The elven nations claim a history longer than nearly all other civilized nations, but adu’jas were already ancient when elves were mere infants in the care of their young gods. When elves matured, adu’jas showed them the secrets of the natural world. Its magic and power became one with the elves. When the elves sank into civil war, adu’jas suffered the wrath of those who twisted adu’jan lore, rendering it corrupt and unnatural. Adu’jas retreated from the world, taking ancient mysteries deep into untamed woodlands across the world. The heart of their arts remains at the core of druidic philosophy, bardic wisdom and the discipline of woodland rangers.BRBR With the encroachment of human civilization and the decimation of the forests by goblinoids, adu’jas have emerged from their seclusion. Elven enclaves first reported their appearance, bringing a message of peace to the larger elven community. Adu’jas have chosen to ease into this new world under the aegis of their former students, the elves. They have returned to bring back the ancient woods, to save the last of their homes, and to assist humankind in becoming shepherds of wisdom.
Adu’jan society is virtually gone from the world. Its civilization has passed into antiquity, become little more recognizable than the natural world itself. Adu’jas organize themselves in small enclaves of fewer than a dozen, usually surrounding a great elder who serves more as spiritual guide than a true leader. Most elder resemble natural flora, immobile in the state of torpor that overtakes adu’jas of extreme age. Because adu’jas live almost twice as long as elves, an adu’jan elder is truly ancient.
Adu’jan elders sprout sapling adu’jas every few centuries, who eventually mature and become part of the small community that governs the woodlands in which they live. These saplings retain faint racial memories that guide them to maturity.
In recent times, adu’jas have been forced to mobilize their small numbers to protect themselves against encroaching humans, orcs and other despoilers of the forest. They work first by scare tactics, then by sabotage, and finally through force. It pains adu’jas to resort to such methods, but their increasing desperation drives them to it.
Many of the youngest adu’jas are leaving their enclaves among their elven allies to go out into the world and search for signs of hope. Young adu’jas are accepting of all races. They nurture eternal hope in the balancing harmony of nature, and they seek to cross cultural boundaries to merge their ancient wisdom with the dynamic drive of the warm-blooded races.
Asexual and averaging 5-1/2 to 6-feet tall, adu’jas are humanoid in shape. Their androgynous facial features show a hint of a nasal bump with two small vertical slits that resemble nostrils. These are not nostrils at all, but pheromone exhausts, which expel various scents according to the adu’jas’s mood. Adu’jan faces are ringed by soft, petal-like scales. These undulating petals are chromatophoric, changing in color and pattern to reflect moods. Their skin ranges from yellowish green through emerald to deep brown, but this color changes according to season and mood. Their large, almond eyes are deep gold to rich brown.BR Adu’jas are typically weak and thin-limbed, yet they carry themselves with grace and dignity.
Adu’jas have a belief in preserving the natural world, which they call “Shan Jat” (“The Way of the Root.”) Shan Jat puts forth that all things have their necessary place and stem from the same source. Nature is. To adu’jas, this means that all things in nature must be balanced. Adu’jas have realized that during their long absence, they failed to tend their duties and imbalance has become the way of things. Civilization is no longer at harmony with nature. Most human and dwarven societies are leery of adu’jas. Rural communities seem more receptive to their presence and have been known to adopt adu’jas, especially if there are druidic orders nearby. Most civilized people think of adu’jas as nature spirits, which adu’jas use to their advantage in winning their trust.
Young adu’jas who have learned to live among the goodly races (such as humans, elves, gnomes and halflings) have been known to “go native.” They become accustomed to wearing local garb and the use of simple accoutrements. As their understanding of their neighbors grows, they apply their holistic philosophy to everyday life in the hope that their friends will adopt the adu’jas way by example.
Adu’jas are very naïve of the world at large. Their philosophy is of such sublime scope that they often cannot see the day-to-day world beneath it—or rather, they don’t care to acknowledge it. However, they are extremely expressive creatures. Their chromatophoric petals and scent glands make them extremely effective communicators. They have great inner strength and strong personalities, although they might not show it all the time.
The most sylvan, ancient tropical forests are the homes of the adu’ja, and they rarely stray from their original home. They need a large amount of sunshine and water to live and a tropical climate is perfectly suited to their way of life. A desert is certain death for any adu’ja, although there are stories or an evil sub-race of adu’ja who have been able to survive and even thrive in the scorching dry sun.
When in the cities, they tend to live on the outskirts of the city, as close to nature as they can get. In their natural home, they live high in the trees – close to the Sun. They are able to coax the trees to grow close together and even hollow themselves out to create lasting shelters. The best day for any adu’ja is to be able to bask in the glow of the warm sun on a humid day above the canopy of the trees.
The adu’ja grow their homes and goods, making them very self-sufficient and not reliant on trade whatsoever. A typical adu’ja city is comprised of a great hall, adorned with all sorts of flowering plants that give it a life giving atmosphere. The individual homes are located around this central location, and are difficult to pick out from the floor of the forest.
