The Dsòrkit consist of three closely related subraces: the Atkàkod, the Dusqaer, and the Xiqròr. The Atkàkod (roughly 15% of the population) are the nobility of the Dsòrkit, the Dusqaer, who make up roughly 80% of the population, form the common people, they are the peasants and cannon fodder. And finally the Xiqròr (roughly 5% of the population) are the military elite of the Dsòrkit, serving as shock troops and the enforcers for the Atkàkod.
They once ruled over a large region, but have now been driven back into the blasted wasteland known as The Infertile Crescent.
Dsòrkit are militaristic and fecund, a combination that makes them quite dangerous in regions near the wasteland. They breed quickly, replacing fallen members with new soldiers and keeping up their numbers despite the fortunes of war. They generally need little reason to declare war, but more often than not that reason is to capture new slaves—life as a slave in a Dsòrkit lair is brutal and short, and new slaves are always needed to replace those who fall or are eaten.
Dsòrkit settlements are ruled by a single leader and are effectively military tyrannies with the leader (general) commanding numerous ranking subordinates (officers) each with their own subordinates (NCOs) and so on down to the grunts and labourers who make up the majority of the population. A Dsòrkit “general” can control vast swaths of territory under this system, but the Dsòrkit’s own ambitious and disloyal nature usually prevents them from forming such empires. All inhabitants of a Dsòrkit realm are effectively members of the realm’s army. Roughly one in three Dsòrkit are deemed fit for active combat duty; the remainder are relegated to the position of general labour. Labourers are technically part of the army, but are scorned and never rise above their station until they display skill in battle. For this reason, Dsòrkit labourers actively wish for attacks on their settlements so they can prove their worth in combat. Luckily for them, such attacks and raids are commonplace.
Dsòrkit are natural backstabbers who don’t hesitate to use underhanded means to get their way, but if caught, they punish their own kind ruthlessly. Each “officer” is responsible for dictating punishment within their area of responsibility, which takes one of four forms: demotion, exile, slavery, and death. Enslavement is by far the most common. Dsòrkit subjected to exile, as well as deserters, sometimes gravitate toward neighbouring societies as scavengers, bandits, gangsters, or pirates.
As a society, the Dsòrkit mistrust and even despise magic, particularly arcane magic. In its place, Dsòrkit commonly employ science and alchemy, especially that which produces smoke and fire, which they love. Burning oil, rigged mineshafts, and explosives are among the tricks of Dsòrkit alchemy and engineering Some Dsòrkit practice divine magic, however they are treated with a mix of fear and respect, and are usually forced to live alone on the fringes of the settlement.
Each of these subraces is dealt with separately below.
Of all the Dsòrkit subraces, the Atkàkod are by far the most civilized. They see the larger and more solitary Xiqròr as tools to be used where appropriate, and look upon the teaming masses of their smaller Dusqaer kin with a mix of shame and frustration. They admire Dusqaer tenacity, yet their relative weakness and innate cowardly nature make them un deserving in Atkàkod eyes.
Atkàkod are nearly the same height as a human. Their round, hairless heads sit atop wide, thick necks, and their long, tattered ears flank a pair of savage orange eyes. Their dull, gray-green skin is coarse and largely devoid of hair. Their short, powerful legs coupled with their long, muscular arms grants the hobgoblin vague similarities with that of a brutish ape.
Every Atkàkod in a settlement receives military training, with those who excel serving in the army and the rest left to serve more menial roles. Those deemed unfit for military service have little social status, barely rating above favoured slaves. Despite this, Atkàkod society is egalitarian after a fashion. Gender and birth offer no barrier to advancement, which is determined almost solely by each individual’s personal merit. Atkàkod eschew strong attachments, even to their young. Matings are matters of convenience, and are almost always limited to those of equal rank. Any resulting baby is taken from its mother and forcibly weaned after 3 weeks of age. Young mature quickly—most take no more than 6 months to learn to talk and care for themselves. An Atkàkod ‘s childhood last a scant 14 years, a mirthless span filled with brutal training in the art of war.
