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The Kordai are a hunted species, the scattered remnants of a group of refugees fleeing from a conflict somewhere in the Leading Orion Arm, beyond the known volumes of the Orion Sphere. After initial contact with several itinerant Ikunkuma tribes in 3582PT, the beleaguered inhabitants of the refugee ships were guided to safety and taken in by the Free Union, where they spread across the Sovereign Worlds in small family groups. Over the following 50 years more ships were to follow, encountered by Free Union and Commonality ships in the Augustus, Julius and Cetus Beta sectors, each in progressively worse condition and containing fewer surviving Kordai. The refugees slowly established a number of enclaves in the Sovereign Worlds and Commonality space, and tried to rebuild. After 3629PT, no more Kordai ships arrived, although since that year Commonality and Free Union explorers have found several wrecks in the Lock and Cocoon sectors bearing Kordai markings. Most of these wrecks were found torn to pieces and burned by powerful weaponry, or in a handful of cases orbiting silently and intact in barren star systems, devoid of oxygen and containing only floating bones and dust.

The remaining Kordai are few in number - less than five hundred thousand at the last estimate, their culture and ancestral way of life crumbling under the pressure of life in the Orion Sphere. Within their enclaves in the Free Union and Commonality, there are Kordai who try to cling on to the remnants of their lost homeworld’s culture, while others seek to integrate more fully with the culture of their hosts. Among the Elysians, the Kordai have been encouraged to become fully part of Commonality society, while in the Free Union they have been mostly left to fend for themselves. Many have taken the particular rituals of their ancestral priest class, the Kordaiaura, and used them as a way of strengthening their tenuous connection to their ancient home and culture. The few Kordaiaura that maintain an unbroken line of scholarship from before their flight are looked up to by young Kordai, and many seek a teacher or to cobble together some approximation of their practices and skills.

In recent years, the Kordai population in both the Commonality and Free Union has been struck by an above-expected number of tragic deaths and violent incidents. This has caused them to retreat somewhat into isolated enclaves, or to keep as low a profile as possible when in unfamiliar or non-trusted locales. This effect has made the Kordai as a species even less prominent and noticeable in the society of the Factions in which they live, and many believe they have died out or never even existed. Those Kordai who move in the wider Sphere often keep themselves concealed in robes and cowls, to better pass unnoticed in the throng.

Known History

Much of the early history of the Kordai is fragmentary, as very few records were kept on the evacuation ships that brought them to known space, and many of their elders died before their knowledge of Kordai history could be properly recorded, or chose not to speak of it and took what they knew to the grave. In the intervening 200 years, the generation who fled their homeworld has died out, and not all of their descendants are content to dedicate their lives to the half-remembered traditions and memories passed down by their elders. The following rough outline of Kordai history has been pieced together by scholars using a few direct retellings, recovery of computer data and mythological back-analysis.

Early History

The Kordai arose on a fairly lush temperate planet orbiting the primary star in a binary star system, which they called Bruna. The large Main Sequence primary star was orbited at a significant distance (estimates place it at about 500AU) by what is probably a large brown dwarf, referred to as the “dark star” or “Sicar” in Kordai mythology. They were a relatively peaceful species, and were united in their worship of “Aura”, a tranquil essence that they believe permeates the universe, but is drawn to and concentrates in living things. Aura symbolised the environment of their homeword, the peace and joy of their lives, and also the natural cycle of life and death.

Although the majority of the Kordai civilisation incorporated the Aura belief system into their everyday lives, there was a special class of Kordai who dedicated themselves to it completely. These “Kordaiaura” (a compound that does not cover the nuance in the original language) lived variously as ascetics, wandering defenders and teachers, and enjoyed a special place in Kordai society. It is among this class that the first expressions of the Kordai psionic abilities are thought to have arisen about two thousand years ago. These abilities were honed and revered as expressions of Aura embodying in their psion’s actions, and over time were developed into various helpful and defensive powers, as befitted the peaceful Kordaiaura.

About one thousand years before their flight, records indicate that the Kordai had developed a spacefaring civilisation, in which the powers of the Kordaiaura were instrumental, using their gravitational abilities to improve the effectiveness of their FTL drives. Although they explored their local cluster and eventually encountered and traded with other spacefaring species, there are no stories relating to permanent colonies outside of their own home system.

A Rift Develops

Some six generations (estimated to be 300-600 years) before the arrival of the Kordai in known space, a dissenting movement arose within the Kordaiaura which argued that they should be more expansive and claim territory in nearby volumes. Rejected by their fellows, and accused of abandoning the whole concept of Aura, they and their regular Kordai followers were exiled to a planet orbiting the system’s brown dwarf star. Records of what transpired there are essentially nonexistent, but what is noted is that eventually they “released something dark and evil”.

After this division, the rest of Kordai society on Bruna continued to progress slowly, and new developments in psionic abilities were uncovered. However, after the rift, certain developments and practices were considered proscribed, and Kordaiaura who drifted too far from the orthodoxy of Aura were similarly exiled to the enclaves around the dark star. This had somewhat of a chilling effect on Kordai society and their culture was considered to have stagnated by other species that traded with them.

Flight from Bruna

Although the exact nature of the calamity that befell Bruna is unknown, there are some records taken from testimony of the oldest members of the refugee fleets. They spoke of showers of fire from the sky, an enormous impact that devastated their home’s largest continent, and dark landing craft that disgorged implacable, murderous soldiers. Those who managed to flee to starships abandoned the planet en masse, commandeering whatever freighters, personal craft and trading vessels they could, and departing the planet in all directions. Some were fired upon by larger vessels in high orbit, and many ships were lost, but the sheer number or fleeing vessels ensured that some survived, rallying in the distant reaches of the outer system. The surviving vessels took supplies and crew from some monitoring and scientific stations in the outer system, as most had left the planet with whatever could be quickly loaded onto ships from the spacedocks they were at. After a few short days they detected the strange ships moving out into the rest of the system in a search pattern, and the ships scattered again.

Records indicate that the various refugee ships travelled from system to system, resupplying and trading what little they had to keep their overstuffed crew compartments from starving or asphyxiating. Many of the ships in the earlier waves of refugees were those that avoided known inhabited systems, and those lucky enough to have some Kordaiaura adepts on board to optimise their drives. Even the earliest arrivals took nearly an entire lifetime to reach volumes known to the Factions of today - some 70 years had passed since the flight from Bruna when the first refugee ships were found, and two generations of Kordai had been born on the move. As more ships trickled in, there were stories of those who had fled to other species’ worlds with whom they had trade relationships - but always within a few years the mysterious ships would find them. Only the Kordai who fled again at the first news of the arrivals survived to reach the Sovereign Worlds.

The Kordai within the Orion Sphere

There are now two main groupings of Kordai within the Orion Sphere. The larger grouping, about two thirds of the total, are spread across the Sovereign Worlds of the Free Union, while the smaller grouping can be found among Commonality worlds in the Augustus and Julius Sectors. The destruction and flight from their lost homeworld has left an indelible mark on the Kordai psyche, and many feel a yearning for what is lost. In the 150 years since the first Kordai ships were found successive generations of Kordai have slowly shed many of their cultural practices and adopted those of their new homes.

Integration with the Free Union

Since their rescue and integration with the Free Union, the small numbers of Kordai have become somewhat subsumed in the massive population of the Sovereign Worlds. Kordai in the Free Union tend to form extended family groups in larger cities or as operators of independent trading vessels. They tend to keep a low profile, integrating into the fabric of the wider societies around them while preserving their own cultural practices at home. The cultural pressure of the Sovereign Worlds is relatively light in most cases, and so the Kordaiaura and the Kordai’s cultural practices often persist in a diluted form within their enclaves. There is still a great sense of loss at the heart of Kordai society, and most actively seek solace in their work, family or faith to fill the void left by that great tearing. The strong thread of what remains of Kordai culture is provided by the Kordaiaura, the itinerant mystics who carry the flame of the faith and philosophies of Aura as well as the secrets of Kordai psionic abilities and martial arts. These travelling priests are well-regarded in most Free Union enclaves, and carry news and assistance between them as a sort of communication and aid network.

