One would think by first appearances that the Sec’Toda are simply Humans who have become pale from their underground existence and have grown a fondness for body scaring. The truth is farther from this than most could imagine. The Sec’Toda are a race of people standing anywhere from around 5’ to 6’ and weigh close to 100 – 200 lbs. They have pale skin and solid black eyes that resemble socket filled pupils. 21 Both males and females are inherently hairless and thick scars usually tattooed with varying colors adorn their spines, reaching from the lower back up above the neck and splitting across the top of the head into two paths that end slightly above the forehead even with their eyes. It is these markings that lead many to consider them nothing more than a race of tribal who managed to survive the Hybrude by hiding in caves. Though Sec’Toda are natural burrowers and tend to live in shelters made below the muddy marshes of the east in Tierely, they are not simple tribal. The markings often mistaken for body art are simply the remains of the each host’s acceptance of his Bloodmate, a large wormlike parasite found only within the marshes of Tierely. In Sec’Toda society woman are seen as nothing more than breeders, and are little use for much else. It is the male’s responsibility to acquire food and do the necessary day-to-day duties, unless he is absent for some time a woman would not concern herself with common chores. Sec’Toda females spend their days teaching their children or in trance, meditating for the good fortune of their mate and friends. When a Sec’Toda child is born they resemble a healthy human baby. On their 10th year of life they meditate and fast in solitude for a day, referred to as Lastday, and prepare for the Bloodmate ritual. The Bloodmate ritual begins after Lastday, the child is stripped and taken naked to a room with his father or an elder of the tribe who stands in his father’s place. Six small jars are placed around him. The jars each contain a different Bloodmate type who will bind itself to the child. Bloodmates are a fully sentient being, although appearing as large black worms, they grow in knowledge and understanding as their hosts. Once a jar is chosen the child is lead to the surface of the marsh and those of the tribe who wish to watch are welcome at this point. The child lays flat on his stomach in the mud of the marsh, and his father or elder opens the jar and places the Bloodmate along the spine of his back. Often times a child will cry out in pain as the Bloodmate first digs through their back and adheres itself to the spinal cord and brain, but the pain lasts only an instance as the parasite soon soothes and begins healing the entry wound. The combining of the two takes less than an hour and ends once the child is able to stand up on his own. From this point on the child is seen as a full member of the Sec’Toda clan; it is also at this point that his eyes darken to a solid black and his hair falls out. The wounds take about a week to heal and afterwards are covered with tattoo markings that coincide with the type of Bloodmate chosen. For the first year after a Sec’Toda accepts a Bloodmate, the two tend to seclude themselves and learn about one another. Combined forever, there is no separation of the two minds. Since both are young the two blend together and learn to communicate with each other and others at the same time without losing track. To outsiders the Sec’Toda appear as humans with a taint of some alien race, and are usually treated by the inhabitants of a city the same as they would treat any other Half-breed race. Sec’Toda speak common as well as have their own unique language. They are usually solitary beings and only frequent cities or towns when looking to trade with merchants or when in need of service. They rarely have a desire to engage in combat, preferring to instead remain unseen, but when forced too or cornered they are fearless.
- -2 Str, +2 Dex (also +2 Int +2 Wis if Hermaphrodite)
- Size: As Medium creatures, Sec’Toda have no special
bonuses or penalties due to their size
- Darkvision out to 60 feet
- +4 Bonus to Hide checks
- Immune to Fear, and fear-like abilities or spells
- Racial Ability: Meld. As a standard action Sec’Toda can
instantly place their bodies into any dirt or mudded area
provided it’s large enough to hold an object their size.
While using Meld, the Sec’Toda cannot be targeted and
gain health regeneration of 1hp per round.
- Automatic Languages: Common, Sec’Toda
- Bonus Languages: Draconic, Elven
- Level Adjustment +1 (if Hermaphrodite)
Sec’Toda Bloodmate Bonuses
- Purple Bloodmate of Strength +3 bonus to base attack
- Green Bloodmate of Constitution +3 bonus to fortitude
- Black Bloodmate of Dexterity +3 bonus to reflex
- Gold Bloodmate of Wisdom +3 bonus to will saves
- Blue Bloodmate of Intelligence +3 bonus to spot
- Red Bloodmate of Charisma +3 bonus to diplomacy
As a unified tribe, the Sec’Toda do not have individual cities or outposts, instead referring to their homes as simply the Tierely Marshes or The Great Marsh. They don’t seek to expand their tunnels anymore than is needed to house their people. Often the speculation is that because the Sec’Toda had kept to themselves for so long the Hybrude never noticed them, which is why their marshes were kept somewhat safe from the invading forces. Willing to explain many of their ways, it is still unknown as to why the Hybrude never attacked their lands, and many scholars find little evidence of their existence before the Storms. When trading with travelers who happen to pass through their lands, they are mostly interested in medicines and food. The Sec’Toda wear leather clothes made from the animals they hunt, or linen they have received from traveling merchants. Merchants keen to the Sec’Toda will often receive various 22 dyes derived from many plants within the marshes that these tribal use in their rituals and body art. The Sec’Toda rarely travel far from their marshes, usually only when seeking aid. Though some do occasionally become curious, only the most daring of the tribe would ever willingly leave to explore. They travel mostly by foot, when possible, as this allows them to remain close to the surface, able to meld with it when necessary. While there are both males and females among the Sec’Toda, many are often born hermaphrodite and viewed as beings of “Two Minds”. Because of this combination of sexes these Sec’Toda are honored and revered as wise, usually possessing additional inherent power. In addition, these Sec’Toda lead many of the rituals and incantations believed to increase their connection to the world. One such ritual is the Mediry. The Mediry takes place by an elder of the tribe preparing a room with a small fire in the center. Around the fire is placed several rocks that are then heated. As the fire grows, water is slowly poured little by little onto the heated rocks until the room is filled with a thick mist. Once the room is filled with this moisture a Sec’Toda seeking a cure for either a physical or emotional ailment will enter the room. The two will sit in quiet meditation until the flames of the fire go cold and the room’s steam dissipates, after which the elder will leave the afflicted Sec’Toda to his solitude, until he sees fit to leave on his own.