The Grand Alliance has fallen and from its ashes has arisen the DragonStar Empire! Ruled over with the metallic fist of the Emperor Mezz Thorne, the Red Age has burned for twenty years. Imposing his will over the galaxy with his Unhuman Storm-Legion Army made up of Orks, Hobgoblins and evil Men from Wildspace, the Emperor is slowly extinguish the light of freedom.
You can find the rules for this setting HERE
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DRAGONSTAR EMPIRE
Almost 2,500 years ago the core species started exploring beyond the confides of their own planets, seeking out new discoveries in the gulf of space. Most believe that it was either the gnomes or goblins who were the first explores, both driven by their insurmountable curiosity and drive to explore. Whoever were first, soon the Dragonborn, Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, Halfling and Humans and many others were explore the void of space through the use of the StarCaster voidships. These fantastic artifices allow a voidship to ‘teleport’ vast distances across space in an instant.
One of the first discoveries made was that life was plentiful out in the vastness of the universe. Most star systems seem to include at least one inhabitable planet or moon, many had multiple ones in fact. A second major discovery was that many of these worlds were so similar as to be inhabited by similar species who all spoke similar languages! Oh Humans were common on most worlds but so were elves and dwarfs, dragons and goblins! And they all seems to worship the same gods. They might have had different names but they were the same gods! It has been theorized that the gods are responsible for these… consistencies, that it was they who first set these conditions in motion.
In those early days there was no organization to this push into space, each exploring out into random directions out from the Core Worlds into Wildspace, but soon these explores starting encountering various darker forces. The first and most menacing were the Ork Stellar Khanate hoards. These first encounters lead to the First Unhuman Wars as the Orks attacked into the Core World space. A great alliance was formed under the direction of the Celestial Elf Collective that defeated the Ork armada and forced them back far into the Wildspace regions. With the danger past, the Celestial Elf Star Lord, King Gillathan de’Moonsilver proposed and was the driving folk behind the formation of a Grand Alliance of Worlds for the mutual defense and betterment of all member worlds.
So formed the Alliance ruled with respect and honor for a thousand years, expanding outward and taming much of the Wildspace around the orginal worlds. All was not peaceful though as the Ork Star Khans tried invading two more times (the Second and Third Unhuman Wars) but overall this age was peaceful and prosperous. Various regions of space where explored and settled by the races, bring in many new intelligence species into the Alliance.
But nothing last forever and as time wore on decadence and deceit infiltrated the grant halls of the Alliance Congress. Explores discovered the Dark Nebula and encountered the Mind Flyer’s empire (the Shadowed Veil) and their slave armies which lead to the First and Second Hateful Wars.
Also many criminal organizations gained greater and greater influence and wealth. They included such as the Nation of the Bloodless (vampire crime lords who dominate the Dread Sun Worlds but had fingers in crime throughout Known Space), the Obsidian Cartels (specialists in grand larceny, assassination, and fencing), the Hidden Exchange (focusing on smuggling and slave traders) and the Black Skulls (pirates) twisted their ways into the houses of power and sponsored all kinds of shadowy trade and crime.
Things started coming to a crisses when three merchant guilds started rising in power. They included a small insignificant merchant cartel called the Traders Guidle who gain great influence some years ago with the ‘invention’ of the Warforged, using them as slave troopers and laborers, allowing them to quickly dominate all trade in the Outer Expanse Worlds. The Banking Union gain incredible power by seizing various financial institutions within the Core Worlds, while the Blade Consortium, a group of sell-swords and mercenaries, gained control (through backdoor, illegal dealings) of most of the Alliance Military contracts, both the supplying of weapons and troops for the Army and Navy.
The folk of the Expanse sector worlds became increasing unhappy with the laws and regulations from the Core Worlds, with no benefits seen out on the rim and for the first time in almost a thousand years, talk of rebellion spread. Budget cuts from the government had limited the Alliance Navy's armada and increase lawlessness and piracy stoked unhappiness and dissent. Adding pressure to the situation a splinter group of Ork Star Khan established a small pocket empire just outside the Alliance boarders and begins raiding into different region within the Expanse Worlds. The final straw was when the Trade Guilde, using its’ newly created Warforged Army, seized control of a number of worlds within the Outer Expanse Sector along an important trade route. The Grand Congress argued and debated as the people on these worlds struggled against the ruthless Guide and their army. Finally the Alliance acted and sent a part of the Alliance Navy to free the worlds and arrest various member of the Guilde. With the backing of the Obsidian Cartel and the Banking Union, the Traders Guilde declared their independence from the Alliance. A large chunk of the Alliance Navy, now under the control of the Sword Consortium, mutinied and joined the Traders Guilde rebellion. Thus began the Forged Wars, so named for the fact that both armies were made up in large part by Warforged (the Alliance having purchased many in the years before the rebellion).
