Legend holds that in a divine fluke, the firnoy (singular: firna, adjectival: firnic) were created by Zif the Father of Chance. Like their maker, they put a great deal of faith in luck. Firnoy are amiable creatures and enjoy celebrations, good food and drink, jokes, and friendships.
They've got bright eyes and slightly pointed ears. Most firnoy are crowned with curly hair. Hair and eye color as well as skin tone range greatly in firnoy by region. The bodies of firnoy are covered with short fur. Humans describe them as "fuzzy," like a peach. They have a prehensile tail which grows to be as long as they are tall, and as strong as any other limb. A firna starts to come of age around 20 and is considered an adult by 25. Firnoy typically live just slightly longer than humans. Their lifespan averages about 100 years, but the oldest was said to have cheated death for 140.
Firnoy are right short, usually 3′ to 4′ tall, and on average weigh 50 to 70 lbs. A firna is considered Size −1. Because of their small stature, firnoy cannot ride horses effectively (though ponies or donkeys serve just fine).
Plenty of firnoy prefer simple and functional clothes and footwear, but others love their jewels and finery. It's rare to find a firnoy without a hat while performing their livelihood. Travelers employ cloaks of wool or cotton to resist the elements, and lots of firnoy prefer to hold a parasol with their tails.
Few love a good laugh as much as a firna. Practical jokes are a widespread tradition and firnoy enjoy being on either end of one. In this arena, most firnoy prefer harmless mischief to outright cruelty. Firnoy have an insatiable curiosity that lands them in trouble. It only worsens with age, which is why firnoy youths view their elders as busybodies and gossips. Firnoy are excitable and speak quickly when their interest is piqued. Their small stature and simple demeanor make them less noticeable in a crowd than a human, but in close conversation, most people tend to find them endearing. The majority of firnoy are optimists and make a point to look on the bright side.
Most firnoy are collectors; they love pocketing small trinkets and keepsakes, some even do it legally. Pretty much all of them have some useless object tucked away at home because of a story that goes with it, or a potentially important object they can't bear to throw away until they remember why they held onto it. Firnoy don't mind lost items due to the belief that either "it'll turn up," or "we'll just find another one." Because of this, firnoy love to gamble, and will wager bets on anything convenient.
- "I'll bet ya sixpence the sun don't go down today."
- "You're on!"
Firnoy live in cozy wooden and earth cottages grouped into villages, small towns, or neighborhoods in big cities. Because of their size, homes built by the firnoy are quite small, so larger folks have a tough time moving in. Most are happy with a comfortable place to hang their hat and put up their feet, the ability to enjoy a conversation and a meal before bed, and a warm blanket at night.
They enjoy fine foods they they either produce themselves or discover from other races. Firnoy have a diet similar to humans, consisting of produce, grain, and meats. They are also excellent beekeepers and bottle the sweetest honey and can produce smooth, rich meads.
Firnoy are scattered throughout the world, and while there may be small settlements occupied entirely by firnoy, there aren't any nations ruled by them. Most are too preoccupied with curiosities to worry about mundane tasks like the governing of nations. That said, firnic towns are generally run by an elected mayor or a local council.
Since firnoy will party at the drop of the hat, the momentous occasions in life are especially good reasons for a crapulous celebration. Firnoy have a Welcoming for the birth of a new child, giant wedding feasts wherein the entire village or town is invited, and a Departing wake for the deceased. Firnoy usually mate for life and bear an average of 3 children.
Firnoy have no racial language of their own, so they speak the languages of the regions where they live. They do, however, come up with the most bizarre slang words. Sometimes a firna will invent a word as a practical joke to see how many people will carry it on. Daggers referred to as pig stickers, and big fists referred to as festival hams are some examples of their work.
Firnoy will sometimes travel in small groups of close friends, but occasionally tag along individually with a group of "bigger folk." Due in part to their happy-go-lucky demeanor, firnoy can get along well with any of the races. Some humans or apsarava find firnoy annoying, laughable, or dismissable, but others realize what a boon they can be, or at least amusing comrades. Vidari think of firnoy as helpful, charming, and full of life. Evengar — themselves standing just slightly taller than firnoy — have no problem with the "wee fellas", but some may find them rash. Firnoy and kulgeris have few things in common, and fewer things to offer the other. Firnoy and shou get along famously; both curious, energetic, and have tails. Maghashi and firnoy also get along well; both hard-working, wise, and peace-loving. Jurens and firnoy make great traveling companions, the former serving as the vehicle, the latter serving as the entertainment.
Many firnoy take to farming, beekeeping, or animal care. Some enjoy the life of a merchant which goes well with the firnic tendency to collect useless items. Thanks to their overwhelming love for culinary delights, firnoy make the best chefs; it won't be uncommon to find a renowned firna chef in the employ of a human noble. Because of their tails and small stature, they can also make great handymen, acrobats, or spies.
On the field of battle, firnoy excel as duelists and marksmen. Scholars and mages are very, very rare among firnoy. With the aid of a tail, firnoy have the option of essentially fighting with three hands, so a firna could hold a shield and two weapons, a shield and a two-handed weapon, or three one-handed weapons. Firnoy prefer metallic weapons and armor, and tend to favor bladed and piercing weapons over bludgeoning weapons.
Weapons designed to be held by a firna are smaller than their human-sized counterparts, so they deal out less damage (see Appendix I: Size & Weapon Damage for differences between weapons for creatures of different Sizes.) In addition, weapons designed for larger creatures are much harder for firnoy to wield (see Chapter 11: Equipment regarding weapon Muscle requirements).
The curiosity of firnoy is probably the driving force behind leaving the village. Their goals range from the simple (perform the greatest prank ever, throw parties to be remembered) to the nigh-unattainable (find the Rapier of Zif). Firnoy adventurers would delight in any goal which would result in a hearty laugh or a great celebration.
- Lucky Stiff – Firnoy have supernatural good luck. A firna can spend 2 MP to add a +1 bonus to any roll. This takes no AP to perform.
- Tall Tail – Firnoy have a prehensile tail, which is as long as they are tall. It's just as strong as either of their arms, and can even hold a weapon. Actions performed using a firna's tail take the same penalties as their non-dominant hand.
- Counterweight – A long tail grants a firna excellent balance. Firnoy receive a +2 bonus to Gymnastics when balance is involved.
Societal Powers. Choose one of the following.
- Inquiring Minds – Firnoy are naturally curious. Their nosiness and prying nature grants them a little more bravery than most. They receive a +2 bonus to Guts checks.
- Busy Hands – Analytical minds and speedy fingers make finoy competent machinists, saboteurs, escapists, and shoplifters. They receive a +1 bonus to both Thievery and Machinery.
- Wonder Chef – It's hard to be a bad cook in a society that adores food. Firnoy receive a +2 bonus to Craft checks related to making food, beverages, utensils, and cookware.