Upheaval in Zhaltssom
Brief Description: Militant rhino people who live deep underground
Physical Description: The cerati resemble rhinos in their visual appearance, complete with a single horn atop their nose and gray skin throughout. Cerati skin manages to look more like armor than an actual rhino’s skin does, because cerati skin incorporates small shards of stone among its thickness. Despite this, the cerati are somewhat prone to skin parasites, though they barely feel them until they dig really deep.
Cerati live about 300 years on average.
Preferred Habitat: Cerati much prefer to live underground. In particular, they like to live under mountains, where they can put the resources to good use.
Culture and Society: The cerati are all about standing sturdy. This gets to the point where they even have substitutes for otherwise fragile things – wooden bracing for caverns is made with a special kind of tough lumber that’s magically grown underground, writing is done on thick animal hides rather than paper, and cerati clothing can often be mistaken for leather armor. Artwork generally tends to take the form of sculpture rather than painting or song, as anything less than stone tends to either not be noticed well in the dark corners of the underground or withers more easily than stone does. Complicating matters is the fact that cerati have little sense of moderation, trusting their sturdiness to see them through all matters.
Cerati society tends to have an almost military coordination about it, and leaders are almost always tactical geniuses rather than really knowing how to conduct themselves in peacetime.
History, Myths, and Events: The vermis are credited with discovering the cerati a thousand years ago, the expedition more-or-less coming under military dominion while it was within ceratos territory. The vermis noted that the cerati did not party as such, but when the expedition tried to throw a party, they simply did not have enough supplies to satisfy the desires of all the cerati present. When questioned about this kind of incident, the cerati will generally reply that they believe in taking full advantage of gifts or favors at the time when they are most valued.
Relations: The cerati are a fairly communal people and get along with those other races who focus on communities. In particular, the ursin, skinks, and vermis get along well with the cerati. Occasionally a cerati community will encounter an accipiti community, but these cases almost never lead to animosity. The cerati are known dwarf haters, however, because the dwarves compete with them for resources the most.
Preferred Classes: Cerati are a very tough people, and they prefer to take classes that act on this toughness. Many cerati become fighters, a few become monks with a focus on raw power, and some even enhance their toughness with magic by taking on the magus class.
As Player Characters: (What do players need to keep in mind when playing a member of this race?)
Starting Ages: Between 35 and 60 years
Heights: Between 6’ and 7’4"
Weights: Between 200 and 350 lbs.
Ability Score Racial Traits: Cerati are very sturdy, but stiff, and they are widely considered repulsive due to their lack of moderation. They gain +4 Constitution, -2 Dexterity, and -2 Charisma.
Type: Cerati are outsiders with the native subtype.
Size: Cerati are Medium size and thus have no bonuses or penalties.
Base Speed: Cerati have a base speed of 30 feet.
Languages: Cerati begin play speaking Common and Terran. Cerati with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Elven, Dwarven, Draconic, Verem, Felis, Skyspeak, and Soleno.
Energy Resistance: Cerati have acid resistance 5.
Stone Mind: Cerati’s earthlike nature gives them a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, spells, and spell-like abilities. Additionally, if a cerato fails a Will save to resist a charm or compulsion spell or spell-like ability, it receives another save 1 round later to prematurely end the effect (assuming the spell or spell-like ability has a duration greater than 1 round). This second save is made at the same DC as the first. If the cerato has a similar ability from another source (such as a rogue’s slippery mind class feature), it can only use one of these abilities per round, but can try the other on the second round if the first reroll ability fails.
Earthen Treasure: Cerati gain a +2 racial bonus on all Craft or Profession checks to create objects from metal or stone, and they also gain a +2 bonus on Appraise checks to determine the price of non-magical goods that contain precious metals or gemstones.
Elemental Affinity (earth): If a ceratos is a sorcerer with the earth elemental bloodline, it treats its Charisma score as 2 points higher for all sorcerer spells and class abilities. Furthermore, a ceratos that can cast domain spells that correspond to the elemental plane of earth casts such spells at +1 caster level. This trait does not give cerati early access to level-based powers; it only affects powers that they could already use without this trait.
Treacherous Earth: Cerati can will the earth to rumble and shift once per day, transforming a 10-foot-radius patch of earth, unworked stone, or sand into an area of difficult terrain centered on a square it can touch. This lasts for a number of minutes equal to the user’s level, after which the ground returns to normal. This is a supernatural ability.
Rushing Earth: Cerati gain a +10 foot racial bonus to their speed when using the charge, run, or withdraw actions.
Gore: Cerati have a natural gore attack, dealing 1d6 points of piercing damage on a successful hit. This is a primary natural attack, or a secondary natural attack if the ceratos wields a manufactured weapon.
Earth Sight: Due to their earth affinity, cerati can see perfectly in the dark up to 120 feet. However, the catch is that their sight does not adapt well to bright lights – cerati are dazzled as long as they remain in an area of bright light.