Fraal
Fraal
pic_fraal.jpg
Biological information
Type Humanoid
Size Medium
Intelligence Psionic sentient
Life span -
Sociological information
Planet of origin Unknown
Achieved warp -
First contact -

Quiet and peaceful, the fraal (pronounced “frahl”) appear calm and composed in even the most chaotic situations. Averaging about 1.5 meters tall, the fraal are thin humanoids with large eyes: pale, almost luminous skin: and swept-bock ears. While many are bald, some have wisps of silver, white, or pale yellow hair atop their large, round heads. Individual fraal can be so thin as to appear practically weightless, but most weigh about 55 kilograms. Even the youngest fraal adults have an ancient, wizened look that can be as intimidating to humans as it is disconcerting.

The gray aliens; slender, telepathic humanoids with black eyes, the fraal arrived in the Sol system thousands of years ago, having forgotten both their homeworld and their destination. Over the centuries they attempted to communicate with humanity but without success until humans began to colonize the solar system. The combination of terran mass reactor technology and fraal gravitic propulsion made the stardrive possible, allowing faster than light travel. After contact, Fraal society divided into the builders, who live among humans, and the wanderers, who went back into isolation.

Fraal World Ship

Roleplaying


Fraal aren’t physically inclined. They tend to develop their minds instead of their bodies, often capable of psionics. They are thinkers and philosophers with a deeply spiritual nature, because they are a long-lived species. The Fraal have a patient attitude that sometimes annoys humans. Their spirituality centers around mindwalking, the study and application of psionics. To them, the powers of the mind have almost religious significance: they feel that all species can find common ground by touching thoughts and sharing inner peace. Fraal aren’t pacifists, but they believe that violence should be the last resort of on intelligent civilized species. They can seem cold and distant, but that’s because they don’t have as wide a range of emotions as humans do and the emotional range they do possess doesn’t shift as rapidly or unpredictably as humans’ emotions do. Peace-loving and intellectual Fraal are natural builders and scholars-forever working on creative or scientific endeavors, building or mending relationships (both personal and political), and adding to their pool of knowledge simply for the sake of learning.

History


(similar to vulcans)

The fraal are nomadic starfarers who came to Earth more than 10,000 years ago. A large group of explorers traveled in three slow-moving colony ships, crossing the void of space over the course of many centuries. The trip was plagued by one disaster after another, though, so that by the time these colony ships reached the Sol system, contact with the fraal homeworld had been lost. In addition, damage to the ship’s computers resulted in the loss of much vital information, including some technological know-how and most historical and scholarly records—among these the location of the fraal homeworld. The starfarers were cut off, isolated from their place of origin, and unaware of their original mission. Indeed, they weren’t even sure if Earth was the destination they had been traveling to reach, or for what purpose. Thanks to eons of lost knowledge and countless mechanical breakdowns, accidents, and travel-related mishaps, these Fraal were truly alone.

Initially, the Fraal set up installations on Earth, building bases in isolated regions using local materials and components salvaged from their colony ships. From these hidden bases, the visitors set out to explore the planet and meet its inhabitants.

Humans, still primitive but demonstrating great potential, were beginning to spread out from the geographic cradles that spawned them by the time the fraal arrived. Meetings between the two species led to the birth of many ol Earth’s greatest legends. Unfortunately, such meetings rarely went well for the visitors.

Though the fraal tried to join human society from the moment they arrived in the region, they kept running into problems. Primitive humans displayed great fear when the fraal approached, looking upon the aliens as magical creatures, spirits, or even gods. As humanity advanced, making contact didn’t get any easier. Fear turned to distrust and hatred, and humanity’s violent nature was too much for the peaceful fraal to deal with. Eventually, they withdrew and went into hiding in other parts of the solar system, watching humanity from afar and waiting for the proper moment to reveal themselves. Attempts made by the fraal in the 20th century resulted in tales of flying saucers and alien abductions, but little else. If they were capable of the emotion, the fraal would have begun to despair.

At some later point in human history, however, a meeting of the minds finally took place. As humanity put aside its own hostile nature to create a world of peace, the ancient visitors revealed themselves.

The Fraal joined forces with the humans, helping to lead humanity to the next great plateau. A free exchange of knowledge and ideas advanced both societies in numerous ways. One of the fraal’s most significant gifts spawned a leap in technology that paved the way for true faster-than-light travel. Both sides prospered, and they soon merged to become a united society.


In Dragon Magazine #253, Fraal were converted into a potential race for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition, the second of the three "Aliens in AD&D" articles that would convert player races from Alternity/Star Drive to AD&D, a position only the Sesheyans (#251) and the T'sa (#257) would share. They would subsequently be presented as a monster race in the Monstrous Compendium Annual #4.

The AD&D version of Fraal are a race of vagabonds, trespassers from some other world or plane, who have come to be stranded in the various realms of Dungeons & Dragons. Hailing from a place where psionics have replaced magic, the fraal are physically frail in the extreme - even a halfling can beat the average fraal in wrestling! - and have no talent for arcane magic, but they are master psionicists.

