Asyndi (Shar’Vaire and Quar’Vess Clans)
by T.A. Saunders ©1997 v3.7
Average Height: 7 feet tall (male)/six feet, six inches (female).
Average Weight: 220lbs (male)/140lbs (female).
Description: Fair-skinned with light colored eyes (Quar’Vess). Dark-skinned with fiery colored eyes (Shar’Vaire). Both Asyndi clans are thin-framed and tend to have wiry musculature with very angular features; both clans possessing an unearthly beauty.
Languages Spoken: Asyndi, High Asyndi (spell-casters only) and Common.
Racial Age Limit: Roughly 2,500 years.
Clans: Quar’Vess, Shar’Vaire.
Racial Nicknames: (Shar’Vaire): Fallen, Tagl-Asyndi, Devils/(Quar’Vess) Enlightened, Sia-Asyndi, Godlings.
The Asyndi are a very tall and slender people (the tallest male being 7′ and the tallest female being 6’6″) with certain regal presence and other-worldliness about them. With the Quar’Vess, this manifests itself in much the same manner it did with their ancient Asyndi ancestors before the Falling, with a sort of angelic presence. With the Shar’Vaire, because of the demonic taint that has filtered into the Asyndi bloodline, this divine presence gives a more devilish presence.
While Asyndi are very thin framed, though this slight of frame does not make them a fragile people as many who have faced a Shar’Vaire berserker in battle can attest. On an average they are not as physically strong as other races, save perhaps Elves, but make up for this with impressive agility and their unmatched cunning.
Albinism is also unknown amongst the Quar’Vess, but with the onset of demonic ancestry into the Shar’Vaire bloodline the extremely rare case exists. The most well known of these is the current sovereign of the Shar’Vaire, Chance Dur`lane I.
Asyndi can have a varied range in eye color, though Shar’Vaire tend to have black, red, orange and yellow eyes whereas Quar’Vess have more purples, blues, browns, hazel, greens and the like. There are no brown-eyed Shar’Vaire and no crimson-eyed Quar’Vess. The Asyndi also have a trait of faintly luminescent eyes, that reveal themselves in dark conditions, or when they are highly agitated, further revealing their once divine status. This light is the result of the magical energy interwoven into their very being; should this light ever fade from their gaze, it is a sure sign the Asyndi in question is soon to depart from this world.
The skin tone for the Quar’Vess is quite pale, nearly always but they can tan if they tend to be outdoors a lot. Shar’Vaire however darken as they get older, till reaching a near sackcloth black at the eldest of Shar’Vaire. Hair too tends to be varied in color with most Quar’Vess being either blonde, silver, various shades of brown or white-haired. Shar’Vaire conversely tend to have black, crimson or even wine-colored hair along with silver or white. As with the eyes, there are no brown-haired Shar’Vaire.
Both the Quar’Vess and the Shar’Vaire can live to be roughly 2,500 years old, however the rate of which they age is different than other slow-aging races. Between birth and twenty years, they age as quickly as humans do. Between twenty and thirty years, the aging process slows in half. Every ten years the aging process is slowed by a full half, so by the time they reach a venerable status, they’ll likely still be fit enough to defend themselves.
Racial Abilities and Restrictions
Perceptive Sight: All Asyndi can see ambient magic around them for 30′. Further, both clans of Asyndi are also able to see the auras of living and or unliving creatures. This talent fails against elder vampires that can alter the perception of their aura. Likewise this talent fails against any such creature that can mask their aura. (Requires active searching on the part of the Asyndi).
Magic Affinity: Because Asyndi are so interwoven with the fabric of Magic, they are better able to learn unknown magical spells (adapting a new spell from a non-Asyndi spell-book, for example) and they are able to cast the spells known to them with greater effect than a normal spell-caster. In layman’s terms, a Fireball cast by an Asyndi journeyman wizard would likely strike for the effect and damage similar to a Human or Elvish arch-mage. This bonus does not apply to divine magic and is the one racial trait that is not passed down to mixed breed children. (+30% to all arcane or mystic magic-based attacks, +20% to intuition checks pertaining to learning and adapting magic or magic-related lore).
