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Commonality Vassal Species

Numerous vassal species look to the Commonality for guidance and protection. The Elysians see their role as shepherds and guides, slowly encouraging their flock towards enlightenment and understanding. The vassals of the Commonality can be found anywhere they operate, and often a prominent Judge or mystic will surround themselves with an entourage of disciples from other species.

It is possible to create your own vassal species - if you have a great idea for a species, then you can submit it to the game team for possible inclusion into the Orion Sphere universe. See the Vassal Species page for details and guidelines of the kind of things we are looking for in a new species.


Boreans are a practical species, and often provide a useful alternative viewpoint to more theoretically-minded members of the Commonality

Respected by the Commonality for their plant-like nature, the Boreans are a race of humanoids with photosynthetic microbes embedded in their cells. The Boreans have been a part of the Commonality for a long time, and are originally from the Elysian cluster - specifically the Ard'Borea system in the Borean Sector.

Character: Boreans are practical and hard-working, and enjoy being outdoors in the sun. They dislike the dark, and prefer to have light sources nearby at night. They are close to the land, and less prone to flights of philosophy or deep contemplation. Although they do participate in Commonality cultural refocusing sessions, they prefer the forms with body movements involved rather than meditation.

Appearance: All boreans have completely green skin, coloured by the chloroplast-like bodies in their cells. Their blood is thick and dark, and is often visible as dark veins beneath their skin, particularly around their neck and temples. These effects can be achieved with makeup.

Abilities: Boreans have 2 locational body hits. Although they are no tougher than a human, their physiology allows them to recover rapidly from injury. Boreans regenerate lost locational hits at a rate of 1 every ten minutes. Their thick, sap-like blood also increases their Death Count to 300 seconds.


The story of the Lithos was, for many thousands of years, one of cyclical tragedy. From the violently volcanic moon of Lith II-C, the Lithos are a mineral-based lifeform closely tied to the fury of their homeworld. Passionate and fiery in nature, the Lithos were prone to arrogance and pride, and when disaster struck or competition for resources grew tense their society would erupt into terrible wars. Their species had gone through many repeated cycles of slow development towards a technological civilisation, only to descend into brutal conflicts that ravaged their moon and cast them back into another Dark Age. It was during the tribal stage of one of these cycles that the Lith system was surveyed by the Elysians, who found a world strewn with wreckage and the debris of the Lithos’ ancient pattern of cyclical societal collapse. Their survey teams uncovered layers of ruins and the impacts of terrible weapons, inhabited by migrating tribes of Lithos herders and artisans. The Elysians made contact with some of the tribes, learned their language and various scripts, and applied the knowledge to their archaeological work.

They uncovered the history of a species with a tremendous ability for building, a passion for creativity and perseverance in the face of the harsh conditions of their moon, but one that was a slave to its fiery passions and wild emotions. The Lithos were judged to be a prime candidate for indoctrination into the wider truths and way of life that the Commonality had to offer, in hope that it could break the cycle of development and destruction. The Lithos had Life, Mind, and more than enough Will. Their Knowledge was lacking, and thus they fell repeatedly to Entropy

In one of the great successes of Elysian intervention, the Commonality sent teachers, philosophers and psions to the Lithos homeworld. They brought technology to hold back the raging weather and predict the most dangerous volcanism, scientists and doctors to study Lithos physiology, and above all scholars, teachers and translators, laden with texts on philosopy and the Commonality way of life. The theory was that the Lithos, slaves to their emotions, could harness and direct their energy towards the good of the Commonality, with themselves a part of it. With the Lithos unable to break free themselves, the Elysians intervention proved decisive – within a generation they had embraced the new philosophies, within two they had joined their saviours amongst the stars as steadfast warriors and labourers, passionate artists of all stripes and even highly dedicated scientists that dove into their fields of study with unbridled zeal. For their part, the Elysians saw the race as an abject lesson; with the help of the Elysians superior Knowledge, they had prospered and stood fast against the forces of destruction within themselves, and the Elysians were vindicated in their continuing guidance of this primeval people.

Character: The personality of the Lithos tends to reflect their stormy and volcanic homeworld. They are passionate and exuberant, and filled with a deep reserve of energy. Modern Lithos are tempered somewhat by their belief in Commonality Philosophy – they try to direct their stormy temperaments and volcanic energy towards bolstering their community, combating ignorance and protecting their allies. They do tend to be rather more active and passionate about these causes than the Commonality norms, however, and sometimes chafe against the more introspective and quiet aspects of Elysian society.

Appearance: The appearance of the Lithos reflects their mineral physiology. Their flesh is rough, stony and grey, occasionally punctured by outgrowths of crystals. This can be physrepped using a stony or crystalline mask and/or prosthetics. All exposed skin should be a rock-like hue, possibly run through with veins of paler minerals – this effect can be achieved with makeup. Lithos tend to be bulky around the shoulder area, and this wider frame could be simulated by using padded costume or shoulder pads.

