Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Races so far mentioned for Ad Astra

I've mentioned a lot of races in space here and there (although to be fair, at least half of them are xenohumans—humans that are native to some world other than Earth, and therefore belong to completely different and often wildly exotic ethnicities.)  To prevent it from getting too far away from me, let's see if I can't list what I've got so far, with a brief description.

I'm a little hesitant to suggest mechanical implications for these races, given the fun a la carte race builder (plus, some of these races wouldn't even be balanced mechanically with the others) but some of them do come from the chargen rules, where I give them as samples of what can be built.  Those aren't meant to be necessarily mandatory, though—if you wanted to build a character as a regular earth human in terms of racial stats, but then call him an Altairan and say that he has the blue skin and culture of an Altairan, then knock yourself out.
  • Altairans—the first xenohuman race discovered by Earth humans in their initial expansions, in the days of the Old Kingdoms.  Today, they are present throughout much of known space.  Known for blue skin (of varying hue), and are famous for their academies and supposed studious and scholarly nature—although anyone who knows very many of them knows that this isn't necessarily nearly as ubiquitous as stereotypes make it out to be.  I see them as imitation Kree, except without the superpowers.
  • Arcturans—one of the largest and most physically imposing of aliens that are not hulks; their homeworld is a regular gravity world, but they are very robustly built and muscular, and see themselves as the equal physically to any hulks.  They are furry, with long spines forming a mane around their head and down their neck, and have no visible noses, craggy brows and lantern jaws.
  • Carinan hulks—very large, 8-9 foot tall human-looking hulks, who may in fact be humans who came from Earth and adapted to heavy gravity worlds many generations ago either before or very early in the Marian Empire years.  Ersatz ogryns.
  • Cepheids—widespread reptile people allied with the Monarchy.  Think Reptile from Mortal Kombat X.  They are often very disconcertingly still and slow compared to humans, but when they decide to move quickly, they move like lightning.
  • Cetians—Amphibious silver-scaled fish-people, with small fin-like appendages on their faces.  Think of some crazy scary deep sea fish like a viperfish made humanoid.
  • Chimps—actual earth chimpanzees who through genetic modification have developed human-like bipedality, intelligence and language.
  • Cilindareans—an ethnicity that crystalized after the founding of the Marian Empire, although it was probably mostly based on an earth standard.  These are very traditionally Nordic looking; blond or ruddy hair, blue or green eyes, pale skin, etc.
  • Dhangetans—what happens to a very alien type of hulk when they spend many, many generations living off of heavy g worlds.  Covered in short, spine-like fur, with wide toothy maws, sleepy eyes, and both arms and legs that split into two hands/feet at the elbow/knee.  They breed by budding, and are relatively rare, although politically powerful.
  • Earth humans—just what they sound like; people who came from earth and established the seed population for the Old Kingdoms and later the Marian Empire (and today, make up the majority of the Bern Monarchy, the Cilindarean Arm, and a significant plurality of the Revanchist Republic, as well as spread to many other systems and states.)  They left earth during a time of diaspora when political and other conflict was extremely high, so they come primarily only from the nations that were capable of developing space travel; the northern Europeans and the northern European diaspora nations like Australia, America, Canada, New Zealand, etc.  Later joined by some few Russians, Japanese and Chinese.  Many of these people have since diversified via isolation and subsequent ethnogenesis, but peoples who's genetic descent is primarily from Earth still appear like Americans without all the minorities that flooded our country during the late 1800 and early 1900s immigration and the later post 1965 invasion of Third Worlders—those dysfunctional cultures are exactly who the original settlers were trying to get away from.
  • Gors—see chimps.  The same was done to gorillas.
  • Grays—small, slender aliens with big black eyes, no hair and flat, noseless faces.  Sometimes called Zeta Reticulans, although that's an old nickname that has little to do with their actual origin.
