Pronounced KORTH-jahk, the Korthjach (from the Draconic “korthix sjach korthix”, or “dangerous shadow”) are a race of humanoids with insectoid features.  They are most comfortable with swamps, fens and forest regions, but can adapt to most circumstances with ease.


The Korthjach are a very communal people.  While not distrustful of outsiders, they tend to disregard them unless a specific interaction is required.  The Korthjach are puzzling to outsiders, who have trouble fathoming their culture and habits

Individual Korthjach are patient, calm and slow to anger.  However, once that anger is roused they are capable of acts of extreme violence and rage.

Physical Description

The Korthjach stand 32” to 60” in height.  Their heads are flatter, elongated versions of human skulls, and sit at about a 30° angle on the neck.  The eyes protrude from the head and are faceted in the manner of insect eyes.  The mouth is positioned at the bottom of the skull and has small mandibles.  The head has no ears – instead there are two short (2” to 3”) antennae on the top of the skull.

The body and limbs of the Korthjach are sheathed in a thin layer of chitin that provides natural protection. This chitin can be any of a rainbow of hues.  The forearms and lower legs are adorned with spines along the outside, and the hands have three digits (two fingers and a thumb) that end in razor-sharp claws that aid in climbing.


The Korthjach are reclusive, and as such have made very little effort to create or maintain relationships with other races.  The other non-draconic races are largely indifferent to them, and the draconic races range from suspicious to hostile.  The Korthjach do not recognize Dragons as a superior race, and as such are in the minority of the races of Merisyl.  Indeed, even good Dragons are miffed at what they perceive as a slight.  Dragons tend to treat Korthjach without the same paternal amusement that colors their relations with the other races of Merisyl.


Most Korthjach tend towards neutrality, though any alignment is possible.

Korthjach Lands

The Korthjach are most comfortable in swamps, fens and forest regions.  They are the dominant race of Verthis, with the cities of Verr, Hesarux and Sjachothar being their major centers of population.  Kethend, in the Aurix Resplendency and Levir in the Dominion of Rach are also predominantly Korthjach communities.  The Korthjach can also be found in most other cities of Merisyl, and scattered in small communities throughout the woodlands and swamps.


Some Korthjach worship Dragons gods as do most of the peoples of Merisyl, but most worship Vivlorean, the Korthjach Goddess of life, death, rebirth and renewal.  They see the tenets of her faith reflected every day in the circle of life and death in the swamp.  The plants and insects of the swamp are nourished by the bodies of the previous generations of life.  There is no good or evil, law or chaos in this. It simply is.  This captures the essence of what life is to the Korthjach.


All Korthjach speak Korthan and most speak Draconic.  Some also speak Trader Common, though the softer sounds are not easy for the Korthjach to form.  


The Korthjach often take Draconic names to share with outsiders, as many other races cannot easily make the sounds of the Korthan language.  To understand the examples of Korthjach names in their native Korthan it is necessary to first define the closest non-Korthjachan sound representations of these difficult phonics.


A sharp squeaking click formed by holding the tongue behind the upper teeth and bringing the back of the tongue down from the top of the mouth.


A dull click formed by bringing the teeth together sharply.


A hollow click formed by bringing the tongue quickly back from being pressed against the top of the mouth behind the front teeth.


A wet gurgle formed by holding the front of the tongue behind the lower teeth and forcing the air out from underneath it.

Examples: F!* (Conquest through Strength), Vr^choo (Nourishing Water), Jpa#* (Heat of Decay)

Most Korthjach who interact frequently with the other races of Merisyl will eventually learn to settle for mangled Common approximations of those names.  For example, "F!*" would respond to "Fict", "Vr^choo" to "Vertichu" and "Jpa#*" to "Padge".


Korthjach make excellent Mage Slayers, Fighters and Rogues.

Standard Racial Traits

Ability Score Modifiers: +2 Con, +2 Wis, -2 Cha

Size: Korthjach are Medium creatures and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.

Type: Korthjach are monstrous humanoids

Base Speed: Morphics have a base speed of 30 ft.

Languages: Start with Common and Korthan. Korthjach with High Intelligence scores can additionally choose from  Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Halfling, Giant, and Orc.

Defense Racial Traits:

Improved Natural Armor (x2)(3 RP): Korthjach gain a +2 Natural Armor Bonus from their carapace.

Feat and Skill Racial Traits:

Camouflage (1 RP): Korthjach are well suited for life in swamplands, and gain a +4 racial bonus to Stealth while within Swamp terrain.

Terrain Stride (1 RP): Korthjach are also adept at traversing within swamplands, and can move through natural difficult terrain at their normal speed while in Swamp terrain. Magically altered difficult terrain affects Korthjach normally.

Skill Specialization (0 RP): Korthjach gain a +2 racial bonus to Survival checks, but take a -2 penalty to Knowledge Arcana.

Offense Racial Traits:

Claws (2 RP): Korthjach gain 2 claws. These claws are primary natural attacks that deal 1d4 Bludgeoning / Slashing Damage.

Senses Racial Traits:

All-Around Vision (4 RP): Korthjach have some way of seeing all around them, granting them a +4 racial bonus on Perception checks and making them immune to flanking.

Darkvision 60 ft. [Monstrous Humanoid]: Korthjach can see in the dark for up to 60 ft.

Alternate Racial Traits:

Insectoid Secretion [Crystalline Form] (2 RP) [Toxic] (1 RP): Some Korthjach exude a reflective secretion over their carapace. Korthjach with this trait gain a +2 racial bonus to AC against rays and can deflect a single ray attack targeted at them as if they were using the Deflect Arrows feat once per day. Additionally, a number of times per day equal to its Constitution modifier (minimum 1/day), a Korthjach can envenom its natural attacks or a weapon that it wields with a concentrated and toxic form of its secretion. Applying venom in this way is a swift action.

