Thri-Kreen

Thri-kreen are mantislike humanoids that hunt in packs throughout the wastes of Athas. They have adapted to the harsh climate and are experts at surviving with only scarce resources. Thri-kreen are nimble, and many have psionic abilities.

Play a Thri-kreen if you want…

  • to be a pragmatic hunter who knows how to survive in a harsh world.
  • to roleplay a race with beliefs and practices different from those of humans.
  • to be a member of race that favors the monk, druid, and ranger classes.
    Thrikreen1

Physical Qualities

The insectoid Thri-kreen have six limbs and are covered in tough, sandy-colored chitinous plates. Their lowest pair of limbs is used as legs, and their upper pair of limbs serve as arms. The middle set of limbs is small but dexterous, and the Thri-kreen use them for fine manipulation, leaving heavy work to the strong upper arms. Both the middle and the upper pairs of limbs have three clawed fingers and one opposable thumb. In combat, Thri-kreen hold weapons or shields in their upper limbs, since the middle pair lacks the strength for this purpose and using both sets of limbs would be awkward and unwieldy.


Swift and athletic, Thri-kreen are natural climbers and jumpers. Their wedge-shaped heads have large compound eyes, two (mostly vestigal) antennae, and powerful mandibles. They can speak an accented form of common but prefer their own language, which is easier to pronounce with their mouth parts.


Thri-kreen have short life spans and rarely reach 30 years of age.

Playing a Thri-kreen

Thri-kreen minds, behavior, and physiology often seem bizarre to members of other races. But despite their fierce appearance, the insectlike humanoids can be loyal and courageous companions. Thri-kreen have most of the same needs and morals as do other races; they simply prioritize those needs and morals differently. Most important, Thri-kreen judge others solely on physical and mental ability. The lazy and weak deserve contempt, regardless of race; likewise, strength and cleverness merit respect no matter who demonstrates these qualities.


Thri-kreen view everything through the lens of the hunt and the predator-prey relationship. Their basic social units are the clutch and the pack. A clutch is a small group (no more than six) to which an individual Kreen has a close bond. The concept of the clutch combines “team,” “friends,” and “family.” Every Thri-kreen has a birth clutch that consists of all survivng members of the group of eggs from which it hatched. Later in life, each Kreen form one or more other clutches, perhaps centered around adventuring groups or specialized hunting parties. A pack is a larger social unit that consists of any number of clutches. If deprived of a clutch, a Thri-kreen is biologically compelled to seek out a new group to join.


Obeying their pack instincts, Thri-kreen try to find their place in any group. They use a series of challenges to determine the pecking order, assessing their possible clutchmates in secret or, when necessary, demanding trial by combat. Thri-kreen seize leadership of groups in which they’re the strongest members, but they are willing to acccept subordinate roles in the presence of powerful allies. They take orders from the pack or clutch leader without hesitation, eager to fulfill the duties of their position. Despite the apparent autocracy of a Kreen group, any member is free to voice its opinion and offer advice. Indeed, each Thri-kreen is expected to have expertise in matters the others do not. All must contribute to the good of the clutch and the success of the hunt.


In Thri-kreen culture, combat is just another kind of hunt. Thri-kreen rarely fight out of malice and see no need for aggression unless it is the best means of obtaining the resources they need to survive. Self-defense is another matter-a Thri-kreen who has been attacked can’t fathom any response other than a violent counterattack. After a victorious battle, a Kreen’s first instinct is to collect any useful possessions that belonged to the attacker or (in the case of beasts) to harvest the body for food.


Many Thri-kreen develop psionic abilities. Those who fully pursue these gifts often become monks or battleminds, taking advantage of their physical talents. Some attribute this natural ability to racial memory. Each member of the race is born with the clutch mentality and an innate knowledge of the Thri-kreen language. When a Thri-kreen encounters a place or an item that played an important part in Thri-kreen history, it might see flashes of the past-an upwelling of racial memories long suppressed but present in all Kreen.

Thri-kreen Characteristics:Distinctive, dutiful, inscrutable, observant, predatory, single-minded, tough

Male and Female Names:Cha’ka, Chuka-tet, Drikchkit, Hakka, Ka’cha, Kacht-ta, Ka’tho, Lakta-cho, Pak’cha, Pik-ik-cha, Sa’Relka, T’Chai, Tak-tha

Thri-Kreen

Dark Sun: Warriors of the Wasteland Tuffskins