These are the Mellor for Jay's Fringweorthy Game - they are different from the Cannon
I found the Cannon Mellor to be weird and over-powered, so I remodelled them to suit myself.
This is only for Jay's Fringeworthy game.
Origins of the Mellor:
The Terhmelern like to use biology as technology. That's their thing. They also like having friends. That was the POINT of the Fringepath system and the Commonwealth.
In order to accomplish having more friends, the Terhmelern made up their greatest piece of bio-technology, the Mellor.
The Mellor's job is to be an advisor. His job is go to a primitive world and encourage them towards a state that the Terhmelern would call civilized.
The Mellor do not rule, they advise.
The Mellor's relaxed shape looks like a blob of charcol gray silly putty. They are almost never seen in this form. They usually weigh between 100 and 200 lbs. They can weigh more. If a 100 lb Mellor needs to mimic a 250 pund line backer, they will puff up their form using air pockets and quickly begin eating to make up the mass, the Mellor can eat almost anything for food.
A Mellor is a shape changer. They can take on any number of forms. Plant, animal,person, inanimate object. Their cells are very complex multifunction things. They can achieve rigidity by locking together, or flow by unhooking from each other. Mellor cells can flex and do almost anything any other cell of any kind can do, Mellor can consciously direct their cells to form larger musckes or larger brains if necessary
In settings with telepathy or other psionic powers, a Mellor can mimic these abilities,
In setting with magic, the Mellor has affinity for shape changing magic and is affected by spells that affect shape changers.
The Mellor can try to duplicate something (Say, a chair) on sight, with a very good chance of success. But a Mellor can become a perfect physial duplicate of any living (Or recently dead) thing, by touch. Touching a living thing gives the Mellor a perfect biological map of the creature.
In worlds with magic, or rubbery science, the Mellor can vary their mass, but in a less fantastic world, they must conserve mass. A Mellor can split to become two small mellors for a while. If this continues for too long you have two seperate mellors.
Although the Mellor's tissue can become very rigid if necessary, Some Mellor take over skeletons and use these as frame works. It makes holding the form easier, but this can be abandoned quickly.
A Mellor touching a normal person can take that person's form and mimic them for a while to people who don't know them well.
The longer a Mellor touches a person, the better they can mimic. The Mellor can read thoughts by a method that is functionally identical to touch telepathy. But this is only for reading the existing person. The subject does not experience any Mellor thoughts or memories. After about 90 mimutes the Mellor has gained almost all he can usefully gain. He knows the subjects thoughts, skills, and personality.
But there's a more disturbing level. A Mellor can eat someone. Functionally, the Mellor enevopes it's subject and then digests him. By eating the subject's brain, the Mellor gets a very complete map of the subject's mind. So complete that the Mellor knows everything the subject knows without restraint. A mellor sho does this can then mimic their subject flawlessly. The Mellor has a real time simulation of the subject mind.
The Mellor can touch and remember up to 100 living things at a time and mimick each ot them at any time.
The Mellor can have 3, 4 or 5 slots for whole sentient minds. After the Mellor has it's mind slots full, in order to fully absorb another victim, he must abandon one of the previous subjects. This person's mind is then lost and can never be regained, although the Can remember skills and memories he accessed frequently.
Mellor uses metabolic energy like any other living creature, unless there is some other form of energy the Mellor can use, like magic or super science. The amount the mellor needs to eat is governed by it's energy outlay. maintaining a shape easy for the Mellor (It's their jam!) but excercising great strength or intelligence demands greater energy outlay.
The Mellor starves by shrinking. At a certain point a Mellor can enter a cocoon phase.
The Mellor have very weak natural telepathy in places where such things work. This is enough to work terhmelern devices.
But the Mellor can mimic the brain areas responsible for psionic powers, and thereby gain psionic powers in a world where such things work.
Other mystical things tend to work on the character of the being trying to weild them, such as Magic or The Force.
