This article is part of the Surgisilena article that appeared in the November 2013 issue, and was reprinted in the July/August 2021 issue. The remainder may be found in Kurishdam > The Club Room > Surgisilena.
The Surgisilena (“pleasant company”, in the language of their world of origin) is a philosophical organization devoted to providing pleasure. They are best known by the many Harmonies, or meeting places, they have established. They are often dismissed as prostitutes, but that perception is wildly inaccurate and the result of miscommunication and negative agendas. The Surgisilena boast a rich tradition of culture and service dating back well over a thousand years.
The Surgisilena is a part spiritual, part social organization that continues to operate in much the same manner it has for centuries. They are devoted to a body of philosophical beliefs based on providing pleasure and companionship. They are also often called upon as hosts, performance artists, confidantes, ceremonial performers, cultural aides, and other such actions that bring pleasure. The misconception is that “pleasure” also includes physical intimacy. While adherents are not averse to such dealings, they are quick to point out that it runs counter to their central concept.
A close historical analogue is the geisha of ancient Terra. While geisha were also sometimes mistaken for prostitutes (mostly due to cultural and linguistic differences), they filled a similar role as purveyors of refinement and camaraderie.
The Surgisilena are grouped into autonomous “Harmonies”, tied together only by the rigorous training and shared philosophy. Each Harmony is staffed and housed to best fit the needs of their clientele. The largest Harmonies may operate as luxury resorts; smaller ones may have under a dozen members operating out of an apparently ordinary residence.
Locating a Harmony
Any given world may host a Harmony on a throw of Law Level or better. There is a DM of +1 if the world in question is in a frontier area or associated with an area of unexplained disappearances. Of course, the referee may place a Harmony anywhere (s)he sees fit. An evening at a Harmony may spark a new adventure, or be an adventure in itself, with intrigue swirling about the heroes as they try to relax and have fun.
Surgisilena are encouraged to travel, and many do. They can be found aboard ships or at starports as passengers, hired entertainers, or recruiters. They can and often do sign on for varying lengths of time aboard private vessels. When and if they return to a Harmony, their shared experiences bring a rich variety that keeps the entire organization fresh and vital.
Surgisilena signing on permanently with a PC crew can bring a unique perspective to solutions. They are not necessarily pacifists, and do not necessarily eschew violence—many Surgisilena take up self-defense or weapon training—but they do not view such as a means to an end. Their training makes them adept at conceiving nonviolent solutions that others may miss.
Surgisilena have no ranks or promotions.
(EDU 8+ only)
|1||+1 STR||Blade Cbt||Mechanical||Electronics|
All skills as described as per Book 1: Characters and Combat, except
The following skill is unique to Surgisilena:
- The individual is skilled at using leverage and esoteric physical techniques to temporarily transcend physical limitations and perform seemingly amazing feats. This skill operates in similar fashion to the psionic talent of Awareness, except that Body covers DEX as well as STR and END. It is not psionic ability, although a casual observer may mistake it for such. By concentrating for 15 seconds, the character is able to increase one of the above scores by the number of levels of Body skill. This increase lasts only 15 seconds, and can only be performed as many times in 24 hours as the individual has END points.