Chris Huth has been working on Ashen Stars art which matches with Jérome’s.
First, some shuttles. Our playtesters seemed to have a thing about shuttles, so Robin obliged them by putting in some streamlined shuttle rules and three shuttle configurations, illustrated here. This is a rough.
Chris also illustrated the Jaggar…
Morphology: Jaggar are variously configured beings with hybrid mammalian and arachnid traits. Despite their own claims to the contrary, DNA analysis reveals them to be a created species which came into being no more than a few hundred years ago. Although various grotesque body types have been reported over the years, the most common jaggar forms are:
Serfs: Humanoid beings whose fleshy, yellow-skinned heads surmount a bristling, chitinous body. Wide mouths reveal long, bifurcated black tongues and a row of rasping, shark-like teeth. They’re a head higher than the average human and distinctly spindly. Some serfs favor human-like clothing of dark leather, with chains, straps and spikes as accessories.
Knights: Four-headed, eight-limbed monstrosities primed for war. Each limb pair performs a different function: one bladed pair to slash foes, a delicate-handed pair for manipulation, a powerful set of segmented legs for running and leaping, and a backward-facing pair of secondary support legs that balance its enormous bulk. Knights weigh over a tonne and can stretch to a height of five meters.
Queens: Queens are gigantic, drooling, puffy yellow heads from which eight spiking arachnid legs thrust. The heads are a meter in diameter; each leg is two meters long.
Behavior: Jaggar have no digestive systems and are capable of surviving for years merely by osmotically absorbing trace nutrients from the air around them. However, body growth and reproduction are only possible after they feed on brainwave emissions of stressed, agonized or terrified sentients. Jaggar capture victims and place them in elaborate torture devices in order to harvest the desired brainwave energy. There also appears to be an aesthetic component to their activities, as the queens compete to devise and execute torture regimens their peers will find artistically pleasing.
Jaggar detail some of their captives to serve them as thralls. Most often these slaves procure and modify the technologies of advanced cultures. These pathetic individuals retrofit hijacked ships, conduct holo recording sessions to immortalize torture sessions, and may even go act as scouts and spies. Spiderbombs planted in their chests explode when they are apprehended, causing millions of inky mites to hatch and devour their hearts, inducing near-instantaneous cardiac arrest.
Jaggar travel in small bands, each led by a single queen. They rove in stolen spaceships from one galactic backwater to the next, evading confrontations with authorities. Queens communicate with one another across the vastness of space through a delayed telepathy they experience in their dreams. They leave torture holograms for one another in heavily secured caches.
Serfs are capable of limited speech; knights have never been known to talk. Queens can conduct detailed conversations in which they assert the weakness of the empathetic impulse. They frequently claim that the Jaggar hail from another dimensional reality called the Threshold, becoming enraged when contradicted on this point.
Contact History: The Jaggar were first encountered during the Flowering Period. They were believed destroyed during the Utopian Era, when Captain Jay Arn of the Valerius drove a fleet of jaggar-controlled ships into a black hole. Under circumstances obscured by the Bogey Conundrum, they returned as allies of the Mohilar. Since the end of the war their ships have been repeatedly sighted on the Bleed’s outermost fringes.