Hundreds of years ago, the leaders of the human empire made pacts with devils to solidify their hold over its enormous territory. Those humans became the first tieflings, and they governed their empire in the name of their infernal masters.
The story of the humans’ descent into the Tiefling race took place in the Empire of Bael Turath, one of the greatest nations in all of humankind’s history. In the Empire, the noble class was completely obsessed with preserving and gaining power. Rumors of their schemes and obsession with power reached a realm called the Nine Hells, located around the Astral Sea. The devil creatures that resided in the Nine Hells gave the noble and ruling classes of Bael Turath visions while they slept, which contained the directions for a grisly, month-long ritual that would extend their rule into eternity. The details of the ritual are thought lost from parchment and memory though it is oft described as being horrific and barbarous.
As the ritual demanded the participation of every noble house, those that refused where wholly slaughtered. Shortly after the culmination of the ritual, devils from the Nine Hells began to appear and the nobles gladly made their murderous pacts. These pacts gave power to the nobles and their descendants forever, but also gave them the devilish features of horns, tails, sharpened teeth, and red skin. Thus began the race known as the Tiefling.
In time, Bael Turath came into conflict with Arkhosia, the ancient empire of the dragonborn, and decades of warfare left both empires at the very precipice of failure. Bael Turath’s grand capital was thrown down in ruin.
Following the collapse of their empire, the tieflings were scattered. Bearing the infernal visage that was the mark of their pact with the forces of darkness, they found a cold and sometimes deadly welcome in the humanoid societies to which they fled. Once a powerful people with a strong nobility, the tieflings were reduced to little more than vagabonds. Their population dwindled, and for many decades, the survivors of Bael Turath were in danger of being wiped out and forgotten.
Over time, however, the last of the great Turathi nobles began to reclaim their place in the world. Cautiously earning the trust of other peoples, the descendants of those nobles began to spread into human communities that were willing to allow them to live in peace, and the tiefling race was reborn. In the present age, tieflings are less common than many other races, but their numbers grow stronger with each generation.
The appearance of tieflings testifies to their infernal bloodline. They have large horns; thick, nonprehensile tails that range in length from four to five feet; sharply pointed teeth; and eyes that are solid orbs of black, red, white, silver, or gold. Their skin color covers the whole human range and also extends to reds, from a ruddy tan to a brick red. Their hair, cascading down behind their horns, is as likely to be dark blue, red, or purple as more common human colors.
Tieflings favor dark colors and reds, leathers and glossy furs, small spikes and buckles. Tiefling-crafted arms and armor often have an archaic style, harkening back to the glory of their long-vanished empire.
Tieflings have the same life spans and general aging patterns as humans.
Playing a Tiefling:
Heirs to an ancient, infernal bloodline, tieflings have no realm of their own but instead live within human kingdoms and cities. They are descended from human nobles who bargained with dark powers, and whose empire once subjugated half the world. But the empire was cast down into ruin, and tieflings were left to make their own way in a world that often fears and resents them.
Cunning, disquieting, imposing, mysterious, proud, rebellious, self-reliant, sinister, sly, unconventional
Akmenos, Amnon, Art, Barakas, Carrion, Chant, Damakos, Despair, Ekemon, Fear, Gladness, Hope, Iados, Ideal, Kairon, Leucis, Melech, Morthos, Music, Nowhere, Open, Pelaios, Poetry, Quest, Random, Reverence, Skamos, Sorrow, Therai, Torment, Weary.
Akta, Art, Bryseis, Carrion, Chant, Damaia, Despair, Ea, Fear, Gladness, Hope, Ideal, Kallista, Lerissa, Makaria, Music, Nemeia, Nowhere, Open, Orianna, Phelaia, Poetry, Quest, Random, Reverence, Rieta, Sorrow, Torment, Weary.