Embers of Empires
With their metallic gray skin and featureless eyes, the independent and self-sufficient Nanok are as at home in the vacuum of space as on a planet’s surface. When their home-world was destroyed by a mysterious alien probe, this species adapted and overcame, and now travel the stars as natural spacefarers while always searching for a way to save their dying species.
Nanok (singular and plural) are a race of nanotech cyborgs. They were originally a fully biological race, but used highly advanced nanotechnology to to transform them so as to allow them to survive a cataclysm that destroyed the only planet in their home solar system. Nanok are capable of living in the airless void of space, subsisting on sunlight and very small amounts of minerals and radioactive isotopes mined from asteroids. Physically, Nanok appear very much like humans, but with silver or gray skin. Their eyes are featureless and reflective, and can be any color in the rainbow. Many are hairless, but others have black, white, or gray head and facial hair.
Once, the Nanok were a terrestrial race, much like humans. Their planet, Nanos 4, was a veritable garden, with shining seas, tranquil forests and sprawling metal cities. Then came the Xenoprobe, an ancient alien artifact of unknown origin or purpose. With no warning, it entered the system and collided with Nanos 4, sinking through the crust down into the planet’s core. In short order, the planet began to break apart, killing billions. Not yet having mastered space travel, the Nanok had never traveled further than their three moons, and had no means of escape. It was only the quick thinking of a daring scientist, Atok, which allowed any of the Nanok to survive. He used an experimental process that allowed specially-treated Nanok to be tranformed so as to become beings capable of surviving in the void of space. A scant few hundred thousand managed to survive as Nanos 4 was reduced to a scattered asteroid belt. Within a few centuries, the Nanok and their descendants managed to create a civilization free of the bounds of gravity and atmosphere, but even now, the genetic diversity of the species has become too homogeneous due to the mass death, and the race is dying out. Some Nanok search the stars for a means of saving their species and civilization, while others merely wait for the end.
The Nanok greatly value self-sufficiency, and so tend to come off as aloof or non-social. However, they can be very loyal to those with whom they have developed a friendship. They are somewhat collectivist, and believe strongly in doing what they can for their current community. Nanok society is separated fairly rigidly into a complex caste system based on division of labor. Castes exist for laborers, mechanics, scholars, warriors, politicians, clergy, and so on. Their caste is displayed visibly by the shape and color of a gemstone-like node on their forehead.
Nanok names are formed from the name of their caste followed by their personal name, which is usually two syllables long, beginning and ending in a consonant. Among other species, they normally use just their personal name.
Caste Names: Beret (laborer), Jerek (engineer), Katik (scholar), Temek (warrior), Sudot (politician), Zonok (priest).
Male Names: Batik, Jeson, Kador, Marik, Matok, Tamon
Female Names: Latis, Mayim, Rowan, Seral
Typical Nanok Aspects
Born in the Void
Invoke: You are acting in vacuum and/or zero-gravity. “Use your arms as well as your legs. Try to keep up, people.”
Compel: Sometimes you forget to calculate for gravity and air pressure. “Why do you people make the floors so hard?!”
Invoke: With reflective, featureless eyes, you have a great poker face. “How many shots left do I have on this magazine? Good question… try something and find out.”
Compel: It can be hard to read your emotions. “No one can tell when I’m joking…”
Son of a dying race
Invoke: You’ve lost more than anyone can imagine, and it’s tough to frighten or discourage you. “You have a gun. Very impressive. Any other trivia you want to point out, or can we get on with the hostage situation?”
Compel: Sometimes you get melancholy, and others can tell. “I just want to be left alone right now.”
Survival at any cost
Invoke: You are acting to save your life. “Stop panicking and hand me the wirecutters. Fusion detonators don’t defuse themselves.”
Compel: You make suggestions and demands that others may find disturbing. “Here, take the laser torch. You can’t cut through your manacles, but I know where we can get you a new hand.
Disease/Venom Immunity (-1): Nanok are immune to all poisons and diseases.
Doesn’t Breathe (-1): Nanok metabolism is fully sealed and solid-state, and doesn’t require taking in or releasing gases.
Environmental Immunity (-1): Nanok are immune to the effect of extreme environments, including the vacuum of space.
Immortal (0): Nanok were always long-lived. Since their technological transformation, they are effectively ageless.
Regeneration (0): Nanok’s internal self-repair systems will eventually fully repair any injury that does not kill them. Their healing rate is about the same as that of a human, but they do not scar, and can re-grow lost body parts.
Ionic Thrust (-1): By manipulating ionic fields around his skin, a Nanok may move in any direction, as if flying, but only in zero-gravity or very weak gravity. Nanok take no penalty to moving and acting in zero gravity.
Survivor Guilt (+1): The Nanok are a dying race. Any particular Nanok has seen nearly his entire species eradicated. This has left the remaining Nanok in a state similar to chronic depression. The GM may compel this as an aspect for free once per session; resisting it costs 2 fate points.
Blindsight (-1): The Nanok can see not only through their eyes, but by taking in broad-spectrum radiation through their entire surface, even through clothing or most armor. This allows them to see in what would be total darkness to many species, and through most obscuring conditions.
Radio Communication (0): The Nanok naturally communicate through radio waves produced by their skin, although they can speak in a human manner as well. They can communicate via radio as if they were equipped with short-range communicators.