Chk’Vash are an unsettling new race on the world of Dynasty, appearing only in the last 500 years. They have already been found on every known continent and are expanding their territories slowly. They have chosen settlements far away from other people to try and avoid conflict, building massive towering hives to protect their queens. So far roughly a dozen hives have been discovered or have made contact with nearby civilizations, each ruled over by a god-queen. Each of these hives is sending out into the world missionaries to spread the word of their queens greatness, to try and build merchantile trade routes into their hive-cities and to acclimatize the peoples of Dynasty to their new neighbors. Another export are exiles, Chk’Vash that do not want to be a part of the hive, that reject their queens and strike out on their own, perhaps to start their own hive or to find a new society to be a part of.
Physical Decription: The Chk’Vash are medium insectoid creatures walking on two long thin legs that make up 2/3s of their height. Their torso, relatively small, supports two long arms that hang nearly to the creature’s knees, an angular head and a thick flexible abdomen projecting from their rear. Their legs and arms each have an extra joint in them, making them unsettling to look at for humans and demi-humans. Their feet and hands end in claws, the upper pair as dextrous as any humans although with only 4 digits, two acting like thumbs and two like large flat fingers, their lower pair well suited for running and climbing. Their heads resemble ants or mantis, supporting a pair of foot long smooth antennae. Each Chk’Vash hive has a distinct carapace colouration that their members are born with, and common to all Chk’Vash is a pair of easily noticed stripes running from behind their eyes to the tip of their abdomen. These stripes have been noted to indicate the creature’s alignment, with Good appearing as either green or yellow, Lawful as a bright red or pink stripe, Neutral as blue ranging from pale to navy, Chaotic as purple or mauve, and Evil as orange or brown.
Society: Each hive of Chk’Vash is primarily influenced by the god-queen that is at it’s centre. Good, bad or somewhere in between, they run their hives like extensions of their will: some peacefully, some aggressive, others carefully and secretive. The concept of falsehood is notably missing from Chk’Vash society, possibly due to their hive nature or the fact that their strange senses can detect falsehood easily in others. This combined with their habit of wearing their alignment on their carapace makes them a strikingly blunt and open society. They speak their wants and needs openly, and take people at their word.
Exiles notably have lost their hive, and most tend to look for a new family to join in the outside world. Many find outside religions or military forces provide adequate structure, while others find the smaller group of an adventuring troupe an adequate replacement.
Relations: The Chk’Vash as a whole are not yet completely accepted or trusted by the people of Dynasty. They are competing for the same resources, have inserted themselves into people’s lives inexplicably, and their missionaries have a habit of appearing on one’s doorstep, excitedly jabbering about a god-queen and how they should join in worship of her. Because there are significantly more peaceful hives than aggressive ones, people tend to view these missionaries as nuisances, slamming doors in their faces or telling them to find something worthwhile to do besides wasting their time.
One boon the Chk’Vash have is that they can create a second skin by cocooning themselves overnight, emerging with an almost perfect humanoid appearance. The process is disturbing to watch, and the end result, while more pleasing to the eyes of humanoids, is not perfect, and Chk’Vash are immediately apparent to not be what they appear in these forms. In public away from the hives, Chk’Vash tend to prefer being in this second skin to avoid clashing with their surroundings, but they do so at a detriment to themselves. Some Chk’Vash find the idea of hiding their true appearance abhorrent, while others are horrified and embarrassed to be seen by non-Chk’Vash without their second skin on. Society at large
Alignment and Religion: Chk’Vash hives tend to have the same alignment as their god-queen, but on a personal level their alignments are almost as varied as human culture. As a whole, Chk’Vash are more commonly good or lawful than they are chaotic or evil. The Chk’Vash primarily worship their god-queens, gaining spells and domains from them just as other cultures do from the gods that exhist in the celestial plane. Some Chk’Vash exiles have joined human or demi-human religions, taking up the creed of these gods as vigorously as they would have their god-queen.
Adventurers: Chk’Vash adventurers usually come in two primary flavours; missionaries and exiles. Missionaries take up adventuring life as part of their hive’s public relations campaign to befriend the people that live around their hive. Every adventure is a new opportunity to tell people about their hive and god-queen, every new city a place to sing the praises of their people from the street corner.
Exiles adventure for personal reasons. Some have grown disillusioned with their god-queen, or had no place in their hive, or committed some crime that could not be reconciled. Some take to adventuring to find a new home, or to find a new family. Some feel the call of wanderlust greater than they feel the call of the hive.
Chk’Vash tend towards being soldiers and priests, valuing the social structure of these organizations.
Chk’Vash Racial Traits
+2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma: Chk’Vash are hardy and perceptive, but have a hard time reading the body language of other races or perceiving social cues.
Medium: Chk’Vash are medium creatures, standing between 5 and 6 feet tall and about 2 feet wide, although their long limbs make them look bigger.
Darkvision: Chk’Vash can see in the dark up to 30 feet.
Exoskeletal Chitin: Chk’Vash physiology is significantly different from other races. Instead of gaining a bonus to hit points, the Chk’Vash gain a bonus to natural armour equal to their constitution modifier.
Insectoid Physiology: Other races have a -2 racial penalty to heal checks to tend to a Chk’Vash’s wounds, and Chk’Vash have a -2 racial penalty to tend other races wounds. Armour must be crafted specifically for a Chk’Vash, and due to their extra joints and substantially different physiology the cost for making them armour is double that of making it for normal nonstandard creatures.
Enhanced Senses: The Chk’Vash can sense when other creatures around them are lying, gaining a +2 racial bonus to sense motive.
Poor Liars: Due to their ability to detect lies, and how they wear their alignment openly, the Chk’Vash have a -2 racial penalty to bluff checks.
Second Skin: In a process that is disturbing to watch, the Chk’Vash can wrap a cocoon around themselves as they are going to bed. After a full 8 hours rest they emerge with a humanoid coating of skin hiding their insectoid features. Their arms and legs appear shorter, their torsos longer, and their heads rounder. The skin is slightly translucent and can’t completely hide that the Chk’Vash is not a true humanoid, but it makes them seem normal enough that they tend not to disturb other cultures quite as much. While not in their second skin, Chk’Vash have a -2 racial penalty to all social (Charisma based) skills, and a +2 bonus to their intimidate skill. While in their second skin, their chitin has been softened by special fluids to allow their shape to change a bit, removing their bonus to natural armour. Except in Chk’Vash hives and outposts, Chk’Vash face blatant bigotry if they do not attempt to conceal their nature, sometimes even being attacked on sight.