Enter Senator Mezz Thane, a fiery haired half-elf sorcerer senator from the Outer Expanse Worlds who through clever manipulation, got himself appointed the new Grand President of the Alliance, with the promise of ending the wars with the Traders Guilde and bring peace to the Galaxy. One of his first acts was to make peace with the Ork Star Khan Grummire Skinflayer to bring a large chunk of his army into a newly formed Strom-Legion Army to be used against the Traders Guilde and their allies. After five years of all-out war, both sides were nearing exhaustion when the Grand President was able to cripple the rebels at the Battle of the Spear-Cluster Worlds, but this battle also cost the Alliance most of their main ships of the line (built around the old Celestial Elf Armada core, and as such goodly aligned races).
The Alliance was exhausted and their resources spent from this war. As such it was vulnerable to manipulation from within as Mezz Thane had planned all along. First, the Grand President manipulated the destruction of Alliance’s main law and peace enforcement guild, the Knights of the Radiant Light, a goodly aligned order of warriors, wizards and others whom all pledged to work for the betterment of the Alliance. They had come to suspect a hidden darkness behind the Grand President’s action, but to late did they wait to act. Branding them traitors whom caused the Forged Wars, he had most of them killed or arrested and the order disbanded, their property seized. He then pushed through the Alliance Congress a resolution declaring himself Emperor and the formation of the Dragonstar Empire with the promise of stability, peace and most importantly, law and order.
One of the first acts of his reign was the destruction of the Traders Guilde and then freeing the Warforged. But the Emperor also instituted a number of laws restricting their movement (effectively banishing them into the Expanse) and job opportunities.
Unknown to the citizens of the new government, Emperor Mezz Thorne is really an old red dragon by the name of Mezzadrom. The power mad dragon has instituted many changes throughout society such as the formation of a semi-secret secret police called the Imperial Special Police Directive (ISPD) made up mostly of Drow. The huge military expansion through the Imperial Navy and Storm-Legion Army. The Grand Congress was reformed into the Imperial Senate, staffed by the Emperor’s cronies, and the Emperor has launched a massive expansion of the borders into the Wildspace region. He has ruthlessness crushed any dissent within the borders of the new order with the aid of the ISPD and its new Lord Marshal, the Blackguard Ember Husk (unknown High Elf paladin of the old Knights of the Radiant Light, corrupted in some way by the Emperor to serve as his main warlord). The new age of might under the Emperor’s banner had begun… the Red Age.
Regions of Space
When one talks about the regions of space in the DragonStar Empire there are basically four “areas”.
The Core Worlds, made up of several hundred inner core worlds that are fairly close together and all developed space flight and advanced technology about the same time.
The Expanse or The Colonies as they are often called include several thousand worlds surrounding the Core Worlds were the Grand Alliance settled over the course of millennia. This region is often split into three sub-regions: the Inner Expanse, the Mid Expanse and the Outer Expanse.
Wild Space is a generic term for all space past the Outer Expanse Worlds region, where not only does one find the Great Ork Khanate but also the home of hundreds of small pocket kingdoms and independent planets an untold uncivilized world. Wild Space is simply a term that those within the Empire call anything outside the Empire.
Finally there is the Dark Nebula, a vast region of space centered towards the Galactic Core where thick stellar dust has formed or gathered that blocks most sensors and augury and the Mind Flayers have their own dark empire.
When speaking of “directions” in space, the people of the DragonStar use towards the galactic central-bulge as “northward” (or “coreward”), while towards the outer spiral arms as “southward” (or “spineward”). East and west (Eastward and Westward respectively) then are in relations to these locations as one would for planetary directions.
Religion of the DragonStar Empire
In ages past, across Known Space, the Core Races inhabit countless worlds all having their own gods and goddess, deities and the divine that they worshiped. Scientists, theologians and archmages had tried to come up with a logical explanation as to not only why they found so many of the same races on so many worlds but also that the races had similar linguistic traits and deities. Eventually, a prominent religious leader proposed a theory: all the gods of every religion were the same, just different aspects of the twelve "True Gods". Some deities have elements of two or more Deitypes. These twelve Deitypes seeded similarities all across the life-supporting worlds of the galaxy. This theory led to a new religion that formed the basis of an emerging unified interstellar culture. This religion is called the Universal Church of the Twelve.
The Universal Church recognizes twelve ‘true’ gods, split or organized into four groups of three gods each – those that ‘lead’ (the Father, the Judge and the Destroyer) those that ‘act’ (the Lovers, the Warrior and the Reaper), those that ‘know’ (the Magnus, the Merchant and the Trickster) and finally those that ‘create’ (the Mother, the Stormlord and the Smith). The gods and their basic Domains: The Father (Heroism, Light, Order, and Strength), the Judge (Balance and Protection), and the Destroyer (Chaos, Curses, Deceit and Fire). The Lovers (Beauty, Good, Life and Protection), the Warrior (Fortune, Life, Strength and War), and the Reaper (Darkness, Destruction, Evil and Secrets). The Magnus (Fortune, Knowledge, Magic and Secrets), the Merchant (Fortune, Deceit, Trade and Travel), and the Trickster (Deceit, Earth, Knowledge and Science). Mother (Beasts, Nature, Water and Wilderness), the Stormlord (Air, Life, Water and Weather) and the Smith (Crafter, Earth, Engineering and Metal).
