The Wayward were once Natives of the land of Ephyrne. Long ago, the tribes began to band together, choosing to settle in one place instead of maintaining their nomadic traditions. Thier religion and culture began to change, slowing transforming into the domains that Men had left behind. The Wayward rebelled, casting off the shackles of this new society. They heard the call of the water and followed it to the sea. There they took up the sail and set out for the unknown lands that promised to keep their ancient traditions.
Since falling out with their Native brethren, the Wayward have become renowned for their expert sailing and ship crafting skills. Any captain or crewman is happy to have a Wayward with them. Wayward Ephryn prefer to take their problems head on, be it the raging forces of a seaborn storm or even a simple task. Their lack of fear and willingness to do what is necessary makes them a powerful asset wherever they may be found.
Wayward Ephryn are free spirits. They are quick to try new things and achieve greater feats of bravery. The Wayward Ephryn is rash, prone to action, jumping into danger with little thought for risk toward their own lives.
Wayward are brutal honest with themselves and others. They take most situations at face value and are usually good judges of character. Unlike their Native brethren they are experts at bending the truth to fit their purposes, though they never craft outright lies leading most seafaring folk to believe a Wayward is more truthful than not. That said, a Wayward’s penchant for secrets should never be underestimated. Most Wayward maintain strict secrecy about their culture and rituals, though they are always willing for a chance to boast about past accomplishments.
Wayward maintain close ties with their departed and often seek wisdom from the spirits of their ancestors. Women maintain their matriarchal role in Wayward society, and are often serve the role of powerful shamans who can bend the spirit realm to their bidding. As conduits to the spirit realm, a shaman is powerful and highly respected. Her role is to serve as a guide, following from the wisdom of those who came before her.
Wayward Ephryn choose to think for and look out for themselves, highly regarding their own individuality.
There are very few differences between the Wayward Ephryn and their Nomadic brothers and sisters (See Ephryn, Native). They stand 6 to 8 feet tall, but weigh in heavier at 300 to 370 lbs due to muscles gained from sailing the seas. Large hooked nostrils, and a hooked nose; oblong face and deep set jaw from the tooth structure. Their dreadlocks are present as well, due to the hooked hair follicles.
The differences are in skin color. Wayward Ephryn often have a deep navy blue skin tone that allows them to blend with the open seas. It is widely believed that an Ephryn's skin color is dictated by the colors present when they are born because of the staggering frequency in these colors when compared to those who choose the land as their home. Others speculate that Ephryn possess some measure of chameleon abilities, though it has never been observed. A Wayward's skin is leathery due to the effects of salt water.
Wayward possess the ability to breath underwater thanks to a set of gills located just below their armpits.
Wayward Ephryn often have shorter lives because of the many dangers to sailing the sea. Their typical lifespan runs 150 years on average; the oldest recorded Wayward Ephryn was 227 years old.
Unlike their nomadic brothers and sisters, the Wayward Ephryn rarely band together in anything larger than a small group. They prefer to spread out, often joining with group that seek adventure and provide them with opportunities to display their prowess. Wayward are not known to hold grudges against races but do tend to be unscrupulous equal opportunists. Ambition is embraced and going for the greatest gains, physical or otherwise, is always encouraged, even if it could be detrimental.
Wayward are incredibly hard workers, willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. They speak their mind and forge their own path heedless of others standing in their way; a trait that is as admired as it is hated.
Most intelligent folks keep a wary eye on a Wayward. Beneath their typically agreeable attitude is a desire to get whatever they need in any way necessary. This drive has brought forth a burgeoning slave trade and the Wayward have little care who they take or who they sell to. They are quite willing to scavenge battlefields for survivors or lure unsuspecting travelers to be traded to the elves. The most despicable acts committed are against their own people. A Wayward will not take another Wayward, but they are more than willing to strike inland and capture others from small Native tribes.
Much of their trade is done with the Elves of Tyr. They are one of the few who are welcome beyond the Obos (towns set up outside of Tyran coastal cities for non-elves, humans translate it as a shit town) and into the Prim'isla (first tier of Tyran society, usually occupied by noble-less families.
