Sesheyan
Sesheyan
pic_sesheyan.jpg
Biological information
Type Monstrous humanoid
Size Medium
Intelligence Sentient
Life span -
Sociological information
Planet of origin Sheya
Achieved warp -
First contact -

Standing approximately 1.7 meters tall and weighing a mere 40 kilograms. sesheyans (pronounced “se-shay-un”) are humanoid only in the broadest sense of the word. A bulbous head encircled by eight small eyes and capped by large, pointed ears flows into a light, muscular frame. Powerful wings that extend to a 6-meter span spread from the sesheyans back, and a long tail with an expandable fan-shaped tip provides stabilization while in flight. The wings can be folded tightly against the creature’s upper back when they are not in use. Though they walk with a hunched, labored gait when on the ground, sesheyans exhibit a gracefulness while airborne that is matched by few other creatures capable of flight.

Batpeople. A primitive race of nocturnal avians, the sesheyans have the ignominious distinction of being the first species enslaved by humanity due to not reading the fine print on their trade agreement. Most free Sesheyans live outside the law as pirates and criminals.

Roleplaying

Sesheyan heroes are among the small number of their species who have stepped into the galactic community thanks to the opportunities presented by humans and their star-faring ships.

Because of certain physical differences, such as their multiple eyes and strange head shape, the sesheyans are the most “alien” of the nonhuman species. Once they believed they were the highest form ol life in the world they knew— they were hunters and shamans of great power. Now that they have seen the “magic” of the spacefaring species, their faith has been rocked. The typical sesheyan hunter maintains an outward appearance of confidence and power, but inside he struggles to stay brave in the lace of so many frightening, strange, and seemingly magical things.

Most humans can’t help feeling uneasy in the presence of a sesheyan. This attitude comes from humankind’s innate fear of the dark and the creatures that inhabit it. Even the most primitive sesheyan finds this reaction mildly amusing. Though a sesheyan is a born hunter, he is also a being who might seem cold and aloof but actually has a profound respect for all life and his place in its natural cycle.

Technology is new and alien to sesheyans. They can learn to use hightech equipment, but many of them never become completely comfortable with it, and some deeply religious sesheyans refuse to have anything to do with it. Sesheyan heroes belong to the small group of sesheyans who have overcome their disinclination toward using hightech equipment—they’ll operate a computer, or a station on a spaceship, if they have to, but that doesn’t mean they have to like it.

Sesheyans make excellent Free Agents, serving as spies, scouts, or even bounty hunters when they enter galactic society. A smaller number take up the profession of Combat Spec, and fewer still are Diplomats. Except for heroes who have overcome their natural distrust of technology, sesheyan Tech Ops are almost unheard of.

History

The sesheyans emerged from their prehistory only a short time ago. They are in the aboriginal stage of development, keeping oral histories and working with tools no more complicated than stone blades and wooden spears. Everything is mystical and magical to the sesheyans, and most of their culture is organized into tribes headed by either the best hunter or the most powerful shaman.

They call their world “Sheya,” which means simply “hunting land” in their language. “Sesheyans” means “hunters of the land.” In the sesheyan point of view, the world was made to provide its children sustenance, and the hunters are the undisputed masters of that world.

When human star vessels reach the sesheyan homeworld, they find superstitious hunters still locked in the stoneage. Though many sesheyans may decide to travel the stars as allies of the galactic community, most remain planet bound, steadfastly clinging to their old beliefs and traditions.

A sesheyans leathery flesh comes in shades that fall within the human range of skin lone, but he is obviously a creature of the night. Sesheyans are built to function in darkness with more precision and grace than humans demonstrate even in broad daylight. In the perpetual-twilight jungles of Sheya, the sesheyans’ senses serve them well. The ground, the great trees with their tangles of vines and branches, and even the mist-filled air are the sesheyans home, for his wings give him access to places landbound creatures can never reach. With eyes built to function in minimal illumination and ears sensitive to the slightest noise, these creatures have unparalleled hunting skills in obscured or low-light conditions.

