The Aperusa are a roguish, charismatic group of human spacefarers with a love of money and comfort, and a mysterious, forgotten past. Most are natural thieves, and their society enshrines secrecy and trickery as virtues, making dishonesty something of an honest trade among them.
Aperusa know Common and Thieves' Cant. They also speak their own tongue (Aperusan), but it is considered a secret language, and they rarely speak it around outsiders. Aperusa are typically illiterate, but they have a rich oral tradition.
Every Aperusa has the ability to feign death once per day, and typically does so to end a combat after taking a single non-lethal blow, as they do so dislilke coming to harm.
The Aperusa are also resistant to divination -- they are 75% resistant to any detection spell, and their minds cannot be read. Perhaps as an effect of this, no Aperusa is known to have any psionic abilities. Furthermore, they have a 10% reistance to any magic, including divinations.
Finally, being creatures of wildspace, the Aperusa can live with very little air. Their bodies retain enough air to let them breathe for 2d10 days.
Thieves, Blades, and UmbrasEdit
Most Aperusa can be considered 1st level thieves. Even Aperusan children are skilled enough at thievery to have the statistics of a 1st-level thief. They typically pursue wealth and pleasure, eschewing combat and focusing on personal gain. They're happy to let others fight their battles for them, and even reward those who help them by selling them healing balms at steep discounts.
Aperusa are equipped with
- short swords and main-gauches (40%)
- Daggers and slings (30%)
- Rapiers (20%)
- Longswords (10%)
About 20% of Aperusans have some sort of magical item, either a ring of protection, a cloak of protection, or bracers of defense.
Elite members of Aperusan society are divided into two main groups -- the Blades and the Umbras.
Blades possess the skills of a 5th-level fighter/thief/bard. They are always male, and are charged with strategy and tactics for clan defense. A determined woman may rarely be allowed to be a Blade, but she would be considered subordinate to the male Blades, and expected to obey their commands.
Umbras are 5th-level thief/bards. They are spies, scouts, and assassins who frequently employ their larcenous skills on their information-gathering missions.
Aperusa clans are made up of about 20 individual, lead by a matriarch and patriarch -- the eldest male and his wife. For every 10 Aperusa, there are two Blades and one Umbra. A clan includes 2d6 children, each of which is as skilled as an adult in the ways of thievery. An Aperusa is feircely loyal, first to their family, then to their clan, then to their people in general. Tyical clan names include the Wildjammers, the Phlogestos, and the Astralusians.
Aperusa society is strongly divided along gender lines, displaying some suprising sexism. Men are considered smarter and stronger than women, enjoy social freedom, and take the best loot. Women shoulder the thankless burden of shepherding the family, treating the sick and wounded, and raising children. Women may find some work outside the home in roles that use their connection to magic and sexuality, typically as dancers, fortune-tellers, or expert scammers, but this is not respected work in an Aperusan clan. Most men view non-Aperusan women in the same light, seeing them as overly emotional and hyper-sexual fools.
Aperusan faith is one of convenience -- they are liable to thank whatever god has recently benefitted them, and easily switch alliances. So if an Aperusa was recently healed by a priestess of the earth mother, they would honor and praise the earth mother, even if just yesterday they were praising the lord of tyranny because a priest of the lord of tyranny helped them in a fight.
Aperusan clans don't produce much in the way of finished goods, but they do create useful equipment for rogues and tricksters, including loaded dice, decks of cards (normal and marked), and light melee weapons such as daggers, knives, darts, and main-gouches.
Mostly, Aperusa travel wildspace as scavengers and salvagers, engaging in petty thievery and the selling of snake-oil. Their spelljammers are brightly-colored and eclectic, with a wide variety of types of parts from various other spelljammers assembled together. Their scavenging brings them into contact with a wide variety of unusual objects, which can make them curious purveyors of unusual goods. As true salvage experts, they incorporate lots of bits of other cultures into their own, and aren't affraid to appropriate something useful. They are largely content to sail the skies earning a living with their wits. They are reluctant to run cons on the poor or those in need of help, as they know what it is like to go without, and their operations are usually small-time and local, with few Aperusa having much patience for organized crime.
Clan leaders are called Beloved Grandfather and Beloved Grandmother as a term of respect. They are 10th level, and are either Blades or Umbras (or one of each). Clan leaders typically have at least one magic item (which often serves as a symbol of their authority, and may have been passed down from previous leaders). They also have the ability to permenantly sacrifice 1 hp to summon a constellate to fight for the clan once per year. Aperusan sexism is envisioned here as well -- if a Grandfather dies, the Grandmother can rule, but cannot remarry. A Grandmother who dies, however, can be replaced with a new Grandmother if the Grandfather remarries. Aperusa are monogamous, so there aren't multiple Grandfathers or Grandmothers at one time.
Aperusa are of average (8-10) Intelligence, and tend toward Chaotic Neutral or Chaotic Good alignments. They are not easily intimidated, with a Steady (11) Morale.
Most humanoid groups have a chilly relationship with the Aperusa, as their trickery and troublemaking is fairly well-known. For their part, the Aperusa seem dismissive of the suspicions of others.
The dohwar are not fond of the Aperusa. The cheap goods manufactured by Aperusa clans flood the market and make dohwar equipment less valuable, and the Aperusa's resistance to mind-reading thwarts the dohwar's natural mind-reading abilities. Thus, many dohwar have no qualms in lashing out at an Aperusa, or running them over with space swine.
The mercane disturb the Aperusa -- the giants are simply too odd for the tastes of most Aperusa. The mercane do not return that antipathy however, and have no more problems dealing with the Aperusa than with anyone else.
Tinker gnomes and Aperusa are fond of each other, with the gnomes delighting in the Aperusa's colorful ships, and the Aperusa getting great pleasure from tinker gnome inventions. The Aperusa are quite fond of the reigar, but the feeling isn't so mutual - the reigar prefer to deal with them as individuals (which is more than most do). The giff and the Aperusa also get along fairly well, with the latter finding frequent gainful employment with the former.
The Vagabond is a spelljammer built by the Aperusa. It uses various parts of other vessels, attached to a wooden hull, painted in bright, contrasting colors with multi-colored banners hanging from the masts. They typically don't have arms. Each clan travels on its own ship, though some large clans may spill onto multiple vessels.
Aperusa have a Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma of at least 15. They typically learn the following proficiencies:
Aperusan women may supplement this with the following:
An Aperusa who has become a Blade may learn additional proficiencies:
Those who become Umbras may learn others:
Those who lead the clans as Beloved Grandparents may gain additional skills: