Graveborn (4e Race)
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You have no recollection of your former life... it's hard enough clinging to the memories you've made since your return. Upon arriving in the Shadowfell you were overcome by terrible fear of the unknown. What if your deeds were not enough to save you from oblivion? What if all you believed was a lie and you were headed toward certain doom? Through sheer force of will, you clawed your way back into the natural world and out of your shallow grave. You are a survivor haunted by unspeakable terror
|Average Height: 5'6"-6'2"|
|Average Weight: 130-170 lb.|
|Ability Scores: +2 Charisma, +2 Constitution|
|Speed: 6 squares|
|Skill Bonuses: +2 Bluff, +2 Streetwise|
|Past Life: Select a race other than graveborn. You are also considered a member of that race for the purpose of meeting prerequisites, such as feat or paragon path prerequisites.|
|Shadow Origin: You were reborn in the Shadowfell so you are considered a shadow creature for the purpose of effects that relate to creature origin.|
|Undead Keyword: Being an undead grants you the following traits:|
You gain a +2 bonus to saving throws against ongoing damage.
You don't need to eat, drink, or breathe (although this fact grants you no resistances or immunities).
You need only 4 hours to benefit from an extended rest.
When you roll a death saving throw you can take the better of your die roll or 10 as the result. You still die when your hit points are dropped to their bloodied value expressed as a negative number.
|Undead Resistances: You are immune to disease and have resistance to poison damage and necrotic damage equal to 5 + ½ your level.|
|Whispers of the Grave: You have the whispers of the grave power.|
|Whispers of the Grave||Graveborn Racial Power|
|You are haunted by the whispers of the dead, but not without benefit. They occasionally reveal valuable truths.|
|Trigger: You roll a skill check.|
|Effect: Add your Charisma modifier as a power bonus to the skill check result.|
Graveborn have escaped death. Once a race dies its corpse may become a graveborn. Some speculate that this is because the soul has not finished its life. Others say that it is a random occurrence. Characters who study graveborn assume that their origins have something to do with unbridled control of the Raven Queen. Graveborn have an unnerving presence about them that is as much a result of their cold flesh as their detached cunning and determination. They have a supernatural way with words and often get what they want, but, even so, they fear for their lives since once they only just escaped death. Above all else, graveborn fear the inevitable coming of the Raven Queen's servants to claim their wayward souls and deliver them to their unknown fate.
Graveborn are usually similar in appearance to human zombies, but occasionally resemble other races. Their skin is almost always rotted. They are unnaturally gaunt and underweight, giving the impression of a withered or decaying corpse that shouldn't naturally be able to move. Though they have no need for sustenance, food allows their undead form to change in an imperfect semblance of life. By eating, a graveborn removes particularly noticeable dead flesh, such as dead flaps of skin cut by a sword that are hanging from the graveborn's bones or things such as fungus, and re-knits them into their original form. While they do not reek of decay, as many undead are said to, graveborn always smell somewhat stale. Even so they often wear concealing clothing such as cloaks and hooded robes, and it is not difficult to mistake one for a living person under the right disguise.
Attitudes and Beliefs
Haunted continually by the whispers of those who died and were buried in their vicinity, some graveborn seek to escape the voices by venturing into the wilds as barbarians. Others try to drown them out with arcane music or the more preferable, though demanding, voice of a warlock patron. Since they harbor no memories of their former lives and find it difficult to retain even recent memories graveborn are often distant and unapproachable, even to those who have known them for decades. These whispers are totally insane and provide no valuable advice. They are heard only by the graveborn and are a byproduct of them having escaped death.
Graveborn attempt to blend in with the race they most resemble. As such, they take up names common to their surroundings. The ultimate goal of any graveborn is to avoid what she once escaped; death and the clutches of the Raven Queen. Many times this means diplomatic and confrontational encounters with revenants. Because of this revenants have become something of the arch nemesis for graveborn. They seek the power to defeat those who would threaten their survival. They occasionally enter into an alliance of convenience with other adventurers when they cannot accomplish their goals alone, finding grudging acceptance among those who do not fit in with accepted society. Sometimes graveborn find their cold hearts warmed by their living comrades and grow more willing to accept death, whenever it should finally come for them.
Graveborn favor the barbarian, bard, and warlock classes. Three sample Graveborn adventurers are described below.
Everywhere there was civilization. Wherever people had died and been buried their spirits could be heard. The whispers were maddening. Jamell fled from cities and villages, seeking out the wild places of the world where he hoped to find peace. He embraced the ways of the wild, finding comfort in the temporary madness evoked by his rage whenever he allowed the primal spirits to flow through his form. In communing with the spirits of nature he has become more willing to release himself to death, to fall back into the cycles of nature, when his time comes again.
To Galebrook the voices of the departed were not so much a cacophony as an orchestra without direction. He studied the interplay of art and the arcane as much to stave off madness as to give voice to these victims of the grave, none so lucky or strong as he; having escaped his fate. Life is a stage, one upon which he would perform eternally, for death had no claim upon his soul.
Sylene knew she could not defy the Raven Queen for long on her own. In order to maintain her existence, she would need to forge an alliance with entities beyond the natural world. Looking to the stars, she swore an oath to whatever power would hear her. Fortune smiled upon her– or did it? Perhaps the powers outside are more to be feared than death itself. Only time will tell...
Roleplaying a Graveborn
When creating a graveborn adventurer, here are a few points to consider.
- To be an undead haunted by the fate you've fled.
- To do whatever it takes to survive.
Graveborn Characteristics: Cunning, determined, detached, distrustful, manipulative, phobic, secretive, survivor.
Graveborn Male Names: As humans, or whatever race they most closely resemble.
Graveborn Female Names: As humans, or whatever race they most closely resemble.