The Abyss is home to many things, almost all of them heinously wrong. One of these is the demon lord known as Arcenus, the lord of shallow graves. A lesser, scrabbling power in the Abyss, Arcenus dreams of godhood but does not wish to risk his own immortal life trying to struggle for it. His opportunity came when he discovered a series of pools with unusual properties in the portion of the Abyss he called home; by corrupting them further and twisting them with arcane magics, Arcenus was able to use these pools to combine mortals and demons into singular beings that were nominally loyal to him.
The ornibus are his first success. The results of combining humanoids and howlers, ornibus are Arcenus’s footsoldiers and agents. Though many escape his control—or forget they serve him—many more remain members in his burgeoning cult, bringing back mortals to the Abyss to be used in further experiments.
Ornibus resemble something halfway between humans and bugs. Their body is covered in chitinous plates with barbed spines protruding regularly and their hands end in wicked claws. Their eyes resemble those of an insect, large and glowing with malicious intent, and while they also possess a dreadful maw full of sharp teeth it is more frightening than dangerous. Their carapace ranges in color from deep browns to murky reds while the glow of their eyes is usually a play of the color green.
They don’t typically wear clothes beyond a loincloth, sometimes wearing leather armor or other material their natural defenses could protrude from.
Even if they weren’t half-demon abominations to begin with, ornibus would have problems; their creation is traumatic, as is the environment they are subsequently “raised” into, leaving them paranoid, violent, and bloodthirsty. Those who still serve Arcenus tend to fawn over him, but many do not, and those that escape (or forget) are very clearly broken beings, with a tendency to talk to themselves and get distracted by brief hallucinations. Very rarely are ornibus happy people, and they find relief from their misery by harming others.
Beneath the layers of aggression and misery, ornibus are creatures of surprising loyalty and ingenuity. Though they are often uneducated, ornibus employ creative solutions to their problems and reduce complex tasks to simple steps that can be explained to others. Calming one down enough to speak can reveal a surprisingly insightful being with an outsider’s perspective on common problems in humanoid societies.
Ornibus are less “trained” and more “raised into savagery”. Almost all of them are self -taught, whether in magic or mayhem, and those who do not prosper die. At some point —whenever their taskmaster bothers getting around to it—ornibus are sent into the mortal world to secure more slaves and victims for experimentation, and the majority remain in this line of work. Others escape or even forget their service to Arcenus, and spread into the mortal world in an effort to live their own lives.
This latter case forms the majority of ornibus who interact with other races. They find great success in savage societies where their instincts and brutal upbringing lead them to power, and it is not unheard of to see a ornibus leading a tribe of orcs or marshalling a destructive horde with which to crush the innocent beneath their heel. Others grow fascinated with the idea of religion; the truly curious sometimes emerge from the shadows to beg for membership in various religions, hoping that faith can cure their insanity. Sometimes it even works.
Ornibus are adventurers by definition, whether as Abyssal agents or free spirits. They join rebellions and armies for the chance at bloodshed, or to serve the interests of their master. They usually enter martial classes, with sorcerer, dread, and wilder also seeing strong representation. Ornibus respect only those strong enough to survive on their own, and aside from being unnerved by beings such as aasimar and alicorns who display a clearly good-aligned heritage, are typically unconcerned by race except insofar as the all-important question: “How do I kill you?”
Ability Score Adjustments
Medium: Ornibus are Medium creatures and thus have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Humanoid Heritage: At first level an ornibus must choose a humanoid subtype from the following: dwarf, elf, gnome, goblinoid, halfling, orc, or reptilian. They gain the chosen subtype in addition to any other subtypes they possess.
Other Racial Traits
Speed: Ornibus have a base speed of 30 feet.
Body Grind (Ex) Each round, at the beginning of its turn, the ornibus deals 1d6 + Strength modifier piercing damage to all other creatures engaged in a grapple with it. This damage overcomes damage reduction as if it were evil -aligned.
Rebellious Spines (Ex) The ornibus deals 2 points of piercing damage to creatures that strike with with natural attacks or unarmed strikes. This damage increases by 1 per 3 levels, and overcomes damage reduction as if it were evil -aligned.
Abyss-born (Ex) An ornibus was born in a cesspool of blood and guts, leaving them traumatized and slightly deranged; the cracks in their mind render them immune to the confused condition.
Claws: Ornibus have two claw attacks that deal 1d6 damage each.
Darkvision (Ex) Ornibus can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Low-light vision (Ex) Ornibus see twice as far as humans in dim light.
Languages: Ornibus begin play speaking Common and Infernal. Ornibus with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Abyssal, Giant, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, or Sylvan.
Alternate Racial Traits
Crimson Wash: Ornibus are occasionally born without the tell-tale spines that mark their species, but instead possess a more insidious power. Ornibus with this racial trait gain the ability to shape the bloody shroud veil, and do not count this veil against their normal limits on veils shaped. They all add 1 point of essence to their essence pool. This replaces rebellious spines.
Fearsome Visage (Su) Some ornibus lack the bristling spiked hides of their fellows but instead have an aura of fear about them. These ornibus cause all creatures within 10 feet of them make a Will save (DC 10 + ½ character level + charisma modifier) or be shaken for 1 minute. Evil outsiders are immune to this effect. This is a mindaffecting fear effect. This replaces rebellious spines.
Howl (Su) Some ornibus possess a lesser version of the howler’s signature howl; once per day as a standard action an ornibus can unleash its howl, rendering all nonoutsider creatures within 30 feet deafened for 1 minute unless they succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the ornibus’s character level + the ornibus’s Constitution modifier). At the beginning of each round thereafter, as long as they are still deafened, affected creatures must succeed at another Fortitude save or suffer 1 point of Wisdom damage. This replaces the claws racial trait.
Throwing Spines (Ex) Some ornibus lack a majority of their spines and only possess a small number of long, thick spines that regrow quickly. They grow three spines daily that they can break off and wield as a move action. They are treated as masterwork javelin that break once thrown and become too brittle to fight with after 24 hours. This replaces body grind and rebellious spines.
Favored Class Options
Cleric: Gain a bonus to damage dealt with negative energy channeling by +1/3.
Daevic: Add +1/5 to all bleed damage the ornibus deals.
Bloodforge, © 2017, Dreamscarred Press, LLC; Author: Matthew Ryan Medeiros, Jade Ripley, based on material by Owen K.C. Stephens