Telepathy: Both Asyndi clans are naturally telepathic. While both people have a common written and spoken language, telepathy is generally the preferred means of communicating with their own kind. It is quite possible to sit in a room of Asyndi where a full conversation is going on, yet to the telepathically deaf, seem like nothing is being said at all. (Range limited to current plane of existence. This ability does not grant the Asyndi ability to read minds).
Enervation Touch (Shar’Vaire Only): Because of their infernal-marked bloodline, the Shar’Vaire also have the ability to tap into another person’s life force once per hour and turn that energy either into magical energy (Mana) or life-force energy to heal themselves. This Enervation Touch talent is capable of outright killing weaker adversaries, while stronger, more hardy opponents will feel fatigued and drained from suffering its effects. A Shar’Vaire using this talent often gets a euphoric buzz from the taking. (25% to outright kill average people/animals of non-heroic status. Player characters/Heroic NPC’s suffer -40% to all attack rolls, for 1d4 rounds).
Aura of Power (Quar’Vess Only): Quar’Vess retain the ancient gift of their Asyndi ancestors to induce an Aura of Power that they can generate once per hour. This aura augments the power of any arcane effect they use significantly, whether it be from one of their own spells, a magic item or a magic weapon. (The Aura lasts 1d4+2 rounds and gives a +25% to effectiveness to arcane power. This bonus is applied to spell hit).
Thin-Bodied: Asyndi are not as durable as other races. Because of this, they simply are not able to take and soak physical damage as well as other races. (+5% penalty to armor rating for all Asyndi characters). NOTE: This racial trait skill cannot be buffed by any other effect, spell or augmentation, such as a tattoo or magic item.
Warrior (Beserker, Scythe-Witch)
Both races are restricted to the vocations they can choose if they become adventuring types. While many Asyndi prefer magic-using professions, not all are predestined to pursue such paths in their life. However, there are a few classes that Asyndi nature simply does not allow them to follow, which varies between the two clans, as Quar’Vess are more influenced by Law and Shar’Vaire are more influenced by Chaos.
Shar’Vaire priests exist, but they are a very secretive lot and are usually worshipers of Chaotic influenced Spirits, or infernal beings. By and large, Shar’Vaire do not embrace any religion, preferring to rely on their own power, rather than a power of a deity.
Much like the Shar’Vaire, the Quar’Vess are not known for their religious faith, however significantly more Quar’Vess honor the Old Gods and the Spirits than their Shar’Vaire cousins do, further because of their close proximity and friendliness to the Tallis-Kah Elves, more than one Quar’Vess has found the path to Zorah and taken up either the druidic or ranger professions.
The Asyndi are the first children of Imarel; angelic creatures born of divine conception, but later fell from grace and lost the gift of immortality. The ancient Asyndi served the Old Gods, Zorah the Mother of the Moon and Kaal the Father of the Sun with great prejudice against the corrupt and twisted demons and devils of the Xoss. The Asyndi were the exemplification of the deities and all their ideals. As such they were given powers nearly as vast as the deities’ own to ensure that this newborn world would become a utopia for all that would set upon it.
Great battles raged all over Imarel between these fiends of the cold dark and the shining Asyndi that shaped the world’s surface. Mountains were made, continents were torn asunder and the waters came with the calling of great storms to wash away the filth of the evil that had beset the land. This war would come to be known as the War of Twilight for it signified the end of the First Age of Imarel.
When it was done, the Asyndi had been triumphant, but this victory also set the seeds of entitlement and indignation within them. Their heavenly parents had done nothing to aid or assist in this victory. in their opinion. Zorah and Kaal had done nothing for the great curse put on their progeny by three Underlords of Xos as they slew their Lord, Hazaad and yet it was to be to their glory Imarel was saved?
It was then and there many of the Asyndi abandoned their faith in Zorah and Kaal and set forth to shape the world they had won for them and their own progeny, cursed by darkness though they be. Their immortality and their power lasted a few generations more, but it became evident with the loss of their faith in the Old Gods, also came the loss of the Old Gods’ blessing upon them. Henceforth these Asyndi knew themselves as the Shar’Vaire, or The Unchained in the Common tongue.
