The Crown of the Stars - A Spelljammer 5e Tale
Spelljammers Iconic Races
There are many new and interesting races in spelljammer, as well as many old ones that act differently in wildspace.
Humans, elves, orcs(scro), draconians, githzerai, githyanki, giff, thri-kreen, gensai, gnolls, goblins, kenku, minotaur, tieflings, created, lizard men, dragons, undead, dracon
Beholders in the Spelljammer campaign are common antagonists, like the deadly neogi and sadistic illithids. However, one thing prevents them from being the most dangerous faction in wildspace: the beholders are engaged in a xenophobic civil war of genetic purity.
There are a large number of variations in the beholder race with some sub-races having smooth hides and others chitinous plates. Other noticeable differences include snakelike eyestalks or crustacean-like eyestalk joints. Some variations seem minor such as variations in the size of the central eye or differences in skin colour. Each beholder nation believes itself to be the true beholder race and sees other beholders as ugly copies that must be destroyed.
Lone beholders in wildspace are often refugees who have survived an attack that exterminated the rest of their nest or are outcasts who were expelled for having some form of mutation. The most famous lone beholder is Large Luigi, who works as a barkeeper on the Rock of Bral.
Beholders use a large number of different ship designs. Some of these ships feature a piercing ram but others have no weaponry. All beholder ships allow a circuit of beholders to focus their eye stalks into a 400 yard beam of magical energy. These ships are powered and navigated by the “orbus” (plural “orbii”) race of beholders, who are stunted, albino, and very weak in combat
The neogi appear as a cross between a wolf spider and a moray eel. The short, furry, eight-limbed body is topped by a lithe, bare, fleshy neck with a serpentine head, its mouth filled with needlesharp teeth. The ends of its limbs are tipped with small claws. The fur of the neogi is a light tan, but dyed a variety of colors to signify power, rank, accomplishments, and warnings to other neogi. The older a neogi, the more colorful its hide becomes. A neogi with a bare pelt has no status.
The neogi are hated throughout the Known Spheres, and their spiderships are often attacked without giving them the chance for provocation. The reason is that the neogi are ruthless slayers and plunderers to the last beign, and think nothing of eating their enemies, servants, or fallen comrades. In all the variety of the universe, one truth remains: the Neogi are a hateful, xenophobic race that has no friends.
The most common ship is the neogi deathspider, a huge hulking craft powered by a major helm. The ship contains blessed few neogi for something of that size. In space the deathspiders will attack smaller ships using their grappling rams, and the umber hulk servants will scramble across, ripping holes in th eopponent’s ship and carrying off slaves and the bodies of any they slay.
Mind Flayers are one of the primary factions in the Spelljammer campaign setting. While less prominent than the neogi, illithids are in complete control of Glyth, a Realmspace planet, and have been for millennium.
Illithids’ primary ship type is the nautiloid, a 35-ton craft resembling a nautilus. Nautiloids are 125’ , or 180’ long including the tentacle-like piercing ram. The ships’ coiled shell provides the comfort of enclosed space and protects the illithids from solar radiation.
Less common illithid vessels such as the 25-ton squidship, the 70-ton octopus, and the 100-ton cuttle command also resemble the cephalopods after which they are named. In the Spelljammer setting, the illithids are the creators of the oortlings, a humanoid race of high intelligence and enlarged size. Bred as food, the oortlings are completely docile and have little motivation and almost no instinct for self preservation.
Illithids in wildspace are far less evil and destructive then their groundling variants, possessing a great intelect and common psionic power, as well as personal strength, the race is known for it’s penchant for being traders, as well as information dealers.
A Arcane is a tall, lanky blue humanoid that stands about 9 feet tall and weighs around 600 pounds. Its hands are thin and spidery, each finger with an extra joint.
Arcanes appear sexless, and no one has ever seen a juvenile or aged one. It’s said they have some great racial secret, that they have to be merchants because they require a rare spice to live, that they use magical items to reproduce, that there is really only one company of Arcanes and they can be many places at once, that they’ve quarantined an entire world for some vast experiment… no one really knows for sure.
