The galaxy is a rich, diverse place with unique cultures and species. Among those, the Aw’akeen are one of the more unique examples of a species. In fact, the Aw’akeen may be a startling surprise given what kind of organism they are.
These Aw’akeen are often mistakenly called “living machines”. In the worst case, they are mistaken and treated like droids. This has led to disastrous results between Aw’akeen cultures and certain other cultures across the galaxy.
In more accurate terms, the Aw’akeen are a silicon-based life form whose base, embryonic form, is a ‘living crystal’. As they develop, newborn Aw’akeen are cybernetically integrated into a machine ‘frame’ or body. This frame is altered and upgraded over time, as the Aw’akeen develops and grows to adulthood.
The multi-colored hot springs on their homeworld of Khafra in the Azara System, in the Razaria Sector, gave birth to this species. For over well over ten thousand years, they have existed in the galaxy and bore witness to the rise and fall of countless peoples; including their own.
Today, one of the three surviving Aw’akeen cultures, the Crathax control Khafra. This aggressive and xenophobic culture rejects most outsiders, even to the point of open hostility. Other Aw’akeen cultures are the Olddea, and Shalent. The latter two lack the Crathax xenophobia and in fact the Shalent have the opposite viewpoint. If Aw’akeen are encountered in the galaxy, they are most often one of the Shalent.
Aw’akeen have a humanoid shape with four limbs - two arms and two legs. On rare occasions, certain members will have added a second pair of arms, or retractable appendages. This is extremely rare.
This species possesses a durable endoskeleton that is jointed to allow the shift between a humanoid mode and one of many ‘vehicle’ or what they call ‘transportation’ mode. That frame houses a positronic network that is cybernetically integrated with a silicon based ‘living crystals’; what the Aw’akeen call their ‘spark’.
There is a mistaken concept that the ‘spark’ is the ‘real’ Aw’akeen. This is no more true than the ‘brain’ or ‘heart’ of a human is the ‘real human’. An Aw’akeen ‘spark’ is similar in concept to a human’s brain.
An Aw’akeen’s skin is pliable with a flexibility similar to organic skin. But this is actually a synthetic silicone polymer that is generated by the Aw’akeen internal systems. Over time, an Aw’akeen grows organic metal plates as natural armor. This is like other species such as a reek, rhinoceros, or the giant mudhorn.
Below their skin, the Aw’akeen share the same organ concepts as other humanoid species. They have a nervous system, circulatory system, and more. But the details are where the differences lie. For an Aw’akeen, their nervous system is like a highly advanced positronic network. This network runs throughout their body and can be seen as dark-colored circuits on their skin. It cannot be hacked or sliced as with a droid, but has similar base concepts. The ‘blood’ of an Aw’akeen is a copper-based electrolyte solution.
Through this solution, an Aw’akeen can maintain a long-term store of energy. This acts like a liquid battery for them and has the side effect of a faint glow to their circuit lines that can be seen on their skin.
This species has a unique ‘dual form’ nature, similar in some ways to a shapeshifting species that only has two forms. Here, the Aw’akeen have a humanoid form and a second they call the ‘vehicle’ form.
In their humanoid form, they resemble an unusual droid with armor plating. This often causes them to be mistaken for a type of security or combat droid on some worlds. But in an emergency, Aw’akeen use this to their advanced by blending in with local droids to avoid notice.
Their other form is unique to the individual Aw’akeen and does not develop until they reach maturity. This ‘vehicle form’ is always of the same mass and total volume as the Aw’akeen’s humanoid form. These ‘vehicles’ and what they are shaped like vary between members of the species. Small speeder bikes or flying drones are the most common, but other configurations are not unheard of.
Once an Aw’akeen has developed their ‘vehicle form’ they cannot change it without extensive surgery, which is life-threatening for the Aw’akeen. This second form keeps the color, hue and any skin patterns the Aw’akeen display in their humanoid form.
In their humanoid form, the average skin tone ranges from blue to a blue-green or light indigo color. Lightly glowing circuit patterns trace lines down their body from head to toe. They also represent division lines where the particular Aw’akeen’s body will shift and twist to reform into their ‘vehicle’ mode.
These circuit patterns have more relevance than being cybernetic connections or a suggestion of their circulatory system. They also keep similar patterns between related individuals, with altered patterns passed down from parent to child.
The aw'akeen do have a physical gender, appearing as human male or female, though the exact reasons why are lost even to them. Most believe this was a way for their people to better integrate with organic beings across the galaxy ages ago. Each Aw'akeen child is allowed to determine their 'gender' as they develop, until they reach the age where they develop their 'vehicle' mode where they are considered an 'adult'.
Dietary Needs and Habits
This species may be a silicon-based life form, they still need to eat. An Aw’akeen’s diet differs from organic beings found across the galaxy. They can, and do, consume organic food such as fruits or vegetables. Besides plant-based food, they also eat raw minerals such as anthracite, mexalite, and other metal-based ore.
