Created in ages past as a last-ditch effort to break a military siege, the sabarus alphas awoke and defied their original programming as mere weapons. They escaped and found themselves far from their original home planet of Beyne, now lost in Raljikka. After forming an alliance with the nearby sabarians, the robots found a new purpose in protecting allies they chose for themselves. Their loyalty was rewarded with the nations of Ealdremen starting to view them as not simply intelligent machines, but as people in their own right. Now the sabarus alphas seek their place in Ealdremen, unaware of the sinister truth behind their sentience.
Etymology and Other Names
The sabarus part of this race's name refers to the nation of Sabaria, long ago the first country to declare themselves an ally of the robots and actively seek to help them prosper. As such, Sabaria's name was incorporated into the new racial identity, denoting that the newly-dubbed sabarus alphas would be in service of Sabaria. The alpha designation is meant to evoke a sense of being incomplete and striving for improvement.
As the name was deliberately chosen and not the result of natural linguistic evolution, most languages in Ealdremen use the term sabarus alpha with minor linguistic adaptations as needed. "Alpha" is sometimes used as a shorthand term for a sabarus alpha, albeit largely in informal settings.
Sabarus alphas must exist in a world dominated by organic races; though no two sabarus alphas will ever be quite identical, they are likely to bear similar design traits meant to facilitate assimilation into everyday society and endear themselves to the people around them. A poorly designed sabarus alpha will be easily discarded for being unsettling in their attempted mimicries of natural behavior. Similarly, if they are too far separated from resembling an organic individual, they might not even be regarded as a proper person. Meshes are carefully designed to hide any parts of a sabarus alpha's body that could trigger a negative response. Sabarus alphas that lack great resemblance to an organic individual tend to mostly dwell in Rackina, where they are the majority and do not need as much "organic appeal".
A great deal of work goes into many sabarus alphas' faces to make them appealing to look at -- not just from a sense of conventional beauty, but a psychological sense of being accepted as a person and not a mere machine. However, sabarus alphas will rarely be truly indistinguishable from an organic individual, as a robot existing "undetected" is easily cause for alarm in some regions of Ealdremen. It is common for even the most psychologically appealing of sabarus alphas to have metallic skintones, obvious bolts in some of their joints, or glowing eyes to signal their robotic nature. If they resemble a race with limbs such as wings or tails, they may lack these features not only to simplify the creation process, but also to indicate that they are not a member of that race.
Because they were originally created by the reots, a great many sabarus alphas resemble reots in their design, especially as many reots continue to learn sabarus alpha engineering and creation. Raljikkan races are the other likely inspiration for a sabarus alpha's form, most commonly humans, rakkos, suljakkos, or sabarians for the relative simplicity of their biology compared to Raljikka's quadrupeds and their larger populations in everyday society. That said, a sabarus alpha might conceivably resemble any of Ealdremen's races depending on where they were built. This resemblance is only skin-deep, though; unlike organic races, sabarus alphas' main processors -- effectively their "brains" -- are in their torsos and not their heads, so that these delicate systems can be more easily protected.
Unknown to virtually all of Ealdremen is that sabarus alphas are not only powered by Chrono, but by the spirits of the departed. Essentially, sabarus alphas are ghosts possessing a metal body, their memories of their previous lives largely lost and their true natures unknown. A sabarus alpha remembering something from a past life would likely discount what they see as simply a glitch. All the same, they may experience curious nostalgia or trigger similar feelings around people who knew their past self. Even engineers that create sabarus alphas are unaware of the truth of their creations, as the final "awakening" process of a sabarus alpha is done in secret by the highest of government agencies, ostensibly to prevent those with malicious intentions from creating loyal armies or mindless steel monsters.
Sabarus alphas seek to achieve a particular purpose, which might be instilled in them by the circumstances of their creation or could be something they discover later on in life. They tend to specialize in a particular task, role, or ability, as their generally cooperative natures encourage them to rely on others who specialize in other areas. While they do not neglect proficiency in other tasks to the point of ineptitude, especially as learning comes rather easily to them, they most often do not approach versatility with the same dedication as their chosen specialization; it is secondary or meant to supplement the specialization in some way, such as learning self-repairs to save time that can be spent on honing their specific talent. Their specializations generally inform the purpose they want to accomplish, and the two tend to be twined in a sabarus alpha's mind.
