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Syamed Druid Archetype

Animal husbandry greatly contributed to the rise of civilization. Livestock provides food and other valuable commodities such as milk, wool, furs, and leather for the community in addition to forming the backbone of a vital labor force able to till fields and haul goods significantly faster and cheaper than men could ever dream of accomplishing. However, the beasts of burden commonly associated with farms in temperate environments cannot withstand the brutal weather conditions at the top and bottom of the world.

Instead, the plucky residents scratching out a living in this frozen world turned to an iconic herbivore for help— the reindeer. Although many circles consider them to be semi-domesticated animals, humanoid polar residents still maintain herds for food production in addition to riding them as mounts and using them to pull sleighs and other vehicles across the snow-covered terrain. The syamed took the process one step further, transforming these wild deer into trusted animal companions. The residents who come into contact with the syameds commonly refer to them as reindeer herders or on occasion, reindeer husbands as a humorous play on words. Being in the company of migratory animals forces the syamed to lead a nomadic lifestyle trekking through the snow in the constant search for food in a domain largely bereft of edible flora. Nonetheless, these druids frequent humanoid settlements along the route. There they acquire crucial intelligence about monstrous activities from local inhabitants, trade goods with merchants, and gather information regarding reindeer herds passing through the area as many villages spring up alongside popular migratory routes. Despite his implacable bond with these animals, syameds recognize humanity’s need for sustenance in a world starving for resources. When humanoids slaughter reindeer for food or hunt the beasts in the wild, the syamed often supervises these activities to ensure their fellow humanoids slay the animals as humanely as possible without undue suffering and pain. Like the animals they accompany, these druids straddle the boundary between the worlds of feral creatures and civilized men.

Reindeer Bond (Su)

At 1st level, a syamed must choose an animal companion with his nature bond ability and select a reindeer as his companion. This ability alters nature bond.

Reindeer Empathy (Ex)

A syamed’s wild empathy functions only with reindeer. When he uses wild empathy to influence a reindeer, he makes two checks and uses the better result. Furthermore, it takes him only 1 round to influence a reindeer. This ability alters wild empathy.

Snow Runner (Ex)

At 2nd level, a syamed and his reindeer animal companion suffer no penalty to speed or on Acrobatics, Climb, or Stealth checks in snowy or icy terrain. This ability replaces woodland stride.

Snow Shoes (Ex)

At 3rd level, a syamed and his animal companion leave no trail in snowy or icy terrain, unless the syamed chooses to do so. This ability alters trackless step.

Reindeer Defense (Ex)

At 4th level, a syamed adjacent to a reindeer, including his animal companion, cannot be flanked. This ability replaces resist nature’s lure.

Wild Shape (Su)

At 6th level, a syamed’s wild shape ability functions at his druid level –2. If he takes on the form of a reindeer, he instead uses his druid level +2.

This ability alters wild shape.

Spur Reindeer (Sp)

At 9th level, once a day, the syamed can grant his animal companion the ability to take flight as the fly spell for a number of minutes equal to the druid’s Wisdom modifier. He gains an extra use of this ability each day at 12th level and a third use of this ability at 15th. This ability replaces venom immunity and timeless body.

Reindeer Whisperer (Su)

At 13th level, a syamed’s connection to his frozen domain’s indigenous wildlife allows him to be constantly treated as under the effects of a speak with animals spell when communicating with animals native to a polar biome as defined in the preceding description for the jiraat’s become the part ability. In the company of more than one reindeer, he can spend 10 minutes communicating with the herd to learn the answers to his questions as commune with nature. This ability replaces a thousand faces.