In the beginning, there was darkness. But eventually, there was light. The light of the sun, cast across the world, it’s every sunbeam shining down upon a world that had lived without it. But such a world was barren. No colors, hues, blends, nothing to differentiate where one thing ended and another began, save for slivers of residual darkness that remained untouched by the light. And so the sun sent out agents of his unimaginable will. The Maker, Mutation, and Design, those who wove the cloth of the world, who warped its beasts and the way they were seen. But they, too, required agents of their creations, those small and weak creatures who saw the small details that the titans had missed.
Enter the Melanier.
The Melanier are a long and storied race. Unlike most life on the prime, they came from the sea. They rose from the oceans unto the beaches, each adorned with a colour of the world. They carried not tools of war, but tools of art, to spread their colour across the prime, with no goals or ambitions, or ever understanding of why this colouring was so important. They were born with a spark of creation, to create colour and bring vibrancy to the world. But such a grand scheme quickly turned in on itself. The Melanier quickly became territorial, so proud and cocksure that it was their tribe, their people, that would bring the most happiness to the-powers-that-be who birthed them.
The Melanier, once a proud, noble hearted, peaceful people concerned only with their sacred purpose, the bringing of color to the world, became something else. They became tribal, gathering only Melanier who carried similar colors into the fields. They became warmongering, attacking anything that did not bare their color of choice with total abandon.
Over time, these “Turf Wars” would calm themselves down to minor squabbles on the few unworked corners of the world. The Melanier became artists and warriors in equal measure, squidden away in their own self contained societies. And while Melanier of different colours are woe to travel besides one another, in the case of threats to that which their ancestors covered in both ink and blood, they are more than happy to turn their… unique racial adaptations against their enemies.
Personality: Ask any of the rare races with contact with the Melanier, and you will be hard pressed to find them described without one of the following: Strange, Charming, or Interesting. A life of eternal artistry and vibrant colors mean that most Melanier are often very happy, personable, good hearted (if extreme) beings. They rarely trouble themselves with the affairs of outsiders, preferring their own self contained communities of very odd customs and even odder humors, but are more than open to allowing other races to experience their culture, and for them to, in turn, borrow from theirs.
Physical Description: With the rare exceptions of the world, one word describes Melanier better than almost other: Adorable. Melanier retain very youthful appearances long into their natural life cycle, and often have a head for strangely foreign but flattering clothing. The typical Melanier is somewhere around the five foot mark in height, and often have very slim builds. They resemble humans in most regards, save for a few distinct telltale signs of Melanier legacy. Their pointed eard and teeth are somewhat of a giveaway, but not to the same extent as the black “Masks” of Ink that form around their eyes in early childhood. The most obvious, though, is their hair. Rather than the natural hair of a human, Melanier’s heads are decorated with Tentacles of their families color, often a vibrant shade of red or blue, though other colors are not unheard of. While in their “Transfigurinktion” racial feature, they maintain their tentacles colors across their whole body, and the black masks remain as well.
Relations: Melanier get along with most every land faring race, especially those who appreciate art. They are often looked upon with amusement, something of a “Novelty” among the more “Civilized” races, but they very rarely pay much heed to these stereotypes. They are fiercely competitive within their own race, against those Melanier of other coloured tribes, and against races born of the sea, most notably the Mermaids. Beyond that, they are quick to befriend any race that invites them in, and quick to retaliate against those who cast the first stone.
Alignment: An overwhelming majority of Melanier favor the “Good” alignments, with a wide spread across the law and chaos spectrum. Woe be to the world that is painted by an evil Melanier.
Lands: The Melanier prefer city life to anything else, a large mass of buildings and worked structures to mark with their families colors, as well as to be further immersed in the bizarre culture they have built for themselves over the years.
Religion: Gods of Art and Artists are held in high regard in Melanier cities, but any other religion is air game among their adventuring individuals.
Language: Melanier possess a racial language that is a bizarre admixture of several other old and elegant languages, mixing together to form what is basically high pitched gargling. Especially intelligent Melanier can pick up common, or the languages of their allies.
- Melanier are Humanoids with the Psionic and Melanier sub-types. Despite their oddities in society and appearance, they are as natural to the prime as elves or dwarves. They possess the low-light vision racial trait, and Darkvision out to sixty feet.
- +2 Charisma, -2 Constitution: Melanier are cute, charming, and extremely sociable, but have a harder time weathering the fire of their enemies than most other races.
- +2 to Strength or Dexterity: Melanier are often skilled in either carrying the heavier art tools of their people, or in the more precise aim of their more esoteric tools of painting. This choice is made at character creation.
- Melanier are Medium sized creatures.
- A Melanier’s base land speed is 30 feet.
