Kadru, The Dragon Kings

By Teleute

Overview

Heirs to a forgotten legacy, the Kadru are powerful fighters with the blood of an ancient race, far older than humanity, coursing through their veins. Their saurian ancestors ruled over advanced civilizations which spread across the world before falling into decline for unknown reasons before the advent of human history. The most powerful Kadru have vague and contradictory memories somehow passed down through their blood. They remember war, overgrown organic technologies, forgotten reptilian gods, natural disasters, the Yama Kings, and the wrath of heaven but the definitive fate of their lost kingdoms is unknown. The only physical traces the Kadru have left are their own bodies, the result of their ancestors somehow leaving an imprint upon mankind.

While their saurian heritage manifests relatively subtly for some, such as through easily hidden fangs or claws, most feel the strength of their blood more fully. With armored hides, broad wings, or scales, most Kadru appear as clear hybrids between humans and reptiles and must hide from the world to some degree. Occasionally a Kadru becomes almost completely reptilian, taking forms highly reminiscent of their ancestors.

In the modern age, the Kadru are rare and disparate. While a few families know of their heritage and watch for signs of reptilian features among their progeny as they come of age, more often a Kadru awakens randomly among the general human populace. The lucky ones are guided by fragmentary genetic memories to find others of their kind, make sense of their changing bodies, and find a safe haven. Just as often, the flashes of dead thoughts and desires drive the new Kadru mad. These unfortunate souls often devolve into mindless beasts wholly governed by alien memories of the past. They haunt their ancestral lands, only tolerating other Kadru who they recognize in their cold yellow eyes as blood-kin. Such savage Kadru are tolerated by others for their strength and willingness to protect shared territory but pitied none-the-less. Ambitious elders have often tried to reform the beasts who show some spark of intelligence but there have been few successes.

Most Kadru are fiercely territorial, keeping to the lands that their genetic memories resonate with. They often rely on human or nearly human relatives and allies to interact with civilization, though isolated Kadru may abandon the world of man completely. Most don’t have the luxury of choice. The world has changed and a Kadru’s memories are as likely to lead them to the inner city as to desolate wild lands. Some haunt sewers while others stalk decrepit temples. Regardless, once a Kadru has found his kingdom he is unlikely to leave it unprotected. Yet, it is often this desire to protect their home that leads them on far-flung journeys to defeat threats to their realm and ensure their existence remains a secret. A few reckless idealists seek to unite their kind. They fight their instincts and travel to build connections amongst the disparate groups of Kadru. One day, these few visionaries may even reveal the Dragon Kings to the human world.

Though their genetic memory, the Kadru remember other supernatural beings. The Yama Kings figure prominently in their latter memories as enemies, thus the Kadru are unlikely to take Akuma or Yamajin as allies. Strangely, a few seem to remember a feeling of bitterness towards the Mugen. It is an odd feeling not connected to any specific memory but a fleeting reminiscence of the changing of an age. Still, many Kadru find the Mugen to be worthwhile companions once they are confirmed to be trust worthy. The Kadru are most likely to form relationships with the Okami. The two often are brought into contact with each other when territories overlap. While conflict is common, their similarities are obvious enough that many work together. This is especially true for the Kadru who have some fleeting memories of the earth spirits. As the traces of the rulers of a previous cycle, the Shinigami see the Kadru as living artifacts at best and dangerous remnants of a bestial past at worst. The Kadru are even more suspicious, seeing the Shinigami as symptomatic of a broken world lashing out at itself. Despite sharing some similarities with the Ryuujin, the Kadru maintain that their ancestors are different from those of the Ryuujin houses. Interested Ryuujin genealogists haven’t completed any comparative gene mapping, largely due to disinterest and lack of cooperation on the part of the few Kadru the Ryuujin are in contact with.

As fighters, Kadru draw particular aptitudes from their differing reptilian heritages, which are recognizable as distinct genetic lineages. Mosok often manifest features of amphibious and aquatic reptiles. With their strong and agile musculature, they excel at Grapple techniques. Pterok gain features reminiscent of pterosaurs, such as hollow bones and wings. They excel at Aerial techniques. Raptok often resemble theropod predators such as the tyrannosaurus or the various species of raptors. With their strong legs, they excel at Rush techniques. Anklok grow armor much like that of the various ankylosaurid and stegosaurid species. They excel at Defense techniques. Saurok grow larger than other Kadru and manifest features of reptilian megafauna. With their ability to throw their weight around, they excel at Strike techniques. The Aluan’s ancestors in prehistory pushed beyond the basic reptilian form and today they manifest features reminiscent of the early birds that evolved from reptiles such as the archaeopteryx and protoavis. These unique Kadru excel at Projectile techniques. Though individual Kadru may show features of more than one lineage, such as a Raptok with a plume of Aluan-like feathers or a giant Saurok with Mosok-like crocodilian teeth, one lineage always is dominant.

