Peri Source Material
The first of the Kai-Ra, the immortal later called Solitaire, left the other nine to seek enlightnement, finding a teacher in the deep underworld known as the Silver Seeress. She would eventually achieve eidos, but rather than leaving our plane of reality, she remained, poigniantly aware that the Sanguinary's victory on this world would herald the end of the universe itself. Before she left the other Kai-Ra, she bore twin sons whose himsatis were purest gold, Sindre and Ivalde. These brothers would lead the Peri for a long time, until the plots of other immortals turned them against one another and all but destroyed the Peri from within.
To ensure a fortress strong enough to shelter their people, and driven to create a wonder the world had never seen, the twins constructed the Walk, a vast city-bridge which encircled much of the earth, spanning the quiet depths of the underworld. As the Walk neared completion, they discovered one of the largest shards of the Sanguinary, a blue radiant stone they called the Blue Emerald. This treasure, possessing enough power to operate the many clever technogies constructed within the Walk, became its control center.
Factions of the Peri did no trust the fact that a shard of the Sanguinary lay in their midst, no matter that it was of huge benefit in keeping the Walk's many regions functioning smoothly and serving as a computer-like organic processor to store their collected tales. Despire please from the Blue Emeralds devout companions, the Cerulean Order that the Blue Emerald opposed the Sanguinary, a decision was made to cut the shard into smaller, controllable stones. The Cerulean Order could not allow this, and absconded into the deeps of the Underworld with the Emerald. The Walk, dependant on the shard for its power, went dark and would remain forever a monument of Peri artisanship and paranoia. It would also leave the Peri open to attacks by the Azhoth, their Drove enemies. After many violent struggles, the Droves broke into the Walk and stole a number of the Kai-Ra who slept in the vault. Only two--Excalibur and Mimir remained behind, and only because both had been hidden elsewere by the Ladies of the Lake whose mantle, Avalon, was the home of one of the last of the living Sunedrion trees, a beautiful autumn apple tree bearing radiant fruit. The Azhoth also carried off a number of Peri to their city of Alavastis, a foul breeding pit where they would forever transform their prisoners.
Mimir awoke from his deep trance and discovered how his children, the Peri, had suffered at the hands of the Droves. Enraged, he drank deeply of the lake surrounding Avalon, whose water was pure and touched with the light of the sunedrion tree. Empowered, he tracked down the city of Alavastis and destroyed it. Drained of his efforts, Galatine sank once more into his ennui and was carried back to the Peri by the prisoners of Alavastis, Peri who became known as the Gargoyles for the grotesque way the Azhoth had twisted their himsatis. Forever after, the Gargoyles would revere Mimir.
The twins established other fortresses as more and more Peri left the dark treacherous corridors of the Walk. Eventually exploration of the upper world led to contact with the Court of Storms. Within this Court the Peri befriended the Morrigan. One of the Morrigan, Loki, became an ambassador between the people under the earth and the people who lived in the sky. Eventually, in tribute to this friendship, the Peri helped the Morrigan construct Asgard, a mightly floating city and the place that would one day become the center of their power. Loki was, alas, ever an opportunist. He sowed dissention within the Peri, challenging both Sindre and Ivalde to a contest to see which was a better craftsman. The contest became bitter, ultimately leading to civil war when Loki judged Sindre's works superior to Ivalde's, his brother. The civil war waged so long that resentment between the twins outgrew all other concerns. When at least Sindre's forces were victorious, he banished his brother and his supporters to the upperworld, there to become slaves to Loki's people. In their despair, the Ivaldi embraced the Sanguinary and became Droves, eventually escaping back into the underworld to revitalize the ranks of the Azhoth.
Sindre, heavy with guilt for committing his brother to such a fate, entered an unwavering trance, lost to his people. It was not until the arrival of a beautiful stranger, Ganieda, that he would be brought out of his lassitude. She beguiled him and as reward for lightening his heart, she was given access to the forges of the Peri, including the Foundry, built and abandoned by the Abzulim at the beginning of the world. In the Foundry, using Abzulim arts she divined from the alien place, Ganieda created a charm that caused the Peri to fall under her power. The Peri females she made pregnant with this device, creating a new race completely loyal to whoever wore the charm---namely herself. Sindre, at last coming to his senses, fled the halls.
