5E Spelljammer (5e Campaign Setting)/Wildspace (5E Spelljammer Setting)
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Gravity is either none or the same as that of Earth, and is directed towards the center of planet-sized bodies; on large objects in space like spacecraft and enormous creatures gravity is directed towards a flat plane running through the object's long axis, allowing characters to stand on the decks of ships.
Groups of Wildspace
Arcane The Arcane appear as large, twelve-feet tall humanoids with gaunt, elongated features, blue skin, and large hands that have an extra knuckle on each of their six fingers. Not much is known about the Arcane or their origin. They seem to have numerous magical abilities, come and go as they please without using ships, and are extremely enigmatic. All that is really known about them is that they are the primary dealers in helms, wild sails, and other magical tools that make space-faring possible. Without the Arcane, there would be no space society. They are aggressive merchants who ply their trade wherever possible. Contacting them is usually fairly straight-forward, if a little slow. On almost any space-faring settlement, you just spread word around the local grapevine that you are looking for an Arcane, and one of them will surface within a few days, even if the locals are sure there are none currently in the settlement, and no one saw him arrive. The Arcane are usually quite cautious, however, and they deal in very valuable goods, so they rarely contact the seeking party directly. More often, they will work through an intermediary to determine the needs of the client. If the client does meet with the Arcane himself, he is almost always extremely well protected by both hired guards and magical protections. They usually require payment up front, with the goods to be delivered shortly thereafter. Since there has never been any record of an Arcane going back on a deal, such practices are commonly accepted even by the most cautious buyers. Their merchandise is always delivered to the buyer as agreed, even if the delivery point is in another Sphere, and no one knows where it comes from. On the down side, the Arcane are known to deal with almost anyone, human or mind flayer, elf or beholder, dwarf or neogi (although some say they won't actually work directly with the neogi but use the mind flayers as middlemen). A few crusading nobles have tried to pressure the Arcane by banning them from a major settlement unless they agreed to stop selling their products to the "undesirables". The Arcane simply stopped coming to those ports, and soon enough the ban would be lifted because Arcane equipment is the only way for most races to survive in space. Other settlements have tried to impose a tax or tithe on the sale of Arcane goods, and again the Arcane simply withdrew until the settlement rescinded such measures. As a result, the Arcane are viewed as a necessary evil by most governments and organizations. The Arcane are truly a law unto themselves. There are also several tales and legends of daring adventurers, or stupid pirates, attempting to steal from or assault an Arcane. According to these tales, when a person offends one Arcane, all of the Arcane seem to know about it, and they will never deal with that individual again, no matter where in the Known Spheres he goes. It is said that the blacklisted character can restore himself to their good graces only by undertaking a major quest on their behalf.
Beholders The typical groundling adventurer would be appalled at the number of beholders that reside in Wildspace. The evil Eye Tyrants are known for their solitary and wicked nature on most worlds, and that would be true in Wildspace as well, except for one thing: the presence of Hive Mothers. There is a growing body of evidence that the beholder race originated in Wildspace. It would certainly help explain their body shape and means of locomotion. Regardless, it is known that the rare beholder Hive Mothers only live in space, and only a Hive Mother can overcome the solitary nature of the common beholders and bring a small nest of them together. Given their power, they could pose an unimaginable threat to the other races in space. However, there is one thing that keeps the beholders from conquering wildspace: they are racists. Somewhat surprisingly, they aren't xenophobes, since they actually seem to consider humanity and the other races as objects rather than people. No, it is their own kind that they loathe. Apparently, there are many racial divisions among the beholders. Some have hard chitinous shells, while others have softer amorphous hides. Some have short stubby eye stalks, others have long, slender stalks. Even slight variations in color of their skin or eyes, or the size of their central eye, is enough to distinguish beholders from different clans. And each clan believes they, and they alone, are the ideal beholder. All other clans must be destroyed. While this tendency exists in dirt-side beholders, which will gladly kill each other when their paths cross, the true depths of this conflict only occur in Wildspace, where the Hive Mothers can overcome their race's solitary nature and forge their offspring into a cohesive unit with which to purge the universe of the "abominations". This racial war is probably the only thing that keeps humanity and the other races from being overwhelmed. To the beholders, the other races are just things to possess, or to vent their sadism upon, or to use as pawns. And as long as the real enemy is out there, the other races will never be more than just pawns on the great chess board of the beholder conflict. For this reason, beholders are actually more likely to manipulate the other races than outright assault them. Admittedly, they aren't particularly subtle when they think they have the upper hand, so such "manipulation" might take the form of blackmail: "Do this for us, or we will destroy you" and similar threats. Such requests will almost always be in furtherance of their war, but Hive Mothers are extremely cunning and intelligent, and it may not be immediately obvious how the requested task will actually help them. These are difficult situations to resolve, because completing the task may well earn the enmity of an entire clan of beholders, but refusing will likely result in immediate destruction. The best you may be able to do is twist the task in such a way that either both clans end up happy, or they wipe each other out. Also remember that the beholders will show no gratitude even if you succeed in their mission, but they may remember a successful service and attempt to use these obviously-useful pawns again.
