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Meet the Iconics: Keskodai

Monday, May 15, 2017

The countdown to Starfinder is on! We're highlighting the iconic characters and core classes that appear throughout the pages and covers the Starfinder line. Today we meet Keskodai, the iconic mystic!

Illustration by Remko Troost

For those inducted into the faith of Pharasma, the Lady of Graves, death is not an ending, but a doorway: an entry into a new existence and way of being. The shirren Keskodai understands this transition well, and greets it with the joyful reverence it deserves—an outlook that's not always comforting to the patients in his medical bay.

Keskodai grew up in the burning deserts of Fullbright, the side of tidally locked Verces that's always turned toward the sun. Though cosmopolitan, his hometown of Takoris was primarily shirren, having been an early satellite settlement of the original shirren colony on that world. The child of a priest of Hylax, the Forever Queen, Keskodai grew up steeped in the values of friendship and diplomacy, and felt a deep connection to the divine, yet chafed at the idea of serving the same god as his parent. Exactly which god he'd serve instead remained unclear, until the coming of the Gray Shakes.

Believed to be the result of a biotech experiment gone wrong at the local university, the plague called the Gray Shakes burned through the city like a wildfire, turning shirrens' chitin gray, rotting off their antennae, and eating away at their telepathy and motor function, leaving them awake but unable to communicate until they finally expired. In the weeks it took the local government to find a cure, thirty percent of the city's shirren population died.

In the midst of this horror, a young Keskodai first encountered priests of Pharasma, black-robed beings of all different races who'd come at news of the plague. Somberly, the Pharasmins walked among the afflicted, offering magical healing where they could and comfort to those too far gone, whispering to them of the Cycle of Souls and the new worlds that awaited them. The beauty of their ministry moved Keskodai, and he quickly joined their hospice work, leaving home to study at a temple in the Ring of Nations once the plague was safely contained.

After years as an initiate, Keskodai returned home a full priest of Lady of Graves, ready to tend to his people. He quickly fell in love with two members of his congregation, a female-host couple, and the three soon joined arms in marriage. Yet as much as he loved his community and his partners, a part of him remained unsatisfied. That part of every shirren that thrills at choice and decision-making began to wonder: Had he made the right choice in coming home? In choosing a life so similar to his parent? How could he know if he wanted this when there was still so much out there that he'd never experienced? The desire to explore continued to grow, until at last, after the birth of their first son, he and his partners sat down and made a plan. He would leave and see the galaxy, taking their child with him to expose him to the same new experiences. Once the child was old enough to leave his cradle-jar, Keskodai would decide whether he'd seen enough to return in good conscience, in which case both of them be welcomed with open arms. If not, the child would return alone.

In his effort to see as many worlds as possible, Keskodai took to signing on with freelance adventurers and starship crews, particularly those headed out beyond the edges of the solar system. While quite capable in combat, he prefers to act as the ship's medic, trusting that his mercenary companions will give him plenty of opportunities to employ his goddess-granted magic in patching up the broken or blessing them on their journey into the Great Beyond. The cheerful manner in which he talks about death often initially disturbs those under his care, yet anyone who spends much time with the shirren quickly learns that his even-keeled, fatalistic approach to life and death doesn't make him cavalier about it: for him, to give less than his best effort in healing his friends would be to risk them dying before their appointed time—a loss for him, and a grave failure in his duty to his goddess.

As with many shirren, Keskodai is a team player, always ready to throw in to help others, and a social butterfly who loves meeting new people. A crewmate once called him "the galaxy's friendliest death priest," and he wears the badge with pride. Though quite fond of option bars and other artificial means of stimulating his choice centers, he's careful not to let himself overindulge... usually. More often he satisfies his need for independence by customizing his gear—though he doesn't consider himself vain, Keskodai is intensely proud of the aesthetics of his gear, his collection of trophies, and his mustache (which he thinks lends him an air of gravitas). His greatest pride, however, is his son Chkoresk, still in his larval stage. Like many shirren parents, Keskodai constantly carries Chkoresk—affectionately nicknamed "Chk Chk"—around in a heavily fortified cradle-jar designed to let Chk Chk learn about the world from relative safety. While Chk Chk isn't old enough to speak yet, his telepathy only good enough to grant brief blasts of childlike emotion, Keskodai holds conversations with him regularly, with Chk Chk tapping on the glass to communicate his answers.