In a world where being have super powers, a Mellor can mimic such a person and gain their powers. A really talented mellor with years of practice can mimic the powers without mimicing the actual metahuman so modelled.
But these powers are always faintly weaker than the natural ones and cost the Mellor a LOT of energy to use.
The Mellor were designed to enter a primitive world, masquerade as a native and encourage the residents to become their better selves. So a mellor would be Merlin, but never King Arthur.
They're social creatures and enjoy complex social interactions.
Stock model Mellor enjoy people and enjoy seeing people do better and be happier.
Tainted Mellor enjoy hating people and being sadistic. They really enjoy it when someone follows a negative motivation to his own self inflicted destruction.
In both cases, Mellor like to operate behind the scenes. They like to drop the right world into the right ear. They enjoy using people as pawns on a chess board.
A Mellor would never attack you in person when he could have henchemen do it.
Mellor, like all life forms tent to vary within their range. You'll find a few Mellor who like to put their hands on people and you'll find others who are evil, but too cowardly to do much about it.
The Mellor were corrupted. This was a bio-weapon that only affects Mellor. Only Mellor can carry The Taint. Once infected, the Mellor grows ill for a few days and when he awakens his moral compass has been inverted.
It was not clear who created the taint, or even that it was a taint. Tainted Mellor worked together, got into position and then launched a brutal attack on the Commonwealth. trillions of people died in the first wave of attacks. many waves are still playing out.
Then the Mellor took after the Terhmelern and fought a bitter, brutal war of Genocide.
In the end, the Big System of the Commonwealth was destroyed, the Fringepath System was locked out. The Terhmelern left. Mellor were stuck where ever they were at when the lock down went into effect.
Mellor can live forever. They have no age limit.
Most of the Mellor seen will be tainted.
There are rumors of a cure. No one knows what it was.
Tactics of the evil Mellor:
The Mellor trapped on various worlds have been doing two things. Establishing a base of power. This is done by manupilation and social engineering of their human (Or other) allies.
The Mellor will surround himself with willing acolytes and then begin working on a way to end the lock out.
The Mellor find humans annoying and enjoy seeing them suffer. This presents the Mellor with a problem. He has to use human catspaws. He has to use human agents to explore the fringepath system and bring him the secret to unlocking it.
Most Mellor have real problems trusting their minions that far. So they default into not trusting them that far. Unless they become aware of new groups on the Fringepaths. Then they become more assertive and aggressive.
Tactics in a direct confrontation.
Usually a Mellor would hide behind minions specialized in violence. If engaged directly, the Mellor would turn to deception and slight of hand, and try to escape.
If the Mellor is confident, he will fight, but default into a mode appropriate for the identity he presents. For instance, a Mellor heading SPECTRE would use guns, poisons and deadly traps.
A mellor could manifest claws, or become a tiger and get all ripping, tearing and biting about it.
But, frankly, this isn't where a Mellor's strength lies. A mellor tiger would always be slightly more fragile and weaker than a comparable real tiger of the same weight.
When pushed to a desperate situation, a Mellor might remember he's a shape changer and turn to liquid and pour away through a crack.
But the Mellor are so used to mimicking people and pretending to be people, it might take a severe situation to persuade a Mellor that his cover wasn't worth his life.
By far a Mellor prefers to have his minions do the fighting for him. A Mellor with time to plan will have a lot of minions who like to fight and are very good at it.
Strategy of the Mellor
The tainted Mellor like to use people as pawns. They'll build up factions and set them into conflict for enjoyment and to achieve certain ends. For instance, a Mellor who wishes to build a police state will become a senior advisor to the ruler, and at the same time go around with various faces setting up terror and rebellion cells.