Giff The giff are a large, powerfully muscled humanoid species with a vaguely hippopotamus-like head and thick hide. They are very lawful, very organized, and very militaristic. Every giff has a military rank within giff society, and it is always included in introductions or formal discourse. If a giff is given another rank by a non-giff organization, he will only use that rank within that group, but will retain his giff-rank when meeting other giff. When together, the giff always organize themselves into squads, platoons, companies or even larger groups. The giff pride themselves on their combat skills, but their true love is guns. The explosions, power, and sound of a bombard are what really excite them. They love personal firearms, and will have at least one arquebus or flintlock pistol if they can get their hands on them. They don't even fear misfires, given their thick hides. They make excellent mercenaries, particularly if they are led by one of the brighter races, since theyare generally a little simple-minded and very unsubtle. Most giff in the Known Spheres actually work as some form of mercenary, whether an actual soldier, a bodyguard, a shipboard marine, a siege engineer, etc. They are also very un-magical, to the point that they cannot use even a sailjammer helm, so they are always passengers on the ships of other races. Considering that, it is surprising that there are so many of them wandering around in Wildspace, but most sages agree it is because they make such excellent and willing hired muscle.
Lizardfolk It is a well known stereotype that the scalykind (as they are sometimes known) are primitive, stupid brutes. It is believed that the first lizardfolk brought into wildspace were much the same, and legends say (when there are no lizardfolk around, of course) that the only reason they made it into space at all was because of their usefulness as expendable troops for illithid or human slave-masters. However, that all changed. In time, the space-faring lizardfolk became smarter, faster, and more adaptable than their slave parents. Many reasons for this have been put forward, but the most commonly accepted reason actually blames it on the sun. Lizardfolk who were born on ships and bases that were closer to a sun or other celestial fire body were marginally smarter than their kinfolk. In time, this led to a few tribes of enslaved lizardfolk who became quite cunning and learned much of civilization and technology from their unsuspecting masters. In time, these tribes freed themselves from slavery, and began developing incubator ships whose sole purpose was to bring their eggs closer to a sun during gestation. After only a few generations, the lizardfolk have become full partners in many wildspace societies. However, they are still short-tempered and emotional, with some bestial traits remaining (voracious appetites and lack of table manners being the most commonly commented on).
Neogi Given the beholders' race war and the illithids' obsession with trade, the role of "Great Threat to the Universe" currently goes to the neogi. They are almost universally hated, and are one of the few exceptions to any hospitality traditions. If there ships are encountered in space, it is best to either attack immediately, or flee immediately, depending on whether or not you think you can take them. It is a brazen neogi that moves openly through a town, and shops might have a tendency to close as it approaches. However, they are usually quite safe from physical harm in such situations, thanks to their bodyguards. The neogis are a surprisingly small race to inspire such hate and fear. Only about 3' high, they have the body of a giant spider with the neck and head of a moray eel. The body is furry, with eight chitinous legs, and the evil, vicious face is filled with needle sharp teeth. Their bite is poisonous, and their personality more so. They are all, to the last member of their race, killers, plunderers, slavers and sadists. To a neogi, everything in the universe is either owned or owner, slave or master, and only neogi can be the masters. Even neogis are slaves to other neogis, forming a hierarchy within their society, but even the slave-neogis may have their own slaves and may eventually become the master themselves. For all their viciousness, the neogis would not be such a threat except for their relationship with umber hulks. The neogis raise umber hulks from birth, training the monsters to follow their "small lords" and care for their every need. They provide the strength and combat ability that the neogis themselves lack. Every neogi has at least one primary umber hulk, called a "lordservant", and usually many other lesser servants. To the neogis, all other species are desirable as slaves, but none of them will never be valued as highly as the least umber hulk. Neogis gather slaves for many purposes, including expendable troops in battle, laborers, playthings to be tortured, and eventually, food.