This was inspired by ApocSM's imaginary factions for Warhammer 40K.
Mine are not exactly imaginary. I'll try to make them funny/interesting enough to be worth reading :)
Also, for now, there's a common theme: these are factions which nearly went extinct a long time ago, and are now "resurfacing". Expect a crap-load of fanon XP ( actually, it's my attempt to make some sense of the messy sci-fi universe that is WH40k )
You'll also notice I tend to use the term "Species" more than "Race".
Finally, I own nothing. The Warhammer franchise ( both 40k and Fantasy ) is the property of Games Workshop. ( If I did own Warhammer 40k, I would have come up with less clumsy-looking models for the Tyranids :P )
Background: The ( not-so-canon ) War in Heaven
During the War in Heaven, the Old Ones uplifted various species to fight the Necron menace. The Eldar, the Krork, and the Slann. Few know where the Old Ones found the original species ( and the Eldar are too proud to tell. ), but the Old Ones' intentions can be inferred.
Of these species, the Slann took the roles of healers and nurturers. Their calm and stable minds ( combined with psychic talent ) were suited to these tasks. The Old Ones placed a further mental conditioning on them, transferring their own aversion to violence into the Slann.
( Why did the Old Ones need to create the Eldar ? The most reasonable explanation is that the Old Ones found it difficult to use the Warp for violence themselves. )
This made the Slann the opposite, and thus a good complement, to the emotionally unstable and warlike Eldar.
All was going well. The necrons' ignorance of the Warp meant they were easily defeated by the Eldar, Slann and Krork forces, but the consequences were grave. The repeated use of Warp-based magic brought the Enslavers into the physical realm. These powerful psychic entities possessed sentient organic life forms, turning them into living portals through which more Enslavers and warp predators can enter the Materium and feast on the psychic energies of unwary fleshlings.
The reactions to the Enslaver Plague were varied.
The necrons and their Star Gods, unused to the sudden flood of Warp energies ( which was anathema to the Star Gods ) occurring all over the galaxy, were forced to shut down and go into hibernation. ( yeah, I know what the official story is, but come on, these are beings who can live off the energies of the stars ! why would they worry about starving just because sentient organic life was going to get wiped out ( which did not happen anyway ) ? )
The Eldar migrated towards the core of the galaxy, and made a strong stand against the Enslavers, protected from the latter's psychic attacks by fortresses constructed of psycho-active Wraithbone.
The Krork were supposedly wiped out, but the reproductive spores ( which were overlooked by the Enslavers because spores have no mind ) they left behind survived the Plague and would later give rise to the savage Orks, who have no memory of their ancestors' role in the War in Heaven. ( and they don't care anyway … )
The Old Ones themselves either fled the galaxy, took shelter with the Eldar, or got killed by the Enslavers. ( It's possible the Old Ones themselves summoned the Enslavers while attempting to open the whole galaxy to the Warp and thus defeat the Star Gods once and for all. )
And the Slann ? Realising that the overuse of psychic powers was responsible for the current calamity, they decided to calm their minds ( an ability discovered and enhanced by the Old Ones ) to such an extent that it was no longer possible for any other psychic being to detect their thoughts. Some succeeded, and managed to survive the Enslaver Plague. In other words, they went Zen.
One small group of Slann scientists and mystics predicted that if all the Slann continued to dissolve their emotions like that, eventually they would lose the motivation to procreate, or to even sustain their own lives, and then the Slann species would go extinct.
And it was just about to. After tens of millennia, even though they took care not to come into conflict with the younger, more prolific species, the Slann population scattered and appeared to dwindle, until the influence of their civilization became limited to a few isolated star systems ( while the Eldar, humans, and recently the Tau dominated the galaxy around them ).
Finally, they decided that something had to be done. Thus, the New Spawning was carried out.
Through the cooperation of the Slann settlements on various worlds, a new generation of Slann was birthed and genetically modified to be more active, completely free of the mental conditioning placed on their ancestors by the Old Ones.
These Neo-Slann ( Or Newts, for short ) grew up and congregated into Communities. They were given little help from their predecessors except for a few Old Slann sent to each settlement to guide their development, as well as the pieces of technology that the Old Slann had not bothered to hide from from them.
