Saurians are the sentient descendants of Utahraptor (a theropod of the family Dromaeosauridae). Though space-faring, these warm blooded reptiles are sorely bitter at the humans for the loss of their Earth. While the original Saurians who landed on Altana had no souls, their offspring did become ensouled by souls native to Altana, and more strongly resemble the other races than their ancestors ever did. Ensouled Saurians are slightly larger than humans, have patches of colored scales on their bodies (most notably the cheeks), and feathers instead of hair for the head. Soulless Saurians larger still and completely covered in scales, thick crests of feathers, and savagely sharp teeth inherited from their predatory fore bearers.
All of the Saurians on Altana come from the crew of the dragon class flagship Dreadnought, whose escape pods found Altana as the only habitable world within range when the Dreadnought was abandoned due to technical difficulties with the ship’s computer systems.
At conception, a Saurian receives the more emotionally intense memories of his or her parents. This is the immortal heritage of the Saurians, and it is dangerously vulnerable to deceptions and lies. It is for this reason alone that to preserve the ancient memories of the past, Saurians forswear against ever lying or telling falsehoods, and dislike strongly being told lies by others.
Because of this wealth of ancestral memory and their long history of working with technology, Saurians cannot botch Engineering rolls.
While the crew of the Dreadnought was never allowed on Earth so as to keep them uncorrupted by proximity to souls, they were permitted to share in the books and recordings made on Earth, and thus add those memories to their own.
Base Stats: Strength +1, Agility +1, Racial +2
Like the common breeds of the other races, common Saurians may have any mixture of colorations of their kind, and possibly even some more rare and exotic shades. Their memories tend to be deeper, coming from a wider base of breeding. Most Saurian range in size from Medium to Extra-Large, and from Civilized to Refined in Manner.
Base Stats: Strength +1, Intellect +1, Agility +1, Charisma +1
These Saurians dedicate themselves to knowledge and understanding of the ways of the universe in all things, including combat. They hold persuasive influence of logic over any decision making process that involves them. Yet their resentment is bitter when they learn that they have been lied to. Their scales are green and their feathers are white.
Base Stats: Strength +1, Agility +1, Vitality +1, Dexterity +1
These Saurians are the open warriors of their people. Thousands of generations of warfare and violence have forever stained their scales and feathers all the shades and hues of red. The deepest stain of all is in their blood. Were it not for their strict sense of honor and restraint, they would unleash a bloodbath of epic proportions upon their enemies.
Base Stats: Strength +2, Agility +1, Perception +1
These Saurians lie in wait for the best opportunity to launch a surprise attack. When they strike, it is ruthless, brutal, and absolutely without mercy. This is as close as they allow themselves to come to such deception without feeling somehow corrupted by it. Their scales are brown with dark brown stripes, and their feathers are black.
Base Stats: Strength +1, Agility +2, Mind +1
These Saurians feel that the greatest endeavor for their kind to undertake is that of survival. And so some conflicts must be avoided until such time as they can be confident of victory. Yet when pressed, they make no sacrifices. They will not flee to let a friend fall to a foe alone, even if that friend is a lying Human. Their scales are all the shades of blue and their feathers are mottled green.
Saurians are at once both very passionate and very civilized. Since only the emotional memories are the ones that carry down, it is the responsibility of each Saurian to really get into the emotions of their experiences as well as relive the passions of their ancestors whenever possible. There are some that carry the memories of their ancestors hunting predator dinosaurs before the great extinction event happened. When they give themselves over to blood lust, they will hunt their prey and blood will be spilled. They love just as fiercely, and their hate spans dozens of generations of their descendants. But all of this is tempered carefully by the rules and laws of Saurian society that strictly prevent them from sinking into the morass of barbarism.
Since first becoming sentient, the Saurians have revered the Elemental Dragons of Earth. There were originally twenty-one such dragons, three for each of the seven of Earth Elements (not to be confused with the Altana Elements). The power of these draconic gods allowed them to survive into Human times. Indeed, it is likely that they helped shape the human race through selective digestion.
Since coming to Altana, many of the newly ensouled Saurians have turned to the Altana Patrons for elemental guidance so as to better harmonize with their newest homeworld. Yet the old guard of soulless Saurians still keep worship of the now-dead dragons alive.
It should be noted that Altana has no proper dragons due to a conflict that happened well before the ascension of Vana and Diel during the same primordial time of the previous Nadir War.
There are only very few gender roles among Saurians. Since most Saurians have clear memories of both male and female ancestors, there is a great deal of empathy between the genders. Furthermore, homosexuality is seen as a genetic diversity that does still sometimes contribute to the collective of memories. There is a greater stigma on not passing your memories on through breeding than on engaging in recreational activities with the same sex.
Before Humans dominated the Earth, the Saurians were well on their way to mastering all they surveyed. At the very height of their power and cultural achievement, the Ancient Ones sent a rock plummeting to the surface of the Earth, targeted to impact a place with a high sulfur content and coastal waters, what would become the Chicxulub Crater. The resulting devastation of massive tsunami and eternally darkened skies spelled doom for the Saurians, and formed the K-T boundary. This asteroid was not alone, but it was the most devastating.
The Saurians would have been expunged outright in the ensuing Winter-Without-End. Yet their culture was based on blending the ambient energies of the Earth Collector with the principles of technology. This had allowed them to build an exploration vessel with the mission of visiting Alpha Centauri. The ship was called the First-Flight-Beyond-Nest, and it was designed to travel interstellar distances at sublight speeds (slow-boating), while the most of the crew on board remained in hibernation until the journey’s end.
