The Yamabito

Also known as the Mountain Men, the yamabito are a reclusive offshoot of humanity. Originating scattered throughout a harsh mountain range in small settlements and clans, the yamabito are thought to have been connected with the Temple of Nine Swords. Many stories place the Temple within the range that the yamabito arose within, and some claim that Reshar himself was from their people, while others claim that the yamabito are the descendents of the original blade scholars who studied at the temple. Whatever the truth the yamabito show a natural inclination towards the Sublime Way, easily picking up its foundational techniques. The yamabito have served on occasion as mercenaries for ages, since the times of legends such as the Temple itself, but it was not by their own will that they became as wide spread as they are today. Several generations ago the Wyrmlord Sliggori took an entire clanhold and its subservient villages captive and forced them to become part of its armies. These soldiers were scattered to the four winds after the fall of the Wyrmlord, and few managed to return to their native lands.

Personality: The yamabito tend towards stoicism and introversion. They are still humans, or a closely related race, and show a similar mind and range of emotions, but tend to avoid social confrontation when possible preferring instead to stand as an island of their own. Around family and other close intimates a yamabito will open up somewhat, jesting, smiling, and laughing, showing those emotions hidden from the world. Yamabito tend to bear grudges and keep long memories, but also to reward kindness and generosity in kind. When yamabito finally give up on avoiding conflict it often goes armed, and they have a strong tradition of solving long standing problems through, usually non-lethal, duels.

Physical Description: Yamabito are an offshoot of humanity, their skin tending towards a coppery tan, and their average height slightly taller, but easily mistaken for a "normal" human.

Relationships: Yamabito tend to get along best with their fellow yamabito. After that they have relatively amicable, if distant, relations with the dwarves and goliaths that they share their mountain homes with, the three races bearing good will to each other even if each respects the other races' desire for distance and have no great desire for close relations. They get along well enough with other humans, and most races simply consider them 'human' not realizing they are their own subrace.

Alignment: Yamabito may be any alignment. Their tendency towards being their own island and a certain level of asocial nature leads them to favor Chaotic slightly, but it is not strange to see yamabito of any alignment.

Yamabito Lands: The yamabito call but one "kingdom" their own. Made up of scattered clanholds and their villages, this "kingdom" is almost closer to an conglomeration of tribes. Within their own lands the yamabito maintain an isolationist culture, that puts a premium on martial prowess and individual strength and accomplishment. In other lands the yamabito are a scattered people; either warrior mercenaries traveling the broad world to return home with fame and wealth to their name, or descendants of slave soldiers. In the first case they tend to be even more closed off than the norm for their kind, keeping their own counsel. In the second case they have the stigma of their ancestry, and the lingering hatred for the conquering Wyrmlord and its forces, often living the lives of second class citizens.

Religion: The yamabito worship many of the same gods as the rest of humanity, but they put a certain martial spin upon them and emphasize warrior gods. Kord, and Zouken, show up commonly among yamabito communities as ideals of self-perfection to be achieved, and in their stories Pelor is the avenging paladin who hunts the undead from the world with his glorious light.

Languages: The yamabito speak the mountain tongue, yamago, their own language. Most, especially those who must act in other lands, also learn common.

Names: In traditional culture a yamabito has five names. They are given a Secret Name at birth, known only to themselves, their parents, and those few they choose to share it with. They are also given a Child Name which they are called by until they have proven themselves adults in their own right. In addition to these every yamabito has two more names, their Clan Name, and Family Name. The former denotes which clanhold they owe allegiance to. A Clan Name can change, if a yamabito is banished from their clan it is stripped from them, if they leave their clan to join another they exchange their clan names, and on rare occasions a yamabito will be granted a second clan name when they do a great service to a clan other than their own such that the clan wishes to bestow them honorary membership. Their family name shows the family they belong to, changing on one side when they wed and move in to join their spouse's family. The fifth, and final, name a yamabito will have is their Deed Name, an adult name chosen by themselves when they are ready to claim full adulthood and accepted by the clan based upon their deeds. The scattered yamabito descendants of the enslaved clan often forgo the Clan Name as they are divorced from the other clans, and often forgo the deed name, instead following the naming conventions of the culture surrounding them, though sometimes retaining their secret names, a reminder of what they are and what they once were.

Adventurers: The typical yamabito adventurer is either a youngster seeking to find fame and fortune before returning home to claim their deed name and full adulthood, or a member of the slave clan. The latter seek to earn a better life for themselves, and their family, through sheer grit, wealth, and personal puissance. In both cases they are seeking deeds of legend, wealth, fame, and glory.

Yamabito Racial Traits:
  • +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma.
  • Medium.
  • Base land speed: 30-ft.
  • Human Blooded: Yamabito are a subrace of humans, and are considered humans for prerequisites and effects.
  • Natural Initiator: Yamabito add 3/4 their level in full BAB non-initiating classes instead of 1/2. In addition all Yamabito may initiate one Stone Dragon maneuver they meet the prerequisites for; they may change what maneuver this is whenever they gain a new character level. This maneuver does not count against their maneuvers readied.
  • Natural Recovery (Ex): As a standard action a yamabito may recover any one martial maneuver they have expended that they did not use since the end of their last turn. This includes maneuvers gained via Martial Study, or any class they may possess.
  • Yamabito treat Balance as a bonus class skill.
  • Yamabito gain a +2 on Balance, Climb, Jump, and Martial Lore checks: Developing in the mountains they have learned to get about the difficult terrain with surprising ease. They are also naturally in tune with the Sublime Way identifying its methods more easily.
  • Automatic Languages: Common, and Yamago. Bonus Languages: Any non secret.
  • Favored Class: Warblade (if used).