Relluk are a race of living stone, steam, and circuitry created as guardians in ages past and imbued with intellect and life through their soul crystals. For ages they slept amongst the ruins of an ancient civilization, unaware of the passing years on the volcanic island of Relluk, until they were awaken by explorers of the ruins.
The relluk race is full of mystery. Who were their creators? Why were they created? Where did they get the soul crystals?
What happened to their creators? These questions could simply be unsolvable mysteries.
However, they may also make interesting plot hooks and spur on other
Some features of this race may also provide launching platforms for further adventure. Perhaps the rumor of a large cache of soul crystals has surfaced. Even the armor gems may provide a source of adventure. It is very possible that the ancient civilization that created the relluk enchanted several sets of armor gems, that have now been pilfered and scattered throughout the world. Since they do not work without all eleven gems, the relluk PC may find itself on a perilous odyssey to assemble a complete set with particularly strong enchantments.
Despite their prehistoric roots, relluks in this text are presented as a fairly fresh race to the world. While they do have ancient origins, this does not need to be entangled with your existing campaign history. After all, the relluk spent most of recorded history as motionless statues. 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 this ancient spin does not work well with the concept of your game world, there are alternatives.
The relluks may be a new invention. It is quite possible that a primitive but highly mystical culture stumbled upon the secret of creating life. They could also be a spawn of the elemental planes themselves— an aspect of order from the astral plane manifested in the four elements.
Whatever the case, the relluk would make a welcome addition to any game as new living construct, an unusual option for the player who is bored with standard equipment, a challenge for the player who has played everything, or just a good match for those that enjoy adding a bit of ancient mystery to the game.
Physical Description: Relluks look like a thing from a forgotten time and a lost culture. Their bodies are of volcanic rock pressed into the shape of a crudely fashioned humanoid. The front of their torso features a stylized tribal face. On this face, mouths are typically large and tooth filled, noses are simple and roughly formed, and eyes are slanted ovals, half-circles, or crescents that flicker with orange fire. These torso-faces are unique to each body; vaguely similar only in style and proportion. Their upper arms are somewhat thin and featureless, with massive forearms that end bluntly in stubby-fingered mitts. A relluk’s legs resemble those of a muscular human.
Channels of golden metal run in circuit-like stripes throughout the relluk’s frame. These circuits are dotted with circular disks, many of which feature round gemstones. The circuit pattern is as unique to the individual as the torso-face. Where a head might be on a humanoid is a large uncut crystal point that glows with heat and light. From this crystal, the relluk sees, hears, and speaks. Its voice sounds almost metallic, with many echoes and reverberations regardless of the environment in which they are speaking. A dense odor of boiling rock emanates from their bulky mass, along with a great deal of heat.
The body of a relluk appears to be made of hard volcanic rock banded together with solid gold circuits. However, this is not entirely the case. Much of a relluk’s interior is essentially a porous, pumice-like stone riddled with hollow tubes. A living relluk is also full of hot water, steam, and ashy mud which they bleed when injured.
Much to the chagrin of treasure hunters who may spend several days stripping out the gold circuitry from relluk corpses or relluks that were not yet activated, the metal is actually mostly copper and nickel with only about 20% genuine gold. A relluk body yields about 30 gp worth of pure gold, which is hardly worth the time and energy it takes to process it.
Unlike many other types of living constructs, relluks need both air and water in order to thrive. Their interior mechanisms mimic life through a complex internal elemental chaos of fire, water, air, and earth. Their soul crystal provides heat and the spark of life, while their bodies provide substance and form. Air and water must be added regularly. Without water, the relluk at first loses access to its breath of steam power, and then becomes brittle and likely dies from crumbling. Without air, the relluk behaves much like other life-forms; it slows down and dies. A relluk consumes water through grates around the soul-crystal head. Air intake holes are actually the “eyes” of the torso face.
Most of the pseudo-biological processes inside a relluk have to do with the transfer and management of heat. This is the primary reason that they do not wear normal armor. While the relluk can expel heat from its torso mouth in the form of steam, this only provides temporary cooling. The circuits themselves radiate warmth, drawing heat away from the core of the body. Blocking this exit of heat from the body of a relluk causes it to slow down considerably. In addition, most armor does not fit a relluk's body shape and may obstruct the exit of steam or the intake of air.
The skin of a living relluk without the enhancement of armor gems is actually somewhat spongy, despite its appearance, and many liken it to reptilian scales in suppleness. While uncomfortably hot to the touch by human standards (about 175 degrees Fahrenheit), it is still fairly cool compared to its crystal head (which is about 550 degrees Fahrenheit). A relluk can greatly alter the consistency of its skin by adding armor gems, to the point of making the skin as hard as the stone it appears to be.
One might assume that a relluk is either resistant to fire or cold, from its appearance and its ability to generate large amounts of heat, as well as thrive unharmed in its own scalding hot steam cloud. However, such is not the case. While they do not outwardly appear to be harmed by fire or cold, it does throw them terribly out of balance internally, which in turn causes damage within. However, in regards to their breath of steam power, the expulsion of this steam provides just enough temporary cooling to help them withstand the duration of its effect externally.
