Chronicles of the Orb: Shaedeam's Song

Prologue, Part II
What You Should Know... (cont)

Miens of Shaedeam

There are 21 (core) races – what we call miens – that are the primary races allowed for playtesting currently. Three of these are familiar fantasy tropes: humans, elves (Edael, in Shaedeam; Elthian, as drevens call them; the latter term is fairly insulting) and dwarves (or Khazalds). These might resemble races from other games, but they have unique story elements within this game’s context.

Cvos – monstrous humanoid; cheetah or jaguar spotted, thought to be a bunch of crude pranksters at best and immoral thieves at worst.

Dreven – monstrous humanoid (draconic) one of the most common miens and the main drive of the empire of Shonnestherra (translated, the lands of the dreven)

Edael – humanoid (fey); OOC, compare to traditional elves; taller, stronger, faster and in most cases better and a lot of ancient aspects than any other mien. There are a number of sub-miens.

Fiiani – monstrous humanoid (draconic): regal and lion-like in appearance, but that’s where the similarities end. Fiiani have massive feathered wings and are capable of powerful flight. They are also one of the most gifted species that use the arts of Rushen.

Gojifae – “denial of the dream”; humanoid (fey), these are the goblins and bugbears of Shaedeam. Gojifae are Fae creatures who have forsaken their immortality to experience ‘the human condition’. Over time, they can alter their physicalities to manifest something of what they were before.

Gorumar – massive and savage, these cannibals often raid border towns for food; on occasion, a gorumar might travel about alone and muttering things like ‘trying to atone for our many sins’.

Human – curious, adaptable, and fast learners – humans can crop up anywhere

Ipali – humanoid; tall and lithe, these strange creatures excel in craftsmanship, mathematics and various other scientific disciplines.

Kinithrin – small rodent-like humanoids, quick and nimble, and capable of controlling the most vile path of magic that has ever existed. Some kinithrins fight the dark urges to use this magic, others embrace it.

Khazaldi – dwarves; there are several castes of khazalds, and most of them are loyal to Shonnestherra, since their own homelands are under constant strife.

Lo’Kai – former celestials that have manifested on the Prime Material to act as agents for the Divine

Ludae – small, awe-inspiring good looks, and incredibly musical voices. Ludae are bards, teachers, and advisers within the empire. Male ludae have an extremely low birthrate, and so the female of the species is more often encountered.

M’Kecht – ‘the Philosophic Giants’, ‘Masters of the Multiverse’, or as the cvos say "thinking and breathing walking time-bombs’. For their most part, these lesser giants (towering over most miens at 45 to 60 unis tall and half as wide) have incredible physical power and supernatural strength but they are loathe to rely upon it. These gentile giants prefer a stoic and learned path of life. But their emotions can override their discipline on occasion and the whole of their power brings ruin to anything the giant can reach. M’Kecht giants can travel to alternate dimensions almost at will.

Moath – perhaps the most common race upon the whole of Shaedeam’s Back. The love to tinker with technology, but they have something of a temper themselves. Despite very different physical appearances, moaths share 90% of their genetic code with humans.

Ohpian – short, weak, and some would say useless. Ohpians may indeed be all of these things, but they command vast richest of unknown originand so they command respect in that way. Ohpians have funded almost every major military, covert, and academic venture in the empire for at least the past 12,000 years.

Shijula – outsiders (native); these former daemons gave up their power to aid the Edael in the Blood Wars of the Kuratour Abyss. They have a very rodent like appearance, but they have large wings between their wrists and ankles, allowing for gliding and minimal flight.

Thaun – lights and clockwork. This humanoid (artificial) race of beings are literally that: clockwork. They usually perform self-modifications and occasionally manifest powerful Rushen abilities.

Tiatoks – frog-like humanoids of fae heritage with an uncanny ability to innately understand arcane magics unlike any other mien. They mostly live in tribal settings near water, but occasionally a leader with some aspect of common sense will look for a tiatok advisory.

Ulasi – bred by the fiiani to be a perfect race of protectors. Ulasi are perhaps the most powerful and aggressive mien upon the whole of Shaedeam’s Back. They were literally bred to kill and control territorial boundaries.

