Toward the Galactic Nucleus
For thousands of years the Khan have been a space faring species. These proud, brutal aliens resemble a cross between Earth’s big-cat species and humanity in some ways, but are much larger than a human. Native to a planet outside of human space named Kathka, to most Khan the original home world is nothing but a tale passed down through the ages. From all accounts, the original garden home of the Khan was a brutal and savage place that the Khan had not only survived, but thrived within.
Khan had developed complex civilization and society, however their nature for tribal warfare they were unable to ever develop advanced space faring technology. According to Khan history, a much more advanced species of space faring aliens colonized the planet and enslaved the Khan as laborers, warriors and servants. However as the Khan integrated into the society of the alien beings, the Khan rose up against their slavers. During the war, the Khan completely wiped out the more advanced race, using the technological advancements of their slavers to take over all of the colonies and worlds populated by their slavers.
The fierce Khan now control a large sector of space which boarders on human colony worlds. This has opened up trade and communication with the two species, and even some Khan entering human space to live and work. However Khan controlled space is rarely explored by other races, as the tribal warlords which control systems can change overnight and most Khan view any encroachment on their territory as an act of aggression, which must be destroyed at all cost.
The brutality of their home world has allowed natural selection to plan a massive part in the evolution of the race. Unlike most sentient species, the Khan are natural born predators and exclusively carnivorous. Covered in a thick coat of fur, which ranges in nearly all earthen toned colors including blacks, yellows, whites, oranges, reds and greens, with eyes in similar colors to best camouflage into their environment. This fur can often times exhibit spots, stripes or other patterns to help in this as well. While bipedal, the physical features in combination with the short thumb grasp and large claws make them resemble the the big predatory felines of Earth.
Khan reproduce exceptionally fast. Hitting their reproductive age at about 8 years of age. Being polyestrous, female Khan of sexual maturity typically go into heat approximately every month for three to six days unless pregnant. Once pregnant the typical gestation period is about 110 days, allowing for many females to have two litters within a year. Litters often have from 4 to 8 cubs. While cubs are born blind and defenseless, the tribal group makes a point to protect and rear young as a group. In the past the harsh environment and predation on Kathka caused more than 80% of young to die before the age of two. With current technology available, Khan survival rates are near 90%, creating a massive population explosion. Those born with birth defects are often killed by their tribe. Healthy Khan can live as long as 60 years, but rarely live past 40 due to their constant need for adventure and putting themselves in the way of danger.
Often standing over 7 feet tall and weighing between 300 – 400 lbs one would expect the Khan to be slow and encumbered. Instead, they have surprising agility for their size, on par with human speed and dexterity. While stronger and more resilient than most other races. While physically impressive, they are not typically creative or inventive and Psionics among the species are all but unheard of.
Khan are native to an atmosphere similar to that preferred by humans, albeit they are accustomed to a somewhat denser, thicker atmosphere than humans like. They favor temperatures within the human range, but are easily comfortable in what a human would consider overly hot or cold, they especially love hot, heavy-atmosphere worlds that are still human-breathable. Their native gravity is slightly more, equivalent to 1.2 Terran gees.
The history of the Khan is full of holes and misinformation. However a number of things are clear to even the casual observer.
The Khan primarily maintain large tribes, each with their own history of origins, deeds and accomplishments. Most Khan tribes agree that the original home world of the Khan is a planet named Kathka, although few modern day Khan have ever seen the fabled world. On this world of extreme habitats the Khan had grown strong and powerful, natural selection allowing for only the best of their species to continue and propagate.
It is believed that approximately 2 thousand years ago an advanced alien species set up a colony on Kathka, discovering the Khan in the process. This relationship very quickly became one of master and slave, with the alien invaders gathering every Khan they could find, using them as laborers and shock troops when at war. Large breeding facilities were created throughout the colony systems of the aliens.
Eventually this led to an uprising, with the Khan numbers having grown magnitudes beyond the size of their masters, the ensuing war was violent and terrible. Not so much a war to gain freedom, as a war of revenge. The Khan had learned to use the technology of their masters and turned it against them. These battles hurt both races. However the Khan were accustom to fighting in smaller groups, and maintained cohesion in the small tribal groups as the network grid and supply lines fell apart. Despite a surrender, it is widely believed that as they won the war the Khan did not accept the surrender, and spent generations hunting their former masters to the ends of their known systems, killing every last one of them in a genocidal act of revenge.
Modern Khan have colonized their former masters worlds and quite a few more, expanding through systems as their population has grown. With no central government, it’s impossible to tell exactly how far this expansion has gone, but Khan space now borders Republic space, opening the door for trade and commerce between them. Few dare to enter Khan space that are not Khan themselves however, and even among the Khan, few cross between other tribes territories.
The harsh Khan homeworld conditioned the Khan psychology for toughness just as it did the body. Khan have always had a strong connection to those closest to them, tribal connections that run deep and hard. To those outside of the tribal group they have a tendency to be selfish, unsympathetic, and blunt. Within their tribe Khan hierarchy favors the decisive and strong, often leading to violent one on one, hand to hand battles to assume control over leadership, or to show dominance within lower tiers of the group. They respect strength, both as a tribe and in self-reliance and are never surprised or offended by treachery among those outside of their tribe. However within a tribe treachery is nearly incomprehensible.
