Cephirids appear to be about seven feet tall on average and are mostly humanoid in appearance. Their major deviations from the human norm are a complete absence of digits on hands or feet as well as a large number of thick tentacles sprouting from their heads. Their eyes are spaced farther apart than a human's, their mouths are smaller and they have no visible nostrils. Their skin is a pale blue colour, with the occasional darker patch of skin(sometimes even shading towards a dark purple), or colourful striation on their tentacles.


Judging by remnants in the stomach and intestines, this particular Cephirid had a diet heavy in seafood and plant matter. Interestingly, like humans, they appear to be unable to digest cellulose.


At a glance, Cephirid internal organs appear relatively similar to those of humans. There's a heart, albeit much larger than a human heart, lungs, a liver(also greatly enlarged), no apparent kidneys and intestines. The short version of their biology is that they would seem to be a combination of shark-like and invertebrate(octopus, cuttlefish, etc.) traits.


Cephirid bones are interesting because they don't have any. Their most similar structures are made of cartilage, like a shark's, giving them great resistance to blunt impact. Cephirids are almost certainly also able to wriggle through narrow spaces that would stump a human, despite their greater size. About the only two bone-like structures in the body are the sharp upper and lower plates in the mouth, obviously used when eating or biting.


Cephirid eyes appear to be adapted for low-light, underwater vision. Most likely they resolve details less well than humans do, at least above water and in broad daylight.


Cephirid lungs appear able to gather oxygen from atmospheric air, as well as being connected to the Cephirid's well-hidden gills(along the side of the torso), suggesting that they're capable of breathing both air and water.


The Cephirid liver doesn't appear to be entirely analogous to the human organ. It clearly has some of the same internal structures, and almost certainly has some function in blood filtering, but it almost certainly serves some other function as well.


The Cephirid brain is much less solid than the human brain, it's more malleable, but rapidly springs back into shape after being squeezed. The brain also isn't confined to their head, as the first stretch of their tentacles also contain similar neuronal structures.


The head tentacles are thick and muscular, but are probably of limited use since any aggressive movement would risk the Cephirid tearing off its own head. Their purpose is anomalous, and it's possible that they're simply a vestigial trait with no real function. Ungloved contact with the tentacles also produces a feeling similar to touching a stinging nettle, a mild rash and itching. Further examination revealed that the tentacles are covered in nematocysts like a jellyfish's, though the poison is thankfully less powerful.


Examination of a dead Cephirid has finally solved the riddle of how they manipulate their surroundings. While they have no obvious digits like humans do, the ends of their arms contain about a dozen small openings, invisible when not in use. Each opening contains a small, dexterous tentacle which can grasp or manipulate objects. They have no such structures in their feet.

Cause of Death

Upon closer examination, cause of death appears to be major hemorrhaging in the heart and brain. Analysis of tissue reveals a powerful synthetic poison, analogous to some on Earth, that appears to have been ingested. There are also unusual fungal structures in the airways, but prolonged cryostasis appears to have killed them, and they don't seem to be the cause of death. Likely they would have made breathing difficult, however.


Intercepted Ansible Message

…the military ansible connection has been silent for years, ever since the high commanders had a paranoid fit that "the enemy" might be finding us via our ansible communications. It's extremely unlikely that any enemy would figure out a way to breach our encryption, and if they could, their technological superiority would make compromised communications the least of our worries.

So imagine my surprise when the channel crackled open with a priority transmission from one of our lost planets: Cold Harbour. Multiple petabytes of highly detailed video and other data, transmitted to every active Cephirid and Lepidopt facility. For lack of anything better to do, the local wildlife has no more secrets and Eternity's Edge is a mystery that will outlive me, I decided to have a look. I was still dealing with the surprise of aliens in an unsophisticated craft(made for water travel, not void travel, certainly) arriving via our own Jumpweb, pondering the implications, when daytime television beat me to a conclusion.

These, obviously, were part of the alien vanguard that had laid waste to the core worlds of the Lepidopts, Naja and Cephirids, not to mention all the lesser colonies devastated or forced into panicked evacuation.

I've never heard anything so absurd. In their desperation for an enemy to grapple with, something comprehensible and mortal, High Command is supporting the narrative that these pale, ragged refugees are out for our blood!

Once I'd stopped laughing so hard I was coughing up blood for an hour afterwards, I muted the channel(one of my only two companions the last few years. Why does such a terrible propaganda mouthpiece get to piggyback on the ansible connection when much better news sources are left to transfer physical communications packets? They didn't even shut them down along with all the vital scientific and military channels!) and returned to my own analysis. And my conclusions could hardly be more different than High Command's.

