are one of the most disgusting races in the universe. They are thick, slimy, tentacle-covered creatures who bear an uncomfortable similarity to shoggoths. Worse, their natural forms smelled like a mixture of rotten seafood and sulfur. It doesn’t help they’re ridiculously powerful psychics and shape-shifters, naturally inclining humanoids to want to blast them out of existence.
Hailing from the Death Zone
, the ostiliroths evolved in a profoundly alien environment where the laws of physics constantly shifted. Nexus energy soaked them from day one, giving them a host of powers but leaving them far removed from most species. They breached the Nexus early but didn't find a comfortable reception. Races which encountered them believed they were a species of Lovecraftian abomination, desiring to devour their souls and engage in tentacle-rape.
This is partially due to the fact that ostiliroths naturally produce a psychic aura about themselves which functions like pheromones. It causes any human reaction to become enhanced around them. Given most humans find Ostiliroths disgusting, most of their early encounters with mankind involved violence.
The irony is that Ostiliroths are a largely pacifistic people who prefer talk to murder. Their culture is about as far from Lovecraftian as possible, being based on arguing and deal-making. Communication skills are taught alongside reading and mathematics with a strong emphasis on wit. The usual ostiliroth hero is more likely to be a trickster than an overtly violent figure.
Eventually, the Shoggoths encountered the Deathmongers
who were a nomadic race of near-humans not inclined to kill them at first sight. The Deathmongers pointed out their image problem and that they had an obvious solution to it. If people didn't like their natural forms, just assume another one.
Initial experiments with shape-shifting proved spotty. If there was one thing worse than being a disgusting tentacle monster, it was being a tentacle monster which could assume the form of a friend or relative. After much deliberation, the Grand High Council of Passive-Aggressive Arguers
determined that they needed to assume forms which would be different enough to mark them as a separate species but not so alien as to be repulsive.
Encountering a pair of time-traveling con-men, they were exposed to visual media called cartoons. Noticing the similarity of their own trickster heroes to figures depicted in these stories as well as the instinctive trust humans had for them--they realized they had their answer. They would become anthropomorphic animal men.
Assuming the form of bipedal rabbits, mice, bears, tigers, and other creatures; the ostiliroths found their reaction from humans drastically changed. People found them strange
but not repulsive. Even discovering that the ostiliroths had nastier forms didn't do much to affect their initial positive opinion. This has allowed the ostiliroths to become the richest species in creation.
Founding the Celestial Commerce Guild with the Deathmongers and inviting many of their early partners into the organization, the ostiliroths form the backbone of interstellar trade. Partially due to the reception they received from other races, the Celestial Commerce Guild is open to all species everywhere despite the predominance of ostiliroths in it. Due to the fact ositiliroths reproduce asexually and in communal pools, dynasties are nonexistent and all new members of the race come into the guild hungry for glory.
It should be noted not all ostiliroths prefer trickery to violence or trade to conquest. There's just as much diversity amongst their species as there is for humanity. Likewise, some ostiliroths prefer human-like forms to anthropomorphic animals. A few even "go native" adopting the local customs from food to sexuality. These ostiliroths are considered a little...weird.King Panda
a.k.a Captain OZ
a.k.a Superior Trader OnzaiSuperior Trader Onzai
a.k.a Captain Oz is a hard-drinking (he prefers ammonia), hard-fighting, arrogant ship-captain who flies around in a 16th century magical Chinese junk. Something he insists is the fastest ship in the CCG. Given the thing’s inter-dimensional hopping ability means it can function like a TARDIS, this is technically true even if the thing's travel speed is ridiculously slow compared to an F16.
He won it in a card-game from an Earth-17 wizard.
King Panda is actually staying on Earth-0 because of the fact he’s in deep doo-doo with the CCG and on the run from several interdimensional crime-syndicates. Something about a princess, a farm boy, and dumped cargo. He’s attempting to make money by fighting in the UFFC, advertising, and numerous get-rich-quick schemes which invariably blow up in his face. Even if the CCG accepted Earth currency, King Panda invariably loses his profits before making any headway in getting his name cleared.
Something about being a compulsive gambler, gluttonous eater, and all-round greedy son-of-a-gun.
Despite the fact he has the power to generate fire, telekinetically move ridiculous things, fly, and turn insubstantial in addition to his shape-changing powers--King Panda is a somewhat ineffective superhero because he’s just not that smart. He’s not even a real member of the Order, he just shows up for missions because they're famous and that's good for business.
Also, he wants to help. He'd never admit it, though.
King Panda is currently riding a wave of public approval due to the fact he brought the cure for one of Earth’s most virulent plagues with him from his last stop. He traded it for the recipe for Oreos, not realizing you can't copyright a food product. Or, you know, the ingredients being listed on the back of every package.
He was actually being kind--he just didn't have to be THAT kind.
As you might guess, King Panda is not a very good trader and needs a manager. Despite being a lovable giant bear...person...King Panda has made a number of enemies. Not the least bit being The Divine Leader
who, I kid you not, has a death mark on the guy.
As Mister Arcane would say, "Sweet Buddha, who the hell wants to kill a giant panda? That's Cobra Commander-esque villainy."