Much is said about the conflict between urban civilization and the wilderness. Spring children exist as proof that such conflict is not the only outcome of interactions between the quickling races and primeval nature. The sons and daughters of mortals and dryads, spring children offer a study in seeming contradictions. Their eternal youth belies their natural wisdom, and their affinity for nature does not dim their pleasure in the wonder of stone and glass. Spring children delight in being between worlds, even if it sometimes means that they don’t quite fit into either one
Spring children inherit a somewhat elven appearance from their dryad mothers, with lithe builds, pale (and often somewhat greenish) skin and wide, deeply colored eyes. Spring children have vibrantly colored hair which changes color with the seasons, showing green in spring and summer, blazing with the colors of fall in autumn, and bleaching a pale white during the dead of winter. Spring children appear healthier and more lustrous in sunlight, and wilt somewhat in dark spaces, eventually taking on an exhausted, bedraggled look if deprived of sunlight for too long.
Spring children dress as appropriate for their professions and tastes, and accent their clothing and armor with natural touches such as flowers, wooden jewelry, and gemstones. Flowers worn in a spring child’s hair never die, which leads some spring children to braid or weave blooms into their hair as a decoration or simply to preserve flowers they grew themselves and came to love.
Spring children present a curious mix of natural wisdom and eternal youth. A spring child never really stops being a teenager, emotionally speaking, but their natural maturity, empathy, and perception can make them seem more “adult” than they actually are. Spring children learn easily but growing more mature can be a challenge for them, which is part of the reason so many wander from place to place —eventually they run out of new things to do and see where they are, and move on to something more fun or interesting. It isn’t malice or even carelessness so much as a simple lack of long -term investment, an inability to see the long view that many spring children never really get over.
This youth also means that spring children can be amongst the most hopeful, optimistic, and enthusiastic friends one could ask for. Spring children see the world with a sense of wonder that never leaves them; every sunrise is a chance to do things over, to make amends and new friends and see the world in another way. Spring children see more than other humanoid races because they pay attention, and find wonder because they look for it. Even in the midst of tragedy, a spring child knows that growth must follow, and they’re more than willing to help bring growth out of pain and renewal out of death.
Most spring children are raised by both parents, though the relationship may be somewhat distant, both because their mothers are bound to the trees that empower them and because dryads are somewhat solitary beings. Their mothers show them the wonders of the natural world and teach them about the responsibility sapients have to the worlds that nourish them, while their more mortal parents show them societies and the delights and pains of living with people. Most spring children ultimately favor their mortal side in the sense that they desire to belong to a culture, though they may reveal their fey blood in choosing to belong as an outlier or lone wolf; many spring children take up professions such as trapping or exploring which let them belong to a group while also having lots of time to themselves.
A surprising number of spring children go through apprenticeships early in their lives, mostly as a result of their mothers realizing they have magic but will never quicken to the same innate power that the fey themselves possess. Many spring children are trained young with druids, rangers, sorcerers or wizards, and pick up a strong influence from their mentor, which may or may not also be their mortal parent. Most spring children pick up a love of learning and want to know all the aspects of their chosen profession, and end up as enthusiastic, well-informed professionals. They take this attitude with them when they leave home, and many a spring child bonds and re-bonds with their mother over the course of long centuries by returning home with exciting tales of all the things they’ve learned and done.
Spring children learn to take care of themselves on the road, and many become adventurers because they take an involvement in keeping the roads and travelways safe rather than a purposeful profession. Those that do take to professional mercenary work are often bards, druids, rangers, stalkers, wizards, and sometimes even paladins. Even those rare spring children that are dismissive of natural environments tend to find necromancers and alchemists distasteful in the extreme, and they often have trouble connecting with psionicists because their fey heritage does not really lend itself to psionic power.
Spring children treat other races with all the enthusiasm —and thoughtless prejudice, at times—of youth. They love meeting new cultures and are full of amazement and wonder at meeting exotic new peoples. At the same time, spring children can pick up prejudices from their parents which they sometimes don’t stop to examine, and can severely embarrass themselves as a result (to say nothing of causing lethal offense).
- Ability Score Adjustments: +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Strength: Spring children are graceful and wise, but weak
- Size: Spring children are Medium size and thus have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Type: Spring children are humanoid creatures with the feyblood subtype.
- Speed: Spring children have a base speed of 30 feet.
Other Racial Traits
- Humanoid Heritage: At first level a spring child must choose from the dwarf, elf, gnome, halfling, or human subtype. They gain the chosen subtype in addition to any other subtypes they possess.
- Dryad’s Charm (su): Spring children have the fey’s power over manipulation. They increase the saving throw DC of any compulsion spell they cast by +1.
- Natural Magic (Sp): A spring child has a dryad’s connection to magic. They gain the following as spell-like abilities usable once per day each: entangle, charm person, and suggestion. The caster level for these abilities is equal to the spring child’s character level, and their save DCs are based on Wisdom
- Low-light vision (Ex) Spring children can see twice as far as humans in dim light.
- Ageless (Ex) A spring child does not experience any of the benefits or penalties of aging beyond adulthood and is effectively immortal, never dying of old age.
- Languages: Spring children begin play speaking Common and Sylvan. Spring children with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Aquan, Dwarf, Elf, Giant, Goblin, Halfling, and Terran.
Alternate Racial Traits
- Greensight (Ex) Some spring children have their mother’s eyes; they gain greensight out to 60 ft., allowing them to see through thick brush. This replaces the natural magic racial trait.
- Tree Meld (Sp): Some spring children are capable of mimicking their mother’s ability to meld with trees. This ability functions similar to how meld into stone does; however, she can remain melded with a tree as long as she wishes and it takes her a standard action just to enter or exit the tree. This racial trait replaces natural magic.
- Woodcrafter (Ex) Some spring children’s connection to woodlands is much more mundane. They have a knack for crafting things from wood, gaining a +6 racial bonus on Craft checks involving wood, as well as the ability to cast entangle and wood shape as spell-like abilities once per day each. This replaces natural magic.
Favored Class Options
- Barbarian: Heal 1 point of damage when you enter your rage.
- Bard: Add one spell known from the bard spell list. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level the bard can cast.
- Cleric: Add +1/2 to the result of channeling positive energy.
- Druid: Add +1/3 to the effective druid level for the purposes of wild empathy.
- Paladin: Increase the healing from lay on hands by +1/2 when used on animals or plants.
- Ranger: Add +1/3 to the effective ranger level of wild empathy.
- Rogue: Add +1/2 racial bonus to Stealth and Perception checks in forests, woods, and plains.
- Stalker: Add +1/2 to the stalker’s ki pool.
- Wizard: Add one spell to the wizard’s spellbook. This spell must be at least one level lower than the highest level available to the wizard.
Bloodforge, © 2017, Dreamscarred Press, LLC; Author: Matthew Ryan Medeiros, Jade Ripley, based on material by Owen K.C. Stephens