During one of the last battles for control of Imarel’s fate, the great Asyndi Lord Hazaad faced off against three Underlords of Xos, whose names have been forgotten. Below is an account of the legend from Master Kithanis uth Braegon:
In a particularly pitched battle, the Captain of the Asyndi armies, Hazaad was pitted against three Underlords of chaos. One was a tempter of the weak-willed and worked Hazaad’s resolve down during the course of the battle. He was tricked into believing that despite what he knew in his heart to be true and just…that Mother Zorah had given birth to these fiends as well with a tryst with the Archduke of Xos, Khavos and had every right to be upon this world as the Asyndi did. This was an attempt to twist the Asyndi Captain’s devout faith in the Mother and Father that Imarel was to be a paradise for the Asyndi and their progeny…that they had been fighting to hide the shame of the Mother, rather than for their divine right to this world.
On and on this tempter continued to twist the truth while parrying and deflecting a furious onslaught from mighty Hazaad. The tempter was quite convincing and had darkened the truth of events around to the point Hazaad began doubting the mother Zorah and the father Kaal and the righteousness of their cause to drive these fiends back. In truth, the tempter who played on Hazaad’s inner turmoil did not have to work hard; Hazaad had won almost all the victories for the Old Gods and had little praise or love from them for doing so. In his heart there was much disdain for this lack of praise and glorification, but until now buried it deep in his heart and kept faith, as was expected of the greatest of all Asyndi.
At that moment of doubt…the moment he let his conviction fall, one of the other Underlords swung his great maul and shattered Hazaad’s angelic runeblade, scattering its shards across the world like a rain of crystal tears. It is said, that when the angelic runeblade shattered in his hands Hazaad wept for he realized that he had failed his charge to uphold the edicts of Zorah and Kaal; he had failed to keep faith that they would not misguide their children.
When the first Underlord struck him and cleaved away Hazaad’s sword arm, he cried out, “As your blood seeps the earth below us, let those who come after you find temptation in the Below and crave its riches!”
When the second Underlord struck Hazaad and plunged his black spear into his chest, he shouted, “As your life fades into the black, unforgiving oblivion let those who come after you crave for the power taking life brings, so no true harmony shall be known!”
Finally the last Underlord lifted his great maul, and crushed Hazaad’s skull with an upwards swing, finally slaying the Asyndi. As he did this deed, he laughed and said, “And the tears you weep, may they bring the sorrow of your failure to those who may follow you, so that ever they may know despair when truth is far.”
The Curse did not manifest itself immediately, for it was a curse upon the Asyndi and their Astral Wyrm companion’s progeny. With each passing generation of Asyndi and Dragon, there grew greater and greater dissent, distrust and arrogance in the face of the Old Gods, until it came to pass that all Asyndi and all Dragons fell from grace, as Hazaad had in his final moments. This event is what we Asyndi today call the ‘Falling’ and mark our true decent from immortality, to the mortal and flawed lives we now lead.
While many Shar’Vaire and Quar’Vess historians agree upon this legend and the resulting fall from grace, there is some question as to the curse itself was really the act of the Underlords or some act of spite by the Old Gods they had forsaken. The truth of this may never be known for certain.
The Rise of the Shar’Vaire
As the Shar’Vaire developed as a people, they began to realize that abandoning the mother and father did not diminish their power as much as they had feared it might. With this knowledge they set out across the continent of Tal`Rah, which means Heroes’ Land in the Shar’Vaire tongue and founded the great city of D`Mir.
While every city the Shar’Vaire crafted with their magic was impressive, great D`Mir was a splendor that could not be easily matched. Here was constructed the first Tyridanium — a place where all sorcerous knowledge is kept and taught to those found worthy of its knowledge through a series of brutal and sometimes fatal tests.
