Oread (Or-E-ad) are the humanoid embodiment of elemental earth. Stoic, stalwart, and contemplative, they are as steadfast as the earth itself. For those interested in a calm and loyal character who thinks before they act, Oread is the race for you.
Oread appear humanoid but with earthen characteristics. Minimum costuming requirements are prominent shading of brown or tan from the jawline to just below the cheekbone. Additionally, Oread must wear jewelry containing a stone from their place of birth. Additional stones may be added to act as memorials to important events in the Oread’s life.
Oread tend to wear modest clothing with dull earthen hues. Optionally, rock patterns (in either pebble-like circles or irregular slate-like shapes) maybe drawn on exposed skin.
Oread physically embody the element of earth, and this is prominently reflected in their personalities. They are level-headed individuals who prefer to entertain all possible outcomes before acting. Once a decision is made, they are as resolute and unyielding as the earth itself. Oread would make fine diplomats, if not for their reclusive nature. Nothing makes an Oread quite as happy as bonding with the earth. Oread travel far and wide through the earth, collecting stones and simply enjoying flowing through different soil types. Often Oread will disappear for days, just to be found unmoving while admiring a boulder.
Oread are a byproduct of the vast elemental energy at war within the Maelstrom, a physical manifestation of earth. Some speculate that the Oread are the result of ancient sorcerers drawing too much power from the Maelstrom and being consumed. Others insist that the dwarves dug too deep and the bridge between realms was breached. Even the Oread themselves are unsure of the specifics.
The earliest recording of an Oread was found in an ancient Dwarven miner’s journal, in which he discovers what he refers to as a “Stone Child":
A cave-in happened t’dae. Ah dinnae know how et happened, Ah triple reinforce th’ walls. But all o’ the sudden et was as thought th’ earth etself was torn asunder! After th’ rubble settle, Ah was strugglin’ tae dig mahself oot when Ah heard th’ faintest o’ giggles. Oot o’ solid stone, a wee babe crawled et’s wae through as tho nothin’ were there. The stone child smile at me as ‘e moved past. Captivated, Ah began tae follow. The next thing Ah knew, Ah was clear o’ th’ rubble an back in th’ main chasm. Exhausted, ah laid on th’ ground. Th’ stone child yawned an’ curled next tae mah beard. Ah carried the wee thing back tae ma hoose. Ah’ll make a dwarf oot o’ em yet.
Some have mistaken Oread and Earth Neojinn as one race. However, magical scholars have debunked this theory. Oread have a direct link with the Maelstrom and are able to use this connection to directly manipulate the earth around them. Earth Neojinn have an ancestral lineage to Earth Djinn and lack this natural ability to harness the power of the Maelstrom.
Oread have no distinct bloodlines. It was previously thought that Oread born into different areas would retain characteristics of that region. For example, an Oread born in the desert will be of a tan hue, while an Oread born in the mountains would be darker and may even have a stony skin. However this was found to be untrue. An Oread’s form is determined not by birth, but by proximity. Over time spent in the mountains, an Oread born in the desert would start to darken in color and any sand-like features they may have had, would become more dense.
To remind themselves of their birth land, all Oread carry a stone of remembrance. Typically, this stone is fastened into a piece of jewelry such as a necklace or bracelet. Through their life and travels, Oread commemorate special life events by adding stones to this jewelry. These stones can be as mundane as pieces of granite or as ornate as a cut diamond. However to an Oread, these stones represent a life filled with memories.
Oread spontaneously come to being deep underground, where they remain in a stasis until another sentient being discovers them. Oread affectionately refer to this as their slumber. An Oread remembers very little from their slumber, except the serenity of being surrounded by solid earth. When discovered, the Oread “awakens” and begins their life as a child. The chaotic magic of the Maelstrom bonds the child to the being that finds them. This bond causes a familial connection between the two which ensures the safety of the young Oread. Additionally, this bond causes the young Oread to adapt some traits to that of their host parent. The most direct physical manifestation is that the Oread will age in-line with the race that discovered them. However, once fully grown, the bond begins to fade and an instinctual wanderlust develops in the Oread. This causes them to leave their former home to explore the earth.
