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Average Size 25cm (wingspan 50cm)
Average Mass 2.2kg male,
Average Lifespan 25 years male
Reproductive System sexual,
Body Temperature 21 degrees Celsius
Ability ScoresAllDomestic Caste Worker CasteSoldier CasteRoyal Caste
STR/STA -20 -- -- +10/+10 --
DEX/RS +10 -- -- -- --
INT/LOG +5 -- -10/+10 -10/-10 --
PER/LDR +5 +10/-10 -- -- -10/+10
Walking 5 meters per turn on foot
20 meters per turn flying
Running 20 meters per turn on foot
80 meters per turn flying
Hourly 1 kilometers per hour on foot
5 kilometers per hour flying
Special Abilities
Flight Can fly without tiring. Can carry up to STR/5 at full speed. Half speed until carrying STR/3. Past STR/3, they cannot fly but can walk.
Scent Can identify people and things by scent alone. Can track by scent. This ability only works within 2 meters of the odor or thing.

by Bill Logan


Physical Structure

These small sentient creatures are basically bipedal (they can walk on two legs, and have two arms) but also have a pair of batlike wings protruding from their shoulders.

The Yinni’s bodies are very small. From the top of their heads to the bottom of their feet seldom measures greater than 30cm (males only). Their wingspans are always double their height (around 60cm). They have rigid exo-skeletons that are covered with a thin dermal layer, giving the false impression of softness while protecting their inner organs well. Their forearms and lower bodies are covered with a layer of fine fur.

The eyes of the Yinni are quite unusual. They protrude on muscular nodes, normally facing forward to give a predator’s uni-directional stare. However, these eyes can move around on their nodes, looking to the side and almost directly behind them. They are very difficult to sneak up on because of this.

The hands and feet are webbed – but not for aquatic living. They help the Yinni make fast direction changes while in flight, grasping at the onrushing wind and shoving it to the side to facilitate a rapid roll or pitch change. They are very effective flyers.

The wings have a very non-dextrous pair of hand-like digits, giving a limited ability to hold or grip things with the wings themselves. When not in the air, the Yinni fold their wings around themselves and clasp their digits like a human might fold his own hands together. The end result appears as if the Yinni is wearing a heavy leather cloak.

The skin color ranges from pale grey to rich brown, and the hair is typically a few shades darker. The wings are the same color as the flesh at the shoulder and even down to their wing digits, but fade to near black at the ends of the wing structure.


The vision of the Yinni is not far, but the field of peripheral perception is amazing. They are able to see forward and to the sides equally well, with independent focusing capability with each eye. They can’t see directly behind them, however, and have trouble differentiating between greens and browns.

Yinni have two featherlike wispy antennae (similar to a moth) protruding from their dermal-covered chitinous heads. These are actually how the species smells its surroundings, and it’s quite effective if short of range.


The vocal components to the Yinni are located more on the sides of its head rather than in the throat. It breathes air through a chamber on either side of its neck, which makes a hollow sound like blowing over the holes of a wooden pan flute. The vocal organs have muscles to help control the opening (much like blowing into a different hole in a pan flute). The mouth moves to give shape to the sound effects.

The entire effect is very melodious but difficult to understand. They can approximate most speeches, and can accomplish PanGal, but all of this is with difficulty. Players playing a Yinni should speak in simple words unless conversing with other Yinni.

Society and Customs

The Yinni are a primitive people. Their society is built around a Queen, which is catered to by a hive of workers and soldiers. There are also domestic and royal castes. Queens maintain various levels of peace, trade, and feud, and the politics of their species are somewhat complex.

Only the queens can reproduce, and they require their royal castelings to facilitate this biological function. They are fertilized by a royal caste of servitors who spend their entire lives living with the queen and being pampered. When the queen is finally pregnant, she gives birth to a few dozen eggs, each of which is cared for by one of these royal castes.

The Yinni are comprised of a system of castes. There are four basic castes: domestic, worker, soldier, and royal. Caste is immediately recognizable at birth by looking at markings and shapes of the head dermal plate. This seems random, but there is a series of genetic patterns that can be followed.

Domestic castelings take care of the domicile. They feed the young, raise them and train them in the duties of their caste. They are simple folks, and have modifiers of -10 to Leadership and +10 to Personality (on top of the other modifiers inherent to their species). Domestics are considered the lowest members of the hierarchy.

