Friday, January 14, 2011

[LPJ Design] Races of NeoExodus: P’Tan Preview

In ancient times, the First Ones enslaved all of Exodus; their plans were served well by countless thousands of unwilling servants.  Once their slaves rose up and overthrew them, however, the First Ones were cast into the depths - bereft not only of their power, but also of the vast majority of the very slaves who brought them low.
The P’Tan were created to replace those slaves.

The P’Tan are a created race, fashioned from elemental shadow-stuff infused into what were initially crude mortal shells.  By dark sorcery and darker worship, the First Ones made these creatures into a lasting race that could breed true without their magical influence… the better to provide them with slaves for all eternity.
Only a handful of P’Tan have escaped the crushing oppression into which their people were born, but those who have are perhaps the most determined foes of the First Ones in all of Exodus.  Other races have but dim memory of their primeval slavery; for the P’Tan, that existence is indelibly etched in living memory.

Personality:  Free P’Tan love life and freedom so ferociously they can unnerve members of more staid races.  To the P’Tan, every second of liberty is a treasure worth fighting, bleeding and dying for.  P’Tan tend to be obsessive about their passions - and one of those passions is, almost invariably, freeing the rest of their people from First One bondage.  The P’Tan saw their hated masters weave plots over the course of centuries; they will do no less to undo those plans, subtly incorporating even the smallest action into their overall goal of freeing their fellows and destroying the First Ones once and for all.  On those rare occasions P’Tan gather in groups of their own kind, they form loose packs ruled by the strongest among them; challenges to a leader’s authority are short, vicious and usually to the death - perhaps, among the passionate P’Tan, why so few gather in numbers!

Physical Description: P’Tan are tall and sleek humanoids.  They somewhat resemble humanoid cats and have a coat of short, stiff fur.  The older a P’Tan grows, the lighter the color of his fur; a young kit may be almost pitch black, while an elder near the end of his life is snow white.  Beneath their fur, P’Tan sport the hard muscle typical of a people who were created, bred and pressed into the most grueling labor; there is nothing sculpted or decorative about a P’Tan’s frame - it is pure, purposeful power.  P’Tan tend to prefer loose-fitting clothes, sometimes favoring concealing cloaks and robes that hide their nature from races who may react suspiciously toward unknown visitors.

Relations: P’Tan often face suspicion and fear from other races; their background and powers both call to mind the First Ones, who most prefer not to think about. P’Tan also have trouble winning friends among other races because their obsession with destroying the First Ones forces others to confront what they would prefer not to think about.  Only a handful of trusted companions ever learn to overcome these impediments and accept a P’Tan.  When dealing with the First Ones, of course, P’Tan have only one thing to offer: death.

Alignment: Having been denied their freedom in the cruelest way since the very inception of their race, P’Tan value it above all other concepts.  They tend to be passionate, determined and fierce.  Most P’Tan are Chaotic Good or Chaotic Neutral; those whose obsession with destroying th First Ones eclipses everything else in their lives sometimes fall to Chaotic Evil.

P’Tan Lands: The P’Tan were born into slavery, and not enough of their people have escaped it to ever core out a homeland of their own.  For now, at least, the P’Tan are nomads cast adrift in Exodus; they are usually found in the largest cities, selling their services as mercenaries or bodyguards.  Many dream of one day carving out a place to belong for their people, but that is a dream far in their future.

Religion: During their enslavement, the P’Tan were expected to pay at least token worship to the bloody god of the First Ones, Khayne; as this worship often involved the P’Tan being offered up as bloody sacrifices, it should be unsurprising that most abandoned the faith of their masters as soon as they could!  Free P’Tan usually adopt the predominant religion of whatever region they spend most of their time in.

Language: All P’Tan speak Exodite, the common tongue of the First Ones.  Free P’Tan understand this language but rarely use it; they quickly master modern Common and find their old language unpalatable.  Many even swear by whatever they hold sacred to never again utter the speech of their hated former masters.

Names: P’Tan were never given names during their enslavement and refer to each other only by terms of relative rank.  Once a P’Tan has interacted with outsiders long enough, he usually picks up a name or nickname in the local language and often takes it more seriously than others would.

Adventures: Most P’Tan do not adventure in the traditional sense - yet in another sense, they do little else.  The P’Tan are a race of nomadic warriors who spend most of their time honing their skills and acquiring powerful weapons to wield against a terrible evil; if that’s not an adventurer’s life, what is?  P’Tan mercenaries often join adventuring companies to hone their skills, and this race’s small population is disproportionately represented amongst adventurers.