Within the ethereal plane is a region known as the Plane of Dreams or the Demiplane of Dreams. This region is touched by the dreams and nightmares of sentients and can be a place of fancy and wonder or terror and despair. The inhabitants of this realm can guide the direction of dreams, or even fabricate a dream or nightmare whole cloth. The legacy of the muse began in this way.
Muses originated from the dreams of angels with an interest in the Plane of Dreams. Once divinely inspired, the muses became prolific, and were common in the world of dream. However, while the muses provided a positive inspiration on the Plane of Dreams, there are other less benevolent forces active there. From the denizens of Leng to the night hags to the dream eaters, the Plane of Dreams can be a dangerous place. Sometimes in order to oppose those who would squelch the spark of inspiration provided by the muse, it is necessary for a muse to leave the Plane of Dreams and enter the material planes. When a muse leaves the Plane of Dreams and takes a mortal and substantial form, they lose the ability to inspire dreams directly, however they can still work to inspire dreams of beauty and progress indirectly.
Muses, despite their alien heritage, have the distinct advantage of appearing both familiar and comely to most other races. While some measure of distrust will be apparent when dealing with any new race, the muse should find miniscule prejudice among humans, elves, gnomes, and other races with similar features.
The aasimar race in particular may find a kindred spirit in the muse, as both are partially descended from divine servitors. However, some muses result from the dreams of darker servitors, which can actually cause a great deal of apprehension between the two races.
The Gamemaster may decide that being divinely inspired may also mean divinely sponsored. Does the muse have a patron deity? What is the muse’s relationship with this deity? Obviously, a muse who ignores the wishes of the god who dreamt him may face dire consequences.
In addition, the night hags and the denizens of Leng may provide interesting antagonists for the muses. Can they escape the realm of dreams in pursuit? What dreadful powers do they hold? It is very likely that night hags or the denizens of Leng can affect the dreams of the muse’s allies.
Muses in this text are presented as a fairly fresh race to the world. The exact reason for leaving the Plane of Dreams has been left out to be filled in by the Gamemaster or the players. They do not need to be intertwined with your existing campaign history. This allows them to be placed in virtually any campaign setting with little work. As is, they require almost no adjustment to your world to begin play immediately.
However, if the back story will not work with your campaign, there are alternatives. In games with a different cosmology, the muse can come from nearly any outer plane or dominion of the divine. If other planes of existence are absent entirely, the muse could be a natural creature, descended from a pious group of isolated fey creatures. Or perhaps they are fabricated creatures, brought into existence through an obscure ritual.
Whatever the case, the muse will make a welcome addition to any game as a powerful supporting character of the group, an unusual option for a player seeking to play a cooperative character, a challenge for the player who wants to assume the leader role, or even a fun alternative for those who want to be attractive and inspiring.
Physical Description: Muses, undeniably, are beautiful creatures. They are tall, ranging in height from 6 to 7 feet. Their pale white skin is silky and opalescent. A muse’s neck and limbs are preternaturally long and thin. While their bodies are also very slender, they have round and cheerful faces with pleasant little noses, wide smiles, small pointed ears, and large bright eyes. It is their eyes, in fact, that most mark them as a creature not of this world, as they are black orbs filled with swirling stars. Muses are hairless, though they do have a small, antenna-like point at the top of their head. From their backs, iridescent fins sprout forth, resembling vestigial faerie wings. These strange appendages flutter vibrantly with the muse’s mood, changing color and intensity accordingly. With these characteristics, many often mistake these creatures for having fey blood, though few true fey-blooded individuals would make the same mistake. Elves and gnomes view the muse to be just as alien as humans and dwarves.
Muses are known to be pleasant smelling, with soft, cool, and smooth voices. A muse’s voice alone has been known to sooth angry beasts and violent men alike.
