All right, back to where I left off in the Aethera Campaign Setting, with the Wood-aligned world of Kir-Sharaat. This world is the home of the sexless erahthi, a race of sapient plantfolk born from the titanic Heartwood trees. So let’s see what Aethera has in store for us, yeah?
There’s evidence from the get-go of the upheaval the Collapse caused, with Progenitor ruins suspended in the branches of ancient trees where the sudden growth of the forest literally tore them from the ground. Given that the erahthi have been at war more-or-less regularly since they were born due to the world’s other native race, humanity’s greeting to them was to blast a clearing in the giant forest to look for aetherite, and the Century War ended with one of their moons being stolen right out of orbit, Kir-Sharaat might well be considered something of an ongoing disaster.
In theory, they’re ruled by a trio of what amount to demigods, but the events of the Century War woke the warlike one early and there’s evidence the one who should still be leading them got forced into sleep unwillingly, the repercussions of which remain to be explored. Beyond this, the erahthi are largely divided into castes, determined by auguries and in vitrio treatments as they develop to shape them to their expected role. In the wake of the War, the castes have something less of a hold, and they switch roles to what they feel best suited to.
Here’s a fun thing: erahthi culture dates back 3762 years; human reckoning puts the Collapse at 4000 years ago, but “Kir-Sharaat was clearly an old world even then.” What the erahthi are unaware of was the sheer violence and swiftness of the transition during the Collapse, which means both can easily be right – Kir-Sharaat experienced eons of elemental shift during the short period of the Collapse, causing the burgeoning forest to sprout even as it forced the aligned plane into complete existence. Of course, the only ones who really know are the Tritarchs, the demigod-like rulers of the erahthi, and they’re not talking about it. (That might be because they don’t want to admit that they were born of a Progenitor terraforming experiment. Who wants to admit their quasi-divine power is the result of some Sufficiently Advanced Aliens playing at being gods?)
A bit for erahthi characters: being part of a given caste grants minor bonuses. Builders get a +2 on Craft checks, Executors get to pick one skill and treat it as a class skill, Leaders grant a +3 via Aid Another rather than the usual +2, and so on. There are ten castes, and I expect most PCs will be in either the Protector (+1 CMD against combat maneuvers that would move the erahthi against their will) or Reaper (+1 on attack rolls vs enemies with less than half their HP left) castes.
Next time, we’ll dip into the impacts of the Century War on this forested world, and talk about how the erahthi economy functions, given that they were essentially socialists before the War.