Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Founders of the Concord: Centauri in Mythic Space

Some members of the Concord fully embrace the ideals of co-existence and mutual protection and aid, others, like the Centauri, see the Concord as a necessary evil they have grown to be too reliant upon. They would love to return to the days of glory when the very utterance of “the Centauri Republic” would leave their enemies shaking in fear, and others awestruck. Even though it appears that those days are behind them, if they ever truly existed in the first place, Centauri still dream of, and scheme for, their return.
            The Centauri Republic was well established as a major power in the Alpha Quadrant when humanity first started to travel the stars. Still, the cracks were already starting to show in the foundation of the Republic’s power. By the time of the Illithid Invasion, the Republic had just lost several systems in the Narn Revolution and there were on their third Emperor in six standard years. One having been assassinated and the other died young due to genetic disorders. When the Illithids started tearing their way through the Alpha Quadrant, the Empire was reeling, looking for allies among those they had abused, harassed and even dismissed in the past.
            Allowing the Centauri Republic to enter into the talks of an alliance nearly doomed the Concord before it even began. The Narn Regime still harbored great hatred for their former occupiers and refused to enter into any alliance in which the Centauri were a part. There were attempts on the ambassadors lives on both sides, fist fights between the retinues in the Presidium, to say nothing of the constant sneering and snide comments when the two sides were trying to be civil.
            After the Illithid Invasion was broken and the Galactic Concord was coalescing into the stellar power that it is today, the subject of the Centauri Republic’s suitability was brought into question time and again. The Narn strongly fought against the Centauri be a part of the Concord largely in part of the clause in the Constitution stating that member states cannot be slavers. They equated the Centauri occupation of the Narn homeworld and decades of abuse as slavery. They also brought up the Centauri nobles treatment of the rank and file Centauri citizens, even those of “lesser” houses as proof that they violated the anti-slavery clause. In the end the Centauri Republic was allowed admission into the Concord largely due to the actions during the various battles with the Illithid and the Narn Regime relented their protests, but vowed to watch the Republic’s actions closely.
            Physical Description/Biology: Centauri are a near-human species. In fact, during the first contact between humans and Centauri, the Republic ambassadors attempted to persuade the human delegates that they are genetic cousins; even going so far to say that Earth was a long lost Centauri colony. That was quickly found false once Terran scientists analyzed a sample of Centauri DNA.
            Male Centauri wear their hair in fan-like crests, the larger the crest the higher rank that individual is in the Republic. Females tend to keep their heads shaved save for a long, braided ponytail. Males have six short, prehensile tentacles around their abdomen. These tentacles are generally kept out of sight. The few non-Centauri that have seen them can guess their purpose. They tend to dress in finery akin to that of Napoleonic-era France. Even the poorest Centauri dresses as fine as their means allow as appearance and station are paramount in the Republic.
            Personality: As stated above, station means more to Centauri than anything. Even if a Centauri is of a lower house, he will carry himself (or herself) with an air of importance and dignity, especially around non-Centauri. They are very proud of their history as a power in the galaxy, even if the tales are largely fabrications of their own imaginations. They tend to not only be arrogant and braggarts, but they are constantly looking for way to increase their own rank, be it in the Republic or with others in their own group. This has given Centauri the reputation of being schemers, liars, and cheats.
            With all the negatives that Centauri bring to the table, there are good qualities. Most are hardworking and do want to earn their higher rank in the Republic or even the Concord. When faced with difficult situations, most Centauri will act with honor and even bravery, as was seen several times throughout the course of the war against the Illithid. Younger Centauri that spend time among the other species of the Concord see just how far they are from the tales of their grandeur and they are more willing to admit the sins of the past and work towards rebuilding burnt bridges between other stellar nations that the Republic has wronged.
            Homeworld: Centauri hail from Centauri Prime (the original name for the planet is lost in time) in the Zeta Tucanae system at the heart of the Centauri Sector. The Republic was vast long before humans first walked on the moon, but their territories have shrunk considerably due to losses incurred during the Narn Revolution.
            Religion: Centauri hold to old traditions, but aren’t generally very religious. They revere great Emperors and warriors of their long history, but generally just use religion as a way to control commoners and to have an excuse for a feast.
            Mutations: Centauri genetics are surprisingly stout. They only suffer from extreme mutation in the most extreme and alien conditions. Mutant Centauri are quickly shunned at best or sentenced to a quick and painless death at worst.
            Cybernetics: While Centauri can make use of cybergear, few do unless they have a true need (like in the case of a replacement of a lost arm or leg). Cybernetics are seen as unattractive and a sign of weakness. “Better to learn to fight one-handed than be part machine!” is a saying among older, traditional Centauri.
            Psionics: Centauri can be born with the ability to utilize psionic forces. They have long known about the powers of the mind and their Telepaths Guild is highly respected. The Emperor generally has a group of telepaths as part of his personal retinue to allow for quick communication between himself and his agents.

Centauri Species Traits (Savage Worlds)
·         Born to Intrigue – Centauri are raised with intrigue, backstabbing and political maneuvering. It’s basically their second nature. This enables them to excel in influencing others, granting them +2 to their Charisma.
·         Vigorous – Centauri are noted for their personal excesses, especially of food, drink and entertainment. This has, in turn, made them more resilient – there’s little you can do to a Centauri, that he hasn’t already done to himself. Members of this race start with a d6 in Vigor.
·         Racial Enemies (Narn) – Centauri regard Narns as brutal, mindless savages, who should rightfully be either the subjects of Centauri rule or eradicated from the face of the universe. When dealing with Narns, Centauri are considered to be Bloodthirsty and at -4 Charisma.

·         Obligations to his House – There are practically no Centauri who are able to travel through the universe and don’t belong to one of the numerous minor or major noble houses. These connections will come to haunt the character from time to time and he will be asked to perform some task for the benefit of his house or for the ones his house is allied with. This works as the minor version of the Vow Hindrance 
(Savage World stats courtesy of Markus Finster's excellent Savage Babylon 5 conversion. Download it here.)

Centauri Species Traits (Rogue Space)
Archetypes: Scoundrels and Technicians, and add +1 to either Acquiring or Science.
Politics: Centauri are born and raised in an environment of politics and intrigue. They receive a +2 bonus to Acquiring rolls made when either attempting to convince others to see their way or when attempting to gather information. 
Psionics: Centauri can be Espers, with Telepathy being the most common power. 

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