Q - I want to play a vortigaunt but worry I don't have a good enough vocabulary to pull off the mystical sort of speaking, A - Not needed in any capacity. I've played many vortigaunts in my time at TnB, from those mystic-speakers to a vortigaunt called Frank that acted like an excitable child. Both are fine. My current speaks almost like a disgruntled human most of the time. Your character is yours, they talk how you want them to. Q - I don't understand the lore and history of the vortigaunts at all. It seems like a lot to learn. A - While it's true that there can be a lot to learn when it comes to vortigaunts the basics are real easy to grasp, and it's all you need to get started, and pick up the rest as you go. Vortigaunts have been on the run from the Combine for decades, nobody knows how long, they just say it's been eons. Under the Nihilanth they had their backs to the wall and nowhere to go until humans from Black Mesa entered Xen and gave them a way out. That's why they attacked, to escape using the only option they had. The Combine caught up anyway, shackled most of them, and now vortigaunts have joined humanity to help free both species. Q - Are vortigaunts native to Xen? A - No, nothing is. Xen is the border world, the world between worlds. Nothing lives there naturally, everything that is there was introduced. Vortigaunts ended up there after running from their home world, to escape the Combine. Q - What is the antlion extract and why is it so important? A - Antlion extract is the essence of a particular type of the body of an antlion grub, only able to be found in the nectarium, protected by an aggressive guardian. In vortigaunts it boosts their connection and power to the vortessence massively, allowing them huge power. In other terms it's a huge mana buff and doubles their level for a short time. Q - What is the vortessence and why can others not harness it? A - Some people might just say space magic as a joke, but that's not too far off. In science-fiction the idea of psychics is pretty common, and it's just that but more specific, really. The vortessence is the integral energy of the universe, harnessed through special organs Earth animals, including humans, don't possess. Organs that cannot be replicated, even by the Combine. Vortigaunts absorb this energy over time (like traditional mana, even) and are able to use it for their own needs, but instead of psychic abilities like telekinesis it often just come out as various forms of energy, like electricity, and the ability to help heal wounds. Q - The vortigaunts show that they could see Nova Prospekt through the experiences of the vortigaunts imprisoned there. Do the vortigaunts have a hive mind? Are they telepathic? A - Sort of? Vortigaunts are all their own independent minds, they're very individual, but they share some experiences and memories but it's all subconscious and never direct, except the traumatic ones of torture which come in like a real memory. It's why Nova Prospekt is so clear to them. Vortigaunts are as individual as you and I, but they are all unified by this subconscious bond that more or less helps them understand each other. There are side-effects, like a vortigaunt adopting the mannerisms of people they spend too much time with. Got your own question? Drop me a PM or reply to this thread and I can answer it for you.