Unknown, although the Sathar are reputed to be from an environmental background of such ferocity that it kills six out of eleven individuals before adolescence.
Physical Appearance and Structure
Sathar are long, worm-like creatures. Their bodies are divided into segments, like an earthworm's. They do not have a skeleton. Instead, they support their bodies hydrostatically, by pumping liquid into the segments so they become hard. A shiny, clear slime coats their skin. Scientists believe they are warm-blooded, but no live specimen has ever been studied.
A Sathar's head tapers toward its mouth, which is circular and ringed with teeth. Each of their two eyes has two pupils. Four tentacles, two on each side of the body, are arranged about 1 meter below the head. The first pair is slender and weak-looking, and about 1 meter long. These end in four smaller finger-like tentacles. The second pair of tentacles is stronger and about 1.2 meters long. Both of these tentacles end in a paddle-like pad. This second pair is used for heavy lifting, while the smaller tentacles are used for fine work and for holding small weapons.
A Sathar moves by slithering across the ground with the first meter of its body raised. They also can coil like a snake, raising 1.5 meters of their bodies from the ground.
The color of Sathar skin varies from yellow to brown. The tentacles are the same as the body, but with a slight greenish tint. The underbelly is pale pink. A pattern of dots, speckles and stripes decorates the back of the head. These patterns are natural on some Sathar, but are tattoos on others.
Some survivors of Sathar attacks have reported that Sathars are not effected by electrical shocks or doze grenades, but these reports have never been confirmed.
The Sathar's double pupils give it very wide angle vision. They can see objects in front of them and to both sides at the same time. They smell through two pits in front of their eyes. The sharpness of their senses is not known, but UPF biologists assume their hearing, smell and taste is about the same as a Human's.
Society and Customs
Almost nothing is known about Sathar society. They have tried to kill every alien creature they have met in the Frontier, usually with alarming success. No one knows why the Sathar attack so viciously or what they hope to gain. All attempts to contact the Sathar peacefully have failed.
No Sathar has ever been captured alive, because they kilI themselves before they can be taken. In one case, an entire Sathar ship self-destructed to avoid being captured. Freeze fields have been applied to several dead Sathar in an attempt to have them revived, but biologists have not been able to find a revival technique that works on them.
Scientists have proposed several theories, based on reports from observers. The most widely accepted was written by Gdtlask Gltak, a Vrusk sociologist. Gltak's theory states that all Sathar belong to military units called cadres. The markings on the back of the Sathar's head identify its cadre. Each cadre trains its members as soldiers from the time they are born. Gltak theorizes that Sathar attack alien worlds because their military society would fall apart if there was no enemy to fight.
Readers are warned that this is only a theory. Until a Sathar is captured alive, their true motivation will not be known.
All Sathar should be considered hostile and dangerous. Citizens of the Frontier who encounter Sathar are required by law to report the incident immediately. If escaping is impossible, citizens are advised to attack on sight, as friendly approaches have always failed in the past.
Sathar also are known to use Dralasite, Human, Vrusk and Yazirian agents to overthrow Frontier governments, terrorize citizens and disrupt trade. Like the Sathar themselves, these agents are extremely dangerous. Suspicious beings should be reported immediately. Citizens are discouraged from attacking Sathar agents, as most are trained and experienced killers.
The following information is secret, and should not be given to players until they discover it in the course of the game.
Hypnotism. A Sathar can hypnotize a character by talking to him in a non-combat situation.
The character must make a Logic check; if he fails, he is hypnotized. A hypnotized character will think the Sathar is his friend, and will want to cooperate with it. He will see things the way the Sathar describes them, if his other senses do not contradict what the Sathar tells him. (For example, a character would not believe that a fire was a pool of water). A Sathar can command a hypnotized person to do something at a specific time, and to forget that he has been hypnotized until that time. For example, a character could be commanded to turn off a security system at midnight.
High Leadership. A Sathar's Leadership score must be 20 points higher than its Personality score.
Combat Strategies & Tactics Edit
The Sathar have never surrendered to any members of the UPF. Once, in fact, a disabled Sathar destroyer was approached by a UPF frigate with intent to board. As the frigate pulled alongside the Sathar ship, the destroyer exploded with a force that completely destroyed the UPF ship. It has since become standard procedure to bombard crippled Sathar ships from a distance, without attempting to board.
The Sathar attack with incredible ferocity, but this does not mean that they use no tactical maneuvering in space battles. In fact, the mysterious race is famed for devious cunning and extreme unpredictability in battle. Feints, bluffs, and diversions have all been used to great effect by the Sathar at one time or another.
The Sathar have been known to retreat a few times, but only if they are hopelessly outnumbered and/or believe that they can inflict greater damage in a later encounter. Suicide tactics, including ramming enemy ships, also are used by Sathar if a battle is going against them.
Notes and ReferencesEdit
- Star Frontiers Alpha Dawn Expanded Rulebook pp.25-27