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"Quote" —Krolum

Krolum are thought of as the stuff of nightmares, and often described as a cross between thick-limbed stick bugs, roaches, and spiders. They are tall, lanky, and grotesque, with a thin and chitinous body covered in sparse bristle-like whiskers. They have six huge, fully black, lidded eyes that absorb a great quantity of light, enabling them to see in near-total darkness; odd flaps hang down around their mouths, and they often walk bent over, giving them a bizarre, buglike appearance. Their long, weak, sucker-tipped fingers certainly don't do them any favors in this department. In short, Krolum are hideous, but they have upsides as well. Their height, combined with their lifting-oriented body build and gentle fingers, makes them by far the best ship builders in the galaxy. This is the only real reason any of the other races let them stay around - except for their friends, the Gorvans. They also get along with sybnials.

Krolum have had a very troubled history, punctuated by the fact that they are one of a very few races to have found a Veloxium deposit on their homeworld. Originally leaving their dark, magma-lit world in search of other planets, they found these planets - and were immediately shunned by the majority of the races living on and around them - except the Daxx, who started a massive war with them to try to claim their natural Veloxium deposits. Things became even worse during humanity's Galactic Cleansing: humans targeted the krolum in particular, exterminating populations with extreme prejudice wherever they were found.


Physical appearance

Krolum are quite tall, measuring nearly three meters in height. Their bodies are slender and a strange mixture of a chitinous, almost roach-like plating (with sharp corners) and wrinkled skin (color varies from a reddish-brown to black). They are quite narrow at the waist, but their torsos grow wider towards the shoulders. Their legs have three joints, the lower two of which located roughly equidistant from each other and the ankle/upper knee, and (especially when fully extended) are of a length much proportionately longer than would be natural for humans - and, indeed, much longer than their torso. Their arms are even longer, and nearly drag the ground in their normal stance, which is somewhat hunched over. Of interesting note is that when their arms bend, it looks to humans as though they are almost splitting in half at the elbow.

Their bodies are thin and chitinous, with structures on their back that may represent vestigial "wings" that were abandoned much earlier in their evolution, and serve no actual purpose except perhaps to intimidate each other. Their bodies are covered in sparse bristle-like whiskers, and they may secrete substances at times from special glands that cleans and hardens their chitin - this happens once every two and a half months and is referred to as their scitiffa - a word that has no translation or even explanation in the english language.

Krolum faces are particularly hideous by most standards. They have six large, deep black, bulbous, protruding eyes, which can be drawn into their heads in order to blink. Four of these - the lower - are situated on the front of the face, beneath the large, flattish cranium, while two are just above them on the sides of the face. Their nose is not present, as they smell with special organs on their lower legs. They have two separate jaws - the inner jaw being toothless and mostly for crushing things, and the outer jaw, which moves around the inner one, is lipless and consists of four large opposing buck teeth - two on the top, and two on the bottom - which have quite a bit of force behind them. Hanging downwards from around and behind their mouths are a number of stringy flaps that seem to have some function related to mating. Very worthy of note is the fact that their heads are capable of rotating on their spindly necks and to the point they can easily look vertically upwards, and just over completely around backwards.

As to their hands, they have particularly wide palms and large fingers that grow wider closer to the tip, covered in fine hairs, suckers, spikes, and hooks. It is typically never a good idea to let a krolum near fabric for this reason, although they are particularly good with machinery.

Lifespan and reproduction

Most species find krolum intimacy rather disgusting. Even krolum themselves are appalled by it - at least until they enter "v'zue" - a period of their lives that occurs roughly between 53 and 63 years of age - the only time in their life that krolum are fertile. They begin producing pheromones and engaging in certain habits - their manner of locomotion may change slightly, and there may be a slight change in their voice (often, they become somewhat louder).

Krolum sex happens, basically, "ass-to-ass", and copulation can last hours before the female is fully fertilized. After gestation, she then lays 4-6 eggs - a slow process that may take up to a week of immobility - and the male typically carries them around until they hatch, which is only 1-2 months. This is the only time in their lives that they will be fertile, and the female may die following childbirth, either through medical or psychological complications. This is less frequent than it once was; several thousand years ago krolum life expectancy was much closer to 65 (instead of the 105 of today); males and females would typically die shortly after mating, permitting the limited resources on their planet to be saved for future generations.

Krolum young are raised by other members of krolum society - all of them pre-maturity. In fact, the actual parents typically have nothing to do with their children. The thought of keeping your parents around is a (relatively) new idea that arose mostly since the Galactic Cleansing forced them to mingle with other species - something they have previously dearly abhorred, as they very much feel that it is important to stay true to their traditional cultural values. They often find the thought of being sexually active prior to becoming an adult (such as the fysar) rather horrific, for instance, and don't see the point in keeping grandparents around, such as e.g. the plodii.


