Races of Noctis

Copyright Peter Mork © 2014

The harsh environment of Noctis was conducive to the creation of the first rigidly hierarchical cultures. While other cultures reached out to form trade routes and new lands, the people of Noctis have historically been boxed in by geography. They turned on themselves and grew increasingly xenophobic and totalitarian. In this article, we review the local geography and introduce the races native to Noctis.

Geography

Noctis is a narrow, hostile region that runs from the edge of Venat to Ambitus. It is brutally hot and covered with jungles and deserts, with narrow (hospitable?) grasslands between. Moreover, flight is nearly impossible due to bizarre winds that blow over the ocean to the north (shipwrecks from before the Cataclysm can be found in these waters).

Noctis is home to the expansive Kish (see the races of Ambitus) and to a wide range of undead (Greatbridge is not conducive to life given the radiation fallout from the Cataclysm). Other brutal races are also native to Noctis: Dragonians in the mountains along the southern border; Spider Centaurs in the sporadic forests; and Greater Orcs underground.

Dragonian

The Dragonians dwell in the high mountains that serve to isolate Noctis from the fertile lands further south. The humans of Noctis have little to offer the Dragonians, who can establish trade routes with their southern neighbors. Slaves escaping the death priests are likely to find themselves reenslaved by the dragon people.

Overview: Dragonians are physically powerful beings with keen senses inherited from their draconic lineage. However, most lack the interpersonal qualities needed to master non-elemental magic. Dragonians resist nearly everything with ease.

Build: Dragonians are humanoid reptilians that resemble fire drakes: they have large leathery wings and can breathe fire. They stand about 7' feet tall and weigh about 240#.

Coloration: A Dragonian's scales are often rust, mahogany, dark green (almost black) or deep steel grey.

Aging: Like their wyrm counterparts, Dragonians become increasingly slothful as they age (900 year lifespan).

Talents:
Natural Ranged Attack (greater): Fire breath
Natural Weapon: Bite
Natural Weapon: Claw
Tough Skin (tiger)

Spider Centaur

Before the Cataclysm, nobody knew that the spider centaurs even existed. They were the prized result of decades of experiments by a cabal of wizards. When humanity was wiped out by the gods, En took pity on these creatures and released them into the world. To this day, spider centaurs keep secrets as a sign of gratitude.

Overview: Spider centaurs are quick, scuttling about with the reflexes of a hunting spider. They maintain an empathic connection with the gods (especially En), which they augment with an innate intellectual curiosity. Were their form not so terrifying, they could be excellent allies of the Kish.

Build: These creatures have spider bodies from which protrudes a human upper torso. They stand about 5'8" and weigh about 180#.

Coloration: The spider body is black, red, white or grey. The human portions are generally dark (hair, skin and eyes).

Aging: As a spider centuar ages, it loses weight and shrivels away. 100 year lifespan.

Talents:
Blazing Speed
Extra Limbs: 6 extra legs
Portage Skills

Spider Hengeyokai

The Hengeyokai were created by Kazadory to allow animal spirits to assume human form. Whereas these spirits can be found anywhere on Kur, one kind of Hengeyokai predominates in each region of Kur. In Noctis, Spider Hengeyokai are most common.

Each kind of Hengeyokai is a distinct species—a Cat Hengeyokai and a Dog Hengeyokai cannot have children together. In general, Hengeyokai cannot reproduce with humans, either, although on rare occasion, a human child may result from such a union.

Nyx has coopted the Spiders to her own sinister ends. As a result, many Spiders (especially those that leave Noctis) get wrapped up in dark conspiracies, despite their best intentions. Wherever Celsior hatches some new plot, one should expect a Spider or two to pop up.

Overview: Spiders are hard to kill and possess lithe, muscular bodies. They can easily insinuate themselves into human society, a trait relished by Nyx. Their lack of obvious flaws is offset by the gods' tendency to mess with them.

Build: In its natural form, a Spider is the size of a large hound with razor-sharp mandibles. In human form, they are attractive women and men.

Coloration: In its natural form, a Spider is dark grey with blood red eyes. In human form, it passes for the local definition of beauty.

Aging: As Spiders age they become increasingly reluctant to engage in conversation or other cultural niceties, focusing instead on their next meal.

Talents:
Shapechanger: Spider

Greater Orc

The caverns below Noctis provide no succor for the poor inhabitants of Noctis. These tunnels and caves are the demense of the (greater) orcs. While the death priests were inventing ever more elaborate labor systems, the orcs were perfecting irrigation, weaponry, and elemental magic.

Overview: Orcs are physically powerful, and mentally deficient. They overcome this handicap by adopting new technology and ideas with ease. This is a fierce race, but one with little pride.

Build: Orcs are heavy with cat-like eyes and fangs. They have thick hides covered with sparse curly hair. They are prone to large bellies, hence the phrase "orc gut" (what we might call a beer belly).

Coloration: In general, orcs have black or grey hair (on their head and body) with a hide just a bit lighter. Their eyes are slitted and tend to be dark- or reddish-brown.

Aging:Few greater orcs live past 50, when their bodies begin to rapidly degenerate. Barring death due to violence, eventually obesity does them in.

Talents:
Cold Resistance (greater)
Heat Resistance (greater)
Darkvision (10')

Racial Summary

Dragonian Spider Centaur Spider Hengeyokai Orc, Greater
Ag -1 +2 +1 0
Co +3 0 +4 +4
Me +1 -1 0 -2
Re 0 +2 0 -2
SD -2 0 +2 -2
Em -2 +2 0 -2
In +4 -2 0 -2
Pr -1 -1 +2 -2
Qu +2 +3 +1 0
St +3 0 +1 +4
Body Dev 0 • 6 • 5 • 2 • 1 0 • 6 • 4 • 2 • 1 0 • 7 • 3 • 2 • 1 0 • 7 • 3 • 2 • 1
Exhaustion Pts 0 +10 +30 0
Channeling PP 0 • 5 • 3 • 2 • 2 0 • 7 • 5 • 4 • 3 0 • 6 • 5 • 4 • 3 0 • 6 • 6 • 4 • 3
Essence PP 0 • 5 • 3 • 2 • 2 0 • 5 • 3 • 2 • 2 0 • 5 • 3 • 2 • 2 0 • 6 • 4 • 3 • 2
Mentalism PP 0 • 6 • 4 • 3 • 2 0 • 6 • 5 • 4 • 3 0 • 6 • 4 • 3 • 2 0 • 5 • 3 • 2 • 2
Channeling RR +20 +5 0 +10
Essence RR +20 -5 0 +10
Mentalism RR +20 +5 0 +15
Disease RR +50 0 +10 +50
Fear RR +20 +15 0 0
Poison RR +15 +10 +5 +40
Recovery Mod 2 1.5 0.5 0.75
Sleep Req 10 hrs / night 4 hrs / 2 nights 6 hrs / 3 days 4 hrs / 3 nights
Lifespan 1200 yrs 100 yrs 80 yrs 40 yrs
Soul Departure 15 rnds 6 rnds 1 rnd 9 rnds
Race Type 3 3 2 4
Cost* 174 68.5 132 72

*Kur is a world of great variety—virtually any combination of race and culture is possible. Thus, the talent point cost for races and cultures must be computed separately to determine a character's background options.