Spartes

To Main Bestiary To Greek Monsters
Attributed to Rembrandt (1606–1669): Pallas Athena or, Armoured Figure Date 1664-1665 Attributed to Rembrandt (1606–1669): Pallas Athena or, Armoured Figure Date 1664-1665

An udaeus (plural udaeoi) is a fierce humanoid who’s obsessed with perfecting its skills at war. The first udaeoi were obedient warriors created by a deity out of dragon teeth, but now they are a distinct race and capable of reproducing on their own. Though an udaeus loves combat and is eager to demonstrate its abilities, it is violent only when it’s in an honorable battle; only a desperate or manipulated udaeus would resort to thuggery.
Udaeoi resemble tall, athletic humans with bone-white skin and black hair. They mark themselves with tattoos or brands, usually of weapons, dragons, or battle scenes. When an udaeus hardens its flesh with its innate magic, these markings look like carvings and cracks in a marble statue. Udaeoi might hire themselves out as mercenaries or serve as soldiers in a local army. Udaeoi prefer to fight alongside their own kind, and a squadron usually comprises members of the same fighting company or family unit.

Relics & Rituals: Olympus

© 2004 White Wolf Publishing, Inc. Distributed for Sword and Sorcery Studios by White Wolf Publishing, Inc.

By W. Jason Peck, Aaron Rosenberg, Christina Stiles and Relics & Rituals: Olympus team

The first spartes were not born of mortal woman — their fathers were teeth torn from a dragon’s skull, and their mother was a plowed field. Legend holds that a hero slew a draconic servant of Ares as part of a great quest to either raise an army or found a city, and the gods guided him to remove the dragon’s teeth and sow them in a field like grain. Wherever the teeth fell, armed and armored men and women sprang forth. These first warriors who arose from the dragon’s teeth were powerful but belligerent, and all too quickly fell to fighting amongst themselves. But those who survived proved to be loyal to a fault, and served the hero who sowed them well. They were called the spartes, or the “sown men.”
The descendants of the original dragon’s tooth warriors mingle with the other races to this day. They retain a portion of the brash, warlike nature of the dragon who “sired” them, but have adapted well to civilized life. They are among the finest warriors in the world, and although a spartes regiment can be a disruptive presence, most commanders would rather have the earthborn on their side than face them in battle.

Spartes or Spartoí are a mythical people who sprang up from the earth when the teeth of the dragon of Ares were sown.

Spartoi in Thebes

Cadmus arrived in Thebes after following a cow at the urging of the oracle at Delphi, who instructed him to found a city wherever the cow should stop. Cadmus, wishing to sacrifice the cow, sent his men to a nearby spring to fetch water. The spring was guarded by a dragon, which slew many of the men before Cadmus killed it with his sword.

The dragon was sacred to Ares. Athena gave Cadmus half of the dragon's teeth, advising him to sow them. When he did, armed men sprang up from the furrows. Cadmus threw a stone among them because he feared them, and they, thinking that the stone had been thrown by one of the others, fought each other until only five of them remained: Echion, Udeus, Chthonius, Hyperenor and Pelorus. These five helped Cadmus to found the city of Thebes, but Cadmus was forced to be a slave to Ares for one year to atone for killing the dragon. At the end of the year, he was given Harmonia, the daughter of Aphrodite and Ares, to be his wife. Echion later married Agave, the daughter of Cadmus, and Pentheus their son succeeded Cadmus as king.

Spartoi in Colchis

The other half of the dragon's teeth were planted by Jason at Cholchis. Aeetes, the king of Cholchis, was given the teeth by Athena, and forced Jason to sow them in order to win the golden fleece. Like Cadmus, Jason threw a stone among the spartoi to confuse them. None survived the battle.

Source Bestiary 4 pg. 267
Orginally posted in Archives of Nethys

This armored humanoid has skin resembling white bone, carved with images of weapons and dragons.

Mythic Udaeus CR 4/MR 1
XP 1,200
N Medium humanoid (mythic, udaeus)
Init +1; Senses Low-Light Vision; Perception +5
DEFENSE
AC 22, touch 11, flat-footed 21 (+7 armor, +1 Dexterity, +1 natural, +3 shield)
hp 38 (4d8+20); fast healing 1
Fort +7, Ref +2, Will +2
Resist fire 30 (see energy resistance below)
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft.
Melee +1 shortspear +9 (1d6+6)
Ranged mwk javelin +5 (1d6+3)
Special Attacks infuse arms and armor, mythic power (1/day, surge +1d6)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th; concentration +3)


1/day—barkskin, true strike
STATISTICS
Strength 17, Dexterity 13, Constitution 16, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 12, Charisma 9
Base Atk +3; CMB +6; CMD 17
Feats EnduranceB, Weapon FocusM (shortspear), Weapon Specialization (shortspear)
Skills Intimidate +3, Perception +5
Languages Celestial, Common
SQ armor and weapon training, fighter training
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Armor and Weapon Training (Ex) Udaeoi are proficient with simple weapons, martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, heavy armor, and shields (including tower shields).