More and more corrupted by the Sanguinary, Ganieda sought the elusive Cerulean Order and the Blue Emerald in their care. Her campaigns against the Order killed many, but the Emerald's location remained ever elusive. In retribution to their losses, a group from the Cerulean Order invaded Ganieda's fortress and stole the treasure that Sindre and Ivalde had forged in their contest. In time they joined forces with the Ladies of the Lake who, on the isle of Avalon, were protected from Ganieda and her minions.
This alliance sought a means to break the spell of Ganieda's charm and to free the people. This means laid in the hands of a mortal king name Arthur who possessed the purity of the Bright Blood and was a descendant of the bloodline of Christ himself. Through the quest for the Grail, Arthur succeeded in freeing the Peri and restoring a land blighted by Ganieda's evil. It would take them over a thousand years to restore their people with new blood from the Children's Crusades. Still depleted, they have been extending their influence slowly in the modern era, waiting for the end time when the Sanguinary's rise will call them to arms.
Peri have no qualms about appearing either in a human-like (Terrene) shape, or in their true forms, which represent either weapons (in the case of the original Peri), gargoyles (Mimirs children), android-like creatures (in the case of those among the Bloodstones and the Palin) or more earthly elemental forms such as lava and crystals. This section deals in the human-like appearance of each Peri house, designated as "kins".
Common to all Peri is how they distinguish themselves within their own culture. The most important feature a Peri prizes is the color of his eyes. In whatever form they choose, A Peri's eyes reflects the color of his kin as a sign of loyalty.
Peri of a certain kin will share features with the others of his kin. All members of Kin Bloodstone, for example, have black hair, black skin and black eyes with flecks of red in them.
Peri wear necklaces, specifically collar-like necklaces known as torques. Torques came into fashion when the Peri Sindre forged the Torques of Almandia during the competition with his twin brother, magical collars which prevent their wearers from being beheaded. From that time, counterfeits of the Torques of Almandia grew in popularity and eventually became a traditional accessory of any Peri.
Listed below are the Peri kins and their general appearance, including preferred fashions. Also see the sidebar "Peri Eyes" for more information on the Prides fascination with the organ of sight.
Kin Avalon: The Ladies of the Lake and their often male consorts can be described in human terms as albino. Their hair is white, skin milky pale and their eyes the color of pale amber, signifying their tie to the sunedrion tree which stands in their mantle. Their beauty is famous throughout the entire immortal world.
Kin Bloodstone: Bloodstone Peri are black with blood-red hair. A good look at their eyes reveals a sparkle of red flecks which expand and color the entire eye red whenever the Peri becomes angry. Bloodstone Peri are generally muscular and favor black clothing.
The Cerulean Order: These rogue members of the Peri, both male and female, possess startlingly blue eyes. All wear a copy of the ring Draupnir inset with a pale blue gem and favor white clothing.
Kin Gargoyle: The gargoyles have silver-blue eyes which glow with the same light as the skin of their patron Mimir, presumably from staring lovingly at the adamantine axe for decades at a time. Their human eyes betray this light, which causes them to wear glasses or other means to conceal it when among mortals.
The Toys: The Toys are among the most mysterious of the Peri, always wearing full facial masks, tight-fitting jumpsuits covered with glimmering circuits, and flowing cloaks snapping with static electricity. No one knows what they look like underneath their masks, and among humans, they assume mediocre shapes which draw no attention to themselves. A single lock of hair arches out the back of their masks, often braided. Their himsati forms are invariably mannequins or childhood toys, such as dolls and clowns. The Toys were created by Ganieda with her charm.
Kin Ivaldi: The few surviving Ivaldi share absolute black hair, light skin, and midnight blue eyes with asterisms or "stars" found in the heart of a star-sapphire. They are almost always dressed in black and are prepared for battle or smithing, keeping a hammer close at hand in either case. The Ivaldi forsake the torques of the other houses.
Kin Palin: House Palin, the bulk of the Pride, is made up of members of the Childrens Crusade of 1212, and thus the human appearance of the majority of Peri will be that of children. These children can be of any human nationality, but the wisdom of an immortal creature is evident in their uniformly gray eyes for anyone who thinks to look there. Like any Peri, they are deadly combatants whose appearance often causes enemies to underestimate their abilities or hold back. Members of the Palin have a human appearance ranging from age six to fifteen years or so. Unlike the members of the other Peri kin, Palin Peri will never assume an adult form. In the underworld, they wear whatever Covering suits them.
Kin Sindren: Members of the Sindren dynasty, following millennia after the first dynasties appeared, are almost uniformly gold-haired. Their human forms are generally northern European in appearance. They tend to wear a stylized Celtic garb, though sometimes preferring ring-mail armor. Sindren's eyes are all various shades of green and betray an essential guilt for their past deeds.