Away from the low-intensity light of their homeworld, sesheyans must wear protective goggles to shield their sensitive eyes.

Language


Sesheyan language is an underdeveloped pidgin of the ancestral tongue and borrowed words from human Thul. It uses mostly hard vowel sounds and relies heavily on the “ai”, “ei”, and “o” sounds. The only exception being the “a” sound is always short. It is an exceptionally easy language for other races to learn, and sesheyans have little difficulty learning other languages.

Sesheyan names consist of a given name (given by parental units) and a father’s name (passed down paternally). Sometimes a family name will be joint by an apostrophe, this signifies clan name passed down and remembered from the race’s time on Sheya.

Example Names: Pe Terei, Aanghel Osui’ike, Caseur Ka’lee


In Dragon Magazine #251, the Sesheyans were converted into a playable race for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons; this was the first of the "AD&D Game Aliens" article series, which attempted to convert Alternity races to AD&D - sadly, only the Fraal and the T'sa would follow in the Sesheyans' footsteps before the series was cancelled.

Sesheyans are a sinister-looking race; thin humanoids with black or brown skin, a pointed muzzle adorned with eight eyes and fanged mouths, a long fan-shaped tail, and bat-like wings. However, despite their sinister appearance, they are actually a very peaceful people, with no malice in them.

The sesheyan race are nocturnal hunter-gatherers with a Stone Age cultural level, native to tropical jungles and rainforests. They live in isolated outposts rarely numbering more than a couple of hundred souls, which express extreme disinterest in interacting with each other; this is why sesheyan culture remains remarkably unchanged, as tribes that do adopt to more advanced technologies don't pass this on to other sesheyan communities.

Despite this, they do share a remarkably common religious belief; a form of animism based on totems and ancestor worship, where ancestor spirits merge with archetypal totemic deities that they are viewed to have embodied in life. This complicated theology is maintained by the Obeahs, a shaman-type class also introduced in this article, which serves as a combination of priest, historian, story-teller and leader.

As a result, sesheyans are extremely superstitious, seeing the hand of the spirits in all things around them. They can seem distant at times, due to their contemplations of the spirits. However, they are not a people inclined to brood; sesheyans are headstrong, with a strong dose of independnet spirit. They think nothing of days or weeks spent alone far from the comforts of home, and wandering is common for hunters and those whose curiosity leads to exploration.

Possible places where sesheyans could exist in TSR D&D settings include the Malaltran Plateau in the Forgotten Realms, the Armedio Jungle in Greyhawk, and Aduria in Birthright.

Ghostwalker
Sesheyans utilize a lot of mythological references in their language and culture. A ghostwalker is the term they use for ones either willingly (or unwillingly) under the employ of VoidCorp. In playing a ghostwalker they are generally assassins, thieves, or trackers. He could be under servitude of a fellow VoidCorp player, or on assignment into the verge similar to the Corporate Agent character here. In general the prey and environment has changed, but the skills remain the same. Sesheyans are hunters out in the galaxy as they are on their homeworld.

Windspirit
VoidCorp prefers to call them outlaws. These are the few who have escaped the clutches of corporate control. A windspirit player is generally considered a mercenary or free agent to whoever could use the skills of a sesheyan. They must be careful in dealing with VoidCorp officials, though, as they could be targeted for recapture or given their presence known to home office. Many claim Galactic Concord citizenship (whether true or false) to avoid repeat enslavement.

Free Heart
This is the term used to describe those who are generally still living and hunting on Sheya. It's also the term to describe how life was before first contact. VoidCorp views Free Hearts as less than reliable and assigns them to hard labor. Few sesheyan heroes come from this primitive class, but windspirits and ghostwalkers almost always begin here before they learn the nuances of technology and become adapted to galactic life.

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