The Shifty Technology Specialist
Status: HP: 10/10
Action Points 1/1
Minor Leader – Once per encounter, you may slide an ally 3 squares as a Free Action. (Optimized Tactics) Additionally, once per encounter you may spend your Role Action to allow you or an ally to regain 2 HP (increase this to 3 HP at level 4 and 4 HP at level 8).
Nothing fazes you – Save at the start of your turn instead of the end. When subject to forced movement, reduce its distance by 1. When slowed, your speed is 3 instead of 2. When an enemy knocks you prone, roll a saving throw to try to stay upright.
Superhuman – Climbing, origin.
Improved Precision [At-Will] – Your next Area or Close attack may target one additional creature adjacent to the zone or exclude one creature inside the zone.
Kinetic Barricade [Encounter] – An Impassable field formed using a mass of disposable interdictors in autistic mode, flattening and ramming any approaching target. – Create a wall of 8 squares of blocking terrain within 10. The wall must be contiguous and has height equal to the width of 2 squares.
Networked Warning and Control [Encounter] – An autonomous watchdog drone cluster closely monitors a small section of the battlefield from every conceivable angle, providing constant probabilistic feedback to the networked squad. – Create a 3×3 zone centered within 10 squares. Enemies are Vulnerable 1 while in this zone. This zone lasts until the end of the encounter.
Watchdog Swarm – Moves a small group of swarm units to guard the target area.
E: Conjure a spirit in a square adjacent to the target. It lasts until the end of your next turn. Any enemy that enters a square adjacent to the spirit or the spirit’s square takes 3 damage.
Railgate System [Encounter] – Activates a close-range tandem drone suppression system, fed both by fluid cores and entire husks of individual swarm units.
Special: Summon a Fire Elemental within 10 squares. Make this attack using the Elemental as the source.
Area Coverage E: 2 damage to each creature adjacent to the Elemental
Repeating Blasts – Ongoing 1 damage (save ends)
Mobile Railgate 5 – 1×1 – 6
CQC Suppression – Any enemy that enters the zone Close 1 to the Elemental or that ends its turn there takes 1 damage.
Retaliation Protocol – Any creature within 5 squares of the Fire Elemental that deals damage to it takes 1 damage.
Consolidated Kinetic Swarm [Encounter] – Dumps the contents of the backpack’s reserve racks to produce a single tightly packed, disposable, autonomously adjusted drone swarm.
Special: Summon an Air Elemental within 10 squares. Make this attack using the Elemental as the source.
Rush E: Slide the target 6 squares.
Envelop [At-Will] E: Pull each creature in Close 2 to a square adjacent the Elemental.
Nuisance – All squares within 2 of the Air Elemental are difficult terrain, even for Flying creatures.
Hard to Target – The Air Elemental is invisible. Its location is only revealed when it attacks.
Riot Mode [Encounter] – Puts a wing of drones into a non-lethal seek-and-disarm formation.
Special: Summon a Water Elemental within 10 squares. Make this attack using the Elemental as the source.
Ferrofluidic Glue E: Target makes a saving throw. If it fails, it is incapacitated until the end of its next turn.
Liquid Bolas E: Target makes a saving throw. If it fails, it is dazed (save ends).
Riot Swarm 5 – 1×1 – 6
The Elemental’s square and all adjacent squares are obscured. The Elemental’s attacks ignore this.
If an attack misses it, the Elemental may shift one square.
Focus Fire [Encounter] [Interrupt] – Puts a part of the drone fleet into calculated synchronous firing mode to punch through enemy armor.
Trigger: An enemy takes damage Summon a Daemon of Wrath adjacent to the triggering enemy. That enemy is called the Daemon’s Focus. The Focus takes an additional 3 damage.
AP Salvo E: The next attack against the target has Advantage.
Daemon of Wrath 5 1×1 6
The Daemon of Wrath follows the Focus. When the Focus moves, the Daemon shifts to a square adjacent. While the Daemon is adjacent, the Focus has Vulnerable 1 damage. When the Focus is Taken Out, you may choose a new Focus for the Daemon.
Overcharge Signal [Encounter] [Interrupt] – The backpack’s power unit temporarily projects and routes a sparse laser grid between multiple units’ composite mirrors.
Trigger: An enemy moves.
Summon a Daemon of Sloth adjacent to the triggering enemy. That enemy is called the Daemon’s Focus. The Focus is immobilized(save ends).
Surround E: Target is slowed (save ends)
Daemon of Sloth 5 – 1×1 – 6
The Daemon of Sloth follows the Focus. When the Focus moves, the Daemon shifts to a square adjacent. While the Daemon is adjacent, the target’s Speed is halved (rounding down). When the Focus is Taken Out, you may choose a new Focus for the Daemon.
Skill: Scouting: Required to traverse much of Ancxes’ terrain.
