The Fahreen are an insect-like species, resembling giant fleas, known as both merchants, weapons designers, slavers and manipulators. Former subjects of the Mogg’Theran, the Fahreen have become a power in their own right since the fall of the Empire of Many Suns and appear to be slowly building a significant power base. They have already absorbed a number of minor races once under Mogg’Theran rule and control three of the great jump gates throughout the former Empire.
The Fahreen currently call the bog moon Rishfarin their home, but it is believed that they originated elsewhere. Rishfarin, a moon of the ringed gas giant Farina II, is known to be a brutal world with high amounts of methane and sulfur gas in an otherwise breathable atmosphere. It is said to be teeming with megafauna: life forms of gigantic size. But very few outsiders are allowed to the surface, and given rumors about the planet and the almost universal disdain for the Fahreen, not that many people are trying to get there.
But the orbital space above Rishfarin is one of the trade hubs of known space. Not only is one of the 10 Imperial Jump gates located there, but there are four massive “shield stations” that the Fahreen built to defend the gate. They have become massive trade centers and the point of sale for the Fahreen mercantile empire.
Sphere of Influence
The Fahreen are arguably the strongest of the species vying for control of the Empire of Many Suns. They control three of the fabled Jump Gates connecting the most important trade routes in the sector, have a massive and growing mercantile empire and growing political capital as well. They are heavily connected with the criminal underworld and fund a number of large pirate groups and mercenaries. They are also the heart of the interstellar slave trade.
Not much is known by outsiders about Fahreen society on Rishfarin. They are a very private species when it comes to how things are run and who is in charge. Do they have a democracy? Is there a Fahreen king? No one really seems to know. By outward appearances, each Fahreen seems to be an independent force unto himself.
However, the Fahreen control a large fleet of starships, an army of mind-controlled thralls, and are a growing economic power. They also refer to themselves as a united species. This leads many to believe they are working together. But, to confuse things even further, many Fahreen appear to be covertly, and sometimes overtly, opposed to one another and have even involved outsiders in plots to kill their fellow Fahreen.
When asked directly, most Fahreen give a condescending answer implying that other species are not evolved enough to understand.
The Mogg’Theran knew the most about the Fahreen, but could not figure out their method of governance before Mogg’Theran rule either. One theory that became somewhat accepted was that the Fahreen were psychically linked to the female Fahreen that gave birth to them, known as Brood Mothers. Brood Mothers have no intelligence on their own, but they gain a collective intelligence through their male Fahreen offspring. The collectively intelligent Brood Mothers would then confer with each other about the species as a whole, and then their decision would be psychically passed down to the other Fahreen subconsciously across vast distances. The Fahreen themselves wouldn’t be aware of this process on a conscious level. If the Brood Mothers, for example, decided to go to war with the Xintrin, then all the Fahreen would just wake up and desire to work together to destroy the Xintrin. They wouldn’t question this desire and they’d still go about doing it independently.
The Mogg’Theran collected a lot of circumstantial evidence to back this theory up, but never a “smoking gun” that proved it.
As individuals, the Fahreen are very hard to get a read on. Most operate alone, surrounded by mentally programmed thralls who tend to their every need. Even most large Fahreen starships have only a handful of Fahreen and are run mostly by their thralls. Fahreen can be high-handed and often act superior, although they will be contrite and apologetic if caught doing something underhanded. Most are interested in influence and power and living comfortably. The Fahreen themselves are rarely involved in violence, although their thralls quite often kill in their name.
According to the
Fahreen, they have been living on Rishfarin for two million years or more,
after migrating there from a world in the
If their claim is true, then they backslid considerably before they were discovered by the Mogg’Theran. The Fahreen entered into what they have always considered a “defensive treaty” with the Mogg’Theran and became a part of the Empire of Many Suns. Most people say that’s a nice way of saying they surrendered without a fight.
They became merchants and manufacturers in the Empire of Many Suns and were generally considered a conniving, but fairly meek and harmless species.
In reality, they were building the foundation of an empire of their own. The Fahreen gained economic power and technology, manufacturing capabilities and influence, but all that money seemed to disappear into a dark hole, until Gargannau was destroyed. Faster than any other former subjects of the Empire of Many Suns, the Fahreen took advantage of the situation. They unveiled a “defensive” armada that HAD to be secretly in development for years with new technology they had not given to their Mogg’Theran masters. They quickly conquered nearby minor species unfortunate enough to be in striking distance and psychically reprogrammed them into their “thralls.” The Fahreen were the first to realize, and declare, that the species that controlled the jump gates would control the Empire. They quickly took over three of the gates, sending the other species scrambling to lay claims of their own.
Presently, they are acting as though they are a non-aggressive species, manufactured evidence to show that the species they “annexed” harbored violent intentions towards them and have focused on political and economic power. It is believed that they fund and supply a number of pirate and mercenary groups and use them as proxies to attack and befuddle their enemies.
