Wychfiends, occasionally referred to as etherfiends by those on other planes, are a race of bloodthirsty and warlike extraplanar humanoids from the Ethereal Plane. They plunder the worlds of the Material Plane in search of vast riches, powerful magic, obscure knowledge, and slaves to serve them, all for the glory of their Wychqueen and her consort the Ovarch. All wychfiends live in one of 13 great fortified cities scattered throughout the Ethereal Plane. They boast powerful and true eldritch knights called wychblades, and potent spellcasters called wychlyn (or wylochlyn if a male). Since wychfiends possess an innate magic, they have learned to employ it with great effect in combat over the centuries.
Physical Qualities: Wychfiends are humanoid in appearance, standing slightly taller than the average human at six to six and a half feet. Females tend to be lithe and athletic in appearance, typically weighing around 200 pounds, while males usually have a more muscular and robust physique, weighing around 300 pounds. Regardless of gender, wychfiends have prominent ridges along their foreheads, as well as small horny protrusions along their brow ridge and jaw line, though a female’s is less pronounced. Their ears are small and pointed, their eyes tend to be deep blue or green, while their skin can range from a tan flesh tone to a ruddy red, and adorned in tattoos depicting arcane symbols of power.
A wychfiend’s hair is of singular importance and a point of honor, for it denotes ones rank and station within their society. Their hair is typically black, brown, or auburn in color, and worn in elaborate braids at the back and temples if a female, or bound and braided into ponytails by the males and serve as the plumes of their battle helmets. Perhaps the wychfiend’s most unusual feature is their lack of nose. In its place, they have three small breathing holes spaced along each side of their necks just below their ears, which allows them to breath in any elemental atmosphere, be it air, water, poisonous gas, or the like. Like other planar races, wychfiends try to blend in with the inhabitants of their target worlds, primarily as a means of gaining intelligence on their victims. When wychfiends are encountered away from their home plane, they wear lightweight masks or visored helmets to hide their unusual appearance, as well as emphasize their braids and ponytails of rank.
Society: For years, any knowledge pertaining to Wychfiend society has been limited, until recently, when a few brave planar explorers ventured into the Ethereal Plane to study the little-known culture of these dangerous and brutal beings. Upon their return, they revealed much sought after information pertaining to the Wychfiends and their way of life.
Wychfiend society is a hereditary matriarchy founded centuries ago by the first Wychqueen. It was she, who made a pact with a dark entity in return for greater power and long life for those of her bloodline. Long ago, a band of wayfaring humans, half-orcs, and dwarves became imprisoned on the Ethereal Plane, unable to leave. Out of necessity, they were forced to interbreed, resulting in a number of unusual offspring. This, in conjunction with years of exposure to the strange emanations of the Ethereal Plane warped and reshaped them into the wychfiends of today.
The current Wychqueen, Lasheth’yaleen, has ruled for nearly three centuries, alongside her consort, the Ovarch, Alukhan. With him at her side, she lives a life of perversion and immoral pleasures, and rules her subjects with an iron hand. With the help of her legions of wychblade warriors and covens of wychlyn spellcasters, she controls the expansive Wychfiend Empire that encompasses 13 great fortified cities scattered throughout a secluded corner of the Ethereal Plane.
From their stronghold cities, wychfiends strike fear in the hearts of victims throughout the planes and launch their incursions into the Material Plane from the decks of their huge ethereal ships which they use to navigate the swirling mists of the Ethereal Plane itself. Though primarily encountered on the Material Plane, their physiology enables them to survive for an extended period of time on any plane of existence, even the Elemental and Energy Planes. Like most living creatures, they require food, water, and sleep, but are unaffected by toxic atmospheres.
Relations: Wychfiends are greatly despised by most races, for they are seen as nothing more than extraplanar pirates and brigands. Thus, most races avoid any contact with them. However, some individuals grudgingly claim that the wychfiend Wychblades are among the greatest of any eldritch knights throughout the planes. Because of their innate propensity for magic, wychfiends get along best with those races with the same propensity, such as elves and half-elves. However, because of their warlike nature, they also get along with dwarves and half-orcs, since these are the races of their origin. Should a wychfiend choose to mate with a dwarf, half-orc, or human, the resulting offspring is always a full blooded wychfiend. All other matings result in no offspring.
Alignment and Religion: Although wychfiends are considered to be fearsome and blunt in their dealings with other races, they follow a certain code of honor. They tend towards brutal, decisive battle tactics, and unleash their magic with great effect in their attempts to acquire greater power and dominion on behalf of their wychqueen. Wychfiends tend to be lawful evil, but very few worship any form of deity since it would greatly anger their wychqueen and bring about their demise. However, those few who choose to tread such dangerous ground typically worship deities who value strength, order, and magic.
Adventurers: Wychfiends have an inbred lust for battle and adventure, especially for the glory of their wychqueen. Youngling wychfiends are often sent to the Material Plane to test their mettle and skill at arms, and prove themselves worthy of being admitted to the ranks of the Wychblades. Veteran wychfiends travel and battle to increase their hone, and further the cause of their sovereign, but are typically encountered in companies or brigades. Renegade wychfiends hold no allegiance to the wychqueen. They have thrown off their racial shackles of domination and unquestioning obedience to her, and replaced them with the ideals of freewill and personal honor.
Male Names: Arzu, Ashram, Balkhor, Helior, Heralld, Lykosh, Naseer, Noben, Sarik, Sarkk, Uruncu.
Female Names: Anaptupish, Cha’nya, Ma’harra, Na’ima, Onju, Yarro, Zorla, Zvenstra.