All government was centralized at D`Mir, where the five noble houses of Shar’Vaire convened to rule as a Mageocracy. These nobles were the descendants of Hazaad’s five mage-captains, as Hazaad himself died with no heir to his name. House Vhiran, House Dur`lane, House Mirsah, House Vujaii and House Lasayr comprised the five noble families that ruled over the rest of the Shar’Vaire. So long as their eldest born was trained as a spell-caster of some sort,
their ascent to a ruling seat was assured.
Magic overall is the measure in which a caste system formed amongst their own kind. Every Shar’Vaire had great capacity for sorcery by birthright and were expected to nurture it. Those who chose not to and embraced other paths, that while were just as critical to a developing society, were considered less than their sorcerously-learned fellows and less opportunities were availed of them.
It really wasn’t as bad as it sounds to read it; even these non-magic using Shar’Vaire still afforded themselves a decent life. They would simply never get into politics or be given lofty social rank that their magic-wielding counterparts enjoyed.
This was a time of learning, enlightenment and truth-seeking that the Shar’Vaire as a people, would not know again for several thousand years.
The Meeting of the Dragons of Imarel
Throughout their explorations of the world they had fought so savagely to protect from evil the Shar’Vaire would eventually encounter the Dragons of Imarel. The males were gold and green striped along their scales, while the females were a brilliant emerald green from snout to wingtip, but regardless of gender these creatures were enormous, spanning fifty yards from snout to tail and had one hundred yard wingspans, yet were able to take flight with the grace of any bird.
In wonder of these great creatures the Shar’Vaire set out to make peace with the Wyrms who…for the most part were affable unless one crossed their territory without leave to do so. While this little quirk made for tenuous relations at first, the Dragons and Shar’Vaire became fast allies…for a time. It was the strange bond these peoples shared with one another that established such a quick friendship, but it would be the Curse upon both races that would ultimately bring this friendship to bloodshed.
For a good several hundred years the Dragons conveyed knowledge that had been lost to the Asyndi but for their ancient companions, who were longer lived still had committed to record and memory — including sorcerous knowledge and lore of ancient Imarel. This was a time of learning for the Asyndi, who had been so far removed their original ancestors that the wealth recovered knowledge was a great boon to their society and some say the beginning of a great troubles to come. In return, the Shar’Vaire shared vast mineral wealth, consisting of precious jewels, gems and metals that pleased the Dragons and their heightened sense of vanity.
Yet, despite the vast treasures the Dragons were collecting from the Shar’Vaire, they became suspicious and wary of their intent, especially with a recent trend towards worship of infernal powers. Some Dragons did not trust these descendants of the ancient Asyndi; they had betrayed their ancestors once, who was to say history would not repeat itself? Further, other Dragons grew greedy for more of the wealth the Shar’Vaire had and thought to take it from them by force.
A mistake the Dragons of Imarel would soon live to regret.
At first, the Dragons caught the Shar’Vaire unprepared. The first city to fall was Mithrys (which stood where Sundown stands today) and opened what would be known later as the War of Betrayers. Even with an even knowledge of magic, the Shar’Vaire had nothing to protect them against the explosive fire the Dragons could burn whole city blocks with. City after city fell to the Dragons as they plundered and razed each one for their resources, until the great Wyrms were upon the gates of D`Mir itself.
But despite their failures to stop the Dragons elsewhere, the Shar’Vaire had been preparing, biding their time to unleash their counter-offensive. The Dragons had underestimated the Shar’Vaire who had taken the knowledge they had given them and expanded upon it, expounded upon it and did something the Dragons in their arrogance could not have possibly expected.
The Shar’Vaire had surpassed the Dragons while the peace still existed and had discovered a secret the Dragons did not know. The truth of this came as the sun dawned behind the great spires of D`Mir as a great flight of Dragons set upon the city. First there was a bright flash of white light, then another and another. These silent flashes of light were soon followed by great waves of super-heated air that caused a thunderous rumble in their wake.
Dragons were falling from the sky left and right, while some were merely vaporized where they flew. In a great panic the Dragons scattered and flew off in random directions, hoping to survive the massacre to come. The Battle of D`Mir marks the first use of what the Shar’Vaire refer to as The Radiance in battle.
