Humanoids evolved from feline-like ancestors, swift and intense hunters designed to chase and bring
They are predominantly hairless, with hair long hair growin
around their chin, ears, and the back of their heads. Their ears are
mounted high on their skull and are hairy and pointed. They have snouted
faces, with large noses and wide nostrils designed to pull in large gasps of air
during a chase and maximizing air exchange to aid in regulating their body
temperatures. They have thick chests and wide shoulders, a large rib-cage
particularly large and powerful lungs and heart.
Their blood contains an exceptionally high ratio of red blood cells, which
allows it to carry more oxygen during periods of exertion but also leaves them
somewhat vulnerable to disease because of their lower ratio of white blood
cells. They have long,
powerfully-muscled legs, and thin waists. They have short, powerful
arms that end in four-fingered hands that have two bony, opposite claw-thumbs
designed for digging in and holding on.
Rafers possess supra-adrenal glands which produce large bursts of adrenaline and
other catecholamine hormones. An involuntary supra-adrenal dump will give Rafers
the burst of incredible speed, energy, strength, and focus necessary to run down
and ride down their prey. After several minutes, when the burst wears off, the
Rafer will crash and suffer lethargy and depression while their body chemistry
Rafers have exceptional eyesight
and depth perception and can see in very low-light
conditions. Their sense of smell is good, being aided somewhat by
large nostrils and noses. Their hearing is exceptional and layered, in
that they can detect and define individual frequency content in a
complex noise... they can discern and distinguish the grinding and
squeakings of individual gears, for example, in a complex gadget.
Personality and Motivation
To other races,
Rafers seem unpredictable. They have a wide variety of personality traits and are
often subject to hormonal mood swings. The bonds and structure of society have,
on one side, allowed the Rafers to evolve into an interstellar race. On the
other hand, it has placed them in a situation where their supra-adrenal glands
are under-utilized, which leads to a natural chemical imbalance. Rafers can
appear lazy and fickle, listless, or bored. tend to be nimble and fickle, proud and formal.
Rafers tend to be seekers of adventure, exploration, and conflict. When their
supra-adrenal glands are not pumping, when they are not hunting, they can seem
unmotivated and almost lazy.
The Rafers, however, really are exceptionally fast thinkers. They are creative
and adaptable, fearless and thrive under pressure.
IIf the supra-adrenal glands are not used for
extended periods of time, Rafers are subject to a variety of diseases. SAGA is
supra-adrenal gland atrophy. Under-utilized supra-adrenal glands simply stop
producing adrenaline at all, leaving the Rafer apathetic, emotionless, and
depressed. Only through a regimen of medical drugs and an aggressive routine of
extreme excitement over an extended period of time has any possibility of
refiring the supra-adrenal glands.
ARS, or Adrenal Rage Syndrome, is another possible result of an unstimulated
supra-adrenal gland. Without the occasional adrenal dump their bodies are
designed to experience, Rafers' brain chemistry may alter itself to compensate.
It will begin to randomly and inappropriately trigger adrenal dumps, causing
unpredictable violent outbursts and erratic behaviour. The ARS victim may
compulsively seek out extremely dangerous situations to stimulate adrenaline
production, to a degree far beyond that of the typical Rafer love of thrill.
As society made life safer and more dull for Rafers, they began to seek out
dangerous sports and activities as a method of stimulating their supra-adrenal
glands and maintaining their mental and physical health. Dangerous thrill-sports
became popular. Wars between groups and pack-states were fought for sport.
Fun and excitement became a sort of currency for the Rafers. Their general
attitude is that death is an acceptable part of life, so long as your adrenaline
is pumping at the time. It is shameful, a waste, to die in a quiet, relaxed
state. They call their excited, adrenaline-charged state Syeikan, extol its
virtues, and live for it. They call their quiet state Yan and endure it between
opportunities to experience Syeikan. The adrenaline crash and depression that
naturally occurs after Syeikan is called Kishta. The Rafers have a drug called
seta-Syeikan,manufactured from the menjelip plant, that super-stimulates the
supra-adrenal glands and drives them into a hyper-excited adrenalized state of
ecstasy. Seta-syeikan is highly illegal in most Rafer pack-states as the users'
glands will eventually lock "on", producing a steady and uncontrolled flow of
hormones. The user is left in a disoriented and violent state until their glands
burn out, leaving them emotionless, apathetic, and unable to think properly.
