The World of Arrea
Slaves of the Ches Imperium
When the Ches Imperium was destroyed by the sinking of the Isle of Ches at the end of the Godswar the slaves of the Ches had nowhere to go. There were five tribes of warrior-slaves that were used by the Ches in their war effort. All five of these slave races are still active in Arrea in a diminished capacity.
There was a tribe of orcs from another world known as the Malek. They are black-skinned and more intelligent than the indigenous green-skinned orcs of Arrea. These orcs were fearsome warriors and they breed quickly, making them the perfect fodder. These orcs have settled with the Arrean orcs in the mountain range to the southwest of Leonay that is now known as the Malek Mountains.
The Priest-Kings of Chesham also took the second slave race from their home. Known as the Harus, this race lived in a land of endless plains where their entire culture was built around raiding. The Harus are expert horsemen and exceptional cavalry. The Harus are now raider-nomads that range from the Corsair Kingdoms through Shalara into the edge of the Anasazi lands.
The strangest of the slave races are the Zalos. The Zalos are a race of humans that have a special affinity with the undead. They can command the spirits within the shell of lesser undead and raise the newly dead as zombies. The remaining Zalos now live in Lifeswallower. They were corrupted during the Changing. The Zalos have strange deformities but their power over the undead remains intact and keeps them from being destroyed by the hordes of mindless dead within the region.
The final two tribes come from the jungle continent of Mwana. Some scholars group these two tribes into one because their fighting styles and role in the Ches army were almost identical. They were both used as elite shock troops and skirmishers. The two tribes, however, are enemies and fought each other almost as much as they fought the enemies of the Ches. The leader of the larger tribe, the Lyja, was a tall warrior known as Annis-Azi or “the Black Death”. The tribe formerly known as the Lyja is now known as the Anasazi after their great leader that helped to free them from their servitude. The Anasazi rule a large country situated to the south of Leonay and to the north of Shalara. The second, less powerful, of these Mwanan tribes had to flee extermination by the Anasazi. Of all the tribes, the Wrengren traveled the farthest from the battlefields that claimed so many of their lives. They now live in the mountains to the north of Tekat.
Anasazi Royalty and Nobility
A warrior chosen from the noble caste, the Talik, rules the Anasazi. The Talik are the true descendents of the Lyja. The Talik live in the Forbidden City on the Mount of Gods in the center of Sephras. They are a dark-skinned, tattoo-covered race. The majority of the citizens of the realm of Anasazi has a lighter complexion and are the indigenous peoples of the region. The palaces of the Talik are rife with intrigue and infighting. There is a strict hierarchy among the Talik with the most proficient warriors leading the others. The leader is given the Aris of Regalia, a gem that is worn upon the brow and accumulates knowledge from all of the Lords of Anasazi. The Aris contains the lifeforce of the legendary Annis-Azi himself and his wise council has kept the relatively small number of Talik ruling Anasazi for a millennium.
Yekil, the Anasazi mark of shameThe Anasazi mark of shame, the Yekil, is a magical brand that brands the face of a Talik that has committed a crime against the other Talik. It is the worst penalty that a Talik can bring upon himself. A Yekil is a white skull tattoo that marks the recipient as dead to his people. The tattoo also weakens the soul of the criminal to the point where he loses all but the most basic skills that he possesses.
During the branding ceremony the criminal is bound and put through unbearable pain. If the criminal dies during this ceremony his immortal soul is left to wander throughout the lower planes to be tormented for eternity. When the criminal is released he must find a new patron deity before he dies or his soul will suffer the same fate as above.
After the branding, the tattoo is linked to the character’s lifeforce. Any attempt to remove it will kill the recipient.
- When branded, the character loses all character levels due to the weakening of the soul. (A branded character is now a 1st level character, free to accumulate experience and gain levels as any other 1st level character).
- If the marked character changes shape, the mark will remain on the face of the new form (or in a prominent position on the form if it doesn’t have a face).
- The mark cannot be covered by an illusion.
- The Yekil glows under a detect magic spell.