This warrior looks like an attractive humanoid with pointed, feather-like ears and eyes shaped into long, horizontal slits. Though he has no true hair, his entire body is covered in short, sleek white fur.
Str 13, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8
Base Atk +1; CMB +2; CMD 14
Feats Mounted Archery, Mounted Combat
Skills Knowledge (arcana) +1, Knowledge (nature) +4, Perception +8, Ride +1, Stealth +1, Survival +6; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception
SQ seasoned, track +1, wild empathy +0
Gear NPC gear (chainmail, composite longbow with 20 arrows, lance, longsword, other treasure)
Triaxians suffer no harm from being in hot or cold environments depending on whether they are Summerborn or Winterborn. Summerborn Triaxians can exist comfortably in conditions between 90 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit without having to attempt Fortitude saves. Winterborn Triaxians can exist comfortably in conditions between 40 and –20 degrees Fahrenheit without having to attempt Fortitude saves. When in conditions of severe cold or heat, Triaxians only have to attempt Fortitude saves once per hour instead of once every 10 minutes. Transitional Triaxians do not have this ability.
Triaxians don’t possess racial Hit Dice, gaining their capabilities instead from class levels.
All Triaxians have the following racial traits.
+2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, –2 Strength: Triaxians are a hardy and wily race, as befits their constantly changing environment, but their lean forms have trouble maintaining large amounts of muscle mass.
Low-Light Vision: In dim light, Triaxians can see twice as far as humans.
Keen Senses: Triaxians’ unique ear construction grants them a +2 bonus on Perception checks.
Bonus Feat: Triaxians select one extra feat at 1st level.
Seasoned: See above.
Languages: Triaxians speak Triaxian. Triaxians with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).
Triaxians are the dominant race on another planet, a world whose erratic orbit causes exceptionally long and disparate seasons. Though eerily similar to humans, elves, and the other mammalian humanoids, Triaxians have developed certain adaptations to their environment that mark them as indisputably alien.
Just like human ethnicities, Triaxian populations vary in size, weight, and other distinguishing physical characteristics, based primarily on the geographical regions in which they reside. Most Triaxians, both males and females, are around 6 feet tall but somewhat lean compared to humans, rarely weighing more than 200 pounds. Their ears are elongated, but rather than being pointed like elves or half lings, these appendages are instead notched in a feathered or comb-like pattern. The flaps created by these notches constantly move to adjust the ear’s shape, operating both consciously and unconsciously to help Triaxians focus on specific sounds, not unlike the maneuverable ears of dogs, cats, and other such animals.
Like many creatures on their world, Triaxians have evolved to shift along with their environment, resulting in differences between generations of the same family that would seem bizarre to humanoids. In the warm summer years, Triaxians are completely hairless, with skin that ranges from deep red to coffee colored to charcoal black. This configuration allows them to better survive in the sweltering heat of the planet’s tropical summers, with the increased melanin in their dark skin protecting them from the sun’s intense rays. These Summerborn Triaxians, as they are known, breed true for many generations—yet as the planet begins its rapid seasonal shift, so do the Triaxians. Newborn Triaxians begin to evince new adaptations to the cooling environment, and by the time winter has come on in full, Triaxians change markedly: their pale bodies are covered in fine, insulating white fur like that of an ermine, while their eyes narrow to elongated slits to protect against snow blindness. These new traits similarly breed true until the seasons begin to change once more, at which point the eyes widen and fur recedes, starting the cycle anew.
Just as Triaxians differ physically depending on which season they’re born into, so do their cultures and customs change. Winterborn Triaxians are defined by the hardship of a world whose very environment seeks to starve or freeze them. They tend to be stolid, hardworking people, with an ironclad sense of honor stemming from the knowledge that in a Triaxian winter, a broken promise can mean death for a whole clan. Even within large communities, the focus remains on survival for one’s family and friends, with individuals willing and ready to share, serve, and die to protect the group. Oaths of friendship are serious affairs; once given they are rarely transgressed, and doing so risks a blood feud. With the exception of those nomadic hunter tribes that migrate in pursuit of herd animals, most settlements are permanent and fortified against the predatory horrors that stalk the blinding blizzards. Summerborn Triaxians, by contrast, are born into a world of plenty. With forests full of fruit and game, and glaciers receding to reveal vast tracts of fertile earth, the attachment to cold stone fortresses and cramped cities weakens, and Triaxians spread out across the landscape. For many, it is a time of nomadism, living in small bands and temporary structures, or else participating in great waves of land-grabs as homesteaders. Though they still have the weight of history to remind them of the hardships of their ancestors—and those yet to come for their descendants—Summerborn Triaxians tend to be an easy-going, generous people, quick to accept outsiders, to break with their clans and families and strike out on their own, and to challenge convention in pursuit of greater goals. They are simultaneously less hardened and more likely to go to war, for with the business of survival taking less energy and new territory constantly being settled, leaders have more time and resources to dispute borders and jockey for power. Historically, Summerborn Triaxians are those most likely to visit other planes or worlds, as the drive to explore their newly thawed planet also leads them to look beyond it.
Transitional Triaxians occupy a much smaller portion of the Triaxian adaptation cycle than either the Summerborn or Winterborn—usually no more than a generation each orbital year—and often play an uncomfortable role in their society. To Summerborn Triaxians, a Transitional child is an ill omen—a sign that winter approaches, and that the time of plenty is drawing to a close. The first such individuals to appear are often hidden or slain by their parents, and vilified by those rebellious fools and leaders who believe that Transitional children actively bring on the winter, or who simply don’t want to begin the long and arduous process of preparing for future generations’ survival. Transitional children born at the tail of winter, on the other hand, are often treasured and held up as hopeful signs of a golden era to come. Yet even these may face persecution by those dynasties that fear change, or whose leaders expect a loss of power once their people are free to spread beyond their reach. In both cases, Transitional Triaxians find themselves in a society where they are visibly different from both their parents and their children, and where their very existence is a weighty portent. Strangely, while Triaxians’ mutable nature is perfectly adapted to their planet’s erratic orbit, the cycle of physiological changes seems keyed to internal clocks rather than external indicators. Even in situations where these adaptations would be disadvantageous, the small populations of Triaxians who have set up residence on other worlds or planes continue to change in time with their kindred. Beyond their obvious adaptations to their environment, Triaxians are remarkably human. Their basic biology, social structures, cultures, and philosophy—while sometimes surprising to outsiders—all fall well within the bounds of what might be encountered in a humanoid race, thus making them one of the least “alien” civilizations in the solar system.
Though the statistics above represent a typical initiate training to become a dragon rider, this is by no means the standard for the race—outside of broad strokes, it’s as impossible to describe Triaxians’ myriad traits and predispositions as it would be to do so for humanity itself. Triaxians are good and evil, warlike and peaceful, magical and mundane, and everything in between.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #70: The Frozen Stars © 2013, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Matthew Goodall.