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Summary::When mortals die, they may become petitioners on the outer planes, but when a Hevier dies, they may become an Aethra, ethereal spirit manifest in material skin. Said to be a natural evolution of the hevier on death, their necromantic spirits do not travel to the outer planes, but instead linger in the material plane as invisible ghosts. Those ghosts which are possessed of a particularly strong spirit have their souls manifest new, necromantic bodies to continue their lives well beyond their natural lifespan. Indeed, aethra can persist forever, and those which "evolve" into an aethra are considered blessed.
With the transformation from beings of flesh to beings of spiritual fire, comes a mental shift to a "higher state of thinking". Whatever this implies, one thing is certain, it makes communication with the mortal world difficult. Many of the lesser, invisible, and ghostly aethra could not speak if they wanted to, not to mortals anyway, and the visible aethra often speak in cryptic terms. Such things make perfect sense to them, but they are ill-translated back into common tongue. It makes them both mysterious and elusive. For the hevier, it is a sign of wisdom, but others may find their babbling mad.
When a hevier dies, their body seems to rot as normal, but only on close inspection does one discover the body is slowly combusting. Eventually only bones and a pile of ash remains, as the spiritual flames lift up, rising from their graves and joining the others in the Spiritveil. For those of strong spirit, combustion occurs faster, to the point of visibly engulfing in unnatural black and violet flame. These flames, empowered with ego, rise up and retain their humanoid form, and become able to interact to the world. The flames continue to burn forever without the body, a flame which is said to consume the essence of life around them slowly to continue their presence. Only when the universe goes dark of the last life form, will the flame of an aethra die out.
Thus, visible aethra take on forms similar to fire elementals, though the flames never burn a natural hue, and never with any heat or presence. The flames have a solid form to it, much like the fire elementals they resemble, and so they are not incorporeal unlike their lesser invisible kin. Their eyes are pits of black with tiny dots of light for vision, and they have no mouths or other features. They can wear armor or robes, and with their soft light pouring from it it gives them the appearance of some manner of wraith or animated armor.
Berift of bodies, aethra technically have no physical gender, but retain the mental gender from which they were manifested from.
If the hevier are mistrusted outside their borders, the aethra are downright feared. They do not appear like most humanoid creatures, and are sometimes mistaken for elementals up to no good. Even when correctly identified, it does not help their situation much, as few are tollerant of the concept of an animate pile of negative energy in flame form. Within their borders, they are seen as prophets and wisemen, blessed for their continued ability to experience.
Ironically, few aethra travel outside their borders. Many find a strange spiritual comfort within the realm of the Spiritveil, and so they live down their with their fellow lesser spirits, maintaining the beautiful paradise below and meditating on unfathomable thoughts.
Whatever strange experience death has on the hevier transforming into aethra, it seems to mellow them out in general. While an aethra may be of any alignment, they favor alignments with a neutral component.
Aethra can live in any land, but originate from the nation of Ghremlond, and specifically populate their underdark and a vast area called the Spiritveil, where the stones resonate with sleeping souls.
Aethra are hevier, and thus follow the same belief that their soul will travel to the material, not an outer plane, on death. The aethra itself is proof of the concept. While it does not prevent an aethra from giving repect to gods they know exist, few have need to.
Aethra speak common, but also speak a strange secret language known as Aedio. It is a difficult language in which speakers speak simultaneously, and through means which are as spiritual as well as audible. As described by the aethra "it is like painting a picture together with sound, the message builds up to a meaningful concept as the colors as filled."
The aethra, being hevier, retain their names, but often end up losing their family name and taking on a title in its place. Otherwise, they are possessed of the same names as humankind.
- Aethra have no adjustment to ability scores.
- Type::Elemental: While not true elementals in the strictist sense, they are composed of a single element, a soul bound to the material plane, and effectively share all of the traits of an elemental.
- Size::Medium: As medium creatures, aethra have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Aethra base land speed is 30 feet.
- Aethra have darkvision out to 60 feet.
- Detect Spirits (Sp): Aethra may use Detect Spirits at will. It functions like detect undead, except it detects ethereal creatures which are present in the area, fey, and outsiders.
- Elemental Traits: As elemental creatures, aethra have immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, and stunning. They are subject to critical hits or flanking. Unlike most other living creatures, an elemental does not have a dual nature—its soul and body form one unit. When an elemental is slain, no soul is set loose. Spells that restore souls to their bodies, such as raise dead, reincarnate, and resurrection, don’t work on an elemental. It takes a different magical effect, such as limited wish, wish, miracle, or true resurrection, to restore it to life. Although not undead, Revive Undead does function on them, returning them to a "living" state. Elementals do not eat, sleep, or breathe.
- Entropic Touch (Su): As a standard action, the aethra may make a melee touch attack which deals 1d6 negative energy damage. They gain an additional 1d6 damage every odd character level (for example, they have 10d6 at 19 HD). They cannot heal themselves with their own entropic touch, as the energy comes from themselves, but they can heal other creatures which benefit from negative energy. When making attacks with unarmed strikes or natural weapons, some of their energy bleeds through, providing +1 damage for every d6 they would otherwise deal with their entropic touch.
- Negative Soul (Ex): While most living creatures are harmed by negative energy and healed by positive energy, aethra are instead healed by negative energy and harmed by positive energy. If the aethra takes the Tomb-Tainted Soul feat, it instead becomes Natural-Life Soul, reversing the effects of healing and harming to "normal".
- Necrotic Flame (Ex): As negative energy ran their living bodies before, negative energy composes their bodies now. Burning the surrounding ambient life, aethra emit a constant pale flame which can be many colors, but never mistaken for natural fire. They may control their output of light from anything as weak as a candle to as strong as a torch with a move action. Their negative energy bodies also has an unusual effect of having them be treated as undead for the purposes of spells and effects, although they are not really undead. When subject to a turn or rebuking attempt that would control or destroy them, they are instead stunned for 1 round (bypassing their immunity to stunning). They are bolstered by negative levels in the same manner as undead are, but can never "benefit" from more negative levels than their character level.
- Automatic Languages: Common, Aedio.
- Bonus Languages: Any.
- Favored Class: Sorcerer
- Level Adjustment: +Level Adjustment::1
- Effective Character Level: Effective Character Level::2
|Middle Age1||Old2||Venerable3||Maximum Age|
|1000 years||2000 years||3000 years||Unlimited|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male or Female||5' 6"||+2d8||100 lb.||× (1d6) lb.|