The Lovers are the patrons of the home, cute kittens & puppies, and True Love. Their priests are guardians, protectors, and keepers of the hearth. Elves where her first born and most favored.
The Warrior is the patron of war, fighting, mercenaries. The Warrior is patron of the Orks, Half-Orks Warforged whom he favors. While there are individuals of the other races who are better warriors, few overall excel at the violence output of an orkish mercenary company.
The Reaper is the patron of suffering, random violence, and destruction. The Warrior alternates between allying with the Lovers (to protect them) and the Reaper (to sow destruction). The Reaper favors no race but those drawn to darkness worship him.
The Father is the bringer of justice, order, civilization and holding the chaos at bay, patron to leaders and nobles everywhere. Most of the origin myths have the Father (and the Mother) creating the worlds from the raw chaos. He is the oldest of the gods and nominally the head of all gods. When the Father created his race, he made the Giant and the Goliath, larger and more impressive than all the other races. He is also favored by the Githzerai for their adherence to order and opposition to chaos.
The Judge is a protector of the innocent, punish of the guilty, and the one to see that all the universe is in balance. The Judge wanted Humans to be the most capable of handling anything and made them the most flexible.
The Destroyer is a random element of the chaos from which the Father formed the universe. The Destroyer's goal is to return the universe to the chaos from which it came. The Reaper may want inflict suffering, the Destroyer does not care. The Destroyer made no races but some have come to worship him and his aspect of destruction.
The Magus is patron of magic, knowledge, secrets and patron to Dragons and Drakes along with the Aasimar, Dragonborn, Changelings and Rakasha. The enmity between the Magus and the Trickster is as deep as the hate between Father and the Destroyer. The Trickster is not only a god misdirection but also of knowledge and science. While the Magus wants knowledge to be doled out to those who have earned the privilege, the Trickster wants knowledge to be free to all. The Trickster is a thief, stealing from the Magus and spreading the knowledge about. Gnomes and Goblins are his favored. On many worlds, as knowledge advances the Magus and, by extension, the Dragons fade away. Not so in the Empire.
As the Trickster steals, finds, or creates new ideas the Magus matches him, teaching his patrons and priests a counter or more impressive version. When the Trickster mixed alchemy and steel to make guns, the Magus taught the Dragons magic of fire, ice, and lighting. When the Trickster and the Smith constructed ships capable of flying to orbit, they found Space and Star dragons gliding on the solar winds. When scientists built artificial habitats to colonize other worlds, Magus cursed all the races to sicken in the places not blessed by the Mother (the exceptions being Dragons and Dwarves). When the Trickster uncovered the secrets of the atom and built weapons, the Magus taught a few Dragon leaders the spells to shatter entire worlds. The Merchant is the mediator of knowledge, and indeed all things, the patron of travelers, explorers, teachers, and (of course) merchants.
The Merchant has invented a few things (like money), but prefers to trade the secrets of others. Ratfolk and Vishkanyas are his favored.
The Mother is the patron of nature in its wild state, untamed animals, and patron to the Rootwalkers. Mother wants to nurture, provide for all and is still a little rough. Because of the Magus curse, every world has large areas of untamed wilderness. Wolfen and Thri-kreen where her first children.
The Stormlord represents control over nature without destroying it, taming the wild without losing its essence. He has taught the elves how to bio-engineer living things, without destroying them. He is also the patron of the Goliath and Shifters.
The Smith is patron to the Dwarves, the Warforged, engineers, mechanics, and the Unborn. The Smith and his priests take all the wild, crazy ideas of the Trickster and builds practical, usable items. He uses magic and technology in equal measure. He also represents the tearing apart of Nature, rebuilding it in his own image. For this the Mother resents the Smith for destroying her creations either for parts or as a consequence of other processes.
There are still those who cling to their old native “gods” but most residents of the Empire see this as foolish or quant. The Universal Church tends to have a very unfavorable outlook on these worshipers and will not allow them within holy ground. This is fine with most as the Universal Church tends to be large structures where all 12 gods have a place within. Worshippers of the old gods of good or evil are often uncomfortable with this lax attitude.
THE COMMON PLAYABLE SPECIES
These are only the most commonly found citizens of the DragonStar Empire. There are many, many other lesser known species and while the Orks are quite common and well known but regulated to an NPC species. Other NPC species include Mind Flayers, Giants and any other 'intelligent' monsters from the Monster Manuel(s). Most of them are treated as regular citizens of the Empire its just that they are not really easy to make playable characters into.