Uunne – one of the Divine’s first servitor races. They retain something of their powers, but they are a shell of their formal glory.

Xarui – the eldest humanoid species upon Shaedeam’s Back. These quadruped fae-things are a tauric matching of a turtle, elephant and their head resembles that of a serpent – earless, nose-less, and small beady eyes inset and protected by a thick brow. They are incredibly potent Rushen Adepts, and even speaking with even the weakest xarui can cause physical damage.

Other Common Races

Gnolls, Gnomes, Half-Elf (half-Edael), Half-Orcs, and Halflings are all common races between Shonnestherra, Mhazgahrshaedar, and Uros. For these races, refer to the 3.5 D&D MM.

Ogres and Half-Ogres also exist in the realms of the Orb, but their stats are completely different from their D&D MM entries.

If you are looking to play an aasimar or teifling, you’re outta luck since they are not in the d20 SRD. But Shaedeam does have the Lo’Kai – while there are wild differences between the two races, the Lo’Kai can be built to ape the D&D favoured races.

There are now Drow as they are known in D&D (again, SRD); but the Orb has the Moredael. All Edaelan castes have incredibly differing backstories so if you’re in the market for a black-skinned elf, be warned: they are a hated people but are held as heroes to many other Edaelans.

Again, no Duregar. Shaedeam’s closest approximation are the Rhaine-Khazaldi, who travel in families of four to twenty. The Rhaine are mercenaries, to the man.

No centaurs, either. The xarui, civola and aslimin are all tauric miens (civola and aslimin are secondary miens).

Prologue, Part I
What You Should Know...

Our story begins on the fourteenth day, Kin, of Cindor in the year 7e2012, right at the onset of autumn on the planet known as Shaedeam. Specifically, the game initially set within the city-state of Saint Baylen’s, one of the most prosperous centres in the whole of the empire known as Shonnestherra. Early in the morning, there is a influx of armoured guards, those in service to any one of the imperial noble houses. There are patrols passing by as often as once per ten minutes. No one seems to know what they are looking for, but it must be important to involve House Naydoran.

And then, Brian the Fist of Rochivel reveals the wicked truth of the unease: at least twenty children of noble birth are missing and the patrols have led the local barons to believe that the children are no longer in the city-state. Brian the Fist has been charged to organize the search and rescue of these children. This very well could be the event to begin an illustrious career for the Adventurer’s Guild.

Imperial Specifics
The empire of Shonnestherra, sometimes referred to as the Dreven Empire, is perhaps the government with the greatest of land holdings. They are, most certainly, the most powerful military power on the whole of Shaedeam’s Back (a colloquial turn of phrase referring to ‘anywhere on the planet of Shaedeam’).

Shonnestherra has fourteen recognized city-states, each directly managed by a Council of Lords made up of nobles born and nobles made.

Besa-Dur – this city-state is one of the city-states given to a specific race with whom the dreven cannot abide: the fiiani. Besa-Dur does not carry on imperial duties more than keeping their population away from the bulk of the empire.

Illisk-Dur – the whole of this city-state was gifted to the gojifae in honour of their aid to the empire during the War of Wars. Though not all gojifae participated in the genocide of the true Dragons, the empire give the whole of the race credit. Illisk-Dur is a thriving centre of trade for the far reaches of the empire.

Ullasar – a central hub for those who have no love of Shonnestherra. Criminals, strange miens, illegal magics and the likes proliferate the area. Ullasar has no true political power and is considered a sub-nation with a locally determined Council of Lords (of whom, most are not actually nobles but rather guild masters).

Toromil – one of the few centres of civilization on the far edges of the grasp of the empire. This is an agricultural powerhouse, and most of the colleges and guilds lean towards a balance with the natural world around them.

Foster’s Point – a powerhouse of military naval power. The populace live quite comfortably and enjoy a semi-annual event known as the Dens of Challenge: a modular dungeon system wherein teams compete against each other and many nasty traps and monsters to find treasures hidden within.

