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Jabberwocks

by Lewis Roberts


The uplift of the Crested Jabberwock (Jabberwockiscristatus Saevitia), also called the nightclaw, fanged death or simply the jabberwock, was started by GenAssist in 952 and was the last such project before the Collapse. The First Solomani Rim War and the loss of the coreward sections of the Solomani Rim forced the project to move from the Jabberwock's homeworld of Kassan/Vega (A-785757-E circa 1100) to an undisclosed location in Alpha Crucis. Several hundred experimental specimens and most of the research facilities were relocated before Kassan fell to the invading Imperial forces. The loss of the the native population delayed the project, but wasn't a fatal blow. A few worlds had captive Jabberwocks in zoos and GenAssist had a great deal of genetic material.

GenAssist created the Jabberwocks to be a warrior species for the Solomani Confederation. The company had created several other warrior species from Terran animal stock, but the Jabberwocks were native to a world with a dense atmosphere. It was hoped that Jabberwocks would be able to fight on those worlds where Terran species were ill suited. GenAssist's primary market was the military, but it was also thought that the Jabberwocks could be used as civilian security guards. Four hundred kilograms of teeth and claws is a lot more intimidating than the standard rent-a-cop with a badge.

The Solomani Military was divided on the use of of uplifted sophonts as troops. It was agreed that they would never serve as officers, but some thought any use of non-human troops went against the principals of the Solomani Movement. GenAssist managed to convince a few member worlds of the Confederation to try a few small units of Jabberwocks. They were about to sign a major contract with Vyborg, but the Collapse intervened. GenAssist did not sell the Jabberwocks as slaves, but rather as sort of indentured servants. GenAssist had gone through a long and costly procedure to create the Jabberwocks and it needed to get a return on its investment. Individuals served in a military unit voluntarily and received a regular paycheck, but a third of this paycheck went back to GenAssist. Also when GenAssist managed to secure a work contract for a group of Jabberwocks, it took a cut of the profits. In return for the Jabberwocks received free medical care and training on how to live in Solomani culture.

Pre-sentient jabberwocks are one of the most aggressive species known to modern exobiology. They are also extremely territorial, attacking any trespassers of any species. They only tolerate others of their species during a short mating season. These traits do not make them very social, and had to be modified in the sentient brethren. Uplifted Jabberwocks are still very aggressive, but this aggression is controlled and is channeled into several areas. Jabberwocks are very aggressive during combat and hardly ever turn down a fight. They are also extremely competitive, both in their professional careers and their personal lives. Many of them take part in sporting events of all sorts. While they are great fans of rugby, they are not often invited to play versus human teams for obvious reasons. Jabberwocks tend not to be interested in sports as spectators only as participants.

One of the few activities that Jabberwocks gather together in large numbers to participate in is dancing. GenAssist turned some of their mating rituals into a fondness for elaborate dancing. This dancing is very energetic with Jabberwocks running, jumping, throwing themselves across the stage and rearing up. The dance tends not to be a choreographed performance, but consists of all available Jabberwocks thrashing around for the sheer pleasure of dancing. The dance is performed for the enjoyment of the participants, not an external audience. Occasionally a few favored people are invited to watch.

Jabberwocks are still solitary creatures but they can stand and even enjoy the company of others both human and jabberwock. Their tolerance for others depends on the individual, even the most sociable individual tends to spend several hours alone each day. They spend this time exploring their surroundings, practicing hobbies, or even contemplating the universe, though their philosophies are simplistic and tend towards the violent.

