ForewordThe difficulties in categorizing Sithspawn are hindered by imagination. Not a lack thereof but an overabundance. Compared to planetary census' detecting ordinary populations in the trillions, 'spawn are only a drop in a bucket. Often enough, however, their presence within sapient communities coincides with woe. Pestilence, misfortune, calamities that seem almost mythical, follow in their wake. And getting a grasp of expertise over their kind is difficult, requiring both modern and ancient resources to document and keep up with an ever growing list of permutations and variations. Largely in thanks to unchecked excesses within the ranks of the One Sith, Sithspawn are flourishing across the galaxy. As a requested favour to a few, I'm penning what is... a rough guide. I'm not a scholar and I don't count my experiences as definitive. This is at best a holed primer. May it prove at least somewhat useful, to whomever reads it.
~Seydon Gunn, Dunaan with Tenure
The moniker encompasses individuals stricken with lycanthropic afflictions as well as natural mammals and predators corrupted through Dark force energies. A creature or sapient can take on bestial characteristics through a number of influences. It's not unheard of to find individuals cursed into a half-life of cyclical body shifts. The danger comes in the combination of animal instinct and higher faculty, breeding a creature with a blood lust hunger and enough reasoning to thwart efforts to detect or ward them off. Atop of that come physical augmentations: powerful strength, metabolisms, speed, regeneration, and even 'pack instinct'. Able to call on surrounding animals through sheer force of psionic will. Still not sure exactly how it works but it can turn a wounded Werenexu deadly when they call on 'family'. Best bet is to keep them off balance: combination of certain oils, scent herbs, sonics, turn their senses against them. ...And fire. Call it barbaric, but fire is the ultimate weapon against their kind.
Accursed are beings out of folklore. Their being is tied to heartache, woe, and sorrowful emotion. The infant born a monster because of a jilted lover's vendetta. A member of nobility transformed into a beast, unable to escape their condition unless some obscure criteria is met. The army of shades dressed in tattered armour, alive yet dead and unable to expire. Often enough, powerful anger and Force power are working in concert, surrounding them. And their abilities are usually myriad, a byproduct of their conditioning and showcasing fate's strange practice of selective specialization. Dealing with Accursed is a field unto it's own. Any number of inherent and outside factors will work against you. Sabotage and prejudice being primary. Attached to the primer are several grimoires outlining common Accursed and the legends surrounding their curing. Study them... and keep a thermal detonator and shovel handy.
Potentially the most physically powerful and difficult to contest against. Dragons are indicative of primordial stature and thousands of cultures spanning known space feature their likeness in mythology. It's no wonder many fleshsmiths show a predilection towards their form, harnessing raw size and strength in combination with Force power. Battle hydras and leviathans to name just a few. Yet, their defences against conventional weaponry leave them vulnerable against the black arts. One story goes of a Dunaan of the Griffin School utilizing a kind of remote 'touch', stopping the heart of a rampaging wyrm. Alchemical weaponry have also proven effective. The worst aspect of dragonic specimens is the romanticism surrounding them. Idiots convinced of chivalric duty and noble superiority regularly offer themselves up as worthy combatants seeking to best them, tantalizing otherwise wild animals into developing a taste for sapient meat.
Golephem are best described as autonomic elementals. Golems with a force of will all their own. In classical alchemic literature, they appear as either lumbering protectors slaved to the power of a Jedi's will, or a wildling construct, lashing out with gleeful hostility. Newer iterations could even include those technobeast constructs, which are even more dangerously hardy. Point of fact, these creatures eschew flesh in favour of more baser or ethereal forms. Making them resistant if not impervious to all but the hardiest of ordinary weaponry, save for those sporting alchemical properties. The rudimentary properties of Golephem belie an underlying complexity. One golem I encountered displayed academic tenure, the kind to make even the scholars of Tion envious. Versus a Hound of the Harvest, frozen into parameters of simplistic instinct. And the always blood lusty gargoyles. Golephem can be defeated in two ways: logic games and sheer violence. The former is dangerous if you let your wits slip and allow a Golephem to catch you off guard. Consult what grimoires you can for paradoxes if you take the conversational route.
The name covers a variety of 'spawn that again manage to range wildly in appearance. We have the classical gryphon types, the manticore, harpies and the like. For all intents and purposes, Sithspawn created so long ago and with such powerful reproductive drives, they've succeeded in breeding into their own distinctive races. And then we have sorrier bastards, the illegitimate offspring of novice alchemists first experimenting with their arts. Carving up beasts, mixing and matching physicality to produce a worthy monster. Few are successful in their endeavours. In their wake, I've been left to take care of animal dregs and partially humanoid... things... begging for help. A great deal of description can be found in more devoted codices and tomes, which again I've left attached and ear-marked to this document. It's my guess that it can't be long before some of the hybridized species face a final extinction. Encroaching sapient populations and the destruction of once remote badlands are forcing them to rub up against their destroyers. I'm thinking they're not long for this galaxy, which both elates... and saddens me. 'Bastards' are a special breed in some cases. They need only be kept separated from oncoming 'civilization'.
Much can be said for the adaptability and cunning of insects. One entomologist I consulted expressed an admiration for their pared down, pitiless existence. A cold pragmatism that eclipses even the Sith. So it's no wonder alchemists have turned to the hive mind model as the basis for creating new weapon platforms hosting the powers of the insect world. In the Shadowlands of Kashyyyk exist certain colonies molded by the presence of black Force nexus', taking the term 'pest' into apocalyptic tiers. Care needs to be taken when attempting to apply pesticides to the problem. For although some species of giant arthropod have shown off a frustrating resistance to poisons, there's one element they still falter against: fire. Most 'spawn insectoids are rapidly pyrophobic, which can be used to advantage when applied properly. Be careful not getting burned likewise.