Radiance is called forth by a focusing a great blast of Mana: the raw unshaped magical energy that exists in the world and within those who can wield magic. While the principal behind the feat sounds easy enough, it requires great discipline to channel such energy and not end up consumed by it. Unleashing ‘Radiant Magic’ in this fashion can not only kill an unprepared caster, but can leave an area dead to all magic if mishandled. To this day Shar’Vaire and Quar’Vess guard carefully who learns this magic.
The second surprise for the Dragons came when the stragglers from this surprise attack turned and fled from the battle. En route back to where they roosted (where modern Farwind stands) they were intercepted by vessels from the budding seaport of Anthalas…vessels shaped like sailing vessels but flew as fast as the Dragons did.
These Airships harrowed the Dragons all the way back to their roosts in a pitched battle that roared across the skies of Tal`Rah. In the end, many of these mighty airships were lost but so badly beaten were the Dragons, they would never rise again in a considerable force…assuring the Shar’Vaire as the dominant species on Imarel.
The Imperial Era
With the knowledge of Radiant Magic and the crafting of the first Airships, the Shar’Vaire began adopting a new policy towards the other races of Imarel, those who the Old Gods placed upon their world that they fought for without so much as asking. That policy being, submit or perish. After the beating they took from the Dragons the Shar’Vaire vowed that such a thing would not come to pass again.
So it was as the Shar’Vaire set out upon the world and vanquished the Van`Su and the Zissah. The Van`Su were a winged people with very bird-like qualities set about their features. These bird-people lived in the northern Shalzaar and Tirania before their near-extermination. The Zissah were a race of reptilian people with brightly colored dorsal fins who lived on the southern portion of Shalzaar and on the sub-continent of Irys.
In each instance of genocidal assault, the Shar’Vaire would surround a city with their airships and demand surrender of that city. If the city was surrendered, the Shar’Vaire let its citizens evacuate at the pleasure of the standing armada admiral.
While the main forces occupied the city, a small detachment of airships would hunt down the
refugee camps and incinerate them anyway. Not surrendering the city led to a full bombardment and razing of the city by all airships present. City by city, the Shar’Vaire darkened the skies above each and in the end, broke the backs of two reasonably peaceful civilizations.
From each civilization they destroyed, the Shar’Vaire also ransacked any and all knowledge they could find, especially sorcerous knowledge they might not have had otherwise. This, above all was the reason most cities weren’t just bombarded for fear of losing some archaic bit of knowledge that could be of use to them somehow.
It is from the Van`Su the Shar’Vaire learned extra-dimensional travel sorcery and gained a greater understanding of the outer planes as a whole, while the Zissah gave the secret of the crystals that the Zissah referred to as Neluo…or what is more commonly known as Witchfire.
It is thought that while the Zissah are likely to be utterly extinct, that the Van’su may have escaped Imarel entirely, in much the same fashion as the Elves and Humans came to Imarel, though there is little evidence to say for sure. Every so often a Shar’Vaire will swear to seeing a single Van’su gliding around somewhere while aboard an airship, only to be heckled by their shipmates.
The third and fourth races to encounter the Shar’Vaire during the Imperial Era are the Tallis-Shei Elves and Humans from Ishaela. Several hundred years after the last Van’`Su were dominated, the events that brought these races to Imarel came to pass. While the tales of those events are discussed elsewhere, it does signify a significant split in the Shar’Vaire culture.
To beat the Elves, who were very nearly matched to the Shar’Vaire in sorcerous talent, they fell upon the ancient demons and devils many had taken to worship to aid them. This help was arranged in the form of the entire Shar’Vaire culture submitting to an infernal infusion of power, in exchange for loyalty to the Lords of Chaos. For the Shar’Vaire Theocrats who made this bargain, this was merely a matter of lip service to the infernal powers and had all the intention in the world to break away from them as they did the Old Gods, millennium past. This arrangement was advantageous to the Lords of Chaos, who would reap the souls of Zorah’s chosen Elves, even if their new-found pets were perhaps less than loyal.
