Numenéra: Gift of the Calimshan
Tall and angular, the varjellen would never be confused with humans. They have a violet-red hue to their flesh; bulbous, yellow-cast, contralateral eyes; a tall, thin crest atop their head; and a broad chest with two limblike structures that open a cavity within their chest. This cavity protects their heart and provides them access to it and other internal organs. Humans have likened a varjellen’s chest to a cage with doors that can open and close. The varjellen call this protected cavity their “crucible.” Having access to their own internal organs provides the varjellen with a unique benefit. By gently massaging and subtly rearranging their organs in a manner understood only by the varjellen brain, they gain control over their entire physical structure, modifying their bodies on a cellular level as needed.
In other words, a varjellen can make itself faster, stronger, and even smarter when it needs to. But there is a price. To increase musculature of one kind, another must be diminished. To improve brain structures, tissue from elsewhere in the body must be sacrificed. When a varjellen becomes smarter, it becomes slower or weaker. When it becomes faster or more graceful, it becomes less hardy or less intelligent, and so on. The process of alteration is
called reforging. Varjellen can reforge themselves a maximum of once each day, and the process takes almost an hour. Young varjellen who have just learned to reforge can do it in half the time, but as the body ages, the process takes longer, so an hour is average.
Aside from these physical characteristics, the varjellen share some general personality traits (though individuals obviously differ). Humans often find them cold, ponderous, and unemotional most of the time, but they can be unpredictably warm, impassioned, or erratic. Guarded around strangers, the varjellen are freer with information and casual behavior among those they trust. But often, a varjellen’s trust is difficult to win.
- Diminished: At first tier, you have 3 points, not 6, to divide among your stat Pools.
- Reforging: You can take an hour during the day to rearrange your current stat Pools as you desire, trading points between them freely. You have no maximum in any Pool, but lowering a Pool to 0 moves you down the damage track as normal.
- Slow to Recover: Each recovery roll you make suffers a −1 penalty.
- Skill: You are trained in the numenera.
- Skill: You are trained in visually perceiving.
- Inability: The difficulty of tasks involving history is increased by one step.
- Inability: The difficulty of tasks involving poetry or oratory is increased by one step.
- Inability: The difficulty of tasks involving hearing is increased by one step.