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The Cidals

"You say he took your staff? Well, what do you expect from a Pick?" - Unknown Stump

"If you don't know what's the practical thing to do, ask a Stump." - Unknown Pick

"I don't care if he's a good for nothing Pick. His family is from my ham - if you want to mess with him, you gonna get messed by all of us." - Unknown



It is an area of land due south of the Chindari Plains - full of rolling hills, meadows, and babbling brooks - called Goodhome. It is also a portion of the Braithnaii Hollows with a similar landscape on the other side of Antaron called Kindwell. These are the lands of the Cidals, or the "Cids," as the common folk call them.

 

Short in stature but mighty of heart, the Cidals are one of the more misunderstood races of Antaron, mostly due to ignorance. Many people have no idea that there are different kinds of Cids, as the ones they usually see are merely a part of the whole. In fact, many well-travelled people have wandered throughout Antaron without ever having seen the full spectrum of Cidals. Some of these small folk cannot seem to experience enough of the world, while others are reclusive, fearful of the Big Folk or "Sigies" (pronounced S-eye-gees), and more than happy to keep to themselves.

The People: The Cidals are a race that is short (three to four feet tall) and live for about seventy to ninety years. In the company of the Cidals, one can hear them use special terms for each other: Picks, Stumps, and Loavens. These affectionate nicknames are used only by the Cidals themselves, as other races merely refer to all of them as "Cids." If a non-Cidal uses the terms incorrectly, they will be openly mocked and told to mind their place. But if that outsider uses the term properly, they will often find themselves receiving respect not often given the usual Sigie.

The official terms of Shadelins, Moundlins, and Shawlins are what the Cidals use when referring to themselves among Sigies, and are what the few scholars that have sought out the Cids use as reference. Apparently, the Cidals think that you have to use big names, or the big folk won't listen to you.

Shadelins (Picks): Shadelins possess a similar build to that of the Sylvari, though they lack the graceful movement of the elder race. Skin tones range from fair to medium, with hair and eye color similar to that of Sylvari. Shadelins prefer to wear bright, bold (often mismatched) clothing, and almost always wear their hair long - pulled back into a single knot, two pony tails, or sometimes a multitude of braids. Males stand between three and a half to four feet, with females slightly shorter.

Picks are extremely curious people, a trait that often ends their lives before their time ("Hey? Is that a Dragon? I've got to see!"). They are more carefree than their Stump cousins, and are known for having extended periods of wanderlust when they will travel aimlessly across the world just because they want to see it. They have no real sense of personal property, and are often accused of stealing. Actually, Shadelins are not materialistic and merely like to examine new things for awhile before they grow bored and forget about the item.

Picks tend to live in homes built within or high up in trees, with elaborate ladders and ropes to swing down from in case of unexpected emergencies. Of course, a Pick always has a Stump build his house while examining all of his tools. Due to their wanderlust, Picks often abandon their houses for years, only to come back to find their homes have been "picked" clean.

Moundlins (Stumps): Moundlins are of a stockier build than the Shadelins, with less accentuated ears, and resemble portly humans more than Sylvari. They are usually shorter (three to three and a half feet tall) than their cousins and prefer to wear more earth tones and practical colors. Their hair is often very curly and short, ranging from dark brown to black in color. They have medium to dark skin tones and eyes that are usually green or blue.

Stumps are farmers and social creatures. They do not share the wanderlust of their cousins, but prefer instead a good comfortable home, hard work, good food, and good ale. They are materialistic in a mild way, liking good craftsmanship and items that have a long history. Stumps are well aware of Pick habits and will have special sets of cutlery, dishes, and "stuff" they bring out when Picks are around; they refer to these items as "Picklooms." These possessions are expected to disappear; in fact, Stumps will often get together and gossip about which Pick took what. If a threat appears to the community, Stumps are the warriors, stubborn as oxen and willing to take on any Sigie that gets in their way.

The Stumps tend to live in homes build into, or resembling, the hills themselves. They often have vast cellars for keeping ale and other fine spirits, and frequently possess drying houses and smoking huts, as well. Stump homes always smell of rich foods cooking and dark ales brewing.

Shawlins (Loavens): Despite the fact that long term unions between Picks and Stumps rarely work, there are many examples of half-breeds in Cidal communities. In fact, there seems to be a stage in a female Moundlin's life - between the ages of sixteen and twenty - where inexplicably, they find Pick males very attractive. These mixed blood Cids are obvious to the Cidals themselves, but are much harder for other races to spot. They have the full spectrum of body types, facial features, skin tones, and eye colors of both Stumps and Picks. If you see a Cid with a thin body, long ears, and curly hair, chances are that they're a Loaven.