Humans are the most common and the most varied of all mortal humanoid races, coming in many sizes, shapes, and colors. They drive and need to wealth or knowledge or fame has driving them out into the Void where they have settled multiple worlds and have been found on a multitude of others. Humans are often viewed by the other races as ambitious, corruptible, flexible, heroic, prideful, prolific, and shortsighted to the point of tragedy. Humans are incredibly varied in their moral and ethical outlooks as well as interests and skills. Human communities can vary greatly from each other.
Humans are generally extremely diverse and yet many are driven to conform to certain social norms and ideas. Since they lack a single unifying culture, individuals tend to embrace kin, kingdoms, religions, and ideals. A clash of ideals often results in bitter rivalries, bloody wars, famous romances, heroic sacrifices, and ingenious inventions.
Due to diversity, human communities tend to harbor individuals of many talents. This makes them well-equipped to adapt to surprise challenges. This also helps them welcome other humanoid races. Thusly, humans often take a leading role among the civilized races.
Aasimars are humans with a significant amount of celestial or other good outsider blood in their ancestry. While not always benevolent, aasimars are more inclined toward acts of kindness rather than evil, and they gravitate toward faiths or organizations associated with celestials. Aasimar heritage can lie dormant for generations, only to appear suddenly in the child of two apparently human parents.
Most societies interpret aasimar births as good omens, though it must be acknowledged that some aasimars take advantage of the reputation of their kind, brutally subverting the expectations of others with acts of terrifying cruelty or abject venality. “It's always the one you least suspect” is the axiom these evil aasimars live by, and they often lead double lives as upstanding citizens or false heroes, keeping their corruption hidden.
Changelings are a humanoid race who are distantly descended from doppelgangers and share their shapeshifting qualities. Their shapeshifting has led to them being used as spies and assassins which has in turn led to them being mistrusted amongst all people everywhere.
It is unknown where the changeling originated or even if they have a set of homeworlds or if instead they infiltrated from Wild Space. This only adds to their poor reputation and outlook by other who seem them as unknown or outsiders.
In their natural form, changelings are very pale skinned with flat, ill-define and pale faces and either white iris-less eyes or solid black ones. They tend to be slight of build in the natural form with pale colored hair Due to the prejudices they face many never assume this form.
The Dragonborn resemble humanoid dragons, with fine scales and serpentine eyes, horns, etc. but without a tail or wings. Reminiscent of dragons, they sport frills, a crest, and meaty hands. Their scales range from gold to ruby red to bronze. Some are more blue, black or white, depending on their heritage.
Dragonborn are often viewed by other races as strong, majestic, honor bound, proud to the point of arrogant, and hoarders of gold, magic, artwork, and other fine treasures. Dragonborn believe they descend from a common divine lineage despite their varied scales. Among their own kind, they argue and love, mourn and celebrate with more passion than with other races, with whom they are cordial yet detached.
Dragonborn are generally courageous. Dragon blood runs thickly in their veins. A fearful or meek dragonborn is a shame to his race as are those who break oaths or ancient laws. Religious dragonborn, called historians, commune with ghostly spirits of ancient dragons and horde lore as well as material goods. Many nobles and members of the AristoCorps are made up of ancient Dragonborn houses.
With a solid physique and dense mass, Dwarfs are heavier than they appear. Male dwarves have thick beards. Eons past, dwarves ruled kingdoms amid dark cavelands and within majestic mountains. A few of these kingdoms remain. Dwarves tend now to be found in urban settlements or on lonely asteroids or on near barren rocky worlds. Dwarves are often viewed as hardworking, hard-drinking, honorable, oath-bound, and pessimistic. They are also steeped in caution, hierarchy, and tradition. They are highly cooperative and planful, though in battle they are known to fight to the last man rather than follow through with a retreat.
Dwarves are generally cautious. They prefer their fortresses, be they solid castle-like fortifications or underground bunkers, and are known for their love of craft, particularly architecture and mining. Mostly, however, they love gems, gold, and other precious gifts of the earth. They adventure to gain these things, as well as taste the blood of a hard-won battle. Legends say the dwarfs were the first to meet and battle the Ork Stellar Khanate. Too this day dwarfs and orks do not get along well and have a strong and ancient gurgle against each other.
There is a variant primative dwarf subspecies called Wild Draws who often live in swamp or marshlands above ground. There origins are unknown as most of their kind perfer underground dwellings.
Of all the races of the DragonStar Empire, the Elves have one of the largest numbeFile:DragonStar5E.seaElf.jpgs of subspeces. Unlike Humans their ‘variety’ is more then just skin deep, resulting in radically differences between them. High Elves tend to pale skin and silvery blond or autumn reddish hair, while Wood Elves are tanner and darker rich brown or black hair. Eladrin’s skin and hair color tends to change with the seasons. The Avariel, or ‘Winged-Elves’ have white wings and blondish, almost transparent hair color. Grugach or ‘Wild-Elves’ tend towards very tan skin and dark green hair while the Sea Elves have a darker skin tone with bluish or greenish colored hair. They also have webbed hands and feet. Drow have pale white hair with indigo blank skin color and iris-less white eyes. Within the DragonStar Empire the Drow are especially common within the Emperor’s ISPD (Imperial Special Police Directorate), or the Imperial Police. This has not helped their reputation.