- Colour Claiming: At character creation, a Melanier determines what color their head tentacles and alternate form will be. Rather than a simple “Colour”, a shade or mixture is the usual choice in terms of what colour they wield. Those Melanier of the common colors died out long ago. “Red” is very rarely an acceptable color, but “Pink”, “Orange” or “Aquamarine” are among the most common. When referring to abilities that match your Colour, these colors must be spot on, but need not be Ink. An Aquamarine Melanier cannot utilize colour based effects when standing on a Teal, Blue, or Cyan. For this reason, these colors usually only come up in Melanier residences or if placed there by a Melanier of that color.
- Transfigurinktion: As a swift action, a Melanier can take on the form of an ink squid, or return from Squid Form to their natural form. Any gear worn or carried by the Melanier melds into their squid form, retaining its usual functionality. Any new items worn in the squid form fall off and land at the their feet.
While in their squid form, a Melanier is considered a small creature, and their base speed decreases to ten feet. If they are moving across a surface that matches their claimed colour, their base speed increased by forty, and they gain a +4 racial bonus to Jump checks. When in their alternative form, a Melanier can meld into solid objects of their claimed color, easily able to move through it in much the same way that a normal squid can swim through water, taking no penalties for moving across walls and ceilings. As entirely Ink Based creatures, they fall through solid objects with holes in them the size of a chain link fence or larger. In this squid form, Melanier have no forms of attack, and take double damage from Water and Splatter Warfare (explained in the Soluble class feature) but do not take fall damage.
- Splatter Warfare: Melanier have Prestidigitation as a psi-like ability at will, though few expand upon it beyond the effects of coloring the environment. The amount of space a Melanier can cover at one time with this effect is multiplied by half their character level, but only to color it their claimed colour.
Whenever they strike at a non-living surface or object, or another coloured Melanier, a Melanier creates a five foot square of Ink, which becomes a ten foot square if they are large, fifteen feet if they are huge, etc. The colour of this ink matches their claimed colour. When firing a ranged weapon, they leave behind a line of ink of your colour over the area they are fired. These lines have a width of five feet, and a length of up to (5 ft x Highest Ability Modifier). Any discolorations made by the effects of Splatter Warfare is nearly impossible to remove, only being covered up with other Melanier’s Splatter Warfare.
- Soluble: Melanier, despite all outward appearances, are primarily Ink Based Creatures, even in their natural state. Contact with water any deeper than a few feet deals damage equal to twice the Melanier’s character level, as does standing in discolorations made by another colored Melanier’s Splatter Warfare racial ability. This damage is repeated at the end of each round. Melanier that die in these ways burst, leaving behind a pool of ink as well as their clothes and equipment. It is difficult to raise a Melanier that is killed in these ways.
- Irregular Brain Waves: Despite their outward appearances saying much to the contrary, the mind of the Melanier is a torrent of racing signals and thoughts aching to burst out into the realm of reality. All Melanier gain Hidden Talent as a bonus feat at first level.
New Feat: Unquestionable Inkuisitors Legacy
Prerequisites: Melanier, One Mythos Benefits: You have reopened your inner destiny floodgates, filling your body with the wishes of the titans of the artistic world, and your ancestors goals of covering the world in your peoples colours. The simple fact of acknowledging this destiny is enough to empower yourself with the dreams of your oldest patrons, even if you never realize it.
Choose one Mythos-granting class that you have levels in. You may treat the following Mythos as if they belonged to that class. You gain an additional number of power-points equal to your character level.
Battlefield Brushing Artistic Athletics
The original Melanier were men and women of such gusto in their mission that they bathed in the very colors they represented, becoming as one with the colors they spread across the world. But on the fields of war, when colors mixed, melded, and vanished in the blink of an eye, the ability to spread your color and claim your turf was unbeatable.
You gain Travel Devotion as a bonus feat. You gain an additional use of this feat for every 4 Power Points you expend on it.
To gain further benefits of this mythos, you must permanently give up your Feet item slot. If you do, you gain a permanent set of very fashionable (in your eyes, at least) footwear. The exact details are at your discretion, but the Melanier “Sneakers” are always a favorite. Your movement speed increases by ten feet in both natural and squid form. You also gain a climb speed equal to half your land speed.
While under the effects of Travel Devotion, or when moving across unpainted land in squid form, you leave behind a trail of ink whose colour matches the one you chose at creation. You ignore difficult terrain if said terrain matches your chosen colour.
Canvas-Covering Organic Detonation
Imagine, if you will, a world without colour. A world where the sky and the land were indistinguishable save for a single line upon the horizon. An entire plane of samey environments, dull, lifeless, grey. The Melanier’s were not going to allow such a world to exist. They instilled all things with color. The sea, the sky, the fire. The sunrise and the sunset. Even the soul, that which is the measurement for what is and isn’t truly alive, was painted by the ancient Melanier. Do you know what colour a soul is?