Being omnivorous plants, they spend their days collecting berries and even a little bit of meat for the entire community. When they are not gathering their food, they enjoy philosophy and the pursuit of knowledge of the natural world. Some Adu’ja try to foster their link to their ancestors, and have found that they are able to even remember and channel the spirits of the individual members of their race from long ago.
Adu’ja are particular about what they eat – certainly nothing cooked at all. Most of what they eat is in a form as close to its natural state as it can be – even raw meat. However, they consume only a ¼ of the amount of food of a human does if they have access to sunlight. They need at least 4 hours of direct sunlight. If they cannot get this, then they eat twice as much as a typical human.
The adu’ja are master farmers, but not in the classical sense. They farm around and in the trees that they call their homes, growing all sorts of food and medicine. Their farms grow in the crook of a branch and on their roof of their home – really anywhere that they can get something to grow, they foster it and allow it to flourish. Each individual has their own “farm”, although there are very small and highly specialized.
Artistically, they are highly developed. However, they tend to express themselves using scent – allowing pheromones to convey their feelings. Obviously, this is only appropriate if the audience is also adu’ja. As far as visual art, the highest form is gardening. It is an art form that all adu’ja unconsciously practice, with many unspoken rivalries between individuals in a community.
Young adu’jas are usually neutral good in alignment. They believe in proactively establishing harmony. As they age, their understanding of Shan Jat deepens, and they tend to drift toward neutral alignment.
The closest thing to an adu’ja political system is a communist one. Each adu’ja is very aware for the entire group and each individual gives what they can and takes only what they need. Their council of elders is a group of the three oldest adu’ja, regardless of heroism or past deeds, that dictate the direction of the colony.
Adu’jas typically revere Miyuno and elemental spirits. Estarriol is also popular.
==Language== Adu’jas have adopted the Elven alphabet in order to write their own slows, thrumming language. They rarely ever write on plant-based mediums, preferring to put their thoughts down on parchment. In addition to their own tongue, adu’jas speak Elven and Sylvan, and they often learn Common, Gnome and Halfling, as these are often the languages of their friends and allies.
==Adventurers== Adu’jan adventurers are rare but active. They make friends readily with elves, gnomes and some humans. Most other races regard them with indifference at best and suspicion or fright at worst. The honest demeanors of adu’jas typically win over hesitant acquaintances.
Adu’Jas Racial TraitsEdit
* +2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma, -2 Strength: Adu’jas make good use of their beautiful petals and scent glands, making them appealing to other races. They are also perceptive of their world. However, their thin-limbed bodies are relatively weak. * Medium: As Medium creatures, adu’jas have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size. * Adu’jan base land speed is 30 feet. * Adu’jas have the woodland stride ability, as a 2nd-level druid. * Plant: As a creature of the plant type, an adu’ja is immune to all mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, polymorph and stunning. They are not subject to critical hits. Adu’jas do not need to sleep. Adu’jan spellcasters still must rest for 8 hours to regain spells. They are immune to spells and effects that only affect humanoids, such as charm person. Photosynthesis: Adu’jas consume only one-quarter the rations of a human of similar size. In essence, they are omnivorous plants. They gain sustenance from eating animal or vegetable matter, usually in small quantities. This ability works only if they allowed at least four hours of direct sunlight; otherwise, they must eat as much as a human. Adu’jas prefer vegetable matter over animal flesh, but many younger adu’jas have developed a taste for meat. * Photoregeneration: Adu’jas who are allowed to rest in sunlight with at least a gallon of water to consume heal twice their level plus their Con bonus in hit points per day. If active during this time they gain hit points back at the normal resting rate. In darkness, they regain hit points normally. Adu’jas can regrow severed limbs (but not heads.) It takes approximately 1 month to regrow a limb, during which time adu’jas can do nothing more than rest and perform light activity. Complete bed rest cuts this time in half. * +4 racial bonus on Diplomacy and Perform checks. Adu’jas express themselves well, with changing patterns of color on their facial petals and skin as well as odors from their scent glands. * -4 penalty on all Bluff and Sense Motive checks. Due to their inherently trusting nature, adu’jas find it difficult to tell and discern lies. * +4 racial bonus on Survival checks. Adu’jas always consider Survival a class skill, as they have an innate link to the natural world. * Low-Light Vision: An adu’ja can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions. * Vulnerability to Fire: Adu’jas take half again as much (+50%) damage from fire. * Spell-Like Ability: 1/day—speak with plant. Caster level 1st. * Automatic Languages: Adu’ja, Elven and Sylvan. Bonus Languages: Common, Draconic, Gnome and Halfling. Adu’jas know the languages of their allies, and they often learn those of potential friends. * Favored Class: Druid and Ranger. An adu’jas gains +1 skill point each time it gains a level in the druid or ranger class. * Level Adjustment: +2.