Gentle, civilised catfolk descended from savage beasts
|Through the Crowd||Abilen Racial Power|
|You utilise your small frame to slip into the perfect position, right under your enemies’ noses.|
|Free Action • Personal|
|Effect: Until the end of your turn, you do not provoke opportunity attacks for moving, and you can move through enemy squares.|
Known the world over for their hospitality and smooth social skills, the catlike abilen are a fixture of civilised cities. They adapted quickly to human arrival in Alm, going about their lives peacefully, gradually ingratiating themselves with a fortuitously-timed trade offer or favourable business deal. Abilen became a necessary part of the new era so smoothly it was barely noticed.
Like the nation of Independence, the abilen’s approach to the recent wars was to take great pains to work themselves into the political and mercantile foundations of all of Alm’s important nations, meaning hostility toward them is widely frowned upon.
Play an abilen if you want…
- to have feline traits and appearance.
- to get along easily with friends and strangers.
- to be a nimble, lightly-armoured adventurer.
Abilen are small and slight creatures, with delicate builds and fine features. Their height is close to that of a human—typically a little under five feet—but they are extraordinarily light, weighing little more than a human youth. Their slender bodies lack the physical might of their bestial forebears, but in return grant them natural grace and agility. Although their shape and stance are quite human, abilen bear many feline features, especially on their face. They have rounded faces with short muzzles, sharp teeth, and small pointed ears which sit toward the top of their heads. Their soft, sleek fur ranges in colour and markings, and they have tails much like domestic cats. They also sport small claws on fingers and toes, which retract when they are at rest.
Abilen have lifespans close to humans, but progress through childhood quickly, spending much longer in their prime. In turn, they show virtually no signs of aging until their twilight years, when their health typically deteriorates very swiftly.
Playing an Abilen
Although they descended from the beast-kin races long ago, abilen are now true creatures of comfort—mild-natured city-dwellers who have even less in common with their savage brethren than with the domestic cats they resemble. Friendly and cheerful, they have a natural aptitude for interpersonal skills, and are surprisingly able to make others feel at ease. If they have any predatory instinct at all, it shows only in their business dealings, where they are ruthless and uncompromising—they frown upon foul play, but think nothing of using their connections to run opponents into the ground.
Though they are native to the desert nation of Ashar, there are few civilised places where abilen have not become part of the community. Their kindly disposition and strong work ethic (coupled with the likelihood that they own or support most businesses in any major city) mean that few races bear them much distaste. Those who do not set up permanent businesses usually travel with merchant caravans, going wherever they perceive value.
An abilen adventurer is an unusual find, given the race’s taste for comfort and structure. Most such individuals see an adventuring party as an investment, an avenue to social status, or the means to a more personal goal. Optimistic but practical, abilen adventurers like to plan for both the best and worst outcomes. They are most likely to take on jobs which involve social interaction and intrigue, though tactical warfare can prove just as suited to their talents.
Abilen are perceived as… Friendly, easygoing, sharp-witted, practical, mercantile, sanguine, creative, adaptable, sensible.
Names: Adina, Ari, Ashei, Eisha, Janya, Laksha, Leyla, Mia, Myan, Ruhan, Samira, Sanura, Shadi, Shameen, Shema, Tasha.
Abilen names are the only modern use for Abil, the native abilen tongue. They are typically short—no more than two syllables—and usually end in vowel sounds.
“ You know, this reminds me of a song…”
Growing up as a traveller on the merchant caravans, you have never felt the desire to settle; to you, home is about what you experience, and with whom you share it. You collect performances like souvenirs—an exotic dance from Ashar, an artful symphony from Sorairo, a bold epic from Brandeis—and better yet, you can share them freely without ever giving them away. Are you travelling with your current group in order to add their heroic chronicle to your repertoire? Or have you decided it’s finally time to be part of the story?
Associated Skills: History, religion
Associated ritual: Call of friendship (AP)
“I protect something which is bigger than all of us.”
Culturally, abilen value community and cooperation—and they see worldwide economic stability as something more valuable than any individual. Threats to the international marketplace are taken as seriously as anything can be, and the agents of this cause are subtle and without recognition. If an arms dealer runs aground after subverting trade sanctions, if a powerful cartel makes a bad deal and loses its monopoly, why should any special interference be assumed? Only a few are ever aware that the market does indeed possess invisible hands.
Associated Skills: Bluff, diplomacy
Associated ritual: Fool’s gold (AP)
“ I believe there is an opportunity here.”
The heir of a wealthy business empire, you have grown up wanting for nothing. Now, however, you find yourself separated from your former life of luxury. Did you strike out to find your own worth, without the aid of your lineage? Or have been sent forth by your family to prove yourself an adequate heir? How badly do you want to return home—and what will allow you to do so?
Associated Skills: Bluff, diplomacy
Associated ritual: Fluid funds (EPG)