A decade ago the Spectrals launched a sudden and devastating attack on the Starguild Imperium. It was the Starguild's first encounter with them; they were not even a rumor before their attack. In the years since the war began, the Starguild Imperium has lost numerous systems, taken terrible casualties, and has approached collapse.
See also the Spectral Invasion of Rhand.
Through the long war, the Spectrals have remained shrouded in mystery. What is known about these aliens and about two of their client races is as follows.
There is little information concerning the Spectral's motivation, biology, or origin, and whatever detailed information may have existed was never transmitted to this remote and agrarian world. The only certainty is that the Spectrals have a great hatred of Humanity and are completely dedicated to its destruction.
As far as most are concerned, there are no Spectrals on the planet. They are generally believed to have been destroyed along with their spacecraft before they landed. Many of them had already been dropped into Rhand's remote regions, however, and they are continuing to develop their plans.
Evidence indicates that Spectral's have no individual identities, but instead operate with a telepathic hive mentality at all times. They are jet-black humanoids, and possess neither eyes, nose, nor mouth. Instead, they have alternate senses which allow them to perceive equally well in light or dark, to see through walls and other inanimate matter, and to instinctively detect the presence of living creatures.
This life sense operates over great distances, and any group operating near a Spectral base is as easily spotted as a bright light in a dark field. The sense is not blocked by inanimate objects, provides a full 360 degree field of view, and is possessed by all Spectrals. Within a 15 mile range, a Spectral can also pick up a group's general emotional state and intentions.
Their metabolisms are also bizarre. They can only be slain by direct injuries to the head (the equivalent of 60 Physical Damage points in a single wound), and only Disabling Injuries to the limbs will render those limbs useless. Spectrals are not very sensitive to explosive concussion; they take damage from explosions as if wearing Combat Suits.
There are five known types of Spectrals on Rhand. They include two types of blank-face Workers, two of facet-faced Warriors, and the Pathfinder rulers. A sixth class, the Commanders, perished in the crash of the Spectral craft.
The smallest and most plentiful of the Spectrals, Minor Workers do most of the labor for the hive.
Differing from the Minor Workers only in size, the obsidian skinned Major Workers handle more difficult tasks and roam further from the hive than their smaller cormrades.
These Spectrals specialize in warfare. Their skins are hardened, and their upper limbs are designed for combat. Quick and deadly, Minor Warriors often escort Workers outside the hive.
These Spectrals are designed totally for warfare, and their skin is as hard as metal. Fast and possessing devastating strength, they are some of the most deadly beings on Rhand.
No precise description of this class exists, because no Spectral hive has ever been successfully assaulted. It is known, however, that they possess powerful telepathic abilities, and are capable of manipulating certain humans and aliens with great ease.
Spectral client racesEdit
The Spectrals are a race of immense power, yet they possess bizarre, dangerous blind spots. They can use technology, but they cannot build it; their numbers are vast but their ability to reproduce seems sharply limited; they move swiftly, but they cannot travel beyond a limited range from their Lairs. Because of these limitations, they have client races like the Trank and the Slozek .
Yet the Spectrals cannot allow just any race to serve them, because a race with too many abilities that the Spectrals lack would be a serious threat to them. Consequently, before they begin use of a race as a client, they sculpt it, weaken it, and destroy its independence.
For the Trank, this sculpting process ended in a creature that could build, but which could not create something new. For the Slozek, the Spectrals' light infantry, the limitations are quite different.