Korulu, Children of the Swamp

“An id exploratum cuiquam potest esse, quomodo sese habitarum sit corpus, non dico ad annum sed ad vesperam?”
Can any one find out in what condition his body will be, I do not say a year hence, but this evening?
-Cicero, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum

“On commence par être dupe,
On finit par être fripon.”
We begin by being dupe, and end by being rogue.
-Eustache Deschamps, Réflexion sur la Jeu

Playtest Version

This material is still in the process of being playtested. It is fully usable as written, but may be refined or changed in later versions. As always, this content should only be used with GM permission.

The Korulu

With their small size, large eyes and mouth, and glossy, colorful skin, many people find the korulu (sometimes known as salamander folk or newt folk) to be quite cute. They are not pushovers though, and have thrived for millennia in bayous and jungles filled with monsters and hostile creatures. Their mobility makes them extremely capable of guerrilla tactics if necessary and they have a keen sense for how to attack from out of the reach of predators or enemies. In areas where they regularly come in contact with other folk, they also tend to develop a reputation for their ability to slip into or out of almost anywhere.

Adaptable Amphibians

The korulu find climates that are too dry or too cold to be unpleasant. They thrive best in tropical swamp forests but can live happily in fresh or salty water, and can settle in underwater caves, treetops, large abandoned beaver dams, or lake beds as well—as long as it is defensible from larger creatures that may pose a threat to them. They are especially fond of locations with easy transitions between various terrain types they can inhabit, such as old hollow trees that can take them from beneath the water to high branches without being exposed.

Fight Dirty

Salamander folk are small and lack any natural weaponry of note and their preferred climate is dense with dangerous predators of all sorts. Consequently they have developed a philosophy of leveraging every advantage one can have towards a problem. After all, a black caiman or giant toad has no concept of fighting fair. This doesn’t always involve traps or combat, though, as some advantages are more social. Korulu recognize that many larger folk find them adorable and will play that impression for all it’s worth when trading or soliciting assistance.

Change Season

Towards the end of the wet season every year, when resources are generally most plentiful, the korulu have a ceremonial period known as Change Season. This approximately two-month span involves celebration and festivals centered around choosing new paths in life as well as naming ceremonies. In addition to being a time for exploring new occupations and social interactions, many korulu will change their physical sex, either to restore a balance in a population with a disproportionate makeup or as a conscious choice (by instinctively indulging in or ignoring certain dietary cravings) or simply spontaneously because they don’t care to consciously remain the same. Even if these particular traits remain the same, it is not unusual for other physical features, like coloration or physical proportions to alter somewhat during the Change Season. Because korulu change places and classes in society so regularly, their culture strongly opposes discrimination, as such a malleable feature is not seen as a useful basis for judging a person.

Korulu Names

During the Change Season, a korulu will often choose to take a new name, either to reflect a new physical state, a new occupation, or simply as a symbolic indication that they feel they have grown to be a new person mentally. Their names are given in a list, from most recent to oldest, though as the list becomes inconveniently long, they will usually drop the names they feel are less influential on who they are now or from periods they do not care to dwell upon. It is typical for these name-lists to include a number of both masculine and feminine names, as especially during childhood and young adulthood, their biology often fluctuates frequently. A single korulu name is never more than two syllables long, so the name-list does not become too unwieldy.

Example Feminine Names: Archam, Banba, Cobla, Derlei, Domel, Eithni, Find, Fotla, Gemm, Liga, Mel, Nabroc, Nectu, Utla, Wen
Example Masculine Names: Alpin, Bolg, Bridei, Canu, Drest, Erp, Girom, Ini, Lut, Munait, Nech, Ru, Talorc, Uerb

Korulu Traits

Your korulu character has a number of natural abilities.
    Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2 and one other ability score of your choice increases by 1.
    Age. Korulu age slowly and the Change Season seems to have a rejuvenating effect on them. They reach adulthood at age 25 and routinely live to over 400 years, only passing their frequently-renewed physical prime after age 300.
    Alignment. Due to their ever-changing nature and cultural preference for spontaneous, creative solutions, korulu frequently favor chaotic alignments, but otherwise have no particular alignment tendencies.
    Size. Korulu are typically about 3 and a half to four feet tall and weigh about 40 pounds. Your size is small.
    Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet. You also have a climbing speed of 30 feet and a swimming speed of 30 feet.
    Amphibious. You can breathe water as well as air.
    Sticky Feet. While climbing, you can remain securely in place using only two limbs, but must have at least three available to move.
    Tongue. You can use your tongue make the Use an Item action or to pick up unattended objects from up to 10 feet away.
    Very Flexible. You suffer no penalties for squeezing through a smaller space, but still may only squeeze through a space that would fit a creature half your size.
    Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Aquan.

Random Height and Weight

Base Height Base Weight Height Modifier Weight Modifier
3’4″ 35 lbs +2d4 x1

Legal Appendix

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All material in this document following the Playtest Version sidebar and prior to the Legal Appendix that is not otherwise designated as Product Identity is Open Game Content.



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System Reference Document 5.1 Copyright 2016, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Chris Perkins, Rodney Thompson, Peter Lee, James Wyatt, Robert J. Schwalb, Bruce R. Cordell, Chris Sims, and Steve Townshend, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Korulu, Children of the Swamp Copyright 2019, Malachite Idol; Author Patrick Johnson.