All elves of the various subraces and of both sexes have slight builds, fine features, high cheekbones and long pointed ears. Elves maintain many neges with varying traits, and some elves are as tall as humans. Elves are often viewed as artistic, carefree, frivolous, haughty, magical, skilled, and spontaneous. With a lifespan up to 10x that of a human, they often prefer to nurture the beauty of life’s moments— singing, creating, romancing—rather than rush toward goals that often result in dire long-term consequences. Elves often adventure to act as guides to the shorter-lived and shorter-sighted races, or as flights of fancy (particularly when young). Elves are generally mysterious. Their lifespan and incredibly ancient culture foster an allure that is ever-distant. They, in turn, are fascinated by what is eternal and sophisticated, such as nature, magic, the arts, and love.
Githzerai (or Gith for short) are wiry thin, even emaciated humanoids, with small dense muscles and pointy teeth. They are nearly hairless over the body and faces but do often sport a top=knck like growth on their heads. They generally have pasty white or red leathery skin and angular features with small almost slit like nostrals. Most have green eyes. Gith are often viewed by other races as cold, enigmatic, knowledgeable, mechanically-adept, militant, impatient, pragmatic, weird, telepathic and xenophobic. They are the mortal progeny of a mythical race that once roamed the ageless eddies of the Far Realm (an outer plane of existence). Gith retain a high familiarity and comfort—an intuitive sense—with creatures, magic’s, and devices from many worlds.
Gith are generally distant. Eons ago, their ancestors shed slavery under aberrant mind-bending illithids. Their saga has earned them odd, inhuman gifts most especially their natural telepathy. Today, they are split into several offshoots, notably the malicious yansi and the monastic zerai. These offshoots often oppose and hate each other.
Gith adventure to find magic, pleasures of the flesh, treasure, and symbionts. Some hunt down their ancient aberrant nemeses or pillage for slaves and supplies, as they have little patience for trivial tasks. They are the most traveled and sophisticated.
Gnomes stand around three and a half feet tall and average 55 pounds. They were once fey creatures of an otherworldly faerie court but were expelled for their endless pranks and fascination with loud machinery. They have a beige, woody complexion with rusty hair and many sport ungainly ears, feet, hands or noses. Gnomes are often viewed as whimsical, odd, and occasionally cruel pranksters. Like fey, they harbor a devious and inhuman sense of humor. Usually, they wish no harm. Instead, they enjoy merely making fun of brutish and overly serious folk. They have a knack for trap-making and rapport with forest animals, which they may employ as accomplices in their hijinks.
Gnomes are generally inquisitive. At their best, they are innovative, observant, humorous, and industrious (if not obsessive). They adventure to learn about the world and discover (or test out) new contraptions and ideas. Sometimes, their ideas work. Gnomes can be a bit clannish and distrustful of strangers. A paranoid gnome is both an amusement and a danger.
It is generally agreed that Gnomes were the first of the common races to discover the technology of Void Craft and the discovery of the first StarCaster Engines. Their driving curiosity leading them to the stars.
Goblins stand three to three and a half feet tall and weigh 30 to 50 pounds. Their ears are often unusually large and their skin color is various shades of green. They are scrawny with beady eyes, sharp ragged nails, hairy feet, tawny complexions, and upward jutting teeth. They move quickly and are deviously smart. As goblinoids, they are related to hobgoblins and bugbears, whom they often envy. To compensate they focus on their strength -- technology. While it is said that Humans are the most numerous of species, that might not really be true. Goblins might well be the most numerous but no one is really sure. They breed fast and have spread throughout the known worlds and well beyond in their drive to move…
Goblins are often viewed as urban pests, scam-artists, sewer rats, and highway robbers. They like darkness and damp places and make themselves comfy wherever they find these. Though inclined to mayhem, they respect power. Because urban zones offer plentiful chumps to steal from or tinker with, goblins are often found living in slums when not on a starship roaming the universe.
Goblins can sadistic but also love to tinker. At their best, they are agile, alert, crafty, quick, and resourceful. When a goblin adventures, it is to gain treasure, exact revenge or show the world he is capable and brave. Good goblins are stealthy ally but is often indistinguishable at first from his counterparts.
The Goliath is a massive humanoid race, averaging 7 to 8 feet tall and male weigh in around 350 to 400 pounds while females average around 250 pounds. Goliath have noticeably bony or prominent supraorbital ridges above their eyes which are often bridge blue or green and glow slightly. Their skin is predominately gray or brown and is described as something akin to rough stone. One of its most distinctive features are darker and often vertically symmetrical patches that cover their entire bodies. These are believed to partially control the races fate or destiny and are never cover over with tattoos, etc.
