Ogre, High

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Ogre, High
Climate/Terrain:Tropical, subtropical, and temperate/Plain, forest, swamp, jungle, hill, mountain
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:Varies (5-20)
Treasure:Individual: L,M; Family: Q×5,F
Alignment:Varies, but usually neutral or lawful good
No. Appearing:1-10
Armor Class:8 (10)
Movement:6 (9)
Hit Dice:4+1
No. of Attacks:1
Damage/Attack:1-10 (weapon)
Special Attacks:+2 to damage
Special Defenses:See below
Magic Resistance:See below
Size:M (6' tall)
Morale:Steady (12)
XP Value:Varies

High ogres, also known as Irda, are a handsome and gentle race of ogres inhabiting an idyllic island located far from the civilized lands of Ansalon.

Irda are tall, slender creatures, averaging six feet in height and weighing about 150 pounds. Females tend to be as tall and as heavy as the males. Although slender, they are quite strong, as evidenced by their firm muscles. Their skin tones range from midnight blue to a deep sea green. Their hair is usually black, but it can also be silver or white. Irda always wear their hair short and keep it carefully combed. Their drawn faces and drooping eyelids give the false impression that they are bored or uncaring. Their eyes are silver. They are long-lived, commonly reaching the age of 500 ycars.

Irda wear simple, Lightweight clothing, such as linen smocks or silken gowns, in shades of beige, light blue, and other pastel colors. They refuse to wear wool, leather, or any other material derived from animals. Their wardrobes are occasionally enhanced by a modest piece of jewelry, such as an emerald pin, a pearl ring, or a thin steel necklace.

Irda move with a fluid motion so graceful that it is a joy to watch. Their voices are extraordinary - rich, melodic tones that are among the most beautiful sounds heard on Krynn.

Irda have innate shapechanging abilities and can disguise their size and true form in many ways. They can change their height by as much as two feet in either direction, and can duplicate the features of any humanoid race: they are especially convincing as elves, half-elves, and humans. The Irda's shapechanging ability requires several years of practice to perfect. Usually, an Irda masters shapechanging into a particular form, then uses that form over and over.

The Irda are a peaceful people who mean no harm to the rest of the world. They are gentle, soft-spoken, and thoughtful, repulsed by the violence that periodically rocks the nations of Krynn.

Though they bear no animosity toward other races, Irda have never been fully accepted in any other culture, thanks in large part to the superstitions developed about them over the years. Tales are told of the terrible, ancient ogres who would return one day to bring death and destruction. Since the Irda are descended from the original ogres, many assume that they are the rumored harbingers of doom. When an Irda's true race is revealed, invariably it is hunted down and killed by a superstitious populace.

Combat: Irda have no natural aptitude for fighting, and combat skills are uncommon among them. Given the option, lrda would rather gracefully retreat than engage in a bloody melee. They see nothing noble about combat; in fact, following a physical engagement with an enemy, Irda undergo a cleansing ceremony to rid themselves of the spiritual corruption inherent in any violent confrontation.

Thanks to their ogre heritage and superior strength, Irda are capable of inflicting 1d10 points of damage with a typical veapon attack. However, because of their aversion to physical contact, they are poor melee combatants; when Irda attempt to use any melee weapon, including swords, maces, daggers, and staffs, they do so with a -1 penalty to the attack roll. For that reason, Irda are more likely to use bows, slings, or other missile weapons.

The Irda's preferred weapons are those of their own design, such as vine bolas (four-foot-long vines weighted on both ends with hook-shaped stones that entangle a victim up to 25 yards distant and inflict 1d4 points of damage; an entangled victim can free himself if he succeeds in a Dexterity check with a -2 penalty) and cluster balls (balls of dried clay imbedded with sharp thorns containing a mild poison; these cause 1-2 points of damage and an additional 1d4 points of poison damage if the victim fails a saving throw vs. poison).

Irda also create powder bombs from hollowed-out eggs containing various mixtures of herbs and natural poisons. A burst powder bomb affects all those within a ten-foot radius. The various types include sleep powder bombs (victims must roll successful saving throws vs. poison or receive the effects of a sleep spell), paralysis powder bombs (victims must roll successful saving throws vs. paralyzation or be paralyzed for 2d4 rounds), and blindness powder bombs (victims must roll successful saving throws vs. poison or receive the effects of a blindness spell for 2d4 rounds).

Those Irda capable of using magic employ spells instead of weapons whenever possible. Since magic-using Irda have a clearer understanding of the workings of magic than most other races, Irda clerics and wizards gain one additional spell of the highest level they can use. Irda who are Changer Adepts or Changer Savants (see below) use their superior shapechanging skills to frighten their opponents (by changing into a minotaur or death knight) or to escape from them (by changing into a mouse or a bird).