Origin and Evolution
Rafers evolved from cat-like hunter/chasers on the planet of
the Twilight sector. Coventbourne is a hot, dryish planet. 60% of
its surface is covered by a single, large continent. The center receives
little rainfall and is a huge, brutally dry desert. The west coast
receives east-moving weather systems that deposit large amounts of rain
in the shadow of high inland mountains. The north, south, and east
coasts are moderate and temperate. The end result is a thick ring of
life between the desert and the sea. The Rafers evolved in the flat
plains between the thick forest and deep desert. At night, they would
live in the tree-lines along the edge of the plains, climbing for
shelter and protection. During the day, they were swift, nimble hunters
that would stalk and run down their prey on the flat plains. Their long,
powerful legs and hyper-adrenal glands allowed them to outrun their prey
and leap onto them, while their short powerful arms and claws would grab
hold. Their prey would tire quickly with the weight of a Rafer on its
back, then easily bought down.
Rafers were originally solitary hunters. Once they brought down their
prey, they were often chased away by larger predators or packs of
scavengers. They eventually determined it was more effective to hunt in
packs and eat in shifts, with some members protecting kill while others
ate. In packs, a few members were suddenly able to drive herds of prey
into ambush by many Rafers. The hunt became systematic, social, and
effective. Gradually, Rafers began to use primitive tools,
constructing chutes to force prey towards the most effective ambush
points and using primitive weapons to more effectively protect their
kills. As the chutes became more and more elaborate and effective,
shelters and towns began to form around them and the chute system became
kind of a "free range farming". Rafers began actively killing off the
predators that competed with them for their food sources or tried to
drive them off their kills. They began raising crops that would attract
their prey and they began building traps to expand the types of prey
available to them. With a plentiful supply of prey, they would discover it was
fun to chase and mount them, riding for fun rather than food. This would be a
major shift in thinking for the Rafers that would gradually allow the Rafers to
domesticate work and recreational animals, rather than just eat everything in
Rafers made a slow and leisurely trek into space at first. To most Rafers,
science is not fun or exciting. It took many years before the first crude
spacecraft was produced. Once it was built, however, everyone wanted a ride. As
fast as they could be made, Rafers were filling spacecraft and being blasted
While their technology was crude and dangerous and the end goals somewhat
impractical, Rafers flocked to space for no reason other than the adrenaline
Any acceptable moons or planets within the Coventbourne system were
quickly dotted with domed colonies, immense game preserves full of imported life
the Rafers could hunt and eat. .
Like many of the races in the Twilight sector, the Rafers' introduction to other
races in the universe would come courtesy of the Vrudok. In the late Archaic times, the Vrudok would
stumble across the Coventbourne system and determine that there were easy
pickings. The Czystalo Klekken would send a fleet of ships to conquer the young
race. Things went poorly for the Rafers at first, many of their domed colonies
being demolished by the Vrudok who expected a swift surrender. As it turned out,
the Rafers were unconcerned at the thought of their own demise, in fact all the
more thrilled by the adrenaline rush and willing to fight to the last. After
enough encounters, the Rafers would determine that, while the Vrudok had
technologies far superior to their own, they were incredibly undermatched when
it came to close-in fighting. Rafer scientists would quickly develop bullet-like
boarding craft that were simply fired from massive railguns, taking the fight
directly to the Vrudok. The boarding craft would smash through the hulls of the
Vrudok ship and a flood of enraged Rafers would tear the ship to pieces.
The Vrudok were driven from the system, deciding the Rafers weren't worth the
The Rafers would end up with a dozen or so relatively high tech ships, about
half in functional condition, to reverse engineer. In exchange, many of the
Rafers best warriors had been killed or burned out on seta-syeika. The Rafers
had also learned that there were other races in the universe and their cultural
personality demanded they go fight them all, just for fun. They would quickly
begin to rebuild their own system colonies and establish new domed colonies in
the Uppoyen system.
In mid-Antiquity, Rafers exploration ships outbound from Uppoyen discover the
Ptatl in the Qetlec system. What ensured could be called a war if one was
generous. The Rafer boarding tactics that proved so successful against the
Vrudok were much less so against the physically more able Ptatl. The Ptatl had
superior technology and a longer history in space. After three or four brief
encounters, the Ptatl drove the Rafers back to Coventbourne. Ptatl forces were
dispatched and occupied the capital city. Having no need of the primitive colony
and not believing in captive labour, the Ptatl then just packed up and left,
having made their point. The Ptatl still hold a certain distain and distrust
towards the Rafers, though the Rafers don't tend to hold grudges when it comes
to simple entertainment like war. A lot of damage had been done to the Rafers'
infrastructure and military. Like a Rafer on an adrenaline crash, they would
need to sit quietly for a bit to rebuild and regrow.
