Once part of a terrifying hive-mind that devoured all in its path, the insectile Siczik mutated and broke away to become independent but community-minded individuals addicted to the freedom of choice.
Playing a Siczik
- Cherish your independence, and while eager to help the group, you despise coercion and entrapment.
- Abhor violence and act as a voice of reason, compassion, and community even when tempers flare.
- Take deep emotional and physical pleasure in simple, mundane choices that establish your individuality.
Other Species probably
- Appreciate your bravery, logic, and diplomacy, even if your conclusions are not always convenient.
- Don’t understand your definition of freedom or your seemingly disproportionate delight over small choices.
- Worry that you might return to predatory, Swarm-dominated ways at any time.
Siczik were once part of the Swarm, a monstrous race traveling from world to world, consuming all they encountered before moving on. Generations ago, however, a mysterious mutation caused an entire subcolony to break from the 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 Siczik that eventually came to settle within the known universe. Siczik are arthropods with chitinous exoskeletons, large compound eyes, and sensitive antennae. 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.
Genetics and Reproduction
Siczik have three sexes: male, female, and host. During reproduction, female and male Siczik provide the initial eggs and sperm, and hosts incubate the fertilized eggs while also adding their own genetic material and immunities. In some Siczik societies, a single host queen incubates for many partners and is considered the true parent, while in others, three-party marriages are common.
Growth Rate & Stages
Siczik young spend their first 2 years in a tiny, wormlike larval form, and they are often carried around in protective containers to let them safely observe the world.
Siczik 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 Siczik deliberately drug themselves this way, becoming “option junkies” blissed out on sequences of trivial decisions—freedom of choice is crucial to Siczik identity. At the same time, having evolved from hive creatures, Siczik remain highly communal by human standards. Even when working with other species, they seek to foster community and teamwork and do what’s best for the group. They are often lawful and good, though loyalty and a utilitarian emphasis on “the greater good” can also lead them down questionable paths.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Not even Siczik know where the Swarm first evolved, for its vast biological colony-fleet has traveled the stars for ages and feels no need to keep track of such things. After splitting from the Swarm, the newly self-aware Siczik scattered to a number of nearby systems.
Civilization and Culture
Siczik rely primarily on telepathy for communication, speaking audibly with their mandibles only in formal situations. Because of their insectile physiology, their “speech-names” can sometimes be harsh and awkward for members of other races to pronounce. Fortunately, they readily accept nicknames bestowed by members of other species, seeing such epithets as honors. Most also have a secret “soul-name” that’s purely telepathic, a concentrated collage of emotions, images, and sense memories that’s shared only with their dearest friends. Some Siczik speech-names include Cesca, Halicon, Jchk, Keskodai, Korskal, Noskaru, Schect, Thast, T’sen, Vishkesh, Xylit, and Zenka.
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
Most of the common species find Siczik agreeable and useful allies, though their telepathic communication and chittering mouthparts can be disconcerting. Siczik, for their part, are positively inclined toward most species, especially Vermir for their communal tendencies and zest for life. Though some species often maintain their prejudice against insectile races, most Siczik don’t hold this against them, as they themselves fear nothing more than the Swarm that spawned them.