Blanks

Poor blighters.

I didn't know you went in fer that blank liberation stuff, Deeyo. 

How ken ya not feel bad fer 'em? Not only slaves, but slaves to the fookin' Elves! Goddamn ponces. 

Yeah, I 'member hearin' some Tal'Shar diplomat doin' an interview. Said the blanks're genetically engineered ta be servants and that they're happier that way. Fuckin' bullshit. 

And yet if ya talk to a blank, they don't even realize they're slaves. They'll just tell ya how grateful they are that they've got th' goddamn High Ones watchin' over 'em. That's what they call Elves – "High Ones." Ken ye believe it? 

Not all of 'em. You remember that boy Carter what served on the Silent Hunter? He's a blank. Ask him how he got free of the Tals sometime. Helluva story. 

Yeh,  but for every one o' them, there's hundreds of thousands of blanks that live an' die an' never fookin' get it. 

Ain't no justice in the universe, Deeyo. You know that. 

Ye can say that again. 

Blanks are a subspecies of humans that have been extensively genetically-engineered by the elves of the Tal'Shar Empire to serve as servants and warriors. They appear mostly identical to humans, except that they are always in perfect health and peak physical conditions, their hair lustrous and their skin and teeth flawless. Blanks are sterile, and new blanks are cloned and grown in vats by the geneticists of the Tal'Shar Empire. They are given an arcane mark on the back of their necks upon their emergence from the clone vats, invisible to the naked eye but easily spotted by detect magic or similar magical detection, which identifies them as a blank and states the name of their owner. Other than this mark, the only way to determine if a given human is a blank or not for certain is genetic testing. 

Blanks are genetically designed to be perfect servants, warriors and companions for their Elven masters. Their genetic code has been optimized for health and physical fitness – they are stronger, faster, healthier, and better looking than the average human, and almost never get sick. Their genetic code has been optimized to make them docile and pliable, and they are predisposed to trust and like elves, similar to the way dogs are predisposed to like and trust humans. Despite this, blanks do have individual personalities. Blanks live about as long as normal humans do. 

As soon as they emerge into the world, Blanks begin to be indoctrinated by their Tal'Shar masters to prepare them for a lifetime of service. They are taught to revere elves, whom they refer to as High Ones and believe to be superior beings. They are taught obedience and manners, and only the skills necessary to prepare them for whatever role their masters intend them to perform. The majority of blanks are soldiers, but some are household servants or companions for the Tal'Shar elves (even the lowliest elf in the empire has a blank servant or two). Blanks who show signs of rebelliousness or disobedience during their education are quietly executed. Those who show particular talent can rise to minor leadership roles in the Tal'Shar military or middle managerial roles in civilian industries, but by law they are kept out of high level positions. 

Blanks are fierce combatants, their genetically-perfect bodies honed into perfect precision instruments of violence by years of training at combat and almost nothing else. Additionally, the Tal'Shar have managed to engineer a few simple magical abilities into every blank, which they refer to as charms. Blanks are designed to have only enough magical power to use their charms, but not enough to be able to become full-fledged spellcasters, but about one in every thousand blanks has a difficult-to-detect anomalous mutation that grants them full magical abilities. These blanks are inevitably executed if their mutation is discovered. 

Most blanks live their entire lives without ever questioning the rule of their elven masters. This is due not only to their genetic conditioning and their years of indoctrination, but also the fact that they are not permitted to leave Tal'Shar-controlled space without authorization and they are only allowed extremely limited interactions with beings who are not part of the Tal'Shar Empire. Additionally, blanks who show signs of rebelliousness or questioning are usually taken aside and quietly executed. Their disappearance is explained to their friends and comrades with any number of convenient lies. Tal'Shar blanks are often warned against rebellious blanks known as Deviants who may try to lead them astray of the true path that the High Ones have laid out for them to follow. 

Those few who do manage, through careful planning or trick of fate, to escape the clutches of their Tal'Shar overlords encounter one final problem – their bodies are carefully designed to be unable to produce an essential amino acid necessary for their survival, known as vyvine. This is kept secret from ordinary blanks, but the Tal'Shar take careful steps to make sure that the food and water consumed by their blank servants contains sufficient quantities of vyvine to keep them in good health. Obedient blanks go their entire lives never knowing about this deficiency, but blanks who escape the Tal'Shar quickly find themselves growing sickly and weak. Without vyvine, they inevitably perish within a few days. 

But there are some have figured out that freed Blanks need a steady supply of vyvine to survive. Alliance military scientists discovered it relatively early by autopsying captured Blanks who died in custody. They synthesize vyvine to give to captured blanks as well as the few blanks who have abandoned the Tal'Shar and become Alliance operatives. And there is a secret organization composed of liberated Blanks and their allies known only as The Lightbringers that work to help Blanks escape the Tal'Shar and provides them with synthetic vyvine. 

Blanks within the Tal'Shar Empire are given an ordinary elven first name, but their surname is always the name of the cloning facility that produced them. Escaped blanks typically adopt human names to better fit into the societies that they live in. 

  • Genetic Perfection – Blanks have been genetically engineered for physical perfection, enjoying perfect health and excellent physical abilities for most of their lives. They gain +2 to Strength Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma. 
  • Vyvine Dependency – Blanks require the amino acid vyvine to survive, but their bodies cannot produce it naturally.  A blank who does not receive at least 5 grams of vyvine per day begins to waste away. Every day that the blank does not consume sufficient vyvine, she loses 1d4 points of strength, dexterity, and constitution. This damage cannot be healed naturally until the blank consumes the required amount of vyvine, and then lost ability points return at a rate of one per day. 
  • Charms - Blanks are deliberately designed with a low level of magical potential in their blood, not sufficient to become full spellcasters, but enough to produce a few minor magical effects, similar to the capabilities of drow elves. These abilities are known as Charms, and can be used once per day each. Blanks can never have a magical bloodline, but instead they get get access to the below list of Charms:  

    • Charm of Lren – As a standard action, the blank can heal 1d4 points of damage by touching herself or another. 
    • Charm of Ibis - As a standard, the blank can create a shield of shimmering force around himself that grants a +2 deflection bonus to AC. This shield lasts for the duration of the encounter. As an immediate action the blank can cause it to burst, ending its duration immediately but halving the damage from a single source that just hit the blank. 
    • Charm of Dhor - As a free action, the blank can repair a single object as the mending spell. 
    • Charm of Noct – As a free action, the blank gains darkvision and can see magical auras as if a detect magic spell had been cast, both to a range of 120 feet. The blank also gains +1 to hit with all attacks. This effect lasts for five minutes, and this magical source of vision functions even if the blank's normal sight has been blinded. 
    • Charm of Atos – As a standard action, the blank gains a +5 proficiency bonus to his next skill check.
  • Hunted – Blank freedom does not exist in the Tal'Shar Empire. Blanks which have escaped Tal'Shar control will be interrogated and then executed without a second thought if they are caught by Tal'Shar forces. Additionally, the Tal'Shar pay a bounty for the return of escaped blanks, and there is no shortage of hunters who will take them up on this offer. 
  • Lure of Titania – Blanks are bred and conditioned all their lives to serve and adore elves. This conditioning makes them hugely vulnerable to the wiles of their elven masters. Elves attempting a diplomacy, bluff, or intimidate check against a blank target can roll twice and take the better result. Blanks attempting a willpower saving throw against a spell cast by a spellcaster with the Line of Titania bloodline roll twice and take the worse result. 

Blanks

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