Klaven are an artificially created species, incrementally modified to serve the jagladine—and by extension, the Ultari Hegemony—as foot soldiers and shock troops. Their jagdaline masters perfected this process to transform natives of conquered worlds into an occupying force. The conversion protocol begins with a creature’s infection, typically by a virus referred to as an assimilation strain, which introduces nanites to remap a victim’s brain patterns and overall psychology, predisposing them towards evil. The second stage requires a fitted mindslave harness, which conditions victims towards complete obedience, reception of telepathic commands, and eventual networking with others of its kind. Those who survive these experiences become candidates for full conversion into klaven, a process which involves submersion into vats of organic mutagens to amplify the victim’s strength, alter the visual spectrum of its eyes, and grow natural claws.
Klaven typically have greenish skin and milky-white eyes, with smooth hairless skin calcified into a hard, armored exoskeleton overlaying their former physiology.
The final result draws horror-worthy comparisons to an undead monstrosity, but all klaven are still living soldiers.
Those familiar with klaven biology realize their appearance often signals an assimilation plague has already run its course, but klaven lack all memory of their former lives, devoid of compassion and slaying others without hesitation.
Only officers possess the ability to speak, with all others communicating purely through an exchange of nanites. Their jagdaline masters also have the technological means to tap into their neural network, monitoring the condition of their soldiers while remotely issuing commands. It is believed the Hegemony’s weaponeers also occasionally download their soldiers’ memories, analyzing their experiences for further insights into those they encounter.
Creating a Klaven
“Klaven” is an acquired template that can be added to any living or recently deceased animal or humanoid creature (hereafter referred to as the base creature) infected with a jagdaline assimilation strain and fitted with a mindslave harness. An intact dead creature that meets these prerequisites may be revived as a klaven within 48 hours of their death. If similar actions are performed on a living creature, they may be converted into a klaven within 8 hours. Upon transformation, klaven are healed of any prior ability or physical damage, including that caused by a jagdaline assimilation virus. A klaven uses all of the base creature’s statistics except as noted here.
CR: Same as the base creature +1.
Alignment: Lawful evil. In rare cases, some creatures react poorly to the effects of an assimilation strain and instead become neutral evil or chaotic evil.
Type: The creature gains the augmented subtype. It retains any other subtypes, as well, except for alignment subtypes and subtypes that indicate kind. Do not recalculate class HD, BAB, saves, or skill points.
Senses: A klaven gains darkvision 60 feet.
AC: Natural armor improves by +4.
Hit Dice: A klaven retains its original racial HD.
Defensive Abilities: Klaven are immune to fear effects.
They also gain the following ability:
Weakness(es): Klaven are created to accept orders without question, but with certain constraints to prevent them from becoming a liability to their creators.
Malign Influence (Su)
Attacks: The klaven conversion process alters the base creature’s physiology to provide them with a reserve natural weapon under any conditions. As an immediate action a formerly humanoid klaven may extend or withdraw sharp, extremely dense bone spurs from the back of its hands or forearms, granting the klaven two powerful claw attacks, provided the base creature has no other claw attacks. These claws deal damage based on the klaven’s size, treating the creature as if it were one size category larger. Animal klaven increase the damage of their existing natural weapons as though they increased in size by one category.
Languages: Due to their transformation process, newly created klaven cannot speak. However, upon attaining their initial class level, they re-master the ability, often vaulting such klaven into leadership positions among their own kind.
Special Qualities: A klaven gains the following special qualities.
Converted Host (Ex)
Klaven transformations leave nothing for restoration of a base creature to its original self. As a result, klaven cannot be killed and returned to life with raise dead or similar effects. Spells such as true resurrection, wish, and miracle work normally.
Energy Modulation (Su)
As an immediate action, a klaven manufactured from a living creature may treat positive and negative energy effects as if it were an undead creature, taking damage from positive energy and healing damage from negative energy. This lasts until the start of the klaven’s next turn. The ability may be used once per day, and an additional time per day when they gain 8 HD and 12 HD.
Nanite Exchange (Su)
Klaven nanites swarm around them on a microscopic level, providing a continuous awareness of the location and condition of other klaven within 60 feet, as the status spell. The range of this ability increases to 100 feet for klaven with at least 8 HD, and one mile for klaven with 12 HD or more. Klaven may also communicate with one another by passing memories and sensory information through their nanites but must come into physical contact to do so. This exchange of memories requires a full-round action and only consists of perceptions and firsthand experiences. Klaven cannot exchange skills, special abilities, or other individual qualities in this manner.
Alien Codex © 2018, Legendary Games; Lead Designer: Jason Nelson. Authors: Anthony Adam, Kate Baker, John Bennet, Eytan Bernstein, Robert Brookes, Russ Brown, Duan Byrd, Paris Crenshaw, Jeff Dahl, Robyn Fields, Joel Flank, Matt Goodall, Robert J. Grady, Jim Groves, Steven T. Helt, Thurston Hillman, Tim Hitchcock, Nick Hite, Daniel Hunt, Mike Kimmel Marshall, Isabelle Lee, Jeff Lee, Lyz Liddell, Jason Nelson, Richard Pett, Tom Phillips, Jeff Provine, Alistair J. Rigg, Alex Riggs, Wendall Roy, Mike Shel, Neil Spicer, Todd Stewart, Russ Taylor, Rachel Ventura, Mike Welham, George Loki Williams, Scott Young.