Shawlins are the most likely Cids to become successful adventurers. They get their wanderlust from the Shadelin side, but the practical Moundlin side tags along and at least keeps them well-equipped. The name "Loaven" comes from a Cidal delicacy called Loavenus. It is a sweet bread that the Cidal make that, depending on which family recipe is used, tastes completely different. Some are caramel-oats, some are berries-wheat, while others are combinations of nuts, fruits and grains. Regardless, they all are hardy loaves that stay good for months, and will sustain a person on the road for days.

Shawlins tend toward hillside homes, but will often spend time on flower gardens and wood/brick structures that, according to most Stumps, "stand out like a sore thumb." They also have a great love of bees, and often make homes for the insects to harvest honey. Stumps and Picks both love honey and the mead that comes form it, and are quite glad to leave the harvesting of honey to the Loavens.

More Loavens enter the Cidal clergy to serve as priests than their other brethren. Why Loavens are attracted to this profession is unknown, but many believe it is because they have the sense of both Cidal selves.

Language: The language of the Cidals is an interesting one to listen to, as it is not really a distinct language, but rather a mix of many tongues. Cidals use many Sylvari words side by side with Khordaldrum, Brathunspar, and words from various human dialects. It is almost as if the language is a mash of acquired words that the Cidals have put together into their own.

Stumps within Goodhome have a particular dialect, noticeable in the way they tend to pronounce long "e" as "a" and long "a" as "e". Thus a Stump will say "Have e good Dey." Picks, probably due to their traveling and greater exposure to other cultures, tend toward more human pronunciations of words. Loavens of Goodhome often talk with a slight accent, changing their e's and a's only once in awhile.

Culture and Society: Cids live in small farming communities called "hams" (Tottle-ham, Brook-ham, Blamen-ham, Kendal-ham are some Cidal community names). Governing, policing and militia are usually run by the Stumps or the occasional Loaven. Despite the obvious differences among them, the three subraces actually get along well. There is a fair amount of squabbling and bickering, not to mention the gossiping, but in the end they have a high level of acceptance for each other, and a definite balance exists between them. Without the Stumps, Picks would have no towns, no structure, and nowhere to call home. Without the Picks, Stumps would become bored, stagnant, and never hear about the outside world. Without the Loavens, the differences between the other two would become polarized.

No matter which Cid is which, all of them love a good social gathering. Every Cid will celebrate their naming day with a tosh. This is a gathering of friends and family at the home of the Cid; basically, a dinner that will last throughout the evening. Many small courses are prepared, and a friendly competition always arises over how many different dishes of food can be presented before no one can eat anymore. Every dish is served with a different beverage, whether it be an ale, mead, or a strong spirit drink that the Cidals make from berries called tanu. It is at toshs that Picks, Stumps, and Loavens get along the best. It is said the Stumps are too drunk to worry about the Picks, the Picks are too full to move, and the Loavens just pray for everyone to keep passing the dishes.

It has been noted but never fully explained, but Cidals (especially Picks) and Khordaldrum do not mix. The two races just do not get along well.

Trade and Commerce: Trade between the Cidal lands of Goodhome and Kindwell and the rest of the world is sparse. Actually, most of the trading occurs only when Sylvari and human merchants make the journey themselves. The Cidals will trade smokeweed, tanu, ale, mead, honey, and some foodstuff in order to get metals, high quality crafted pieces of carpentry, and other items of interest. Picklooms are often traded for with these merchants.

Two items made by the Cidals are very unique, and therefore highly sought after by merchants. The first are cabinets that are made for holding small items for display. These cabinets are unique in that the Cidals have become quite adept at building secret compartments and drawers into the cabinet without it being obvious. The second items are called Boxes of Wonder. These are small wooden boxes with a set of moving pieces on the top - squares that shift around like a puzzle. To open the box, you must first solve the puzzle. These boxes are often called "Pickholders" by the Stumps, as they cause many a Pick to stay still for awhile while they try to solve the puzzle.