With the future hopes of one of the oldest sentient species in the Milky Way resting on their shoulders, and the curious, adventurous spirit of a people who have just achieved interstellar travel ( from their own perspective ) the Neo-Slann set out to explore the strange new universe of the 41st millienium.
Unlike the Old Slann, who now resemble large sleepy toads, the Newts have a leaner, fitter appearance.
Like Terran amphibians, each Newt begins life as an aquatic tadpole, hatched from one of many eggs produced in one Spawning. The tadpole eventually grows up to resemble a Giant Salamander, with longer legs supporting an erect gait, forlimbs ending in webbed hands with a suction pad at each fingertip, and a large head ( with big golden, silvery or red eyes, thin lips, and very small nose ). With age, the skin becomes darker in colour ( green, red, or brown ) and courser ( some warriors even grow crocodile-like scales ). The tail does not disappear. Rather, it grows in proportion to the rest of the body, like Terran salamanders.
Females are usually shorter, wider at the hips and retain a youthful appearance ( e.g lighter, smoother skin, bright eyes etc ). ( That's right, no boobs ! Come on, you don't always need boobs to imagine a pleasant looking female alien. )
/( something like the original 'dinosauroid', but far stouter, and more "adorable". )
A unique pattern of thin black stripes covers each individual Newt. Only the stripes along the back are thick enough to be visible from afar.
Like the Old Slann, the Newts don't seem to age. They just keep growing, at a slower and slower pace, until they reach a rough optimum size ( from two to three metres tall, depending on the living environments).
The Newts have also inherited their predecessors' psychic talent and calm minds. However, without the long millennia of mental training that the Old Slann have had, the Newts are still not safe from warp predators. When such a threat is detected, a Newt's first instinct is to go into a meditative state to protect itself. This saves their souls … most of the time.
The Slann's natural habitats are tropical rainforests with high humidity, frequent storms and floods, and tall, overgrown vegetation blotting out the ground and skies. They also prefer gloomy weather, in contrast to the bright lighting used by the Eldar and Tau, though ironically, the Neo-Slann are generally more cheerful ( jovial ) compared to those two other peoples.
There are two basic social units: the Community, comprising of all Newts born in the same place ( up to thousands ), and the Shoal, the group in which several Newts travel together when on the move ( smaller in size than Communities ). Several ( hundreds to uncountable ) nearby Communities would come together to build a city.
The Neo-Slann produce a massive number of offspring during each spawning, usually in a natural body of water close to the parents home. Exposed to the elements of the wilds, many tadpoles don't survive to adulthood, and the Slann do not try to ensure the survival of every tadpole as they don't consider the tadpole stage to be sentient yet. Regardless, enough young Newts do survive, and usually the stronger ones.
Every now and then, a city decides to organize an Expedition, where some Communities reorganize themselves into Shoals and travel to a faraway place, to explore and establish new settlements. It is these Expeditions that make the impression of a "Slann Army" to the other factions, though the Slann do not have a tight military organization.
Other than the genetic databases, the Newts are not very good at keeping track of their familial relationships ( try keeping track of all the frog spawn in a pond and you'll see how difficult it is ). Hence, a hereditary caste system has not yet developed. The respect that the Slann accord each other are purely based on scholarship, prowess in battle ( usually defensive ), resourcefulness, and bravery.
Being a recent faction like the Tau, the Neo-Slann do not have an ingrained hatred to most other species ( except for Tyrannids and Necrons, which are impossible for them to sympathize with ), and are fast friends with the altruistic Tau.
However, unlike the Tau, they have no interest in creating any political utopia. The primary goal of the Great Expeditions is to explore and to trade. To this end, they are willing to work with anyone, be it the Imperium, the Ethereals, Chaos, Orks, the Eldar, and even the Dark Eldar.
This inevitably involves them into conflicts which they should not be involved in. When this happens, they usually pull back and disappear through the Webway, the knowledge of which was passed down to them from the Old Slann. However, if they are forced to fight, their seemingly primitive weapons can still pack an awful lot of punch.
