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Shirren

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Shirren
A shirren soldier.
(Creature)
Type Humanoid
(shirren)
CR By class level
Environment Any
Alignment
Adjective shirren
Images of shirrens

Source: Core Rulebook, pg(s). 50-51

Shirrens are a race of locust-like humanoids commonly found in the Pact Worlds.[1] They were formerly members of a predatory, telepathic hive mind known as the Swarm, but have recently become independent and unique individuals — though they still strongly value communalism, they also seek harmonious relations with other races.[2]

Appearance

Shirrens are arthropods with chitinous exoskeletons, large compound eyes, and sensitive antennae that aid in their telepathy. Unlike many arthropodan races, they walk upright, manipulating items with three-clawed hands. In addition to their two sets of main limbs, they also have two sets of smaller limbs growing from their thoraxes. While often displayed, these “mating arms” are extremely weak and used only for ceremonial and reproductive purposes—to use them for mundane activities would be seen as grotesque and shameful.[1][2]

Sexual dimorphism

Shirrens have three sexes: male, female, and host. During reproduction, female and male shirrens provide the initial eggs and sperm, and hosts incubate the fertilized eggs while also adding their own genetic material and immunities. Shirren young spend their first 2 years in a tiny, wormlike larval form, and are often carried around in protective containers to let them safely observe the world.[1][2]

History

See also: Swarm

Shirrens were once part of the Swarm, a monstrous, locust-like race that traveled from world to world, consuming all it encountered before moving on. Generations ago, however, a mysterious mutation caused an entire subcolony to break from the Swarm's hive mind, with each of its members gaining a sense of self. Addicted to the new drug of individualism, these renegades rejected the Swarm's mindless consumption, forming a new race called shirrens that made contact with the inhabitants Pact Worlds system in 83 AG, and eventually came to settle there.[1][2][3]

Society

A shirren scientist.

Shirrens define themselves by their individualism. When they left the Swarm, they assumed partial control over the neurological pleasure and pain systems by which they were formerly directed, and even generations later, making choices for themselves can literally flood them with pleasurable neurotransmitters. While this ability is not always beneficial — some shirrens deliberately drug themselves this way, becoming "option junkies" blissed out on sequences of trivial decisions — freedom of choice is crucial to shirren identity. At the same time, shirrens remain highly communal, and are valued as collaborators by other races due to their ability to foster teamwork and put the goals of the group first.[1][2]

Religion

Shirrens worship Hylax, deity of diplomacy and peace, as the Swarm once did before they abandoned their sense of individuality.[4]

Abilities

Shirrens are capable of sensing their surroundings even when blinded or without light. They also possess limited telepathy.[2]

References