Goliath are extremely completive and track their accomplishments and often see everything as a challenge. Those not familiar with this trait often get annoyed by their constantly reminding them of how many times a certain thing has happened. Too a goliath, score keeping is a natural part of life.
Trust and honor are key aspect of most goliath’s lives. Complacency is a trait goliath loath and they rarely take anything for granted. They tend to be clannish and family oriented, rarely found adventuring. In the wider DragonStar universe they tend to be found in rural, wild places away from civilization. They are not primitive per say but they are very traditionalist in dress and their way of life (i.e. living simpler lives, hunting and gathering with few modern luxuries).
Half-Elves were the offspring of elves and humans in ancient days, and are among the most beautiful and personable of all humanoids, combining elven grace with human ambition. They are light and fair, and they possess less body hair and finer features than humans.
Half-elves are often viewed as dramatic and enchanting, if not hopelessly romantic and slightly lost. Even to this day, half-elves often face disapproval or pity by elves, and fear or jealousy from humans. A half-elf communities are a mix of the elf and human heritage, striving to take the best of both worlds. Half-elves are generally idealistic. At their best, they act as exemplary diplomats, brilliant artists and performers, or warlocks who merge magic and war-craft with ease. Since they live somewhat longer than humans, they can provide stability. They often adventure to meet people, play with magic, and perhaps find true love. Not all half-elves are well-adjusted. Some maintain a well-crafted masquerade of deceptive wit and charm.
Halflings stand three to three and a half tall and weigh 30 to 50 pounds. They can be mistaken for human children. They are frequently pudgy with ruddy complexions and hairy feet. As adults, they are far stronger and more agile than a human child, and dislike being viewed as immature. Halflings are often viewed as rural homebodies, river rats, pleasant servants, and urban ne’er-do-wells. They prefer fertile hills, cool river valleys, and pastoral shires. Those that have taken to the stars like big space stations over small cramped locations. They enjoy the company of friends and family over the dangers of adventure. Cities offer tempting variety and halflings get along with the civilized races.
Halflings are generally optimistic. At their best, they are agile, alert, brave, persuasive, and lucky. When a halfling adventures, it is in defense of his home, or to test his luck and see the stars, or occasionally due to a dare or because of some misdeed for which he must atone. The uncommon evil Halfling is a stealthy terror, often with a deceptive smile and a poisoned blade just out of sight.
Half Orcs are large and brutish, who tend to stick to their own kind these days. Originally, in long years past, they were unfortunate union of Humans and Orcs is often an unhappy one and their children often reflect this. But now they are a ‘true’ separate species. They have a greenish complexion, coarse black hair, jutting jaw, muscular physique, and feral hair and teeth reminiscent of orcs. Compared to humans, they are strong and incredibly hearty.
Half-orcs are often viewed as boorish, unpleasant, and aggressive. If they grew up in more civilized regions, they are friendlier. Half-orcs are most common out in the Colonies on frontier worlds where they face less prejudice. These communities are scattered about the Known Worlds, in out of the way places, living their lives peacefully.
Half-orcs are generally cynical, but at their best they are fearless, intrepid, strong, tenacious, and tough. Their rough appearance may hide keen intelligence and deep wisdom. Half-orcs often adventure for the thrill of battle and are loyal to companions who treat them with respect. Though orcs are wild, chaotic and evil, half-orcs are as varied as humans and may be kindly and noble.
Lizardfolk are humanoid reptile hybrids that have a thick hide, stout tail, and sharp teeth. Many (but not all) are barbaric. A major exception is the Vesk Consortium on the southern fringes of Wild Space, ruled over by a war-like but very honor-bond prideful people of Lizardfolk.
Lizardfolk generally come in two subspecies variants -- the larger and more muscular Blackscales and the smaller, quicker greenscaled Poison Dusk. Both tend toward greenish overall coloration of their scales but the blackscale tend towards darker almost black scales. They eyes are reptiling slits of yellow coloration.
Lizardfolk are often viewed by the other races as primitive, illiterate, superstitious, and reclusive— but also wise caretakers of nature. In mythic battles between good and evil, lizardfolk were initially duped by evil but choose good in the end. Lizardfolk tend to shun moral extremes and enjoy citing nature’s many examples of balance. Lizardfolk are generally wary. Many avoid strangers, stick to tribal or clannish bonds, repeating ancient rites, and mimic nature’s eternal principles and rhythms. They settle in swamps, jungles, underwater caverns with air pockets, and other locales that are warm, wet, and defendable. They tend to venture out when nature deprives them of food or land. Lizardfolk vary by tribe or clan or family unit. In the empire they tend towards martial employment like mercenaries or joining the Storm-Legion. Their scale range in color from aFile:DragonStar5E.tabaxi.jpglmost perfect black to green and golds, which can be related to their tribes or clans.
