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Hlezum
Hlezum
Statistics
Pronunciation LEE-zum
Plural Form Hlezumim
Average Height 6'08"---8'02"
Average Weight 422lbs---745lbs
Languages Kul, New Voelestis
Native To Maun
Among the most charismatic of the races of Forigo, the towering hlezumim give meaning to the phrase "large and in charge". Hlezumim have swiftly become a common sight not only on their home continent of Maun, but across the entire planet as their political influence spreads.

Etymology and Other NamesEdit

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Biology and AnatomyEdit

Hlezumim are generally considered to be the largest race. Despite the drekir being taller, with hlezumim only averaging from six to eight feet tall, they are also extremely heavy and wide with strong shoulders, often dwarfing members of the other races in breadth and muscle.

Overall, their anatomy is akin to that of a bipedal rhinoceros. A hlezum's relatively long snout is always adorned with at least one horn, though occasionally an individual may have two horns. Though it is rare, some hlezumim may even have smaller horns in ridges over their eyes. Many have slightly hunched backs, though more recently hlezumim without hunches have become common.

All hlezumim have some amount of armored plating somewhere on their bodies. Though the thickness, location, and quantity of this plating varies from individual to individual, most hlezumim have at least a small amount of the natural armor along their spine.

The coloration of hlezumim ranges from a light, sandy tan to medium grey. While markings are extremely uncommon, their armored plating is generally a shade lighter or darker than the rest of their skin.

Hlezumim are among the shortest-lived of the races. They reach physical maturity around age 15, and on average, die of old age around age 62.

Sociology and CultureEdit

Hlezumim society puts a large amount of emphasis on strength, though not the type one might expect from the massive and powerful race. Strength of character is their most honored trait. To the typical hlezum, talking down an enemy is always viewed with more respect than defeating them in combat. However, a hlezum is not afraid of conflict. In fact, many keep the horns on their snouts sharpened at the tip in order to remind any who see it that though they prefer diplomacy, they are not against expressing themselves in a more dangerous fashion.

Another important aspect of hlezumim society is the carving of their horns. It is extremely uncommon to see a hlezum with their horn or horns completely unscathed, as most hlezumim carve intricate designs and patterns into them. Oftentimes a hlezum will also paint the carved patterns a different color so they stand out and are easier to see. This practice is thought to have more than just an aesthetic purpose; many hlezumim believe specific motifs empower or represent certain aspects of their personality. For example, a hlezum who carves a floral design into their horn may believe that it augments their purity, while another with a similar design might imagine themselves to be innocent and chaste. Occasionally, a reckless individual may also carve patterns into their armored plating, though this is far less common, as doing so often results in infection and permanent injury.

Perhaps the most iconic facet of hlezum culture is their relationship with the birds of Maun, and more recently, the rest of Forigo. Every hlezum forms a special bond with a single bird that inexplicably makes itself known at the moment of the hlezum's birth. Whether the bird is simply nearby at the time or comes into existence at the same moment as the hlezum is unknown. However, there has not been an incident of a hlezum without a bonded bird in recorded history.

A hlezum's relationship with their bonded bird is often symbiotic; in most cases, neither benefits more than the other from their connection. Ocassionally, however, a hlezum (or, in rarer cases, a bird) may become greedy and sap the energies from their partner. There is only one confirmed case of such rapacity, in which a hlezum named Chadya Giantstride was so covetous of his comrade's strength that it eventually resulted in the bird's death. This is also the only known case of a hlezum who outlived their partner; usually, a hlezum and their bird companion perish at the exact same moment, regardless of age or injury.

Naming ConventionsEdit

Hlezum names tend to be rough and guttural-sounding. Additionally, the most common combination of letters in hlezum names, "ch", makes a throaty "h" sound, and as a result is often mispronounced by non-Kul speakers. It is a common hlezum tradition to name a child after a recently deceased relative. Though the name is often altered slightly to reflect changes in names over time, the beginning sound generally stays the same. For example, a hlezum child may be named Ichlem after their grandfather, Ichleep. It is also not uncommon for multiple children to be named after the same relative.

Their surnames are, in most cases, translated into New Voelestis. When translated, their surnames are a portmanteau of two words, generally related to their strength of character or, less commonly, their size.

Examples of hlezum names: Chadya Giantstride, Ichlem Humblefoot, Trunch Braveheart

Notable HlezumimEdit

Racial Traits (3.5e)Edit

Most hlezumim are Large, incurring the benefits and penalities thereof. However, a smaller hlezum may instead be Medium, incurring no benefits or penalties for their size.

A hlezum may choose either +2 cha -2 wis OR +2 str -2 dex on top of their starting statistics.

All hlezumim have Protective Plating, granting them +1 natural AC if they are Medium, and +2 natural AC if they are Large.

Once per day as a standard action, a hlezum may use their Vicious Gore ability as a touch attack that deals (level)d4 damage. Anyone struck by this ability begins to Bleed for an additional 2d4 damage each round. The Bleed effect can be removed by a DC 15 Heal check, or by any ability that restores hit points.

Due to their Compelling Presence, hlezumim receive +2 to Bluff and Diplomacy.

All hlezumim form a Symbiotic Relationship with a bird at birth. These birds are familiars and operate under the wizard familiar rules. Hlezumim who already have familiars through their class may have their class familiar in addition to their bird familiar. The possible species and their benefits are as follows:

Chickadee: A charismatic species of bird. Grants Cosmopolitan as a bonus feat.

Crow: An intelligent species of bird. Grants Scholar as a bonus feat.

Hummingbird: A dexterous species of bird. Grants Lightning Reflexes as a bonus feat.

Jay: A well-constituted species of bird. Grants Great Fortitude as a bonus feat.

Sparrow: A wise species of bird. Grants Iron Will as a bonus feat.

Woodpecker: A strong species of bird. Grants Power Attack as a bonus feat.