Wayward do not have a homeland, having given up the land of Ephyrne so long ago. Whenever they find themselves in a place for more than a week, it becomes their home. For most, home is aboard a ship, sailing across the wide open seas. It is there that they are most at ease.
Wayward are welcomed in most coastal villages and cities regardless of race, but are rarely allowed to go inland for fear that they are scouting out new victims. Those who do make it inland have done so by sneaking in, or by proving themselves a friend of the nation in question.
The Wayward recognize the presence of many of the gods of the pantheon, though hold only a handful are held in high esteem. Their beliefs of the gods further deviates from other known religions in their belief that a number of classically dark gods are misunderstood figures who severed to shape and mold them as a race. The pantheon stories regarding the Wayward are passed down by the matriarchs, and despite ages of retellings by multiple figures, the story remains very much the same.
Long ago there stood a Great Mountain, the birthplace of all life. Within its stone slept unformed spirits, innocent souls who had not yet learned the wonders of the world. The gods of the old world grew spiteful and sundered the Great Mountain, casting the spirits from their resting place and scattering them across the land. Many of the spirits landed upon the land, where they were gathered up by the fickle god Poligyle. Others were thrown into the water, the deep places where the shadows dwell.
Poligyle saw fit to grant mercy to the spirits who had been thrown onto the land. He breathed the breath of light, called the Jyazpip in the Native tongue, into the stone to grant them a new form, giving birth to the Ephryn for they are of the stone. But Poligyle chose to ignore the stones that had fallen into the deep places, for he believed no good could come of them. Zamik know otherwise, and stole some of Poligyle’s breath as he awoke the spirits. She brought the breath down into the dark places beneath the waves and blew it upon the stones that had drank of the deep. The Jyazpip filled the stones and formed them like their sisters, and so the Wayward were born.
Knowing they could not live in the deep, Zamik placed the on the shore among the other Ephryn. There they were welcomed, but Poligyle was suspicious. Knowing that the land kissed stones would recoil from the frigid ocean waters, Poligyle sent the Ephryn into the sea to prove Zamik’s trickery. Zamik asked Za Gjae Un to warm to surface waters so that the Ephryn might live together as one. Za Gjae Un did, and when the Ephryn entered the sea they all rejoiced in the waters.
Poligyle grew jealous and ordered the Ephryn back onto the land. He ordered them to gather and become as one, sending them far away from the waters, but the Wayward would not leave. When Poligyle saw this he knew Zamik’s treachery to be true. He ordered the Ephryn to destroy the Wayward, threatening that if they did not, their blood would become tainted by the sea, never to rest with the Mountain again. When this failed, Poligyle sent Rygoghky to the Wayward.
Rygoghky birthed the Oni out of those who chose to lie or live in dishonor. He struck at the Wayward and taunted Zamik. Seeing her children harmed, Zamik grew angry and brought a great ocean storm upon Rygoghky who laughed at the goddess when the torrent caught her children and cast them back into the deep. Zamik despaired, but the Secrets of the Deep were great. When the Jyazpip filled the stones of the deep, the Shadows had taught it to breath.
When they returned to the surface, the Wayward found their numbers had greatly reduced. Their pain was felt by Iro, who came to their side and comforted them. Iro taught the Wayward how to commune with those who had been lost and he gave to them the power of the wind. Zamik rejoiced when she found her children alive and gave to them a gift of the sea so that they would forever traverse the ocean with ease.
Za Gjae Un, the Day Star (Estridae)
Notable Wayward Ephryn
+2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma: Wayward Ephryn are powerful creatures, possessed of might and health like their ancient ancestors, but they tend to be direct and rash.
- Medium: Ephryn are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size. Normal Speed: Ephryn have a base speed of 30 feet.
- Swim Speed: Ephryn have a swim speed of 30 feet.
- Blessing of Zamikeye: Wayward Ephryn gain a +12 racial bonus on Swim checks, can always take 10 while swimming, and may choose Aquan as a bonus language.
- Amphibious: Wayward Ephryn can breath underwater.
- Fearless: Ephryn gain a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against fear effects.
Languages: Wayward Ephryn begin play speaking Common and Ephryn. Ephryn with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Aquan, Dwarven, Draconic, Elven, Gnomish, Goblin, Orc, and Undercommon.