In the Free Union, younger Kordai who look to define their identity often adopt some of the trappings of the Kordaiaura, such as tattooing themselves, affecting a serene demeanour and those pieces of ritual and martial practice that they can cobble together from holo-recordings and the tales of their elders. Many Kordai who engage in a wider fashion with the Free Union as an entity find themselves drawn to the Planetary Bureau, and its interests in recording, preserving and documenting less well-known cultures. Their low numbers, however, mean that very few within the Sovereign Worlds have even met a single Kordai, and their existence is believed to be a legend in many of the Free Union’s Signatories.

Integration with the Commonality

The Kordai who found themselves in the Commonality were initially granted considerable aid to settle and reestablish their lives, and Elysian archivists were actively engaged with documenting and recording the history and practices of their culture. Additionally, the Kordaiaura were shocked by the level of understanding of psionic phenomena possessed by the Commonality, and the parallels that could be drawn between their own understanding of Aura and the wider Faction philosophy. Rather than being essentially ignored as in the Free Union, conscious and deliberate efforts were made to bring the refugees into Commonality society, and the Kordai who settled there became part of local Confluences and were able to work their way into positions of influence. However, with that acceptance came the expectations to conform to the norms of Commonality life. Significant cultural pressure, applied in Confluence, by teachers, professionals and colleagues stripped away much of the active practice of Kordai culture within two generations, and consigned most of their cultural practices from Bruna and the flight from it to museums and archives.

In addition, while the Commonality was greatly interested by the practices of the Kordaiaura, particularly those who followed a more hermetic and spiritual path, they rapidly encountered a significant roadblock. While the insights of the Kordai’s Aura faith could be easily placed within a context of the Elysian philosophy that underpins the Faction, the Kordai’s peculiar reaction to other psionic phenomena made it extremely difficult to pursue most lines of research regarding the nature of their psionic abilities. When exposed to other psionic powers, particularly the powerful auras of the Commonality Nexus Trees, Kordai and Kordaiaura alike experience powerful emotional effects. The feelings of awe and fear when exposed to external psionic energies make it very difficult to perform investigations on them and discover more about their curious control over one of the fundamental forces of the universe. Additionally, when in the presence of strong psionic auras, Kordai tend to generate a kind of psionic “static” that can be painful for other psions to interact with. These hindrances combined to shut out Kordaiaura from most Commonality advanced psionics research. Although they benefited from the Elysian’s and their allies' own knowledge, these hindrances and the low population has resulted in Kordai psionic studies remaining a relatively obscure field.

The special status of the Kordaiaura faded with their inability to influence the new political structure, and their psionic secrets and initiatory practices were formalised into a more widely available teaching structure. Although Kordaiaura still travel to Commonality Kordai enclaves, carrying news and connecting the species as a whole, there is less interest in their nomadic and mystical way of life. Most Commonality Kordai have embraced their new Faction and fill the gap left by their lost history with the culture of their new society. However, the quirk of their psionic makeup makes it hard for them to fully involve themselves - as a psionic species, but one unable to fully participate in ceremonies in strong psionic auras, the Kordai occupy an awkward niche in the Commonality. The two groups of Kordai have not forged strong bonds between the Factional divide, as difficulty in travel and the hostile views of more traditional Kordai in the Free Union has caused a strained relationship. More conservative Free Union Kordai who spend most of their time in their enclaves consider their kin in the Commonality to have abandoned their heritage and hold them in contempt for their adopted ways.

The Kordaiaura

The initial waves of refugees contained enough adepts of the Kordaiaura to maintain a corpus of their traditions, practices and training regimens, and these were handed down to subsequent generations in a somewhat scattered and haphazard form. With the Kordai population scattered and only a fraction of its original numbers remaining, few were willing to dedicate themselves to the path of the wandering mystic in the early years of re-establishing themselves. The few Kordaiaura initiates had to be taught by lone mentors, training them and imparting their rituals and the intricacies of the Aura faith while they travelled between Kordai enclaves, resolving disputes and preserving what remained of the Kordai culture. The Kordaiaura, travelling in pairs between the diffuse Kordai enclaves, became the primary cultural touchstone for the species as a whole - and as such elements of Kordaiaura practice began to spread into the wider culture of the Kordai.

