You can hear the song from miles away. The song is enchanting in a mild way. Even the plants sing this haunting tune all day. This gives you fair warning to be ready to dance to a different tune. You are leaving your country and entering theirs.
The Singers is what Outside Society has designated the race. They appear to be an Imperial Humanoid (bald Humans) without ears. Hidden within is the real difference, they have a unique internal anatomy. Two additional organs in their chest are associated with their skin and skeleton. They are capable hear with their entire skin and through bone conduction of vibration. The organs also seem capable to generating vibrations of extremely high or low frequency as well, thus are capable of making sound without their voice. And what voice boxes they have. Their voice boxes are also a bit larger and have an extra set of cords. They are actually capable of singing harmony with themselves.
The species has no apparent communication other than an unusually pitched "singing". This tonal music can be echoed by musical instruments, but seem similar to the unending whale and dragon songs. They do not use gestures or body language to relay ideas or communicate by any means. Like whale or dragon songs, the sound can carry for a dozen kilometers (8 miles) or so. Telepathic contact is possible, but they communicate in such an alien way that only general concepts can be received and transmitted.
The Singers cover themselves in a thick paintlike material created from the local (giant) mushrooms. This is quite aesthetic from a visual point of view, with earthtone and white swirls and flows. It also functions as clothing protecting them from the elements. More importantly, it adjusts their vibrational characteristics.
They are a harmonic people living in an organic mode among the plants and animals of their world. They seem to be a traditional peoples living as gatherers with a few fiber and wooden artifacts/ items. While they are individuals, they work as a highly coordinated group at any task requiring a group. As a society they seem to be pleasant and playful, living a very natural life.
Singers live in a Pod, which is a group of several related families and the associated singer village. It was named such because of the roundish mud covered yerts that they live in. The Pods sings a symphony, with each member singing a thread or part of the greater song at various times throughout the day. This is how they coordinate their society. Everyone seems to learn their part in the song and the pattern of their daily life. If they communicate with someone personally, they give up their part in the greater song and sing softly to them. The plants (and to a limited extent animals) in an area around a Pod are effected by The Song.
They will offer paint to those who come into their pods. Wise people make sure to slather some in their ears as well, as a Singers Pod can be quite loud.
They use song the way other species use tools and magic. Their song effects the plants that grow near them. They are often larger (if not giant) sized. Their properties in terms of color, texture, and usefulness, are different than expected as well. Plants that they farm, most notably, their giant mushrooms, are directly sung to. This seems to be responsible for their increased growth and vigor. In fact, the full sized mushrooms actually sing a part in the Pods Song. The song seems to repel most predators and the few animals remaining around The Pod seem quite docile. (It seems the animals might be eaten or might be used as fertilizer by The Pod). Their shaping music can effect trees, but it seems less effective. If people or creatures are violent against the Pod, Singers simply Yell at them. This incredibly loud noise injures those a close range, like they had been hit twice by a broadsword. It is more than a physical strike, though it does push back the target. It ruptures the eardrums, causes noses to bleed, internal organs are disrupted, and sometimes there is bleeding in the brain. Their yell is also good against inanimate objects. They will use it to remove large stones, stumps, and even inconvenient trees, when clearing a new field of plants to grow (much like you would use a sledge hammer).
They can and will be led away from a Pod for a time. When they are tired or bored and can, they will return home.
When a Pod gets too large, it splits off a small podlet of Singers who then go off and colonize another potential site.
Dragons seem to understand their song. (It would be possible an whale or uplifted Ceteacian would as well). They seem to be protective of Singers to a degree. If asked why, a Dragon normally replies, "I like listening".
Note: Doing anything to disrupt the song of a Pod can have unpredictable effects on it. By disruption it is meant a change in sounds in the area via magic or technology, mass destruction of mushroom, or introducing loud noises or loud music around The Pod. They might all go unconscious. They can be locked in a given task taken to an extreme. They may just abandon their pod and migrate somewhere else. Or they could just act perfectly normal. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the response and lasts as long as the disruption lasts. Some theorize that is depends on where in the cycle of songs the disruption occurs.
The origins of The Singers are a mystery. It is unclear if they were made (either from scratch or by modifying humans) or they simply developed this way. They appear to have been where they are living for a long time. It is only when they encroach upon other races that anyone seems to take notice of them. Many think they came from somewhere else, finding their way to their current location thought a rift or gate.
An authors note:
They are a mcguffin really, to present your players with
sticky moral choice.
*Do they fix their oops?
*Are these the innocents we think they are?
*Are they "kudzu"?
*Are these nice people going to destroy our way of life eventually by enslaving us? So we have to kill them all now.
*or are they just wierd window dressing for your world?
I see them as an interesting event/ challange in a science fiction game. You visit their planet and try to deal with the problem you undoubtably cause. However, they are perfectly okay in a fantasy world... living off away from most of society. However, when their society and the player's societies clash, it would be interesting.
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Added to Minor Races and Race Ideas
Likeable chaps. You get a good feeling of their 'otherness', so important for that exotic race you need to place somewhere. Much as I like them, I would still like to see some 'bad' to them, or something to blow the mind upon. Even with the stranger parts they are in perfect harmony. Still a very good minor race.
The Yell is not bad?
The fact that you mess with The Song and have some unpredictable effect, like sending them on a murderous rampage (or have them all drop asleep)?
Like they hang with Dragons?
Not everyone needs to live a depressing, horrid, life. You should leave that to Goths and WoD players.
It is all about the spin. They are aliens, or being enslaved by the song. Or they could be a human disease, slowling taking over "the land". People could be entranced by their song after long enough exposure... turning them from people into Singers. They could be innocent victims to be abused by people, echoing a native plight.
I normally leave the spin to others and what they want to use them for. Nobody should be telling anyone how they should use a sub, not even the author.
The edit function is being wonky right now:
Change the Intro to:
You can hear the song from miles away. The song is enchanting in a mild way. Even the plants sing this haunting tune all day. For this day, you dance a new dance, from your world to theirs.
Yes they are quite unique - though their Yell power seems a little strong. This is easily adjusted to ones taste of course.
These call out(sing?) to be used!
2d8 for you DnDer (with broadsword being 1d8), or 4d6 or 2d6 sonic for Gurpsers, or 2d6 RKA cone/ NND does body for a Hero Person.
And it can do structural damage, cracking and eventually breaking things, intead of just people damage.
Really not that bad. Why is it overpowered?
Just the vision of knocking down trees and boulders and the like. Again, as I said, easily scalable for ones own taste.
vs what a man with an axe or mallet can do? (or someone uncaring about their broadsword could hack and eventually break).
"Eventually" being the key word. The submission calls to mind instant destruction of the trees,rocks, etc which puts me more in mind of a built in cannon then a labourer with a hammer.
And all I said was it was a little strong, not that it was terribly unbalanced.
I am sorry, I thought it was clear that the amount of damage was along the lines of two broadsword's worth of damage. Otherwise why would it be so wimpy against organic and instantly devastating against rocks/ trees?
No worries. I will think of an edit to make that clearer.
"serving where humans would use tools." ?
Updated: spelling issues