As the terrorist and rebellion cells attack, they'll form the excuse to enact the more opressive laws the Advisor suggests in the name of "Safety"
Most tainted Mellor wish to build up their pet factions to become totalitarian armies and war fighting machines, with the technical capacity to attack Commonwealth worlds. Since this involves Hyperspace travel to alternate dimensions, this can be a very long term project. But the Mellor are okay with that. They can cause lots of suffering and dominate lots of victims in the mean time.
But, because Mellor are individuals, not all think this way. There are outliers who do any number of odd things.
Fighting a Mellor in person.
A Mellor, being a shape changer uses it's body mass differently than a normal creature. If you stab a human you damage organs that are needed to function, you cause blood loss.
A stabbed Terhmelern might bleed and scream and fall over, but this would be an act. The blade passing through his body would be unpleasant but the damage would be minimal.
If you punched a mellor in the face, his body would get pushed around, but the actual damage would be little. If you clubbed a Mellor with a baseball bat or other blunt force weapon, again, the damage would be very little, although the Mellor might lie about this.
If a large creature attacked a Mellor with violent intent, clawing and biting, a mellor might be in a little more trouble but not much.
A Mellor's memories are stored holographically in every cell of his body. A tiger might claw great gashes, but this would impress the Mellor little. The Tiger might bite a chunk of mellor off. The Mellor would find this unpleasant, but eeasily survivable. Worse, the chunk the tiger just bit off might decide to make a fight of this, itself, with ugly results.
A mellor can come back from a very, very small amount. About 1/2 a pound. A smaller mellor like this will flee and start eating any biomass it could find.
A mellor can grow back from much smaller portions, but memories from before would be very indistinct or functionally useless.
Bullets would tear right through a Mellor, killing a cylinder of cells and roughly hurling many more out of position. The Mellor would find this painful, but not debilitating, unless the rounds fired were very large.
Fire would work better than kinetic force, because it actually destroys cells. A Mellor will not stay around this sort of fight for long. Over heating a mellor cell for a while will kill it. So a mellor cannot easily grow a hard shell and ride out a fire, unles this effect is very small.
Explosions are very bad for a Mellor. A very close explosion might just stun the cells of the mellor. He'd melt to gray good and then have to reform himself as his cells came back online. That would be very bad. A bigger explosion would rip the Mellor to pieces and fling this pieces about willy nilly.
Some small fragments would survive this and flee, looking to hide and regain mass.
Chemical weapons can also be bad news for a Mellor, But he can adjust to sacrifice some cells to save the majority. Acid also can present a problem, but can be worked around, unless there's a lot of it.
Hard Radiation is very bad news for Mellor and they avoid it.
Energy weapons are also very bad news for a Mellor. A light saber could hack a mellor to pieces, but then you'd have the pieces of the Mellor fleeing.
Mellor need oxygen like everyone else, but not always in the same way. Mellor are very robust creatures in many ways. They can breathe in atmospheres where humans could not, just by exluding everything but the oxygen they need.
With less and less oxygen content the Mellor grows listless and passive. At a certain point, as he nears suffocation (Long after humans are dead) the Mellor will cocoon up and wait out the incident. This may be an unconscious reaction.
Mellor can survive great pressure and vacuum without problem. But even they would be killed by crushing in the ocean depths. A Mellor spaced in deep space would start to freeze and use up his onboard oxygen supply. He'd quickly cocoon up.
A mellor spaced in Eath orbit would enter a cocoon phase muchg quicker as the nearby sun cooked him.
Alcohol and drugs generally do not affect the Mellor. their bodies metabolize these compounds as easily as anything else. A Mellor understands being drunk or high if he copies or absorbs these memories from a duplication subject. It is all but impossible to poison a Mellor,
The Mellor can tolerate cold a little better than humans. More so if they have clothes. But at a certain point, a Mellor starts to freeze. They do not suffer from hypothermia, the way a human does. But they become aware that they have a short time to act before freezing solid.
