Shade Information

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Shade Information

Post  Fox on Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:38 am

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Shade

Over two thousand years ago, the ruler of a Netherese flying city transported his entire city onto the Plane of Shadow in order to explore that dim & perilous plane. For thousands of years, the City of Shade was lost to human knowledge, but in 1372 DR it abruptly returned to Faerun above the Dire Wood. Today it soars above the deserts of Anauroch, land that was once a fertile part of the Empire of Netheril. Why the Netherese - now known as the Shadovars - returned & what they are planning are two mysteries that trouble the rulers of every nation in Faerun. Most fear that solving these vital riddles will provide them with answers they will not care to hear. Until then, the Shadovars scheme in secret, their true goals a mystery to all but their ruler, the High Prince Telamont & his twelve sons, the Princes of Shade.

Not all Shadovars are Shades. The Princes of Shade decide who is to be given such a blessing & they are stingy with their favours, careful to only empower those who are sure to be loyal to them & their causes. Prospective candidates are stringently tested for ability, loyalty & resourcefulness.

Shades look just like normal humanoids, although their skin is gray to inky black, as are their eyes. They are thinner than most humans & prefer to dress in dark-hued clothes or armour. Human Shadovars are never made into shades until they have reached the age of majority. There are no such things as young shades, & shades who marry produce normal offspring.

Shades have extraordinairily long lifespans. By trading some portion oftheir souls for the stuff of shadow, they expand their lifespans tenfold.

History

While the City of Shade was trapped in the Plane of Shadow for the past two millenia, the High Prince, most powerful wizard in the city, struck upon a means of transforming himself & his most loyal followers into creatures of shadow. This granted them near-immortality & an incredible array of powers - as long as they were shrouded in some kind of darkness.

Since the return of the City of Shade to Faerun, the High Prince has pursued a mysterious agenda that few outside the Princes of Shade understand. Some things are clear, however, like the fact that the High Prince intends to exterminate the Phaerimm who still remain in Anauroch after all these years. This crusade even caused the High Prince to lend his city's power to aid the people of Evereska in defeating a recent Phaerimm invasion, granting the elvish community a strange bedfellow indeed. With the routing of the Phaerimm, of course, the alliance ended & the Shadovars have returned to their standoffish ways.

Outlook

Shades live to serve the High Prince & their fellow Shadovars. Most have grown up in the City of Shade as loyal champions of the High Prince's regime. While individuals Shades may have personal agendas, few conflict with the purposes of Shade's rulers, since disobedient or disloyal Shadovars are not likely to have been transformed into Shades in the first place.

Shades consider themselves superior to all nonshades around them. After all, it's what they've been raised to believe from birth. Only the most worthy Shadovars are chosen to become Shades.

Most Shades go adventuring only at the behest of their superiors. They are normally given specific orders about what they are to do on such missions. Shades rarely share their true reason for adventuring with any non-Shadovar allies they may temporarily make. They do not trust those outside Shade & any relationships they strike up with strangers are sure to be temporary.

Shade Society

Life in the City of Shade fits into a strictly controlled heirarchy. The High Prince sits at the top of the heirarchy's pyramid, with his sons - the Twelve Princes of Shade - right below him. Beneath them, the arcanists (Shadovar sorcerors & wizards) stand, with the military next down in importance. At the base of the pyramid, there are four levels of commoners. In the descending order, these are the crafters (skilled labourers), the merchants (those who distribute necessary goods throughout the City of Shade & import & export needed materials),the servants (Those who work as personal servants to people above them) & the slaves (who do the worst of society's grunt work.

At the age of ascention (13 years old), every citizen is tutored in basic spellcraft & subjected to a battery of tests to determine how his skills can best serve the City of Shade. Then, at the age of majority (18 years old) each person embarks upon the job for which he was trained. Unless the person displays a new aptitude, he works at his designated career until the day he dies.

Those citizens who prove to be especially important & loyal are transformed into Shades. This is one of the greatest honours a Shadovar can recieve. Only a small percentage of Shadovars are transformed & commoners & low-ranking military officers are never chosen for transformation.

Outside the City of Shade, most Shades keep to themselves. They may travel singly or in small groups, but any alliances they make with non-Shadovars - which are rare - are sure to be alliances of convenience. Only a Prince of Shade or a Shadovar officer of captain's rank or higher can leave the City of Shade without an escort & such a person had better have a defensible reason for doing so.

Language & Literacy

Netherese is the language of the City of Shade (Or Loross, for the upper classes) & all Shadovar speak it. Those who deal with other Faerunians or frequently travel outside the city often speak common & whatever other languages they might find convenient.

All shades are literate, except for Barbarians (not that any Shadovars could be considered Barbarians).

Shade Magic & Lore

Most Shadovar spellcasters are arcanists. They normally specialise in the schools of Evocation & Necromancy, although they are free to choose any school or none at all.

Shade Deities

All Shadovars worship Shars as their patron. No other deities have churches within the City of Shade. The people of Shade worshipped this ancient goddess even before they ventured into the Plane of Shadow. Since then, they have learned to rely upon her like no other. All other churches or chapels in the City of Shade have long since been converted over to the worship of Shar. Still, Shade clerics are more loyal to the High Prince than to Shar herself. Their worship is a means to an end.

Relations With Other Races

Shadovars of all stripes do not have much contact with non-Shadovars & so have little if any specific prejudices about them, whether good or bad. They think of other peoples as inferior, to someday be subjugated by the triumphant High Prince. However, all Shadovars have an especially cold & dark place in their hearts for their ancient foes; the Phaerimm. Shadovars are willing to go to great lengths to cause the Phaerimm trouble and - prefferably - death.

(As an aside note, not from the book, the Netherese bear a hatred for Orcs & particular contempt for Elves. As such, a Shadovar/Shade likely holds similar preconceptions.)

Shade Equipment

A Shade's favoured weapons are determined by his base race. To most Faerunians, the weapons & equipments of most Shadovars look oddly dated. After all, until recently they were cut off from the rest of the world for over two thousand years. Shades often wear ornate breastplates & carry similarly designed ranseurs. They also like aerial cavalry & have domesticated Dire Bats as mounts.

(As another aside, the Netherese domesticated Dragons as aerial mounts, and thus the Shades likely view them as domestic animals to be used, rather than terrors to be respected.)

Animals & Pets

Shadovars don't raise animals in the city of Shade; There's simply no room. They gather their food by either paying for it or taking it. There are few if any pets in their society - caring for such creatures is not considered an efficient use of the city's limited resources.

Abilities & Racial Features

As creatures of the Plane of Shadow, Shades are considered to be of the Outsider type. Shades must be of a nongood alignment.

All Shades have the following powers when within shadows or darkness. In well-lit surroundings none of these powers function.

+2 Constitution, +2 Charisma

Run faster

+4 AC

+4 to saves

+4 to detection checks, +8 to hide checks

Control Light - The Shade can control levels of light within 100 feet of himself.

Fast Healing (Regen) - +2

Invisibility at will

Darkvision

Shadow Image (Creates illusory copies of the Shade)

Shadow Stride - Teleport up to 300 feet using a Shadow. (must be level 8 or higher)

Spell resistance - 11 + level
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Fox

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