Carrying the taint of Evil in their very souls, tieflings are persecuted and feared in most parts of Faerun. Those with gross physical alterations are often killed at birth, and even those with less noticeable physical traits are sometimes killed by their own horrified parents. Occasionally a Tiefling is born to someone indifferent to it's appearance, determined to redeem it, willing to exploit it, or Evil enough not to care about it's nature, and these Tieflings are most likely to survive to adulthood. Most Tieflings are Evil, but a few have managed to overcome their bloodline's influence to make their own choices about Good and Evil. Even if they manage to overcome their evil blood, doing good feels awkward or just down right wrong.
Tieflings are the distant descendants of a Human and some Evil outsider, such as a demon (usually a marilith or succubus), devil (usually an erinyes, glugon, or pit fiend), night hag, rakshasa, or even a servant of an Evil deity (some of these creatures must use magic to assume a form that is compatible with a Human mate, of course). Fiend-touched and similarly tainted mixes of Elves (notably the Fey'ri), orcs (such as the Tanarukk), and other races are known, but those are distinct lines and not true Tieflings.
Tieflings look Human except for one or two distinguishing features related to their unusual ancestor. Some examples of these features (and the ancestors that cause them) are:
- small horns on the head (demon, devil, night hag)
- fangs or pointed teeth
- forked tongue (demon, devil)
- glowing red eyes (demon, devil, night hag)
- cat eyes (rakshasa)
- more or less than 5 fingers (demon, devil)
- goatlike legs (devil)
- hooves (devil)
- non-prehensile tail (demon, devil)
- furry, leathery, or scaly skin (demon, devil, rakshasa)
- red skin (demon, devil)
- bruised blue skin (night hag)
- casts no shadow (demon, devil)
- throws no reflection (demon, devil)
- skin is hot to the touch (demon, devil)
- smell of brimstone (demon, devil)
Tieflings are aware at an early age that they are different from the people around them, and often have strange urges, desires, or needs because of their Evil heritage. Because Tieflings are born of many different creatures, it is difficult to tell if any two of them are related, and because many of them come from demonic bloodlines, even two tieflings descended from similiar demons or the very same demon might look very different.
Most Faeruinian Tieflings come from bloodlines originating in Mulhorand and Thay. The Mulhorandi Tieflings are descended from servants or manifestations of Set or Sebek, while those from That are usually the result of dalliances with fiends of all kinds. As with the Aasimar from Mulhorand, many Tieflings from that ancient land leave the region to seek their own destiny without outside interference. Thayan Tieflings are usually the grandchildren of powerful Wizards, birthed as part of some power scheme, and usually spend their lives as slaves or pawns to both sides of the family (although Nevron, the Zulkir of Conjuration, is rumored to be a Tiefling). In either case, Tieflings from these two regions usually resemble the Human race of their parents, with their inhuman traits making them stand out from other Thayans or Mulhorandi.
Unther is reputed to have a Tiefling population comparable to Mulhorand, but in truth this is a misconception, for the Evil and mad god-king Gilgeam sired no children for fear of creating something that might usurp his throne. However, Nergal (the Untheric god of the underworld) is thought to have fathered at least one child before he was slain during the Orcgate Wars over two thousand years ago, and it is possible that some Untheric men and women still carry that Evil deity's bloodline. The mages of Unther may also be responsible for some devil-spawned Tieflings as well.
Tieflings live as outcasts. Feared for their Evil heritage and often acting appropriately to their ancestry, they learn to keep people at a distance and hide that which makes them different. Like all the planetouched, they are different from their own parents; rarely has a Tiefling been raised in a home filled with love. Tieflings are bitter folk who expect eventual rejection from even their best friends and easily fall into lives of crime, depravity, and cruelty. Tieflings look upon true friends and other Evil outsiders with envy and fear.
Some Tieflings reject their tainted blood and seek the light. Not many succeed for long, and far more slide to a comfortable place midway between Evil and Good. But of the creatures who work to be good, good-aligned Tieflings probably work the hardest.
Because of the varied circumstances of their births, most Tieflings become adults without knowing another of their kind. Given their scattered heritage and tendency toward Evil, Tieflings mistrust each other, while at the same time wanting another of their kind near to experience a limited kinship. Therefore it is not unusual to find a small group of like-minded Tieflings at the head of a thieves' guild. Sometimes a good Tiefling will search out others of her kind in the hopes of rescuing them from Evil or persecution, but most Tieflings are so used to looking out only for themselves that such a thought never occurs to them.
Thay is unusual because of it's numbers of Tiefling slaves. An unknown number of fiendish bloodlines exist in Thay, some of them lost for generations. When a true Tiefling arises from a latent bloodline, there is often a scramble as the Red Wizards struggle to collect the planetouched offspring. Some Red Wizards train these young Tieflings with others of their kind, either to work as spies in other households, personal assassins, or as some sort of sacrifice to an Evil being. These tieflings can develop a sense of community among their fellows. If they are lucky, they may manage to escape their Evil masters, scattering to the four winds to elude pursuit. Some of these slaves start revolts to cover their tracks, others return to kill their former owners, and still others leave and never look back. In this way, certain Tieflings have extended families, although how to find their adopted siblings usually poses a problem.
Creating new character on Arelith Edit
Any medium-size base race.
- Favoured Class: Rogue
Many multiclass with rogue. Could be just any class, although they make poor sorcerers.
- Arelith Alignment Restriction: Any Evil, Any Neutral.
Abilities adjustments will depend on base race.
After you later select subrace in Arelith Entry, these additional abilities will be applied to your character Tiefling: Dex +2, Int +2, Cha -2
- Alignment Restrictions: Any Evil, Any Neutral.
- Dex +2, Int +2, Cha -2
- Bluff +2, Hide +2
- Cold/Electric/Fire Resistance 5
- Spell Like Ability: Darkness 1/day
- Favored Class: Rogue
- ECL +1
Tieflings look human except for one or two distinguishing features related to their unusual ancestor. (Note that demons are chaotic evil by nature and devils are lawful evil. Chaotic descendant of devil is very unlikely.)
For some examples of these features (and the ancestors that cause them) see the appearance description above.
Life expectancy and ageing: the same as their base race.
- Bonus language:
- Starting city: Cordor
Roleplay tips Edit
Good tiefling Edit
- (written by Purgatid)
Having a Tiefling who wants to do good isn't as hard as it sounds. The trick is to successfully implement "the ends justify the means." A "good" Tiefling wanting to stop the evil baron who's oppressing the peasants could very well abduct the Baron's daughter and threaten to kill her if the oppression doesn't end. The goal is good - to stop the oppression, but the means is evil - abduction and possible murder. In the same way, he could mug the rich (not steal, like Robin Hood - but actually jump out and beat up the noble whether or not the Noble is a greedy one or not, and steal their gold from the unconscious battered nobleman) and give to the poor. As long as the plus and minus is zero, I think he'd be considered neutral. A good person will not do evil things - even if the end goal is good, while a neutral person may very well do that.