Fantasy Races: Azan

(both singular and plural, adjective is azani)

Azan are ancient people whose arrogance overshadows their deceptively innocent appearance. Their civilization mastered arcane magic, alchemy, and engineering, blending them to create wonders undreamed of by the less developed races. In their intellectual advancement they slowly went beyond inefficient sexual reproduction and moved to growing their children via alchemy, perfecting their very own design and weeding out the undesirable traits. Or so they vehemently claim. The truth is, that between their culture being already accustomed to low reproduction rate, extended longevity, dedication to arcane and scientific studies more than social and family life, costs and time need to grow a new azan, and occasional flaws in the growing process itself, the azan are exceptionally rare for a self-proclaimed intellectual masters of the world.

Azan wishing for a progeny has to build, purchase, or otherwise acquire growing vat, as well as numerous alchemical ingredients required for the reproduction process. Multiple azan often pool their resources to share burdens, responsibilities, and benefits of breeding acting as batch parents together. Such cabals often grow single azan progeny for each of the batch parents. The growing process produces a fully functional young adult and implants basic knowledge of azani language, culture, and the skills needed for the individual's planned apprenticeship—with batch siblings sharing tint of their skin and their skill predisposition. There is little love for the progeny, though, for the child is almost invariably seen as an investment by its batch parents. Azani culture considers a newly grown azan an indentured apprentice to its batch parents until its servitude repays the costs of its creation, usually with a hefty interest, especially if the batch parents suffered from failed growing attempts before. Apprenticeship on average lasts for 7—10 years. Afterwards the progeny might be retained as an assistant, sent as an envoy to perform services away from its parent, or dismissed to live independently.

Physical Description: An azan looks somewhat like a pale, hairless, sometimes a bit chubby child with totally inhuman beady black eyes. It's skin is very smooth and usually white or pale grey in color, often with a slight blue, green, or violet tint, depending upon exact formula and technique used in growth of the batch it was part of. Sexual dimorphism was breed out ages ago, as purposeless—azan genders determine little except the names chosen for the progeny. Very old azan might grow a small amount of hair on their chins, tips of their ears and rear of their heads but it is quite rare, unlike the wrinkles and pronounced veins that commonly mar the skin of elder azan.

The modern azan appearance is the result of deliberate slowing and later completly stopping the body development at an early stage—ancient azan were probably fully developed Medium-sized humanoids.

Society: Azan organize themselves in cabals (small groups that share interests, goals, and resources), colleges (larger networks that share information about related interests and exchange information), and corporations (groups that control specific resources or technologies). Majority of azan live in small outposts where all activity goes around a cabal or two. Larger azani settlements are usually governed by a college or corporation serving primarily as a focal point for interest of the group.

Azan dedication to mastering arcane magic, alchemy, engineering, and blending them into a combined science borders with obsession. Advances in this fields allow them to offset their minuscule population, however, with their creations used as tools and workforce tending to the needs of azan and freeing them to pursue higher callings.

Azani settlements are marvels of engineering and magic, using short-range portals, extradimensional space, guardian constructs, mechanized factories, and mutated flora and fauna whenever possible.

Relations: Azan see themselves as intellectually and culturally superior to other races. Individual and group attitudes range from patronizing benevolence to shameless exploitation, with isolationism being the dominant policy among cabals and colleges. While the azan prefer to believe that other races have little to offer to them in field of science, research, and culture, they are aware of their own need for raw resources and occasionally trade with non-azan. They favor controlling the raw source of materials, though, building their outposts in locations allowing them to control the harvest and refinement of the resource.

Alignment And Religion: Azan tend to favor either distancing themselves from gods, seeing reliance on them as undermining the azani overarching goal of cultural, magical, and technological superiority, or viewing the gods and their magic as another resource to be exploited while pursuing those goals.

Azan philosophy is based on viewing the universe as inherently chaotic system, with azani intellectual superiority being the sole way of imposing meaningful and lasting patterns.

Adventurers: Azan obvious superiority means praise of lesser races is irrelevant, but gaining reputation among other azan might be occasionally helpful. Most azan prefer to become adventureres for more utilitarian purposes, though, collecting raw resources, research materials, rare ingredients, exotic specimens, and sheer wealth that will help finance their future works and research. As the arcane magic, alchemy, and technology are the most favored azani vocations, alchemists, arcanists, investigators, sorcerers, summoners, and wizards are the most common classes among azan. A few martially oriented azan prefer bloodragers and magi, and oracles are majority of the rare azani divine casters.