This mass infusion of power indeed made the Shar’Vaire who submitted to it much more powerful and gave them stronger progeny. The Shar’Vaire born of this culture-changing rite had gained clawed fingertip and toes and had incredible resource for sorcerous talent. Further, it was discovered that these children as they aged did not retain the pale skin they were born with (and untainted Shar’Vaire had) but rather it darkened with age. The one failing to accept this dark gift, as intended by the Lords of Chaos, was that the power would lead to the slow decline and eventual extinction of the Shar’Vaire themselves.
Aware that accepting such a gift from infernal powers, regardless of the reason was tantamount to suicide, a significant amount of Shar’Vaire to simply left D`Mir and the Empire all together and set out on their own, having no desire to take this path to damnation. This new clan of Asyndi would later call themselves the Quar’Vess, or The Enlightened. This period in Shar’Vaire history is commonly called The Darkening for the curious skin-blackening effect it had the forever-corrupted Shar’Vaire people.
At first these Quar’Vess were labeled traitors, but with the pitched battle between themselves and the Elves, there was little time to deal with those who betrayed the Mageocracy or the possibility of risking open war on two fronts. Dismissed as cowards, the Shar’Vaire continued to wage a successful campaign against the Moon Elves.
The Imperial Era of the Shar’Vaire ended with the rebellion of a slave race created by their own hand, the Voraath and a power struggle in the Mageocracy when one Surik Dur`lane, brother to Council Magus, Mourne Dur`lane attempted to proclaim himself the Emperor of the Shar’Vaire Empire and disband the Mageocracy in favor of absolute power. While the Shar’Vaire might have been able to survive one or the other happening, they could not survive both events occurring literally at the same time.
With the government rendered powerless from in-fighting, and the Voraath killing off Shar’Vaire that weren’t killing each other, an Empire that stood for the better part of eight-thousand years came crumbling down in a span of two years. An empire that spanned all of Tal`Rah and much of Shalzaar was now whittled down to what survivors there were holding up in the small seaport of Anthalas, while D`Mir lay in ruin.
D`Mir’s destruction was the result of unholy things being called from places darker than the Xoss themselves and set upon both Voraath and kin, along with excessive use of Radiant Magic that to this day leaves magic-dead spots over what’s now called the Burning Lands. To this day, to travel to the Ruins of D`Mir is to invite one’s own doom for yet remains terrible things that were forgotten and left to wander unchecked, for the Shar’Vaire that had called them up were long since dead.
The Quar’Vess: A Last Chance at Redemption
With tensions so high with their brethren, the Quar’Vess quietly settled the ancient Dragon territory (which was called easily enough Dragon’s Reach) and renamed it Farwind. While Dragons still existed there, they were most unwilling to cross their ancient enemies and made no move to expel them from the land. There were simply not enough Dragons left to challenge the Quar’Vess.
Despite bad blood, the Quar’Vess made every effort possible to construct a new peace with these remaining Dragons. It was then, with the understanding that both races sought a new beginning that a lasting peace was formed. To this day, the only Dragons to live on Imarel exist either in the magnificent Dragon Quarter of Farwind, or the far northern reaches of the continent of Shalzaar.
From the onset the Quar’Vess were determined to do what their Shar’Vaire cousins would not. Rather than growing in power through conquest and control, the Quar’Vess chose the path of enlightenment to increase their sorcerous and worldly knowledge. This did not mean the Quar’Vess were pushovers; they too constructed their own airships and maintained a small militia should they ever have cause to defend themselves. With the same sorcerous knowledge of the Shar’Vaire this was not a difficult task to sort.
While the drums of war beat elsewhere, the Quar’Vess set about building the city of Farwind with all the grandeur of D`Mir, including its own School of Magic. This School of Magic however was opened to all people, all races that wished to learn magic (though a later accord between themselves and the Shar’Vaire concurred that other peoples should learn Radiant Magic on a very stringent basis).
Further, Dragons (who chose to move about in a humanoid shapeshifted form), far-traveled Moon Elves and even a few Humans were welcomed within Farwind’s walls as equal citizens. Unlike the Shar’Vaire Empire, there was no caste for those who did not learn sorcery. To this day Farwind maintains this tradition with great amounts of success.
