Faun are a broad and loosely related race of humanoids which are flighty and nimble like deer. They are natural peacemakers and have an attractively positive disposition but this is often accompanied with a vapid blissful ignorance.
Origins & Lineage
Faun are sometimes the offspring of satyrs that, for various reasons, aren’t full-blood satyrs. Most faun are the children of druids who had dalliances with satyrs, which leads many to speculate that their hybrid appearance is a result of the druids’ shapeshifting abilities instinctively attempting to make the new life match the mother’s form.
Faun can have fiendish origins just as easily as fey ones. It’s not hard to see how small horns, hooves, and alluring voices could come from succubi or other demons of temptation. Indeed, such fiendish individuals might claim to have satyr ancestry just to deflect investigations into their true background. Faun might also be the natural result of druids shapeshifting while pregnant, with no interaction by satyr parents at all. Faun could also be a mad wizard’s experiment, a stepping stone in his quest to transmute people into dryads, sprites, and brownies.
A few other faun are known to have come from satyrs who were transformed into females and then gave birth. Perhaps this very difference in gender is why 75% of all faun are female, and often born as twins.
However they come into being, these new entities are called faun. Faun are instilled with a lust for adventuring. With their perspective of the world, many begin adventuring careers of their own as clerics, fighters, rogues, or even wizards.
Faun are generally similar in appearance to short elves, with only a few important differences. Most notably, faun typically have two horns growing from their foreheads, their ears tend to be broader and covered in fur, they sport a small deer-like tail, and their feet are hooved. Like many hooved humanoids faun have a large portion of their lower body seemingly replaced with that of an upright deer. Often a faun will have little need for conventional clothing due to the amount of fur growing on their body. Faun naturally walk in a tiptoe stance, as if always lifting themselves onto the balls of their feet. Faun can easily and safely run over rough terrain barefoot, but some prefer to conceal their hooves in specially constructed boots or shoes.
Horns & Antlers
A faun almost always has at set of horns or antlers. These can vary in size, shape, structure, and quantity. The most common structures come in pairs, though individual horns also exist. The structure is typically a large, heavy spiral akin to a ram or light and branched like a deer, however many other structures have been identified.It is often noted that a faun's ornamentation often hints at her lineage. Generally a faun will be born with small flesh covered bumps that soon erupt as horns, typically made of bone or cuticle. The horns grow quickly as a faun ages, often times adding more than one inch each year. Frequently otherwise young looking faun will sport a pair of large horns. Due to the increased weight the horns bring a faun will typically have thicker bones in the neck, as well as stronger muscles.
Faun are, at heart, musicians. They often leave their homes in search of inspiration (if performers) or new sights and sounds (if devotees). Coupled with this search is a largely subconscious desire to forge a new family group that is better in sync with the faun's personality than the friends and neighbors at home. Some faun feel a need to prove themselves—to take up careers such as gladiators or bodyguards just to prove they are not bound by the natural inclinations of their heritage.
Faun present a curious mix of natural wisdom and eternal youth. A faun never really stops being a teenager, emotionally speaking, but their natural maturity, empathy, and perception can make them seem more “adult” than they actually are. Faun learn easily but growing more mature can be a challenge for them, which is part of the reason so many wander from place to place —eventually they run out of new things to do and see where they are, and move on to something more fun or interesting. This behavior isn’t malice or even carelessness so much as a simple lack of long -term investment, an inability to see the long view that many faun never really get over.
Music is another strong motivator for faun, and many end up worshiping gods of song, dance, and drum even if, in their youth, they favored more nature-oriented gods. Music can also draw faun along moral paths, depending on what crowd they fall in with. A faun spending time with good-aligned bards or lillends is very different than one drawn to the fell song of banshees and harpies.
Their youthfulness also means that faun can be amongst the most hopeful, optimistic, and enthusiastic friends one could ask for. Faun see the world with a sense of wonder that never leaves them; every sunrise is a chance to do things over, to make amends and new friends and see the world in another way. Faun see more than other humanoid races because they pay attention, and find wonder because they look for it. Even in the midst of tragedy, a faun knows that growth must follow, and they’re more than willing to help bring growth out of pain and renewal out of death.
Faun can be very strongly shaped by the beliefs and ethics of those who raise them, so most worship gods that attract many druid followers—those that seek a balance between the elements of civilization and nature, as well as law and chaos. However, not all faun are raised in such rural environments, and some faun leave their homelands precisely because they never feel they fit in. While most faun are essentially good-hearted, those who give up on ever finding the acceptance they crave can become dangerously bitter. Some give up the cause of good in an effort to bond with companions who are, themselves, cloaked in darkness.
Like half-elves, faun rarely gather in large enough numbers to form their own societies. They most often settle in small, loosely-knit groups such as clans of druids or elven scout outposts. These groups have strong interpersonal relationships and an abiding respect for independence traits that faun strive to maintain even when they travel into the broader world. Faun are, in some respect, always seeking to build tiny communities around themselves and populate it with friends and loved ones. Acceptance with and loyalty to a small community is the norm for faun, and they generally assume those qualities will be echoed in anyone they choose for their surrogate family as well.
Faun are well accepted by elves, half-elves, gnomes, and halflings. Indeed, faun and gnomes get along so well that more than one scholar has sought in vain for some indication their origins are somehow connected. Faun often suffer unfortunate fates at the hands of orcs and half-orcs, who for some reason find them particularly objectionable. Faun forced to spend time with such groups, though, still struggle to find acceptance and forge some kind of family unit. Dwarves and humans are often wary of faun, and often outright hostile toward them. Because faun have a natural knack for music and are often spellcasters, humans and dwarves tend to see them as potential troublemakers. Dwarves, on the other hand, see faun as naive (or worse, stupid). This stems from fauns’ tendency to assume that they are trusted and loved to the same degree they trust and love their own companions. The effort that faun immediately put into forging close relationships with their neighbors and business partners often exacerbates these stereotypes, and can result in dwarves and humans to find a faun to be clinging and petulant.
Whenever a faun gains the trust and friendship of another person, no matter what race, the faun considers that bond as strong as if the two were flesh and blood kin.
A faun's propensity towards music and posturing are not simply casual choices, but rather deeply ingrained into the fauns' psyche.
Faun spellcasters have a natural magic in their voice and often use it as an element of all their spellcasting.
Soul of Music
Music is part of a faun's sustenance as surely as food, sleep and air. A faun must have music. Being prevented from performing or listening to music has the same effects as starvation.
The magical, fey power of thier perfect and dramatic proportions, along with their grace and assurance, allow them to cause observers to pause just by striking a pose. Faun often strike a pose as a subconscious preparation for further action.
Notable Faun of Templehelm