Biata Race Packet
“We carry the burden of history, so that no one may forget.”
Biata are a race with a deep affinity to Earth Magic and a wounded, but healing relationship to Celestial Magic. Feathers grow from above their eyes and reveal not only their personality and temperament, but a distant relation to creatures of old. Along with a life expectancy spanning millennia, Biata have Mental Abilities that allow them to defend and disrupt command magic, as well as allow them to access, store, and change their own memories and those of other willing participants. Biata society is built around repositories of memory created by their ancestors. In contact with members of other races, Biata seek to be leaders and advisors, having witnessed generations of triumphs and failures in the shorter lived races of Fortannis
Make up, Prosthetics, and Roleplay
All Biata must have feathered eyebrows and often grow feathers in their hair as well. This can be done by either gluing feathers directly to the player’s forehead, on or slightly above the eyebrows, or adhering them to another object that allows the feathers to rest in the appropriate location. Sometimes, older Biata may also grow talons on one hand. These talons are decorative in nature and cannot be used as a weapon; it is merely a feathered glove with long claw-like fingernails. For Biata, colors indicate emotions. The colors of a Biata’s feathers relate to the Biata’s personality. The colors can change over time as their personality develops. Biata may have more than one color feather at a time, but no more than three:
Black: Disciplined / Dedicated / Orderly
Blue: Calm / Peaceful / Relaxed
Brown: Guarded / Observant / Vigilant
Gray: Passive / Kind / Detached
Green: Hateful / Jealous / Cruel
Orange: Unyielding / Firm / Rigid
Purple: Intellectual / Calculating / Severe
Red: Angry / Passionate / Ferocious
Tan: Practical / Efficient / Materialistic
White: Mischievous / Impulsive / Temperamental
Yellow: Trusting / Devoted / Loyal
All Biata experience discomfort in the presence of Celestial Magic. The level and type of discomfort may vary from player to player. Please refer to Racial Drawbacks for more details.
Biata do not suffer any deleterious effects from consuming alcohol, but chocolate (and especially fudge) has a similar effect on their faculties
Biata have the ability to purchase the Resist Command and Break Command abilities. The mental prowess of the Biata, derived from their powerful ancestry, is what fuels these abilities.
Biata pay a reduced cost when purchasing the Brewing skill. A Biata’s strong connection to Earth Magic gives them an expertise in extracting Earth Magic from nature
Biata have limited roleplay-only Mental Abilities that stem from their ability to mentally connect with other races, and specific objects and places. These are roleplay-only skills and require the consent and voluntary participation of anyone involved and can be used to address various memory related issues (some insanity, memory loss, etc.). These abilities cannot be used to avoid or circumvent any in-game effects (curses, enslavement, disease, charm, enfeeblement or anything else that needs in-game fixes). The Mental Abilities are described in more detail in the Alliance rulebook.
Biata must pay double cost for the Read Magic skill. In a time lost to history, the Biata’s connection to Earth Magic was so strong that it severed their connection to Celestial Magic. Over time this connection has healed, though many Biata are reluctant to expose themselves to Celestial Magic due to its negative impact on their Mental Abilities.
Purchases of Celestial Magic related skills count against a Biata’s access to Mental Abilities. For the purposes of determining an individual Biata’s access to Mental Abilities, their Racial XP total is reduced by 1 for every 15 XP (rounded up) spent on Celestial Channeling, Celestial High Magic, Celestial Spell Slots, Dispelling Strike, Inscription, and Read Magic. Celestial Magic interferes with a Biata’s Mental Abilities, as its presence disrupts their connection to the source of their mental prowess, whatever that may be.
Biata are uncomfortable in the presence of persistent Celestial effects, experiencing a type of “psychic static” when within or in contact with a Fortress, Wall of Force, Wizard Lock, or Ward Spell, or within a Prison. This static is also present when a Biata is inside any type of a Celestial Circle of Power, inside a building with an active Celestial Ritual, or in possession of or in contact with a significantly powerful Celestial Ritual Item. This static can be uncomfortable up to painful, but it is role play only and not considered an in game effect.
Lifespan and Family
Biata are capable of living thousands of years. This prodigious lifespan often leads to a sense of superiority when among other races. Given the Biata’s collective ability to store and pass down memories, the actions of a single Biata can transcend and exist long after written or spoken history would have otherwise forgotten them.
Intergenerational living is common among Biata, with individual households spanning several millennia. Despite a profound respect for history and tradition, Biata have severed ties with those of their race who refuse to acknowledge the corruption necromancy has inflicted upon their people. Worse off still are those Biata who have embraced the temptation of necromancy; they are often hunted by their own family
The Burden of Necromancy
Because of their strong connection to Earth Magic, and difficulties with Celestial Magic, the temptation of Necromancy is stronger among Biata than most races. This has left others suspicious of the Biata’s true virtues and motivations as entire societies of Biata within Fortannis have fallen to necromancy. This suspicion is a burden that all Biata must eventually come to terms with and most either confront, reject, or embrace this hard fought prejudice.
Distaste for Celestial Magic
The Biata’s long disconnection from Celestial Magic has left the entire race with a general disgust in its use. Biata generally consider Celestial Magic useful only as a necessity where Earth Magic could not otherwise be used. Biata that become celestialists break from tradition and are received with wildly varying results amongst their own kind and other races.
Gryphons, Homestones, and the Power of Blood
Gryphons are immortal creatures that are powerful embodiments of Earth Magic. Reclusive and secretive, these creatures are the progenitors of the entire Biata race. They can change their appearance between that of a Biata with two feathered claws, to a monstrous half-lion, half-eagle beast. The Biata respect, and even revere, gryphons as if they were elder kings. Gryphons possess Mental Abilities that far outshine even the eldest of Biata. Gryphons have transcended mortality long ago, and their virtues and reasons are far outside the boundaries and comprehension of even the wisest of Fortannis.
The Gryphon’s greatest contribution to their Biata descendants was the creation of homestones. Made of hematite, homestones are repositories made powerful by the collective memories of entire families, societies, and potentially entire civilizations of Biata. Smaller pieces of hematite, known as lodestones, are carried by all Biata. These lodestones imprint the memories of the individual who carries them. These memories are only able to be accessed after they have been merged with a homestone. It would be unheard of for this merging to happen before the individual has permanently died. While homestones are common knowledge amongst the other races, their locations are a closely and violently guarded secret.
The destruction of a Biata homestone is a violent act whose consequences are proportional to the number of Biata whose memories are stored within. It is mental anguish to those far away, and can be incapacitating to those nearby. Knowing theft or destruction of an individual’s lodestone is considered a grave insult and injustice.
Gryphon blood, just as rare as the Gryphons themselves, is especially potent when consumed by a Biata. Its effect varies wildly depending on both the provider and the consumer, but often carries effects that enhance a Biata’s mental prowess or the ability for a Biata to perceive memories and things beyond their comprehension. This powerful substance further compounds other people’s suspicion of Biata and necromancy, and is kept a closely guarded secret.