Khepri-Khufu, Guardians of the Sunrise

“No man knows till he has suffered from the night how sweet and dear to his heart and eye the morning can be.”
-Bram Stoker, Dracula

Playtest Version

This material is still in the process of being playtested. It is fully usable as written, but may be refined or changed in later versions. As always, this content should only be used with GM permission.

Khepri-Khufu     +2 STR     +2 WIS     -2 DEX     6 HP

In every starport and trade station across hundreds of systems a small scarab-like folk can be found operating cargo ships and trade companies. They are formally known as the Khepri-Khufu, but in most circumstances refer to themselves as the People of the Sunrise.

Size and Type

Khepri-Khufu are Small Magical Beasts.

Buzzing Leap

When in atmosphere, wearing no or light armor, and not helpless, a khepri-khufu can leap up to 30 feet in any direction as a move action, falls at a rate of only 60 feet per round, takes no damage from falling, and does not become prone at the end of a fall. In low or zero gravity, a khepri-khufu instead has a fly speed of 30 feet. In high gravity, a khepri-khufu instead falls as normal for normal gravity and the distance of the leap is halved. In extreme gravity, this ability has no effect.


A khepri-khufu can emit light, increasing light levels by one step in a 50 foot radius. This light can be activated or deactivated as a swift action.


Khepri-khufu know a number of bonus languages equal to twice their Intelligence bonus and learn two languages for each skill rank they have in the Culture skill.


Khepri-khufu receive a +2 racial bonus to Bluff, Culture, and Diplomacy and can treat one of these skills as a class skill.

Playing a Khepri-Khufu

You likely…

Maintain a non-threatening presence outside of combat.
Struggle with names that are based on sounds rather than meaning.
Are soft-spoken and friendly.
Seek out star metals to be crafted into items of personal and ritual significance.

Other species probably…

Expect you to engage in trade at least on the side, if not as your primary profession.
Assume you won’t be much of a contribution in a fight, unless they’ve seen a Khepri-Khufu in battle before.
Want to know where you come from.
Wonder about your biology.

Physical Description

Their carapaces range wildly in color, from resembling dark opals to rich colored enamels to pearl, from pure polished platinum or gold to an iridescent rainbow sheen, and countless other varieties. Between their typical occupation, diminutive stature, and visual associations with riches, most assume they are a relatively timid folk, but any who have seen them in battle know this is but a show.

Home World

Where the People of the Sunrise come from is a secret never told to outsiders. The only answer they will ever give when questioned is that they simply appear in the wilderness with the dawn. They also seek out meteoric metal and items crafted from it with stubborn zeal, valuing it more greatly than riches or power, for reasons equally secretive. Obtaining a spellcasting implement of some sort of sky-metal, either by being gifted it or acquiring it by other means, is considered a rite of passage necessary to becoming a high ranking technomancer or similar position. Among mystics, a sky-metal weapon may serve the same purpose.

Society and Alignment

The rituals and cultural practices of the People of the Sunrise are not actively obfuscated (or at least the ones outsiders are aware of are not), but neither are they actively shared or described to those who are not close friends, family, or other Khepri-Khufu. Combined with their general preference for diplomatically doing business with other cultures on those other cultures’ terms, this means there is usually more curiosity than knowledge about their way of life among outsiders. Generally speaking, the People of the Sunrise favor good alignments, and are equally likely to prefer law, neutrality, or chaos. If there is a non-good-aligned solar deity worshiped in an area, a sizable minority of the local People of the Sunrise will favor that deity’s alignment instead due to that deity’s spiritual influence.


Due to shared values of honor and military prowess, the People of the Sunrise have a fairly friendly relationship with the vesk—one of the few species the People of the Sunrise have chosen for diplomatic purposes not to veil their talents for combat with. They also find kindred spirits among the kasatha since both cultures strongly value traditions and quiet contemplation, as well as having deep respect for the solarian orders.


The People of the Sunrise have immense power hidden within their tiny forms, and on the rare occasions that they form armies and march into battle, they are easily a match for soldiers nearly three times their size. Those who know of their military exploits tell of their preference for attacking the moment the sun crests the horizon at their backs, battling on extremely rugged terrain where their mobility is at its greatest, and an extremely aggressive technique known as the sky-iron charge. During this maneuver, entire blocks of troops will leap over the shield lines at the front of enemy formations and crash violently into the middle of the enemy, disrupting their formations for swift follow-up attacks from another block of troops charging the now-isolated front lines. Their potent strength for their size and military traditions make Khepri-Khufu excellent soldiers. The cultural importance they place on ritual and spiritual practices also provide an advantage as a mystic.


Names of People of the Sunrise take the form of a phrase, and curiously, they insist the name lies in the meaning of the phrase rather than the words or sounds, and thus it should be translated fully when spoken in other languages. People of the Sunrise will strive to memorize their names and those of their companions in each language they come across, even if they make no attempt to otherwise learn the language. For formal occasions, the name is written using pictographs that depict the meaning without using the script of any language, but for other purposes it may be written in the language being used.

Example Khepri-Khufu Names: Arrows-Fired-Under-the-Moon, Bone-Splitting-Axe, Baboon-Slayer, Crown-of-Crowns, Dawn-on-a-River, Eclipse-Calls-Forth-a-Storm, Eight-Blades, Falls-like-a-Meteor, Glowing-Hippopotamus-Tusk, Hand-Holding-the-Scales, Hawk’s-Feather, I-Hold-My-Sword, Lightning-Strikes-The-Sands, Obelisk-Upon-a-Summit, Pyramid-of-the-Heavens, Roar-of-the-Sandstorm, Sun-Chariot, Ship-Upon-a-Serpent’s-Back, Treasures-Beneath-an-Oasis, Two-Comets-Show-the-Path, Water-Dripping-Upon-Stone

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Khepri-Khufu, Guardians of the Sunrise, Copyright 2022, Malachite Idol; Author Patrick Johnson.