Core to the practice of the Kordaiaura is the ability to maintain a calm, stoic detachment about the world around them. It is believed that this state is crucial to accessing the latent psionic power of the Kordai, which allows them to manipulate matter and forces around themselves. Kordai psions attempt to occupy a point of balance, an emotional fulcrum that in turn allows them to move phenomena in the outside world, and bend the forces of gravity to their will.

The most noticeable attributes of the Kordaiaura, for those who know what to look for, are the distinctive tattoos they ink onto their bodies. Pale blue in colour, the ink derives from the Auranoss plant - a small flowering plant native to the Kordai’s homeworld of Bruna. The Auranoss plant was said to emit a faint glow in areas where the power of Aura was strongest, and its name roughly translates as “One with Aura”. The cultivation and use of the Auranoss plant is incorporated into the ritual training of the Kordaiaura, and the bio-psionic dyes would react to the use of their abilities. The plant’s connection with Aura has led the Kordai to believe that it is connected directly to their species somehow, and the Auranoss flower is afforded great respect in their culture, and indeed seen as a symbol of the species as a whole. Some Auranoss seeds were brought with Kordaiaura adepts in the flight from Bruna, but the plant has proven to be extremely difficult to grow away from the Kordai home world - during the decades of flight, it would only grow in containers of soil taken from Bruna during the evacuation. Since arriving in the Orion Sphere, Kordai scientists have been able to painstakingly replicate the conditions required for the plant to grow, but it remains fragile and difficult to cultivate, so Auranoss plants remain rare and precious to the Kordai refugees.

Kordaiaura are now highly respected and sought after, and welcomed into an enclave when they arrive. They bring news of other Kordai across the Orion Sphere, and carry with them the memories of their people as a whole. Always travelling in pairs, the mentor and the initiate spend between five and ten standard years together - training with mind and augmented blade, getting to know the people they serve, and carrying with them part of the Aura in their souls, keeping its light alive. When the initiate’s training is complete, both they and the master move on, taking on new initiates and beginning the cycle once again.


The Kordai are a humanoid species, distinguished from the standard Terran complexions by sharply defined lines of blue skin in various spots on their bodies, as well as by large pointed ears and small horns that protrude from their foreheads. Kordai horns rarely grow more than 10 centimetres in length (although in rare cases can grow up to 25 centimetres), and tend to be fairly blunt at the tips. Their natural blue markings have sharply defined edges, unlike the more diffuse markings of other species. The specific pattern of markings are unique to each Kordai, although there are often very similar patterns that run within family lines. In general, Kordai markings consist of thin, bright, almost luminous blue lines that run across the face and over the body. The lines are sharply defined and the patterns typically angular.

Kordai have a more robust musculature than the Terran norm, and are quite durable as a species. Their subcutaneous skin layer contains significant deposits of crystalline copper compounds that makes their skin harder to deeply injure. However, Kordai blood is notably thinner than Terran standard, and significant injuries can cause them to quickly lose fluid volume. Kordai working in accident-prone industries will frequently carry injectors loaded with fast-acting nano-coagulants in case they go into fatal shock before help arrives.

Kordaiaura tend to tattoo themselves with dyes from the bio-psionic Auranoss plant, which was preserved in the flight from their homeworld. These somewhat paler blue tattoos form patterns of swirling, dendritic lines and spirals, and are psychoactive - glowing brightly when in a psionic aura. Those who have taken to imitating the practices of the Kordaiaura have been known to apply similar tattoos to themselves when they can get access to the Auranoss dyes. The Kordaiaura are also known for their simple hooded robes, which are seen as a “uniform” of sorts in the order, as well as a convenient means of passing unnoticed. True Kordaiaura robes are often split at the front and back, to allow for better freedom of movement in melee combat.

