"All glory to the Laughing Ones!"
Grinnlings are a highly civilized race of war-like, crystalline humanoids. Grinnlings are about five feet tall on average, but they typically walk on all fours or with a stoop, so they seem a lot shorter. They have sparse hair on their heads and bodies and are possessed of lean, whipcord muscle that can be clearly seen beneath their transparent skin when they aren't feeding (see Shroud of the Goddess
, below). All physical signs, in fact, point to the idea that Grinnlings were apex predators at one point, a status that has not since changed with their evolution to sentience.
Grinnlings believe that they were created by twin goddesses, Mirali Kall and Shidara Kall. Mirali, a goddess of harsh truths, burning light and mocking laughter, gave them their fangs and claws, and Shidara granted them their minds and the two great gifts of Hope and Compassion. Because of the caste society into which (they are told) they were created, a vast majority of Grinnlings worship these two goddesses, though some of them that have left into the wider world have turned towards other paths. No matter their inclinations, Grinnlings tend to strike other sentient races as odd. It's not just the shroud of darkness or their furtive, predatory mannerisms. Grinnlings think in three dimensions, partially due to their underground origins and their ability to climb even the slickest surfaces, and they have a tendency to approach problems from literal or figurative angles that no one else would have even conceived of.
Ability Adjustments: Caste Grinnling
- +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -4 Charisma. Grinnlings are low in the caste system, and while they are prized for their creativity and physical assets, their will is regularly broken and they are treated as little more than chattel. Free Grinnling
- +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence. Free Grinnlings don't receive the same physical training during their childhood as caste Grinnlings do, but are also free of many of the same emotional problems.
Base Land Speed 30 Feet, Climb 40 feet, Swim 10 Feet
Grinnlings have two secondary claw attacks (1d6 slashing) and a primary bite attack (1d8 piercing). A Grinnling that successfully hits with both claws and the bite in one round may attempt to grapple as a free action without provoking attacks of opportunity.
Perfect Darkvision (Ex):
Grinnlings can see perfectly even in magical darkness at a distance of up to one hundred feet. They retain their ability to distinguish colors under these conditions. Grinnlings still take penalties for shadowy illumination; they only operate perfectly in either bright illumination or darkness.
Shroud of the Goddesses (Ex):
Grinnlings must still eat meat and drink water, but don't actually breathe air. Instead, they "breathe" light; as long as they are in an area of at least shadowy illumination, they can function perfectly, and begin to suffocate only if left in total darkness. While able to "breathe", the Grinnling benefits from partial concealment as a shroud of darkness (the waste from their "respiration") exudes from their bodies. This has the side-effect of obscuring their features somewhat as well.
By rapidly internalizing light, Grinnlings can temporarily move at incredible speeds, skittering across the landscape like some vaguely insectoid monstrosity. Once per day, as a swift action, the Grinnling may activate his Rapidity, allowing him to move up to his speed as a free action once per round, even if it's not his turn. This movement still provokes attacks of opportunity.