Other Races and Creatures of the Desert
Athiks believe themselves to be the chosen people of their deity Cliktith, sibling to the kreen god Klik'chak. They are very ant-like in nature and maintain a powerful devotion to their hive, which drives an athik's every action. Athik society frowns upon displays of emotion and independent thought but rewards hard work and personal accomplishment. They are almost invariably hardworking beings who keep to themselves. Athiks hold the safety and preservation of their hive as the highest virtues, which should be upheld even to the detriment or death of the individual. Cooperation is fundamental to their nature, and all have strong empathy and helpful attitudes towards one another, strengthened by the hive mind they all share. Different hive colonies seldom compete with one another, viewing themselves as extensions of the whole. When two hives come into conflict, the smaller of the two usually picks up and moves to a new area or is absorbed into the larger.
Physical Description: Athiks look much like human children or halflings from a distance, but they have very distinct insectile features reminiscent of ants, including large, multifaceted eyes so dark blue as to be almost black, two small antennae, and small mandibles on the sides of their mouths. They are covered with a shiny black carapace marked with a few small spots in varying shades of gray and dark blue, which are the primary distinguishing marks between individuals, at least to an outside observer.
They have only four limbs, two arms, each of which end in a hand with four fingers, and two legs with didactyl feet. They have no lungs but instead absorb oxygen through spiracles on their bodies.
Adults never vary more than an inch from three feet, eight inches tall, and all appear virtually identical, even to the trained eye.
Relations: Athik colonies tend to be remote and xenophobic, viewing outsiders as a disruption to the hive. However, they view the kreen as distant relatives and willingly cooperate with them in many instances. Several large athik hives have formed a symbiotic relationship with the Tohr kreen, living and working in their cities as farmers and craftsmen while the Tohr provide resources and protection.
Alignment: Athiks are almost exclusively lawful, the demands of the hive shaping their mind and will. Any athik who is not lawful is seen as aberrant and a potential threat to the hive.
Athik Land: Like ants, athiks can be found almost anywhere, though they live almost exclusively in communal colonies underground. The largest athik hives are in kreen lands, where they have been able to thrive due to their alliances with the kreen.
Language: Athiks have no native language, relying exclusively on their short range telepathy for communication with one another. However, almost all athiks have learned a simplified version of the kreen language in order to communicate with those outside the hive.
Athik Names: Athiks do not have names as other races do. To maintain a more ordered society, athiks identify themselves as a series of complex numbers, usually only properly communicable through telepathic means. They understand that other races lack their innate understanding and politely accept any nicknames given to them for ease of communication, though the athik themselves rarely, if ever, use a nickname for themselves or each other.
Adventurers: Athiks do not go on adventures. To abandon the hive for such is tantamount to treason and a completely alien desire to the athik. Occasionally, however, the hive will send one or more athiks on a particular mission in distant lands that they must accomplish. Even more rarely, an aberrant athik who has fled the hive and lived becomes an adventurer from lack of being able to function in other societies. It is these few individuals who make up the entirety of athik adventurers.
Athik Racial Traits
- +2 Strength, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma. Athiks, like ants, are amazingly strong for their size; however, they rarely express any emotions and tend to have a detached view of the world.
- Small Monstrous Humanoid As a Small creature, an athik gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but he uses smaller weapons than humans use. Athiks are not subject to spells or effects that affect humanoids only, such as charm person or dominate person.
- Athik base land speed is 20 feet.
- Darkvision out to 60 feet.
- Antennae (Ex): Athiks' antennae allow them to automatically sense the presence of foreign substances in the air as soon as they are exposed, granting a +2 bonus on saves against airborne toxins, such as poison gas. An athik is also able to use his antennae to sense vibrations in the air around himself, giving him blindsight out to 10 feet.
- +1 Natural Armor: An athik's exoskeleton is tough and resistant to blows.
- Increased Capacity (Ex): Athiks are capable of carrying exceptionally great loads for their size. An athik's carrying capacity is the same as a creature one size category larger with the same strength score. He does not take speed penalties, check penalties, or have a maximum dexterity bonus due to encumbrance when carrying a medium or heavy load, and he may use all class abilities as if he were carrying only a light load. An athik takes penalties as normal when wearing medium or heavy armor.
- Stability (Ex): Athiks are exceptionally stable on their feet. An athik has a +4 bonus on checks made to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing on the ground (but not when climbing, flying, riding, or otherwise not standing firmly on the ground).
- Hive Telepathy (Ps): Athiks can speak telepathically to other athiks within 20 feet, but they can not use this ability to communicate telepathically with any other race.
This ability is always active, but it can be suppressed for 1 round as a free action. An athik's manifester level for this ability is equal to 1/2 his Hit Dice.
- Hive Cooperation (Ps): Through constant, subtle communication, athiks are better able to assist one another than other races. Athiks grant double the normal benefit when performing an Aid Other action so long as the creature they aid is also an athik and within 20 feet.
- Naturally Psionic: Athiks gain 1 bonus power point at 1st level. This benefit does not grant them the ability to manifest powers unless they gain that ability through another source, such as levels in a psionic class.
- Automatic Languages: Common, Kreen. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Elven, and Sylvan
- Favored Class: Psion