Game Rules

Species Keywords: Humanoid, Psionic
Default Faction: Commonality or Free Union

It is important to note that Kordai characters will face a higher personal risk than characters of most other species, independent of their background or other attributes.

Species Trappings

  • Horns, usually a pale or bone-like colour, affixed to the forehead. This can be accomplished using a prosthetic or headpiece with horns attached. Horns vary in colour, but are typically a dark or slightly blue or purpleish tinge.
  • Large pointed ears, with sharply defined blueish dots on the upper part of the ear. This can be accomplished by prosthetics or clip-over ears.
  • Blue facial markings, typically consisting of straight lines and angles. These markings differ between individual Kordai, but in almost all cases are symmetrical between the two sides of the face. A Kordai’s facial markings may change over the course of their lives, but they are always prominent enough to be noticeable at a glance. The lines of Kordai facial markings should be sharply defined rather than blended, and are best simulated using makeup such as eyeliner pencil, thin makeup brush, or stencil. These markings can also extend over the rest of their bodies.
  • Some Kordaiaura tattoo themselves with a pigment derived from the psychoactive Auranoss plant, which is a blue similar to their natural patterning, but glows in the presence of significant psionic power. These tattoos contrast with their natural markings in that they are typically done in a floral pattern, or in series of branching swirls, resembling ferns or the veins of leaves. More powerful Kordaiaura tend to acquire more tattoos to reflect their growing bond with Aura. Auranoss tattoos are best represented using blue or cyan UV-reactive makeup, so that they will glow in a psionic aura.


  • 3 Locational Body Hits, and a Death Count of 120 Seconds.
  • Psionic, 2 Psi Points
  • Aura Sensitivity - Kordai characters feel a profound sense of Awe or Fear when they are affected by psionic phenomena, depending on if they perceive the source as positive or negative. Examples include when they are targeted by a PSIONIC-type ability or affected by a Condition with the tag PSIONIC. Aura Sensation is a Roleplay Effect, so things that explicitly suppress Roleplay Effects fully suppress these rules.
    • The roleplay effect of Aura Sensitivity is weaker than other roleplay effects applied by psionic abilities - if a psionic ability explicitly causes an emotional roleplay effect, then this will take precedence over the Awe/Fear created by Aura Sensitivity. A psionic power that does not explicitly cause an emotional effect will result in the Kordai target character experiencing Awe/Fear IN ADDITION TO the power's effects.
    • The Kordai character is generally free to interpret the strength or type of emotion caused by Aura Sensitivity when in the presence of psionic energies. However, when subject to a psionic power or Psionic Aura, the roleplay effect is strong enough to prevent then taking any actions other than movement - generally this will take the form of being emotionally overcome by the source (if Awe), or fleeing and cowering (if Fear).
    • The feeling of awe or fear is stronger when within a psionic area, and strengthens as they approach the centre of the aura, to the point of becoming overwhelming. Psionic powers used on a Kordai while they are within a Psionic Aura may produce strange results if a Referee is present. If a Referee is not present, powers do work as normal, but the user of the power feels an uncomfortable mental “static” that affects them for 15 minutes after the use of the power.
    • If a psionic phenomenon has a long duration such as a Psionic Condition, Aura Sensitivity only applies when it is first applied to the Kordai character, and lasts for about 15 minutes. After this point the character has acclimatised to the Condition. Kordai characters cannot acclimatise to a Psionic Aura.
    • Kordai characters may occasionally be briefed with other information relevant to their Aura Sensitivity.
    • Kordai characters can suppress their Aura Sensitivity for about 30 minutes by spending 1 Psi Point.
      • Kordai characters are unaffected by Aura Sensitivity from powers they themselves use, and take a lesser version of the effect from powers used by other Kordai - powers used by other Kordai produce a noticeable feeling of Awe (if friendly) or Fear (if unfriendly), but not strong enough to prevent the Kordai target character from performing normal actions.
species/kordai.txt · Last modified: 2023/09/06 19:18 by conan