Archives of Nethys

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Source Interstellar Species pg. 130
Trox are communal arthropods from Nchak, one of Liavara's moons. However, in their dedication to the Forever Queen Hylax, they ensure the group's success never overshadows individuals' desires, passions, and pursuits. Trox are fiercely loyal to whatever they commit themselves to, including other creatures and idealistic causes.

Ability Modifiers +2 Str, +2 Con, –2 Dex
Hit Points 8

Size and Type

Trox are Large monstrous humanoids with a space and reach of 10 feet.


Trox have darkvision with a range of 60 feet.


When a trox fights defensively or takes the total defense action, he can grant half the bonus to AC granted by that action to an adjacent ally.


Trox have a burrow speed of 20 feet.


Trox chitin can help deflect effects, granting trox a +1 racial bonus to Reflex saves.


Once per day when a significant enemy causes an ally to take Hit Point damage, a trox can fly into a frenzy, gaining a +2 racial bonus to melee attack rolls and a –2 penalty to AC for 1 minute.


Trox gain a +2 racial bonus to grapple combat maneuvers.

Spiritual Fervor

Trox gain a +2 racial bonus to Intimidate and Mysticism skill checks.


Trox have a land speed of 40 feet.

Vestigial Arms

A trox’s four vestigial arms can be used to hold, draw, or put away items of negligible bulk, but not to make attacks, wield weapons, or use items.

About the Trox

Physical Description

As a species, trox have undergone numerous supernatural transformations during their long history in the Pact Worlds. Their modern bipedal form arose in response to a divine messenger's decree, believed to be a mortal incarnation of Hylax. Though hypothesized to have once resembled giant, eight-legged beetles, trox now stand on their two hind legs, towering as much as 12 feet in height. As their uppermost pair of limbs developed into powerful arms, their middle four limbs shrank and now have a fraction of the strength. A pair of sword-like mandibles frame their smaller jaws. The former mandibles close slowly and clumsily, serving more like an extra set of hands than a set of natural weapons.

Trox lay eggs in small clusters, and young hatch as nymphs who resemble small versions of their parents. Trox can only grow as much as their exoskeletons allow, so youths molt numerous times a year until they reach adulthood at age six. During this rapid growth, trox are predominantly carnivorous, requiring tremendous amounts of protein. The specialized nutrients required for healthy exoskeleton production also drive many nymphs to consume their old exoskeletons and burrow, hunting for key minerals. The nutritional needs shift upon reaching adulthood, at which point most favor a largely vegetarian diet.

Once fully grown, a trox tends to shed only a few times a decade as part of healthy shell maintenance. A new exoskeleton takes about a week to harden, during which time a trox is quite sluggish and vulnerable. However, the soft chitin provides a delightful opportunity: customization. Although their natural coloration ranges from a light rosy brown to dark crimson, the fresh exoskeleton readily absorbs injected dyes and can be subtly shaped to create a variety of patterns and surface textures. As a result, adolescents regularly experiment with their appearance using magical dyes, shallow molds, and incised tattoos, knowing that if they don't like their new aesthetic, they can just shed and redo it a few months later.

Whatever the surface treatment, a trox's exoskeleton provides crucial support and protection. The thick plates along the head, forearms, and thighs fit together loosely when they curl up, and even when crouching, they shield a large portion of the body. Together with a set of abdominal horns, a trox's relatively soft underbelly and vestigial limbs become difficult to reach. Only a few sections of the body aren't covered. The upper arms and fingers all have thin, slightly pliable exoskeletons that provide a trox additional flexibility while still allowing space for muscle attachment. Likewise, each trox has a muscular tail that's structurally similar to an elephant's trunk, providing boneless balance and support. Although capable of lifting and clumsily maneuvering the tail when moving, it most often lies flat and drags along the ground.