  • Idacharians—allies of the Seraeans; pale, chalky skinned humans with dark hair and solid black eyes like a sharks.  Most Idacharians are associated with the Old One cults and it's believed that Phobetor is their native planet.  Idacharians who are not part of the Old One cult are more widely spread, and often hunted by their fellows as traitors and apostates.
  • Jaffans—sometimes called derisively "rainbows" they make an important plurality in the Republic in particular.  With often pale skin, dark brown eyes, and strange, multicolored hair that is very bright and colorful compared to earth natural—blue, lavender, green, purple, etc.
  • Janissaries—the descendants of actual janissaries—slave soldiers of the Marian Empire—who won their freedom after the vicious Slave Wars, which contributed to the Wars of the Last Emperors and the fall of the empire overall.  They maintain the name, although they are not strictly speaking, of course, still janissaries in the normal sense.  Their original ethnic origin is mysterious (part of the reason they adopted the name janissary as an ethnonym) but they are believed to be "long-lost cousins" of the Cilindareans, and after the Slave Wars, many went and settled in Cilindarean space.  White-skinned with blue or gray eyes and dark hair, they seem to owe most of their genetic heritage to old stock Earth humans, but it's not clear exactly what crucible they went through since to emerge on the far side as the janissaries.
  • Kusans—the "space rats", although they look more like cockroaches in many ways.  Covered in stiff fur, with four spider-like eyes and spiny mandibles, these guys are only about four feet tall, and are famous for being underfoot in the slums and landfills of many a world.
  • Mattixes—the glowing "Mattix elves" or "Mattix angels" don't travel much, so few have seen one, but their ethereal beauty is legendary nonetheless.  They have some kind of agreement with the Anaxaster of the Cilindareans, and some believe that the Anaxaster and many of the royal lineages among the Cilindarean may have a small bit of mattix ancestry.
  • Oerkenites—mixed ancestry humans who have largely been stranded on Oerken and settled it.  Many are escaped slaves of the old Dhangetan rule of the planet, but even those who are not are mostly peasant farmers, herders, or nomads.  Oerkenites rarely leave Oerken, but they can be seen as representative of human populations that have mixed ancestry.
  • Oerks—another big, strong reptoid race.  Oerks are a localized variety of reptoid hulk who's
    origin is unknown, but which wander here and there throughout known space.
  • Orangs—see chimps and gors.  These were once orangutans.
  • Psarians—with a bright red skin, dark hair and clear blue eyes, the Psarians are a common xenohuman sight, especially on Republic worlds.  Their original homeworld is located somewhere deep in Revanchist space.
  • Reavers—furry, sharp-toothed warriors, not unlike faux Kzin (although less overtly cat-like) from a collection of worlds located in the far south-east of the sector.  Their culture is based on raiding, and they are not unlike Heroic Age Indo-Europeans in this regard.
  • Robots—there are various mechanic sentients throughout known space, although relatively few worlds are ruled by robots, and relatively few are "emancipated" as independents.  Those that do can have almost any form, size or shape, although humanoid one is by far the most common.
  • Seraeans—sometimes called "The Colorless", Seraeans don't have any melanin, but do have a chalky white pigment instead that protects them from UV radiation.  This means that they are uniformly pale, chalky white-gray—their skin, their hair, their eyes—all of it.  Like any race that's been spacefaring for any length of time, they are somewhat spread out, but the correlation between the Seraean ethnicity and the Seraean Empire is extraordinarily high.
  • Sirian reptoids—another reptoid race; this one is famous for being quite small—3-4 feet tall, with a toothy muzzle, a long tail, and a tendency to drop on all fours to run quickly.
  • Syrans—naked mole rat people, described earlier in the Syra Vorte state.
  • Tearaxian hulks—red-skinned hulks, who are the only natural born cyborgs known in known space.
  • Thanatites—natives of Thanatos, who seem underwhelmed by interstellar opportunities, and are content to live their decadent lives in the crumbling cities of their ancestors and largely ignoring the Seraean settlers among them as much as they can.
  • Ubrai—green-skinned exotic xenohumans who actually have chlorophyll in their skin and hair and can practice limited photosynthesis to subsist on poor or no food for a time.
  • Death Sages—a technically extinct race that yet manages to persist as a combination of necromantically and robotically preserved individuals, who act as warlords and masterminds.
Various hues of Altairans, from deep navy blue to pale bluish white

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