Peri always carry weapons. A Peris martial accessory often mirrors his own true himsati and thus, his personality. Firearms are used to temporarily disable an opponent, but Peri realize that only hand-to-hand weapons allow them to truly settle a conflict. No Peri is without at least two knives on his person. Every Peri owns a suit of some sort of armor, from traditional ring-mail or plate-mail to more exotic, body-sculpted types. When acting as mortals, Peri will sometimes use kevlar jackets to guard against firearms.
The Peri use their own ancient technology in answer to the growing technology of humanity. A character will always have gadgets of some form or another, many of which are alien to any human who finds it.
Cultural Note: Adamantine and the Kai-Ras Appearance
The Kai-Ra were created by the Abzulim from a material known as Adamantine, the distilled essence of slain earth elementals. They are pepetually in their himsati forms, magnificent weapons which make all others of their kind seem like cheap imitations. Staring at the Kai-Ra for an extended time causes the eyes to glow the same blue-white as their bodies and grants the watcher a resilience bonus of 1 to 3, never to exceed +3. This accounts for the stony substance of most gargoyle's skin. Regular visitations to look upon the Kai-Ra, (according to the narrator's descretion) is required to keep this bonus.
The Kai-Ra grow brightly in the presence of any elemental (primal). They glow red in the presence of the Deepwalkers, their Abzulim creators.
Each of the Kai-Ra were forged in the prototype of a common weapon, known to the Peri as the Nine Exalted Form: the staff, dagger, knife, ax, mace, sword, and polearm.
Cultural Note: Peri Eyes
All Peris eyes emanate a definite luster, similar to that of jewels. Although most individuals ignorant of immortals will consider their eyes strangely colored, most attribute this to the use of tinted contact lenses or a rare recessive gene. When any Peri is slain, his eyes harden into the mineral form of his true shape. Peri with gem himsatis will leave behind two gems where eyes existed. Gold Peri will leave two gold orbs. These remains resemble the Peris original eyes only in their shape. Otherwise, they seem to be pure mineral specimens. Remarkably, these eyes continue to see. Anyone who possesses a pair of Peri eyes (it must be a complete pair) can use them to see elsewhere. To use Peri eyes, a character places one eyes where he wants to see and keeps one eye with him. By closing his own eyes and holding the Peri eye to his forehead, the character can "see" the surroundings of the other eye, no matter where it is as long as the other eye is not being touched by a living thing. If this happens, there is only darkness. The sight of the eye can also be blocked by mystical means. This sight works either way, as long as niether side is touching an eye from the pair.
Since Peri appear often as children, and because most of their agents are also children, they created the game of marbles---small orbs of glass used as projectiles to knock other marbles out of a circle. To successfully knock a marble from the circle with your own entitles you to claim ownership of it. The Peri have used this game to insinuate Peri eyes into the hands of children the world over, observing them for possible recruitment. Overall, the eyes of slain Peri are a premier spy tool . When not used as marbles, they are often inlaid in other items and distributed throughout the art world as espionage devices. The eyes of those who have fallen are also often placed in key places of the Underworld, so that the Peri can observe as much as they can in their vast, mysterious underworld.
Peri who fall in love with one another radiate light whenever within sight of their loved one. This radiation continues even if the loved one is slain and is considered proof of good character. The measure of a Peris worth to his people is the number of eyes that shine in his presence.
Among their own people, the Peri wear lace-work clothes, thin form-fitting sheets of precious metals which are draped over their bodies called coverings. The metal used in the Covering reflects the Peris duty to his people. While others might consider such an attire scant, the Peri consider Coverings an extension of the earth embracing them. Their bodies are often impervious to the elements, making other forms of clothing unnecessary when not among humans.
Please note that to the Peri, no coverings metal is more valuable than another. The human tendency to assign a higher value to gold, as opposed to silver, amuses the Peri, especially because of the abundant gold reserves they know of.
During the dark ages and Arthurs reign, the use of coverings among mortals was common, due to Peri involvement in the court. Gossamer veils of gold were favored by Guinevere, while Arthur himself wore a mesh of gold around the arm which wielded Excalibur. Morgan Le Fey, to this day, wears a silver covering as a tribute to her alliance with the Peri and her disdain for her own people, the Morrigan.
Gold Coverings are used by Peri of the Juggler and Highbinder Callings.
