Nestled deep within Xintrin territory is a collection of three star systems controlled by an ancient race known as the Nix. These systems, known as the Nix Star Alliance, has deep ties and close alliances to the Xintrin, basically allowing the Xintrin to handle manufacturing and defense for their entire species. In return, the Nix are freed up to explore both space and their own mystical abilities.
The Nix are a study in contradictions regarding what is generally assumed about space faring species. First, they are the one alien species that truly seem to either have had a parallel development to mankind, or may have played some role in the development of life on earth. They have all the same internal organs, and the same biological needs. They are true mammals, just like those on earth. The Nix, powerful magic users, say that human-like species all come from a common sources, an ancient, powerful race from the Orion Expanse that seeded multiple worlds before being destroyed through unknown means. The Nix believe they and the humans evolved from this species after being left behind for millions of years.
The problem with this is that the Nix and humanity are the only human-like species in local space. There are plenty of humanoid species, intelligent life seems to favor having two arms, two legs, and a head, and being bipedal. The next most numerous body type has tentacles, similar to squid and octopi, but most of those are methane breathers and rarely interact with oxygen breathing species. The Nix believe something from the Expanse destroyed all star faring human-like life except theirs, and that perhaps earth was destroyed because it had developed faster-than-light travel. Why the Nix have not been targeted by this mysterious force is a subject of much debate on their home world.
Another oddity about the Nix is that they have no interest in expanding their territory. According to the Nix, they settled the two nearest star systems, found three more habitable worlds beyond their own, and decided that was enough room for their species to live responsibly. They still explore space as much as any species, but are only after true knowledge for the sake of knowing, and have no interest in starting new colonies.
Finally, except for perhaps the Vorhasi, they are the only species that relies heavily on magic. Every member of the race has some aptitude with magic, and can sense ley lines and magical energy. Their home world is regularly crisscrossed with dim ley lines that are carefully monitored and controlled by arcane obelisks at every nexus.
The Nix are long-lived, winged human-like mammals. They have six limbs, two arms and two legs, and a pair of bat-like wings. Their wings are strong enough to allow limited flight (no more than half an hour of flight time, generally).
The Nix appear to be suffering from some form of genetic degradation or are going through a period of high mutation. More and more Nix would be born with genetic defects each year, but the Nix medics catch these problems at the pre-Natal stage and correct them through gene therapy. The one thing they cannot seem to catch is the birth of children with stunted, useless wings. These unfortunates are often treated as second-class citizens, and most have cybernetic wings installed, the only form of cybernetics a Nix will get. These wings are Xintrin inventions and come in a variety of styles. Even then, however, these individuals are not widely respected and they make up the bulk of Nix off-world explorers.
Ironically, the Unwinged, as they are called, seem to better be able to breed and bare healthy offspring without genetic defects. The Nix females seem to be consciously able to alter their physiology to mate with human males; taking their genetic coding and “refreshing” the Nix gene pool. Only the Unwinged seem to be able to do this, however, leading non-Nix biologists to speculate that the Unwinged are actually the next step in Nix evolution. They believe the Nix don’t need their wings any more, and thus are losing them. The Nix, who revere their ability to fly, reject such theories reflexively. The cybernetic wings do NOT interfere with their ability to perform magic, but any other cybernetic enhancements would.
The Nix are a long-lived species, having genetically eliminated the aging gene from their genetic structure. This means they reach physical maturity and stop aging. However, because of genetic degradation, this does not make them immortal. Eventually the Nix will succumb to deterioration, disease, untreatable forms of cancer or heart failure. As a rule, this genetic and physical breakdown starts to occur after about 500 earth years.
There is only
one male Nix born for every 50 females. They rarely leave the home systems, and
generally run the
As stated earlier, all Nix are natural magic-users. With the exception of techno-wizards, they can choose any magic-using O.C.C. from the Rifts main book. Many are also super-spies from Rifts Mercenary, with the magic-using trait. Nix magic-users of all kinds favor elemental magic; magic dealing with fire, air earth and water. But they are not warlocks.
The Nix believe technology should be unobtrusive and not disrupt the natural flow of the planet. Their cities are only built into areas where the land seemed to “want” cities to be built. This can include rocky plateaus, meteor craters, dead volcanoes, or anywhere that there is a large stretch of land with minimal life forms.
The Nix have one class of ship, known as the Nix Galavanter. These ships are the size of medium transports with small crews (generally no more than five). They are not combat oriented, but can defend themselves. They are fast and travel from star system to star system by opening dimensional portals, allowing instant travel. The Nix have no star fighters, nor do they have any capital ships. They transport goods between worlds via dimensional rifts facilities constructed at super-nexuses on the home world.