A Mellor aware of this can control his reaction. A Mellor taken by surprise will cocoon up. Mellor can tolerate being frozen. They just stop. A Frozen mellor lasts until thawed or destroyed by natural processes.
A Mellor in an extreme condition will, as a last resort, form a cocoon. The Mellor simply assumes a roughly spherical shape and then makes his outer later of cells into a hard, shell like substance. If a Mellor has warning, he can incorporate other materials into his shell.
The outer cells die, leaving a thick eggshell like formation. The Mellor inside goes into suspended animaltion and just stops. He is woken by his shell breaking. mellor can last thousands of years this way
The sleeping mellor is awoken by it's shell being cracked. Some thing breaking the shell of the weird egg might just get a very hungry shape changer to the face.
A Mellor will eat food by absobing it. A mellor mimicing a human will take a bite, chew it and swallow it. But they can absorb nutrients from almost anything. The waste product, usually slime, can be used to lubricate surface movement. A Mellor can store up waste slime and release it at an approprtate time. A Mellor who does not care will tend to leave a faint slime trail as he goes.
A mellor without a shape will just flow over any bio-matter and begin digesting it. This process is pretty quick.
The Mellor can control how much they eat. They don't feel hunger the same way as human do, but they know when energy reserves are low and need to be replenished. A Mellor can chose not to eat and begin starving without the intense feelings of hunger and emotional disarrangement suffered by humans.
A Mellor mimicking a human will generally stay in character as his subject in regards to food and drink, although without an audience his intake will be much less and much blander.
Mellor Memory is stored holographically in each cell of the Mellor. The bigger and more cells, the better the clarity of the memory. Small Mellor do not remember things as clearly. Mellor memory works completely differently from human memories. Tainted Mellor often enjoy implanting false memories and various forms of brain washing to torture victims with.
Mellor live for a very long time. Their memories adjust for this some. But the older the memory is, the harder it is to remember, A Mellor might have to sit down and really concentrate to remember details of a life he lived 1000 years ago. Things the Mellor thinks about often or deals with daily are fresh and easier to remember.
As long lived creatures, mellor are very good at "Staying in the now" but also at planning for the long term. The corrupted Mellor find human anxieties and traumas humorous. Stock Mellor will sympathies as well as they can. Stock Mellor may absorb these memories from you for true sympathy.
But tainted Mellor don't care how you feel unless it's bad, then they find it funny.
Mellor to Mellor communication:
The Mellor can talk to each other using any language they both know. The Mellor can read each other by touch as well. The more in contact they are, or the longer they go, the more they share.
Tainted Mellor are cynical, bitter and untrusting. So they loathe to let another Mellor in that far. It does happen on rare occasions, when each mellor thinks it can gain an advantage.
A mellor can reproduce in two ways One by simple fission. The Mellor grows himself to a certain size and then splits in two. Tainted Mellor using this method will divide into a bigger and smaller mellor and enforce a Senior-Mellor Junior-Mellor relationship. Junior Mellor tolerate this, but immediately begin to seek to even the scales. On a good success you have a Cabal of roughly equal Mellor doing their long term mellor thing.
But the Mellor even find other Mellor annoying and difficult t tolerate.
Another way Mellor can reproduce is by a fusion/fission process.Say Mellor A and Mellor B decide to reproduce. The two mellor meld into one large Mellor. memories and experiences are shared. usually the Combined Mellor takes on the gray blobby shape that is default to the Mellor. In an emergency, they can mimick one or the other Mellor's slots or identities. But this is often complicated by the fact that the Combined Mellor is twice as large.
Then after eating and gaining weight, the comibined Mellor fissions into three seperate mellor. Mellor A becomes Mellor A/b. Mellor B becomes Mellor B/a and Mellor C is as close as they can get to an even mix of A and B.
Because Mellor even find other Mellor annoying, for two Mellor to see this as a beneficial move is extremely rare. It does happen under very rare and weird circumstances.
This is much much more likey for Untainted Mellor.