Many Atkàkod combine their love of warfare with keen intellects. The science of siege engines, alchemy, and complex feats of engineering fascinate most Atkàkod, and those who are particularly skilled are treated as heroes and invariably secure high-ranking positions in the realm. Slaves with analytical minds are quite valued, and as such raids on the Ukrixan cities are commonplace.
Atkàkod characters have the following game-specific (3.5) characteristics
- Stat Adjustments: +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution.
- Size: Medium (As Medium creatures, Atkàkod have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size).
- Movement: An Atkàkod’s base land speed is 30 feet.
- Darkvision: Atkàkod have Darkvision out to 60 feet.
- Stealth: Atkàkod get a +4 racial bonus on Move Silently checks.
- Favoured Class: Fighter.
- Level adjustment: +1 ECL.
The Dusqaer are by far the most numerous of the Dsòrkit, and they are the serfs of the society, viewed as little more than beasts by their larger and stronger compatriots. The name Dusqaer itself means “runt” in the Dsòrkit language.
A Dusqaer is basically a small emaciated version of an Atkàkod with green skin and a more human face. They are roughly the size of a Halfling, standing roughly three feet tall. Their skin tends to be leathery, often covered in scars, and scabs. Dusqaer grow little, if any, hair, relying on their thick skin and huddling together in groups to keep warm. Being the serfs of the Dsòrkit society, Dusqaer often dress in rags and scraps cast off by others and bear coarsely cobbled-together equipment.
Many non-Dsòrkit races find it hard to distinguish between male and female goblins, though they do possess the appropriate organs. Given their squalid hand-to-mouth existence, excessive weight is seen as a desirable attribute, and indeed, obesity is considered a sign of beauty among female Dusqaer.
Dusqaer babies are almost completely self-sufficient very shortly after birth, and such infants are treated almost like pets. Many Dusqaer raise their children communally in cages or pens where adults can largely ignore them. Mortality is high among young Dusqaer, and when the adults fail to feed them or food runs low, youths learn at an early age that cannibalism is sometimes the best means of survival.
Dusqaer characters have the following game-specific (3.5) characteristics.
- Stat Adjustments: -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity,-2 Charisma.
- Size: Small size (+1 bonus to Armour Class, +1 bonus on attack rolls, +4 bonus on Hide checks, –4 penalty on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits 3/4 those of Medium characters).
- Movement: A Dusqaer’s base land speed is 30 feet.
- Darkvision: Dusqaer have Darkvision out to 60 feet.
- Stealth: Dusqaer get a +4 racial bonus on Move Silently and Hide checks.
- Favoured Class: Rogue.
A Xiqròr is a medium humanoid, rising to the same height as a human, though they often stoop, making them look considerably shorter and more bestial. Short, dark fur spreads all across its powerful, hulking frame. Its large ears hang loosely from its skull, and its eyes are unnaturally large – almost alien. It is not unusual for Xiqròr to reach nearly 7 feet in height and they always weigh more than humans, some even reaching 400 pounds.
Within Dsòrkit society the Xiqròr serve as the elite shock troops and the enforcers, terrorizing the Dusqaer into obedience to the Atkàkod.
Xiqròr characters have the following game-specific (3.5) characteristics.
- Stat Adjustments: +4 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, –2 Charisma.
- Size: Medium (As Medium creatures, Xiqròr have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size).
- Movement: A Xiqròr’s base land speed is 30 feet.
- Darkvision: Xiqròr have Darkvision out to 60 feet.
- Racial Hit Dice: A Xiqròr begins with 3 levels of “humanoid” which give it 3d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +2, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +1, Ref +3, and Will +1.
- Racial Skills: A Xiqròr humanoid levels give it skill points equal to 6 x (2 + Int modifier). Its class skills are Climb, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search, and Spot.
- Racial Feats: A Xiqròr humanoid levels give it two bonus feats.
- Armour Class: Xiqròr have a +3 natural armour bonus.
- Stealth: Xiqròr get a +4 racial bonus on Move Silently checks.
- Favoured Class: Rogue.
- Level Adjustment: +1 ECL.