Arcanes are extraplanar merchants, selling weapons, magic and other treasures from plane to plane. They profess neutrality in the conflicts and rivalries of the planes, preferring to do their business and move on. But beneath the mercanes’ veneer of impartiality are motives of their own, and they often recruit adventurers to set their plans in motion. A Arcane stand out in the most crowded bazaar. A 12-foot tall, blue-skinned creature dressed in voluminous robes, it moves with a slow, languid grace. Its hands are spidery and delicate, with an extra joint in each finger. Nomadic by nature, Arcanes travel widely buying and selling their wares. They favor opulence, so they often rent or borrow villas or palaces when they’ll be settling down for a while. Because they’re known as rich merchants, Arcanes always have a squad of bodyguards nearby. Arcanes present a demeanor of patience and elegance as they ply their trade. They never quarrel among themselves, and a rival who insults one Arcane often finds that others bear a grudge.
Pirates of Gith
Pirates of Gith are another branch of the race that evolved into the githyanki and githzerai. Their divergence occurred at a similar point to the majority of their related species. Unlike the githyanki, who are their closest evolutionary cousins, the pirates of Gith chose not to flee into the Astral Plane. Rather, they fled to arcane space, intent on wiping out the remains of the illithid space fleets. A regimented race, the pirates of Gith are of course best known for their piracy, looting other vessels and killing all those aboard.
Gith Pirates are fairly similar in build to the githyanki, being tall and emaciated. Their skin tones vary from a pale, grubby grey to an unhealthy jaundiced yellow, with fierce red eyes and hair that, while usually brown, can also be black or read in color. Their teeth are sharp and pointed and often filed in order to emphasize this feature. They favor decorative armor, scimitars and cutlasses, and brightly-colored garb such as that worn by buccaneers. Their costumes are usually remarkably tasteless, easily offending the eyesight of aesthetically sensitive folk.
Pirates of Gith are a pragmatic race that only considers a battle won if the entire enemy force has been destroyed. They have been known to attempt to commit genocide if another group try to settle too close to their territories, and are probably the most xenophobic of the gith races. While their greatest hatred is reserved for illithids, they hate all other gith races, including the githyanki, who they feel forsook Gith. Their society is extremely hierarchical, and although they tend not to fight too much amongst themselves, they punish their criminals (those who disobey superior officers) in a brutal and severe fashion; anyone who angers the captain ends up at the captain’s table; usually as the first course. Pirates of Gith are a carnivorous race, and are not above cannibalism.
Giff are thick-skinned and hippopotami-headed. they stand almost nine feet tall, and are powerfully muscled.
The Giff are a race of powerful mercenaries. They are civilized, though due to their nature, Wizards are scarce among their race. Giff hire on with various groups throughout the universe as mercenaries, bodyguards, enforcers, and general legbreakers.
The Giff is a humanoid, with stocky, flat, cylindrical legs and a humanoid torso, arms, and fingers. Its chest is broad and supports a hippopotamus head with a natural helmet of flexible, chitinous plates. Giff come in colors ranging from black to gray to gold, and many have colorful tattoos that leave their bodies a patchwork record of past victories.
Giff platoons can be hired by those looking for their muscle. The Arcane do a small business in Giff mercenaries, but usually local contractors perform the task.
On board ship, the Giff have their own quarters, and will often request to bring on their own large weapons. They favor Alchemist fire projectors and bombards for ground work, and will happily blaze away at opponents, regardless of the tactical situation. The Giff require the ships of others because they rarely have spellcasting abilities of their own.
The Giff homeworld is the stuff of legend—as no living Giff has seen it. Some tales say that the homeworld was destroyed by the Giff, who were rescued by the Arcane. Others say that the Giff sold their planet and their lives to the Arcane in exchange for Spelljamming helms that most of them could not use. Still others say that the Giff homeworld is just beyond the range of one’s ship, in a land where such warrior races are common, and the losers are exiled to the known worlds.