The Zao are an infamous group of space pirates. Their brazen crimes and theatrical flair have made them a favorite as villains and anti-heroes in sims and other popular entertainments. The truth is far from glamorous: the Zao are killers who capture ships, loot them, and hold their passengers for ransom or sell them into slavery--sometimes selling their bodies separately from their uploaded minds.
The Zao are a multi-bioform (perhaps even multi-species) association, but the original founding group was composed of perhaps a few hundred former prisoners of the Radiant Polity. As the polity was torn apart by meme wars, the prison asteroid Naraka was left understaffed.The prison was taken by a group of inmates (legend has it, after one of their rehabilitation programs was replaced by hackers with a sim mixing elements of various ancient adventure and crime narratives), and the asteroid has served as the pirates base of operations since. The asteroid is cloaked in a defensive dust that only allows authorized craft to pass unscathed.
Anyone may call themselves a Zao pirate, and some vessels operating under that title may have no connection to Naraka, but the actual Zao pirates react harshly to those “flying their flag” who don't obey their established codes governing the division of plunder, interactions between affiliate vessels, and the secrecy of their defense system keycodes.
Saving Throw: 15+
Attack Bonus: +1
Damage: by weapon (1d8+1 monoblade, 2d6 void carbine)
Skill Bonus: +2
The Zao have fondness for old-fashion appearing bladed weapons for close-quarters boarding, but are certainly not adverse to the use of ranged weaponry.