Trick: Pain Tolerance: In order to take advantage of their regenerative capacity, all fully mature iori have the ability to fully mute even the most severe pain after an injury has taken place by deliberately dislocating their lower plexus with a specific muscle effort that simply disconnects the fibers normally carrying the appropriate signal, misjudging one’s bodily responses may sometimes lead to extra tissue damage from overexertion and tends to require a taxing degree of mental focus to maintain. Still, Ancxes-Iori rarely require any anesthesia, even for major surgeries.
Complication: Cautious: Having options for an artifically expanded lifespan since the last two generations makes many of the younger iori think twice about getting involved in any mortally dangerous situations even if the species has evolved to be able to act calmly under pressure.
Background: Heuristics Analyst
Skills: Coding, Hardware, Physics, Surveillance
Resources: Jury Rig [Making]: Can retune and scramble together various complex devices to make them perform various unintended functions.
Tricks: A Familiar Flow: A Heuristics Analyst can easily overtake and repurpose any unsecured computer system and everything networked into it via rudimentary expert apps.
The Ancxes-Iori(shortened to iori from this point on) have been members of the Protectorate for the past hundred years. Hailing from a world with an unusually strong fluctuating electromagnetic field, a dense atmosphere and a gravity value just a notch below the average. A purplish sky, practically an ocean in itself, rising colorful plumes comprised of symbiotic ferrous algae competing for light, drifting membranes that rain down petrifying agents before descending to shrink wrap and gently decompose its prey. Schools of armored lattices filter the air for the stray organic particles or perhaps a flow of spores before scattering into the depths of somewhat acidic jellified pools. Ancxes, “dwelling”, was perhaps a slight misnomer as the world was hostile enough to make regeneratory mechanisms practically a necessity for the more complex lifeforms.
With the more common types of nervous tissue rent apart by the planetary field, local nature had to find a rather unique direction to move in, a symbiosis with a common bioluminescent bacterial growth provided the ‘power supply’ for an almost entirely optical nervous system that had found its pinnacle in the Iori. Perhaps the most adaptable multi-cellular species on Ancxes, the Iori started out as a medium sized omnivorous pack hunter-scavenger that inhabited the vertical environments of the miles-deep trenches and caverns crisscrossing the landscape, capable of using rudimentary tools and enough protection to make travel across the hostile surface feasible, they spread themselves amongst the rifts, forming the first communities. Iori are adaptable even in the reproductive department, as a long-lived species that can change its sex over time to insure itself against a shortage of mates. As they learned to mimic other indigenous lifeforms, the semi-quadruped iori started hunting the skies and the seas, and legends were told of the first fires brought forth from the magma flows of the more dangerous trenches by heroic tribesmen.
As they broke their dependence on the natural, the iori still felt as if there was more to this world, a belief fed by observing their own anatomy, a contrast between the black-blue regenerative sealant that their wounded or melted skin would seep and thousands of specks of light visible on the stumps of the light-carrying fibers, they turned to worshiping the stars and the “second sky” with its moon barely visible from beyond the gaseous ocean, the Iori found their destiny believing themselves to the fallen embers of those mysterious ancestor lights, a story of either parental love or sin and punishment with a chance at redemption as some cults viewed it, and a push to colonize the surface began as they sought to claw their way back to the heavens, ironically jump starting an age of discovery. Religious rituals that exposed their innards and provided imagery of a wholly different sort as outside(or rarely, that of those conjoined) light fell onto the exposed fibers before being sealed back in once again by their limited, but fast-acting regenerative capacity turned into medical experiments as the Iori sought to understand the workings of their inner luminance.
With much of Ancxes’ life having a modular, symbiotic nature that could be exploited with just a bit of trickery, the iori found ways to staple on appendages from their livestock to replace, albeit with only partial function, permanently damaged ones within only a couple generations. Farming “unliving flesh” and sustenance for it, the iori got increasingly experimental, patchwork crawlers now providing travel across routes hiherto unseen and “high garb” that could interface with their nervous systems, and, if sewn appropriately, amplify their physical capacity, something important for the city builders of the trenches that in just a few decades became interconnected through an increasingly complex network of patched together embalmed optic fibers embedded within a rubbery, scale-forming paste, the “manifold spirit”, with the progress of technology and discovery of composite and shielded electronic devices has transformed from a rudimentary means of communication that brought the varied nations and cultures of Ancxes, rifts and geodesic bubble surface cities together, both in terms of culture, politics and commerce into a united full-fledged information network that still ran, in part, on harvested components.