In late Antiquity, Kayyan exploratory forces from Izwan would stumble on
the Coventbourne system. The Rafers would leap to conflict, attacking and
destroying the exploration ships. While the Kayyans were superior in technology
and tactic, the Rafers were energetic, fearless, and aggressive. Where the
Rafers had spent years resting and rebuilding, the Kayyans had been exhausted in
wars against the Vrudok and themselves, with Toqkwen's War of Succession. While
victory was attainable for the Kayyans, there was a great deal of debate on
Izwan as to whether it was worth it. Many in the Kayyan military were impressed
with the ferocious, fearless nature of the Rafers.
It was Emperor Rasanya Amilim Algomena who devised the idea of a hostile
alliance. From prisoners and databases captured during the war, the Kayyans were
aware of, and fascinated by, the Rafers' casual, game-like view of warfare.
Emperor Rasanya would send a massive invasion force to the Uppoyen colony,
seiaing it quickly and with few casualties to either side. The Uppoyenate
population was given the choice of rotting in internment camps or joining the
Kayyans as equals. Uppoyen seized the opportunity to join with the more powerful
Kayyans and toussle with their countrymen in Coventbourne. Preparations for the
war against Coventbourne inluded a great deal of training and indoctrination of
the Rafers, teaching them how other races saw war as destructive and
devastating, how they saw loss of life as tragic. Without another battle being
fought, an envoy would run from Uppoyen to Coventbourne, consisting of Kayyans
and Rafers together. When the envoy had plead its case, the Coventboranians were
shocked and somewhat dismayed at the stress they had placed on other races while
they played at war. They would learn about alliance from the Kayyans and form a
strong bond, learning and trading and agreeing to defend each other from
mutually hostile races like the Vrudok.
The Rafer government is basically an organizer and administrator harnessing the
will and actions of the populace. The government is basically organized around
Pack-states, generally a major city and surrounding municipalities. A municipal
Mayor represents the local populace, organizing and directing them when they
come to him with an initiative. The Municipal government basically channels the
energy of the mob into useful, organized action. Mayors are elected by the
populace from within the ranks of the Municipal government every two years.
The Mayors meet monthly in a Federal Parliament to discuss and co-ordinate their
projects. They are overseen, assisted, and organized by a President.
The Federal Government is run by a President that the Mayors of the Pack-States
elect every two years, on the year that mayoral elections are not held. The
President is generally elected from within the ranks of the Federal government.
The President is responsible for taking the ideas and initiatives presented by
the Mayors and providing the guidance and organization to bring them to
The Federal and Municipal governments both maintains staffs of government
Facilitators. Actual governmental organizations like armies, businesses, and
road construction crews form spontaneously by members of the populace who band
together and approach the government with a plan and a goal. These
organizations, called Combines, are basically civil extensions of the government
and are run by members within themselves with the assistance of a governmental
Facilitator. The government organizes and negotiates between the Combines.
Both the Federal and Municipal governments are primarily administrative and
organizational in function. The people approach the government with a general
need and course of action and the government assists in realizing it. In
general, government is perceived by the Rafers as dull and boring. Those who
chose to join the government are often either lazy and unmotivated or corrupt
and looking to garner personal power or pleasure. They are often self-centered
types and the government itself is often inefficient, corrupt, and slow.
Small, swift herbivore mammal. Grazes and burrows on plains.
.Dak - Long-legged, swift herbivore mammal. Grazes in herds on plains.
Masahayan - Long legged herbivore mammal, smaller than a dak. Grazes primarily
in forest, sometimes on plains. Extremely quick and agile, difficult to catch
and dangerous to ride down, as they tend to crash through the forest in panic,
smashing any on-hanging Rafers into the trees and foliage. A tasty delicacy.
Mengang - a colourful, highly plumed forest bird. Their nests are easily reached
and their eggs are a decent snack but the difficult-to-catch bird is a really
Taup - Large, slow reptiles that graze in small groups on the plains. They're a
staple diet when better meat is hard to catch.
Sebakabuka - small, plentiful, hard-shelled insects that swarm through the forest
and plains. Provide a constant and unyielding high-protein snack food.
Mandwan - aggressive, mid-sized pack scavengers. Historically, these were a
threat to the Rafers, as they would drive them away from their fresh kills.