Platinum Coverings are reserved for Sleepers.
Silver Coverings are used by all Keepers . The use of the silver Coverings vary widely depending upon the particular Keeper. For example, a proud Keeper might wear a head-to-toe armor of silver Coverings, or wear a simple flimsy outfit allowing swift movement.
Used primarily by those of Slayer and Scourge Calling, the Iron Covering is often a black hue.
Copper Coverings are viewed as beautiful in their simplicity and modesty. The Probe and Emissary Callings use them.
Those of any Calling whose covering is enmeshed with a belt of silver, gold or other metals shows their willingness to learn from or cooperate with other Callings.
Gems are often embedded in the Coverings of Peri who have distinguished themselves in battle or in the Stratagem. They are allowed to stud their Covering with gems of their ranking or lower, often arranging them in patterns in some way recognizing a particular feat of heroism, as well as any peculiar affiliations.
Some gems are used to denote members of specific orders or groups. Of special note are emeralds which are worn only by those of the Cerulean Order and amber, which is used by the Gargoyles to commemorate their dedication to House Avalon. Coral and Pearls are worn by the Ladies of the Lake. Diamonds are worn only by the Paradigms, leaders of the Peri Callings. Bloodstone is worn by members of the Bloodstone dynasty. Members of House Ivalde wear star sapphires.
Gem Stratagem Rankings
Orange Fire Opal
The Lore Of Stones
Unlocking Stones is an art the Peri have discovered over the millennia, the ability to free the power of the Sunedrion that infuses natural, unprocessed minerals. In practice, unlocking a stones natural power is an alternative to playing serenades. Unfortunately, once a stone is unlocked, it gains impurities and eventually becomes powerless. Because of this inherent destruction of the natural world, Peri use this power only when absolutely necessary, and always with regret. A Peri who relies heavily on this art brings down first the disapproval, then the anger of his entire Pride. Peri also oppose mining whenever they can for the same reason, as humanity unearths rare minerals and unknowingly introduces impurities into their essences. Any mineral that has been processed (melted down, alloyed, worked in any way) contains no essence to tap.
Unlocking stones requires two elements to make it successful.
The first is a material component---the mineral or metal itself.
The second required component is energy---immaculum. All immortals possess immaculum, and many mortals may as well, depending on your narrators specific game setting. Immaculum is burned as an energy source to unlock the stone. To harness a stones power requires the expenditure of immaculum equal to the cost to unlock the specific mineral. This cost is outlined in the Mineral Appendix in the back of this book.
First, the character needs to find a specimen of the stone or metal whose properties he wishes to unlock. If he wants to read someones mind, for example, he will want a fine piece of copper, the telepathic metal. Each ounce of the mineral requires an expenditure of 1 immaculumI to unlock in addition to its base cost. For example, an ounce of gypsum (normal cost---6, requires an expenditure of 7 immaculum to unlock).
The player notes the cost of the stone he wishes to unlock. The character must be able to meet the cost by temporarily expending or "burning" his immaculum. He must also be physically touching the stone. Only the purest specimens can be unlocked. For example, flawed diamonds or metals alloyed with others are inert.
For example: Mira wishes to bring rain to the parched area she is in. She decides she will use gypsum, which is one of the rain-making stones. Gypsum has a cost of 6 to activated. This means Mira will need to meet that cost by burning 7 of her immaculum. No dice rolls are required.
Expenditure and Recovery of Immaculum
The FI expenditure is temporary. Each point returns at the rate of 1 each hour after it is burned. So, in the example above, Mira would regain her 7 burned points over the period of 6 hours. The regeneration is automatic and does not require rest.
Unlocking Stones is an art which is always beneficial and never destructive. Being destructive weapons themselves, the Peri developed this art to heal and nurture themselves. If there are destructive ways of unlocking stones, that art is known only to the Drove Azhoth, the Peris bitter enemy.
In the above example with Mira unlocking gypsum to bring rain, the rain will fall around her. She cannot use it to make rain fall on the other side of the world. A character must, in some way, personally benefit from the use of the power, or it will manifest randomly at the whim of the narrator.
This is not to say that destruction cannot result from unlocking a stone. Too much rain can cause a flood as a natural consequence. Fog can blind an enemy. But such catastrophes are up to the Narrator, in accordance to his story.
Because of the nature of Unlocking Stones, a mortal can also use the power, providing he has the immaculum required to do so. Much of this lore has found its way into the New Age movement.
