Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ordinn: Screaming Jays

The Ordinn were designed and developed by a cadre of Genartists and Militant Adepts during the height of the first great war over the control of the gates back to Old Earth. They were highly effective combatants noted for their ferocity, cleverness and sheer bloodthirstiness. Ordinn were originally bred as biotroops, then enslaved, and eventually they were able to earn their freedom and became mercenaries. Their success in winning their so-called freedom came at a steep price--they were infected with a virux that nearly exterminated them overnight. The virux was one that they were born with--a failsafe precaution built into their very bones by their designers.

This enraged the survivors.

The remaining Ordinn pulled every dirty trick and secret favor they had learned or earned in the course of their impressive careers and began to modify themselves. They hacked the virux lodged inside their skeletons and converted it into a weapon that they then used to hunt down and eliminate their original designers.

It took decades, but eventually the core group of designers known to have worked together to develop the Ordinn were unavailable. They had all seemingly disappeared and were for various reasons unrecoverable.

Rumors persist to this day of the terrible things that the Ordinn are believed to have done to their creators, but nothing has ever been proven, and the Ordinn neither admit nor deny anything.

Physical Appearance
The Ordinn are immediately recognizable for their blue, black and white feathered heads with distinctive pointed crests. Powerfully-built theriocephalic hybridized-humanoids, the Ordinn have been designed with the heads of stylized blue jays. Most Ordinn are wingless, though some have patterns of feathers down along their backs and upper arms. Some have talon-like feet, but most have human-like hands (often with talon-tipped fingers). They are very muscular and their bones are honeycombed and reinforced with a nanofilamentous support structure that is a hold-over from their origins as biomorphic shocktroops. Many Ordinn still exhibit a variety of other, mostly minor military modifications which they pass down through their bloodlines.

Ordinn are oviparous, warm-blooded, and predominantly tribal in social orientation. They prefer woodlands and dense forests to deserts or the open ocean, especially since very few of them can swim all that well. Primarily vegetarians, the Ordinn will ritually drink the blood of especially fierce and powerful enemies.

Few, if any Ordinn ever possess but the most basic of aptitudes or access to nanoplasm. For the most part, they are considered a benighted, savage people who are the lingering remnants of a weapons system that happened to incorporate some vaguely human-like components. The Ordinn are not generally well thought of, nor do they particularly hold a high opinion of Civilization. They do grow jealous at times of the advantages that so many take for granted, but they are a strategically inclined genoculture. Where others see limitations, the Ordinn see a challenge to their military aptitude, a problem to solve not through violence, but through guile and cunning.

Cultural Aspects
Humanoids are alternative or parallel forms of human designed or developed genocultures that are not strictly human in their make-up. This limits their Inheritance and often denies them access to the benefits taken for granted by human Inheritors. The Ordinn are not only humanoids, they are also amalgams of human-derived and animal-derived genetics, making them hybrids, and thus even less entitled in terms of their Inheritance.

Ordinn are not as attracted to the cities or large-scale settlements as their cousins the Crows are. They tend to prefer to find isolated hunting grounds amidst the unregistered regions just outside the bounds of Civilization. Many of their tribal bands are migratory, even nomadic, following the changing seasons as they slip through one gate after another. Very few Ordinn prefer to remain rooted to any one location for very long. Perhaps this is some sort of sublimated memory of how their ancestors were ruthlessly exterminated in various conflicts during the Dark Ages.

Originally developed as a form of mercenary servitor-species, the Ordinn have managed to free themselves and have never served another human in over a dozen generations. Ordinn will never willingly serve anyone as a mercenary especially, ever again. The very thought will provoke them to great anger and they carry the imprint of warriors deep within their very cells. Only a fool or someone with a deathwish starts a fight with the Ordinn. They have been known to drag an enemy far beyond the Perimeter so as to stash the corpse where Recovery is either impossible or cost prohibitive.

A few exceptional individuals will leave their ancestral territories and seek education and experience within the Citystates, Empires or other social collectives. These Ordinn tend to pursue academic careers as sorcerer-artists more than anything else. They are also very secretive about their actual studies, rarely display anything but the most minimal of their abilities or personal projects and at the end of their studies they go back to their tribes where they teach what they have learned and developed (or sometimes appropriated...) to those tribe-members who have the aptitude and inclination to learn from them.

The sorcerer Ordinn then lead raids back across the gates to steal nanoplasm from the fringes of Civilization. Sometimes they take other things as well, when the situation presents itself.

Sorcerer warbands of Ordinn are truly weird things to encounter out past the Perimeter.

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