Sun Jackels

White anubisWhite anubis

The Sun Jackels understand the stratified nature of the
multiverse, and in their wish to ascend closer to heaven,
they built their strongholds on the tops of pyramids, so Ancient ways by darknatasha
that religious observances and rituals could be conducted
as close as possible to the divine realm of the sky. While
later cultures saw and copied the Jackels structures in
their own building styles, it was the Sun Jackels who first
perfected the form. Primeval pyramidal structures that
date back to the Flesh Wars still contain bloodthirsty
Sun Jackels.

Full-grown Sun Jackel stand 7 feet tall and resemble
ebony-hued, jackal-headed humanoids—mostly. Different
types of Sun Jackels were crafted for different
purposes in the ancient war, and thus their outward forms
might vary. All types of Sun Jackels can interbreed,
though the progeny of such unions is never a hybrid of
two forms—it is always one of the original forms created
by Nikrowd.

Sun Jackels come in three distinct types: the marrusault,
the marrulurk, and the marrutact. Marrusaults are
brutish warriors; marrulurks are sly assassins; and the
powerful but rare marrutacts command their brethren
in the event of a skirmish and provide magical support.
In the long periods between conflicts, marrutacts also
lead their sibling Sun JAckels. Many other types of
Nikrowd spawn were crafted, but most of those rarely breed
true; their bloodlines have been lost along with that of
their progenitor.

For years without number, lingering spawn
were content in their small, isolated communities at
the center of lonely tracts of endless waste, worshiping
their progenitor and engaging in the demanding
tasks required to eke out an existence in a blasted land.
In more recent centuries, the Sun Jackels have endured
an increasing number of incursions by adventurers and
desert settlers into their own territories. One marrutact,
called Wisdom, finally moved beyond the rituals that had
kept his race mollified and in perpetual decline in the
lost desert sands. In a bold move, Wisdom broke with
the rituals of centuries—he claimed to have received a
message from the ancient progenitor: Expand forth
from the waste and wipe clean from the earth all that are
not spawned of the Nikrowd.

Sun JAckels are scattered into hidden communities
called crèches. Thus, many spawn have yet to
hear of Wisdom’s proclamation. About half the time,
those that do hear the message believe the proclamation
to be false, and these have declared Wisdom a false
prophet. In some ancient places, the wars of the Sun Jackels
have resumed as a result. In other places, spawn
newly converted to Wisdom’s ideals spread outward,
when all other sentient creatures are eradicated will
the progenitors return.

Sun Jackels speak Marru, the ancient language of
their progenitor. Those that break their racial conditioning
and become renegades might learn Common, if
they make it far enough from their crèches before being
hunted down by others .

COMBAT
Though different types of spawn have unique
individual abilities, the race as a whole enjoys several
common traits.
Discriminating Hearing (Ex): A spawn can
hear across great distances with ease, gaining a +4 racial
bonus on Listen checks. A spawn’s hearing is so
sensitive that it can sense the presence of most creatures
merely by the sound of their breathing, their heartbeat,
or their movement if they are within 30 feet.
When a spawn detects a noise, the exact location
of the source is not revealed—only its presence
somewhere within range. A spawn can take a move
action to note the direction of the sound. Whenever a
spawn comes within 5 feet of the source, it can
pinpoint the sound’s location. Undead, constructs, and
other creatures that have no metabolism are not subject
to being detected by discriminating hearing unless they
move—in any round when they move, they are detectable
by the sound they make while moving through
the air or shuffling along the ground. Only incorporeal
creatures are completely undetectable, unless they wish
to be detected.
Resistance to Dessication (Ex): Centuries of life in
the waste afford spawn the ability to cope with
thirst and reduced fluid intake. A spawn thus gains
resistance to dessication damage 10. Whenever a spawn
is subject to magical dessication damage,
that damage is reduced by 10 before being applied to
the Sun Jackel’s hit points.
A spawn also takes no nonlethal or lethal damage
from failing Constitution checks to avoid becoming
dehydrated , although it might still become
fatigued if it fails a check. If a spawn ever becomes
dehydrated, whether due to natural causes or another effect
(such as a spell), it needs to drink only a mouthful of water
to lose that condition. A Sun Jackel also requires only
half as much water in a day as is normally required for a
creature of its size.

Sun Jackel SOCIETY
The Sun JAckels, or “the Crafted,” as they sometimes
refer to themselves, are a society of small cells that contain
a selection of marrusaults and marrulurks,
each led by a few (and often just one) marrutacts.
Typically, many cells coexist together
in the body of ancient structures (often
shaped like pyramids) honeycombed
with chambers, each subsisting in uneasy
alliance or open warfare with
the other cells. Other cells exist in
lone structures in the waste, the
resident spawn within
even more isolated than their
brethren. The constant adherence
to strict rules laid
down by Nikrowd keep
the Sun Jackels occupied
with rituals of loyalty and remembrance,
despite Nikrowd
being long disapeared. When rituals
do not beckon, the chores
of eking out life in a waste
take most of the remaining
waking time a Sun Jackel
might otherwise have to grow
bored or unhappy with its limited
existence.
When Sun Jackel reach a
certain age, they are old enough
to breed. In any given year,
a single marruspawn capable of reproducing is chosen
and sent to a secret location in the
waste that serves as the core of the race’s continued
survival. This location is rumored to be a pyramid so
vast that even the tip jutting from the earth reaches
a height of several hundred feet. Called the Cradle, it
is said to contain sections sealed since the disapearance
of Nikrowd, Sun Jackel types other than marrulurks,
marrusaults, and marrutacts, and even well-guarded
chambers where spawncrafting lore might yet reside.
Those who return a year later from a trip to the Cradle
cannot speak of what they’ve seen—the memory of the
experience is wiped before they return to their home.

No marruspawn is quite sure what the purpose of these
trips might be—only that to make them is the inviolable
law of Nikrowd.

player characters

Sun Jackels

Small Wood Florimel