Sena'ka

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A race of humanoid people native to the Solar Highlands, the sena'ka were created by the mages of the Phoenix Empire in approximately 2900 BC as their elite warrior corps. In the following ages, the population has split. While many of them remain in the Phoenix Empire, significant subpopulations have escaped to the Great Rift and even crossed the Western Sea to the islands near southern Oelfra. The largest population of sena'ka outside of the Solar Highlands is the Ship Folk of the Primal Sea.

Physical Description

Physically, sena'ka are tall, lithe humanoids with yellow-toned skin mottled with brown spots (almost reptilian in appearance). Their noses are short with large nostril openings, giving them an alien look. Their eyes are large, slanted and usually dark in color, although grey is not uncommon. Their ears are quite pointed. Their hair is stringy and usually dark in color, often with a green cast to it. Many are balding on the front, giving them the appearance of a huge forehead. Sena'ka only very rarely carry any notable fat--their skin is usually stretched tight across a prominent bone structure. They also rarely show musculature, regardless of how strong they are.

There is little outward sexual dimorphism. Female breasts are small, and males rarely grow any facial hair. In fact, neither gender grows significant hair anywhere but on their heads, and many are completely bald.

They are frequently (and derogatorily) called "skull-faces", although not to those faces.

Origin

The sena'ka were created as the "next evolution" of humans, who had also been created recently by those mages from hobgoblin and elven souls. Two major concerns were addressed--loyalty and superiority. Unlike humans, with their adaptability and mutability, the proto-sena'ka were developed to be one thing and one thing only. Warriors willing to fight to the death for their masters. To this end, the phoenix mages bred in traits from a wide variety of creatures, including some artificially-created creatures. This engineering had some side effects (wanted and unwanted). For instance, sena'ka are less capable of handling cold weather than normal humans--their body temperature runs low and they become quite sluggish in the cold. They are better adopted to hot climates, however. Another, desired side effect was that the complexity of the engineering left them infertile without magical assistance. New sena'ka are bred in creches and raised outside of a family structure. In the Phoenix Empire, this lets them be raised as perfectly loyal fighters to whichever of the Phoenix Lords acts as their owner. Those populations that have escaped (and survived) managed to acquire the knowledge and skill to conduct the breeding rituals themselves. As a result of this, sena'ka outside of the empire consider their own lives as very precious. Even within their competitive, fractious societies, they only very rarely kill another sena'ka. It is to be noted that they generally do not treat other humanoid creatures with this same concern.

Another side effect was increased mental performance and power--sena'ka are intelligent (although most only turn that towards tactics in battle) and often develop strange, almost magical abilities fueled by their minds alone. This was the most prized and surprising effect of the engineering, and the phoenix mages spent centuries trying to replicate it in a controllable form. All these efforts ended in failure.

Racial Traits

Ability Score Increases Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Age Very similar to humans, reaching adulthood in the mid-teens and living between 70 and 90 years.
Size Sena'ka are taller and leaner than most humans, with most a slender 6 feet in height. Males and females stand the same height.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Languages You can speak, read, and write Common and Sena'ka. Sena'ka is a clipped, flat-intonation dialect of gwerin, and is written in a modified elven script.
Subrace. There is only one playable subrace of sena'ka at this time--the Ship Folk.

Ship Folk

Main Article Ship Folk

Raised in a fiercely competitive, maritime pirate culture that prizes strength above all, a few of the ship folk have made their homes on the southern shore of the Jungle of Fangs. Even fewer have become adventurers in the Federated Nations, mostly outcasts from the main society.

Ability Score Increases Your Dexterity and Strength scores each increase by 1.
Pirate Weapon Training You are proficient with light and medium armor and with scimitars, hand axes, battleaxes, and hand crossbows.
Psionics You know the gust cantrip.

When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the jump spell once with this trait, and you regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the levitate spell once with this trait, and you regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest.

Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells (DC = 8 + your Intelligence modifier + your proficiency bonus). When you cast them with this trait, they don't require components.

Region of Origin Your region of origin is the Serpent Dominion.
Sea Legs You are proficient with water vehicles. In addition, when you have to make a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to keep your balance, you do so at advantage.