But, with diet and nutrition, the Aw’akeen do not eat meat. For some, it is partially because of cultural philosophy. But this philosophy is based on hard research. The Aw’akeen lack the enzymes to process animal based protein sources. So if they try to eat meat, it wouldn’t provide them with much nutrition; it will also make them sick.
The average Aw’akeen has a human-like face with the same number and position of eyes, nose and so on. But the comparison stops there. The blue, blue-green or indigo skin tone, circuit lines along the cheekbones, ice-blue or gray metallic eyes and occasional fiber-optic hair denotes their unique nature.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
The Aw’akeen have humanoid senses such as hearing, sight, touch, and even taste. Though they can extend their ‘hearing’ into a sonar type band that acts as passive echolocation, similar to the echolocation of the Togruta.
Civilization and Culture
According to the oldest surviving records, the Aw’akeen people have been in the known galaxy for over 500,000 years. Their ancestors, the Cytronians, developed a fantastic level of micro-technology not seen for thousands of generations until the rise of the Choni Techaugers.
For the Cytronians, combined with their bio-mechanical nature, this quickly propelled them into a space faring culture. The ancient Cytronian civilization existed during the time of the Kwa and other ancient civilizations.
This ended during the Thousand Stellar War against the extra-galactic invaders, the Eborreans. Cytronian civilization and their allies collapsed. Survivors from those fallen people split into what became the three cultures found today: Crathax, Olddea, and the Shalent.
Since then, those descendents of the Cytronian Aw’akeen have grown apart. In the current day, these cultures share little common ground. Their remaining common ground is only clothing design, food, and certain holidays. The oldest of these would be ‘transform day’ where an Aw’akeen is first able to transform into their ‘vehicle’ form.
Common Clothing Styles
One of the few areas the three Aw’akeen culture has in common is clothing. Most species use clothing to protect themselves against harsh environments and conditions. This is also true for the Aw’akeen. They may be a bio-mechanical species, but extremes of hot and cold climates can damage their outer casing just as it can the skin of an organic species. The advantage the Aw’akeen have is a much wider temperature tolerance, up to and including the vaccuum of space.
Native Aw’akeen clothing is a series of connected, wrap-around panels. These are designed in such a way to separate, then be folded in side once the Aw’akeen transforms into their ‘vehicle’ mode. As they transform back to their humanoid shape, the Aw’akeen can retie and slip on their clothing.
Not that Aw’akeen cannot wear other clothing from across the galaxy. Most do to better fit into a local culture, or because they enjoy a particular style. But that clothing isn’t made to accommodate their transforming ability. So, when they do transform, an Aw’akeen must either remove their clothing or transform more carefully to prevent tearing their clothing to shreds.
Another item in common is their technology level. These Aw'akeen cultures have lost most of their advanced technology over the centuries. But like cultures from Tapani, to Chiss, to Ryloth, the Aw'akeen cultures are a hyperspace capable.
Common Naming Practice
Aw'keen cultures have their own flavor and style but there is a common pattern to their names. Most will get their child's name from the local Wheeljack, which is an Aw'akeen priest or shaman.
Their names are not gender specific, and in their own cultures the Aw'akeen don't use surnames. Instead, their names are compound names. When dealing with other cultures, an Aw'akeen will often split the name to create a 'fake' surname. An example of this would be Sabi'triele, who uses "Sabine Tri'elle" when introducing herself to people from outside any of the Aw'akeen people.Names
Average Aw'akeen Attribute Dice for Average Aw'akeen: 12D
Starting Character Attribute Dice: 15D
Attribute Dice Ranges
Move: 10/12 (humanoid mode), 20/30 ("vehicle mode")
Aw'akeen have two basic forms: humanoid and vehicular ( vehicle mode must be similar mass. Example: drone, small speeder bike, etc ). A transformed Aw'akeen still retains the same base attributes except for Move, which changes as shown above.
The "vehicle" shape or type is selected at character creation and cannot be changed.
Aw'akeen are a silicon based life form that is cybernetically integrated into a 'droid-like' body. Because of that aspect, they have a natural armor that is the same as a 'tough hide' or 'natural body armor' in other species. This gives the Aw'akeen +2D against physical attacks and +1D against energy attacks.
Aw'akeen can receive and send electromagnetic transmissions up to one kilometer. This can be a means of communication but also acts in a similar fashion as the Togruta Spacial Awareness ability. They can use this through a skill check of Perception or Search vs a Moderate. If the transmission is secured or they are trying to access something secured ( like a restraining bolt ), then the check is their Technical or droid programming skill vs a Difficult.
In A Storm of Blasters some characters met some representatives of the "Escoobar Federation" who had been making deals in order to support their side of the "thousand year war". Has any information turned up yet as to which ethnicity they are associated with? Or is this a minor 4th ethnicity at odds with one of the 3 major ethnicities?
C. B. Ash
That was some of the Shalent.
Oh my! My first reaction was to make a "resistance is futile" comment, but now I have think it will be "Resistance is futile, Aw'akeen transform and roll out". They are awesome!
C. B. Ash
Thanks! To be honest, creating this playable species was a serious labor of fan love on my part :D