An Unknown Source
Once regular humans, The Returned are a group of 120 men and women who vanished from the Isle of Ponds, along with a half a million others, in the dark of the night near a year ago. Upon their return some months later, they had no memory of where they had gone, and they had changed in a most unsettling way. Gone were the whites and the colours of their eyes, replaced with black orbs that seem to suck the light from whatever place they were in. They had become somewhat frail, though more agile, and even the least intelligent among them came back smarter than before. A variety of other magical abilities came with them as well, suggesting a profound change had been wrought upon them in their time away from the Isle of Ponds.
Distrusted by most, The Returned value their privacy and cling to whatever normalcy they can find with desperation. This ostracism has led them to be slow to make friends, though once an outsider is accepted as a comrade, such alliances will likely prove difficult to break. Those Returned that spend their time getting by in general society often develop a skewed perception of reality and become morose, the result of watching those dozens of normal people getting on happily while they themselves struggle to understand what had happened to them.
Spanning the full range of human height, The Returned are characterized by their graceful, fragile physique that is accentuated by the intense stare of their black eyes. Their fashion choices largely depend on the personality of the individual, with some choosing to try to dress in a manner to escape public attention, and others dressing in garish, bright colours to try to balance the lack of cheer in their eyes.
The Returned have mostly stayed together, acting both as a support group for themselves and also attempting to forge safety through numbers. Though many enjoy the seclusion of nature, most find manipulating earth and stone to be distasteful. Those with exceptional newfound abilities have begun to indulge in the finer arts, finding solace in their recent acquisition of magic.
Rejected by human society, The Returned are nonetheless plagued by the same prejudices found in the general population of humanity. They’re both jealous of and desperate to please regular humans, and they are more distrustful of Wildmen than before their transformation.
Alignment and Religion
The Returned are emotional and capricious, yet value kindness and beauty. Perhaps curiously, most are chaotic good.
Some Returned have begun embarking on adventures out of a desire to explore the world, leaving their secluded Isle to discover themselves and develop their new abilities, or just to seek an explanation for what happened to them. For those who lived simple lives as peasants before they vanished, there’s a bit of a thrill in having become more powerful, and the desire to pursue this new freedom to explore is stong. The Returned generally eschew melee because of their frailty, preferring instead to pursue classes such as wizards and rangers.
The Returned Racial Traits
+2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, –2 Constitution: The Returned are nimble, both in body and mind, but their form is frail.
Medium: The Returned are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: The Returned have a base speed of 30 feet.
Low-Light Vision: The Returned can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light. See Chapter 7.
Newfound Immunities: The Returned are immune to magic sleep effects and get a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells and effects.
Powerful Magic: The Returned receive a +2 racial bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance. In addition, The Returned receive a +2 racial bonus on Spellcraft skill checks made to identify the properties of magic items.
Enhanced Perception: The Returned receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception skill checks.
Weapon Familiarity: The Returned are proficient with longbows (including composite longbows), longswords, rapiers, and shortbows (including composite shortbows), and treat any weapon with the word “elven” in its name as a martial weapon. (Will alter – RC)
Languages: The Returned begin play speaking Common and an Unknown language. Returned with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Celestial, Draconic, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, Crocutan, and Sylvan.