Irda feel awkward in armor and wear it only in the most extreme circumstances. They prefer the lightest armor, such as padded armor, and, of course, refuse to wear leather armor or any other protective clothing made from animals.

The Irda's relatively low Constitution makes them more vulnerable to the effects of poison than most other races. Whenever Irda must save vs. poison, they do so with a -1 penalty.

Habitat/Society: The Irdanaiath, an ancient text held sacred by the Irda but unknown among the other races of Ansalon, explains the origin of the high ogres. Though it is commonly believed that elves were the first race to awaken in the Age of Dreams, the Irdanaiath suggests that the ogres were the first. In the dawn of the world, the ogres were the fairest of all the races. Their dark grace and savage beauty were unsurpassed, yet their hearts were cold and bent toward evil.

When ogres walked the world as its dominant race, they had occasion to interact with humans. In their dealings, the humans unwittingly gifted a great and powerful ogre clan leader named Igrane with free will. Igrane began to look upon the world with new eyes.

The gift of free will spread among Igrane's clansmen, who came to be called the Irda, until they all saw the debasement that would inevitably result from their evil ways. They tried to convince other ogre clans of their folly, but their pleas were curtly dismissed. Civil wars erupted among the ogres, wars fought in places hidden from the eyes of men.

In time, the Irda removed themselves from contact with the rest of the world. They found haven on an island they named Anaiatha. This refuge was located in the northern oceans of Ansalon, far from all other civilized areas. Here the Irda could live undisturbed. The ogres who did not foresee their debasement eventually fulfilled Igrane's prediction, becoming uglier and more misshapen until their appearance matched the evil in their hearts.

The onset of the Cataclysm upset the Irda's life of pastoral bliss on Anaiatha. The forces of evil, whose power had blossomed in the wake of the Cataclysm, discovered the Irda's island and attacked. Though the evil forces were eventually repelled, many Irda were captured and taken to Ansalon.

When the forces of evil were eventually defeated in the War of the Lance, the surviving captive Irda were freed. These Irda still wander the lands of Ansalon in disguise, desperately trying to find a way back to their homeland of Anaiatha. The Irda are usually alone, but occasionally small groups of 1d10 Irda are discovered roaming the countryside. Families may be encountered; the parents' fondest wish is to find a way to their island home, if not for themselves, then for the sake of their children.

A variety of magical powers protect Anaiatha from discovery, including a permanent hallucinatory terrain spell that makes the island appear to be a calm stretch of ocean. However, wandering Irda can hear the telepathic call of their homeland during the High Sanction (full moon) of Solinari, the most distant of Krynn's three moons. During these times, which last for a period of nine days once every 36 days, the Irda can find their way across the ocean to Anaiatha, assuming they have a ship or other means to make the journey. Unfortunately, the journey lasts far longer than the duration of High Sanction, and few lost Irda are ever able to return to Anaiatha on their own.

Anaiatha is a tropical paradise, filled with lush vegetation and friendly animals. The Irda have no permanent dwellings, making their homes in caves and valleys, and relocating as the spirit moves them. They acquire few possessions, although they are fascinated by the beauty of gems and jewelry. Most have accumulated small caches of coins and other treasure, to be used if necessary to bribe or otherwise buy off unwelcome intruders.

The Irda are governed by a king who rules as the absolute monarch. All Irda kings can trace their lineage to lgrane. A king rules until the age of 400, at which time one of the king's progeny succeeds to the throne. A king can be either male or female and is usually the oldest of the former king's children.

Irda give birth to 1d4 children every 50 years. Irda are conscientious parents, beginning instruction in all of the arts and sciences within the first few weeks of a child's life. Of all their lessons, the most important is the art of shapechanging. With diligent practice, most Irda have mastered basic shapechanging by the age of 20, enabing them to disguise themselves as humanoids at will. An Irda with an Intelligence of at least 16 can study to become a Changer Adept once it reaches the age of 50. Learning to be a Changer Adept takes at least ten years of study, but once mastered, a Changer Adept can shapechange, as per the 9th-level wizard spell, up to three times each day An Irda with an Intelligence of at least 18 can then study to become a Changer Savant when he reaches the age of 100. This requires at least 50 years of practice. A Changer Savant can shapechange at will.

Ecology: Irda strive to live in perfect harmony with nature. An Irda will not intentionally harm a living creature unless his own life is at risk. For these reasons, Irda do not wear or use leather, wool, or any other products from animals. They are strict vegetarians, enjoying all varieties of fruits, grains, and vegetables. Not only do they avoid meat, they also refuse to eat eggs or drink milk. Irda have no taste for alcoholic beverages of any kind.

Irda do not engage in trade, nor do they create products of any value to other races. Outsiders occasionally seek them out for information about exotic plants or animals. Irda usually trade such information in exchange for the safe return of a lost friend or relative still wandering the lands of Ansalon.