More powerful Lithos psions begin to form psychoactive crystalline deposits on their skin, especially those that regularly consume psi crystals to heal themselves. These crystal growths should be physrepped with prosthetics painted with UV-reactive paint or makeup (as UV-reactive elements are the in-game signifier of psionic abilities).

Abilities: The stony bodies of the Lithos are extremely hardy and durable, giving them 4 Locational hits and a 300 second Death Count. Their silicate physiology makes them difficult to treat, however, and other characters cannot use the Physician skill on Lithos unless they also possess at least 1 rank of Corporeal Science (or are themselves Lithos).

Lithos brains are composed of a lattice of solid-state memory storage crystals, interconnected with tiny micro-veins of condensed psionic energy – known by the Elysians in a larger form as Psi Crystals. These psychoactive conduits grant the Lithos a measure of psionic power that allows them to manipulate stone and rock in sympathy with their moods. Lithos character start with 1 Psi Point, and can buy powers from the Lithokinesis Root Path and its Branch Paths. The psi crystal pathways also resonate strongly in the presence of external emotional energy – Lithos characters are more strongly affected by emotions delivered by the EFFECT call. Emotions conveyed by the EFFECT call last for twice as long and are more intense in Lithos characters that in others. However, the lingering resonance of these emotional effects can be short-circuited by another incoming source of emotional energy – if a Lithos character is targeted by an EFFECT call, then any pre-existing EFFECT call that they are experiencing immediately ends.

Lithos biochemistry is also completely different from most sophont species, which makes them immune to most illnesses, but also renders them unaffected by most treatments and biological substances as well. Lithos characters are immune to all Disease Conditions that do not specifically affect Mineral species. They are also immune to all Medicaments unless they have been doped with the Spectrum Inhibitor Exotic Reagent – this reagent bonds to the active component of most Medicaments and allows them to interact with Lithos mineral-cell processes. A Medicament with Spectrum Inhibitor applied to it will have its normal effects on a Lithos character - disregard the effect of the Spectrum Inhibitor. The only exception to this is if a Condition or similar has a cure that requires the administering of Medicaments doped with another specific Exotic Substance, in this case (because a Medicament can only be doped with a single Exotic Substance), the normal cure applies.


A Reskan hive resting against a building

Hailing from the Resk system in the California Nebula Sector, the Reskan are hive minds of tiny insects that adopt humanoid forms. Not even recognised as sentient when they were discovered by the Ascendancy, the Commonality regards them as an excellent example of their philosophy of interconnectedness - though they are individually small, together they form a Mind and Will on par with others. The Resk system was one of the main targets for Commonality control during the Elysian Revelation.

Character: Reskan hives always refer to themselves as “we”. They are highly cooperative with allies and tend to form strong friendships.

Appearance: Reskan are made up of millions of tiny, chitinous insects that resemble Terran beetles or flies. These insects tend to be shades of black and browny-red, but some can be partly iridescent. This can be physrepped with a mask or other head-covering decorated by tiny insects – the exact type of insect used can vary – Reskan hives contain a number of different specialised insects that perform different functions. Some form of thin mesh to obscure the eyes would be ideal to incorporate into the mask or suit. The rest of the body should be covered with clothing, or incorporate the insects on any exposed areas.

Abilities: Reskan hives are extremely difficult to eradicate – when they take damage, a few individual creatures die, but the majority merely disperse into the local area. As a result, they do not have locational hits – instead, they have 10 global hits, and become unconscious when this total is brought to 0. Each +1LH they would gain normally instead becomes +3 global hits. Reskan cannot wear armour – their bodies are unable to support its weight. When they do take damage, Reskan hives can rapidly reintegrate separated individuals as long as they remain in the area – they regain 1 of their total body hits for every minute they remain in the area where they took damage, as long as they are not in combat or performing other intensive activities. Reskan hives are also immune to the LETHAL call, and call RESIST any time they are hit by it.
Reskan hives are more vulnerable to certain specific attacks – the DISRUPT call causes a massive loss of hive cohesion for a short time – if a Reskan is hit with DISRUPT on their global hits, they suffer a KNOCKOUT effect for 30 seconds (which can be reduced by the Steel Head skill as normal). If a Reskan Hive is incapacitated (on 0 body hits), a DISRUPT call will begin their Death Count (rather than LETHAL). The First Aid and Physician skills can be used on a Reskan as normal, although the roleplay they perform may be different. Reskan have a Death Count of 200 seconds.
Environmental toxins can rapidly poison a Reskan hive – their many-bodied forms respire from everywhere, so the hive can quickly take on a lethal load of toxin. Reskan are unable to use respirators (but can still take advantage of full-body forms of environmental protection), and environmental toxins progress in a quarter of the time it takes in most species. Reskan are also unable to use most injectors without some kind of specialist delivery mechanism like an environmental suit.

commonality_vassal_species.txt · Last modified: 2019/08/13 16:55 (external edit)