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Racial Description for Stone Folkby James Mishler
The Stone Folk Race as Characters
Stone Folk are a humanoid race found on the Great Escarpment of the Isle of Dawn on Mystara. They are, as their name implies, made of stone, though they are neither constructs nor magical creatures, but rather an evolutionary branch of the Rock Man species (see the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix). Stone Folk tend to be taller on the average than humans at 6 1/2 to 7 feet on the average, and as they also tend to be rather broader, they easily weigh in at more than three times the human norm. A Male of the Rock Folk is known as a Hrukar; a Female as Hrukara; the race as a whole is known as the Hruka (this is derived from the Dwarven "Hrukwarf", meaning "Born from Granite"). The Hruka naturally have a rough, coarse skin which they polish to bring out a natural lustre; skin colour varies from a greyish-white (perhaps with black, red or purple swirls) through solid pink, red and purple. The Hruka have no body hair, and are naturally bald (though they may affect such through creative sculpting of their skin growth). Their appearance is much more human than that of their cousins, and they have been mistaken at times for small, well-sculpted stone golems or living statues. Hruka generally live for 250 to 300 years.
Hruka society has been compared by some as a blend of dwarven and human systems, though this is not entirely true. While the Hruka are as hard working and tenacious as the dwarves, with an appreciation for metals and gems rivalling that of the Rock-Born, they are not by any means as suspicious and avaricious. Hruka are at home both above and within the earth, and while they have a great talent for mining, smith craft and architecture, they have not the single-mindedness about their vocation, as do the dwarves. Also unlike the dwarves, some Hruka are capable of magic-use, though they are no longer capable of achieving the level of magical prowess that their ancient heroes and kings once did.
The Hruka are for the most part found only in the western sections of the Great Escarpment and in certain urban areas of the Isle of Dawn. Few are willing to make the journey across the sea to the mainland; after all, if they should fall overboard, a Hruka will sink like nothing more or less than a stone. There is only one known Hruka city and several smaller towns (all found in conjunction with dwarven and gnomish settlements); most of the Hruka live in small clan steadings throughout the rocky lands and into the plains, where each clan tends to it's own small mine. The mine is the lifeblood of the Hruka clan; it is a source of materials for trade, construction and sustenance. The Hruka primarily subsist off of mineral matter, either straight from the earth or prepared with various spices (such as gold, silver and gem powders). To the Hruka, trading in gold and silver coins is not terribly unlike how a human would view utilising chocolate and salt as currency! The Hruka can subsist off of plain dirt, though for them it would seem to be less than simple gruel. The Hruka are susceptible to the effects of alcohol as well as other mortal poisons, though it takes twice as much of a dose to have the same effect as it would on a human (+3 on saves vs. poison unless the dosage is double normal).
A Hruka character can be a cleric, fighter, mage, bard or ranger. In addition, a Hruka can choose to be a multi-class fighter/cleric, fighter/mage, cleric/ranger, or cleric/mage. Hruka Rangers are invariably dedicated to the furtherance of the precepts of the Immortal Terra, and receive special dispensation for their spells. They learn spells using the Bard's spell progression table (table 32, PHB), and may choose spells from the Wizard School of Elemental Earth (ToM) and the Priestly Sphere of Animals. Hruka Rangers are also invariably Neutral Good in alignment. Hruka Bards, known as "Speakers", are the keepers of the oral traditions of the Stone Folk, and as such serve an ecclesiastic as well as social function.
Lawful Neutral Speakers are able to use the spells of the Priestly Sphere of Law as though they were magic-user spells. Neutral Good and True Neutral Speakers receive the use of the Guardian Priestly Sphere. A Chaotic Neutral or Neutral Evil Hruka Bard receives no special benefits. Hruka Rangers and Speakers both pay an extra 10% experience for their benefits.
As mentioned, all Hruka receive a +3 vs. normal dosages of poisons and other natural toxins (this bonus does not apply to magical poisons, such as enchanted wyvern venom, but it will be effective vs. giant spider venom). All Hruka also have a base AC of 8 to reflect the toughness of their "skin"; Hruka do bleed, a blackish-red ichor not unlike oil. Hruka are immune to all forms of natural fire; they receive a +2 to save and -1 on each damage die (minimum 1 point per die) vs. magical forms of fire (including fireballs and dragons breath).
A Hruka can gain a bonus to surprise opponents, but only if in broken or mountainous terrain, while wearing appropriate clothing and gear, and only while alone or with a group composed entirely of Hruka. If all these conditions are met, the Hruka causes his or her opponents to receive a -2 penalty to their surprise rolls.
