Xorn, Ash
Xorn, Ash

Xorn, Ash

Ash Xorn

by Hadjenn, an Ash Genasi of some note

Now, one of the stranger societies you’re likely to find in the Ash is that of the ash xorn, a peculiar offshoot of the Earth plane’s better-known race. They’re not much to look at—trilateral symmetry, with a single three-flapped mouth, long arms, short legs, and huge pearls for eyes. They’re ill-suited to speaking any of the Trade Tongues, but a few have learned—you’ll find one in each successful tribe—so communication shouldn’t matter unless you’re a Mindlander unfamiliar with out variations of Planar Common (or, better yet, Planar Uncommon).

The ash xorn’re found mainly in three distinct regions—the Ash’s Core, which makes up most of the plane, the Wasting Place, where the Ash meets the Dust, and the Cinder Wells, where the Ash meets the Magma. They aren’t a highly organised society (like say, the efreet), but rather are clannish, and live in small nomadic tribes. Each tribe has one concern: Finding enough to eat.

You see, like the Earth’s xorn, ash xorn eat minerals and gems. However, their dual nature (being that of earth and dust) forces them into a more restricted diet. They eat gems called firesouls in their language—these are like diamonds, but much softer and made from compressed ash—and smelted metal, much like the kind which can be scavenged from the shores of the Cinder Wells. When starving, they can eat frozen flames from the edge of the Fire, but most I’ve talked to seem to think of this as somehow distasteful.

Because there is little food for them to scavenge, ash xorn are cannier than earth xorn. One could argue that the increased competition has caused the ash xorn to become smarter in order to survive. This may explain their incredible skill in a mystical art which allows them to find metals and minerals from a distance, using only their minds. However, since the Ash is so sparsely populated, ash xorn’re much less confrontational—there are few borders they are required to respect.

Ash xorn’re on good terms with the native ash quasi-elementals who, in general, consider them distant cousins and a preferrable alternative to ash mephits. Since the one doesn’t eat the food of the other, they exist as separate parts of the ecosystem, and rarely clash.

If you should meet any xorn of the Ash, they’re sure to ask you if you’ve seen ‘food’—be sure to tell them of any veins of metal you’ve crossed, and any gems you might have found. The help of an ash xorn is far more valuable than a few baubles, and the pleasant creatures will do much to aid an honest and forthcoming employer. The lives of their tribe depend on food, which means they are always motivated to help travellers who can point them towards sustenance,

The flip side, of course, is that those who refuse to help ash xorn are likely to upset not only them, but also any quasi-elementals friendly to the tribe. If the xorn think a person is hiding food (through their mystical art, for example), they will probably attack to get at it, if polite requests are refused.

There are no ash xorn cities, to my knowledge, but there are a very few hermitic xorn to be found. The industriously inaccurate chant has it that a small number of ash xorn have mastered a sort of magic—the truth is that they have mastered something much stranger—the art humans have called ‘psionics.’ Through their minds alone, these mystics can create food of all kinds (for xorn or mortals) from the land around them, which they trade to travellers in exchange for news of the multiverse, luxury goods, and training in new powers.

One last thing to remember about ash xorn—they aren’t grazers like the Earth’s xorn are. They are scavengers, who live by their own laws to get what they want. They may be physically weaker, but they will ply their impressive intellects to defeat any foe they need offensive. They make excellent guides and unparalleled prospectors, but they also make fearsome enemies.

Canonical Sources: Inner Planes [2e] p111.

Source: Submitted anonymously to mimir.net—if this was you, please let me know!

Statistics: [2e] Use the stats for an earth xorn with -1 HD and boost intelligence instead. Magic using ash xorn are able to cast create food and water once per day make nutritious, if bland, food from ashes.

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