Energy Resistance (Ex) An udaeus has resistance 30 against one type of energy. By performing a ritual that takes one day, an udaeus can change its energy resistance to a different energy type (either acid, cold, electricity, or fire). Most udaeoi choose fire resistance unless they expect to fight a creature using a specific energy type.

Fighter Training (Ex) An udaeus counts its racial Hit Dice as fighter levels for the purpose of qualifying for feats. If it has levels in fighter, these HIt Dice stack.

Infuse Arms and Armor (Ex) Any improvised weapon an udaeus wields is treated as a comparable normal weapon. Any normal weapon an udaeus wields is treated as a masterwork weapon. Any masterwork weapon it wields is treated as a weapon with a magical +1 enhancement bonus. Any weapon with a magical enhancement bonus it wields is treated as though its enhancement bonus were 1 higher than its actual value (to a maximum of +6). This ability also applies to armor and shields (normal is treated as masterwork, masterwork is treated as +1, and +1 or higher is treated as 1 higher than actual).
ECOLOGY
Environment any land or urban
Organization solitary, pair, or squadron (3–12)
Treasure NPC gear (mwk shortspear, mwk breastplate, mwk heavy steel shield, 4 javelins, other treasure)

Personality: The spartes are possessed of such confidence that it frequently is mistaken for — or evolves into — outright arrogance. In part, this confidence derives from their culture, as spartes teach their children that they are capable of doing almost anything they set their minds to. This confidence sometimes also takes on a fatalistic bent; as a race of warriors, spartes are intimately familiar with the idea of death and pain. They do not necessarily hold others to their own high standards of stoicism and endurance, but an element of condescension easily creeps into the tone of a spartos who is addressing an utter non-combatant.

Even if a spartos considers himself better than the soft-bellied people who surround him, he does not disdain their company. Spartes are social creatures, more at home in a phalanx than standing alone. A spartos frequently values the company of people that he would refuse to fight alongside; although warriors enjoy drinking with other warriors best, only a fool drinks alone if he can help it. And as it happens, spartes drink quite a bit when they are off-duty — their natural tolerance for wine is astounding, and it only encourages them to drink even harder in order to overcome it. Spartes tend to be jovial or belligerent drunks, and often both at once. Some poets claim that a drunken regiment of earth-born fresh from the field may do more damage to a town than the invaders would have.

For all their ferocity, spartes are somewhat lacking in the fierce spark of independence that characterizes so many mortal races. The original earth-born were created by magic and bound to obey the person who sowed the teeth, and to this day many spartes are still comfortable in the role of follower. However, from this weakness also comes a great virtue: their loyalty, once won, is unshakable, and few of the spartes’ detractors can match them in this regard.

Physical Description: Spartes appear at first blush to be identical to humans, though the differences are evident to those familiar with both races. Spartes stand on average two to four inches taller than humans, their bodies have little to no body fat, and their eyes are metallic shades of gold, bronze, red, blue or green. Many spartes possess birthmarks shaped like the fang of a dragon somewhere on their bodies. The spartes favor sturdy clothing usually dyed in reds, yellows, gold, grays or black, and some are indulging in the practice of tattooing or branding.

Spartes are interfertile with humans, but the offspring are always human. The original dragon’s blood of the first spartes has already been diluted, and cannot spread any thinner.

Relations: Spartes are often more willing to call other races friends than the other races are willing to return that friendship; the children of the dragon’s teeth are dangerous to be around. The spartes are particularly close to races with a strong warlike tradition, such as humans, dwarves, amazons and half-orcs. They see wood elves as too reserved for their own good and Gnomes too bookish to be truly interesting. Most spartes can take or leave Halflings or half-elves; if an individual proves an intriguing companion, they’re delighted to call them friend, but otherwise they take no real interest.

Alignment: The spartes have no real racial alignment tendencies. For every earth-born warrior who is wild and belligerent, there is another who follows a path of personal discipline. They can be violent and cruel, but their bloodthirst is not frequently directed at those who cannot defend themselves; a spartos generally seeks a fight, not a massacre.