Paralytic Venom: Injury; save Fort DC 10 + 1/2 the Korthjach’s HD + the user’s Constitution modifier; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Dex; cure 1 save.

This racial trait replaces Improved Natural Armor.

Bite (2 RP): Some Korthjach have particularly large mandibles, and gain a 1d4 damage Bite Attack. This racial trait replaces Claws.

Unnatural (2 RP): Many animals find Korthjach particularly unnatural. As a result, some Korthjach train to defend themselves against the inevitable attacks from such creatures. These Korthjach take a -4 penalty on all Charisma-based skill checks to affect creatures of the animal type, and receive a +4 dodge bonus to AC against animals. Animals’ starting attitude toward members of this race is one step worse than normal. This racial trait replaces Camouflage and Terrain Stride.

Magehunter (4 RP): Some Korthjach detest the arcane magic that their traditional enemies prefer. These Korthjach gain a +2 racial bonus on Spellcraft checks made to identify a spell being cast and a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against arcane spellcasters. Members of this race only gain this bonus against creatures that use spells, not against those that only use spell-like abilities. This racial trait replaces All-Around Vision.

Draconic Enmity [Hatred] (1 RP) [Wyrmscourged] (3 RP): Korthjachs’ often have tense relationships with dragons and their draconic offspring, and some have developed a particular enmity for them. These Korthjach gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against morphics, ixen, kobolds, and dragons, and additionally gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC and on saving throws against the extraordinary, supernatural, and spell-like abilities of dragons. This racial trait replaces All-Around Vision.

Favored Class Bonus:

Alchemist: Add +1 on Craft (alchemy) checks to craft poison and +1/3 on the DCs of poisons the alchemist creates (including the poison granted by the Insectoid Secretion alternate racial trait).

Arcanist: Gain a +1 bonus on concentration checks made due to taking damage while casting arcanist spells.

Barbarian: Add +⅓ to the bonus from the superstition rage power.

Bard: Reduce the penalty for not being proficient with one weapon by 1. When the nonproficiency penalty for a weapon becomes 0 because of this ability, the bard is treated as having the appropriate Martial or Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat for that weapon.

Bloodrager: Add ¼ to the bloodrager’s effective class level when determining the power of her bloodrager bloodline powers.

Brawler: Add +1 to the brawler’s CMD when resisting a grapple or trip attempt.

Cavalier: Add +1 hit point to the cavalier’s mount. If the cavalier ever replaces this mount, the new mount gains these bonus hit points.

Cleric: Add +1/2 to the amount of damage dealt (but not healed) when the cleric uses channel energy.

Druid: Add +1/3 to the druid’s natural armor bonus when using wild shape.

Fighter: Add ¼ to the increased maximum dexterity and to the penalty reduction of armor check penalties granted by the Armor Training class feature.

Gunslinger: Add a +⅓ bonus on attack rolls when using the pistol whip deed.

Hunter: Add 1 hit point to the hunter’s animal companion. If the hunter replaces his animal companion, the new animal companion gains these bonus hit points.

Inquisitor: Add +½ on Intimidate, Knowledge, and Sense Motive checks made against dragons and morphics.

Investigator: Add +1 on Craft (alchemy) checks to craft poison and +1/3 on the DCs of poisons the alchemist creates (including the poison granted by the Insectoid Secretion alternate racial trait).

Kineticist: Add a +1/6 bonus on combat maneuver checks attempted as part of a substance infusion.

Magus: Add ⅕ to the ability damage dealt by magus spells cast that deal ability damage. This applies to spells that deal ability drain, but the bonus is still only ability damage.

Medium: Add ½ to saving throws that would end a possession effect affecting the medium early.

Mesmerist: Add ¼ to the amount of creatures the mesmerist can focus his Hypnotic Gaze class feature upon at a single time. The mesmerist may expend only one swift action to focus on multiple creatures at a time. In order to select this favored class bonus, the Korthjach must have the All-Around Vision racial trait.

Monk: Add +1/3 to the monk’s AC bonus class ability.

Occultist: Deal an additional 1/2 point of damage with focus powers.

Oracle: Add ¼ to the oracle’s effective level for the purposes of the effects (but not prerequisites) of the Life Mystery Revelations.

Paladin: Add +1 to the amount of damage the paladin heals with lay on hands, but only when the paladin uses that ability on herself.

Psychic: Gain a +1 bonus on concentration checks required because of taking damage while casting spells from the psychic class.

Ranger: Add +1 hit point to the ranger’s animal companion. If the ranger ever replaces his animal companion, the new animal companion gains these bonus hit points.

Rogue: Add a +½ bonus on Bluff checks to feint and pass secret messages.

Shaman: The shaman gains 1/6 of a new shaman hex.

Skald: Increase the skald’s total number of raging song rounds per day by 1.

Slayer: Increase the studied target bonus on Perception and Survival checks by ¼. When the slayer gains the stalker class feature, the slayer also gains this increase to the studied target bonus on Stealth checks.

Sorcerer: Add ¼ to the sorcerer’s effective level for the purposes of the effects of the Verdant Bloodline’s Bloodline Powers. This does not modify when these powers are gained.

Spiritualist: Add 1 hit point to the spiritualist’s phantom.

Summoner: Add +1 hit point to the summoner’s eidolon.

Swashbuckler: Increase the total number of points in the swashbuckler’s panache pool by ¼.

Vigilante: Add 1/2 to the DC increase from unshakable.

Warpriest: Gain a +1/3 bonus on the damage dealt or healed with the warpriest’s channel energy ability.

Witch: The witch gains 1/6 of a new witch hex.

Wizard: Gain a +1 bonus on concentration checks made due to taking damage while casting wizard spells.