The Quar’Vess initially established Farwind as a monarchy which ruled for several generations. However due to growing pressure from their Draconic population, a modified version of the Shar’Vaire Mageocracy government was established. The significant difference was that council seats have a two year term then elections are taken. Re-election for an individual can happen for up to three consecutive terms before they must step down. While it was still required for council persons to be schooled in sorcery, other political positions could be held by anybody of any race.
Rising from the Ashes
The Shar’Vaire as a people were shattered. Once great D`Mir was left in unrecoverable ruin and their vast empire had crumbled if for nothing else than their own foolishness. Many spot skirmishes occurred between cities and factions all trying to tie the lot of them together, while others took airships and departed Imarel all together to find seclusion (and power) in the Outer Planes.
After several hundred years of this squabbling, an individual from the Shar’Vaire’s past had returned. Mourne Dur’lane, now having been made a Kal`aire (those who willingly give their soul to the Spirit of Vengeance) had amassed a significant army of mercenaries he referred to as The Enforcers. This band of mercenaries, with his help conquered Anthalas in little over a month.
With the resources captured at Anthalas, Mourne set out to reclaim all the old territories of the Shar’Vaire that weren’t all ready occupied by other races. Shar’Vaire that resisted or sought to oppose the Elder Shar’Vaire were simply mowed down by the few remaining airships he had at his disposal. Mourne was simply unconcerned about the other races of Imarel…save the Quar’Vess which he established amicable relations with by abolishing the mark of traitor from their names.
The new Shar’Vaire nation was a sovereignty, rather than another Mageocracy. With the darkened change in the Shar’Vaire people, Mourne realized that if another council were to be formed, it would mean squabbling and power struggles without end. The Shar’Vaire people required a firm hand of rule with the Edicts of Vengeance being the guiding principals.
These edicts, for lack of a better terms make people accountable for their actions…immediately. Most times these could be sorted without violence, sometimes not. Mourne had hand-picked several of his own Enforcers to act as (ironically enough) Archons to judge, jury and execute justice on the spot to those who would not conform to a more peaceable existence. There were no trials, no judges save for the Archons themselves and judgments were meted forth without delay (Mourne monitored his Archons through sorcerous means to ensure their positions were not abused). While sounding a bit oppressive, it was exactly the sort of discipline this new sovereignty (with Anthalas as the new capital) required.
The Asyndi of Today: A Race Divided
The Asyndi of today have two distinct clans that maintain cordial relations. The Shar’Vaire Sovereignty, which is currently ruled by Mourne’s grandson, Chance Reign Dur`lane I and Quar’Vess who have expanded the borders of the Kingdom of Farwind significantly since their initial separation from the Shar’Vaire several thousand years ago. The two clans of Asyndi maintain very cordial relations, though maintain very different views and opinions about their role in the world at large.
Within the ranks of the Shar’Vaire people, two schools of thought have emerged; the Traditionalists, who believe the Shar’Vaire should return to their imperialistic past and bring all other races to heel and the Fundamentalists, who believe that the Shar’Vaire have much to amend for and should work to repair the damage they have done to Imarel, thereby leading by example not force. The Fundamentalist movement has the largest following amongst the Shar’Vaire people, however there are more Traditionalists amongst the nobles and Theocrats, which gives them more political sway in the Anthalaen Court. Sovereign Dur`lane is a known Fundamentalist, which has thus far worked well in offsetting the Traditionalist movement. It has also led to some interesting assassination attempts on the sovereign, to which he has been quoted as referring to as, “entertaining.”
So long as the ruling house stands with the Fundamentalist movement, it is believed that the Shar’Vaire will remain mostly benevolent to Imarel at large. Elves (in particular Shadow Elves) remain distrustful and outright hostile towards Shar’Vaire of any kind which is in all likelihood not something that will change in the immediate future, regardless what movement controls the Shar’Vaire people. Should the present ruling house ever fall, it is largely expected that the Shar’Vaire will almost immediately set themselves back onto the imperial path.