A player may choose to have his or her Hruka character be a "throwback" to the more Rock Man-like form (such are known as "Torukar", or "Born of Strong-Granite"; they are, for an unknown reason, invariably male). Torukar are no taller than other Hruka, but are much bulkier (at least five times human normal weight for a similar height); they also appear much less human than do other Hruka. Torukar receive a +1 penalty to all initiative rolls, as they are quite ponderous, and not terribly swift in response time. Torukar have a base AC of 6; armour costs at least two to three times as much to make, as the physical form of the Torukar is both greater in girth and ponderous in form. Torukar have a base movement rate of 6, reflecting their lack of speed and agility. They receive a +5 bonus vs. normal poisons, and a +4 to save vs. magical fires, from which they suffer 1/2 damage if they fail or 1/4 damage if they save. A Torukar in "Stealth" mode (alone or with other Torukar) will cause their opponents to suffer a -4 to their surprise roll. Any Torukar, regardless of class, may have exceptional strength if their strength is 18.
Ability Score Modifications (Torukar in parentheses)
+1 Strength (+2)
-1 Dexterity (-2)
Racial Ability Requirements (Torukar in parentheses)
Strength 10/18 (12/19)
Dexterity 3/17 ( 3/16)
Constitution 9/18 (11/18)
Intelligence 6/18 ( 6/18)
Wisdom 3/18 ( 5/18)
Charisma 3/18 ( 3/17)
Class and Level Limits: Maximum Level (Torukar in parentheses)
Fighter 15 (15)
Ranger 12 (9)
Cleric 12 (15)
Mage 12 (15)
Bard 12 (9)
Note: These levels may be exceeded if the character is single classed (see DMG Table 8); multi-class options include: fighter/cleric, fighter/mage, cleric/ranger, or cleric/mage. Height and Weight Height in Inches Weight in Pounds Race Base Modifier Base Modifier Hruka 68 2d10 400 10d10 Torukar 66 2d6 650 10d10
Starting Age: 30+3d6 (40+5d6)
Maximum Age: 200+2d100 (300+3d100)
Middle Age: 100 (150)
Old Age: 133 (200)
Venerable: 200 (300)
Hruka and the Immortals
The primary Immortal revered by the Hruka is their own cultural hero and societal founder, "Thinker in Deep Stone", or simply "Thinker". Though little known to other societies today, Thinker was once revered by the Nithians as Thoth, Patron of the Sciences (he is still revered by some small groups in Thothia, Trikelios and Ekto, as well as by many Hollow World Nithians). Two other major figures in the Hruka Pantheon are Kagyar and Terra; Kagyar for his craftsmanship and patronage of the dwarves, and Terra as the ancient mother/patroness of the Hruka. Priests of Thinker are both male and female, while Terra grants powers only to females (save for rangers) and Kagyar only to males. The only other Immortal in the common Hruka pantheon is a strange dwarven fellow by the name "Laughing Axe", who was, long ago, the travelling companion of Thinker; he is the patron of youth, travel and adventure. Most Hruka revere the pantheon as a whole; adventurers and youth have a special place in their ruby heart for Laughing Axe, and also take the primary concept of reverence for Thinker to heart: Experience is the path to Deeper Understanding of the Hruka place in the World. Being a part of Mystara itself, the Hruka have taken this core concept to great levels; the Hruka faith is very mystical at its core, as elder Hruka contemplate upon their experiences to gain insight. Those Hruka who can travel do so in order to gain new experiences which will deepen the level of their contemplation in their later years.
Hruka and other Races
The Hruka are well disposed toward most of the Demihuman races; in fact, the Hruka get along fabulously with dwarves and gnomes, and to a lesser extent halflings. They have little contact with elves, though, and what little they have had has been negatively tainted by the Aran Elves of the East. [The "Aran Elves" are a mostly chaotic and generally evil offshoot of the Aranea who take on only elven form; they live in the forests of the eastern plateau]. Most of the humans that the Hruka encounter are, unfortunately, either the barbaric Asieri of the plains or prospecting Thyatians, Caerda or Amancerians from Thyatis, so the general view on humans is that they are short-sighted, brutal and avaricious. Travelling Hruka who have returned with tales of the outside world have either tried to alleviate this attitude or inflame it, depending on their personal experiences. It does not help matters in that the ancient kingdom of the Hruka founded by Thinker was destroyed in the apocalyptic civil war of the Nithians!
Hruka are, needless to say, not a common sight in the kingdoms of the Known World. Some few have fought in the Arenas of Thyatis, so Thyatians generally have at least heard of the Hruka. Thothians are fairly familiar with the Hruka; they understand and appreciate the mystic nature of the Hruka faiths. Scholars and adventurers of other lands (most notably Glantri) have heard of the Hruka as well, but few have met them. Be forewarned, then, that playing a Hruka in the Known World will get your character into a lot of adventures and situations which would be outside the experience of the normal adventurer of otherwise rare or unusual origin (Alphatian Wizard? Sure, I've heard of them; they're a kopec a dozen! A Wizard that looks like a man sized mountain, now *that's* unusual!). The basis of the Hruka quest is to gain knowledge and experience in order to gain "Deeper Understanding"; remember that the adventure and experience is the main theme for the Hruka; the gold and silver is literally just so much icing on the cake!