The amount of space you cover from attacking a non-living structure or object, or the line projected from making a ranged attack increases by five feet. You gain a bonus to attack and damage rolls against creatures who do not have your chosen colour equal to your highest mental ability score modifier.
When you kill a living creature, you splatter them. They burst into a mass of ink of colour equal to your chosen colour. This covers the immediate five foot area around the creature as well as an additional five feet for every two hit-dice the creature had. If that creature was another Melanier, this becomes five feet for every hit-dice. Detonated creatures are notoriously difficult to raise from the dead.
All enemies in the area of this detonation take xd6 damage, where x is equal to half the detonated creatures hitbox, decreasing by one for every 5 feet away from the detonation they were. A successful reflex save halves the damage. This mythos does not activate itself.
Territory Taking Squid-Trooper
The tools of the Melanier have evolved with time. Brushes, wheels, and buckets were the original tools of their trade. But with time, when the civil war among the Melanier tribes fully came to a head, more research was required. Better weapons were required, both to show their true colours, and to stop those who wave false flags. In this way, the term “Art of War” was never more applicable.
You gain Exotic Weapon Proficiency in a single type of Firearm, as well as Psionic Shot as a bonus feat.
Using any of the manifestations of this mythos take up much of your psychic energy as well as leave you mentally drained. These manifestations activate when you expend your Psionic Focus to activate the Psionic Shot feat. Using a Basic Manifestation keeps you from obtaining Psionic Focus for 2d4-1 rounds, while using an advanced mythos keeps you out for 2d4+1 minutes.
Prey-Seeking Painters Projectile: You may also choose to unleash a Foe Hunter. If you do, your Psionically Focused shot will ignore all miss chance and concealment by your target, and cover the entire area it travels over with your Chosen Colour.
Flask-Chucking Fervor: Instead of firing your weapon, you can throw the ammunition, using half the normal range increments, and the better of your strength or dexterity for the attack roll. This attack roll affects all creatures within 30 feet of your initial target, and covers the same area in your chosen colour.
Point Claiming Paint Projection Instead of firing your weapon at a target, you may instead fire the bullet straight down. This creates a “Fountain” of sorts, dealing damage equal to your attack roll to all creatures within twenty feet of you, as well as covering that same area in your chosen colour. This damage and painting is repeated the next round, and you do not provoke attacks of opportunity for firing your weapon in this way.
Battlefield Dominating Volley: Your Psionic Shot affects every ranged attack you make this round, ignore hardness, and your weapon deals damage as if it were three size categories larger. All areas covered by these attacks become your chosen colour.
Eagle-Eyed Craftsmans Comet: Select any square within 200 feet of you. Your ranged attack affects the creatures in that square, dealing double damage, and all creatures within a 20 foot radius of that square, doing normal damage. It also covers the initial square and all adjacent to it in your chosen colour.
Room Clearing Artisans Cry: Rather than making an attack roll, your ranged attack instead affects all creatures in a cone of (10 feet per 2 levels), dealing double its usual damage as sonic damage, deafening all within the cone, and covering that area in your chosen colour.
Unsuspecting Cephalopodic Rush
This world was not built by the Malanier. It was not sculpted by their hands, or populated by their words. But in their journeys, they have seen many things, such that would give some an idea. For no matter how many cultures they visited, no matter how many people they befriended, there was one universal constant.
None of them expected a squid to the face.
Your gain the Powerful Build racial trait, but only if you are in Squid form.
You may use your Transfigurinktion racial ability any number of times during a charge as a free action. You can duck into your chosen colour as a free action, gaining a bonus to your armor class against attacks of opportunity equal to your highest ability modifier. If, at the end of your charge, you are in squid form, you may make a special melee attack.
If your attack roll connects, you lunge at your target, crashing into them with the full force of an ink squid. You deal lethal damage as per an unarmed strike, plus an additional 1d6 points of bludgeoning damage per 3 class levels
As well, so surprising is this… very strange attack that your opponent must make a will save or become confused for one round. If the creature counts as your size or smaller, you may also make a grapple attempt against them, as the sudden weight of your inky body hitting theirs pushes them to the ground, with you on top of them.
Serendipitous Mind-Expanding Epiphany
Prerequisites: One Mythos granted by “Unquestionable Inkuisitors Legacy” Feat
Some claim the Malanier are the result of a horrible apocalypse which forced the creatures of the land into the sea, to become either the Merfolk, who tamed the sea, or the Malaneir, who canvassed the Earth. Some say it was the Malanier who caused the disaster, over writing the Gods in a turf war that took place over the sky. Some say the Malanier are planning a coup against the sky yet again, the only thing keeping them from doing so being a colour indecision. You do not hear them saying such things, for you have more important things to worry about.