Some suspect they are building up towards a move against someone else…possibly the Free Colonies. If true, then the Terran Protectorate’s war with the Arkhon may give them the cover they need to carry out their plans. Currently, they are involved in very strained tensions with the corporate controlled world of Einwold over a couple fairly insignificant border colonies. But the attention to it and their irrationality at the bargaining table has many in the Free Colonies worried.
The closest human analog to the Fahreen would be a giant flea. The Fahreen stand about 6 to 8 feet tall and have four powerful legs and two scythe-like forelegs. Their eyes are a pale, softly glowing blue until they get angered or use their psychic abilities (the two often go hand-in-hand), at which point their eyes glow red. They are covered by a hard, exoskeleton which can repel all but the heaviest small arms fire. The lifespan of the average Fahreen is unknown, but there are individuals known to be at least 400 years old. The Fahreen have two brains, one of which appears to have developed solely for the use of their psychic abilities.
The Fahreen consider their military forces a part of their Diplomatic Guild, something that worries a lot of sentient beings. They have a large fleet consisting of lots of heavily armed destroyers and a few galleons which come in carrier and battle cruiser configurations. They rely heavily on swarms of fighters and numbers, throwing their brainwashed thralls against their enemies with reckless disregard. There are very few actual Fahreen in their military, in fact. Most ships only have one or two true Fahreen onboard (always the highest ranking members of the crew). The rest are thralls and tend to double as the commanding Fahreen’s personal slaves. A Fahreen willfully entering ground combat is unheard of unless someone is attacking a Fahreen colony.
They also control a large mercenary and pirate fleet that is unofficially connected with the Fahreen. Whenever the Fahreen do not want to get their hands dirty, politically, they send in their pirates and mercs to wreck havoc on their enemies, as well as attacking them economically.
Little is known about how the Fahreen military functions on a full war footing. The colonies they conquered early on suffered communications black outs before the Fahreen moved in, and the black outs were only lifted when the leaders of those colonies announced they were “voluntarily” putting themselves under control of the Fahreen.
For centuries, it appeared that the Fahreen had little technological achievements of their own. They used Mogg’Theran technology almost exclusively. However, once the Empire of Many Suns fell, the Fahreen suddenly began revealing new and unique weapon systems and ship designs which appear to be of their own making. This has led some observers to believe that there may be some kernel of truth to claims that the Fahreen have a lost past. Most of this has been in the development of small arms and gravity control. But they also excel at manufacturing, as evidenced by the giant Shield Stations constructed to defend the Rishfarin Jump Gate. They are also networking experts and have an excellent grasp of complex devices, intricate networks and dizzying conspiracies and plots.
The Fahreen export arms, ships and slaves, as well as their manufacturing expertise. They also do a lot of systems designs. They develop everything from bureaucracies to communications networks. They import food, slaves, raw materials, computer technology and luxury items. Their biggest customers are the other species of the Empire of Many Suns. They are also known as prolific weapons manufacturers, creating their own designs and manufacturing "knock-offs" of others. They are second only to the Xintrin in trade power, and the two species are bitter rivals over control of the galactic economy.
Relationship with other governments
The Terran Protectorate: There is limited trade and diplomatic contact between these two. The Protectorate generally finds the Fahreen to be distasteful and has had to warn them against taking Protectorate citizens as slaves. The Fahreen have hedged their bets between the Protectorate and the Arkhon, but many believe they have deeper contact with the Arkhon than they let on.
The Arkhon Imperial Freehold Co-Prosperity Alliance: The Fahreen are strong trade partners with the Arkhon and some suspect the Arkhon developed close ties to them while the Fahreen were still ruled by the Mogg'Theran in hopes of destabilizing the empire before the destruction of Gargannau did just that. The Fahreen have taken a neutral stance in the war, but Fahreen-backed pirate groups have been more active in human space. The Fahreen are likely to avoid the kind of close war ties the Rhtharians developed during the last war, for fear of human retribution.
The Xintrin Merchant Guild: The Xintrin and Fahreen trade heavily, but also compete heavily. They compete viciously over economic influence and market share, but it is just business and there is no personal animosity between the two species. At this stage, the Fahreen will avoid armed conflict with the Xintrin, who have a much more powerful empire, economy and war machine. The Fahreen feel that any species that can smack down the Berylan deserve some respect, militarily. If the Fahreen gain full control of the Empire of Many Suns that may change.
The Free Colonies: The Fahreen have been pushing at the Free Colonies' doorstep almost since its inception, and are seen by the colonies as the largest foreign threat. In particular, there is growing tension between the Fahreen and the corporation-controlled world of Einwold. Not only is Einwold the closest of the major free colony worlds to the expanding Fahreen territory, but the human corporations are also trading rivals that the Fahreen would like to take down. Rishfarin and Einwold have been engaged in a Cold War and low-level proxy conflict using paid mercenaries and pirates for about five years. Some fear that the situation will deteriorate into a full-scale conflict.
