Chronicles of Orion's Arm
The Felx (the term is both singular as well as plural) are a created race, from the early period of human interstellar history (pre-Terran Union) when man experimented in creating worker races based from gene-splicing humans with Terran animal stock in order to take advantage of the natural abilities of animals not possessed by humankind. While ultimately unsuccessful, several of these hybrid races got away from their creators, resulting in several ‘new’ races to populate the galaxy. Perhaps the most prolific and successful of these races is the Felx.
The Felx, or Feline-X, were originally designed from predatory animals from Earth, including lions, tigers, panthers, and others. Different species were originally created to take advantage of the various feline race’s ability to operate in their natural environments, such as jungle, woods, and savanna. These gene-spliced and grown in clone vats species were originally designated as Feline-L, Feline-T, Feline-P, and so on. It was only generations later, after decades of cross-breeding, that the Feline-X designation came into being, and years after that before the race began calling themselves “Felx”.
Felx are human-sized, furred, whiskered, and have a tail like their feline counterparts. They possess clawed hands and feet, giving them a natural weapon better than fists, but they can choose not to use claws, if desired. Coloration can be any that range through the Terran feline species. Felx wear clothing similar to humans. Those serving in the Union military wear the uniform issued by the respective military branch, with the main difference from humans being allowance for their tails. Outside the need to comport to a cultural need, Felx clothing can vary from human norms to much less, depending on the individual.
Of course, being an offshoot from Terran species, they are most at home at 1.0 G, and they can exist in any temperature extreme as humans, although extremely warm climates can fatigue them rapidly. They see well in dim lighting, but standard illumination does not bother them.
Felx are amazingly Quick, and are naturally predisposed to climbing, jumping, and the like. They can see and hear better than humans, and have their tails for improved balance. They can be excellent tracker and survivalists, but are equally skilled at operating in urban environments when needed. Their increased cranial capacity make them as good as anyone at technological pursuits as well.
Naming conventions vary depending on how far removed the individual Felx may be from human cultures. Those who are accustomed to human society tend to have naming similar to humans, but can have odd first names based on what humans might name a pet. Those who have grown up in Felx-dominated societies or in alien enclaves may have more tribal sounding names, such as “Graw, son of Argur, grandson of Hach the one-eyed”, or similar nomenclatures.
Felx are of two cultural minds as well, also dependent upon how far removed they are from their Terran roots. They are very comfortable existing among their human ancestors, but when removed from that cultural norm, they can adopt cultural norms than can be fairly distant from their genetic homeworld.
The race does not possess it’s own language, but the growls, hisses, and purrs of their ancestors do convey emotional context. Usually, Felx adopt Union Standard as the linguistic norm, except for a few isolated areas where they may have adopted another language based on the local racial make up or political demands. While not a language as such, the race can interpret the meaning of sounds from non-elevated Terran felines as well.
Felx tend to be somewhat militaristic due to having been initially designed for military and para-military needs. However, they can run the gamut of careers, although due to their obligate carnivore nature, they are seldom found as farmers, for example.
Their sleep requirements, while not as severe as their Terran cousins, still can be long by many racial standards, and that can be a bit off-putting to members of other races who may feel slighted when put off in favor of the afternoon nap. Felx prefer to sleep with others, whether that be a mate, a friend, their children, or even another species if the relationship bond is close enough.
Family prides tend to stick together, but there are exceptions, and individual Felx are frequently found all over Orion’s Arm. Families tend to diversify to support each other. A few will seek out various careers to support the pride; others might be nurses to see to the health of the family, and others still are committed to rearing the cubs. Gender, save for providing milk for young cubs, is of little concern to Felx, but vestiges of patriarchal and matriarchal societal divisions do remain.
Felx are very good at serving on a starship as well. They can readily adapt to the hierarchical structure of Navy life and officer job specializations. While not the most technological bunch, there are plenty of other areas to serve on a Naval vessel. As the race was elevated by humankind, they grew accustomed to interstellar travel and higher technologies quickly.
Mated Felx can breed as often as they desire in most cases, up to 3 times per year, though mothers who have just given birth are usually not anxious to do so again immediately. Litters range from 1 to 3. Cubs remain at home, with the mother while they are still nursing, but any adult member of the pride may teach them after that period. While bonding with both the mother and the father is desirable, the cubs are taught that all members of the pride are important. Cubs will begin a more regimented education at about age 4. By age 14, they are ready to begin specialized learning with a career in mind, which frequently takes three years, at which point they leave the pride to pursue their careers or a more specialized educational path, such as technical school, a college, or a military posting.
Many Felx can find themselves wandering the spaceways for a time if they are not moved to return to their pride. This period is frequently termed a “walkabout”, an old Terran custom. The Felx finishes maturing during this period, and then either returns home and rejoins the pride, or sets off to find his or her own way in the galaxy.
Many Felx were content to live their lives within the structure provided by the Terran Union. However, a few hundred years ago, a large group of Felx split off from the Union and set off on their own. They now have their own set of worlds, a couple hundred, and over time the two cultures now bump up against each other. This occasionally causes friction between the Union and Felx, but thus far has not yet resulted in warfare. The Union views the Felx as a potential annoyance; the Felx look at their counterparts as dangerous to their preferred way of life.
Felx Character Creation
All Felx Adventurers start with the following:
• 2 of their starting ability points are assigned to Quick due to their feline agility (the other four can be distributed at the player’s discretion).
• They have additional starting skills of Acrobatics 1 and Climb 1 due to natural aptitude. They still get the usual six more skill points (2 for job and four to choose as the player desires) to assign.
• Felx have a tail, although it is not prehensile.
• Sight and Hearing Perception checks are made at a +1.
• They can never have more than 4 Hero Points at any one time. Additional points are automatically lost.
OTHER HUMAN-ANIMAL HYBRIDIZATIONS