Nuamor – another navel power, Nuamor also focuses on agriculture and politics since it is a strong imperial power and near so many territories where the empire is not loved, including….

Aglorond – the city-state gifted to the Edael after the mien was released from their enforced slavery following the War of Wars. A pure 96% of the city-state’s population is one breed of Edael or another. Some folk swear they hear the roar of dragon-like beasts nearby, but everyone knows that dragons are extinct.

Nottham – the city-state of fear. Nottham sits upon the edge of the Lightning Sands Desert, a particularly lethal girth of strange natural occurrences. During the day, green-gold lightning strikes the sands with such heat that it forms a thick sheet of glass that sometimes reach up in spires as if to catch the next bolt in hand. During the nights of the desert, the glass becomes fragile and with pressure or strong winds, these glass sheets explode violently and throw glass shrapnel in all directions. The citizens of Nottham avoid the area as if it were plague-ridden.

Oman – balanced precariously in the valley of Oman, the area surrounding the city-state is known as the Cradel of Oman, a living, breathing, and vindictive environmental dungeon of sorts. The laws of nature do not apply within the area, but the citizens of Oman are fairly used to traversing the area when they must. Most trade and travel are handled with magic or Rushen.

Gaden’s Reach – a pirate stronghold of scum and villiany as well as being another potent port city-state. Gaden’s Reach is known to the the centre of operations for several illegal guilds, but since the negative elements feed the Council’s coffers many accidents and such meet with the turn of a blind eye. Out and out murder is of course a very rare event, but accidents do happen.

Saint Baylen’s – The centre-most city-state that surrounds the mouth of the River Tallous (‘silver water’). Saint Baylen’s was named after a warrior of defended the emperor from an attack of an adult stone dragon. Baylen was a monk of Kwon, besting the great beast with his bare hands. There is within the single most powerful temple of Kwon within the centre of the city-state. Spanning nearly 150 vas-unis (miles), one can find just about anything they may need… as long as it’s legal.

Rhazon – this is a city-state under siege. The waters between its shores and the Dagger Life Isles are almost always rife with naval conflicts. Rhazon also is home to many of the empires richest museums, colleges and libraries.

Naar-Sul – perhaps the greatest military power with advanced navy and huge numbers of khazaldish warriors. If you need to book passage to any one of the Far Shores or wish to deal with the richest Merchant’s Guilds, Naar-Sul is where you’d want to be. For all that, and it also is home to the best tavern in the empire – The Rooster’s Crow.

Logothon – the imperial capital, spanning nearly 300 vas-unis (miles). The castle itself lies on an island and reaches up the side of a sheer cliff to tower over the nearby forests. The bulk of the city is build along the walls of the Dragon’s Maw bay. Over five million people call Logothon home and another 2.5 million live within the nearby border towns.

The Noble Houses of Shonnestherra

Dormykar – Bloodlines: Elementals (all)
Erlarash – Bloodlines: Doppleganger, Hag
Graeden – Bloodlines: Genie (any)
Khakhull’an – Bloodlines: Lycanthrope, Hill Giant
Kinartor – Bloodlines: Frost Giant, White Dragon, Silver Dragon
Larkenoras – Bloodlines: Red Dragon, Brass Dragon, Fire Giant
Myden-Karan – Bloodlines: Minotaur, Cloud Giant, Angel-Blooded
Naydoran – Bloodlines: Bronze Dragon, Blue Dragon
Ninaras – Bloodlines: Titan, Archon-Blooded, God-Blooded
Nokdaren – Bloodlines: Fire Elemental, Red Dragon
Ohpian – Bloodlines: Gold Dragons, Copper Dragons
Rhyduran – Bloodlines: Troll, Giant (any)
Rumavel – Bloodlines: Fey, Air Elemental, Janni Genie
Sjomdaon – Bloodlines: Earth Elemental, Gold Dragon, Hill Giant
Sorjourden – Bloodlines: Troll, Shadowed Mien, Daemon-Blooded
Turvaren – Bloodlines: Vampire, Devil-Blooded
Vintarkaren – Bloodlines: Magic-Blooded, Rushen-Blooded


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