This page is part of my fan-made FATE setting for the anime Made in Abyss. The master document can be found here.
The Lepidopterans (often called Leps to save on syllables) are the sentient species of this setting. They are essentially very large moths, with two legs, four arms, antennae, a protruding abdomen, and sometimes wings. Depending on the lep’s body type, they can vary widely in physical strength and gliding ability, although only the smallest and lightest leps are capable of true flight due to the poor aerodynamics of such a large species. The biggest and strongest leps frequently have no wings at all.
The physical abilities of this species vary hugely depending on their morph. Some are brightly coloured and others camouflaged; some are mimics of other, non-sentient insect species like wasps; some are fluffy and some are smooth; all possible wing and body shapes can be found, somewhere in the world. The most uniting feature of leps is their life cycle, which features an egg stage, larval stage, pupal stage, and an adult stage, and most lep morphs can interbreed. Orth is a difficult place to raise larvae due to the tight confinement of the city, and it has a lower birth rate than other nations.
Leps have excellent dim vision and hearing, and using their antennae are well-attuned to their physical surroundings. While they are covered with scales, they are quite vulnerable to physical injury. Feel free to get creative with your character’s biology!
Picking a combat/encounter style for your character will provide a baseline from which to start building stunts, aspects, and skills. These are not rigid playstyles, and are totally open to interpretations. For example, you may wish to play as a rogue who uses knives, which would work best as a warrior, or a rogue using fancy rigging technology, which would work best as an artificer.
Artificer: Due to the physical frailty of lep wings and limbs, the use of prosthetics has always been common in cultures across the world. Some leps even extend this to utilising technological enhancements to boost their abilities as delvers, and some of the world’s best delvers are artificers that know how to make excellent use of the relics they find. A clever delver could make it very far with a good knowledge of technology.
Sorcerer: A recent development for lep delvers has been the discovery of techniques that allow even those without relics to harness some small amount of natural energy while in the Abyss. Research so far has concluded that this may result from the layers of force fields that limit vertical visibility and provide sunlight even in the deepest layers of the Abyss. Students of these arts are capable of demonstrating control over one of the four natural elements: fire, air, water, or earth. Think of it like ‘bending’ from the human series Avatar, although it is only possible to do this while in the Abyss. This discovery has led some delvers to refine this art to aid them on their adventures, finding it powerful, if unpredictable.
Warrior: The final combat style favoured by leps is the use of traditional weaponry and tools, like swords, bows, and ropes, which are more reliable and serviceable than some of these newfangled techniques. Keeping your head out of the clouds can be a good way to survive in the depths of the Abyss.
Picking a motivation for your character’s interest in delving will also be of assistance when figuring out your stats, aspects, and stunts. These are not hard-and-fast backgrounds and are open to interpretations. For example, being a scientist does not actually mean you are a chemist or geologist; it simply means that your character’s main interest is something scientific, like medicine, discovering new species, or understanding the mechanics of relic function.
Merchant: Your character is interested in delving for financial gain. Whether they wish to live the good life now or retire in the future, your character is thinking firstly of mission rewards, relics, and other treasures that can be found in the abyss.
Explorer: Your character is doing this for glory and adventure. You delve because you want to be among those who are adored in Orth, or those who change the world with their discoveries. Gaining rank points and pushing your guild to greater heights is your primary motivation.
Scientist: Your character wants to gain a rational understanding of the supernatural nature of the Abyss. Within this place, there are animals, plants, and physical formations not seen anywhere else in the world, and the rules of the universe apply differently here, particularly in the construction of these relics. The deeper you go, the stranger things get. You seek to understand before anything else.
Scholar: Your character is attempting to make sense of the cultures, civilisations, and languages that were once lost to the Abyss. Over the last thousands of years, so many people have lived and died down there, and you wish to learn something of their world. Maybe this search might let you understand the people of Orth and those who delve, too. There is much to be studied in this place.
Theologist: The Abyss is a holy place to many, and that might include you. Most of the surviving ruins in the Abyss seem to be religious in function, and so are the relics. It is hard to deny the Abyss is an act of some god or higher power, or an expression of nature’s greatest glory. You wish to understand some facet of this hallowed place, from a spiritual perspective. Your lamp might be your most precious possession.