|CR||By class level|
Source: Alien Archive, pg(s). 56
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A gray is a wiry, child-sized humanoid with grey skin, long, willowy limbs and a bulbous head with tiny mouths, a nearly-invisible nose, and oversized black eyes that show little emotion. Their feet and hands are similar to those of a human, but smaller and more delicate. According to a report, gray flesh feels like soft rubber and is not divided into individual groups, and they bleed black blood. Grays smell bizarre, meaning that small animals like squoxes can serve as early warning systems against them. Most grays look identical to each other, and never wear any clothing.
Despite their oversized heads, grays have no trouble maintaining balance. Their movements and expressions appear disturbing and inhuman, and they frequently spend several seconds in deliberation before making a move as if choreographing or rehearsing. A gray has the ability to become out of phase, allowing it to pass through obstacles.
Grays do not speak and communicate with others only through telepathy, forgoing even body language or eye contact. Telepathic contact with grays display a constant, unwavering malevolence. If one speaks Aklo, one might understand what they say, but grays never respond.
A gray can probe the mind of a single intelligent, conscious, helpless creature it touches, and scan for answers to simple questions or for information on a general topic the subject knows.
No one knows where the grays hail from. Speculations include the Jezper Cluster in the Vast (an area with frequent gray activity), another plane, an alternate dimension, or that they are organic constructs created by creatures who either cannot or refuse to directly interact with others. The Knights of Golarion insist that grays are working with the Eoxians in secret to conquer the Pact Worlds.
Since the advent of Drift travel, gray encounters have become approximately ten times more frequent, and the numbers only continue to increase. Major recorded gray sightings include:
- In 282 AG, the VisTour liner Gossamer went missing between Liavara and Bretheda. 60% of the crew and passengers were later found unconscious on lifeboats adrift in space; most remember nothing after departing Liavara, except for the 12% who reported small grey aliens aboard before blacking out. Neither the Gossamer nor the rest of the missing people were found.
- In 296 AG, another VisTour liner, the Ostog, was lost in the Diaspora. Only two survivors were found, who reported small grey aliens before the alarms sounded; they then immediately boarded the nearest life boat, and moments after that, the Ostog vanished. Four years later, dwarven miners found half of the Ostog encased in an asteroid; no remains were found.
- In 297 AG, a tiefling drifter reported a shoot-out between a gray and a green-skinned alien in the Puddles on Absalom Station. Although inexplicably unable to speak, she was able to telepathically transmit the account to a police officer before falling comatose. Since then, she has been in a Stewards-run hospital; no one could wake her up or identify her.
- In 310 AG, gray flying saucers were seen for a few weeks in the Diaspora near Archon's Halo and Havinak's Vortex, near the remains of the Ostog.
- In 311 AG, VisTour lost the third liner to the grays, the Stardream II, near the Sun. 12 passengers were later found, healthy and unconscious, in the Radiant Cathedral, wearing a VisTour staff space suit. Four reported seeing small grey aliens aboard the Stardream II.
- In 319 AG, a Knights of Golarion Squire-class starship, the Penitent III, was ambushed by a gray flying saucer. The ship was disabled and boarded, but the crew managed to send encrypted footage of the battle to a nearby one before losing contact.
The most common interaction between a person and a gray is a brief abduction. Most abductees do not remember anything, and only wake up with a bruise or scar from a medical procedure. If the grays are careless or think that the victim will not check, they might leave behind an implant. However, the memory erasure is imperfect, and a fourth of victims remember enough to report of what happened to them. Reports of their unnerving abductions, nightmarish paralysis and mysterious experiments have been collected from countless worlds since before the Gap.
Gray encounter stories often take the form of poorly remembered memories about being subjected to nightmarish experiments without anaesthesia under clinically bright lights; confined in cramped, dark places; or paralysed and displayed naked before a group of grays. The subjects of all those stories have a few points in common: otherworldly presence, condescending interactions and sinister disregard for the agency and dignity of abductees.
Grays take great pains to hide their activities from others. They erase abductees' memories to relieve them of psychological trauma, before returning them to where they were abducted, and also try to leave any places they visit intact. Any digital data about them is erased minutes after it hits an infosphere, leaving written records as the only way to learn about them.
From the Drift, gray ships appear seemingly out of nowhere to confront vessels with inattentive or unwary crews. These sleek, saucer-shaped ships are designed mostly for evading and subduing targets, employing tractor beams and EMP to disable and control a vessel, paralysing and taking crew as specimens.
Grays seem to travel the universe in search of knowledge and living specimens for research, yet little is known about their motivations and no efforts to establish diplomatic relations with them have succeeded. Some scientists believe grays are preparing for an all-out invasion, while others posit they are simply curious but sate that curiosity in a disturbing way.
Conspiracy theorists in the Pact Worlds refer to grays in positions of power with the word mysteriarch, a term which has been adopted by the grays themselves. They also lump grays with reptoids and dycepskians together under the Unseen umbrella, even though the three species are not allies and are often at odds with each other, if not directly antagonistic.
- Paizo staff. (2017). Alien Archive, p. 56-57. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-975-2
- Vanessa Hoskins. (2020). The Enigmatic Grays. Flight of the Sleepers, p. 39. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-213-6
- Vanessa Hoskins. (2020). The Enigmatic Grays. Flight of the Sleepers, p. 43. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-213-6
- Vanessa Hoskins. (2020). The Enigmatic Grays. Flight of the Sleepers, p. 41. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-213-6
- Vanessa Hoskins. (2020). The Enigmatic Grays. Flight of the Sleepers, p. 40. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-213-6
- Logan Bonner et al. (2017). Starfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, p. 497. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-956-1
- Jason Keeley. (2020). The Chimera Mystery. The Chimera Mystery, p. 5. Paizo Inc.. ISBN 978-1-64078-205-1
- Paizo Staff. (2020). Campaign Outline. The Chimera Mystery, p. 3. Paizo Inc.. ISBN 978-1-64078-205-1