The Empire of Many Suns: The Fahreen are second only to the Mogg'Theran in the former empire, and the Mogg'Theran appear to have no interest in controlling it. The Fahreen's largest rival within the Empire of Many Suns for control are the Arnuban, who are distracted by a war with the Rhtharians which is being propped up by the Fahreen. Every time the Arnuban are close to achieving victory, the Fahreen give the Rhtharians crucial support to keep the war going. The Rhtharians know they are being used, but the only alternative is to allow subjugation by the Arnuban. The Fahreen make extensive use of Sigmari mercenaries and Arnuban pirate groups as well. Minor races within the Empire keep the Fahreen slave market well stocked.
The Vorhasi: The Fahreen give the Vorhasi a wide berth, do not claim to know anything about them and generally stay out of their way. Whether this is due to lack of interest or fear is up for debate.
The Starfarers: The views of this interstellar fraternity are at direct odds with the Fahreen and their goals, bringing the two groups into regular conflict. There are no known Fahreen Starfarers.
The Novaslayers: These two groups get along well, and the Novaslayers have recruited frequently from the Fahreen and their thralls, often dock at their ports and are frequent buyers of Fahreen goods.
NPC Alien Species
Alignment: Most Fahreen are anarchist and many are outright evil. The rare unprincipled Fahreen exists, but Scrupulous and Principled individuals are virtually unheard of.
Attributes: I.Q.: 3D6+10, M.E. 6D6, M.A. 3D6, P.S. 3D6+6, P.P. 2D6, P.E. 3D6+10, P.B. 1D4, Spd. 5D6 running, 2D4x10 leaping. Physical strength and endurance are considered supernatural.
M.D.C.: P.E. x 3, plus 2D6 per level.
Height: 6 to 8 feet tall.
Weight: 450-700 pounds
I.S.P.: 4D6x10 + 10 per level.
Average NPC Level of Experience: 1D6+4
Natural Abilities: Thermographic vision, 4,000 feet, bio-regeneration of 2D6 M.D. per hour and can regenerate lost limbs, leap 80 feet high and 120 feet in length, motion sensing hairs on their bodies (along with their thermographic vision and psionic abilities) mean that the Fahreen ignore all blindness penalties, in fact their eyesight is fairly poor.
Special Psionic Abilities: In addition to an impressive array of standard psychic powers, the Fahreen have the following abilities unique to their species:
Area Effect Empathy: The Fahreen can constantly read the emotions of those around them without expending any I.S.P. This is a sensing ability only and generally best used to detect strong emotions (hate, fear, lust, joy, etc.). For more subtle emotional detection, the Fahreen need to use traditional empathic powers. 120-foot radius.
Telepathic Transmission: All Fahreen have an ability to project thoughts, including words and visual images, into the minds of all nearby sentient creatures. In most cases, this manifests as a distinct voice in every person's head, automatically translated to their native language. They can also send basic images (not overly detailed, like schematics). Range is 1,000 foot radius or line of sight (whichever is shorter). They can also choose to telepathically communicate with any individual in range. This ability does not cost any I.S.P. and can be performed as often as needed.
Psychic Abilities: All Sensitive psionic powers, plus Mind Block Auto-Defense, and choose one Super-psionic power per level. Considered a Master Psionic.
Combat: Five attacks per melee round.
Bonuses: +2 to initiative (plus likely Sixth Sense bonus if being attacked), +4 to all Perception rolls, +3 to strike and parry, +5 to automatic leap dodge (takes no attacks/actions), +6 to roll with punch, fall or impact, +4 to save vs horror factor, +4 to save vs illusions, +10 save vs. diseases and toxins, impervious to mind control. These are in addition to any likely bonuses.
O.C.C.s: Most common are Master Shapers (with one or more thralls instead of a mutant animal), Body Fixers, Cyber-docs, Operators, Rogue Scientists, and Rogue Scholars.
Equipment: Most Fahreen are fairly wealthy, with the average able to get its hands on 2D4 million credits within a day's time (even if it is a loan) and some crime lords and corporate executives have access to billions of credits, private warships and small mercenary armies.
Note: Fahreen are alien NPCs and not meant to be used as player characters.
A special note must be made about Fahreen thralls. Thralls are aliens that the Fahreen psychics have reprogrammed into obedient slaves. They are loyal fanatics, willing to die on command for their masters, and are considered very valuable among the Fahreen. Only a small portion of those working for the Fahreen are thralls, who have no will of their own. Most of their employees and agents are independent contractors of legitimate workers with their own free will who earn a paycheck. Thralldom is typically reserved for captured enemies, very valuable slaves and those who have failed their Fahreen masters and invoked their wrath. Thralls can be any O.C.C. or species not impervious to mind control. The process leaves them with a -2 to initiative if not following direct orders, but they are +4 vs mind control, horror factor and insanity.