Upheaval in Zhaltssom
Brief Description: Scarabs with light affinity and little brainpower
Physical Description: The dynastini are as varied as the scarabs from which their appearance derives. Unlike their lesser and much smaller cousins, however, the exoshells of these creatures are fused shut, meaning the creatures cannot fly. In exchange, the fused exoshell has magical properties, specifically those of reflecting spells cast at them. Plus, the creatures have both lungs and spiracles, and can use the latter to “sweat” unlike true insects – thus they can cool their bodies faster and operate during the daytime if the need arises. Regardless, dynastini usually operate during the night and coolest parts of the day and seek shelter when it is hottest, reducing how much they “sweat” and using their light affinity instead to see better in the dark.
Dynastini live a long time compared to other races, with an average lifespan of 400 years.
Preferred Habitat: The dynastini prefer to live in the notoriously filthy riverbed regions within deserts and warm grasslands. There, they carve out a comparatively simple existence.
Culture and Society: Dynastini culture shuns the use of arcane magic, as a whole, and relies primarily on physical power. Tests of endurance and agility are considered the most important aspects of physical power to them, so competitions can include such things as kicking a ball (secluded tribes will use large rocks for the ball, whereas those who associate more with traders will weigh down a leather ball instead) for miles on end, or running with a heavy load up and down the ziggurats that they build for the contest. Winning is not necessarily important, as even the losers of the contest are building their own power by participating, but gross failures in these contests will bring shame.
Aside from this, dynastini society is tribal, with rulership established by the strongest. All dynastin tribal leaders have at least one advisor who helps him in making decisions for the tribe.
History, Myths, and Events: The dynastini were discovered many, many years ago, by a drakeling tribe. While wandering the desert in search of new water sources to establish camps, the drakelings encountered the species, who was willing to share their water supply after the leaders of the drakeling tribe competed against the dynastin tribal leaders. While the drakelings lost that contest, it was a close enough matchup that the dynastini respected them.
Since the drakelings don’t stay in one place very often, they did not stay long enough to record much on the myths surrounding the dynastini. However, they visit the species fairly frequently, and thus have learned one thing: the dynastini believe that their exoshells were given the power to reflect magic as a message to the species that they must shun such an underhanded trick.
Relations: The dynastini are considered best kin with the drakelings, who wander frequently near their territory and are thus their main trading partners. Some lucky dynastini even get to go with the drakelings on their treks through the desert. Other than this, the dynastini get along reasonably well with hardy races like the sunborne humans. They have little love for those who can’t take the heat of the desert, so the dynastini are not friendly with the equui as a whole.
Preferred Classes: Dynastini with character levels tend to focus on being fighters or barbarians, relying on their physical attributes far more than their mental abilities. Ironically, the magical talents required for sorcery do show up in the race, so sometimes a very durable sorcerer will be found in their tribes. Such dynastini make for good advisors, being the one member of the tribe that knows even the slightest bit about how arcane magic works.
As Player Characters: (What do players need to keep in mind when playing a member of this race?)
Starting Ages: Between 35 and 90 years
Heights: Between 2’7" and 3’3"
Weights: Between 55 and 80 lbs.
Ability Score Racial Traits: Dynastini are durable and surprisingly nimble, but not as bright as their light affinity suggests. They gain +2 Constitution, +2 Dexterity, and -2 Intelligence.
Type: Dynastini are outsiders with the native subtype.
Size: Dynastini are Small creatures and thus gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty on their combat maneuver checks and to Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Base Speed: Dynastini have a base speed of 30 feet.
Languages: Dynastini begin play speaking Common and Dyanast. Dynastini with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Dwarven, Draconic, Canis, Felis, Skyspeak, and Ignan.
Spell Resistance: While their shells do not provide much in the way of physical protection, they do serve to deflect hostile magic harmlessly. Dynastini gain spell resistance equal to 11 + their character level.
Celestial Savant: Despite their idiocy as a race, the dynastini know a thing or two about light due to their affinity with it. Dynastini gain a +2 bonus on Knowledge (planes) checks, are immune to light-based blindness and dazzle effects, and are treated as one level higher when determining the effects of any good- or light-based spells or effects they cast (including spell-like and supernatural abilities). If a dynastin has an Intelligence of 10 or higher, it gains the following spell-like ability: At Will — light
Fleet-Footed: The dynastini are a surprisingly swift race, considering their shells. Dynastini receive Run as a bonus feat and a +2 racial bonus on initiative checks.
Darkvision: Dynastini can see perfectly in the dark up to 60 feet.