Originally Jabberwocks were bilaterally-symmetrical homeothermic quadrupeds, standing about 1.2 meters tall at the shoulder and measuring some 2.6 meters in length. Their anatomy is unusual in that they have four two chambered hearts. A fully grown specimen weighs over 400 kilograms. Their head is mounted on a long neck, and is topped with a large multicolored crest which normally lies flat, but is displayed during mating rituals and territorial fights. Their mouth is full of razor sharp teeth and spikes run down the spine to the base of the tail. The skin is very tough and furless. Jabberwocks are colored a light reddish brown. There is little apparent difference between the male and females of the species. Sentient individuals tend to be a bit smaller, about 350 kilograms, about 2.3 meters in length. Their forepaws have been altered to be manipulative members capable of using tools. Their mouths have been altered to allow them to speak some human words. This is very crude speech, and most Jabberwocks use electronic translators, but are capable of getting their point across in a pinch. GenAssist planned on improving this, but the Collapse intervened.

Jabberwock senses are superior to human senses. They have an excellent sense of sight and they can see from the blue edge of human sight into the shortwave IR (around 1.5 microns). This does not let them see in the dark as the Ithklur do, but instead gives them extra colors. As such their sense of fashion and color sense often appear odd to humans as the humans simply do not perceive all the colors. Their sense of hearing is also superior and they get +3 on all observation rolls involving hearing. Their sense of smell is equivalent to humans. The Jabberwock sense of taste is somewhat less than humans. As such Jabberwocks do not have a large variety of cuisine, almost all of it tastes the same. When they do prepare a dish, it tends to extremely heavily spiced so that can taste some portion of the flavor. Humans who share a Jabberwock prepared meal should be forewarned. Their diet in general consists of large portions of meat. While they are carnivores, small quantities of vegetables and grains are good for their health. Each Jabberwock will consume 10-15kg of food a day, 90% of it being meat. They can and willingly eat both cooked and raw foodstuffs.

GenAssist instilled in the Jabberwocks a deep loyalty to the Solomani Cause and to those humans who were in charge of the Jabberwocks. This loyalty did not correspond to all humans, for instance a unit of Jabberwocks had no problems when ordered to help put down a rebellion on Kestral/Spica. The Jabberwocks also believe that the humans are inherently superior to themselves and that most humans are smarter and better educated. If a Jabberwock is confused or without guidance it will seek out human leadership.

True to their pre-sentient nature, Jabberwocks do not have a very strong family structure. A pair of Jabberwocks will link up for about 18 months, as the female becomes pregnant and then for the first six months of the youngling's life. After this the couple go their separate ways, treating each other the same as any other member of the community. For the most part the Jabberwocks, after the first six months, have left the raising of their young to GenAssist personnel. This is very much like the behavior of presentient Jabberwocks, who have nothing to do with their offspring after that first six months. GenAssist has preferred this arrangement, as the Jabberwocks are still in the process of being uplifted, and this way GenAssist was more in control. They do realize that the Jabberwocks will have to take a more active part in child rearing as their forced evolution proceeds. The plan was to create an environment where the young were raised by the entire Jabberwock community. The Collapse interfered with this plan, and it is unknown what the state of Jabberwock family structure is in the New Era.

Jabberwocks use human names; at first these names were given to them by the researchers who raised them, but as Jabberwock society slowly emerged Jabberwock couples started choosing names for their children. The family usually picks a name that is in common usage in the nearest human society. They also tend to follow the naming conventions of the nearest human society.

Jabberwocks in the New Era

There is a large colony of Jabberwocks in Alpha Crucis where the uplifting process was moved to after the Solomani Rim War. The exact location of this colony is left up to the individual referee. This colony has 5-10 thousand Jabberwocks and is located on a world with a dense atmosphere. Its exact location is left up to the referee.

During the Rebellion, several units of Jabberwocks were used against Imperial forces. A unit may have survived on some world where fighting took place. Several worlds in the Solomani Confederation had units of Jabberwocks serving with their military and since Jabberwock military units have both male and females the remnants of these units might have started a self sufficient population.