Though sabarus alphas do not have a true childhood, they are closely supervised for their first several years of life so that they can learn to operate in society and will acclimate easily wherever they are placed. This period of supervision is most often from specially trained handlers or fellow sabarus alphas, and the supervised sabarus alpha is carefully kept separate initially from outside variables to ensure that they do not learn the wrong lessons. Supervision generally entails constructed, scripted situations that mirror what a sabarus alpha will experience in the real world, ranging from basic day-to-day living to potentially perilous scenarios.
Because they believe themselves to be pure machines, sabarus alphas quite universally do not believe in an afterlife. Collectively, they are more inclined towards general life philosophies of benevolence than any form of organized religion. As life is seen as a single opportunity, they hold existence to be sacred. Death is a tragedy beyond measure, especially that of another sabarus alpha whose purpose is incomplete. They are usually inclined to trust unless given reason otherwise, but because they are such quick learners, they can become stubborn and view even complicated situations as binary scenarios with no middle ground. Someone who lies once will often not be trusted again, as they have proven themselves to be a dishonest person. Extremely nuanced social situations will often go over their heads unless they have direct experiences to rely upon.
Racial Traits (D&D 3.5e/Pathfinder)
Sabarus alphas are largely a Medium race and have no bonuses or penalties associated with their size; some sabarus alphas, especially those mimicking certain races, may be Small or Large, in which case they inherit those associated benefits and penalties from their size category. Sabarus alphas are considered constructs, but they do not have all features associated with constructs (see "Eternal Engine" below). Sabarus alpha characters may choose either +2 Constitution and -2 Charisma or +2 Strength and -2 Dexterity to be applied to their starting statistics. The robotic forms of sabarus alphas grant them greater strength and fortitude than many other races, as they do not tire out in the same way, but they may struggle with social nuance and find their metallic limbs not as flexible or yielding as organic bodies.
Random Access Memory (Ex)
Though sabarus alphas are by and large unaware of their true nature, they sometimes have inexplicable fleeting memories of their past lives. Where their minds have been severed from their physical bodies, a sabarus alpha may intuitively treat their construct form as their natural body, calling upon those forgotten memories to guide them. In times of desperation or stress, sabarus alphas may even find these memories instinctively come to the forefront of their minds.
As an immediate action once per day, a sabarus alpha designate a skill as a skill module. When a skill module, a skill is considered a class skill with a number of ranks equal to the sabarus alpha's character level; if it is already a class skill for the sabarus alpha, they receive a +3 insight bonus to the skill. These values remain until the end of the day or until the next check involving that skill, whichever comes first. The sabarus alpha's skill modifiers and ranks return to their original values following this check or at the end of the day, at which point the skill module is considered "unloaded".
A sabarus alpha may load one of the following modules. Per a GM's discretion, other modules may be added for certain characters.
- Disable Device
- Escape Artist
This ability may not be used to meet prerequisites for feats, classes, or any other feature requiring a certain number of ranks in a skill.
- Keywords: Active, immediate action, daily, extraordinary ability
Read Only Memory (Natural Ability)
To keep themselves self-sufficient, sabarus alphas are taught much of their inner workings and how to repair themselves if their bodies sustain injury. It is rare to find a sabarus alpha who cannot fix rudimentary, routine problems that their robotic bodies might encounter; a sabarus alpha that cannot fix themselves cannot go far from civilizations teeming with engineers specialized in robotics.
Sabarus alphas have a +2 racial bonus to Knowledge (Engineering). They may also use Knowledge (Engineering) in place of Heal to perform first aid, treat wounds, or provide long-term care (as in the Heal skill) on themselves, on other sabarus alphas, or on other creatures with the construct subtype or that otherwise count as constructs. This ability may not be used to treat poisons or diseases, as in the Heal skill.
- Keywords: Passive, natural ability
Eternal Engine (Natural Ability)
Though every sabarus alpha has a living soul, those souls must still inhabit a metallic shell. Those bodies render them immune to many typical physical frailties and limitations, but also vulnerable to other effects that many other races would never fear. However, as sabarus alphas are not pure machines, their souls still resonate with Chrono, allowing them to be healed efficiently by magic.
Sabarus alphas are considered constructs and are immune to poison, disease, nausea, and effects that cause the sickened condition. Sabarus alphas are vulnerable to any rust-type or metal-altering effects, do not heal hit points naturally over time, and they must either be repaired or healed using magic to recover lost hit points. If a typical construct feature is not indicated here, a sabarus alpha does not have it.
- Keywords: Passive, natural ability