Dragon King Techniques

Kadru have favored techniques related to the natural aptitudes of their linages. They gain a 1 die bonus to clashes when using favored techniques. This applies to Basic, Martial Arts, and Exalted Techniques. Kadru Overdrives are unique in that they can be used as different type techniques. For example, Saurian Savior Style can be either an Aerial or a Rush. The technique type must be chosen before the attack is declared, similar to how movement must be declared when a technique provides a choice.

Slippery Constrictor’s Grasp
Cost: —; Range: Close/Still; Type: Grapple Defeats: Grapple
Clash Roll: Strength + Slippery Constrictors Grasp;
Damage: Dexterity + 2 – opponent’s Stamina (min 2)
The Kadru moves to meets his opponent’s attack head on but always seems to slip away. He contorts himself around his opponent and forces them into his own grasp. This attack is best against the close opponents and automatically defeats grapples.

Poisoned Fang Trap
Cost: 1 ki; Range: Close/Still; Type: Grapple Defeats: Rush
Clash Roll: Strength + 1 + Poisoned Fang Trap;
Damage: Strength + 3 – opponent’s Stamina (min 1)
As his enemy attacks, the Kadru rakes him with a poisoned claw or fangs. Drugged, the enemy is in no position to avoid the Kadru’s grasp. The poison’s effects are diminished but still present later, causing a 2 dice penalty on the next turn if a clash occurs. This attack is best against enemies who recklessly attack, automatically defeating Rushes.

Soaring Mirror Technique
Cost: —; Range: Mid/Advance; Type: Aerial Defeats: Strike
Clash Roll: Dexterity + 2 + Soaring Mirror Technique;
Damage: Dexterity – opponent’s Stamina (min1)
Grasping his opponents attack, the Kadru soars into the air, flying or jumping as their physiology allows, and slams his enemy back to the earth or sends their projectile rushing back towards them. The attack is best against straight forward attacks, automatically defeating Strikes.

Pyrrhic Mantle of Destruction
Cost: 1 ki or Willpower; Range: Mid/Advance; Type: Aerial Defeats: Projectile
Clash Roll: Dexterity + Pyrrhic Mantle of Destruction;
Damage: Stamina + 3 – opponent’s Stamina (min 2)
The Kadru risks life and limb by rising into the air and hurling his body down towards his opponent in a punishing kamikaze blitz. This attack rises above Projectiles and automatically defeats them.

Perfection of Movement
Cost: —; Range: Mid/Advance; Type: Rush Defeats: Aerial
Clash Roll: Dexterity + Perfection of Movement
Damage: Dexterity + 2 – opponent’s Stamina (min 1)
Tapping into his reptilian instincts, the Kadru rushes forward at blinding speeds to startle his opponent and catch them as they jump away. This attack automatically defeats Aerial just as an able reptile is able to snatch an insect out of the air. When this attack defeats an Aerial, it counts as two steps toward Staggering an opponent.

Barrier Breaching Method
Cost: 1 ki; Range: Mid/Advance; Type: Rush Defeats: Defensive
Clash Roll: Dexterity + 2 + Barrier Breaching Method;
Damage: Strength + 2 – opponent’s Strength (min 2)
Bursting forward on his strong legs, the Kadru straightens his spine and lead with the dome of his skull. He attacks like the extinct Sphaerotholus, focusing all his physical might onto his skull’s sahasrara chakra to break through all obstacles in his way. When successful, the Kadru can choose to knocks his opponent Back. This attack automatically defeats Defense techniques and the grants an additional overdrive point when he does so.

Unity with Earth and Stone
Cost: —; Range: Mid/Still; Type: Defensive Defeats: Projectile
Clash Roll: Stamina + 1 + Unity with Earth and Stone
Damage:
Predicting an attack, the Kadru presents the most hardened portion of his body to absorb the blow. Whether using a scaled hide, a sturdy shell, or simply a muscled back, the Kadru gets a second wind as he brushes off his opponent’s attack and gains either 1 ki, 1 willpower point , 1 health point, or 2 overdrive points. This attack automatically defeats Projectiles and is immune to Reversals.

