The Arbre are a native sentient ensouled race on Altana. They possess the singular distinction of having being both flora and fauna. Despite being descended from a carnivorous species of plant, they presently look very human. The differences that set Arbre apart come in coloration, scent, and the shape of their ears. Arbre hair and skin colors tend to be greens or browns with the odd red or yellow. Arbre scents are noticeable to humans as the smell of a spice rack, which is to say not unpleasant. And Arbre ears resemble either leaves or elaborate flower petals and no two Arbre have the same ears.
The Anathemans engineered the Arbre to be agricultural slaves, allowing them to need little more than sunlight and soil from the fields and a bit of water to subsist on. They worked the fields tirelessly and ate the insect pests that came to prey upon the crops. Back then they resembled a more shambling form, but it was the introduction of souls that gave them over the course of a handful of generations the lithe forms they currently possess.
The accelerated plant metabolism of the Arbre allows them to recover from wounds rapidly, even while in the midst of battle. However this does present a serious demand on the body. If an Arbre does not eat soon after invoking regeneration, she will begin to suffer from any one or multiple of a wide assortment of maladies.
Due to their longer lives and memories that regeneration grants and their deep love of stories and news, Arbre cannot botch Lore rolls.
Base Stats: Intellect +1, Mind +1, Racial +2
Like the common breeds of the other races, common Arbre may have any mixture of colorations of their kind, and possibly even some more rare and exotic shades. Their regeneration tends to be stronger, coming from a wider base of breeding. Most Arbre range in size from Small to Large, and from Primal to Civilized in Manner.
Base Stats: Intellect +2, Mind +1, Charisma +1
These Arbre are the leaves of the great tree of their race. They link with the leaves of the other races to form a canopy of culture and communication, exchanging thoughts and ideas with any who hunger for knowledge and burn with curiousity. Their skin is pale emerald while their hair is more vibrantly green. Rarely, a child is born who has brilliantly red and yellow hair matching the colors of a tree in death waiting to be renewed.
Base Stats: Strength +1, Intellect +1, Agility +1, Mind +1
These Arbre are the limbs of the great tree of their race. They bend on the wind and do not break while they uphold the tenants of their society. The letters of the law may be fixed, but the spirit of the law is more flexible within the scope of different situations. Indeed, they will violate the rules they struggle to uphold if doing so helps to preserve that spirit. Their hair and skin run the shades of tree bark (but fortunately not the texture).
Base Stats: Intellect +1, Dexterity +1, Mind +2
These Arbre are the sap of the great tree of their race. Among them are the greatest healers the Arbre know, healers of both body and spirit. For them, there is no difference between the two aspects of the self. This makes them reasonable, pleasant, and phlegmatic. And they hug a lot. Their skin is golden or bronze, and their hair amber colored.
Base Stats: Intellect +1, Vitality +1, Mind +1, Perception +1
These Arbre are the roots of the great tree of their race. The foundations of their culture, it is said that if they fall, the rest of the Arbre will soon follow. They remain mindful of the rumblings of current events, capable of weathering the elements. If they have a foible, it is their love of food and drink. Their hair is white to pale yellow-green while their skin is very dark.
During the slave rebellion that led to the Anatheman Genocide, the newly ensouled Arbre found themselves gifted with a brighter intellect. Almost universally, they looked upon their slavery with revulsion and threw off their chains of servitude. This has forever colored their psyches with a deep need for freedom, and shades them against authoritarianism of any kind. Leaders are corrupt by default, and rules put in place to protect that corruption. Common sense is abundant for Arbre, and more relied upon than laws to be the guiding sunlight of their actions. The binding force of Arbre society is storytelling and the exchange of news, which can sometimes replace coin as currency.
Arbre worship the Altanan patrons, each in their own way. Explore the worship of eight Arbre, and you will find sixty-four views on the patrons. This wild and chaotic approach of disorganized religion lends itself strongly towards tolerance (and vexes the Ptak endlessly). This tolerance is not necessarily accepting, but rather more apathetic in nature.
There is very little distinction between the genders for Arbre. While females do bear their young, they often have very little to do with their lives beyond puberty, and the males none at all. It is very rare for an Arbre to know who her father was, let alone keep in reliable contact with her mother. As the Arbre proverb goes, “Males and females both take up the same amount of sun, but you might find young around the female’s feet.”
It is widely accepted that the Arbre were the last race to be engineered by the Anatheman slavers. It was a pinnacle of achievement to make fauna from flora, and a proud statement that rang arrogant even at the time. They were also the last race to join the Rebellion, failing to have their interest engaged until after the arrival of ensouled offspring with their enhanced intellects.
Within the course of a single generation as the Arbre left the fields and orchards, the Anatheman agriculture industry that had come to rely so heavily upon slave labor came to a grinding halt, and famine spread through the great cities. This was one of the eight great blows to strike the empires of the Anethemans, the loss of their civilization due to empty bellies.
Not all Arbre waged war against the Anethemans through indifference though. One Branche named Grenier took a direct part in the battles, and earned for himself posthumous recognition as the greatest hero of the Arbre. Because of his sacrifice, the band of heroes who seized the Demon Control System was able to escape. With the Demon in the hands of the slaves, the Rebellion quickly and violently drew to a close with the utter annihilation of the last Anatheman strongholds.
In the aftermath of the war, the Arbre drifted back towards the tropical forests and swamps of the continental Southwest. There they made the land of Patrie, whose capital was Villenatale on the coast next to the mouth of the great river. This city always lagged behind its sister capitals around the world in architecture and public works, but soon grew to support hundreds of thousands of Arbre.
Lumber sent upriver to the Tavros and Meeyl soon formed the basis of trade with those lands, but always the always the Arbre fiercely guarded their independence and kept trade deals brutally simple. As wars would occasionally break out with their Meeyl neighbors to the Southeast and less frequently with the Tavros to the East and Neko to the North, the Arbre quickly developed a tradition of guerilla warfare and kept some forests on the outskirts purely as defensive barriers with their neighbors.
While they built their larger cities to be as sunlit as possible, the outer villages and fortifications were built in and around the trunks of the largest trees in stands, some of them hundreds of feet above the forest floor, from which hails of projectiles could rain down upon invading forces long before battle needed to be joined at the range of blades.
The night before Humans crashed the Saurian Dreadnought into the islands to the Northwest, Vana appeared in the dreams of each of the Altanan race’s leaders and told them they would soon have a new neighbor, and bade them to treat these newcomers honorably. At the time, Vana blessed a Racine by the name of Dax with this knowledge. He was and continued to be a very influential in Arbre interracial politics, essentially becoming the default speaker for his anarchist people in the eyes of the world.