The Quar’Vess and Farwind are uniformly neutral with all nations and peoples, choosing to maintain cordial and friendly accord with everybody, while taking no sides in any particular bout or conflict between nations. As the Quar’Vess believe the Old Gods intended them to be stewards of the world, that their only intervention with the troubles of other peoples should come only in the face of a unilateral threat to Imarel. The Farwind High Council will almost never side with one nation over another in cause of war, but will lend humanitarian aid or defense of refugees if asked. If the Kingdom of Farwind strikes out upon a threat, it is most likely the most dire sort that threatens the balance of the world.
Like the Shar’Vaire, the Quar’Vess have developed two different schools of thought on how they should interact with the world at large. The Guardian Movement believes that the Quar’Vess, as an advanced and highly developed people have an obligation to the other peoples of Imarel to actively protect, safeguard and educate the other races to promote peace and unity across the world. The Enlightened Movement suggests that the present poise of neutrality and careful intervention is the best method in which the Quar’Vess should interact with the world. The Farwind High Council is presently dominated by those who follow the Enlightened movement, though this mindset is almost evenly split amongst the Quar’Vess people, especially in recent years. Many instructors at the Farwind School of Magic tend to follow the Enlightened Movement as well, though there are a few notable exceptions; one of which being the city of Sundown’s present governor and former instructor at the School, Kithanis uth Braegon.
The Guardian and Enlightened Movements both maintain a desire to maintain relations with their Shar’Vaire cousins, though the Enlightened Movement has held a strict ‘hands off’ policy when it comes to Anthalas’ internal turmoil. Despite the fact it is in everybody’s best interest if the present ruling house maintains control, it would go against their beliefs to interfere and potentially (in their opinion) cause further strife. The Guardians Movement believes that the Quar’Vess should take a far more active role in their cousins’ government and help maintain the present house in hopes to prevent the whole world to be plunged into war with a newly aggressive Shar’Vaire empire.
The Future of the Asyndi
It is difficult to say what will become of the half-god children of the Old Gods, though it is widely rumored that the Shar’Vaire are actually dying off as ordained by the Lords of Chaos, when they empowered the Shar’Vaire who accepted the dark gift. Many Traditionalists scoff this notion as a political scare tactic by the Fundamentalists, but few can argue that there are fewer and fewer Shar’Vaire children born each year and those that are born are more likely to be deformed, insane or simply sterile. The Fundamentalists offer this is the result of the Darkening and not likely to be undone easily, if at all.
Many Shar’Vaire scholars, magi and others have quietly been working in the shadows to find a way to reverse this decline, though much of it has met without success in maintaining the Shar’Vaire ‘identity.’ Shar’Vaire mingled with Quar’Vess always produces a Quar’Vess child, which would seem like fortune and salvation that they could return themselves to the pure bloodline their cousins have maintained, except this aberration that comprises what the Shar’Vaire have truly become represents a cultural identity now, for having existed for so long. As such, many Shar’Vaire do not accept this as a plausible solution, since it would effectively breed them out of existence.
Other breeding projects have been undertaken with various levels of success. Many Shar’Vaire have actually taken Human mates to produce viable offspring with varying degrees of success. With their particular allure to Tashrani peoples, more than one Half Shar’Vaire has been born to a gypsy dancer. These offspring have shown promise in maintaining the sorcerous potential of the Asyndi, while returning a certain stability in the bloodline.
The Quar’Vess have done much to aid their cousins in their task to save themselves, however it is a largely held notion that the Shar’Vaire should simply be allowed to die out. They are after all an aberration of the original bloodline; one that has caused a great deal of harm and destruction upon Imarel. Allowing it to simply fade away would be in a way, reuniting the Asyndi peoples under a common banner and return them to being stewards of the world, rather its potential oppressors.
Much will be decided in the centuries to come for the Asyndi clans. Should the Shar’Vaire die out as a people, the Quar’Vess would almost certainly take command of their cousins’ land and power. A potentially more powerful Kingdom of Farwind could usher in a new era of peace and prosperity for Imarel. It would also be likely feared by Shadow Elves of the Kingdom of Vyss, who recall all too well what a recipe of Asyndi and power brews; fear enough perhaps to even attempt to strike at them in war.