Thursday, November 06, 2014


Switching gears slightly for this entry as I dip my proverbial toe into the waters of DC's alien species. 

Thanagarians are a species of winged humanoids that control a cluster of systems along the border between the Alpha and Beta quadrants. They were once slaves of a species called the Polaran Empire. They revolted, drove the Polarans into deep space, and developed a powerful military. Over the next thousand years, the Thanagarians have conquered other systems in a fashion similar to that of the Peacekeepers: they offer their military as protection against alien invaders in return for natural resources, which are taken back to Thanagar.

The Thanagarian Protectorate is a powerful force in their region of space. Even though they are not as large as the Peacekeepers or Shi'ar or Skrull Empires, their military might is second to none. All Thanagarians who are physically able are required to serve a minimum of 10 years in the Defense Force. This has lead to a very martial culture where the idea of the strong prevailing over the weak has become a central tenant to the average Thanagarian. The Protectorate is ruled by a Council of five Thanagarians. The Council was one selected by a vote of all Thanagarians, but now only those from one of the five Houses are allowed to vote. Even Thanagarians who are not officially attached to one of the houses do not get a say in their government.

House politics and the etiquette of joining a House are complex. Thanagarians who are part of a House that have a child see that child immediately entered into the House. However, that child must be very careful from the moment it is old enough to be mobile that they do not upset anyone in the House higher than its own station. Children as young as two have been cast out of their House for mistakes no more serious than spilling a drink during an informal dinner. These once "noble" children are given to one of the various orphanages on the surface to be raised and trained for conscription into the Defense Force.

The Defense Force is powerful military. House Thanagarians make up the command positions of the Defense Force, with House-less Thanagarians making up most of the rank and file soldiers. Aliens are sometimes conscripted into service, but typically only serve as cannon fodder to soften up a foe before sending in less expendable Thanagarian forces. As noted earlier, all Thanagarians, House or not, are required to spend 10 years in the Defense Force. After this time, it is their choice to continue their service or to enter into civilian life. Unless they are part of a House, most Thanagarians continue their service. Those that leave the Defense Force may still continue being warriors as bounty hunters and mercenaries.

Who controls a House is in a constant state of flux as well. House leaders are constantly attempting to curry favor with their betters, strike bargains with peers and lessers for support, and so on. Anything from being caught in an affair with a lesser noble or suffering even a minor defeat in battle can lead to a House leader being deposed in favor of someone else. The Houses also attempt to woo away members of other Houses with excellent reputations in order to strengthen their own positions.

Thanagarians who are without a House can join one by invitation only. Typically, great heroics on the field of battle is a common way to gain the attention of one or more Houses. Also discovering information about another House or an in-House rival of a noble can sometimes garner enough respect to gain an invitation into a House.

Corruption and graft have long been part of the politics of the Protectorate. Thanagarians from the five Houses live in cities suspended from the surface by powerful anti-grav engines, and those who are House-less or are not Thanagarian live on the surface where pollution, a lack of basic services, and dangerous creatures are a constant way of life. However, the Houses are constantly attempting to curry favor among those from the "Downside" (a derogatory term used in reference to Thanagar's surface) in case hostilities erupt between houses and they need quick conscripts to fight their battles.

There have been many slave revolts over the years, but most have been put down with ease. However, recently there has been a more concerted effort to form a revolution. This time, there are more House-less Thanagarians joining the revolts than in those previous. The level of coordination in the attacks has led the Council to believe that former House commander is leading the revolution. There have been many excellent battle commanders cast out of their House for one slight or another, but most has put their efforts towards joining another House or attempting to make amends with their former House. That has typically been the goal of many House-less Thanagarians, but it appears that whoever is leading the revolution that vying for a House is less productive than attempting to bring down the Council and earn equal rights.

Thanagarians are winged humanoids. They stand around 6 feet tall with agile builds. Their skin color is generally white with a wide array of hair color ranging from blonde to black and everything in between. Two large, feathered wings sprout from their backs and allow them to fly. Feathers are typically white in color although brown and gray are fairly common as well. Their bones are hollow and more brittle than those found in most other humanoid species, but that does not keep them from close combat as there is more prestige to be gained from a close kill than one made at range. Thanagarians are a long lived species; not reaching old age until 200 with some living to nearly 400 before dying (of natural causes that is).

For Savage Worlds, I use the Avion race package found in the Sci-Fi Companion with the following additions:
Remove the Frail Hindrance and add the Arrogant Hindrance instead.

Thanagarians for Rogue Space
Archetypes: Thanagarians can be Soldier's or Technicians and they gain a +1 bonus to Fighting.
Flight: Thanagarians can fly at a pace equal to his regular movement rate.
Psionics: Espers are rare among Thanagarians, but those that are Espers has an equal chance of having any psionic power.

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