Oortling
Oortling
image
Biological information
Type Humanoid
Size Small
Intelligence -
Life span -
Sociological information
Planet of origin -
Achieved warp -
First contact -

Oortlings are a pathetic race, dwelling on the natural comets that exist within the crystal spheres. While the oortlings once had a fairly sophisticated culture, they were dominated by the mind flayers early on in their evolution. Since that time, they have been manipulated and controlled by the spacefaring illithid and kept as "cattle."

The typical oortling looks much like a dwarf, short, stocky, and noted for their pallor and bloated skulls. Within these skulls are the overdeveloped brains of the oortlings. Although kept from acquiring an education by their overlords, oortlings have the potential for great intelligence. As a rule, however, the best any oortling's brain can hope for is to be the main course at a mind flayer feast.

Combat

The oortlings have had all knowledge of combat bred out of them by the mind flayers. They cringe in fear from even the slightest possibility of violence. In cases where oortlings are in extreme pain or have lost their senses, they have been known to bite and scratch their opponents. While this attack is fairly feeble, it can inflict some minor damage (1d2 points).

Habitat/Society

Oortlings live on the flying mountains of ice and iron that men call comets, making their homes by tunneling through the frozen surface, eventually into the iron or stone nucleus of the comet. Their communities are usually fairly small by human standards, with only 40-240 (4d6×10) oortlings living on any given comet. Of this number, half are females and young.

While oortling culture was once advanced enough to construct great palaces from the ice of their cometary homes, it has degenerated into a state of primitive tribalism. The main reason for this is the domination and domestication of the oortling people by the mind flayers. Even at the height of their culture, the oortlings had no chance of breaking free from the mental and physic bondage into which they were thrust by the illithids.

Currently, the oortlings are a broken people. All creativity and curiosity has been crushed from their spirits, leaving them a ghastly race of "cattle," tended and guarded by a group of mind flayer "farmers" and then hauled away to sate the hunger of the illithids.

Ecology

Oortlings feed on the ice that makes up the comets on which they live. Their systems are able to break down the ice, extracting the vital nutrients from it and filtering out toxins that would kill other humanoids. Only cometary ice contains the chemicals they need to sustain themselves, however, and a diet of normal water ice does nothing to nourish them.

Oortlings produce few useful byproducts or trade goods which other races might be interested in. The sole exception to this, of course, are the mind flayers who breed the oortlings as human races breed cattle. Some other cultures have found that the fluid around the oortling's brain is a useful component in the creation of many potions that deal with telepathy and other mental powers.

Oortlings live on comets (which are made of ice and iron), making their homes by tunneling through the frozen surface, eventually into the iron or stone nucleus of the comet. Half of their population is females and young. They produce no useful or trade goods which other races might be interested in.
Oortlings subsist on cometary ice; their digestive system is able to extract the vital nutrients from it and filtering out any toxins. An oortling could with proper nutrients and lots of water subsist any where else. To date no sage or mage has figured out the diet of the oortlings, so they must remain on the lonely chucks of rocks know as comet.
The oortling culture was once advanced enough to construct great palaces from the ice of their cometary homes, and even going so far as to suggest they where naturally psionic (this would give good reason for the illithids to crush the oortlings and breed them some very delightful meals for illithid feasts). The suggestion stems from the fact that the fluid around the oortling's brain is a useful component in the creation of many potions that deal with telepathy and other mental powers.

In a fascinating display of multiversal resonance, the name "oortling" is EERILY SIMILAR to Dutch astronomer Jan Oort, a man who did a great deal of research on comets, and for whom the Oort cloud is named. Furthering the incredible coincidence, the oortlings live on comets. What are the odds? This is what happens when you break the fourth wall and let Elminster run around Ed Greenwood's living room.

The primary purpose of this entry seems to be reinforcing the fact that the mind flayers really are utter bastards. Oortlings are completely non-hostile unless maddened by extreme pain or some similar provocation. The mind flayers have bred almost all traces of violence out of them. So they are unlikely to be a threat to a PC party unless the PCs happen to be in the way of an oortling stampede or something.

The brains of the oortlings are well-developed and oortlings have the potential to be incredibly intelligent indeed. However, the illithids deny them all forms of education, so their potential avails them naught. However, if some enterprising adventurers were to rescue some of them and send them to boarding school, no telling what kind of Einstein they'd get back.

The text says that oortlings only eat cometary ice and cannot survive on any other food. Which doubtless makes raising them a bit tricky.

They had a vibrant culture at some point in the past, before the illithids got ahold of them. Impressive structures were carved out of the ice of their cometary homes, and each comet in Realmspace housed an oortling village or two. But then the mind flayers came and completely subjugated the oortlings, and now they serve no purpose other than stocking the larders of mind flayers throughout the known spheres. Nonetheless, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that a party of adventurers might run across a well-preserved pre-illithid oortling town. Or even a hidden enclave of pre-subjugation oortlings who have not yet been devolved by the mind flayers.

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