The habit of entering and emerging from the webways unannounced, draws mixed reactions from the Eldar. ( most of the time, the Newts have no idea where they are going, and cause a lot of confusion with their sudden appearance. ) Some Craftworlds see them as valuable allies, while others view them as a bloody nuisance.
The Imperium views them as … ( what else ? -,- ) … Xenos to be conquered. The Slann hide from the Imperial military as far as possible, and attempt to establish trade relations with fringe colonies.
Slann architecture resembles stylized and translucent corals and sea shells. A Slann city can appear as a blown up coral reef ( intermixed with the forests that that they like so much ) from the distance, sometimes extending around the entire coast of a continent, up its rivers, and into its lakes, forming a dark brown ( with shifting blotches of gold due to refraction ) border visible from space. There may also be pieces of mobile Slann construction drifting out at sea.
Slann armour and vehicles resemble various crustaceans with translucent brown cuticle.
The Neo-Slann get most of their basic materials from aquatic animals and plants they rear. The latter are bred to respond only to the psychic commands of the Slann.
A blind tentacled slug-like creature, usually larger than the average Slann, used by the Neo-Slann for construction, as an aid to the Newts' own labour. It uses its long tentacles for locomotion and manipulation. It also has organs for drilling and secreting Sea-glass, and highly developed senses of touch, hearing, smell, and taste. When there is no controller around, the Shugoth reverts to its natural state: a sessile sea-snail.
A tough, durable and versatile material secreted by the Shugoths. Usually translucent and dark brown in colour, but may have white scratches/patches which hint at intricate internal circuitry. It can be molded into the frames and shells around which Neo-Slann buildings, vehicles, ships, and armour can be constructed. Alternatively it can be simply used as a lasting cement to glue various odd components together. It can be reinforced by the inclusion of special polymers. Once reinforced, the Sea-glass can take an aweful amount of stress and is very hard to destroy. Unlike the Warp-based Wraithbone used by Eldar, Sea-glass is not psychoactive. Rather, Neo-Slann circuitry works in a similar manner to human and Tau electronics.
A transparent, chemically inert substance which can change shape under the command of a psychic entity ( either a Slann user or a generator ), who must remain in contact with the gel, or else it will collapse back to its amorphous state. Thought to be obtained from a shape-shifting jellyfish-like creature. Its strength depends on the psychic power of the user, though beyond a certain power level, the user may simply replace the Psi-gel with Warp-based constructs. Usually too soft to serve as armour or weapons.
Woof-bubble/ Woof-wall/ Woof-Suit:
A semi-permeable barrier made of Psi-gel. Various sizes. The biggest ones help a ship or city to retain its internal environment while allowing personnel and vehicles to enter or exit through the barrier. ( like the Gungans' hydrostatic shields in Star Wars: Phantom Menace ) For this reason, even a broken Slann space-ship is still a viable vessel, as long as the Woof-wall generators are still functioning, to retain its internal atmosphere. Woof-Suits are form-fitting, commonly used environmental suits made almost entirely of Psi-gel ( plus a few Sea-glass plates here and there ). Neo-Slann armour consists of a layer of Psi-gel completely covered in Sea-glass plates, giving the impression of a translucent brown lobster's cuticle molded around a humanoid form.
The Slann version of the webway gate resembles a gigantic conch shell with its tip pointing upwards. At the mouth of the shell is the shimmering portal analogous to the portal created by Eldar Webway Gates. Thanks to the Old Slann ( or rather, thanks to them not having found any way to hide the portals from the Newts' eyes … ), the Neo-Slann can freely enter or exit the webway like the Eldar. Unfortunately, unlike the Eldar, the Newts have yet to map it out, and the Eldar are rather reluctant to share that knowledge.
Wow I sure got carried away 0_0
And I have yet to do the Special Abilities, Wargear, and Units section 0,0
And I have yet to talk about the other two species that I have been thinking about 0 . 0 …
Ah well, it's getting late so I'll leave that for later.
Do put in a review and tell me what you think of this so far :)
Any suggestions are also very welcome :D
Have a nice day/night ;)