Gate of Souls
The Kindred Races
The Kindred races of the Gate of Souls are a diverse lot, varied vastly in their attitudes beliefs, and cultures. Each race has a different core set of values, different physical characteristics, and in many cases a vastly different view of how the world is and how it should be. Why then are they called Kin? The most obvious answer is that all the Kin possess a form that is at least somewhat similar. All are bipedal living beings that, barring the abilities of some Attunements, possess the same requirements for survival. The Kin can breed with one another, though some people deny that this is the case, and their offspring are no worse off for it, barring potential social stigma. Perhaps what is most telling however, is that within the Kin, race is only loosely tied to heredity. While generally a child will share the race of one of their parents, this is not always guaranteed, indeed members of the so called ‘spirit races’ are actually more likely to come from a foreign parentage than a pairing of their own kind.
The truth is that what determines the race of a Kin is not parentage at all, but rather mindset. Each race has a different approach and focus to how they see the world, and it is this focus that determines the race of a child. Racial characteristic usually do not become apparent until late adolescence, though some precocious babes come from the womb bearing the marks of their tribe. Each race is tied to one of the nine attributes below, naturally developing an Attunement to that attribute as part of their racial mindset. Each race also receives a bonus dot in that attribute as well, to represent their natural inclinations and focus while growing up.
The racial mindset is extremely broad, allowing for a vast measure of diversity within each race. It is not the opinions of society that fixes a character’s race, but rather what the individual thinks and believes. And while stereotypes certainly exist, the idea of an ‘average’ member of any race is loose indeed. Likewise nearly any character concept can be matched to any race, though their motives might differ. A conquering warmonger might be a caricature of Orcish stereotype, but could also be an Elf despising the disorder of divided realms and taking pleasure in the dance of battle, an Eidolon seeking to bring a nation to their cause, a Gnome fascinated by the intricacies of tactics and strategy, or any number of other paths all leading to the same place.
A special note on the nature of these three races; Eidolons, Cambions, and Fey are most often born from a union of one of the other races. They are all rare, and their natures often make it difficult to form unions with their own kind. Even when they do come together they are much more likely to produce a child of one of the other races, making large stable communities unheard of, though some smaller ones are rumored to exist. Because of their intense natures members of these races almost invariably develop Attunements, and wrongly or rightly they are directly associated with the Mystic Attunements of channeling, summoning, and dreamwalking. Due to their association with the ephemera, strong magical abilities, and outright strangeness to the other Kin these races are often referred to as the spirit races.
It’s worth noting that while it is theoretically possible for a Kin to change their race by shifting their most basic world view, such things are vanishingly rare past the early teenage years. Once a certain mindset is in place it’s a very difficult thing to change, and the closer to a person’s core that mindset is the harder it is to change. However, it is possible for a heroic character to develop more favored attribute Attunements, either at character creation or through Soul Marks. Those Attunements represent a fundamental shift in character, growing closer to the associated race.