Physically, fraal are tall, thin humanoids, with large, deep, dark eyes, small and almost hidden ears, narrow chins and wrinkled faces, making them seem weirdly ancient even from their youths. Pale, almost luminous and reflective skin heightens the darkness of their eyes, and whilst they can grow hair in crimson, silver and black hues, most shave themselves bald. They favor light and airy clothing, with female fraal also favoring elaborate, cumbersome headdresses that extend down to fully enclose and shield the head from view.

A contradictory race, fraal are both highly inquisitive and highly isolationist; they settle in small bands in rugged, desolate tracts of the world - places where they can avoid hostile conflict, occasionally venturing out to explore or interact with their neighbors under psionic veils that make them appear as simply thin, pale humans. They fear the violence of the more physically robust, but they are also a peaceful people who wish to learn about and understand their neighbors. It's mentioned that, of the settings published by TSR at the time of the article's printing, fraal are most likely to be found in the Shaar of the Forgotten Realms, the Kron Hills of Greyhawk, the Iron Peaks of Birthright, and the Ringing Mountains of Dark Sun.

Fraal culture revolves around a strongly communal ideal; psionically aware literally from the womb, fraal are used to a life spent in constant telepathic consultation with their kin. Indeed, being alone can eventually drive a fraal mad; they're so unused to being surrounded by other minds. This has only been exacerbated by the fact that fraal are a race of nomads; they no longer remember why, but they are taught from their childhood that they are not allowed to live in one place for long. Instead, they form temporary communities, lingering in a place where they might study local races, and then move on a - process often expedited if they fear they have been discovered.

Strangely, they have no particular fear or hatred of other races. They're not xenophobic in the slightest. They're a kindly, gentle people, who enjoy social discourse and can't conceal a fantastic curiosity about the world around them.

That said, whilst they are almost wholly pacifistic, preferring to flee or disable foes with their psionics, fraal are willing to defend themselves. Strangely, they have a preference for long, powerful weapons - namely, polearms - as well as simple knives and staves. It's possible this is because of how easy these weapons are to produce, and their usefulness as tools outside of fighting.

This spiritual nature might be why some fraal have been willing to embrace priesthood, whilst arcane magic remains unknown. Perhaps the more benevolent mien of divine magic makes the cleric more appealing to them than the wizard. Who can say? Fraal priests are rare, though, and their relationship with the gods is uncertain; they're still struggling with the possibilities and the importance of interacting with deities. They are most likely to worship gods of knowledge and wisdom, such as Oghma, Rao and Avani.

Sometimes known simply as the visitors, the psionic fraal are highly evolved and sophisticated humanoids from somewhere else. Some sages speculate that these visitors come from either another plane of existence or perhaps from another world within the Prime Material Plane. Of seemingly fragile build, the fraal rely on devices of unusual workmanship and power to protect themselves. These devices are not magical; in fad, the fraal know almost nothing of magic.

The fraal are thin humanioids, averaging about five feet in height. They can be distinguished by their large eyes, their pale, almost luminous skin, their swept-back ears, and their round heads. Most fraal encountered so far have been bald, although some individuals have been encountered who have wisps of silver, white, or pale-yellow hair. A most disconcerting element is that all fraal display a wizened countenance, much like the eldest of wizards.

The frail are natural telepathic and can telepathically communicate with creatures of low intelligence or better. Wether they have a verbal language of their own is uncertain, though they have never been seen to converse verbally among themselves. They have been known to speak Common to those not of their kind, though they speak it slowly and with some difficulty. Their words display a quiet demeanor and they are not given to excitement or violent emotion.

Combat:

The fraal avoid confrontation whenever possible, negotiating when able and fleeing when communication fails. Indeed, fraal seem more interested in observing violence than taking part in it themselves. Witnesses agree that fraal have been drawn to violence and spectacular conflict. Their behavior is almost childlike as they watch physical combat with wonder and an almost clinical detachment. If fraal should find combat unavoidable, they rely upon their psionic talents, which they call mindwalking, to defend themselves. Even more rarely, fraal use alien devices of great power to dissuade attackers.

The fraal are highly intelligent, using their psionic talents and their unusual devices to best advantage. Fraal almost always operate in groups of seven or more. These small companies prove very effective at eluding and countering enemy threats; most attribute the fraal cohesion to their extensive use of telepathy.

In psionic combat, the fraal incapacitate and neutralize opponents rather than making lethal attacks. However, they don’t seem adverse to prying into others’ thoughts, dominating minds, or even erasing memories when necessary.

No more than one fraal in three will have a device that can deliver a ranged attack. Two different types of fraal ranged devices have been seen: firerods and firestaves. These devices and others that the fraal employ do not radiate any magical signature. The fraal seem reluctant to use their fire devices unless absolutely necessary. Most learned sages suspect that this involves a religious taboo against fire, but no one knows for sure. Communication with the fraal has revealed little, as they babble on about a morality of “limited resource development” and “conversationism” whenever the subject is broached.