Religion: All gods are recognized by the Cidal, but the Stumps favor the goddess Ma Meil (Miellyah) and the Picks worship Sheilin (Shinara). Loavens generally worship both equally. The Cidals tend to have their own names for the gods, taken from their regular names and shortened a bit. For example:

Lysora - Lysa
Miellyah - Ma Meil
Kith-Jora - Keithee
Shinara - Sheilin
Solaris - Sal
Therassor - Teri
D'hurgen - Hurgee
Kharox - Old Grumpy

Values and Taboos: Cidals very much believe that it takes a village to raise a child. Children are very special to them, with everyone taking part in their care and upbringing. Even Picks, once they have a child, will not leave home for wandering until the child reaches the naming age of thirteen. When a Cidal child reaches this age, they are allowed to pick a naming day. On that day there is a huge tosh, and the child will pick the name that they will go by for the rest of their lives, leaving behind the childhood name given by their mother.

Overall, the Cidals have very rigid ideas about what should have a celebration and what should not. Marriage is celebrated, a Naming Day is a special day, and harvest week is a great festival in most Cidal communities.

All Cidals love gossiping. They will discuss the goings-on of the town, the nearby towns, this family, that family, and so on. Naturally, this gossiping often comes around to the ears of the people being gossiped about. Yet it doesn't bother them, for the Cids see gossip as idle chatter that all good people take part in because they are concerned for the well being of their neighbors. However, talking badly about another, or spreading mean or insidious rumors is frowned upon, called "Sigietalk," and considered one of the worst taboos.

For a Pick, the worst insult possible is for someone to call them a thief. A Pick does not steal - he borrows, he picks up, he finds things, or he puts in his pocket and forgets about something. They really don't understand the concept of ownership, and they are so very curious.

No Cidal will stand by while another is in trouble. Even the most stubborn Stump will leave his fields to help another in need. Their sense of community is strong, making them a force to reckon with that many would discount.

D20 Stats:
All Cidals have the following racial traits:
· Movement: 20
· +2 Dex, -2 Str
· Small: +1 size bonus, +4 hide check
· +2 bonus on listening checks
· +1 with thrown or sling weapons
· +1 to all saves
· plus an additional +2 to saves vs. fear
· Enduring Constitution: Cids can go to (minus) 10 + their constitution bonus in rounds at negative hit point before dying.

Picks:
· -2 to Wis
· +2 on escape artist, open locks and pick pockets
· +1 to spot skill checks
· Additional +1 to saves vs. reflex
· Additional +3 to saves vs. fear
· Favored Class: Rogue

Stumps:
· +2 to climb, jump and move silently
· +1 on search skill checks
· +1 on will based Saves
· Favored Class: Fighter

Loavens:
· PC's should choose either the +1 on will or reflex saves
· PC's choose either +1 on spot or search.
· PC's choose three skills out of the six (escape artist, open locks, pick pockets, climb, jump and move silently) to receive the +2 bonus
· Favored Class: Rogue


OSGS Stats (Old School Gaming System):

All Cidals have the following racial traits:
· +1 Dex, -1 Str
· Small: -4 to AC against bigger than man size
· +15% bonus on detect noise
· +1 with thrown or sling weapons
· +1 to all saves
· plus an additional +2 to saves vs. fear
· Enduring Constitution: Cids can go to (minus) 10 + their constitution bonus in rounds at negative hit point before dying.

Picks:
· -1 Wis
· +10% on open locks, find and remove traps and pick pockets
· Find secret doors on 1-2 d6
· Additional +1 to saves breath weapons, spells, rods, staves, and wands
· Additional +3 to saves vs. fear

Stumps:
· +10% to climb walls, hide in shadows and move silently
· Find traps on 1-2 d6
· +1 on polymorph/petrifaction and death magic saves

Loavens:
· PC's should choose either the +1 on "breath weapons, spells, rods, staves, and wands" or "polymorph/petrifaction and death magic saves"
· PC's choose either finds traps or find secret doors
· PC's choose three skills out of the six (find/remove traps, open locks, pick pockets, climb, hide in shadows, and move silently) to receive the +10 bonus

4th edition stats (translation by Admiral)

All Cidals have the following stats:

· Speed: 6 squares
· +2 Dex, +2 Cha
· Small
· Normal Vision
· Common plus one other

· Skill Bonuses: +2 Acrobatics
· +2 racial bonus to AC against opportunity attacks
· Second Chance Racial Power
· Cidal Bigname: Choose one Bigname: Pick, Stump, or Loaven. That determines further abilities as below.

Pick:

· +2 Thievery
· +5 racial bonus to saving throws vs. fear

Stumps:

· +2 Perception
· When bloodied, you may increase the value of your second wind healing surge by your Con mod.

Loavens:
· +2 Athletics
· All allies within 10 squares receive +1 racial bonus to Acrobatics and Athletics checks.



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Thanks to Roger (Alacrity) Briant for this contribution!

 


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