Worker castelings take care of creating, building, repairing, and engineering. They are surprisingly versatile. The domiciles of the Yinni can range from simple hexagonal structures to complex networks of double helix shapes. Workers who create well are treated well. Worker castelings have modifiers of +10 to Logic and -10 to Intuition, as they are thinkers and not feelers. This is in addition to other modifiers inherent to the species.

Soldier castelings are the most durable of the lot, possessing a doubled-over layer of sub-dermal chitin. They are very well protected against both the elements and their enemies. Soldiers are treated harshly and are expected to become tough, capable, and serious. Few of them ever develop a sense of humor, and they’re normally very intense and severe of both purpose and action. They are beings of action, not beings of thought. Soldiers have modifiers of +10 to Strength and Stamina but a -10 to Intuition and Logic. These are in addition to all other modifiers inherent to this species.

Royal castelings have violet markings on their skin and around their eye nodes. They are given the luxury of fertilizing the queen whenever she’s ready. They give their lives in service to the queen, and are treated well because of it. They are often used as diplomats who must keep the others in line, each having a domain over which they govern. They are thinkers and planners, able to coordinate everyday life and negotiate trade and commerce. The Royal castelings receive modifiers of +10 to Leadership and a -10 to Personality. This is in addition to other modifiers inherent to the species.

Queen is a special case. She grows to twice the size of the others, and lacks wings. She’s the only female and won’t give birth to another female until it is her last egg to fertilize. She’ll know when she’s given her last, and when a new queen is coming. When she gives birth to the new queen, it’s a day of celebration and mourning as she will not last the rest of the day before she breathes her last and therefore abdicates to the infant queen.

If a queen is killed prior to birthing her last egg, the caste is ended and dishonored, its members wandering out into the wilderness to accept their own fates, alone or in smallgroups, dishonored and without hope.

Despite the fact that they come from a primitive culture, the Yinni are quite intelligent. In fact, their workers are probably brighter than the minds of some civilized modern races in the Frontier. Given exposure to technology, a Yinni character need not adhere to the primitive roots from which he came.

A Yinni character who has lost his caste because of a slain queen is a very likely candidate for a player character. He has no reason to remain behind in the world from which he was born. He can embrace technology and learn to understand it. Given enough time and effort (and money) he may even be able to invent or pay for the construction of technology suited for his size: miniature beam weapons and stun weapons, electro-helibode blades, tiny suits of ballistic material designed to protect like a skeinsuit, etc. Such pieces of technology would cost up to ten times what a normal piece of equipment would cost because it would be custom.

The favored weapon of the Yinni soldier caste is the helibode blade – an oddly shaped sword. Its blade is given a shape and edge that makes it ideal for hurling. As it flies through the air it is quite deadly. When the hurl reaches its apex, it hovers for a moment then begins to fall like helicopter-like seedlings from some trees. Once in its descent, the blade is twirling differently and may be caught by a swooping soldier in flight. Even when not thrown, it is quite deadly when used in their hands.

In a pitched battle between rivaling domiciles, these blades can be seen spiraling down in great numbers, so metal ringlets are placed in the handles of the blades so that they make different noises specific to a single domicile. This way a soldier can differentiate between blades while they fall by their sound alone. A soldier would never catch and use an enemy’s helibode, not even to save their own lives.

In game terms, the weapon is treated as a knife (1d10 damage, thrown range 5/10/15/20/25) that can be caught in the turn directly following the throw but not thereafter.


The Yinni haven’t encountered the other sentient races yet. They are out there, waiting to be discovered by an intrepid group of explorers.

Special Abilities

Flight. A Yinni can fly at very fast speeds (80 meters per turn when going full speed). They are excellent flyers – able to glide as effectively as fly, and able to make nearly any directional change desired while in full speed. They fly at half speed if carrying more mass than their STR scores divided by 5, and cannot fly if carrying more mass than their STR scores divided by 3. Thus, a character with a 30 STR can fly full speed unless carrying more than 6kg, and cannot fly at all if hauling more than 10kg.

Discriminatory Scent. The wispy antennae can smell things quite well – just not at a great range. They provide a discriminatory sense to the species (just like sight is discriminatory for humans). Even in total dark they can rely on their scent to identify specific individuals, follow the trail left behind by someone’s specific scent, or identify trace elements that would go unnoticed by others. These things are only possible within 2 meters, however.

Note: although these weights and speeds of the Yinni’s movement rates and carrying capacities are not possible by physics, these beings are not of this world and their physics are both alien and unique grand exceptions to currently-understood laws of physics.