Ratfolk are small, rodent-like humanoids, native on many worlds in the subterranean areas in dry deserts and plains. Those part of the DragonStar Empire are often part of traveling caravans and trader groups.
Much like the pack rats they resemble, ratfolk are tinkerers and hoarders by nature, and as a whole are masters of commerce, especially when it comes to acquiring and repairing mechanical or magical devices. Though some are shrewd merchants who carefully navigate the shifting alliances of black markets and bazaars, many ratfolk love their stockpiles of interesting items far more than money, and would rather trade for more such prizes to add to their hoards over mere coins. It's common to see a successful crew of ratfolk traders rolling out of town with an even larger bundle than they entered with, the whole mess piled precariously high on a cart drawn b giant rats (on primitive worlds) or by haphazardly constructed high tech vehicles that look like they are being held together with rope and tape.
Shifters are fierce hunters strongly influenced by their animal nature. Though they can't fully change shape as their lycanthrope ancestors can, shifters do become more bestial during the heat of battle, calling on the primal power of the beast within. Descended from humans and lycanthropes, shifters resemble humans with animalistic features. Some are ruthless brigands and wild brawlers, while others are heroes.
Shifters are strongly influenced by their animal natures. They think and act like predators, conceiving of most activities in terms of hunting and prey.
Longtooth shifters are drawn to a pack of companions, whether that’s a family group or an adventuring party. They work well as part of a team in combat, coordinating their attacks with their allies and coming to the aid of beleaguered friends. Razorclaw shifters are more independent, self-reliant, and adaptable. They’re no less devoted to their adventuring companions, but they trust their allies to take care of themselves, and they strive to carry their own weight in the group. Swiftstride and Wildhunt tend to be more agressive and indepenent, seeking their own company and trusting their own abilities
Historically, most shifters dwelled in nomadic bands in plains and forests far removed from civilization. Increasing dangers of the wilds has driven many shifters into closer proximity to human and elf communities. Some shifters have adapted smoothly to this change, carving niches for themselves as trappers, hunters, fishers, trackers, guides, or military scouts. Others have a much harder time fitting in and turn to piracy and mercenary work. Shifters who feel alienated from the plains and forests they love often take up the adventuring life as a way of escaping the confines of buildings and space-station, to returning to nature. Some shifters, though, turn to a life of crime, preying on the residents of their new homes like the hunters they are.
Tabaxi stand five and a half to over six feet high and average 160 to 190 pounds (men) or 120 to 150 pounds (women). Tabaxi are catlike humanoids driven by curiosity to collect interesting artifacts, gather tales and stories and information best left alone, and lay eyes on the universe’s wonders. Ultimate travelers and wanders, they inquisitive tabaxi rarely stay in one place for long. Their innate nature pushes them to leave no secret uncovered, no treasure or legends lost.
While most tabaxi remain on their out of the way places of their homeworlds, content to dwell in small, tight clans. These tabaxi live simple lives with few modern conveniences and largely keep to themselves. However, those that are gifted with curiosity by their Cat Lord (often described as the Mother Goddess of the Twelve) are compelled to wander far and wide. They seek out stories, artifacts and lore. In this, the species treasure knowledge rather than material things.
In the wider DragonStar Empire the tabaxi tend to have an unfounded reputation as thieves and for sticking their noses where they don’t belong. The Imperial machine has taken steps to turn public option against these catfolk as one never knows when they might turn up the wrong bit of info. Better that no one believes them then outright harming them.
Tiefling tend to be average human height and weight with hair varies from charcoal black to blood red. They have red eyes, small curved horns and long narrow tails that end in a sinister-looking V-shape. They are usually wiry if not muscular. Those few who are fat are grossly obese. Tieflings are often viewed as hedonistic, rude, untrustworthy, and wicked descendants of humans and devils. They are found in urban areas and dark corridors on out of the way space stations because civilization is full of interesting people and lavish goods. They can also be loners, seeking out far and lonely places to conduct some fiendish unworldly work.
Tieflings are generally seen as untrustworthly. At their best, they are artistic, driven, quick witted, strategic, and fearless. Tieflings who adventure often do so to gain treasure, flee social discrimination, serve a liege’s cause, or test the limits of their fiendish heritage. Despite their heritage, tieflings can be any alignment. Good tieflings may feel a need to prove themselves or even compensate for the misdeeds of other tieflings. Even the good ones, however, may hold to a dark humor or come off as scheming or as damned souls.
Unfortunately for their reputation, many tieflings have found their place within the bureaucracy of the DragonStar Empire and have made great gains under the ruler-ship of the Emperor, where cronyism is rampant. This is not to say that all have done well under the evil regime, but many have and have become the uncaring face of the government.
Thri-kreen are nomadic, insectoid humanoids typically found in deserts and savannah but also in steaming jungles. They are fairly large and weighing over 300 lbs. The carpus shells tend to be colored tan or dark brown or green to better blend into their common environments. Non-thri-kreen have a hard time telling the sexes apart (or even individuals).
