Reign of Winter
Descended from humans trapped on the Shadow Plane, fetchlings are creatures of darkness and light intertwined. Generations of contact with that strange plane and its denizens have made fetchlings a race apart from humanity. While fetchlings acknowledge their origins, they exhibit little physical or cultural resemblance to their ancestors on the Material Plane, and are often insulted when compared to humans. Some members of the race also take offense at the name fetchling, as it was given to them by humans who saw them as little more than fetchers of rare materials from the Shadow Plane. Most fetchlings instead prefer to be called kayal, a word borrowed from Aklo that roughly translates to “shadow people” or “dusk dwellers.”
Infused with the essence of the Shadow Plane and possessing human blood commingled with that of the Shadow Plane’s natives, fetchlings have developed traits and abilities that complement their native plane’s bleak and colorless terrain. Though most fetchlings treat the Shadow Plane as home, they often trade and deal with creatures of the Material Plane. Some fetchlings go so far as to create enclaves on the Material Plane in order to establish alliances and trade routes in areas where the boundary between the two planes is less distinct. These fetchlings often serve as merchants, middlemen, and guides for races on both sides of the planar boundary.
Because of their shared ancestry, fetchlings interact most easily with humans, though they also find kinship with gnomes and other races that were cut off from their home planes or are not native to the Material Plane. Their pragmatism and adaptable nature put them at odds with warlike or destructive races, and when they do have to deal with orcs, goblinoids, or other savage cultures, fetchlings will often play the part of the fawning sycophant, a tactic learned from serving umbral dragons and one they see as key to their race’s survival. Strangely, their relationship with dwarves and elves are rather strained. Dwarves find fetchlings duplicitous and creepy, while the tension with elves is so subtle and inexplicable that both races find it difficult to explain.
The Shadow Plane’s ever-present hazards pose great danger to fetchling adventurers, but also great opportunity. Because of their servile status on their home plane, however, most fetchlings prefer to adventure on the Material Plane, which often offers more freedom and trading opportunities between the two planes. Fetchlings make excellent ninjas, oracles, rangers, rogues, and summoners.