The apparition was incredible; and, for the space of a long breath, they could not believe they had really seen it. There were two horns in a matted mass of coarse, animal-like hair above the semi-human face with its obliquely slitted eyes and fang-revealing mouth and beard of wild-boar bristles. The face was old – incomputably old; and its lines and wrinkles were those of unreckoned years of lust; and its look was filled with the slow, unceasing increment of all the malignity and corruption and cruelty of elder ages. It was the face of Pan, as he glared from his secret wood upon travellers taken unaware.
—Clark Ashton Smith, The Satyr
Called beastmen, fauns, fiends, and tieflings, the kernun are humanlike creatures infused with the touch of chaos. This dark heritage is inherited from humans who made pacts with the gods known as The Mother and Horned God and their servants. Kernun are known for their cunning and personal allure, which makes them excellent deceivers as well as inspiring leaders when prejudices are laid aside.
An Unsettling Air:
Although the pacts of their ancestors may be many generations removed, the touch of Chaos remains. Individual kernun may not be predisposed to evil, though they are certainly devious and mischievous. They tend to have an unsettling air about them, and most people are uncomfortable around them, whether they are aware of the kernun’s unsavory ancestry or not.
While some look like normal humans, most retain physical characteristics derived from their ancestor, with the most common such features being horns, non-prehensile tails, thick fur, or even cloven feet. Kernun are, on average, taller than humans, from 5’6" to 7’2" and weigh just a little bit heavier at 180 to 320 lbs. Kernun have large almond-shaped eyes, solid black, red, or golden orbs. Most kernun have small, blunted horns on their brow, though some have large horns or elaborate antlers. Most kernun are bipedal and human-like with minor bestial features, but hooved feet, thick coarse body hair, and even animal heads like deer, goats or bulls are not uncommon. Four-legged breeds are common in the northeastern Wastelands, or among those bred for labor or races at Imperial hippodromes.
Enemies of Men:
In the dark days before the rise of the Empire of the Sun, men were at the mercy of the appetites of these and more horrible monsters. The kernun were feared for bestial orgies, dark rites in deep forests, and violent raids on villages for plunder and rapine. Through the rise of Mithras and the Golden Crusades, the Empire drove the kernun into the wilderness, destroyed their homeland, and enslaved the survivors as tribute to the Emperor. Now after ages of breeding, the kernun are a valuable asset, toiling in slavery as penance for the sins of their ancestors and as safeguard against the evil urges that haunt them. Kernun face prejudice from humans, who view them as fiend-spawn, seeds of evil, monsters, and lingering curses placed upon the world. The widespread assumption that kernun are innately evil—ill-founded though it may be — prevents many from easily fitting into most cultures.
The Free Cantons have a more complex relationship with the kernun, since many wild tribes fight in their rebellion against the Empire, and escaped slaves from Imperial lands bolster the ranks of the Free Armies. In some provinces, kernun can earn their freedom through military service and young are born free, while other provinces maintain the chattel status quo of the Empire.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2..
Age. Kernun mature by the age of 12 or 13. On average, they live about 60 years due to harsh conditions.
Alignment. Kernun are chaotic. They love freedom, variety, and self-expression. They value and protect others’ freedom as well as their own.
Size. Kernun stand between 6 and 8 feet tall and average about 200-350 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Lowlight Vision. Accustomed to twilit forests and the night sky, you can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light.
Back-Breaking Labor. You can carry twice your Strength score in items before it counts as encumbrance. Your speed is not reduced by wearing heavy armor.
Chaos Trait. You gain one Kernun chaos trait, rolled randomly from the Kernun Chaos Trait table.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write the Trade Tongue, Kernun, and the Cultic Cant.
Subrace. Ancient divides among the kernun people resulted in three main subraces: sylvan, commonly called satyrs, tauran, commonly called minotaurs, and lapiths, commonly called centaurs.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Sylvan Training. You have proficiency with Performance checks, including dance, poetry, singing, and musical instruments.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Tauran Training. You have proficiency with Athletics checks.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Lapith Training. You have proficiency with Survival checks.
Child of Chaos (archetype)
You embrace your dark heritage and the ancient ways of your people, petitioning for greater gifts from the Horned God and his servants. At level 3, you may roll 2d6 and add 1/2 your level to gain a new Chaos trait. You may roll again on the table every 3 levels. If you get a trait you already possess, you may either reroll for a new trait or double the power of the trait.
2. Horned. You grow large or elaborate horns or antlers. This grants you a +2 bonus to reactions among fellow kernun, but a penalty to Imperials who distrust your submissiveness. You also can make a gore attack that deals 1d8 damage.
3. Cloven Hooves. Your hooves grant you nimbleness and balance, and you can climb like a goat, granting advantage on all Athletics rolls to climb or balance.
4. Thick Hide. You have a thick hide and shaggy, coarse fur. You are treated as if you are always wearing leather armor.
5. Bestial Head. You have the head of a bull, deer, goat, horse, or ox. You cannot disguise yourself as a human without the use of magic. You can make a bite attack that deals 1d6 damage.
6. Beast Tongue. You can speak with any hoofed animal, mundane or magical.
7. Bull Strength. You gain a +2 bonus to Strength.
8. Androgynous. Like the androgynous god your people worship, you can change sex, becoming a virile, well-endowed specimen of your gender. You gain a bonus to reactions with members of the opposite sex. Once per day you can charm a member of the opposite sex, as if you cast the spell Charm Person.
9. Keen Senses. You gain training in perception. In addition, you can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
10. Uncontrollable Rage. When you are reduced to half your hit points, You fly into a rage. You take a -2 penalty to AC, and you cannot parry or fight defensively. All melee attacks deal double damage, and you gain temporary hit points equal to half your remaining hit points (rounded down). These adjustments are lost when combat ends. If you fall to 0 hit points or below after your temporary hit points are lost at the end of combat, you begin dying (see the rules for dying in the house rules section).
11. Beguiling Liar: Many kernun find that the best way to get along in the world is to tell others what they want to hear. This practice of telling habitual falsehoods grants them a advantage on Deception checks to convince an opponent that what they are saying is true when they tell a lie.
12. Sylvan Step. You gain advantage to Survival checks and can move through forests as if they are normal terrain. You can also choose not to leave tracks if you wish in forested areas.
13. Wild Dance. You can perform a wild crazed dance that mesmerizes all humans that see you while you are dancing (Charisma Saving Throw). You can maintain this dance for a number of rounds equal to your Constitution score. Mesmerized creatures cannot act while under the spell.
14. Pipes of the Horned God. You gain training in Performance and know how to play the pipes. Once per day you can play pipes that affect all humans within 30 feet as if you cast Charm Person on them. You can charm a number of hit dice equal to 1d4 + 1/2 your character level; your Charisma modifier applies to the target’s saving throw.
15. Shadow Magic: You can cast Darkness once per day. The caster level for this ability equals your character level.
16. Fiendish Resistance: You are unaffected by mundane heat and cold. All cold and fire attacks against you are at disadvantage. In addition, you gain advantage on all Saving Throws against cold and fire effects.
17. Fiendish Familiar: The Horned God rewards you with a fiendish servant. This ability is identical to the wizard’s Familiar, using your character level in place of the wizard level.
18. Fiendish Augury: By performing a ten minute in a wooded area, you can ask the Black Goat whether a particular course of action will bring good or bad results in the immediate future. This ability acts like the Augury spell, with a caster level equal to your character level. This ability can be used once per day.