Silver Pariahs (3.5e Campaign Setting)
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The Silver Pariahs of Rukaea
On the world of Jherracz lies the continent of Rukaea (pronounced roo-KAY-uh), dominated by a species almost entirely like the Humans, with visitors (or more likely, invaders) from other continents of the Ghuvor races, massive scaled beings with a culture alien to the Rukaeakol. Several ages exist in which meaningful play can occur, and many more can be improvised that are not written in the official histories. (Typically a Low or Null Magic campaign)
Cosmology: The Focus
- Aieter: The Plane of Light
- Shtaiur: The Plane of Shadows
- Jherracz: World of the Prime Material
- Planar Travel - Bridging the Gap
There are only two outer planes in this campaign setting, but death and dying can be something of a different matter as well. There is still the Ethereal plane, accessible only by spirits or spells (if magic is permitted in the campaign variant), and the Astral Plane, while exceedingly difficult to access by mortal standards, still exists as a way to traverse the planes and the different worlds (and therefore Campaign Settings) of the D&D Universe.
Scholars refer to the nature of Jherracz's corner of the universe as The Focus because of the intertwined nature of the planes and the planet. Though many argue about the model that best represents it, they know that the souls of the departed go to one or the other when someone dies, and when someone is born, a soul comes from one of the two planes.
Aieter (pronounced: EYE-uh-terr) is a literal plane, a perfectly horizontal surface at its base extending out infinitely in all directions, with islands of very thin prism shapes of crystal floating in the air, always parallel to the ground. All "plants" and "animals" on this plane, which are really just waiting souls, exude bright light and all manner of other energy waves. Everything is very bright, and the sky is an ever-shifting mingling of sunrise and sunset colors. The beings that call this plane home, the Aieterkol, are purest power, and only the vaguest distinguishing marks can be discerned; They exist in ranks, with markings on their faces being very similar to the Jherracz numeric system, beginning at 15 and ascending in rank. Each individual is known by their number and another quality... except for one. Or, more properly, the number one. Odh, the only Aieterkol with but a single marking on its face, sits at the center of the realm, giving off the brightest light (and admittedly the most dangerous radiation for any visiting mortals) and overseeing the souls in its realm. Exact details on this plane are rare, and are dependant on first-hand testimony of people who have crossed the veil of death and come back, whether through medicine or magic. We know that there is only one dark point in the sky of Aieter, and that spot is Shtaiur.
Shtaiur (pronounced: SHTYE-oor) is a strange bend in space. Its surface is chaotic, ever-shifting, and subject to unpredictable shifts in gravity, the mean gravity being oppressive-to-unlivable regardless. The horizon is unnaturally high in Shtaiur, because the edges of its plane go on infinitely in a semispherical shape, the slope decreasing in severity the farther one moves from the center, in which sits the prime Shtaiurkol, a massive being known as Palos Anu-Dur, who has only been glimpsed a few times, his massive, black claws floating around petitioners in his nigh-impenetrable darkness. Very little is known about this plane, for to visit it even with the aid of magic is almost certain to end in the death of the messenger. The only tiny speck of light in the entire plane comes from directly above its center, and is... in fact... Aieter.
Physics tells us that the existence of these two planes in such a coincidal manner is contradictory to the geometry of each. Aieter is a perfectly flat plane, while Shtaiur is not. At some point, they should theoretically intersect, but in no way do they. And between these two planes, which exist in the same space outside of the Prime Material, yet within, appearing very small in comparison (barely discernable through the dark spot or speck of light) is Jherracz. It was mere speculation, at first, because the night side always faces Aieter, and the day side always faces Shtaiur. Nevertheless, the balance of these two planes seems to be to draw disembodied souls from Jherracz, keep them for a time, and send them back; all through the Ethereal plane, sometimes causing strange disturbances that can be detected by the psychically hypersensitive.
The Powers and the Pantheon
The people of Jherracz do not worship the entities that preside over Aieter or Shtaiur. Rather, they fear them, as many living creatures would fear their own deaths. The various peoples of the planet have their own unique pantheons varying from continent to continent, though on each the stories of cultures intermingle and cause similarities... occasionally causing those that rise to godhood to meld with one another, or split into new beings entirely. Nevertheless, there is a fairly concrete pantheon on the Rukaean continent that serves all the most pressing needs of the people. (According to the people, at least) It follows as thus:
- The Saints of Rukaea
- Achika-Kai, the Joining Blade
- Ze Aen, the Weeping Matron
- Keng Aen, the Crestfallen King
- The Aen Brothers
- Paulzed Raen, the Warlord
- Denzel Taen, the Beweathered
- Jaunzen Baen, the Inconstant
- Jourzek Zaen, the Tactician
- Tiemzet Kaen, the Book-keeper
- Taezer Laen, the Trustworthy
- The Relein Court
The Races and their Places
There are six distinct player races, branching off of two categories. The humanoids, and the reptillian humanoids.
- Ygneaujkol, The Reborn
- Ghuvor, The Behemoths.
In addition, there also exists the possibility for a few additional races. The following are still within the realm of standard playability.
- Jherrukaiin, "Iron Northerners", Half-dead.
- Ruxeiin, "North-to-East", Long-arm.
- Xeijherron "Totems", Anim-alienists.
- Kaenar, "Plainsnakes", Spotted Adders.
- Kaequr, "Deep Lizards", Marines.
- Unar, "Them", Eels.
Finally, there are a few creatures, some that do exist naturally in the most forsaken parts of the continent (or other continents) that, while sentient, may not necessarily be prime choices for DM's to allow their players.