Chornalth Adventures - Liga (Current: Emerald & Diamond)
Unsung Races of the Sunelan Coast
Though the Sunelan Empire of today is far more open-minded and liberal than the Suloise Empire of the past, they have still inherited a long history of enslaving and/or creating new races to serve their needs.
In the years that led to the Twin Cataclysms, Suloise mages created several races that spread far and wide, and possibly exist in greater numbers ‘in the wild’ than ever populated even the most extensive breeding pits of the Empire. Some are merely cross-bred abominations, but some have far too much intellect for the comfort of even their creators.
Owlbears, disenchanters, cockatrices, and the various su- breeds number among the most prolific of the non-sentient creations of the ancient Krotur’a’ruul (Guild of Lifeshapers), while the derro, skulks, and dopplegangers are among the best known sentient results. A myriad of constructs, plants, and undead also came from mages associated with this ancient guild.
What is less known to the sages of Flanaess (seeing as how less than a handful even know for certain that the Empire still survives) is that the modern heirs of the Krotur’a’ruul continue to refine their art while the Brotherhood’s Office of Thralls & Sorcery strive feebly to recreate the knowledge lost in their long trek across the continent.
To the horror of those ambassadors of the Scarlet Sign who have visited the Empire, a large minority of the average citizenry are clearly mongrels; Suel blood mixed in some percentage with that of olman, daif, or nelani slave races. The nobility has thus far maintained at least the appearance of purity, but has diverged in it’s own ways.
In the ancient past, the noble Suel Houses strove to breed magic into their bloodlines, resulting in the tendency for the children of those Houses to have a talent for sorcery. Centuries of selective inbreeding combined with an alchemical regimen practiced by certain Houses have resulted in a strain known as ‘sukelkal’ (pevishan), children for whom arcane magic comes even more naturally than to sorcerers. Their abnormally short natural lifespan is seen as a minor tradeoff; most find arcane paths to artificially extend their lives anyway.
A separate experiment in breeding magic into blood and bone led to the ‘suvoko’ (illimian) subrace that originated in southern Nochet. Arcane symbols circle the brows of this strain, and while magical talent runs strong in this breed, it often is strengthened by learning classes that are not specifically arcane in nature.
At least one of the Lesser Houses of Zofon had taken their doppleganger breeding experiments so far that they’d brought forth a new species, nicknamed ‘renaruila’ (changers). This race was so much more ‘human’ than the doppleganger root stock that they were officially recognized and granted freeman status when Ian I took the throne in 5531. A rival House bred a race of animal-headed gladiator thralls (primarily of nelani stock) known as ‘ che’ander’ (animen) that is still bred to serve, and not recognized as suitable for citizenship, despite centuries of service.
While not technically products of the Lifeshapers, the magisters of the Hestro’ruul (Guild of Automatons) have completed a quest they have pursued nearly since the founding of their Guild in 114 BSD. Known as the ‘kakaran’ (warforged), these living constructs possess intelligence comparable to humans, and are nearly as adaptable as well. Designed for combat, they serve equally well as laborers, guards, and galley-slaves.
Despite their acknowledged sentience, kakaran are not yet accepted as citizens, and are still treated as property. In the seventeen years since the first prototype emerged from the aptly named Soul-Forge in Muulantis, they have seen service against the hochebi of the Huuncha League, but have been actively withheld from battles against the Niphonese. Vellin IX feels that fielding the kakaran against their primary rivals should come as an unexpected and deadly shock, should war come again between these two nations.
Despite their official position as property, many kakaran have broken free of their servitude and struck out on their own. Two of the most infamous have taken up the mantle of pirate captains in Osbyle, while others are known to have set out into the Sea of Dust, as their construct nature renders them mostly immune to the hazards to be found there.