The purpose of technology is to enhance human potential — not adulterate it. If, in achieving your dreams, you have lost that which makes you human, then, in truth, you have gained nothing at all.
Beautiful, athletic, perceptive and enigmatic, the New Icarians are the undisputed “master race” of the Wanderlust universe. Centuries of genetic engineering have made them something just short of the divine — however, near perfection comes at a hefty price. New Icarians are often hunted, seldom trusted, and always acutely aware that they alone may hold the key to humankind’s ultimate salvation. They are looked upon by many as manipulative and haughty. Fringers often kill them upon sight.
New Icarian physiology is fine tuned to render it immune to most diseases and common toxins. As a result, the influence of harmful organisms, drugs and toxins is reduced by half when applied to a New Icarian character. This ability also allows a New Icarian’s physiology to cannibalize itself to increase the character’s lifespan. When a character reaches her peak age, instead of beginning the ordinary decline into old age, begin transferring points from the four other clade attributes into longevity, at a rate of one point per year. Thus, the New Icarian is able to stave off the effects of old age at the expense of her ability to augment herself and reproduce. Once all other clade attributes have been exhausted, the New Icarian begins to age normally.
A trademark of the New Icarian people, this is the art of subtly altering the psychological states of others through the use of covert hypnosis, non-verbal signals and other, less popularized means. New Icarians cannot directly control the thoughts of individuals through the use of this talent; rather, they can only influence the mood and the emotional stamina of their targets. New Icarians are capable of using this ability immediately after birth; however, formal training makes the use of this talent infinitely more effective.
This ability makes use of a character’s Charisma attribute. The New Icarian rolls a charisma check against the an opposing will check of the target character. If she succeeds, she may spend one of her variable will points to add or remove a single point from the variable rating of any of that character’s psychological attributes. For each additional 10 points of effectiveness she has on this charisma check, she may add or remove one additional psychological attribute point without any additional expenditure of will. Unless the target is New Icarian, he will be unaware of any manipulation. This does not means he will not be suspicious of such manipulation, however, if he happens to know the reputation of the New Icarian people.
New Icarians can also use this ability to eavesdrop on a target’s current emotional state. If the character knows her target intimately, this eavesdropping is extremely easy, and can be accomplished without any expenditure of will. Otherwise, for strangers and targets the character does not know well, the use of this ability requires the expenditure of one will point. The upshot is that the target cannot resist this ability — he broadcasts his emotional state via unconscious signals such as posture, speech patterns and even his characteristic smell. A New Icarian can pick on on these signals to determine what the general mood of the target character is, whether he is putting on any kind of deception and whether he is hiding information. The ability cannot tell what is causing the character mood or what kind of information he may be lying about or hiding.
Psychosomatic Empowerment (5)
Using this ability, a New Icarian may spend any number of variable Will points to add the same number of points to any physical attribute. Points added to an attribute in this way that drive its rating above its fixed rating will be lost over time at that attribute’s normal recovery rate; however, points added to an attribute that do not drive it above its fixed rating will last indefinitely (or until they are lost through fatigue, sickness or other “normal” means.) This means that a New Icarian may use this ability to recover lost attribute points immediately (at the expense of his or her Willfulness attribute.) This ability may be used at any time, provided its user’s variable Will rating is greater than zero.
New Icarian characters are able to regenerate health points at double the normal rate. Wounds healed in this fashion leave no scarring. This ability can also regenerate severed limbs over a period of several months, with more extensive losses requiring more time to regenerate completely.
Baseline Rejection (4)
Due to their advanced immune systems, New Icarian are notoriously difficult to augment. Though a New Icarian character may still be successfully augmented, she will always suffer the failure effects of any augmentation she receives, even though she enjoys the beneficial effect of the augmentation as well. If an attempt to augment a New Icarian character fails, she will suffer the failure effects of the augmentation twice due to her body’s rejection of the procedure.
A New Icarian’s sensory abilities can be as much a handicap as an advantage under certain circumstances. When a New Icarian is in the presence of a mentally disturbed character for an extended period of time (several days, at least) she will begin to attune to the emotional state of that character. Her psychological attributes will begin to adjust to mirror those of her deranged companion. She may spend will to restore her attributes (at a rate of one will point per one psychological attribute point restored) but as long as she is in the presence of the deranged character, her variable psychological attributes will behave as though their fixed ratings were those of her sick companion.
New Icaria is the third of eight worlds orbiting Schaffer’s Star, a G7 V main sequence dwarf star that lies approximately 472 light-years from Earth, in the direction of the constellation Crux. New Icaria is classified as a true Earth-analog world, meaning that it is habitable to humans without the benefit of artificial support systems. Clear cut as this designation may seem, it will be abundantly clear to any traveler setting foot on the surface of this world that it holds more than a few surprises.
In the seven centuries since its settlement, New Icaria has truly become a second home to humanity. With a population now approaching 2 billion, it is the second most populous world in the Expansion (after Earth).