The mystical effect of a mineral will endure until the character who unlocks it wills it so, or the immaculum used to unlock it returnsin totality to the Character, whichever comes first.
All Peri possess the artifice nature, which allows them to assume lesser versions of one of the nine exalted forms of the Kai-Ra. They may also assume a pure mineral form, appearing as a humanoid carved from the appropriate stone. And they may assume human shape and appear completely human. Anyone uplifted into their ranks has his himsati changed into a mineral, although it's animal attributes also remain. This is chosen by the player or, in the case of a non-player character, the random whim of the narrator.
Below are a list of minerals and the traditions associated with each one by the Peri. Peri will often judge one another based on the mineral type of the himsati, since this signifies, in their eyes, part of the persons destiny.
Alexandrite (Green, red under candle-light): Hidden intentions, generally positive, sometimes to do with love or undying devotion.
Amber (Yellow): Denotes kinship with mortals and an understanding that we are all one. Often connected with technology, particularly electricity.
Amethyst (Purple): Maturity and sobriety, sometimes connected to loss and sadness.
Aquamarine (Blue-Green): Considered by many to be a good-luck stone, the true Peri understanding is that it represents a strong belief in Fate, good and bad.
Azurite (Blue): Heritage and the Past. A reminder that things were not always as they are now.
Black Opal (Smoky Black with blue and red-sheened flecks): Hidden dangers of near-insurmountable difficulty. This stone is truly respected. Thrill-seekers.
Black Sapphire (Blue-Black): Strength under duress and success after hardships. Often awarded to Peri who overcome incredible odds.
Bloodstone (Dark green with red Flecks): Hatred for the Sanguinary in all things. A warning stone against carelessness.
Bone (White): Not truly a precious metal, Peri adorn their coverings with bones to reflect a deep interest in mortality.
Brass (metal): Courageous.
Bronze (metal): Angry and rebellious.
Chalcedony (Blue): A stone of strength in resisting temptation and in overcoming difficulties.
Chrysoberyl (Greenish): A stone strongly associated the wandering, untamed soul.
Citrine (Yellow): Good luck in matters of finance and business. Believed to encourage good relations.
Copper (metal): Cleverness and decadence.
Coral (Red, Blue, etc.): Associated with the sea and the strong ties between the Peri and those living in that realm.
Diamond (Translucent, Blue): Connected to the belief that anything worthwhile is dangerous.
Emerald (Green): Soothing to the mind and tied in some Peri's minds to Lethe. It is viewed by some as the stone of escape, by others as the prison. The connections to the Blue Emerald and the Cerulean Order make it a feared and respected stone to be worn.
Fire Opal (Orange-red): Associated with fire and the furnace. Something to be feared but also revered.
Garnet (Violet): Truth. Peri believe this stone is a lie-detector of sorts, growing darker when deception is in its midst.
Gold (Metal) Nobility and the feeling that might makes right.
Hematite (Gray-black): Radiating silver light when exposed to immaculum, the stone represents exuberant life.
Iron (metal): Strength and unflinching codes of personal conduct.
Jacinth (Orange): Believed to be a stone of purity.
Jade (Green): Divinity. The Peri use Jade when they are representing something above themselves and it is often used in carvings of the Elementals they so revere.
Jasper (Any): Peri consider it the stone of nature which works both with and against one. If one knows it well, they can use it for their own benefit, but Nature is always stronger in the end.
Jet (Glossy black): Also strongly connected to the soul, but more so with the Himsati and control over it than the Blue Air.
Lapis Lazuli (Blue): Soothing stone of sleep, dreams, comfort and relaxation.
Malachite (Green): Linked with birth and parenthood, many Peri of the elder dynasties wear this gem in honor of their working with the younger Peri.
Moonstone (White): Related to deception and beauty.
Obsidian (Black): Tied to murder and violence, favored by Slayers.
Onyx (Black/White): A strong calming effect which allows for reconciliation.
Opal (White): Clear thinking and rationality.
Pearl (White): Virtue and innocence. Tied to the sea but used to symbolize a between earth and water. Often given as a token of remembrance.
Peridot (Yellow-green): Assuaging anger and soothing madness.
Platinum (metal): Wild hearted and unable to be constrained.
Rhodochrosite (Red): Playfulness and youth.
Ruby (Red): Brings happiness to the bearer and symbolizes joy and success.
Sapphire (Blue): Encourages dedication, piety and goodness in all who see it.
Sardonyx (White): Tied to invisibility and the unseen.