Firstly, these aliens are less advanced than us, the very thought that they could devastate Wanderlust, Antiquity and Grubspire is absurd.

Secondly, once you get over the shock that they're looting and exploring one of our tomb worlds, you realize that they're woefully unprepared for their mission. They have no hazard suits, no effective tools, as time passes by you can see that they become less well-fed so their supplies must be insufficient, and they barely even have flashlights. I believe I counted one primitive firearm among all of them! Hardly a menace from beyond the stars.

My conclusion is that they're one of our unfortunate victims. When we realized that something was hunting us, laying waste to our border worlds, we curtailed our exploration program, but we still had dozens of automated, self-assembling Jumpweb terminals en route to various locations of interest. And of course, one of the primary indicators of interest to our exploration program were any worlds either capable of hosting advanced life, or possibly already settled by an advanced, sapient civilization.

I wouldn't be surprised if the terminal landed on their world, self-assembled, powered up and then waited for us to go exploring. But in the absence of our arrival, the locals experimented with it and managed to arrive on Cold Harbour entirely without meaning to. It's even possible that the slapdash way in which the Jumpweb was shut down(another brilliant decision by High Command. The limited military forces it would be possible to send through a Jumpweb terminal could be easily bottlenecked, and there's no indication that the invaders ever attempted to use a Jumpweb terminal when they hit Journey's End or Shattered Reach) resulted in their inability to return!

Faced with a dead and barren world, they did what they had to do to survive: They improvised from their surroundings, even managing to reactivate the reactors of the Cold Harbour facility. Routine bookkeeping data accompanying the ansible burst suggests that when they woke up the facility AI, it was in a highly confused state, with technical failures leaving it suffering simultaneously from something analogous to a stroke and a heatstroke. It obviously interpreted them as enemies, and did what little it could to stop them, to keep them away from crucial parts of the facility. When it realized it could do nothing to stop them advancing any further, it did its best to gather information on the invaders for the rest of the Cephirid star nation.

I'm impressed that a facility AI had the cunning to herd one of them into a disused medical facility for a comprehensive biological scan… in fact, it worries me slightly. The Lepidopts always assured us that their machines were fundamentally poor at learning, not conscious, and certainly not sapient, justifying their treatment as disposable resources. But if this machine was capable of both improvisation and, more importantly, panic, it suggests they're either unaware of their own machines' advanced nature, or that they've been lying to us.

If the invaders… or rather, visitors, are looking for a way home through the Jumpweb, they might arrive on Respite any day now. Either passing through the devastation of Grubspire or the threadbare facilities at Gamma Frontier to make their way here, I don't envy them the journey, but I hope they arrive before I make my own final voyage.

They're primitive, but not stupid, strange-looking, but no stranger to us than the Naja, and more similar to our own body plan than the Cnidus or Lepidopts, certainly we can find a way to make peaceful contact with them. And we may need to: Their arrival at Cold Harbour suggests that their point of origin is somewhere in the rimwards dead zone, where we had assumed that our own nemesis had annihilated or suppressed all advanced life. If they're thriving somewhere out there, they may have some important knowledge or secret that can be used to keep our own worlds safe.


Stat Blocks

Spore Walkers



Strength: 8(+1 damage)
Dexterity: 6
Endurance: 6
Perception: 2


Fight: 6
Observe: 4
Sneak: 7
Vigor: 7


Health: 16
Armor: None

Punch(Str+Fight): 3 Damage
Grapple(Str+Fight): Init -2, 3 Damage, contested Str+Vigor to maintain hold

Cephirid Special Ops

Strength: 8(+1 damage)
Dexterity: 6
Endurance: 4
Perception: 8


Fight: 6
Observe: 4
Sneak: 7
Vigor: 4


Vitality: 6
Armor: 6


Punch(Str+Fight): 3 Damage
Grapple(Str+Fight): Init -2, 3 Damage, contested Str+Vigor to maintain hold
Cephirid Assault Rifle
Cephirid Sniper Rifle
Cephirid Mortar Battery

Cephirid Equipment


Goal modifiers for Cephirid items are for human users, Cephirids might have less penalties or none at all.


Improvised weapons from Cephirid items are treated like improvised weapons from Human items.

Name Roll Goal DMG STR Size


Name Roll Goal DMG Shots Rate Size
Cephirid SMG Dex+Shoot -2 5 30 3 S
Cephirid SMG, Grenade Mode Dex+Shoot -2 12 3 1 S


Vehicles and Misc.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License