I've no idea where Carrion come from. They come with bullflies and marrow worms in the wake of battlefields, attracted to the smell of rotting flesh and death. In appearance, they can vary from bipedal, skinless horrors to quadrupedal 'dogs' with distressingly sapient like faces. I can tell you they lair in virtually any habitat, from arboreal to desert and beyond. Carrion have been reported even adapting to hard vacuum, wandering the dead halls of gutted dreadnoughts, chewing on frozen organs and blood. Again, therein lies a breadth of variation. The swampy 'Sinkers' who are supposedly composed from the souls of drowned criminals, come back to revenge themselves on the living. And the Necromantik who fester battlefields in search of the fallen, charged with an unknowable hunger for dead meat. Carrion are rarely alone, combined with surprising strength, speed, and killing ability, are a challenge even for heavy firepower. If you've got gamey meat in your larders, I recommend burning it.
The Saga's of Midvinter Thurion once loaned me are the sole authority of Ogroids in the galaxy. They strike me as the least recorded and least understood amongst the 'spawn archetype 'canon'. A few sources outright dismiss them. They seem almost absurd: dull witted beings distracted by rocks and shinies like overgrown magpies. But I've encountered enough to know they operate according to their own sets of old logic. A few Dunaan are arguing the Cyclopean are vestiges of something else beyond alchemical origin, but it's all academic. They get into enough mischief and grief to warrant bounties and reprisals. Easier said than done. If they're not huge, then they're well armoured and possessing powerful constitutions. A few oils and some bombs have proven effective in keeping them at bay, long enough to land killing blows. I'll say it pays to offer the olive branch first, where you can. There's more to these trolls than even they let on.
Supposedly they came with the old Sith during the Great Hyperspace War, half and half displaced and migrating. None are exactly sure what providence guided these relic races out of their hiding places in the Unknown Regions. If we take some of the stories told by the intelligent Antiquus at face value, then they harken from truly antediluvian times. Some are only secretive and harbor no more evil then a naughty child. But more than a few are brutish things that are more ferocious, territorial, and hateful than any natural or unnatural animal we've come across. Perhaps more so than even Carrion, Antiquus are highly susceptible to alchemic weapons, especially ones crafted with silver elements such as Dunaan swords. For the sake of easier identification, there's one or two attached tables. The only rule of thumb recommended when accidentally encountering these 'antiques': get the hell out.
Death brings the Carrion. Tragedy brings the Wraiths. These are murderous souls withdrawn from the esper rivers of the Force, with enough vestiges of identity to make them formidable problems to the living. In spite of an encouraging volume of material devoted to spirits, facts are parsed between lengthy columns devoted to continuing age old cliches and popular falsehoods. Wraiths appear for a variety of reasons in a variety of forms and roles. No monster is so prolific as ghosts. They can appear as destructive mourners chained to the place of their demise, as avengers against living villains, punishing phantoms of the guilty, and even as guardians summoned by Force sensitives to serve their purposes. What's especially formidable is their lack of corporeal form. Force powers that affect stasis and even dreaded 'Drain' can sometimes 'bog down' a wraith and leave them temporarily vulnerable to physical threat. Don't ask how that works. There's a treatise on it somewhere. If all else fails, consult what sources you can and play the creature at its own game. Some wraiths can be appeased or banished, if you can understand what it wants or what keeps it anchored to the land of the living.
If the Anzati are an unpleasant urban story proven true, the Vanpaia are a noetic legend I wish were lies. Again, I thank Thurion for his lending of the Sagas and the old Midvinter stories of the wild Bloodking, Gabool. It's a half-shrouded metaphor for being drunk with power, but between the poetry and prose is a bald hint at a parasitic horror. From Gabool, we follow a sparse trail, ending in a private collection on Commenor, only making mention of 'The Children of Kresh' being loosed to harrow the bloodline of Ragnos. Like the Antiquus, it's safe to conjecture they came with the invading Sith once the edges of the Republic were detected. Where they disappeared to afterwards is now a matter of local but discounted records. Descriptions vary. Vicious monsters that earn that moniker well, holed up in deep, wild places. And then erudite scholars concerned with matters of art and science, personable, eloquent, even soulful. Before someone runs afoul of them, necessitating a shift into a darker nature. Their supposed list of immunities is longer then my arm. The 'lesser' specimens can be felled. Their more aged, refined brethren are apparently invincible. Can't know for sure until something reliable surfaces. Just beware.
PostfacePast civilized veneers is a strange world. It's built on forgotten rules and pillars of superstition and folk-tale. Out there, common laws give way to older rules and traditions, that suffer no one for being broken. They say there are no churches in the wild but I've witnessed differently. Bothan sabbaths of naked fur painted in the gore of someone poor enough to offer themselves up. The eldritch telling of the future in the entrails of Firaxan sharks on Manaan.
Take what you read here with a grain of salt. In peer review, the word of a burlap-strung Dunaan won't weigh much against an academic cross-reference. There's only so much that can be elaborated from my end and I'm not about to divulge trade secrets in the aim of getting amateurs killed. Just that, if you feel a bump in the night, hire out someone who can bump back. We'll be waiting on the Path of Embers.
-Seydon Gunn, Dunaan with Tenure