The Nix do not have a star fleet, but they do have a powerful ground military based around the Nystalan Mageri, an elite force of magic-using fighters who work in small, deadly teams that outmaneuver and assassinate their enemies. The Nix do not use technological vehicles and use limited weaponry. However, their mages easily penetrate the defenses of most species (since virtually no one else uses magic), and can inflict horrendous damage. Legends tell of the Emperor of one species declaring war on the Nix, and then waking up the next morning to discover the Nystalan Mageri had taken over his palace during the night and held him hostage until his people dismantled their entire star fleet. Interestingly, after the species, the Kun, had appeased the Nix, the Vorhasi appeared and exterminated the entire species. Even the Nix do not know why.
Relationship with other governments
The Xintrin Merchant Guild: The Nix Star Alliance is essentially a holding of the Guild, although the Nix are an older, more advanced, race. The Xintrin Merchant Guild expanded around them and consumed their alliance about 200 years ago. There was no conflict. The Nix were glad to have another species provide military support and quickly signed contracts allowing the Merchant Guild to build virtually every thing the Nix use. This allowed them to concentrate on more academic pursuits. The Nix and Xintrin have an almost big sister/little brother relationship on a personal level, with Xintrin valuing Nix wisdom and being fiercely protective of them.
The Terra Protectorate: All official dealings with the Protectorate are handled by the Xintrin Merchant Guild. The Nix are interested in humans due to their close physiological similarities. The Unwinged females can also will alterations in their physiology to mate with human males. Such offspring are always Nix, as it seems the Nix’s bodies are just using human DNA to fill in gaps in their own. The Protectorate does not see the Nix Star Alliance as an independent government, but just part of the Guild.
The Arkhon Imperial Freehold Co-Prosperity
The Vorhasi: There seems to be some mutual respect between the Nix and the Vorhasi. The Nix are an older race than humans and Xintrin and even Arkhon, having achieved space travel 3,000 years before. They apparently have had extensive contact with the Vorhasi over the centuries. They appear to be one of the few races that understand them, and the Xintrin often go to the Nix after dealing with the Vorhasi, so that the Nix can explain what the Vorhasi said.
The Empire of Many Suns: The Nix were never fans of the Mogg’theran, and avoided contact with them, finding their “empire” distasteful. They despise the Fahreen, and the feeling seems to be mutual. It’s possible these two old species have a past that neither talks about. They are most sympathetic to the Sigmari and their plight, and have begun to teach some Sigmari magic. They have a bit of a mistrust of the Rhytharians, mainly due to their close connections with the Novaslayers. But most Nix try not to put that stigma on the entire species. They considered the Arnuban to be charlatans and avoid contact.
Starfarers: There are MANY Nix among the Starfarers, and they seem to be a core species. They are completely in-line with the Starfarer’s philosophy, and N’aton, the Nix home world, almost always has a Starfarer cruiser present.
Novaslayers: The Nix are implacable foes of the Novaslayers, and the feeling is mutual. Very few Nix have joined the Novaslayers, and those that do can expect to be targeted by all of their kin. Sadly, the Novaslayers have been more successful in recruiting as the genetic deterioration continues among the Nix species, targeting disaffected Unwinged and luring them into their ranks.
Optional Player Race
Alignment: Most Nix are of good or unprincipled alignment. Aberrant is the next most common alignment. Anarchist, Diabolic, and Miscreant individuals make up less than 5% of the population combined.
Attributes: I.Q.: 3D6+6, M.E.: 4D6, M.A. 3D6, P.S. 2D6, P.P. 5D6, P.E. 3D6, P.B. 4D6, Spd. 2D6, flight speed: 2D4x10.
Hit Points: P.E. +1D6 per level.
S.D.C.: 1D6x10, plus those gained from O.C.C. skills and abilities.
Height: 4.5 to 5.5 feet tall
Weight: 60 + 1D6x10 lbs.
P.P.E.: 4D6x10+10 per level, regardless of magic O.C.C.
I.S.P.: Varies with psychic class, if any.
Natural Abilities: See ley lines and magical energy; the Nix’s vision is attuned to the mystical, allowing them to see magical energy and ley lines that would be invisible to others. This ability is identical to that of the ley line walker. They can also see the invisible and see aura at all times.
Magic: Per O.C.C., but ALL Nix must pick an O.C.C. that uses some form of magic.
Skills: All Nix know the following skills regardless of O.C.C.: Speak and Read Nix Language: 98%, Speak and Read Dragonese/Elven: 98%, Lore: Magic: +10%, Astronomy +10%.
Available O.C.C.s: Ley Line Walker, Mystic, Elemental Fusionist, Super-spy (magic, female only), Lord Magus, Battle Magus (female only), High Magus (male only), Stone Master (male only), and Shifter (rare).
Combat: As per hand to hand skill and via magic.
Bonuses: +2 to save vs. magic, +1 to spell strength (meaning they start with a spell strength of 13), +4 to save vs. illusions and mind control.
Description: Slim humanoids with slightly large heads, perfectly sculpted bodies, small builds and either natural bat-like wings, or cybernetic wings that come in a wide variety of styles. Skin colors are shades of blue and gray. Eyes are shades of red, purple or violet.