Though Keskodai is generally as easygoing as he appears, he still has his demons. The Gray Shakes tragedy left him deeply distrustful of certain types of research and technology, and he's constantly torn between his faith in individual freedom and his desire to protect the community through heavy government regulation. Worse, he's come to love the life of a wanderer and the friends he's made along the way, and deeply fears the day when Chk Chk grows old enough to return home, and Keskodai has to choose whether to head back to Verces with him, or continue on alone.

James L. Sutter
Creative Director

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Iconics Keskodai Meet the Iconics Mystics Remko Troost Starfinder
1 to 50 of 182 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Nice! I wonder what his theme is? It reads like medic.

Liberty's Edge

17 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

(hearteyes)

Oh gods, I'm in love with a married man.

Liberty's Edge

17 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

THIS IS MY FAVORITE DUMB DAD.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wow! Every iconic has had a great story so far! I love the fact that he carriers his son with him everywhere. Talk about a very in-human perspective!


This is so awesome! I don't know if it's cause I'm maturing as a gamer, or if the Starfinder team is the best at what they do, but I'm finding that with every Iconic Character or Class reveal, I'm seeing something that I want to do that I wouldn't have considered before.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Interesting peek at shirren family dynamics. Hope that jar's real tough!
Though Keskodai's approach seems reasonable enough, I wonder how many shirren get analysis paralysis? Sit someone fresh from the cradle-jar down to make a Pathfinder character, give them a link to the PRD and Archives of Nethys, and see what happens.

Aso, tidal locked planets!

Silver Crusade

20 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Slothsy wrote:
THIS IS MY FAVORITE DUMB DAD.

I LOVE OUR POLYAMOROUS SPACE MEDIC DAD.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

I love him! I want to see art of baby chk chk so bad!

Starfinder Society Developer

8 people marked this as a favorite.

Yes, good, gooooooooood!


6 people marked this as a favorite.

*writhes around under space-fridge to indicate pleasure*

Creative Director, Starfinder Team

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Silver Scarab wrote:
I love him! I want to see art of baby chk chk so bad!

You already have... look closer. ;)

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:
Silver Scarab wrote:
I love him! I want to see art of baby chk chk so bad!
You already have... look closer. ;)

Dawwwwwww!

Sovereign Court

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm adding Chk-Chk in his canister to the list of plushies I want to see.

New List:
Gom-Gom
Leshies
Faerie Dragon
Chk-Chk in his canister


Mustache? Shirren can grow facial hair?


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Slothsy wrote:
THIS IS MY FAVORITE DUMB DAD.
I LOVE OUR POLYAMOROUS SPACE MEDIC DAD.

WE NEED TO START A FAN CLUB.

Contributor

8 people marked this as a favorite.

An Iconic who's also canonically a parent? VERY cool!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Slothsy wrote:
THIS IS MY FAVORITE DUMB DAD.
I LOVE OUR POLYAMOROUS SPACE MEDIC DAD.

I am not certain it can be called polyamory for a coupling that requires three sexes to procreate.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Rei wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Slothsy wrote:
THIS IS MY FAVORITE DUMB DAD.
I LOVE OUR POLYAMOROUS SPACE MEDIC DAD.
WE NEED TO START A FAN CLUB.

*gavel sounds*

I call this meeting to order.

Step one: we must decide upon a name.


11 people marked this as a favorite.

I like this guy! He's going places!


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Slothsy wrote:
Rei wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Slothsy wrote:
THIS IS MY FAVORITE DUMB DAD.
I LOVE OUR POLYAMOROUS SPACE MEDIC DAD.
WE NEED TO START A FAN CLUB.

*gavel sounds*

I call this meeting to order.

Step one: we must decide upon a name.

Keskodads.