On the surface, the emergency shelters were failing due to an ebbing of magitech efficiency and outbreaks of new viruses that spread like plagues. It was quickly decided that as many survivors as possible would pile into the First-Flight and enter hibernation. The vessel was then retasked as a lifeboat for the planet, and then sent into deep space to find a new home. All who were left behind perished, but their memories would be carried on by those on the First-Flight.
For sixty million years, the Saurians traveled from system to system, looking for a new home to settle and begin again. Even though the trip took so long, the nature of traveling relativistic speeds softened the rigors of time within the ship. Courses were plotted as carefully as possible to approach a system without needing to slow down. Though their magitech had weakened, there was enough concentration of adept engineers on board to keep the delicate systems functioning, yet a deceleration would likely be ultimately final.
Most of the worlds observed were simply uninhabitable. But now and the Saurian refugees would discover a world once filled with all the potential of life, but showing the signs and scars of a violent purging, leaving only lifeless irradiated rocks with little to no atmosphere. And when a habitable world was found, they were suddenly alarmed to find themselves racing away from defensive fire from the residents of the planet below. Coming late to the aftermath of a previous Nadir War, they found themselves to be an unwanted addition to the battlefield.
At long last, they found a world they could live on. Its star was dim, and native life struggled on the surface, yet it was the most hospitable place they found since leaving Earth. Humans later called this world “New Sauria”. Saurian opinion of their new homeworld was nearly universal. They all hated it. It wasn’t home. It wasn’t lush. It wasn’t beautiful. It didn’t even smell right. It was drab, dull, and brown. The vast memory collective of Memories-of-Earth soon became cherished and celebrated as something can only when it has been truly lost forever.
Some time later, as they endeavored to carve out a better life from their new homeworld, they were contacted by a mechanical race known as the Overseers. The Overseers offered the Saurians technology and membership in a coalition of alien races collectively called The Nadir. Membership granted protection from common enemies, but also required contributions such forces that provided protection. Protection in this case meant saving the fabric of the galaxy from the distorting effects of ensouled creatures. It was long discussed and debated by the Saurian High Command, but eventually the offer was accepted. And soon factories were being built and from them war machines were assembled.
They did not realize the amount of demand that was required from participating in the Nadir War. Even as a new wave of souls was invading, creating a schism in the galactic landscape once more. The damage and ruin the Saurians had witnessed on their trek to New Sauria was about to be revisited again, and their ships would be among the mainline of dozens of fronts in their sphere of influence. Nadir hyperdrive paved the way to rapid transit, but only four times the speed of light could be mustered. Fleets needed to be assembled fully and then launched against targets years away without ever knowing if they would meet with victory or defeat for perhaps even a generation before the warriors could return and their memories mingled back into the bloodlines.
One question remained pressing in on the Saurians as they conducted their duties to the Nadir and made the galaxy safe from the ensouled. What had happened to Earth in the sixty-five million years since they had left? Finally, a long range probe was dispatched. Its initial readings were met with cheers. Earth had been reborn as a lush paradise. But as the probe drew closer, a sensor designed to register the presence of souls began to spike and stay spiked. The cheers and celebrations faded. The Nest-World was fully occupied by tens of millions of the enemy.
Immediately the request to conquer Earth was made to the Nadir council. This request was rejected. The probes readings did not indicate any sort of military threat posed by the ensouled of Earth. Simply put, there were other dangers that needed to be dealt with first. Earth was assigned a very low priority, and the Saurians were reminded of their obligations to dedicate such forces as were required against higher priority targets.
At the time, there lived a White Crest named Render-of-the-Way. He was of the rare few who could still channel some of the arts of magitech. He endeavored to always innovate in a culture that reveres tradition and the past more than the future. The judgment of the Nadir council did not sit well with him, and while his peers grudgingly accepted, he turned his mind toward crafting a solution that would both appease the word of the council while also giving the Saurians a grasp on regaining Earth on an abbreviated timetable.
In the end, his solution was continue to meet the quotas set by the Nadir, and still scrounge up a small group of forces to be send to the Earth system as reconnaissance. While such recon operations were permissible, he felt it was also important to conceal this information from the Nadir lest they risk closer scrutiny by unwanted alien advisers. This deception was a personal shame that he gladly took on for the greater good of his race. And to conceal his shame from the future, he refrained from fathering any more children for the rest of his life.
And then he waited. After personally upgrading their plesiosaur class scout vessel, the reconnaissance force arrived soon at Luna and began to spy upon humanity from the moon. Then the transmissions reported a human magitech vessel breaking free of Earth’s gravity and approaching the moon at good speed. Space travel immediately increased Earth’s priority rating for attack by one notch. Render ordered the scouts to attack and seize the vessel, while he secretly prayed that they would fail and the humans would destroy them all. That would be all the provocation he would require to justify sending an invasion fleet.
But the humans had no desire for the battle, and turned to flee back to Earth a little bloodied but by no means seized. And thus Render was vexed. A rejected Tyrannosaur type heavy berserker robot was redirected for deployment on the surface of Earth. It was destroyed in short order, but without the rather large explosion of a self-destruct that was expected. This was finally sufficient cause for Render to make the trip to Earth himself. As an adept engineer, he was fully permitted to travel with a full complement of protections which included two fully functional Tyrannosaur berserkers, which he upgraded in transit.
He was the first Saurian to set foot on Earth since the Exodus, and he instantly felt at home despite the overwhelming presence of souls and millions of years of evolution to everything that was once familiar to his kind. He knew that being on Earth would forever change his nature, and that he would not be allowed to return as he might become irreversibly contaminated. It was the sacrifice he made willingly, even enthusiastically.