Habitat/Society:

Fraal are not native to the Prime Material plane — at least, not this one. The accepted theory is that the fraal are planewalkers who have somehow lost the ability to traverse the planes and have become stranded. Others claim that the fraal are denizens of another crystal sphere who have crashed their spelljamming ship here. One element is common to all accounts of the fraal and their origin: the fraal have sucessfully conveyed that they have arrived on the Prime Material plane accidentally, and do not possess a means to travel home. A ranger claiming to have a fraal encounter reported that they revealed that the “Dark Master” that gave their floating world life has fallen asleep and must be awakened. While such reports make many believe that the fraal are evil, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Estimates place fraal population at less than a 1,000. Only recently has the existence of fraal children been confirmed. Even more recently it has been learned that the fraal, long-lived though they may be, are not immortal.

For every five fraal encountered, there will be a team leader of 4 HD with 80+3d12 PSPs. This leader is usually referred to as simply “captain”, but bears no obvious marks or symbols of rank or precedence. If more than 50 fraal are encountered, four captains (4 HD, as above) and one great captain (6 HD, 90+4d10 PSPs) will be present.

To date, no major fraal cities or communities have been found. Fraal are nearly always encountered in small groups, wandering from one place to the next. These groups display intense curiosity about the natural world; they seem unfamiliar with even the most common forms of local fauna and flora. The diversity of humanoid races also seems shocking to these visitors — fraal discussions of “radical genetic diversity” have been witnessed by many of those who have encountered them. Finally, the fraal seem completely amazed by well-known monsters and even the smallest displays of magic. To date, no fraal magician or priest has been encountered.

Much like explorers and cartographers, the fraal measure and record their findings as they wander over all types of terrain. As the fraal presence becomes more widely known, the visitors are still occasionally attacked and slain by those who believe them to be lesser tanar’ri or some other form of evil creature.

Little is known about fraal culture. They display an obvious distaste for physical labor, and a deep respect for developments and accomplishments of the mind. They also appear to be a deeply religious people, given to frequent meditation and communal worship. What powers the fraal venerate are unknown.

Ecology:

The fraal are vegetarians, consuming a great variety of plants and processed agricultural products. They are known to be especially suspicious of new foods and new life forms, but after careful inspection they have proved themselves willing to try just about anything. A fraal appears to have a lifespan of about four or five centuries.

Magical research and sagecraft have little to say about this mysterious new race of beings, although sightings have been growing more common over the last few decades. Indeed, only a few years ago the existence of the fraal was discounted as the product of imagination, rumor, or even illusionary sorcery. Tody, conflict rages among the learned, who argue about the exact origin of these travelers.

Other Fraal:

The fraal, among themselves, have a number of specialists. These include biokineticists (healers), ESPions (advisor-spies), mystics (reputed to see the past and future), and very rarely, a biowarrior (a psionic soldier).

Technology


The psionic amplifier - fraal vessels, more established in its understanding of psionic energies, possess these, but human understanding of psionic energies has yet to reach this level.

Language


Fraal speak a language that is less heard than other languages as a large number of Fraal choose to communicate telepathically, a sensation that transcends words and forms concise concepts. When Fraal do choose to talk their language is not a difficult one for others learn and is built very similarly to Solar Common. The language uses a heavier concentration of vowel sounds mixed with soft consonants. The language reserves the ‘K’ sound for only the most important words in their language.

Fraal names consist of a of a given name (given by parental units) paired joined without space or puase to an earned name (given by peers during early adulthood); ex: Ali, given by parents and Isz, given by peers combined to make Aliisz. This name is followed by a pronoun indicator when communicating with non-fraal – Il identifies males, Ba identifies females. Finally there is a family name passed down genetically.

Example Names: Idan Il Tir, Devriele Ba Shanassin, Lodiri Ba Tiras, Aliisz Ba Veras

Half-Fraal


Appearing in d20 Menace Manual and referenced in d20 Future, Half-Fraal are not the results of intercourse, but the abduction of and experimentation on females. The female can be of any species. Despite the fluff, the example is an Illithid a species that doesn't reproduce sexually and has no females, once again showing Wizards of the Coast's writers can't make a valid example stat-block to save their life. The template typically manifests as "gray skin, enlarged eyes, long, tapering fingers, or underdeveloped teeth." They are normally written off as random mutations, even in humans.

Farseers


Fraal Far Seers, are a hidden sect of powerful remote viewers, who through the use of
specially carved and psychically sensitive stones called “Seer Stones”, can see other places,
people and even predict and see the future. Very few Fraal ever develop this discipline for it
can take a heavy mental toll, but those who do are respected and listened too, for ignoring
their warnings can meet certain doom for a Fraal Colonies nationship.
The Dragon Empire is unaware of the Far Seers to date, being able to predict the future has
allowed them to avoid all encounters with trouble from Mezzenbone. Though needless to say
rumours and stories of their existence do exist, and the Dragon Empire may one day decide
to follow up on them, but until then the Far Seers are safe from discovery, and spend much of
their time psychically searching the depths of space for the Fraal Homeworld.

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