Lantern Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Yes! Another new god: Hylax, the Forever Queen - values friendship and diplomacy. I'm gonna guess this god's alignment is partly good. Wait-a-minute... "forever queen"... "friendship"... is this the goddess of BFFs!?! :)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Curse the tiny screen on my phone i cant see the little bugger. I have to wait until i get home tonight.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Sutter wrote:
look closer. ;)

Alright, let's do that.

It looks like he's cybered up one of his antennae to plug into a computer.

Impressive shirren 'stache.

He's got a glowing piston coming out of his back.

I guess he's technically an arachnid because of the 4 little appendages on his chest for a total of 8 limbs.

There are two jars, one with Chk Chk, and another filled with what looks like green pills... Maybe Chk Chk's food?

And then there is the insectile looking appendage that he's tied to his waist that's just kinda hanging there... What's that about? Do we have another person that obsesses with dead people like Navasi? Oh wait, he's a Pharasmin, of course he's obsessed with dead people. At least he's friendly about it.

Finally, the last thing I've noticed is the pokeball symbol that is all over his robe. Makes sense that he's a fan because he keeps his son in a jar.


I officially want to see more of our multi-married space healer Dad and his GLORIOUS mustache. :D

Also, he's into heavy government regulation when concerning dangerous types of research? Gods I love this mustached mantis man!


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Slothsy wrote:
THIS IS MY FAVORITE DUMB DAD.

I so want Keskodai to constantly tell (terrible, groan-worthy) dad jokes to little Chk Chk.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Reposting a request for pronunciations on allthe iconics please.

Paizo Employee Developer

24 people marked this as a favorite.

I, for one, can't wait for the canonical dad jokes. I can already hear Chk Chk tapping on the glass to indicate his embarrassment at how utterly uncool his father is.

Paizo Employee Developer

16 people marked this as a favorite.
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Reposting a request for pronunciations on allthe iconics please.

In Shirren, Keskodai is pronounced "Frank". Bug people, amirite?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:
Silver Scarab wrote:
I love him! I want to see art of baby chk chk so bad!
You already have... look closer. ;)

*looks close* omg so tiny i was thinking they would be human baby size lol

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Reposting a request for pronunciations on allthe iconics please.
In Shirren, Keskodai is pronounced "Frank". Bug people, amirite?

Thanks a lot now every time I see him my mind will jump to Frank.....

Sovereign Court

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Krombopulos Michael wrote:
Slothsy wrote:
THIS IS MY FAVORITE DUMB DAD.
I so want Keskodai to constantly tell (terrible, groan-worthy) dad jokes to little Chk Chk.

"Hey, Chk-Chk, I was thinking. You're starting to get a bit bigger, and perhaps I should get you a canister that you can move around in a bit more. The handrail on the steps of this ship could serve you well, and on the plus side, it would mean that you're in a banister canister!"

Cue telepathic groaning.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

Whats with the bug leg tied to his belt tho?

Creative Director, Starfinder Team

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Reposting a request for pronunciations on allthe iconics please.

That'd be a good blog post! For right now, I'll say that Keskodai is pronounced "KEHSK-oh-dye", and Chk Chk is pronounced like the sound of a shotgun being pumped.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Silver Scarab wrote:
Whats with the bug leg tied to his belt tho?

Pull my leg jokes?

Contributor

I just noticed the hologram holy symbol! I love it! I'm putting one on every single Starfinder character I play.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.
CKent83 wrote:


And then there is the insectile looking appendage that he's tied to his waist that's just kinda hanging there... What's that about? Do we have another person that obsesses with dead people like Navasi? Oh wait, he's a Pharasmin, of course he's obsessed with dead people. At least he's friendly about it.

Maybe ecdysis (shedding of the exoskeleton) is common among shirren? Though it doesn't seem to be a former body part.

I bet psi-blockers are common among young shirren parents.

Sovereign Court

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Reposting a request for pronunciations on allthe iconics please.
In Shirren, Keskodai is pronounced "Frank". Bug people, amirite?

Navasi: "Frankly, I don't think we can trust them."