Spartes Lands: The spartes are relatively rare, and tend to be found serving in the military of city-states governed by other races; they are usually a minority population. Many spartes are drifters, moving from place to place in search of the aggressive stimulation they crave. They are most likely to have a city-state of their own if their ancestors were originally “sown” for the purpose of founding said city.

Spartes are likely to settle in harsher land, as the dragon-tooth warriors are better able to adapt to such conditions than human settlers might. As the average spartos can get by on less food than a human can without suffering from malnutrition, they can be self-sufficient in areas rich in mineral wealth but not in fertile soil. A spartos city-state lacks the discipline of a dwarven fortress-city, but possesses comparable military strength. Most citizens receive some level of military training, and sports that emphasize strength and endurance (such as pankration) are practically civil institutions.

Religion: Spartes are devoted to no one god in particular, but the cults of Ares and Dionysus are particularly popular with most of the dragon-sired, as are the cults of Demeter (who they honor for giving birth to their ancestors) and Hephaestus (spartes are fond of quality metalwork). Spartes with a greater sense of community may honor Athena instead of Ares, although they still tend to be more aggressive than most Athena-worshippers. Spartos worship ceremonies tend to be brief but vigorous, with many loud shouts of devotion and fervor before the faithful leave the temple and get on with the rest of their day.

Language: The original dragon-tooth warriors were born fully formed, and spoke Draconic as readily as Hellenic. Although spartes are not born with instinctive knowledge of the powerful, harsh tongue, they have preserved it as part of their heritage. A poem written in Draconic by a spartos poet often has a rough, casual, even crude side to the language that other academic scholars of the tongue rarely encounter.

Names: Spartes name their children for virtues that they want the child to aspire to a warrior might give his child a name that translates as “Fearless,” while a stonecutter might name her child something meaning “Body of Stone.” Some spartes have both a Draconic name and a Hellenic name, the former for use among other spartes and the latter for more general use. Spartes are also fond of giving (and earning) nicknames based on achievement, as they believe the best name identifies a person’s character rather than his bloodline.

Male Names: Antimadrus, Axiokor, Drakonthas, Epikros, Heridrax, Kagrinos, Monidron, Nokorus, Scythorax, Trakorax

Female Names: Agrianix, Aurikhoth, Bellikrathes, Decedral, Iadrakona, Nyktaral, Perathris, Scyllarix, Tetharix, Umaxa

Adventurers: Spartes are frequently found seeking their fortunes by the spear; their warlike temperament and natural abilities make them better warriors than potters or poets. Though they fight at their best in large numbers and when commanded by a strong leader, many spartes strike out on their own in order to increase their personal legends. The earth-born’s passion for glory is often a strong motivation for adventure; nothing rivals the lure of having the poets sing your praises from one end of the world to the other. Spartes who pursue arcane spellcasting are rare, and usually gravitate toward spells that increase either their own battle prowess or that of others.

SPARTES RACIAL TRAITS

• +2 Strength, Constitution, –2 Wisdom: Spartes are hardy and difficult to kill, but they are also rash and headstrong by nature.
• Medium: As Medium creatures, spartes have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
• Spartos base land speed is 30 feet.
Low-Light Vision: A spartos can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
• Weapon Proficiency: Spartes receive the Simple Weapon Proficiency feats for shortspear and javelin and the Martial Weapon Proficiency feat for short sword as bonus feats. Spartes train
each member of their society to serve in the militia at the very least.
• Shield Proficiency: Spartes receive the Shield Proficiency feat as a bonus feat. Spartes militia training also covers the use of a shield.
• Spartes take only a –1 penalty to Strength and Dexterity when fatigued (instead of the usual –2 penalty) and only take a –4 penalty to Strength and Dexterity when exhausted (instead of the usual –6 penalty). In addition, the rest time needed to recover from either state is cut in half. Spartes are virtually tireless.
• +2 racial bonus on saving throws against fear effects. Spartes are innately resistant to the emotion of fear.
• Automatic Languages: Common (Hellenic) and Draconic. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Elven, Gnomish, Goblin, Orcish, Terran.
• Favored Class: Fighter. A multiclass spartos’ fighter class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing. The first spartes to burst forth from the earth were powerful warriors, and war still runs in the blood

To Main Bestiary To Greek Monsters

The Worlds of Mankind is owned and created by Mark John Goodwin

The text on this page is Open Game Content, and is licensed for public use under the terms of the Open Game License v1.0a.

‘d20 System’ and the ‘d20 System’ logo are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
and are used according to the terms of the d20 System License version 6.0.
A copy of this License can be found at www.wizards.com/d20.