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Source: Inner Sea Bestiary, pg(s). 14
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During the war between Geb and Nex, Geb blighted the fertile soil of central Nex. As the threat of a famine loomed over his nation, Archmage Nex turned to Ghorus for aid. Ghorus created hardy mobile plants that thrived on the cursed ground, granted them with intelligence to seek out the most fertile soil and adapt to their environment, and named them ghorans after himself.
As the war ended and Nexian farmers resumed planting normal crops, the demand for ghoran flesh continued. As the ghorans slowly developed their intelligence and learnt how to evade capture, the Nexian elite started to hunt ghorans as a sport, reserving the hunting grounds for themselves. The ghorans eventually mastered speech, and Nexians started to either deny the idea of intelligent ghorans or question the morality of eating these intelligent creatures. After they cleverly ambushed and destroyed several hunting parties, ghorans became citizens of Nex.
The first ghorans looked like shambling plants, but quickly adapted shapes that could move faster and manipulate the environment better, eventually settling on a humanoid form. Their body, except the face, stomach and joints, is protected by a hard green rind. Layered petals make up a ghoran's face, with gaps in the shape of facial features. Ghorans have considerable control over, and can shape, their bodies within the basic confines of a humanoid silhouette. Each ghoran carries a fist-sized Ghorus seed in its belly. Ghorans were created as delicacies by Ghorus, who ensured that every part of the ghoran except the Ghorus seed was delicious and nourishing.
An individual ghoran body lasts at most two decades, but ghorans can replace these bodies by planting their Ghorus seed. After a few weeks, the seed sprouts, growing into a mature ghoran in several more weeks, at which point the ghoran's consciousness is transferred to the new body, leaving its old body a mindless corpse. Since a new body builds its own unique mental connections when growing, a ghoran that transfers into a new body might find its skills and abilities changed. If the body cannot mature, the seed is reclaimed by the ghoran.
When Ghorus died, he took the secret of the creation of Ghorus seeds to the grave, ensuring that no more ghorans could appear. Because of this, despite their biological immortality, each ghoran that dies for good is permanently irreplaceable; because of this, they are very protective of Ghorus seeds and consider the intentional destruction of one the ultimate crime.
Being plants, ghoran emotions are alien, but they have also adapted themselves to mimic human emotions, empathy, and facial expressions. Since they cannot reproduce, they have no concept of gender, and usually only adopt one if they frequently interact with humanoids. Ghorans might form bonds among each other to the point of sharing an empathic link and suffering when the others are hurt. These groups might form for any reason and last anywhere from days to decades, but usually do not persist if the ghoran grows a new body, even if the memories remain.
Ghorans are decentralised and have no central species-wide authority or culture, but have some sense of the species as a whole (especially when it pertains to threats) and have a fledgeling oral tradition.
Since they became Nexian citizens, harvesting ghorans has been banned; the consumption of ghoran flesh is still legal, but only when the flesh in question comes from a corpse that the ghoran left behind when growing a new body. Desperate ghorans voluntarily grow new bodies and sell their husks. Due to the demand for ghoran flesh, poachers continue to hunt them, sell their flesh, and burn their Ghorus seeds so their identity would not be compromised. Most ghorans still live in Nex, as they tend to be healthier there and it is also one of the few nations that recognise them as people. A small population of ghorans can be found on Jalmeray, stranded there during a shipwreck and protected by the local monks.
Ghorans are friendly to other intelligent plants, good fey, elves and gnomes. They distrust warlike, environment-destroying races like gnolls and goblins, and are wary towards herbivores, including humans, whom they also admire and are grateful to for their creation. Because of the personality changes that accompany a body switch, ghorans have trouble forming long-lasting relationships.
All ghorans name themselves. They sometimes pick names they liked in other lives or name themselves after people or places they once knew, while others keep the same name over multiple body transfers.
- Jim Groves, James Jacobs, Rob McCreary, et al. (2012). Inner Sea Bestiary, p. 14. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-468-9
- Benjamin Bruck, et al. (2015). Inner Sea Races, p. 174-175. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-722-2
- Alexander Augunas, John Bennett, Robert Brookes, et al. (2017). Ultimate Wilderness, p. 15-16. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-986-8