d20 Future: CODEX GALACTICA
Basic Stock: Vrusk
Progress Level: PL7
Physical Description: A Vrusk (singular and plural) resembles a large insect. Eight legs grow from her abdomen, four on each side. Her somewhat humanoid torso is mounted upright in front of the abdomen, and she has two arms connected at the shoulders. Vrusk hands are circular pads with five fingers spaced evenly around the edge. A Vrusk’s shoulders are double-jointed, allowing her to rotate her arms in a full circle without straining any muscles. This flexibility also enables a Vrusk to reach any point on her abdomen or behind her back easily. A hard, jointed carapace covers the Vrusk’s body. The carapace protects the Vrusk from bruises, cuts, scratches, and other minor injuries. A young Vrusk has a blue carapace with bright orange near the joints. As the Vrusk ages, her carapace changes to dull green with yellow joints. Unlike insects, a Vrusk has an internal skeleton supporting her body. Her large eyes are protected by hard, transparent enamel, and four large eating mandibles surround the Vrusk’s mouth. The two larger mandibles hold food while the small ones tear it apart and place it in the mouth. Vrusk are omnivores. They have lungs and breathe through many small nostrils under their abdomens; this arrangement makes it difficult for Vrusk to swim. The average Vrusk measures 5 feet tall and 5 feet long and weighs 185 to 200 pounds. Vrusk have excellent color vision, but they see more of the short wavelengths (blue and ultraviolet light) than humans do, and less of the long wavelengths (orange and red). Their sense of smell is centered in their antennae and is slightly better than the average human’s. They can also touch with their antennae. Their hearing is about the same as a human’s.
Personality: This insect-like creatures have a planet dedicated to mining and industries. “We used to serve House Ektar. Now you can call us — I mean, me — Zivik.” Vrusk are driven, practical beings who base their society and values around independent corporations. A Vrusk’s company determines whom the Vrusk lives with, what the Vrusk’s job is, where the Vrusk travels, and so forth. Often, a Vrusk gives her company name before her personal name, and any Vrusk in the service of a company usually refers to herself as “we.” Vrusk society supports two different types of corporations: conglomerates and trade houses. Conglomerates have business interests in many areas. For example, a single conglomerate might have divisions that build computers, operate farms, train lawyers, and terraform worlds. A Vrusk who works for a conglomerate usually works for only one division, and might not even know what other divisions the company owns. Trade houses specialize in one type of business. Because all Vrusk working for a trade house do the same work, trade houses usually work together. For instance, a trade house that builds farming equipment would hire accountants from an accounting house to keep its financial records. Byzantine laws regulate business between the myriad Vrusk companies; few other than the Vrusk can grasp them. Vrusk adventurers seldom belong to a company. Some are independent operators, some are company employees who were terminated, and some are just too rebellious to tolerate the company rules. Such atypical Vrusk are among the few who use the “I” pronoun when referring to themselves. As with their company-bound kin, however, they are driven by a desire for wealth, power, success, and happiness.
Language: A Vrusk’s speech combines mandible clicks with buzzes produced by a plate in her mouth. They have their own language and alphabet, vursk.
d20 Modern SRD Resources