Klatha is the invention of James Schmidt, here expanded and integrated into the FuRPiG skill set.
The Witches of Karres are a community of psychic adepts who have discovered and use klatha. Klatha is a psionic resource, an "energy," encountered only in and around the Terraform Reach. Karres researchers theorize that it is an immaterial invention of the Old Terraformers.
The discovery and use of klatha has allowed the Karres psychics to develop advanced psychic skills, many of them involving hexalogue-level science, especially dimensional manipulations. By contrast, the Reach at large is culturally adverse to psychic skills and most non-Karres psychic adepts are limited to pre-hexalogue psychic powers. There are non-Karres klatha-users in the Reach, but none as powerful and well-organized as the Witches of Karres. (It may be that the witches take steps to insure this state of affairs.)
If one is sensitive to it, klatha rapidly stimulates the development of psychic perceptions and abilities. This development, however, can be dangerous without such coaching as Karres has carefully developed. So, on the plus side, one can quickly learn highly advanced telepathic shield patterns – "locks." On the minus side, if one muffs such an accelerated lock, one may burst into flames.
When klatha has any visible appearance at all, it is usually as orange luminosity or black nebulosity. Arcane sensitivity to klatha – "relling" – usually takes the form of synesthetic imagination – "seeing a sound," "hearing a smell." When relling is not synesthetic, it usually resembles the Hallowe'en-colored mundane manifestations – orange and black mists, usually wracked by turbulence.
All klatha-using psychics can rell klatha. It is one of the first signs of developing witchcraft.
Klatha has been at large in the Reach for millions of years. In that time, it appears that klatha-based life has developed. There are two main varieties, vatches and planetaries.
Vatches are living clouds of klatha, capable of instantaneous movement through time and space – in fact, so capable that they have no clear idea of coordinates, dates, and locations. They vary enormously in power and, proportionately, in apparent size. They are capable of any psychic activity.
Unfortunately, they appear to think the physical world is a dream they are having. This leads them to behave very irresponsibly. Some vatches can be controlled by telepathic or metapsychic methods; others cannot. As a result, witches prefer to avoid vatches whenever possible.
Nothing is known of the waking life of vatches. It may be conducted in hyperspace, in another continuum, very far away in normal space, or in some unrecognized form nearby. It maybe that waking vatches are embodied.
The history of vatches is equally mysterious. They may be purely klatha-based organisms invented by the Old Terraformers, or their origins may be indepentent.
Vorts are sub-sapient equivalents of vatches. They, too, are living klatha and vary greatly in size and power. They have a canine level of intelligence, but at least do not appear to believe they are dreaming. They seldom do any physical manifestation other than levitation – poltergeist phenomena, in fact. Unlike vatches, they can be controlled psychically. A few witches tame and train vorts.
Planetaries, like vatches, are living clouds of klatha. Unlike vatches, they are of more uniform power (usually in the same range as human witches), "awake," and geometrically oriented. They appear to be confined to a single given planet, or at least no one has determined that they travel. The local culture of planetaries varies a great deal; most are too alien to interact with humans; some are hostile; some are mildly helpful. In no case has detailed contact been made.
Besides all the hexalogue-level psychic powers in the FuRPiG skill set, klatha psychics can have several teleportive skills based on klatha's extradimensional character.
Summoning [you can trade weight-limit for chance of success – i.e., the heavier, the harder it is to make a winning throw]
Sending [ditto; some Summoning a prereq]
Tagging [for teleportations out of sense-shot; some Summoning a prereq]
Sheewash Drive [easy to learn, but fragile – no other psi in presence, or even ordinary distractions – and you must eat a large meal immediately afterwards or take 1d6 damage. Cost proportional to distance.]
Egger Route [costs all your psi pts, all your nrv pts, you arrive unconscious for 3d6 minutes, & then you do two brawls to yourself in convulsions unless restrained, but you can go anywhere you've a psychic tie to]
Semmir Margin [a way to hide, walk through walls, lay things Aside]
Kossel Bypass [a gentler, less effective, and more advanced version of the Egger Route] [costs 10 psi pts, 5 nrv pts, you take 1d6 minutes to recover from fatigue and vertigo, and range is limited to planetary distances or near-orbit (with a spacesuit, you could make it to a moon in a few hops)
The Flashways [remnants of a klatha-based teleportation network]
Thel [a quasi-material klatha construct, readily manipulated psychokinetically]
Witches - Quishonnes
Karres - Pharos
Sheewash drive - Vooram drive
Egger Route - Ripway
klatha - kwi
relling - kenning