Xeph

Xephs are a naturally psionic race native to Zamunda.

During the Age of Empires, there existed an isolated nation in the Eshtar Jungles. These were the ancestors of the Xeph, and their kingdom was ancient and powerful. Masters of the Psionic Arts, the Xeph were confident in their cities of stone and crystal, safe from the horrors that lurked beyond their borders. In the end, however, the gravest threat to the Xeph was from inside.

Within the Empire of the Xeph there existed an ancient order of Psions known as the Zahhak Cabal. They enjoyed much power and prestige in the kingdom. Proud and arrogant, they embarked on a dangerous project. Using a enhanced version of the Metaconcert power, they created a being of pure psionic energy and power. This being came to be known as Shornall, and it was a god. It was also insane. Lashing out at it’s creators, it corrupted their souls and forms, twisting them into a race of serpentine creatures known now as the Yuan-Ti.

In this manner, the kingdom of the Xeph was ended. The Xeph were only saved from destruction by a group of Shardminds. The Shardminds lead a vast migration of the remaining Xeph east, telling them to remain hidden in the lands of Gith and Man. Once the Xeph had made it to safety, a group of xeph warriors attacked the headquarters of the Zahhak Cabal. Inside, they found Shornall himself, a writhering mass of serpetine flesh, only partly material. The xephs used their combined psychic powers to banish Shornall to the depths of the Astral, before being struck down by Yuan-Ti. With their god missing, however, the leadership of the Yuan-Ti splintered, and began to fight amongst themselves, quickly falling into barbarity.

Thus, the Xeph became what they are today: a culture of nomads without a home. Although the Yuan-Ti aren’t as powerful as they once were, the danger they pose still keeps the Xeph from returning to their homeland.


Known for their fleetness of foot and natural agility, xephs have a quick wit and the ability to find humor in nearly anything. This disposition can result in others viewing them as carefree or whimsical, but in truth, there is a deep philosophy behind their world view. To a xeph, the world is what you perceive, and their preference is to perceive it in a fun or humorous way, rather than as a morose place. Xephs are known for creating pieces of art of subtle beauty, and their racial homeland is said to be a great rift in the ground, where forests grow and the xephs thrive, using their ability to generate intense bursts of speed to travel the world.

Physical Description

Standing about a hand shorter than a standard human, with males typically taller and heavier than females, xephs have deep olive or brown skin and pupil-less, amber-yellow eyes. While some find their lack of pupils unnerving, there is something about their attitude and world view that win over most people if given the opportunity. Most xephs prefer to fashion their dark black hair into a long braid. Xeph facial features have a tendency to be more angular and elongated than other humanoids, which along with their eyes, gives them a distinct look.

Society

The xephs tend toward creating tightly-knit societies, often small in size and unassuming. When a xeph doesn’t feel at home, they are encouraged to find their ‘home of the heart’ in the wider world, or helped to integrate better with the village. Most xeph societies tend to be ruled by community consensus and on giving the xeph time to define their own life and world. Many find joy in the simplest of manual labors, often preferring to shy away from more advanced tools, loving what they see as a more in-touch experience. Craftsmen extraordinaire, the xephs enjoy creating, preferably with others, which means that their crafts are often sought by traders and merchants, providing the villages with sufficient resources that cannot be easily found or created by the xephs.

Relations

Xephs tend to get along better with humans, gnomes, and halflings, much because they tend to share a positive outlook on the world. They share a love of artwork and craftsmanship with elves and dwarves, meaning they generally also get along with them. Elans unnerve most xephs, as if they can feel that something is wrong with elans, while they find the strange logic of the dromite and maenad societies to be confusing. Half-orcs and half-giants tend to grate on xephs, with their war-like ways and brusque behavior.

Alignment and Religion

Tending more towards a unifying philosophy rather than a true religion, xephs believe that what one individual views as a god, another manifests in their life as a philosophy. As a result, xephs tend to be accepting of others’ religions, even if they do not themselves believe the same. Xephs tend to be good, with the race as a whole tending toward chaotic.

Adventurers

Learning more about the world is a way to learn about the self to a xeph, and thus a journey is as much spiritual and internal as physical and external. Adventuring is exploring the mind, challenging morals, and defining who you are. Many don’t catch onto this metaphysical and philosophical aspect of adventuring for xephs, and instead view them as jovial or humorous, even when faced with adversity.

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