Bizarre aberrations something like a cross between a hawk and a beholder.

As the Dragon Empire expanded, the range of intelligent races that one could encounter expanded with it. One race that was found with increasing frequency was the quasta. Formally acknowledged during the middle of the Copper Age, the coming of the Dragon Empire has been a great boon to this race. Quasta look nothing like the humanoid races, but share many mental traits, including a sense of mercantilism, a love for technology, and an insatiable curiosity. Once exposed to Imperial technology, the quasta leapt at the opportunity to join, and have worked with a sort of comic diligence to become respected traders and inventors.

Physical Description

A quasta’s body is generally bird-like, with a wingspan of about 5 to 7 feet (though their bodies are much smaller) and weighing 75-100 lbs. There are significant differences, however. The head of a quasta is dominated by a single central eye, and there is no beak to speak of. Instead, the mouth is quite small and located below this eye, hidden by a protective ridge. The feathers are vivid green for most quasta, though parrot-colored variations are the norm on some worlds. Quasta enjoy using dyes and ornamentation to spice up their appearance, so many other colors and patterns are possible. Quasta have four hook-like limbs, two extending from each of their flanks, which they use in combination like a single hand. The arrangement looks awkward to most humanoids, but is actually quite functional and quasta have a noticeable gift for handling complex electronics and other technological devices. Quasta have no legs, instead maneuvering by an innate form of levitation.

Unquestionably the quasta’s most distinctive feature is their independent eyes. Each has between eight and ten floating eyes that accompany it everywhere. New eyes form as buds about one inch across along the quasta’s back, and are periodically released to replace aging or damaged eyes. An eye will grow to up to six inches in diameter, and will fail (and be replaced) in about two years. These eyes range in color quite a bit, and eye coloration is a poor method of distinguishing between two quasta, since new buds do not necessarily match the colors of the eye being replaced. With their singular central eye and multiple lesser eyes, along with the quasta’s ability to levitate, it is speculated that the quasta may be distantly related to beholders. The fact that beholders have been found on every world where quasta have been spotted and they seem to share the same language only adds more weight to this theory.

Quasta have two genders, and the females lay clutches of anywhere from one to four eggs. Both parents generally tend to the children. Before making contact with the Empire, quasta had come to accept that only one child at best was likely to survive to adolescence at the age of 10, but the introduction of Imperial medical science has led to nearly all quasta children surviving. This has led to a population boom the quasta have yet to come to grips with, and driven many quasta into high risk, high reward occupations to support their growing families. The quasta lifespan has also been greatly improved, with individuals living to as old as 90 years in the Empire. Those quasta on backwater planets can still only expect to live to the age of 60 or so.

Quasta Lands

Quasta can often be found in small numbers on many imperial worlds, almost always on worlds plagued by beholders. They tend towards jungle climates and some light forests. Their population has exploded in the last 300 years as Imperial medicines have greatly reduced the quasta’s crushing infant mortality rate. Now the colorful quasta can be found on nearly any high-tech world.

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