The S’saran are a reptilian race, resembling a cross between a terrestrial komodo dragons and a terrestrial gila monster. They are blackish green in color, with visible scales, and no fur. They developed from a larger killer omnivore. Each of them has two hands, each with three fingers and an opposing thumb. Each foot has four toes. The feet and hands are webbed. S’saran have small scales, as per their reptilians ancestry, but they are warm-blooded like mammals. S’saran are omnivorous and have flat teeth.
Being semi-aquatic creatures, S’saran feel at home both above and below water. As part of their aquatic adaptation, S’saran have a gill slit on each side of their throats which filter oxygen out of fresh and salt water. S’saran also possess underwater vision of exceptional quality.
Average Size: 2.2 m
Average Mass: 200 kg
Average Life-span: 220 yrs
Reproduction: Heterosexual, viviparous
Body Temp: 34 degrees C
The S’saran evolved from highly adaptive land dragons. These creatures evolved into four known sub-races based on region: the Kasvak, the Kasmier, the Talsoth, and the Varnath.
The Kasvak evolved from a grassland-dwelling land dragon that used the horn for defense and the green coloration for camouflage. These S’saran have green scales, a long tail, and a short, curved horn protruding from the top of their skulls. The horn varies in color from one Kasvak to another (from white to green). It is light-colored at birth and darkens with age. Certain Kasvak S’saran have perfected a specific martial art using these head horn as a weapons.
New Racial Edge: Priz’zoth (Prerequisite: Kasvak S’saran, Seasoned) – The S’saran gains an extra martial arts attack using the head horn. STR+d6 damage.
While the other subraces have small but visible scales, the Kasmier S’saran have the appearance of smooth skin, their scales being visible only by magnification. Coloration is green to green-brown. This variety of S’saran also sport a large crest of red or orange skin that runs from the base of the neck to the tip of the skull. The tail of the Kasmier S’saran is covered with horny spikes. Like the Kasvak S’saran, the Kasmier have developed a martials art, but in this case it is for using the tail.
The Kasmier evolved from a swamp-dwelling land dragon that had to contend with particularly dangerous predators. The head crest, which resembles a native marsh plant, was used to help the Kamier with concealment.
New Racial Edge: Sal’ola (Prerequisite: Kasmier S’saran, Seasoned) – The S’saran gains an extra martial arts attack using the tail horn. STR+d6 damage.
A Talsoth has beige to dark brown scales, a heavy tail, and a horned ridge running from its extended snout to the tip of the tail. They developed from the forest and plains dwelling land dragons that used the coloration for camouflage. Talsoth prefer fresh water. As the Talsoth grow older and more experienced in their own body chemistry, they learn to change the skin coloration to camouflage themselves in natural surroundings.
New Racial Edge: Natural Camouflage (Prerequisite: Talsoth S’saran, Seasoned) +2 Stealth due to natural camouflage when in natural surroundings.
Varnath are bright to dark green and have a very narrow whiplike tail. They are descendants of the land dragons that were native to the jungles and rain forests. Varnath have thin limbs and are lighter than the other subraces. Like the Talsoth, the Varnath have natural camouflage ability that develops over time.
New Racial Edge: Natural Camouflage (Prerequisite: Varnath S’saran, Seasoned) +2 Stealth due to natural camouflage when in natural surroundings.
Skaras, their homeworld was a human normal world, with 1.1 G-gravity, and a little warmer than human norm. It is predominantly swampy world. Evolving from a reptilian species perhaps not dissimilar to the Terran dinosaur. For a time they lived in peace enjoying prosperity as their civilization grew and they colonized their system. Soon, however, the Sathar-Sissqarans Union became aware of the S’saran and regarded them as both a threat and a challenge to overcome.
The Union descended in waves on the unsuspecting planets. The S’saran, not used to full-scale war, fought bravely against their invaders, but to no avail. With their defenses decimated and racial destruction imminent, the S’saran government prepared dozens of starships to transport hundreds of thousands of citizens on a large-scale exodus to a new world. To save as many beings as possible, all of the starships were filled to capacity with passengers placed in stasis.
The majority of the computer-guided vessels were launched in the direction of the Expanse sector, although some ships were sent in other directions. The S’saran had earlier intercepted radio signals from the Expanse that were part of a plan by the Pan-Galactic Corporation to contact other sentient races in hopes of developing more interstellar trade. The S’saran did not send all of their ships in that direction, lest the signals proved to be a Union trick.
The main body of the S’saran starships eventually entered the Theseus system and were intercepted by alerted UPF vessels. Only a few thousand S’saran were released from stasis at first, until space could be found on other worlds on which they could settle. In 10 years, two hundred thousand S’saran have lived and worked throughout the Expanse, but nineteen S’saran starships (with over 500,000 colonists aboard, in stasis) remain in solar orbit at Theseus. Finding space for these beings was a problem, though plans were underway to ship them to Lossend (Timeon).
By the end of the Sathar War, the S’saran homeworld was rendered near uninhabitable. The UPF and the Council of Worlds have strive to re-established a their homeworld using various terraforming techniques they developed.
S’saran senses are roughly equivalent to those possessed by Humans. They have a slightly more acute sense of vision and, as noted before, can see well underwater. S’saran do have a more acute sense of smell than humans, about equal to a Vrusk’s.
