Alien Race

By James Walker


Quoted from an unknown work in the Special Collection of Yves Library:

.... As all of the sentient races of (world name untranslatable into any human language) refer to themselves, and their domesticated mimics, as (race name which translates roughly as "the people") Celestials usually refer to the natives as either "Mullerians" or "Batesians", depending on their primary survival strategy.

[Editor's note: Mullerian mimicry describes how poisonous species evolve a similar appearance, so that predators are warned off all of the poisonous species; Batesian mimicry describes how non-poisonous species benefit by copying poisonous species.]

Not all of the Mullerian species are sentient. Several poisonous species have been domesticated. Before moving into a new territory, the sentient Mullerians drive their non-sentient mimics into the area; once local predators have either been poisoned or learnt to avoid the new creatures, the sentient Mullerians can move in without risk. Not all of the predators on the planet have been eliminated; a handful have been domesticated, and are used in the ongoing 'war' with the Batesians.

The Batesian species developed sentience early, needing the additional intelligence to copy the habits of the Mullerians. Their need to duplicate the Mullerian mating habits kept their numbers low until they achieved a form of Symphonic Awareness, less than thirty thousand years ago. The Batesians had already been using the mundane forms of Alchemy to duplicate the inherent poisons of their Mullerian fellows; once the Batesians acquired sufficient Awareness to be able to use the Alchemy skill Symphonically the different races merged, as they were able to create potions duplicating the Corporeal Song of Fruition. Within a thousand years, the current situation had arisen, where the mixed ancestry of the locals means that they cannot reproduce without the use of alchemical preparations, and all adults have the Alchemy skill and the ability to duplicate a handful of Corporeal Songs (notably, the following Songs: Fruition, Healing, Harmony[affects the individual consuming the potion only], Disease, Dreams[Allows two or more individuals to combine Dreamscapes], Charm and Poison). They cannot use Songs directly, no matter how many Forces they acquire.

Despite their mixed ancestry, the age old war between the two groups continues. As the Batesians seek to pass themselves off as Mullerians, they are often the loudest proponents of continuing the war to exterminate 'the parasites'. Further understanding of this world is best acquired by seeing which elements of the society are encouraged by which Superiors:

Michael: War seeks to eliminate the Batesian 'threat' - however, those Batesians who use the Alchemy skill to render themselves toxic to predators are considered to be Mullerian by adoption, and War will defend these Alchemists from lynching. Neither Mullerians nor Batesians are particularly combat capable, as they do not need to fight off predators nor do they compete in mating fights. When the Mullerians acquired the ability to detect Batesians, War began the process of domesticating predators. The shrewder predators swiftly learnt to hunt any being which was being ostracised by the Mullerians.

Baal: Before the Rebellion, Baal worked side by side with Michael. Since then, he adapted his strategies to become the patron of 'witch hunts' and assassins. He and Michael clash over the treatment of Batesians who seek to duplicate the Mullerian poisons - Baal eggs on those who seek to destroy them, either from a desire for 'purity' or to hide their own Batesian natures.

Also, by faking the hostility due to a Batesian, a semi-domesticated predator can be induced to attack anybody; as both predator and prey are killed by this, a ruthless individual can eliminate rivals for a mate, or destroy a suspected Batesian without personal risk. By encouraging this, Baal clashes with:

Dominic: Judgement seeks to prevent anyone, Mullerian, Batesian or domesticated predator, from judging another incorrectly. Dominic regards his most important task here to be ending the use of predators as one shot assassins. As such, he encourages the process of domestication; if a predator is trained to only hunt when given a command by a specific owner, then not only are assassinations deterred by the loss of a valuable pet, finding the murderer is simple. Sadly, this is being resisted by:

Lucifer: Light regards Mullerian/Batesian species as being 'higher lifeforms' - at least compared to humanity - and so Lucifer will deign to intervene directly. (A number of his Servitors from before the Fall serve here). Although Lucifer's actions are still rare, they are usually devastating - Lucifer has been teaching the Batesians how to duplicate specific Mullerians: in addition to stealing mates, this allows a Batesian to frame a "pet owner" for murder.

Litheroy: Revelations seeks to encourage the spread of the Alchemy skill; partly to allow the Batesians to become adoptive Mullerians, partly because of the general usefulness of the skill. Litheroy also hammers home the point that there are no 'pure breeds' on the planet - everybody is part Mullerian, part Batesian: something which is ignored by most other Superiors. As such he encourages the use of Alchemy to duplicate Mullerian poisons even when not necessary as it increases the similarities between all poisonous beings. Mullerians are highly resistant to disease, due to the poisons in their systems; Litheroy has been encouraging this and aiding the development of their Medicine skill. Revelations regards unmasking Lucifer's dopplegangers as their most important task - however, most of their time is spent resisting:

Mammon: Greed is surprisingly strong on the planet; the wide spread use of the Alchemy skill means that the raw ingredients form the basis of what passes for currency on the planet. Mammon encourages the spread of 'counterfeiting' - trading components which seem to work (but don't) and hiding potential sources. Mammon also tempts with the knowledge that it only has to look as if you are dosing yourself with poisons - better, surely, to save the components for another potion?

The Superiors have names in the local language, which will be used to describe different personality types; to be a "Michaeline", "Dominican" or "Litheroyd" is a common term, used to describe one's outlook - which make life much easier for Seraphim. Incidentally, the race name (meaning 'the people') can be used by Seraphim as it refers to ALL sentient beings, and Archangels are careful to build Vessels so that a Seraphim can Truthfully claim to be Mullerian (as the body is inherently poisonous).

Creating a Mullerian/Batesian character:

All adults have at least six Forces, although many acquire Disadvantages when they gain their sixth Force (these advantages cannot be bought off, and are identical in nature to the Discords of Nephallim/Gorgons. A starting character cannot have any other Disadvantages). Extra Forces are only possible if the character buys the potential Forces (at 4 points each) at character creation - this is not possible if the character has Disadvantages. They cannot have positive charisma (as being different is always unpopular), negative charisma cause a reaction penalty of -3 per level.


Hereditary Poisons (2 points each): The character has a poisonous nature due to their Mullerian heritage. Each poison has a Strength equal to the number of Poisons (Hereditary or Acquired) in the characters system, a Speed equal to the Characters Potential Forces minus 3, and a Duration equal to (8 minus Total Forces). A character can have a maximum of 6 Hereditary Poisons; 7 would indicate a full blood Mullerian.

Acquired Poisons (2 points each at character creation, 3 points each from then on): The character knows their own biochemistry sufficiently well to duplicate Hereditary Poisons. A character can never have more Acquired Poisons than they have levels of Alchemy. The Poisons have a strength and speed equal to the characters Alchemy skill, and a duration of (number of poisons in system) minutes squared. Acquired Poisons require no in-game upkeep.

Special Skill: Alchemy is a primary skill for all characters. Rituals are bought as normal, but do not require knowledge of the linked Song. The TN is skill level*2; time required is measured in hours rather than days.

Servants: Predators are available as servants; a level/1 Servant will have 3 Corporeal Forces and one Ethereal Force. Each additional level grants an additional Corporeal Force (maximum 5), OR a protection bonus of + 4 ( once only) or a power of +5 (once only). A level/6 Servant will also have a Celestial Force.


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