For many, it became an age of prosperity and enlightenment, for a few, that of terror, as a travesty beyond comprehension took its place in Ishsu Ail, a small confederacy of well-armed rifts isolated from the Manifold that began, first in secrecy, to harvest cheap materials en masse from unwilling live iori just like they used to do to their livestock, to the point of driving one of the elder clans into extinction. As the fires from the first planetary scale conflict the world has experienced died down, the iori looked back to the second sky once again. Failure after failure, decade after decade, the last push towards a goal they stopped believing in so long ago, the iori set limb on the planet’s satellite, the homonymous Iori, “disc”, that soon became a second home for the species. An extant, albeit thin and cold, atmosphere that eased the burden of colonization, an abundance of resources, including fusion fuel that allowed the colony to become an almost entirely self-sufficient home to many scientists and entrepreneurs within a mere few decades, the moon colony ironically ended up a more hospitable place than the species’ origin, and with the combination of a lunar space elevator and an orbital tether easing travel between these two worlds, it became the center of the society now called simply, and perhaps somewhat unimaginatively, Ancxes-Iori.
After joining the Protectorate, the iori became one of the foremost suppliers of various prosthetic wares meant both as replacements and upgrades, as well as major exporters of computational technologies as direct-nervous access ports are omnipresent, and easy to install, resulting in almost-instantaneous information entry, and for those even more adventurous, full-immersion VR which also led to some iori adopting the podded lifestyle inside virtualized environments. The general lack of prejudice against body modification also led to a rise in rejuvenatory medicine, heralding an age where iori can easily double to triple their natural longevity, and as iori tend to grow throughout their entire lives before losing most tissue plasticity lending to potentially terrifying final years, the size variation within the species has changed as some choose to grow to the rather unnatural 3+ meter range before going onto growth inhibiting chemicals, delivered via a self-refilling implant.
The old Ancxes itself is a location for tourism, beckoning visitors with the splendor of the light of its dawn reflected and split, twisted into kaleidoscopic shapes by the swarms swimming in the atmospheric streams, coming with the slight caveat of having to rent and pilot a remote body from orbit unless you belong to the lucky few galactic species compatible with its environment and capable of visual perception at the same time. There is, however, a somewhat sinister aspect to this business, the covert collection of supposedly non-identifiable metrics from the remote body connections, something rumored and denied, but happening regardless, as the iori went into pursuit of machine intelligence, and while the entire Ancxes-Iori society is immersed in an ongoing debate about how AI should be handled, the interested commercial entities, including those that work in the ariadnological sector are already engaged in quietly mining data on other galactic species’ minds to work out a universal theory of, and perhaps a solution to sentient information processing.
The stars never lied to the Iori, they, just like every other living thing in the galaxy were truly borne out of the dust of stars long dead, and perhaps, the time is coming for the Iori to do the same, as some religious extremists argue, not merely design a limited, static, friendly mind, not emulate something that already exists, but create one that could evolve and and replace the ‘starborn’ themselves.
Rannamurad Yox is a researcher of the Osciqual, ‘far eyes’, an organization funded from both governmental and private pockets, assayers of different galactic species and their respective militaries, brought in when the security of the homeworld is involved, and contractors for some of the design behind the Exi Riut Ancxes, the Ancxes System Wall, a constellation of satellites spread around the Ancxes-Iori system serving as an advance warning system for potential planetary bombardments. Riyox(shortened)’s career as a heuristics analyst for learning sensor systems has lasted for almost a hundred ten years before a risky way to finance the extensive body modifications for it and its mate has presented itself, a hostile species not yet fully assayed by the Osciqual, one that may also present it with a set of neural data worth selling to the high bidders in the machine intelligence business.
Riyox isn’t visibly modified. Two barely noticeable optical shunts, a programmable neural mimic array attached to its ganglion’s minor globes and a breathing device. A two and a half meter tall frame covered in a wrapping of adaptive cloth, with typically iori owl-like red-gray ‘face’ inset with a facial disc normally used for reading the vibrations of Ancxes’ dense air and large, lidless eyes, Riyox can effortlessly shift from bipedal to quadrupedal gait as the situation requires. Still, to compensate for its lumbering form and lack of firearm training, a detachable drone hive had been installed onto a base of carbon plates fused into the exterior of Riyox’s lumen sacs, an integrated solution providing both automated and manual guidance for multiple semi-disposable and disposable drones, as well as resupply, repair and reinforcement via a dock with storage compartments and a liquid sculpturing microfactory capable of churning out tiny point defense machines capable of intercepting most hostile projectiles by sudden ramming action. In order to counteract electronic warfare, these drones typically operate on an encrypted close-range laser linkage that can go around corners via additional insect-sized signal relay units and can be(and in fact, have to be, due to the ethics guidelines adopted for potentially lethal drone systems) manually operated on an individual basis, which can, however, hinder Riyox’s control over its own body as with enough load, the system is forced to use the bandwidth normally reserved for limbs to relay the control signals. Regardless of the unusual parameters of its nervous system, Riyox has to sleep normally in order to cycle the cellular cultures in its lumen sac, however in extreme conditions, the sacs can be re-infused with an appropriate solution(and a few iori opt for the risky option of cleansing implants), serving the same niche as wakefulness drugs do for other species.