The world of Espovon gets slightly fantastical with the Amali. As a whole, “Amali” is a class of humanoid sentience which exhibits some elements of non-human physical structure and features. This is to say that all amali represent some other existing lifeform in human shape. Bipedal feline individuals with tiger striped fur and a tail, specimens with woody patches covering skin and tendrils protruding from their extremities, and otherwise completely human looking amali with gills and webbed fingers are all examples of what the term “Amali” applies to.
All Amali display features of only existing creatures. If a nonhuman humanoid is truly unique in physiology, then it is deemed a separate distinction, though this is rare regardless. Conversely, every species on Espovon has an Amalian counterpart. This causes a wide diversity in capabilities of the Amali when looking at them as a single classification. For example, an Bear-Amalian will typically be capable of tremendous feats of strength; conversely, a Roach-Amalian will have little physical prowess but often has a higher tolerance to electromagnetic disturbance and radiation; meanwhile an Algae-Amalian may lack the ability to communicate, but is self-sufficient and may produce his own food.
Needless to say, collective generalizations are tentative at best. That being said, it is a trend generally seen throughout all amali specimens regardless of type, that the mixture of the nonhuman genetics does not enhance the human affinity for mental achievement – and in fact detracts from it. All amali have a lessened grasp of all things cognitive. This may be due to the differing structure of each individual’s brain(never completely identical to basic human form). Generally this means that brain matter is supplied to areas governing their unique amalian gifts(such as the bear’s strength, the roach’s imperviousness, the squid’s camouflage, etc.). These are all generalized by saying that where humans excel in thought and the mindscape, amalians excel in all things physical, regardless of the gifts of the individual.
The Amali began long before the Cataclysm. When humanity was still in control of the vast powers of the arcane, a team of thaumaturgists set out to create a new subspecies. Their motives and means are unclear and, as with everything else, has been lost in the Nadir. Modern scientists believe that early settlers of Virshin created the first amali with simple and primitive gene splicing in order to fill the workload necessary to construct Arcologen. This rendition, with its flaws and inconsistencies, has been passed down into common knowledge by the early rulers and nobles – to the extent that the public was confused as to which version was truth or fiction. Later, the magical history(again, as with all other things) faded from memory and the technological history ws unwittingly adopted as truth.
Whatever the causation, amalians are an accepted portion of life in most mapped parts of Espovon. Some conditions breed a deal of racism, such as the streets of Arcologen or the coatal ports of Ulova; other places are the birthplaces of mighty and respected amali rule, such as the harsh climates of Ibandur and Egica. The racist sentiments are found typically within heavily human populated areas, and places that do not demand a natural gift for physical feats. When confronted, however, the racist individual is most often condemned for this trait. This is an important feature of socio-economic trends to note; Amali are completely accepted as members of society, while the similarly nonhuman Droogs and Ockras are still met with hostility from a large percentage of humans, and even amali. The reasons for their acceptance over other distinctly different subspecies, is likely due to their longstanding history with humans and the complimenting effect they have with human abilities.
Choosing to play as an amali character gives the player access to a range of physically-oriented stunts to choose from without needing to fulfill the stunts’ prerequisites that a human character will have faced. Furthermore, one more additional skill at the “Fair” level can be assigned, so long as the skill is not mental in nature. If the player chooses to not pick an additional skill, he/she may bump one of his/her non-mental “Average” skill into the “Fair” range. For information on these terms, see Character Creation.