The weak among the Khan do not live long. In their culture, only those who are strong and can contribute to the greater tribe are valued. Those who are weak or can’t function as a productive member of the tribe find themselves killed or outcast, which are much the same in Khan territories. Khan have powerful territorial instincts which serve them well in combat, but can create problems; when traveling starships, for example, try and pass through or even approach Khan territory without prior notice find themselves fired upon and destroyed.
Most Khan trust and serve no one outside of their tribal group. This attitude stems in large part from a deep sense of mistrust among outsiders and a need for dominance. They believe the entire galaxy is out to get their tribe. The Khan rarely build technologies for the future, instead looking to only expand the immediate influence of the tribe and immediate benefits that will satisfy current tribe interests. The Khan live with a generally violent and short sighted attitude of personal or tribal gain.
Female Khan rarely leave their tribal home colonies, focusing on breeding and rearing in an attempt to expand and grow the tribe. Many of the Khan tribes have entire colonies settled by only females and young, with prime specimen males visiting the worlds to mate. With current technologies available for artificial insemination, even this is occasionally forgone. Many of the females and young live in permanent colonies separate from all males, with the males always working toward the expansion and goals of the tribe. Khan females also seem much more level headed and long term thinking than their male counterparts.
Khan children are raised within the females’ camps. Approaching maturity the tribal leaders take the male Khan children for training. Occasionally particularly renowned or powerful male Khan will be given the best of the children to claim as offspring, despite actual parentage in order to groom the strongest and smartest.
Architecture, art and beauty are things not often considered among the Khan. Most colonies and habitats of the Khan are repurposed from other peoples. When forced to create their own shelter, Khan are supremely utilitarian, admiring strength over beauty. The exception is music, as the Khan are fond of violent and aggressive musics, favoring percussion instruments themselves. It is said they have grown fond of human “metal” music as well.
Khan are not shown to have strong religious beliefs. Most Khan instead only believe that there is, and is not. Not even considering age or death as substantial. Most Khan believe that the strong survive, and if they are not strong, they will be destroyed and become a part of the thing that killed them, becoming stronger. Due to this, the closest they come to any type of rituals or belief related to religion or the afterlife is the belief that strength is gained through overpowering others.
Very little is known about Khan language with the exception that much of it is based on body language, and while many tribes separated among vast distances for large amounts of time still speak the same language, even if in different dialects. However many terms used among Khan tribes are specific to that tribe. Khan among human controlled space generally speak at least some English. It seems as though they have a gift of being able to learn language fairly easily. Writing is much more difficult for the Khan though, and is usually difficult with their fingers, however typing is used, but generally truncated and simplified as much as possible.
Khan names are varied and wide, specific to tribal influences, great battles or wars, fearsome creatures, weapons or other things viewed as strong. Khan make sure to distinguish their tribes name along with their own as well.
Khan do not have a central government. Instead living in tribal groups where one tribal leader could command enough power to keep influence in a particular territory. These days, most tribes have cool relations with their neighbors, believing it is important for the individual Khan tribes to keep themselves at least loosely organized in the event that another race tries to overtake and enslave them again
These arrangements are very ill defined however. With most tribes only keeping in contact with their closest neighbors. Even then, skirmishes between tribes over resources, influence, females or expansion rights are common and expected. Khan space is often thought to be a constant warzone, and to an outsider might appear as such. However the Khan believe that they are well prepared to work together in the event of invasion. It is speculated that their instinctive aggression and territorial nature prevent the Khan from forming any kind of centralized government or parliament that is not based on fear or obedience. No Khan even knows the borders of Khan space, or how far their influence expands.
Individual tribes can vary widely in their agenda and practices. However all follow a tight structure within the actual tribe they belong which keeps order among the group. Infighting occurs rarely, and usually in an organized battle to settle a difference or shift in power. The entire governing structure is based on dominating those below oneself.
The Khan do not have a structured military of any kind. However every single Khan individual is brought up as a warrior and fighter. Among each tribe the tactics, resources and practices change however. This is speculated to give the Khan a severe disadvantage in any conventional large scale war. However due to the belief that the Khan hunted another species to extinction for revenge, few desire to explore this theory.
Khan as PCs
Khan PCs are rolled as normal, but all Khan gain a 1 modifier bonus to their Strength due to their powerful build and a 1 modifier penalty to their Intelligence due to their lack of creativity and inventiveness. These modifiers are applied directly to the attribute’s base modifier, so a Khan that rolled 14 for Intelligence would have a final modifier of (+1 -1) = 0. This modifier cannot increase a bonus above +2 or below -2. Khan can belong to either the Warrior or Expert classes. There are no known Khan psychics.
Khan can use human lazarus patches and medical tech, though at a -1 skill check penalty if the attending physician is unfamiliar with their species. Most human equipment and weaponry can be used normally, though usable hard-shell armor and vacc suits can cost from five to ten times as much if they have to be specially ordered.