It is extremely rare for multiple Oread to be born in the same area. Therefore, family structure for an Oread is entirely determined by which race found and adopted the Oread.
Oread take on traits and values from the race that adopts them. For example, an Oread from a Gnomish home may always wear a hat. However, all Oread have a strong connection to the element of earth. They are uneasy in unnatural constructs and prefer to avoid open water. After leaving their home, they tend to spend their time in solitude as they explore and listen to the earth. Once an Oread makes a friend, however, they are a friend for life. Even if they spend many years apart, an Oread remains loyal to that bond.
Oread tend to collect stones, gems, or other earthen trinkets to remind them of their journeys. More often than not they are mundane rocks with no monetary value, but to an Oread it speaks of a lifetime of exploration, change, and beauty.
Oread are not impulsive or excitable and do not act rashly. An Oread will calmly explore all options before them before making a decision. Once an Oread sets its mind to something, they will be steadfast in seeing it through to the end. They are calm even in the face of immediate danger and will protect themselves and their allies to the best of their ability.
Oread tend to not have any quarrels with any particular race. Although, they often find surface dwelling races to be strange for their aversion to the underground.
Oread have a strong relationship with Dwarves, as they tend to be the ones to find young Oread the most. Even if an Oread is not from a Dwarven home, they will respect the Dwarves’ craftsmanship and relationship with the earth.
It is not uncommon for Oread to be raised by a Gnome, so they are likewise treated with respect. Although even an Oread raised by Gnomes may never understand their “unnatural” tinkering lifestyle.
Young Oread may be found by an Earth Neojinn, but due to the Neojinn’s solitary nature their time together would likely be brief.
Oread view other elementals, such as Undine and Efreet, as distant family. As such, they tend to enjoy time spent with them even if they don’t appreciate the earth as much.
Oread are not the most fervent followers of the Immortals. They do tend to favor Loreyza as the patron of nature, since nature and elements go hand in hand. Additionally, the newly ascended Immortal, Kragg the Forgefather has been gaining popularity. This is because of his combination with the essence Espidrel, and role as Immortal of earth warden.
Oread are prone to satisfying their wanderlust upon adulthood, and will travel far and wide. While most of their life is spent in isolation, occasionally an Oread will come to town to trade or learn more about local rock formations. If an Oread were to join an adventuring party, they tend to become scouts. Using their natural earthen abilities to search ahead. They tend to favor being ranged attackers, with earth spells or projectile weapons. Although, Oread warriors are not uncommon. Oread healers are a rarity, due to their lack of knowledge of other races’ anatomies.
Peridot “Auntie Dot” Ridgepeak- Auntie Dot is an ancient Oread raised among Gnomes, who is renowned for her travels and exceptionally long life. Crooked back and wearing a very heavy necklace of stone that nearly drags the ground, Auntie Dot is beloved by Oread and Gnomes alike. Having finally retired to her Gnomish village from years of traveling, she regals little gnomes with fantastical tales of adventure from a different age. No doubt, many Gnomish tales were co-opted from an old Auntie Dot story.
Shale Fissureanvil- Shale Fissureanvil was an Oread raised among dwarves and renowned among all dwarvenkind for his runesmithing ability. His natural connection to the earth allowed him to travel to the deep places of the earth and seek out special aether-touched ore. Once found, he would collect the aether-touched ore and then return to his custom Dwarven forge. He would then spend many mestrums at his forge speaking with and intricately shaping the stone. The fruits of his labor were Runes of Power, rivaled by no other. Ultimately, both Shale and his Forge were lost during the Shattering. Presumed dead, his legacy lives on through the handful of powerful Runes that escaped destruction.
Oread borrow phrases and sayings from their adoptive family. However, due to their love of earth there are several universal phrases that all Oread tend to say.
“Between a rock and a hard place” - a statement regarding being caught between two difficult situations.
“Leave no stone unturned”- a statement meaning to try every possible course of action in order to achieve something.
“ River stones remain, while water flows away.”- a statement meant for encouragement during hard times.