Keskodai: "Hey! I'm trustworthy! And my last name's not Lee!"

Cue more telepathic groaning.

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Reposting a request for pronunciations on allthe iconics please.
That'd be a good blog post! For right now, I'll say that Keskodai is pronounced "KEHSK-oh-dye", and Chk Chk is pronounced like the sound of a shotgun being pumped.

How?

How can something so small, young, adorable, and sealed in a canister be so badass?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Silver Scarab wrote:
Whats with the bug leg tied to his belt tho?

Keskodai casts sun metal on it and then thumps enemy combatants, thus giving them... the hot foot.

{more telepathic groaning}

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

This might be anwsered elsewhere but i didnt see it. How long lives are these guys and how long will little chk chk be living in a jar?

Grand Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I ❤ Keskodai. This lovable, sociable bug parent is my favorite of the iconics to date. The Galaxy's friendliest death priest! I also ❤ Chk-Chk. This is beyond awesome.

Thank you also for the tidbit about Option Bars. The mind boggles. I am now remembering the sermon scene from Life of Brian:

Life of Brian wrote:

Brian: "You are all individuals!"

Chanting crowd: "We are all individuals!"

Brian: "You are all different!"

Chanting crowd: "We are all different!"

That one guy: "I'm not!"

How much individuality can there truly be, when everyone pursues it so doggedly? Are Option Bars true vehicles for defining self, or another way for Shirren to fit in with the crowd? Ah, this is the sort of hook that one can make a fun character off of. I am wondering if I can make a "Me, too!" Shirren work, or if it would get annoying after a while. Only one way to find out...

Thank you so much for Keskodai. This is the sort of kickass backstory that I wish I had written for my own characters!

Hmm
(Proud parent -- Though I no longer carry my kids everywhere since they are teenagers who now carry themselves places.)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
This might be anwsered elsewhere but i didnt see it. How long lives are these guys and how long will little chk chk be living in a jar?

Until he finally gets his own place. Eventually. You're 25 years old Chk Chk! Get out of this jar!

Dark Archive

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Keskodai "hey want to know why my child is called Chk Chk?"
Chk Chk telepathically groans
Keskodai "because he keeps calling shot gun everywhere we go!"
Chk Chk just head plants on the canister

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
This might be anwsered elsewhere but i didnt see it. How long lives are these guys and how long will little chk chk be living in a jar?

Their age wasn't stated, but for how long Chk Chk will be in the jar was in the Introducing Starfinder's Final Core Race blog post.

Shirren Preview wrote:
Shirren young spend their first 2 years in a tiny, wormlike larval form, and are often carried around in protective containers to let them safely observe the world.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I must have missed it. The blog that is i have been waiting for it to pop up. Ill be back.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Damanta wrote:
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
This might be anwsered elsewhere but i didnt see it. How long lives are these guys and how long will little chk chk be living in a jar?

Their age wasn't stated, but for how long Chk Chk will be in the jar was in the Introducing Starfinder's Final Core Race blog post.

Shirren Preview wrote:
Shirren young spend their first 2 years in a tiny, wormlike larval form, and are often carried around in protective containers to let them safely observe the world.

Ah, so we'll have 2 APs and then Chk Chk will be an Iconic in their own right.

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Nice a parent Iconic I was just thinking about that this morning. Awesome job.
.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Damanta wrote:
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
This might be anwsered elsewhere but i didnt see it. How long lives are these guys and how long will little chk chk be living in a jar?

Their age wasn't stated, but for how long Chk Chk will be in the jar was in the Introducing Starfinder's Final Core Race blog post.

Shirren Preview wrote:
Shirren young spend their first 2 years in a tiny, wormlike larval form, and are often carried around in protective containers to let them safely observe the world.
Ah, so we'll have 2 APs and then Chk Chk will be an Iconic in their own right.

Now that I want to see!


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I can really only imagine how complex shirren dating apps are.

Sovereign Court

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Keskodai: *points to a picture of two baby birds* "Hey, look! It's you! They're 'Chick-Chick'!"
(Even more telepathic groaning)

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