Protective as it might be, the exoskeleton presents challenges. Overlapping plates and thick chitin limit a trox's agility, and their massive size makes it difficult to circulate air throughout their bodies. To compensate, a trox has a set of humanlike lungs sufficient for resting respiration and four supplemental book lungs: two near their shell, partway up their torso, plus one in each thigh. Fed by spiracles, these book lungs help reoxygenate blood, especially when moving quickly and driving additional air through these systems. As a side effect, trox reflexively shiver whenever these spiracles become submerged—a gag reflex as the pores close off to avoid flooding.

Home World

Trox hail from Nchak, one of Liavara's inhabited moons. The surface is relatively barren with most communities lying beneath the surface. These trox-dominant settlements are distributed evenly, but those surrounding the Forever Halls are the most populous. After all, within those sacred halls lives the Forever Queen, a being most Nchaki believe is Hylax's mortal avatar. The inhabitants pride themselves on being good hosts, providing religious pilgrims generous quarters to facilitate the visitors' search for wisdom and peace.

Visitors also adore Gebanon Springs, a community built along an underground lake fed by geologically heated springs. The mineral-rich waters naturally fortify a trox's hardening shell, making it a favorite bathing destination for those about to shed. Even for those with endoskeletons, the bathhouses are refreshing. However, Nchak's crust shelters a variety of strange creatures who periodically get swept up in the warm geysers or swim up on their own. Most are harmless, yet occasionally, a Nchaki cercaderre (a type of amphibious cephalopod) or worse ascends, requiring swift armed intervention from the town's guards.

For all their dedication to peace, trox on Nchak prepare for war. The starship manufacturer Starhive maintains a major manufacturing facility on the surface above the subterranean city of Szeyack, employing thousands of trox engineers and laborers. Given shirren-run Starhive's aggressive stance against the Swarm, trox are only too happy to help, seeing this work as crucial to protecting the rest of the galaxy from this enemy.

Beyond the factories and several hundred scattered ranches and farms for raising a few hardy foods, the other noteworthy surface installation is the Zeffrac Science Platform. Publicly, it's a joint research endeavor for observing and recording Liavara's weather, helping officials predict gaseous tides that might threaten Roselight, the planet's capital. However, the site experienced a mysterious attack several decades ago, where its occupants with an intelligent, mind-controlling fungus. The attack foiled the fungus's schemes while hinting at more threats to come. While the science platform is now back in operation, only a fraction of its equipment monitors weather anymore. Secretly, the facility has been reconfigured to monitor covert invaders from beyond the Pact Worlds with teams specialized in identifying the likes of dycepskians, reptoids, grays, and more. Understandably, anyone approaching the base is now subjected to extensive biological and magical testing to confirm their identity.

Society and Alignment

Carefully balancing the duality of individuality and community is crucial in trox society, guided by widespread reverence of Hylax. Trox find instinctive comfort in groups and promote the community's well-being even at risk of their own opportunities. Even if their behavior falls short of eusociality, trox peacefully and graciously provide their time and energy to neighbors. However, duergar enslaved many trox in the ancient past, exploiting their community mindset to compel compliance and labor. The memories of servitude are distant, yet they nonetheless steel trox against slavery and encourage them to embrace their own personal liberties.

This individuality parallels Hylax's teachings, recognizing a community's strength comes from the individual passions of each member. Trox encourage nymphs to pursue first their own passions, at which point elders help instruct them on how those passions might benefit the community. For example, a young trox excited about art would be encouraged to hone their skills, develop a personal style, and then work with leaders to create art the community could witness and appreciate together.

Trox societies typically consist of extensive, overlapping clans that collaboratively raise their young. Membership is informal and fluid, though status relies on kinship, periodic residency, service to the community, or some other ongoing or exceptional impact on the clan. As a result, a trox's family isn't necessarily based on kinship ties or even shared species, causing many traveling trox to develop found families they guard with unshakable determination.

Gifts are a significant aspect of maintaining social ties. General reciprocity—giving goods and services, knowing that similar, unspecified kindnesses will be returned at some point— forms a large fraction of traditional trox economics, though credits and commerce have become increasingly prominent over the centuries. Nonetheless, gift giving is a trox art form.

