On the Shoulders of Heroes
The Kuo-toa are a scaly race of fishmen who inhabit the rivers and seas of Bellög. They generally prefer brackish or salt water. Warm-bloods, as they call the common folk, usually have little meaning to them. Kuo-toa tend to be shy, misunderstood and unpredictable.
Artwork by Eoghan Kerrigan
Kuo-toa grow about a little below 5 feet, as tall as dwarves, with the males being slightly taller than the females. They have a slender build, with a short, slim tail with a fin. Webbed hands and feet allow them to manoeuvre in the water, but limit their speed on land. They dress in their own crafted clothing, often decorated with shells. Being scaled the Kuo-toa have no hair at all, although some decorated their fins. Their eyes seem like watery pools.
The Kuo-toa hail from within the ocean depths, where they have dwelt for countless generations before they permanently emerged and started building on land. Shamans tell a story of a mighty red eyes shark with fins of a hundred leagues that tried to devour all Kuo-toa. In fear of the monstrous beast the sea-dwellers had no choice but to return to land.
Unaccustomed to the daylight the Kuo-toa first emerged only at night, which made the common folk suspicious of them. The Kuo-toa did not know of their ways, nor saw the need to trade or even engage with these strangers. For many years the common folk and the Kuo-toa lived side-by-side, each respectfully ignoring the other, until the shark came back…
A few generations ago the Kuo-toa faced a new threat: raiders. Pirates saw a worthwhile target in the fishmen and started raiding and pillaging their villages. Although usually the Kuo-toa were able to escape underwater it did open their eyes to the need to talk to their warm blooded neighbours. Brave Kuo-toa went to the jarls, explaining their plea and begged for help and compensation. Although the jarls were hesitant at first the Kuo-toa knowledge of the sea and currents proved a valuable resource in their own battle against the cut-throats. Thanks to the help of the Kuo-toa the jarls managed to force the pirates into a truce. The contact between the Kuo-toa and the common people also brought new generations together as there are now more Kuo-toa then ever who try their luck in the outside world.
Kuo-toa are a suspicious, skittish people with very few laws. Most of their society depends on common sense and it never even occurred to them it might be prudent to write down rules. Although especially the older Kuo-toa view the common races with suspicion, younger hatchings feel valued among them because of their vastly different views and skill set. Kuo-toa society had some trouble with the notion of using precious metals and stones as a payment method, but quickly adopted it when they found out that the baubles on the sea floor could be used to feed and clothe oneself.
The god of the Kuo-toa is the Seamother. She is an alien being of vaguely humanoid shape with an agenda that is impossible to grasp for warm bloods, at least the Kuo-toa are not telling. Kuo-toa only speak about their goddess when pressed and speak of her immense beauty and treacherous nature: she is the sea incarnate.
To appease the goddess many Kuo-toa display symbols of her creatures on their armour and weapons.
Artwork by Eoghan Kerrigan
- +2 Dexterity, -2 Charisma. Kuo-toa are swift, but shy and socially awkward.
- Medium: As Medium creatures, kuo-toa have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Kuo-toa base land speed is 20 feet. Their swim speed is 30 feet and have a racial +8 bonus on swim checks. They may always take 10 on swim checks, even when in peril.
- Dark Vision: A Kuo-toa can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and Kuo-toa can function just fine with no light at all.
- Amphibious: Kuo-toa breathe both air and water.
- Slippery: Their slimy skin gives Kuo-toa a +2 bonus on escape artist checks while wearing light or no armour.
- Balanced: Kuo-toa have short tail and broad feet which help them balance. This gives them a +4 bonus on balance checks.
- Proficiency: Tridents and Spears. Kuo-toa master these weapons at an early age.
- Automatic Languages: Aquan.
- Favoured Class: Rogue.