition” as some small misfortune, they cannot deny that many Heimrohar were born from men and women who honorably fought and died for the good of the world.
    Heimrohar of other ancestry are exceedingly rare and often accepted or cast-out from their living ancestors and kin based on what beliefs in the afterlife their relatives hold dear. For example, Heimrohar who travel among the Haruninki, Lupinal, or Oruli might find the warmest welcome from these deeply spiritual races.


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.
    In the wake of Larenmorn’s creation, the Lerether of Greentree took exodus and left those lands. The few Daernarthor clans of dwarves settled into their mountain strongholds for they feared not the new proximity of Arndhull, the Land of the Dead. The other civilizations that dwelt in those lands either adapted to the way things were or left in search of new homes.
    Today, Larenmorn is the strangest of lands, split into fiefdoms and led by cunning and charismatic spirits of the dead who mastered the arts of rulership in ages past. Those who are truly dead cannot leave Larenmorn, yet in those lands the dead live eternal corporeal lives with all the delights of a living body, yet few of its sorrows. They can feel every emotion and experience exquisite mortal sensations, but fear naught of disease, infirmity, or harm. They can even couple with the living and give birth to new life, from whence derives the ancestry of most half-dead. Among them dwell the living, drawn to the opportunities, exotic environs, awakened ancestors, or to escape from their own deaths.


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

  • +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Strength: Heimrohar have an unearthly grace, like a ghost, and an inherited sense of the ways of the world. They are not frail, but physical prowess does not come easily to them.
  • Medium: Nearly all Heimrohar are born from human ancestors, living and dead. Whether their parentage was one from among the dead and one of the living, two Heimrohar, or one of the Heimrohar and one of the living matters not. Although unions between Heimrohar and human often result in fully human offspring, when the offspring from such a union is gifted with the touch of the dead, they are fully Heimrohar. Although rare, Heimrohar descended from other races may differ in size, but little else.
  • Normal Speed: Heimrohar have a base speed of 30 feet unless their size would determine otherwise.
  • Low-Light Vision: In darkness, all things effervesce a ghostly light to the eyes of a Heimrohar which fades with distance, but allows them to see twice as far as humans in conditions of poor illumination.
  • Heimrohar Immunities: Heimrohar are immune to fear effects.
  • Ancestry of the Dead: Heimrohar gain a +2 racial bonus against all effects with the Death or Mind-Affecting descriptor.
  • Faded: When a Heimrohar is still or silent it has a near perfect quality, a stillness that suggests eternity and an ancient settled state, a silence like the depths of a barrow. Heimrohar gain a +2 racial bonus to all Stealth (hide/move-silently) skill checks. A Heimrohar can always choose Stealth as a class skill in lieu of another class skill.
  • Spiritual Medium: A Heimrohar can Speak With Dead. This supernatural ability functions identically to the spell by the same name. The Heimrohar can pose up to three questions in a 24 hour period. They may ask three questions of the same dead being or one question of three different dead beings.
  • Favored Class: The favored class of the half-dead is rogue or ranger. This choice must be made at 1st level and cannot be changed.