Perhaps the greatest gift a trox might offer is trust, and among the most important examples of trust is the Leaving: the moment when elders cede responsibility to their next generation, recognizing their descendants have realized the expertise and wisdom to take up the mantle of leadership. As a result, trox typically retire well before death, ensuring a careful transfer of power. They then explore new hobbies, teach, repair public works, and occasionally dedicate themselves to some grand project intended to preserve their legacy. Although the Leaving primarily refers to this transfer of responsibility within a community, it's increasingly also referred to as a community ritually blessing a trox who wishes to travel the stars.

Not all trox have so positive an outlook. With both legends of past exploitation and a growing number of galactic threats like the Swarm, trox increasingly believe their community extends well beyond Nchak; they're called to protect other worlds. Each generation sees more trox joining the Stewards, adopting vulnerable colonies in the Vast as protectorates, patrolling the stars, or joining adventurers to uncover the next threat to galactic peace. Thanks in part to remittances regularly sent back to Nchak, their home world continues to thrive.

Dunets' Tale

A favorite bedtime story and cautionary fable on Nchak tells of two clutch-mates, Keldunet and Idzdunet, commonly remembered as the Dunet twins. As they reached adulthood, the twins became restless, craving some greater purpose than their community could provide. Their family and neighbors sponsored their travels and encouraged them to discover, yet they were sad to see the twins depart. The galaxy was intoxicating in its size and diversity, and the Dunets became lost among the cosmopolitan bustle, short on cash, and no closer to discovering their destinies.

That changed when they spotted a duergar struggling to move a crate. As properly raised trox, the twins selflessly volunteered to help her. She marveled at the trox's strength, and each time they helped the duergar move something, she praised their might and bemoaned some even heavier load that needed to be relocated. The Dunets preened at the duergar's compliments and those of the gathering crowd, eagerly doing her work for free. At last satisfied, the duergar shared a secret: she had a treasure map leading to untold riches but needed strong friends to help extract the wealth in exchange for a share.

The two followed the duergar toward her starship, but the more they listened to her promises, the more Keldunet grew suspicious and the more Idzdunet became enthralled. With each concerning clue the former noticed, she mentioned it to Idzdunet to convince him of the growing danger, but he was drunk with purpose—the duergar needed help! At last, Keldunet decided to turn back, begging her brother to join her, but she respected his decision to follow the duergar. Forlorn, she returned home and left her brother to his fate. Her community welcomed Keldunet back yet reprimanded her for abandoning her twin. Ashamed, she departed once more to find Idzdunet, and the story typically involves her rescuing her brother from captivity, servitude, and misfortune.

Each trox interprets the tale in a different way. For some, it's a story about never abandoning one's family and friends or a tale about how one should risk one's own safety to save others. Sometimes it's just a story well-intentioned relatives reference to guilt their traveling kin to return home for a visit. Others believe it teaches that while it's good to help others, it's important not to let others exploit that generosity. This last lesson in particular makes trox especially protective of skittermanders (sometimes endearingly called “little Dunets”), whose compulsive helpfulness leaves them vulnerable to the Veskarium's domination.


A nymph's extended family gives them a birth name that most keep throughout their lives. As an adult, a trox often invents an additional name for themself that becomes their primary appellation, representing their evolving identity and individualism. Trox deeply respect honorifics and occasionally bestow them on one another for great feats performed in service to others, such as “Hammer of Hylax” for a warrior who saved a town. In most cases, an honorific is spoken after the name, such as “Kembah, Defender of Nine Spikes,” yet it's uncommon for a trox to use only their earned title.

Sample Names

Bojesah, Dunet, Kasiyah, Kembah, Lyret, Marvad, Nabela, Nelkon, Pincot, Rabarah, Renist, Ribiah, Tavaeh, Varasah.

Vital Stats

Average Height 10-12 ft.
Average Weight 1,700–2,000 lbs.
Age of Maturity 6 years
Maximum Age 40+3d20 years