Wychfiend Traits (Advanced 20 RP)
Wychfiend society is based on martial and magical might. Wychblades serve as the military and law enforcement, while wychlyn function as leaders, healers, and govern society as a whole. The following describes the wychblade and wychlyn organizations in detail.
Wychblades fight on the front lines and enforce the laws of the wychqueen. Some are magi, true eldritch knights who wield both blade and spell with great skill, while others are simply cavalier’s who wield sword and shield on behalf of their queen. In either case, wychblades favor plate armor and bastard swords when engaging in battle. Such armor and weapons are crafted from a special metal alloy called wychsteel (see Wychsteel), whose secret is known only to greatest of Wychfiend metalsmiths.
As the Wychqueen’s consort, the Ovarch has total command of the wychblades, though he is often superseded by command of the Wychqueen. Despite this, he is the supreme commander of all wychblades throughout the Ethereal Plane, otherwise referred to as the Grand Army. Next in command is the Wararch, or General in the common tongue, who oversees the training and discipline of the entire wychblade army for a given city. Each army is divided into 3 legions numbering anywhere from 200 to 240 Wychblades, and is under the command of their Exarch or Captain. Further divisions include brigades of 50-60 commanded by Zhivarchs or Lieutenants, and companies of 10-12 under the command of a Navarch or Sergeant. Leadership positions within the wychblade organization are always filled by magi with wychblade archetype.
Few females are numbered among their ranks, but those who do so have proven themselves as skilled warriors and capable leaders within the organization.
Table: Wychblade Order of Battle
Wychlyns are arcane spellcasters who wield powerful otherworldly magic and rule the wychfiend society. While wychfiends tend to be wary of other races, they consider those outside their race who are of the sorcerer or witch classes as kindred spirits by simple virtue of their magic. Though they will readily destroy such outsiders, the fact they are trained in the “wyching” powers may spare such an individual long enough for one to charm his way to freedom or escape.
The Wychqueen has complete dominion over all within the empire, but takes singular pride in commanding the wychlyn, for she herself is one of them. She oversees all the wychlyn within her empire by counseling with the Naik and her six Hajjan, who serve as the ruling body of each city and over see each city’s circle. The circle of each city is divided into 4 warrens of 36 wychlyn, with each overseen by a Sersan. A warren is further divided into covens of 6 wychlyn, overseen by a Vadish. Wychlyns tend to garb themselves in rich and ornately adorned robes, decorated in such a manner as to denote their city of origin, as well as their individual warren and coven.
Male Wychfiends with a predisposition towards pure magic may join the wychlyn. Those few who have done so have been called wylochlyn by their sister wychlyn, in an attempt to differentiate them from the rest of them. Nevertheless, they are welcomed as full members of their order.
Table: Wychlyn Hierarchy
When six wychfiends of the appropriate spellcasting classes gather, they can form a coven under a Vadesh (7 HD or class level) to gain increased magical ability. Any combination of six wychfiends with the sorcerer (wychlyn archetype) or witch class can form a coven, but sorcerers with the wychlyn archetype are the most common members of such gatherings.
Whenever all six wychfiends of a particular coven are within 10 feet of one another, all six of them can work together to use any of the following spell-like abilities: baleful polymorph (DC 18), bestow curse (DC 17), blood biography, charm monster (DC 17), forcecage, geas/quest, imbue with spell ability, planar adaptation, possess object, reincarnate, skeleton crew, spell crash (lesser), spellcrash (greater), spellcrash, spellscar, vision.
All six wychfiends must take a full-round action to take part in this form of cooperative magic. All wychfiend coven spell-like abilities function at CL 9th (or at the highest CL available to the most powerful wychfiend in the coven). The save DCs are Charisma-based, and function as if with a Charisma score of 16 unless one of the wychfiends has a higher Charisma score, in which case the spell-like ability DCs are adjusted by that wychfiend's Charisma modifier.
At the GM's discretion, certain more powerful wychfiend covens might have additional spell-like abilities.
Wychsteel is an extremely rare bluish metal that is lighter than steel, but just as hard. An alloy forged from mitral and the mystical mists of the Ethereal Plane, the secret to its creation is known only to the greatest of wychfiend metalsmiths and wychlyn, and is used primarily in crafting the highly prized armor and weapons used by wychblade warriors. Most suits of wychsteel armor are one category lighter than normal for purposes of movement and other limitations. Heavy armors are treated as medium, and medium armors are treated as light, but light armors are still treated as light. This decrease does not apply to proficiency in wearing the armor.
A character wearing wychsteel full plate must be proficient in wearing heavy armor to avoid adding the armor’s check penalty to all his attack rolls and skill checks that involve moving. Spell failure chances for armors made from wychsteel are decreased by 15%, maximum Dexterity bonuses are increased by 4, and armor check penalties are decreased by 4 (to a minimum of 0). Shields are never made from wychsteel, for they tend to hamper wychblades in their blade and spell combat techniques. While this strange mystical connection is not fully understood, it is the reason why wychfiends will sacrifice life and limb to regain or retain items made of wychsteel. Wychfiends that have the Wychsteel Bond feat improve these benefits.
Weapons made from wychsteel weigh half as much as the same weapon made from other metals. For such weapons, this lighter weight does not change a weapon’s size category or the ease with which it can be wielded (whether it is light, one-handed, or two-handed). Weapons not primarily of metal are not meaningfully affected by being partially made of wychsteel. (A longsword can be a wychsteel weapon, while a quarterstaff cannot.)
Weapons or armor fashioned from wychsteel are always masterwork items as well; the masterwork cost is included in the prices given below. Wychsteel has 30 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 15.