Krolum characters have the following characteristics:

  • +1 handiwork
  • +1 unconventional
  • +1 general knowledge
  • Tall: Tall and lanky, the krolum stand at nearly 3 meters in height and possess incredibly long arms that give them a significant reach in melee combat. When having recently attacked an enemy in melee, this grants them a 1d6 chance of immediately dodging any attack this enemy makes. It also permits them to reach things that species of normal heights wouldn't be able to.
  • Great lifter: While their fingers and palms are unable to apply much forward pressure without collapsing, they are able to lift heavy objects quite easily thanks to their powerful arm strength. When picking things up, they receive an extra +2 bonus to their strength roll.
  • Extravision: Krolum have the ability (rare for intelligent species) to see in what would be considered complete darkness… much like that of a common cockroach, to which they are frequently compared. They are capable of "thickening" the interior of their eyes as well, permitting damage from sunlight or other bright lights that they come in contact with. This comes at a price: their eyes take several minutes to "re-thin" enough to once more see in darkness, after they encounter a light of such brightness.
  • Suckered hands: A krolum's hands and fingers are covered in tiny spikes, hooks, and suckers. Together, they make it so a krolum cannot drop anything by accident - or have it pulled from them by force.
  • -1 willpower
  • -1 intuition
  • -1 conventional
  • Gentle fingers: A krolum's fingers are not adapted with strong muscles. While their hands are capable of grasping things firmly in the wide, flexible palm, their fingers are much weaker, giving them a strength roll on anything (besides lifting) that requires any degree of physical force and is not normally cause for a roll.
  • Inexplicably ugly: Upon being identified as a krolum to a non-krolum, visually or otherwise, the krolum receives a -1 penalty to all future charisma rolls with that character.
  • Short-sighted: The tight underground passages where the krolum evolved did not necessitate the ability to focus on distant objects; their vision breaks down quickly over distances, rendering their surroundings a blur. Krolum receive a -1 penalty to all actions involving distances of greater than 50 meters, and an additional -1 penalty to all actions involving distances greater than half a kilometer.
  • Lumbering: Slow, bulky limbs and cumbersome chitinous plates make it difficult for them to move rapidly. When coupled with their slow reflexes, this gives them disadvantage on all dodge rolls while on foot.



The krolum religion (Kroluscaa) is a pantheon of "benevolent" gods, none of which actually look like the krolum themselves in any way, and nor do any of them really represent any sorts of themes. As some examples:

  • Ab'mbises Yenath - Generally referred to as just "Yenath", this is their champion deity - the one from which all the others sprung. The religious texts state that prior to the beginning of time, space was a dark cave with a single blinding star in the center. Yenath strongly disliked the star, but wanted more mosses growing on the walls of his cave, and supple lichens to eat. Yenath grasped his hands around the star and squeezed it, and as it burst, it created the universe - and with them, the other gods. Yenath is seen as a devil of sorts, for his primary goal is to return the universe to darkness. He is armed with a Celestial Battlesaw named Ny-roa, said to be made from the spinal column of a creature called a Shodden that emerges from supermassive black holes; Yenath consumed one of them upon creating the universe due to his ravenous hunger and fashioned its corpse into a weapon.
  • Shasmendan - a great yellow eye, surrounded by a mass of writhing brown tentacles. It watches the galaxy from the great depths of space, awaiting such time that the galaxy is "ready". Ready how, and ready for what, are unspecified; this seems to bring the krolum comfort.
  • Ymnoa Hathee - A being described as being like a hermit crab with a fan-shaped dorsal fin and seven enormous finger-shaped heads, each with a mouth at its end. The texts state that the finger-heads have their "finger on the galaxy's pulse", and when the time is "right", they will bite one of the galaxy's arteries, creating massive galactic upheaval. They then rot away and fall, taking numerous star systems with them as they go. According to tradition, three of the heads are already in the process of decaying, and four still remain. One head is mostly rotted, another has rotted away entirely, and the third rotted away, but is starting to "come back".
  • Hnandun Ylanalu - a fiery being of burning flesh said to have once inhabited the galaxy's core. Yenath could not stand him, and used his Celestial Battlesaw to dismember Hnandun Ylanalu into hundreds of pieces, which he then hid in the cores of multiple planets across the Milky Way. It is said that someday, Hnandun Ylanalu will break free of his bonds, reunite his pieces, and take over half the galaxy by force before confronting Yenath himself.
  • Yanarig - a towering vine, dozens of light years across, coiled somewhere in the darkness beneath the milky way. It is ringed with thousands of glowing green eyes and millions of roach-like legs. It is said that the Milky Way itself sprung from its fruit, which was stolen from it. Yanarig mourns its loss, and awaits the day when it grows large enough to swallow the Milky Way whole and replant its seed in its belly.
  • Labath - A dark creature that originally dwelt in a wandering black hole's accretion disc. As the black hole passed through our galaxy, Labath leapt out and claimed the Milky Way as its new hunting ground. Labath is described as a monstrous horned worm with fang-ringed orifices pockmarking its body at random, through which it sucks the life essence from whatever it passes - living or not - and reducing its victims to ghostly shells.

Worshiping the various deities is believed to hasten (or slow, in some cases) certain events, and sometimes believed to assist in altering the fate of the universe. Worship, usually involving slow, stretching dances amidst sonorous chanting, is also considered an art form and a type of calisthenics.










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