As the World Burns
The insectoid thri-kreen have six limbs and are covered in tough, sandy-colored chitinous plates. Their lowest pair of limbs is used as legs, and their upper pair of limbs serves as arms. The middle set of limbs is small but dexterous, and the thri-kreen use them for fine manipulation, leaving heavy work to the stronger upper arms. Both the middle and the upper pairs of limbs have three clawed fingers and one opposable thumb. In combat, thri-kreen hold weapons or shields in their upper limbs, since the middle pair lacks the strength for this purpose and using both sets of limbs would be awkward and unwieldy. Swift and athletic, thri-kreen are natural climbers and jumpers. Their wedge-shaped heads have large compound eyes, two (mostly vestigial) antennae, and powerful mandibles. They can speak an accented form of Common but prefer their own language.
Thri-kreen minds, behavior, and physiology often seem bizarre to members ofother races. But despite their fierce appearance, the insectlike humanoids can be loyal and courageous companions. Thri-kreen have most of the same needs and morals as do other races; they simply prioritize those needs and morals differently. Most important, thri-kreen judge others solely on physical and mental ability. The lazy and weak deserve contempt, regardless of race; likewise strength and cleverness merit respect no matter who demonstrates these qualities.
Obeying their pack instincts, thri-kreen try to find their place in any group. They use a series of challenges to determine the pecking order, assessing their possible clutchmates in secret or, when necessary, demanding trial by combat. Thri-kreen seize leadership of groups in which they are the strongest members, but they are willing to accept subordinate roles in the presence of powerful allies. They take orders from the pack or clutch leader without hesitation, eager to fulfill the duties of their position. Despite the apparent autocracy of a kreen group, any
member is free to voice its opinion and offer advice. Indeed, each thri-kreen is expected to have expertise in matters the others do not. All must contribute to the good of the clutch and the success of the hunt.