Lattimors are a Visitant race native to the Ninth World.
Appearance and Traits[edit | edit source]
A lattimor is the result of a symbiotic reunion of two creatures: a bursk (a large, muscular, hairy biped) and a neem (an intelligent fungal creature). They come together in synthesis to form a new being. Effectively, a lattimor is two creatures with one body.
A typical lattimor stands about seven ft. Tall, with broad, sloping shoulders, powerful arms and short legs. It also has two large and widely spaced eyes alongside four smaller eyes, positioned high and close together. Although its entire body is covered in brownish-blond, black, or white hair, the back of a lattimor has a flat, discolored area, almost like a massive bruise. Humans often think the area vaguely resembles either a bat or an owl with outstretched wings. Closer inspection of the area, however, reveals tiny waving hairs that are almost threadlike - very different from the hair on the rest of the creature's body. These small hairs are, in fact, the outer manifestation of the neem itself. Although by adulthood, the fungus has worked itself into the cellular structure of the main body of the Bursk.
The synthesis of bursk and neem us imperfect. The symbiosis results in a single creature with a single mind, called the fugue state. While the bursk and the neem are enhanced by the union - the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts - sometimes the two creatures operate independently. In other words, the lattimor exist in a fugue state most of the time, but sometimes either the bursk or the neem is in control. From a human's point of view , this can seem like a psychotic malady akin to multiple personality disorder, but to a lattimor, it's simply normal life. The bursk and the neem each have individual names, with the union taking on both names. For example, a neem might called Narlyen and a bursk called Fesh might combine to create a lattimor called Narlyen-Fesh.
At any given time, a lattimor might be in a bursk state, a neem state, or (most commonly ) a fugue state. Typically, a bursk state is more prone to aggression, combat, and physical activity. A neem state is contemplative and conversational. Shifting from state to state sometimes happens unexpectedly. When the lattimor wishes to change state, the shift required more concentration. The bursk state, being more aggressive, is harder to shift out of than the other two states.
Society and Culture[edit | edit source]
Lattimors are strong creatures with keen senses. They breathe nitrogen but only require a small amount., so they can hold their breath for up to ten minutes without issue. Most inhaled toxins that would bother a human have no effect on them. Lattimore are omnivorous and can digest organic material that a human almost certainly couldn't.
Lattimors have both Male and female genders, but only because bursk do - the neem reproduce asexually. When two lattimore mate, the result is a bursk who's immediately joined with a neem so that they grow together. If the union cant be established within the first few weeks, it is unlikely to happen successfully. Male lattimors are typically larger than the females and walk a bit stooped.
An average lattimor's life span is approximately fifty years. Usually, when one part of the combined creature dies, both die. However, there are reports of a neem being "burned out" of a bursk, reducing it to a bestial creature that can never again form the synthesis of a lattimor.
Without a neem, a bursk us little more than a beast, about as intelligent as a smart, well-trained pack animal. Without a bursk, a neem is aware and intelligent, but not nearly at a human's level; it's not capable of using tools and is barely mobile.
The outlook of a lattimor depends on its current state and can vary from individual to individual. In its fugue state, a lattimor is careful but curious. Most humans would find it to be self-aggrandizing but not offensive.
In a bursk state, the creature is easily bored and focused mainly on eating and proving its prowess (and worth) through physical acts such as combat, feats of strengths, or contests. These extroverts can be quite rash at times. In a neem state, the creature is timid, thoughtful, and introverted. It likes to talk but probably would rather just think.
Not all lattimor pairings are harmonious. Rarely, a neem and bursk grow to hate each other and vie for control when not in a fugue state.
Playing a lattimor as a PC species can be difficult, as it is one character with three personalities and strengths. For an extra challenge, two players could play a single lattimor character together, with one in control during the bursk state, the other during the neem state, and both working together when in fugue state.
References[edit | edit source]
• Cook, Monte, and Bruce R. Cordell. “Species Options.” Discovery, Monte Cook Games, LLP, pp. 396-397. Numenera.