The thri-kreen communicate with a species-specific combination of clicks, body movements, and antennae waves, though it is suspected that pheromonal communication allows for more subtlety than most humanoids can decipher. Though non-thri-kreen can learn to understand the basics of thri-kreen communication, it’s impossible to speak. Most thri-kreen understand Common with the same level of understanding. Unless a thri-kreen has spent significant time with non-insectoid humanoids, they have a hard time understanding non-thri-kreen. The same is true of mammalian humanoids when dealing with thri-kreen.
Thri-kreen found wandering within the empire are often seeking gold or magic and are commonly never-do-wells types like adventures. The rest remain within their ancestral lands.
Vishkanyas are a race of attractive humanoids with poisonous blood that maybe related to yuan-ti. Possessed of an alien beauty, these graceful humanoids see the world through serpentine eyes of burnished gold. Their supple skin is covered with tiny scales, often of a light blue, green or reddish tones, which are arrayed in exotic patterns not unlike those of a serpent-like tattoos. They cannot be generalized as good or evil, but since they truly speak with forked tongues, they are content to accept the gold they're offered and leave questions of morality to others.
Vishkanyas are fairly rare within most of the DragonStar Empire, except on the eastern fringes of Wild Space near the border Kingdom of the Set (an ancient Empire of the Yuna-Ti, still active today although they only control a half dozen worlds).
Warforged stand six to six and a half feet tall and weigh around 240 pounds. They are clearly artificial, built from various bioplastics and ‘liquid-metal’. They sport many human features, some of which are non-functional. They have minimal facial expressions and are difficult to read. They do not reproduce biologically. However there are at least three of the original ‘Forge Worlds’ where they were first created in the hands of various Warforged groups. It is from these creation forges that most newly created forged come from (and how the species continues).
Warforged are often viewed as heartless, inhuman, odd, and dangerous, which is not surprising since they were originally built as disposable warriors (for the Forged Wars) and hard dangerous labor like asteroid mining. Or they are just smart golems, not really sentient.
The Warforged are fiercely loyal but generally silent. Rather than speak, they are often busy observing, noting layout and numbers, and analyzing tactical options and contingency plans. Warforged enjoy adventuring because fighting monsters and evading traps fulfills their talents while eschewing their original mandate. Despite their constructed nature, warforged are alive and possess souls (at least the priest and mystics claim).
The Wolfen have similar qualities of that a wolf only much larger and humanoid. Most commonly they have either grey, tan, or red orange fur with a slighty slouching gait. They are very strong due to the constant running that toned their muscles. They age at a human rate but tend to mentally mature faster. The wolfen retain their animal instincts and can enter a state of feral rage when in extreme danger. They have to learn at an early age to control this rage otherwise the wrong decision could get them killed.
Legend has it the wolfen were a non-sentient quadrupedal race that once roamed the plains to the distant planet in Wild Space and were merely another feral beast among the lands. The Mother deity had blessed a hidden oasis from which they drank from, giving the race the gift of a higher Intelligence. Although the beasts were given a blessing, it has not stop the primal urge for conflict.
Most wolfen where once part of the great Orkish Khanates Hoard but broke away from them centuries ago to join the Grand Alliance. Tales say that the Khanate was not pleased with this and that the orks of the Storm-Legion still bear them deep grunges.
POSSIBLE INTRO ADVENTURE
Out near the edge of Wild Space, in the Koiden System, the heroes have all be drawn to the so-called Twilight Port (officially known a Black Rock Starport), a notorious den of criminals and never-do-well out on the edge of Imperial Space. Few officials from the Empire even bother with the system and the crime lords found here like it that way. So long as sedition and rebels are not tolerated, and the Cold Trade* is outlawed the Empire leaves them mostly to their vices. The station itself is built into the hollowed out core a large 10-mile wide meteor in the systems asteroid belt. The only planet in the system is a gas giant called Tygon which has 13 moons. Five of these moons can support base Imperial life and three of them have small colonies located on them.
The system’s major export is minerals extracted from the extensive asteroid field that the port is located within. Two of the moon colonies provide most of the food and resources for the station and it is rumored that a secret Imperial military base is located on another.
Fate, luck or misfortune has all landed the heroes on this rock without enough cred or influence to pay for a ticket elsewhere. Here the heroes have found themselves in the employment of a moderately sized local AristoCorp, Traxin-Core Industries. Baron-Executive Omerom Ragax, a male Dragonborn and chief executive of the corporation has a few jobs that he needs preformed for him… off the books as it were.
- The Cold Trade is the illegal acquisition and trading of necrotech which is found extensively within the Ghoul Worlds, a number of dead worlds and systems just beyond the Imperial boarders of the Koiden System. The only Imperial presence here is on the lookout for this criminal activity. For most of the time after Black Stone Starport was built by the Alliance, the dead rested peacefully it seemed. But recently, smugglers of necrotech out of their lands has stride up various beings there that now treaten the living just across their borders.