Speech and Languages
S’saran are able to speak in the same manner as Humans, and many can communicate in Pan-Gal common, Human, and Yazirian languages with ease. S’sarans tend to lisp. When angered the S’sarans hiss loudly and bear their teeth. The S’saran primary language, Kes’ssa, is a series of hisses specially toned to create a distinct language. There are four S’saran subraces have their own languages as well. Additionally, there is an obscure language called Alatura – the religious language. No non-S’saran is allowed to use or learn this language.
Before the war, the S’saran were a lazy race. They respected laid back attitudes, but also responsibility. If it is not their responsibility, they believe someone else can do it. But if it is their responsibility, they will execute it excellently. However, after the invasion, the destruction of the world changed their slightly. S’saran now stress two beliefs above all others in their society: individuality and freedom. Having an uncaring attitude for authority, S’sarans detest dictatorships and prefer very loosely structured governments, though they will obey it if convinced it is for the common good. Their belief in self-reliance made it hard for the S’saran to accept the aid of the UPF at first. They really had little other choice, though.
The S’saran do not like the Vrusks because of their manipulative ways. However, they respect Vrusks for their drive. S’saran are respectful of the other races, but they are particularly fascinated by the Dralasite. Humans and S’saran get along well. Yazirians are another matter. Though Yazirians and S’saran are alike in certain social, political, and family matters. The S’saran find the former rude, insulting, and pushy.
S’saran have a strong philosophy of balance. Everything should be in balance, and they believe in a in a concept similar to kharma. From this sense of balance comes a honor ocde that requires the S’saran to always balance out their actions. Not all S’saran adhere to this honor code absolutely. Most try to at least balance out the major things. Balancing usually means accompanying a bad deed witha good deed. The S’saran have a strong sense of right and wrong. A species dependent on balance would have to.
Social Structure and Standards
S’saran homeworld and it’s colonies are predominantly republican democracies with a strong influence from the Church. There are variations from colony to colony, but most all have a strong tie to the Church.
The S’saran primary religion is called the Church of Y’ok’tila. It resembles, in many way, the old Terran Catholic church, with confessionals and large cathedrals. It has a strong focus on concepts like karma and enlightenment. It blames the downfall of the S’saran homeworld on the laziness and apathy of the old S’saran society and pushes discipline and vigilance in the daily lives all S’saran – a Balance of Spirit. That balance is a source of debate within the Church however. At one time, the Church was rather heavy handed at times on those that are not as devout. The Church maintains their own small templar and inquisitor forces, sanctioned by the S’saran ruling council, to enforce the Church doctrine of Balance within S’saran society is threatened. That is seen now as anything that might threaten the S’saran people as a race.
S’saran have large, extended families. Because their young develop so rapidly (reaching adult size in five years), “nuclear families” would be short-lived. Education and socialization of the young are handled within each clan, or vik’osh which may consist of hundreds of individuals living within the same general area. S’sarans are inter-fertile despite their racial types, and a vik’osh may have members of all four subraces within it. vik’osha may compete with each other over business or personal matters, but violent crime among them is almost unknown. They are too aware of their own near extinction as a race from the Union attacks.
S’saran are extremely touchy about comments regarding them as a species. Any insult against a single S’saran is easily taken as a slur against the race as a whole, even if the S’saran in question belongs to another vik’osh. S’sarans tend to be overprotective of their fellow clan members, even as they recognize the importance
of standing on one’s own two feet. This causes such stress for them that they will not willingly discuss it with someone of another species.
S’sarans are something of a paradox to other races, as they are both gentle and kind as well as vengeful and brutal. Among friends and vik’osh, S’sarans are pleasant, cheerful, and absolutely loyal. But in the presence of a hated enemy, a S’saran rage and fury can be frightening. A wrong done to a S’saran will not be forgotten by any of them, and making amends can be difficult.
The horrifying losses that they took in their war with the Union have made S’sarans a militant race. They tend to purchase large quantities of arms. Groups of them have expressed interests in creating their own military force in hopes to someday return to their homeland and restoring their great kingdoms.
S’Saran have three to four names. The first two are common and vik’osh names. If the S’saran performed a certain important deed,he may receive an honorific to signify this accomplishment. The most important of all names, however, is the tarish satimu (“sacred name”). According to S’saran religious beliefs, the tarish satimu is a part of the owner’s very soul. Only the particular S’saran and his vik’osh know this name. If someone else were to find out a S’saran’s tarish satimu, it would be considered an insult of the worst kind, and the S’saran would attempt to regain his honor through a duel of some sort, usually to the death. This practice has eroded under contact with the races of the Federation, though sacred names are still considered very important.
Semi-Aquatic (+1): The S’saran can hold their breath for 15 minutes before checking for drowning. They gains free d4 in Swimming and their Pace in water is equal to his Swimming skill.
Natural Weapon: Retractable Fangs (+1) – The S’saran can cause extra damage, when biting, by inserting his retractable fangs into a victim. Strength+d6 damage. The S’saran doesn’t count as an unarmed defender
Natural Weapon: Claws: Strength+d6 damage. The S’saran doesn’t count as an unarmed defender
Immune to Poison (+2): All S’saran are immune to poison. They know when they have been poisoned, because their body recognizes it.
Environmental Weakness (Cold) (-1): The S’saran suffers a –4 penalty to resist cold. If the S’saran suffers an attack based on that form, the attacks gains +4 bonus to damage.
Hindrance – Outisder (-1): Because of the nature of their arrival to the region, the S’saran are seen as outsiders and intruders.