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Unhumans

Four-armed, vaguely orc-like post-humans.

These huge, short-lived mutants are currently running life in Pala via their Soviet-esque federation of “Unhuman Kingdoms,” many of which are largely human in population.  It is thought the Tephni, at the height of their great Empire, created the unhumans to serve humanity, but could not control their creations.  The unhumans have huge craniums, four or six eyes, no pupils, four arms, no body hair, and tusk-like teeth.  They come in many shades and often exhibit supernumerary, helpful, or harmful mutations, which must be rolled for at character creation.  Unhumans cannot interbreed with humans; there are no “half-unhumans.”

The true history of the unhumans was obliterated during their long dark ages and then their late meteoric rise from the fern-jungles to rule Pala.  Though most actually follow one of the old, blood-worship religions, the unhumans are officially atheists in the manner of their legendary leader, Gazaar’ou (“Great Gazaar”), who preached what he called The Heresy (against humankind): tolerance, acceptance, communism, abolition of property, compulsory service in the military, fear of the hell science, and other at the time progressive ideas.  His followers today are a shadowy cabal of oligarchs, The Heresiarchs, also called The Throne, who plan to conquer the planet.

There are seven tribes of unhuman, which are more or less genetically distinct but interfertile subspecies at this point:

  • Pure Ones – the unhumans who’ve had by far the least contact with humanity, dwelling since time immemorial in the “jungles” of ferns and fungus south of the Old Kingdoms and north of Faldan.  They practice their own secretive religion/martial art, called Nava Kalto.  Light blue, light gray, or white in color, they are nimble and known for their cultural patience.  Pure Ones have far fewer mutations than other unhumans.  The Pure Ones govern their own territories.  Mutations:  1 roll ever (1st level).
  • Coasters – the wild unhumans of the eastern Faldani coast.  These brutish unhumans are typically dark green, brown, or taupe in color; they are hardier (and less genetically unstable) but generally less verbally inclined than the other subspecies, content to let the Archons govern their lands.  Mutations:  1st, 10th, 20th…
  • Archons – the most “typical” unhumans (and the vast majority of them) are Archons, descended, supposedly, from the leaders of the original Rebellion.  They are most densely concentrated in the New Kingdoms but are also found everywhere that unhumankind itself is.  They have olive, brown, pale yellow, pink, or very light green skin and are the most “human,” psychologically, of the unhumans (at least to most Carvolians and Vennari).  Mutations:  1st, 8th, 16th…
  • Ripari – the unhumans who dwelled in Vennar (almost always in Ripar, but exceptions exist) before the Second Unhuman War, many of whom consider themselves more Vennari than citizens of the FUK.  The Ripari usually have light gray or light blue skin.  Mutations:  1st, 8th, 16th…
  • Returned – the unhumans who dwelled in Carvolia after the First Unhuman War and returned (almost entirely) during the Second.  The Returned are “hairier” (males have gray chin hair) and slightly squatter than other unhumans, with long noses.  They mostly have dark gray or jet black skin, with green undertones.  Unhumans of Returned descent often have a hard time in an Archon-dominated Federation; many seek out the Old Kingdoms or volunteer to be resettled in Lothay or the Tephnian Annex.  Mutations:  1st, 8th, 16th…
  • Anathemata (sing. anathema) – the unhumans who sided with the humans during the First Unhuman War.  These unhumans look almost exactly like Archons or hairless Returned.  They are hated passionately by the citizens of the FUK and often go into hiding or choose to live far from others.  They are said to be expert liars and total misanthropes, but this may be an Archon rumor.  Mutations:  1st, 8th, 16th…
  • Asaqi or As’kqi (pron. “oz-KEY”) – the hyper-mutated unhumans of Lothay (where they are now masters) and the City of the Last Isle (where they are still slaves to the humans).  These unhumans were largely cut off from the others until the close of the Second Unhuman War.  They are deep yellow and orange in skin color and have many hideous mutations, typically beginning with several sets of supernumerary or rod-only eyes (the latter of which help with low-light vision in the self-similar dunes of Asmaar at night).  Mutations:  1st, 5th, 10th…

The unhumans speak Old Tephnian but have various virtually unintelligible dialects.  Unhumans cannot employ the hell science broadly but have been known to enslave humans toward this end.  They can, however, make use of its most immediate, most martial applications.

The unhumans call themselves the Tanarukk (“The Strong Ones”) in their lowest and most common dialect.  Their name in Old Tephnian is Orcu (“OR koo”) or Orcid (“OR sid”), meaning “The Demons.”  Most now call themselves “Unhumans,” per the much more common Carvolian and Sasparadan terms for their species.

Ability modifiers:  +2 STR, -2 CHA.

Size:  Medium.  Land speed 30 feet.

Hell science classes allowed:  Black Legionary, Malmain.

Species bonus:

  • Large:  Can carry double what a normal human can.  Can use large weapons without penalty.
  • Quadthorp (four-armed):  Wild flurry: 1–4 attacks, d2 damage, to hit -0/-4/-4/-8, no proficiency required.
  • Ferocious-looking:  +2 Intimidate.
  • Gengineered for strength (actually ferocious):  +1 damage on unarmed attacks.
  • Average low-light vision: Can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and other poor illumination, but loses detail and color.
  • Wired mind:  +4 Use and Disable Device.  +2 Drive and Decipher (Code).
  • Favored class:  Fighter (Heresiarchal Pistoleer, Pure One Swampsword).

Species malus:

  • Unstable genome – generational mutation:  An unhuman rolls for 1 mutation at 1st level and more at subsequent levels, depending on lineage:  Pure Ones only roll at 1st level; Coasters roll at 10th, 20th, and so on; Archons, Ripari, Returned, and Anathema roll at 8th, 16th, and so on; Asaqi roll at 5th, 10th, and so on.  Certain gengineering, psi, and environmental effects (radiation) can trigger spontaneous mutation.
  • Unstable genome – decaying telomeres:  Unhumans only live a maximum of 50 years without longevitics.  30 is considered retirement age, and 40 is old age (with senility).

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