Ecology & Society: Muses can be either male or female, having only slightly suggestive sexual characteristics compared to other races. It would be difficult to classify a muse as a mammal; while they do nurse their young, they also hatch from perfectly spherical crystal eggs. These eggs, about six inches in diameter, take a decade to incubate. Luckily, they are extremely resilient. A mother muse will often carry her eggs with her, as they require no special care in particular. Muses typically lay eggs in clutches of two to six, once in their lifetime. Hatchling muses look just like miniature adults. Muses mature very quickly, reaching adulthood in just seven years. During that time, they learn and grow at an amazing pace; absorbing knowledge like a sponge—sometimes literally. Muse children can read books and other written works simply by touching them. This talent usually fades by the time the muse is mature.
The internal structure of a muse is wholly alien to anything else on this world. Their organs consist of globular orbs that glow, pulse, and hum softly, and when injured, a muse bleeds a bright blue blood. Muses do not eat meat, though are fond of milk and dairy. They also have an unquenchable sweet tooth, seeking out desserts before any other sort of meal. Despite this seemingly poor diet, muses cannot become overweight. Like elves, muses do not need to sleep and live long lives. A muse does not show signs of age, though will suddenly fade away at some point during its venerable years.
Nearly all muses have pleasant characteristics, both physically and mentally. Muses have gentle demeanors, and tend to remain calm in even the worst situations. Since the majority of a muse’s power revolves around aiding others, they are almost never found alone. This communal spirit supplants any negative personality traits. Few would find a muse annoying, self-serving, impolite, or ill-mannered.
Relations: Muses get along well with all races, but are especially close with elves, gnomes, and aasimars. Most races view muses favorably, and some even view them as valuable assets that need to be invested in. Dwarves are the only race that seems reluctant to show kinship, citing that the inspiration of a muse is both artificial and ephemeral.
Relations to Remarkable Races: Muses also get along well with most Remarkable Races, with the kvals being the biggest exception. A strange enmity exists between the muses and kvals that goes beyond a simple difference of opinion.
Of all the advocates of the muse race, the boggles are the most enthusiastic. Boggles will travel great distances and perform astounding deeds just for that little extra ounce of inspiration that a muse might provide.
Alignment and Religion: Muses are generally selfless creatures that live to spread divine inspiration to any being willing to aid their cause. This paints the picture of a benevolent being, capable of only kindness, generosity, and compassion. While the majority seems to fit that image, malevolent muses do exist. Twisted to the cause of a dark god, these muses serve to inspire the best in the worst sorts of creatures. Regardless of their alignment, almost all muses refuse to deal with evil from the abyss, especially demons. Muses can be of any and all religions, serving as aids to the paragons of those religions and their values.
Adventurers: Muses enjoy the leadership role most of all, reveling in their ability to make their allies better. Being creatures of beauty and art, their natural profession is bard, and most muses gravitate towards this class above all others. However, their nature lends well to both divine and arcane endeavors. While a few muse clerics exist, sorcerer and wizard muses are the most common. Most martially inclined muses are paladins who inspire their allies to victory.
Male Names: Anfef, Atheah, Aveb, Bavar, Eben, Elvaf, Gahal, Galath, Hivval, Iannef, Kevel, Madaf, Mahar, Mavash, Nehel, Oref, Rahal, Salem, Seveth, Tayav, Veveth, Zashev.
Female Names: Abea, Atha, Athava, Chara, Danah, Darlelle, Elra, Enarah, Harna, Haya, Idna, Itha, Jaeda, Kara, Kavia, Lehlu, Mae, Nathia, Nola, Pazla, Rathia, Rivendi, Satha, Shava, Tivia.
The following feats are available to a muse character who meets the prerequisites.
The following classes and/or prestige classes are available to a muse character who meets the prerequisites.
You can exchange one or several of your character’s normal racial Traits, but of course you cannot exchange the same racial trait more than once.
As with any alternate or optional rule, you must first get the permission of your GM to exchange any of your character’s normal racial Traits for those listed here.
Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a Favored Class, muses have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their Favored Classes. The following options are available to all muses who have the listed Favored Class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed Favored Class reward.