The composition and nature of the crystal head is the biggest mystery. The crystals are impervious to damage, and, aside from glowing softly, are completely inert when not inside a relluk body. While resembling natural hexagonal quartz points, these crystals are flawless. About three-quarters of the crystal rests inside the body of the relluk, to which it bonds until the body is destroyed. The remaining quarter acts as the head of the relluk; providing both visual and auditory input in some inexplicable fashion.
Ecology & Society: At last count, there are exactly 4,023 known soul crystals in the world, most of which are attached to relluks. More could exist somewhere, yet to be found. When the relluks first came to life, there were only about five hundred relluk bodies left—the survivors of erosion, treasure hunters, vandals, and other such adversities common to all ancient relics. This provided something of a conundrum to the newly conscious relluks; their species was imminently doomed to extinction.
However, guided by an almost instinctual memory of ages gone by mixed with a need to awaken the thousands of souls still sleeping in crystal form, they quickly unraveled the mystery of relluk body creation. The bodies must be created at sacred sites using molten rock directly from a volcanic source, and generally take months of painstaking labor to complete. Luckily, the ancients left many of the necessary tools in the various ruins of huge ancient temples, and production began very quickly.
A small group of relluks formed to build new bodies, recover crystals from dead relluks, find new soul crystals, and generally act as caretakers for the new species. They now call themselves the Archeopatroni, and one can expect their agents to show up wherever a relluk was known to be slain to collect its soul crystal. The Archeopatroni are the closest thing that the relluks have to parents. Most relluks alive today have new bodies constructed by this society.
Unfortunately, the memory of a relluk is thought to be contained in its complex circuitry, not the soul crystals, and thus is destroyed when the relluk is slain. A newly awakened relluk is generally a blank slate. The soul crystal does seem to convey a few important aspects, however. Personality traits, class tendencies, and general disposition all seem to be some intangible quality of these crystals. For example, when a soul crystal is retrieved from a relluk that was known tobe a capricious rogue, it is very likely that this crystal will yield another impulsive scoundrel type— though of first level, without memories or experience. It is also quite possible that although both relluks started out as the same class with the same general personality, they will lead markedly different lives.
Relluks do not age, have gender, or share many biological processes common to other races. Still they seem somewhat more organic than many other living constructs, as they still need to breathe and drink. In addition, their makeup prevents embedded and attached components, aside from the armor gems.
Relations: Relluks are extremely varied in personality, despite their small population. Relluks are surprising in that such an alien-looking creature is still very capable of depths of emotion, humor, and even love. Of course matters of gender and reproduction confuse them somewhat, though they often relate to the concept of family as they share the same reverence for the Archeopatroni society. In some ways, they are envious of the natural born; often believing that the other races are much more advanced than they are. This may lead to a bit of an inferiority complex in some cases.
Most races are put at ease by a relluk’s gentle and easy-going personality. It is easy to imagine relluks as big, lovable guys in some sort of bizarre battle suit. They get along especially well with humans, dwarves, and half-orcs. Relluks often lack the grace required for elven etiquette, and relations between relluks and elves are consequentially strained. Halflings and gnomes are generally indifferent towards relluks, seeing them as somewhat scary but mostly harmless.
Relations to Remarkable Races: Boggles often take particular interest in relluks, as the boggle mindset is often fascinated by the concept of a living construct. Boggles can often be found along side Archeopatroni during the creation of new relluk bodies. Fast friendship also occurs between relluks and mogogols, who both share a generally positive outlook. Relluks also share a kinship with the obitu because they are both created beings.
Alignment and Religion: Relluks are generally kindhearted, good-aligned creatures who seem to have a hard time comprehending senseless violence and cruelty. They can also be quite fierce, and are often overprotective, territorial, and suspicious of strangers. Many express feelings of being lost or without purpose. Much of this is attributed to the reason they were created in the first place; as protectors and guardians. Unfortunately, their charge has long ago crumbled into oblivion.
Relluks often have trouble relating to religious endeavors, as they have no patron deity and they know little of the religion of their creators. In addition, they do not believe in an afterlife, as they think of their souls as tangible objects—the soul crystals. Of the few divinely focused relluks, paladins are much more common than clerics, and can often be found defending temples
Adventurers: Often, relluks adventure to find clues of their past. Some intend to unravel the mystery of the soul crystals. Others are simply trying to recover relics of lost civilizations in order to glean some more hints of their ancient creators. Relluks will also join an adventure to protect the land they live in, recover lost property, or to gain power.
Most relluks are of martial classes; though often too big and clumsy to be rogues. Relluks do have a natural attraction to arcane and primal forces as well, feeling that they are a mystical merger of both. Wizards and druids among them are not terribly uncommon.
Names: Baluk, Diwi, Fujow, Gerwiki, Hiwu, Iji, Kuwu, Lonu, Muluki, Nimuku, Pakwuk, Rukk, Tugwi, Ulu, Wuki, Zuwuki
1 This category includes barbarians, oracles, rogues, and sorcerers.
The following feats are available to a relluk character who meets the prerequisites.
The following classes and/or prestige classes are available to a relluk character who meets the prerequisites.