Names: Azan have a first name that is short and often sharp, one or two syllables, followed by a batch name that is composed of the first names of all the parents and the number of batch they created together, and then followed by ranks and organizations they belong to. Azan that are still in their indenture period are expected to precede their name with "apprentice" while respected azan may claim the honorific of master before their name.

Sample Names: Zix CortValDax III, fractalist of Pyromantic College, inductor of ValDax corporation.

Azani Racial Traits

Ability Scores: +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma, -2 Strength. Azan are intellectually superior, and inherently confident about that, but their small frames are muscle-deficient.

Type: Azan are humanoids with azan subtype.

Small Size: Azan are Small creatures gaining +1 size bonus to attack rolls and AC, –1 size penalty to CMB and CMD, and +4 size bonus to Stealth checks.

Slow Speed: Azan have land speed of 20 feet.

Low-light Vision: Azan see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.

Apprentice Training: Azan have a +2 racial bonus to single Intelligence- or Wisdom-based skill selected when they are grown. They always treat their apprentice training skill as class skill.

Magetech (Sp): Once per day, azan with Intelligence score of 11 or more can spend 1 minute building a small techno-magical device that will replicate effects of single 0th level spell. Using this ability requires access to proper tools, and the way the device works should be somewhat related to the azan's apprentice training skill. Replicating a spell with costly components require using materials of equal value during the construction process. The device falls apart if used or when a new one is build. Any saving throws and concentration checks required by the use of device use the azan's Intelligence score.

Magetech Lore: Azan gain a +2 racial bonus to Disable Device and Use Magic Device checks.

Languages: Common and Azan. Azan with high Intelligence can choose any non-secret language they want.

Azani Racial Feats
Azan can select following feats enhancing their racial abilities.

Azani Supervisor
You are supervising a college or corporation of your own.
Prerequisites: Azan, character level 7th.
Benefit: This feat works like Leadership feat, but uses Intelligence instead of Charisma to determine your leadership score and all the followers are azan. The cohort has to be either an azan, a construct, or your magical, mechanical, or alchemical creation.

Magetech Initiate
Your magetech devices last until you disassemble them or break them.
Prerequisite: Magetech racial trait.
Benefit: The magetech device replicating effects of 0th level spell you built can be used any number of times. It still falls apart if you build another one.

Magetech Servitor
You have constructed yourself a servant following your simple orders.
Prerequisite: Magetech racial trait.
Benefit: You have a Tiny magetech servitor that follows your simple orders, having a functionality of constant unseen servant spell, except it can be easily destroyed with attacks (AC 12, 1 hit point, always fails saving throws). If the servitor breaks or is destroyed you can rebuild it with your set of tools with one hour of work.

Azani Equipment

Growing Vat: This is a complex alchemical device, composed of a large crystal container with a tangle of pipes, valves, power cords, and gauges required to complete the process of growing a new azan or a batch of them. Growing vat weighing about half a ton and costs 1,000 gp for a vat capable of holding up to six growing azan seeds. Growing a young azan in a vat requires components costing another 1,000 gp and takes about three years.

Magetech Tools, Basic: A basic set of tools used for constructing, repairing, and salvaging azani magetech. Weighs 5 lbs and costs 100 gp.

Favored Class Options
Azan can select following options for their favored class bonuses.

Alchemist: Gain 1/6 of a new alchemist discovery.

Arcanist: Gain 1/6 of a new arcanist exploit.

Bard: Maximum level of a spell replicated with magetech device increases by 1/4. This applies to single device per day, even if the character can create more than one per day.

Investigator: Gain a +1/4 bonus on all inspiration rolls.

Machinesmith: Gain 1/2 follower. Each such follower is an expert 1 level higher than the previous one.

Metamorph: Add +1/4 to the metamorph's evolution pool.

Rogue: Add +1/2 to number of magetech uses per day.

SorcererThe sorcerer adds +1/2 use of a 1st level bloodline power that can be normally used 3 + the sorcerer's Charisma modifier per day.

Summoner: Add +1/4 to the eidolon's evolution pool.

Witch: Add +1/4 evolution point to the witch's familiar.

Wizard: The wizard adds +1/2 use of a 1st level school power that can be normally used 3 + the wizard's Intelligence modifier per day.