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With the rise in necromancy in Vatarypa and Chav, humans turned to their faith for a means of fighting back.  But the elves of the world looked to nature to provide a means of combating this evil.

They devised a ritual that would cause a being's life-force to become bound to a crystal that would grow within their body near their heart.  Once bound in this way, the being's life force could no longer be drawn out through necromantic magic, and when the being died his remains could no longer be used to create undead.

Elves who had been changed thus gained a significant advantage against undead enemies, but they could not pass on their gift to their children.  Since the ritual was elaborate and potentially dangerous, it was decided that a means should be sought to allow the Heart Gem trait to be passed on to a posessor's children.  However, this did not seem possible among elves, and the researchers turned to the inherent mutability of the human bloodline, and they found their experiments successful on half-elven subjects.  Thus the Starheart race was born.

The protection given by the Heart Gem did come at a price, however.  While Starhearts resemble elves and possess the same fey charm that elves do, they could also seem cold and distant, as if the Heart Gem not only prevented a Starheart's life force from being drawn out but also its empathy.  To other elves, Starhearts seem impatient and ruthless, and driven by the purpose for which they were made, and lack the relaxed ease that most elves possess.  Though the majority of Starhearts live and are raised amongst elves, they make elves a little uncomfortable and always feel somewhat isolated.  Many Starhearts live in human or half-elven communities instead, where their idiosyncrasies stand out less.   

To most people, Starhearts appear elven, though they are clearly not normal elves.  Their skin has a faint coloured tinge and can appear to be blue, green, lavender, or red.  A Starheart always possesses a white star-shaped birthmark somewhere on her face, neck, or chest (most commonly the forehead).  Humans often refer to Starhearts by the nickname "Starfaces" even though many Starhearts have their birthmarks elsewhere.  Much like elves, Starhearts' eyes are silver and have no irises or pupils.  

While many Starhearts still live and train in monasteries hidden in the forest, learning ways to battle the forces of necromancy, the threat of the undead does not seem to be as great as it once was to the elves, and many Starhearts no longer train in the Battle Monasteries, instead trying to live "normal" lives among elves or men.

Starheart Racial Traits:
  • +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, -2 Wisdom. Starhearts are vivacious and gregarious people, but are often foolhardy and overconfident.
  • Medium: Starhearts are medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Starhearts have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Drain Immunity: Starhearts are immune to ability drain and cannot suffer from negative levels.  Furthermore, Starhearts are immune to any ability damage caused by a magical effect, including spell-like effects and supernatural abilities (but not extraordinary abilities, which are not magical).  Starhearts recieve a +4 racial bonus to saving throws against any negative energy or necromancy effects.
  • Glowing Birthmark: A Starheart may cast light at will as a spell-like ability, but the target of this ability must be the Starheart's star birthmark.  The spell is cast as a first level caster unless the Starheart has spellcaster levels in which case it is cast at her highest spellcaster level.
  • Heart Gem: The Drain Immunity and Glowing Birthmark abilities spring from a living spherical crystal (called a "Heart Gem") located inside the chest near a Starheart's heart.  It is possible that this crystal could be removed through surgery or magic (or likely a combination of the two), and if this is done then the Starheart loses the Drain Immunity and Glowing Mark abilities.  As long as the Starheart remains alive, the posessor of the heart gem gains these abilities, and the Starheart to whom it belonged loses them.  If the Starheart dies the gem becomes a dull semi-precious stone worth 1d6 gp.
  • Peaceful Rest: As long as a Starheart's Heart Gem is within her body when she dies, the body or spirit of a dead Starheart can never be used to create undead.
  • Elf Blood: Starhearts count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race.
  • Low Light Vision: Starhearts can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
  • Keen Senses: Starhearts receive a +2 racial bonus on perception checks.
  • Heritage: Starhearts choose one of the following abilities based on their upbringing: Weapon Familiarity (Elven Upbringing), Adaptability (Half-Elven or Human upbringing), or Channeled Assault (Monastic Upbringing).
  • Weapon Familiarity: Starhearts with an elven upbringing are proficient with longbows and shortbows (including composite longbows and shortbows), and with longswords and rapiers, and treat any weapon with the word "elven" in its name as a martial weapon.
  • Adaptability: Starhearts with a human or half-elven upbringing recieve Skill Focus as a bonus feat at first level.
  • Channeled Assault: With a swift action, Starhearts with a monastic upbringing can shroud their arms and hands (and any weapons held in those hands) with a nimbus of positive energy that adds 1d6 damage to undead creatures struck by attacks with those hands or weapons held in them, or adds 1d6 to the effect of any channel positive energy class ability used by the Starheart.  The Starheart can dismiss this effect with a free action, and may use Channeled assault for a total number of rounds per day equal to her level plus her Charisma modifier (minimum 1).  Any feats that modify what creatures are eligible to be affected by channeled energy also apply to Channeled Assault.  As with Drain Immunity and Glowing Birthmark, a Starheart loses the Channeled Assault ability if her Heart Gem is removed.
  • Languages: Starhearts speak common and elven.  They do not posess their own language.  Starhearts with a high intelligence score can choose from the following bonus languages: Giant, Halfling, Dwarven, Gnome, Draconic, Lizardfolk, or Sylvan.