Lahsbees and Huhks
The first light of dawn broke on the jungle world of Lahsbane. An Imperial Delta-class shuttle dominated a small clearing of the planet’s dense, pastel-hued wilderness. The bulk of the Imperial squad that had landed here was on patrol, searching for a Rebel spy who had crash-landed on the planet. Standing guard near the shuttle, an Imperial Stormtrooper scanned the edge of the jungle, on watch for the planet’s fearsome natives. Another Stormtrooper walked down the ship’s ramp, and the guard turned towards his compatriot.
"CO-571, why aren’t you at your post?"
CO-571 looked around nervously before speaking. "The, uh, lieutenant’s guest is thirsty. She asked me to bring her some water, but the galley is sealed."
AB-307 was stunned. "Why are you talking to the prisoner? I locked her in the brig! Did you let her out?"
CO-571 was offended by the question. "No! I did not! She said the boss told her to wait on the bridge."
"And you believed her?"
"Well, she said it so nicely. And… she’s very… pretty."
AB-307 was confused. "There’s no way she could even get on to the bridge without the proper code cylinders and I’ve got them right… here?" He checked the pouches of his utility belt where he was certain he’d secured the cylinders. They were empty. His identi-card, a pack of luna-gum and walking around credits were gone too.
"Hey, AB-307, are we korked?"
Suddenly the boarding ramp raised and retracted into the shuttle. The two Stormtroopers raced towards the bow of the shuttle while its engines roared in ignition. Sitting at the controls inside the cockpit, Dani the Zeltron flashed a smile. Before the Imperial troopers could even react, she tossed them a wink and a wave as the ship blasted off into the morning sky.
"Oh, we’re totally korked."
"( ( ( tee hee ( ( ("
"CO-571, don’t laugh! This is bad!"
"It wasn’t me!"
The troopers turned around and discovered that a small group of Lahsbees, natives of the planet, had gathered to watch the scene play out. The Lahsbees, small felinoids whose colorful fur matched the blue, pink and orange of the world’s foliage, were literally falling over each other in fits of laughter. AB-307 raised his blaster. "Stay back!"
CO-571 did not share his partner’s concern. "Relax, they’re harmless. The lieutenant even wants to take one home as a pet. We’ve got bigger sando to fry. We need to figure out how we’re going to report this mess." He knelt down to scratch one of the small creatures between its ears. The Lahsbee giggled and purred.
AB-307 was in full panic mode. "Did you not pay attention to the briefing? Or read the planetary datalog?! They’re dangerous!"
The Stormtrooper’s agitation only fueled the Lahsbees’ mirth.
"( ( ( tee hee ( ( ( tee hee ( ( ("
CO-571 was not buying it either. "They’re knee-high, friendly fuzzballs. They don’t even have rocks to throw at us."
Blaster ready, AB-307 stepped away from the Lahsbees. "Sure, they're cute now, but when they hit puberty they get big and mean. I am very much not a fan of enormous pink rage monsters!"
The Lahsbees took the stormtrooper’s meaning.
"( ( ( tee hee ( ( ( Huhk ( ( ( tee hee ( ( ("
"Right! Huhks! They’re called Huhks!"
The Lahsbees began echoing the trooper"
"( ( ( Huhk ( ( ( Huhk ( ( ("
The Lahsbee CO-571 had been petting stopped purring. The trooper thought it had finally reacted to his partner’s brandished weapon, but the Lahsbee’s attention was focused behind the trooper.
"Huhk?" the Stormtrooper squawked nervously.
AB-307 turned and followed his partner’s gaze. A monstrous figure, nearly three meters tall, with wild hair and jagged teeth loomed over him and blocked out the whole of the sky above.
"Huhk!" Faster than it would seem possible, the Lahsbees vanished into the jungle.
A few blaster bolts and muffled screams echoed across the clearing, but within seconds the morning became nearly still again.
"( ( ( tee hee ( ( ("
Attribute Dice: 12D
Violent Rapid Onset Puberty: Lahsbees are shape-shifters who transform into beings called Huhks at puberty. This dramatic transformation takes only seconds, causing them to triple in size. This explosive release of hormones often leaves newly mature Huhks in an extremely agitated state, and they tend to express their adolescent angst in the form of rage-filled outbursts. To adjust the stats of a Lahsbee maturing into a Huhk, simply swap its Perception and Strength attributes.
Technophobes: Lahsbees have a deep distrust of and distaste for technology. They associate technology with Huhks who prefer to live in Lahsbane’s forbidden cities and are enemies of fun under the best of circumstances. Furthermore, much of their homeworld’s flora produces an ultra-fine micro-pollen, which can clog up the works of many advanced technologies and render them unreliable on the planet’s surface without proper filtration. That said Lahsbees are remarkably friendly and approachable. Many are even willing to travel off world and have joined the Alliance of Free Planets.
Frivolous: Lahsbees seem to take very little seriously. They will gladly spend the day getting their bellies rubbed by a Zeltron or having a good laugh at the expense of all the adults trying to get actual work done. They are rarely violent and are skilled at beating hasty retreats at the first sign of trouble, as is often the case when Huhks are involved.
Huhks Just Don’t Understand: Lahsbees and Huhks avoid each other’s company whenever possible. Lahsbees live simply in the Lahsbane jungles, but upon becoming Huhks, they will join their large, angry brethren in Lahsbane’s cities.
Size: 1 meter tall
Attribute Dice: 12D
Berserker Rage: If a Huhk becomes enraged (the character must believe themself misunderstood by their peers, annoyed by some Lahsbees, or just going through a phase) the character gets a +2D bonus to Strength for the purposes of causing damage while brawling (the character's brawling skill is not increased). The character also suffers a -2D penalty to all non-Strength attribute and skill checks (minimum 1D). When trying to calm down from a berserker rage while Lahsbees or other enemies are still present, the Huhk must make a Moderate Perception total. The Huhk rolls a minimum of 1D for the check (the Huhk’s trusted associates may assist with this roll by offering some friendly words of encouragement, making a firm request to chill or singing a soothing show tune.). After all enemies have been eliminated or the Lahsbees have finally left them alone, the character must only make an Easy Perception total (with no penalty) to calm down.
Claws: STR +1D damage.
Territorial: Upon reaching maturity, Huhks migrate to Lahsbane’s forbidden cities to live among their own kind. The Lahsbees don’t generally bother them there, and the Huhks like that just fine. Huhks don’t take kindly to visitors or intruders. What they do up there all by themselves is anyone’s guess.
Size: 2.5 - 2.7 meters tall
The Lahsbees and the Huhks were created by Jo Duffy, Ron Frenz and Tom Palmer.