Jabberwocks were often shipped in low berth. This was because starships did not offer sufficient space for the Jabberwocks to get away from each other and humans. Voyages awake were often quite stressful on the Jabberwocks. If the Jabberwocks ever design their own starships, they will most likely be quite large, much like the K'Kree, though for the exact opposite reason. A troop transport of Jabberwocks which was in flight during the Collapse could survive until the New Era. The human crew would most likely be dead, killed by the Virus, but the Jabberwocks would survive in low berth. If they were found by explorers, they could be revived and introduced into a new society. They would attempt to return to Solomani space, once they learned that the Solomani did not exist anymore, or that the journey was impossible to accomplish. They would attempt to serve with the closest human government. If that was impossible, they would serve with what ever humans they could find. They would not care too much about the structure of the human government that they served. A dictatorship would be just as good as a democracy. They would not serve or assist criminal elements like pirates or smugglers.

A Vampire could have revised the Jabberwocks and could be trying to continue the uplift process. A Vampire's vision of uplift could be quite different than GenAssist's. Cybernetic implants would probably be involved. Also what purpose would the Vampire want to use the Jabberwocks for.

Character Generation

Armor-(1) Only vs melee attacks.
Claws&Teeth Attack Damage: 1d6 Pen:1

Str Agl Con Int Edu Cha Soc Psi
2d6+4 2d6+2 2d6+2 1d6 1d6-1 2d6-3 1d3 0

Jabberwocks are allowed to reroll any one of these rolls.

Agility is halved when dealing with fine manipulation of objects. Fractions round up. Skills that use the halved agility include: Energy Artillery, Energy Weapons, Forgery, intrusion, Jeweler, Machinist, Music, Pickpocket, Pilot, Slug Weapon and Tac Missle.

Intelligence is doubled when applied towards Tactic skills. The minimum values for education and charisma are always one.

The roll for social standing is the standard when the Jabberwock lives in an area controlled by humans who are unfamiliar with Jabberwocks. Examples include the Solomani Confederation and the Reformation Coalition in the year 1202. If the Jabberwock character was being generated for another time period there might be a different roll.

All Jabberwocks have a claw and tooth attack which does 1d6 damage and has a penetration of one. The attack is made with standard unarmed martial arts rules. All Jabberwocks are considered to have Unarmed Martial-0. If a Jabberwock has additional unarmed martial arts skill, calculate normal damage and add it to 1d6.

Jabberwocks raised in the Solomani Confederation before the Collapse have the default skills of Heavy Weapons-0, Slug Weapons-0, Energy Weapons-0, and Dance-1. They also get one hobby skill at level 2.

Careers:Jabberwocks use the standard human careers. Some careers are off limits do to social constraints, these depend on the exact milieu that is being played in. For instance during the Solomani Confederation era there were no Jabberwock Attorneys, Barbarians, Bureaucrats, Civil Engineers, Civil Pilots, Computer Programmers, Construction Workers, Diplomats, Journalists, Managers, Psionic Researchers, Professors, Rebels, Scientists, Undercover Agents, Wealthy Travellers, Nobles or Farmers. Also Jabberwocks were not allowed to become officers in the military; rolls for commission are ignored. If Jabberwocks were introduced to the Reformation Coalition, they would be allowed in available career, but there would be a natural tendency towards military and paramilitary careers.

Age: Jabberwocks start their careers at the age of 13. Jabberwocks use the standard human age charts. At the time of the Collapse there were no known anagathics that were manufactured for Jabberwocks.

Hit Capacity: Jabberwocks determine hit capacity normally. In addition they have a tail location with hits equal to (Str+Con)x2.

Weight: Both male and female jabberwocks use the same weight equation. Weight equals 325 + (Str-AGL)x5 kg

Load and Throw range are calculated as normal for human characters.

Initiative: Jabberwocks roll initiative normally, and then add one to the roll. This bonus to initiative is in addition to any career initiative bonus.

If not stated differently Jabberwocks are created as normal for humans.

Sample Jabberwock Stats

Example: References: Best of the JTAS Vol. 4, Bestiary:The Crested Jabberwock, John Marshall


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