You gain Open Mind, Focused Skill User, and Wild Talent as a Bonus Feat, as you fully realize the weight of what your ancestry truly is, and what it allows you to do.
You may use the two longest tentacles that adorn your head as if they were hands. Despite not having thumbs, the suction cups allow them to grip items, even weapons, with nearly the same skill as your own two hands. This manifests as you taking a -4 to attack rolls made with weapons held by your hair tentacles.
Your hair tentacles can make lethal unarmed strikes even if you yourself would not normally be able to do so. If you would be able to deal lethal unarmed strike damage, your hair tentacles count as one size larger for purposes of damage rolls. So precise is your control of your flappy tentacles that you can make manual skill checks (Such as Forgery or Open Lock) with your head tentacles, as well grapple attempts, albeit at a -6 penalty. Seen as a sign of high nobility, you gain a bonus to charisma based checks on other Malanier equal to your class level while performing deeds with your hair tentacles, doubled if they are of your Chosen Colour.
Your squid form is even more magnificent. While not as dextrous, the added amount of tentacles makes this form have its own advantages. If a skill check requires only one hand, you may make as many as 8 of them at one time, at a -8 penalty each, decreasing by one for every skill check you reduce this by. You may also make climb, tumble, and slight of hand checks in Squid Form at a +5 bonus.
Rampaging Land Leviathan
Prerequisites: “Unsuspecting Cephalopodic Rush” Mythos
Not all Malaier were created equally. Not all were as cute, or as strong, or as fast. But these things were not matters of importance in the long run. Individual Malaier were never seen as greater than the whole of the group. Until the uncovering of a very special physiological reaction within the Malaier. Taking advantage of your bodies natural redundancies and internal processes, you can override your bodies typical limiters.
When you take on your Squid form, you may choose to send your bodies ink processing facilities into overdrive, becoming a massive uber-squid. The Uber Squid loses it’s powerful build trait, but is a large sized creature regardless, gaining all associated changes. It is often fifteen feet wide and twenty feet long from tip to tentacle.
An Uber Squid always counts as traveling through it’s Chosen Colour, as it spreads that colour everywhere it traverses. While charging, an Uber Squid can perform a special tactical maneuver at any point in the charge, twisting in the air to flick away some of the ink it is constantly producing. This counts as a special charge attack explained in “Unexpected Cephalopodic Rush”, except it reaches out ten feet to both sides, and affects all creatures in that area, is a trip rather than a grapple, and does not risk confusing. The damage dice on the actual Unexpected Rush attack has its bonus damage dice improved one size.
At level 13, your Uber Squid form counts as a huge creature, and at 19th, a colossal creature, increasing the damage on your charge by additional die steps. You can only maintain your Uber Squid form for a number of rounds each day equal to your highest ability modifier, these rounds do not have to be continuous, but any time spent in Uber Squid form counts as, at minimum, one round.
Decorating the Theater of War
Prerequisites: Two Mythos granted by the “Unquestionable Inkuisitor Legacy” Feat
Not all Malaier were born to stride across the world, going to places unpainted and saturating them in the colours they needed. Rather, some stood in those areas that were already correct, protecting them from the hordes of other Malaier who would attempt to usurp the natural colour of things. In a way, controlling these zones of proper coloration was every bit as important as spreading the colour to new and unexplored lands.
While you are standing in your Chosen Colour, you gain a +2 to every ability score and the ability to see through any illusions of a level equal to half your class level + 1, and a bonus to spot and listen checks to notice your allies and enemies equal to your class level. Your movement speed is doubled when moving across your Chosen Colour, and you gain fast healing one. If you point out that something is an illusion to one of your allies, they may make an immediate saving throw against the effect as if they had interacted with it, and with a +5 bonus to the save.
So long as you maintain Psionic Focus, you count as being everywhere within your Chosen Colour you are connected to for purposes of flanking, aiding another, or making intimidate checks. You can mark your allies with a drop of your Chosen Colour, or if they wear your Chosen Colour, they gain the fast healing and movement speed bonuses granted by this mythos so long as they remain in your Chosen Colour.
As a full-round action that expends your Psionic Focus, you can rally all those who wear your colour with a motivating word or two. All allies, as well as yourself, who hear you gain an immediate charge attack against the nearest enemy to them. If they are Malaier, they may make ranged attack if they prefer. Enemies killed by these effects automatically burst, splattering ink of your Chosen Colour to all squares within twenty feet. You may only activate this effect once every 6d8 hours.
The effects of this mythos are only active when at least one enemy who provides a real and legitimate threat to you is within the area of your Chosen Colour.