Or: Spirits of the Manifested Will of the Great Judge Horus
Hollows are the guardians of the dead, which is very important in the prevalent culture. They are greatly respected by everyone, and are believed to be in contact with Horus, the God responsible for judging the souls of the dead by weighing their heart against a feather. In actuality, they have no such divine connection, though they can commune with the dead in a lesser sense. They commonly provide funeral services to the other races. Sleepy Hollows are ageless and, as far as anyone can tell, they do not reproduce.
Personality: Sleepy Hollows, as guardians of the dead, are rather grave themselves. They take everything very seriously, and have little sense of humour. What humour they have is curious, and almost solely focused on the suffering of others, which they enjoy to no end. They love pranks, but only if there is a victim involved, and even then they prefer bodily harm to humiliation. Other than this, however, they are an extremely dull people. Most of them are perfectly content to do nothing for their entire existence – which is to say, forever. There are a curious few, however; and these are usually motivated by the enticing promise of pointless suffering.
Physical Description: Sleepy Hollows appear as beings of pure darkness shrouded in dull, ragged cloaks that conceal the entire Hollow except the eyes and the arms. They have no defined build, but usually appear to be egg-shaped. They seem to have no legs, and they hover anywhere from 2 to 6 ft off the ground.
Relations: Sleepy Hollows are on decent terms with almost everyone. No one particularly dislikes them, possibly because they fear divine retribution. Hollows provide funeral services to other races, including mummification and burial in the catacombs under their mounds. However, there is friction between the Church of Horus and the Hytan Orthodox Church, who are vying for power and influence.
Alignment: Sleepy Hollows are decidedly neutral in matters of morality. But whether they lean towards law or chaos depends on the individual. Lone Hollows tend towards chaos, while those involved in the Church of Horus are generally more lawful.
Lands: The Hollow Mounds are the home to almost all Sleepy Hollows. The mounds are situated around an oasis near the edge of the Shifting Wastes. The mounds go deep underground in catacombs used for burials, though the upper levels are used for the Hollows’ living quarters. Few members of other races choose to live in the mounds except those who wish to learn the art of mummification and burial.
Religion: Because of their connection to the dead, Sleepy Hollows greatly revere the deceased. It was because of this connection that they developed their tradition of caring for the deceased. As a race they have no connection to any particular deity, though most follow the traditional pantheon. The Church of Horus reveres Horus in particular, using the fallacy that Hollows have a divine connection to their advantage.
Language: Sleepy Hollows have their own language, Netherspeak, which uses its own runic script. It uses complex sounds that only Sleepy Hollows are capable of producing. Other races can learn to understand Netherspeak, even read and write it, but they are incapable of speaking it correctly.
Names: A Sleepy Hollow usually takes a name in High Common that translates into some meaningful phrase in Common. Most take a name that will impress other races. Some common names include:
Per Ardua ad Astra, “by struggle to the stars”; De Profundis ad Lucem, “from the depths to the light”; Resurgam, “I will rise again” (This one has a double meaning, since it is also the name of the world); Perdurabo, “I will endure to the end”; Causa Scientae, “for the sake of knowledge”; Non Sine Numine, “not without divine favour”; Vestigia Nulla Retrorsum, “I never retrace my steps”; Deo, Non Fortuna, “by God, not by chance”; Magna est Veritas, “great is the truth”.
Adventurers: Though Hollows are a sedentary people, there are a few that choose the adventuring life, whether out of curiosity or sadistic pleasure.
Sleepy Hollow Racial Traits
Ability Scores: +2 Charisma, +2 Wisdom, -2 Strength
Small: A Hollow receives a +1 bonus to AC, a +1 bonus on attack rolls, a +4 bonus on hide checks, a -4 penalty on grapple checks, and lifting and carrying limits are ¾ of those of medium characters.
Speed: A Hollow has a base speed of 30 ft, and can hover over surfaces such as water, but no higher than 6 ft off the ground. Hovering is an extraordinary ability, as it is the Hollow’s only means of movement.
Because of their ability to float, Sleepy Hollows take half damage from falling.
Spirit Tongues: Once per day, the Sleepy Hollow may ask one question to a spirit. The spirit is a random spirit, unless specified otherwise (see below). The spirit may lie to the Hollow, give false information that it thinks is true, or the spirit may not know the answer at all. The spirit in question may be a specific spirit, but only if the Sleepy Hollow knew them in life or if they have conversed with them in this manner before, either way the Hollow must know the subject’s name. This is a magical, spell-like ability.
Darkvision: Sleepy Hollows can use the darkvision ability out to 60 ft.
Automatic Languages: Common, Netherspeak
Favoured Class: Sorcerer, a multiclass Hollow’s Sorcerer class does not count when determining whether it suffers an XP penalty for multiclassing.