Inhuman Clarity of Perception Technique
Cost: 1 ki; Range: Mid/Still; Type: Defensive Defeats: Aerial
Clash Roll: Stamina + Inhuman Clarity of Perception Technique;
Damage: Strength + 3 – opponent’s Stamina (min 2)
Totally still like a basking reptile conserving its energy, the Kadru focuses entirely on an incoming attack. The second before being hit, he moves a single limb for an impossibly fast parry. With another limb, the Kadru moves just as quickly to release all his pent up strength with a blow to his opponent’s abdomen. This counterattack automatically defeats Aerials but is a non-event if no attack is thrown by the opponent.

Piercing the Veil
Cost: —; Range: Close/Still; Type: Strike Defeats: Strike
Clash Roll: Strength + 1 + Piercing the Veil
Damage: Strength + 2 – opponent’s Strength (min 1)
With the blood of giants coursing through their veins, the Kadru meet might with might. The fighter contacts an incoming attack directly with his fist, punching through all obstacles to hit his opponent. This attack overwhelms Strikes, automatically defeating them.

The Finger of Nightmares
Cost: 1 ki; Range: Close/Still; Type: Strike Defeats: Defensive
Clash Roll: Strength + 1 + The Finger of Nightmares
Damage: Stamina + 1 – opponent’s Stamina (min 1)
Genetic memory is a curse that can be shared. The Kadru exchanges bodily fluids with an attack such a venomed bite or a poisoned claw. Once his strike touches blood, he calls forth the fragmentary memories of his ancestors and forces them into the mind of his opponent. While these memories may be traumatic for the Kadru, the alien memories are actively harmful to his opponent. They continue to cause one die of damage each round until the opponent succeeds at a Stamina roll, attempted after each damage roll, with 2 successes or they lose a health stock. This attack automatically defeats Defensive techniques.

Blistering Execration
Cost: —; Range: Mid/Still or Back; Type: Projectile Defeats: Grapple
Clash Roll: Stamina + 2 + Blistering Execration;
Damage:
Painfully filling his lungs beyond human limits and letting out an ear-piecing screech, the Kadru sends out a sonic wave deafening his opponent. Successfully connecting, the attack inflicts a three dice penalty on the enemies next Clash. As this technique is most effective on closer enemies, it automatically defeats Grapples.

Coagulated Eucharist Spit
Cost: 1 ki; Range: Mid/Still; Type: Projectile Defeats: Rush
Clash Roll: Stamina + 1 + Coagulated Eucharist Spit;
Damage: Dexterity + 1 – opponent’s Stamina (min 2)
Quickly mixing poison and acid in his stomach, the Kadru doubles over in pain and looks up to projectile vomit the concoction at his enemy. This technique automatically defeats Rushes.

Overdrive Technique: Form of the Terrible Ancestors
Cost: 2 ki; Range: Mid/Still; Type: Strike or Grapple Defeats: Projectile, Aerial
Clash Roll: Strength + 1 + Form of the Terrible Ancestors;
Damage: Strength + 4 – opponent’s Stamina (min 3)
The Kadru roars as his body doubles in size and his muscles grow suddenly. Taking the appearance of one of his giant ancestors, he attacks with terrible fury for an instant before returning to his normal size. With increased range and strength, he can swat away Projectile and Aerial techniques to automatically defeat them.

Overdrive Technique: Saurian Savior Style
Cost: 2 ki; Range: Mid/Advance; Type: Rush or Aerial Defeats: Defensive, Grapple
Clash Roll: Dexterity + 5 + Saurian Savior Style;
Damage: Dexterity + 1 – opponent’s Dexterity (min 2)
Channeling all his energy into his limbs, the Kadru bursts forward so quickly that he seems to float like a basilisk running over water. Whether he has wings or not, the Kadru can take to the air for a devastating dive attack. With unpredictable speed, this attack automatically defeats Defensive and Grapple techniques.

Overdrive Technique: E.L.E. Instinct
Cost: 2 ki; Range: Mid/Still; Type: Defensive or Projectile Defeats: Strike, Rush
Clash Roll: Stamina + 3 + E.L.E. Instinct;
Damage: Stamina + 3 – opponent’s Strength (min 2)
The Kadru remember their ancestor’s destruction and their bodies have responded. Activating a primal flight instinct, the fighter coils into himself as his skin hardens and forms sharp spikes or quills for his opponent to be impaled upon. If his fight response is stronger, he can uncoil to eject his defenses towards his opponent. This technique defeats Strikes and Rushes.

Kadru, The Dragon Kings

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