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Testudo are humanoid tortoises created by School of Metamorphosis Wizards before the Collapse to be effective wartime workers during a time when raw materials for armor were becoming scarce. It was decided that, given the relative ease of magical manipulation and availability of slaves, it might be beneficial to grow armored workers rather than pay to equip them. After the war was over, they Testudo were left to their own devices. Though they are heavyset and have the carapace and plastron of their tortoise ancestors, the Testudo tend to be bookish and quite conservative, and most of them eschew adventure. They are long-lived - no Testudo has yet died of old age, and they were created over 200 years ago. Testudo are universally vegetarian, and aggression does not come naturally to them. The reproduce by laying and fertilizing one large egg at a time - as long as the egg's internal temperature is maintained, it does not have to be actively cared for. Hatchlings that result, however, are cared for assiduously. Testudo are not entirely reptilian.
Tesdudo tend to be bookish and conservative, concerned with lore, organization, and in things remaining much as they are. Testudo are not wont to challenge authority, nor are they prone to be innovators. They are conservators, and often feel that much of what Humans forget is in fact precious. Testudo carefully consider their options before choosing.
Though they are not true reptiles, Testudo retain the plastron and carapace of their tortoise ancestors. This means that they are wider and bulkier than other races, though not significantly heavier on average. Unlike tortoises, Testudo cannot pull their limbs inside their shell - it is a good bit of protection nonetheless. Testudo have short, thick fingers and toes and broad hands and feet. Their arms and legs tend to be short, and they never grow hair.
Testudo potentially get along with everyone, as long as you are not too loud and don't make a lot of sudden moves. Galidines can make Testudo nervous, but they are useful for running and fetching things when the Testudo can't be bothered.
Alignment and Religion
Testudo are quite Lawful, and do not tend toward great altruism nor are they particularly malevolent. If virtue is the balance between extremes, then Testudo are the picture of virtue.
Testudo are superb Alchemists when they try their hand at the art, and some even become Bards since they enjoy both gathering lore and knowing a little bit about everything. There is a school of Testudo Monks who practice a hard-hitting, methodical form of martial arts, drawing upon the strengths of their odd physiology. Testudo who have an interest in religious lore sometimes become Paladins, devoting themselves not only to a particular religious path, but also to the preservation of traditional values in general.
Testudo might be encountered in any urban area, and simply choose appropriate names from the local culture.
Testudo Racial Traits
-2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence. Testudo are large, strong and resilient, but lack agility and can be slow to act.
Bestial Nature: Testudo are able to communicate with turtles and tortoises at will.
Bookish: Testudo receive one free Knowledge as a class skill at character creation, regardless of class. If all Knowledges are already class skills, then the Testudo receives a +2 to a Knowledge of her choice.
Carapace and Plastron: +1 Natural Armor. Testudo can wear armor, but it has to be custom-made and is bulkier than normal armor, and their nonmagical armor costs 150% of normal and weighs 150% of normal. When a Testudo is attacked by an opponent who is flanking her, her carapace grants DR 2/- against the attack. At the DM's discretion, this DR can be applied to area attacks which hit the Testudo when she has fallen prone, hiding under her carapace (a move action to duck-and-cover before the attack goes off)
Resistant to Change: Testudo receive a +2 to all Will saves. They are very hard to convince or sway by any means.
Slow Breath: Testudo receive a +2 racial bonus to Concentration, and they can hold their breath 5 times longer than a human with the same Constitution score.
Sluggish: A Testudo's base movement speed is 20. Testudo in heavy armor just don't get around.
Testudo speak Common as well as the Sylvan language that is common to Beastfolk of all kinds.