Spinel (Gray): Death and separation.
Silver (metal) Purity of thought and purpose and a dedication to right all wrongs.
Steel (metal): Represents the survivor, permanency and the willingness to overcome any obstacle.
Tiger Eye (Brown): The future and clairvoyance. Some Peri consider it the stone of wisdom.
Topaz (Yellow): A healing stone which often adorns places of recuperation. Topaz Peri are destined to be healers.
Tourmaline (Any): A stone of deception, its color often revealing the opposite of the stone it is meant to duplicate.
Turquoise (Blue): A symbol of faithfulness and victory.
Zircon (Transparent): Tied to people haunted by a jaded past.
Sidebar: Peri Uplifting:
Those who are uplifted into the Pride (with the exception of a very few) undergo a special transformation into a mineral form. The ceremony is always performed in an underground shrine known as Candlegate. An underground cathedral of fantastic craftsmanship whose actual location is secret, known only to the ruling elite, Candlegate is actually a mantle.
At the conclusion of the ritual, the pledge falls into a deep sleep. During this sleep, his body transmutes itself into the appropriate mineral. If the mineral is metal, the pledge is taken to the Foundry, melted down and made into a weapon. The Artifice gift is bestowed upon him.
Grotesque (Peri Gift for Gargoyles)
This himsati nature allows a gargoyle to meld himself with architecture so as to become part of it, composed of the same material and showing the same wear or erosion as his surroundings. Negated by a blue (perception) roll of 12 or more.
The Nine Exalted Forms
Among the Peri there are nine honored weapons of war (thus making the number nine sacred to the Peri as a whole) which sprang from the original nine Kai-Ra. These weapons, the sword, polearm, staff, dagger, mace, arrow, ax, hammer and spear are the nine exalted forms.
Each of the nine exalted weapon himsatis reflect certain ideals and fill a certain niche within Peri society. This can be further modified by the material in which the weapon is made (see the above list). For example, a Sword represents the perfectionist, a righteous blade of conquest. If the sword is made of Turquoise, the Peri is also faithful to his loves and quests.
Note to Narrators
The himsatis given are merely guidelines to follow. The particular personality of a Peri persona will likely be slightly different. Using these guidelines however, a wide variety of personalities can be developed as these reflect the inner spirit of the character. For example, a Peri Keeper could act as a caregiver, helping and nurturing an Ingenue back into the immortal society, while another could faithfully defend her master until death without showing any emotion. Both exhibit the Pole-arm himsati's characteristics, but show them in different ways.
While in his weapon form, a Peri has the same attributes as his human form, therefore a sword made of glass can be stronger and inflict more damage than a sword made of steel if the glass swords attributes are higher.
A weapons virtue is a code of conduct in which a Peri who belongs to its class must observe to maintain his class reputation. Sword Peris, for example, have the virtue (or reputation) of being courageous. Any Sword Peri who exhibits cowardice brings shame upon himself and his entire class of weapon. The brotherhood that exists between members of the same weapon can be withheld from those of its members who consistently disregard its virtue. Keep in mind that outside the need to maintain their reputation for virtue, members of any one weapon class are not allied in any other fashion outside of familiarity. Generally a sword who meets another sword will listen to his words (if the meeting is friendly) or seek to defeat him (one sword to another) if the meeting is hostile.
Sword (The Perfectionist)
Forged in the deeps of the Underworld, Peri of the Sword himsati were created as righteous blades of conquest. Smiting all who fall before them, they are convinced of their righteousness and ignore the opinions of others. However, they are not always confident in their minds and are often struck by doubts that they may not be in the right.
Preferred Callings: Scourge
Polearm (The Giver)
Created as one of the last weapons of the Abzulim, the Pole-arm himsatis were crafted into tall beautiful defenders of the Abzulim's treasure hordes. As such, they are ruled by a desire to protect and defend those around them. This need to be useful strikes them with grief when they fail.
Preferred Callings: Keeper
Staff (The Dreamer)
The first of the original weapon himsatis, the Kai-Ra created the staff from lifeless Sunedrion wood as a bringer of purity. Soon, the Knife and Spear were created and the Staff forgotten. For this, Peri of the Staff never forgot this neglect and now seek to regain their lost glory through conquest, usually against the agents of the Sanguinary within the Morpheum.
Preferred Callings: Sleeper
Virtue: Pure, good
Dagger (Tragic Romantic)
Created as side arms of the fiercest warriors, Dagger Peri rarely see any real combat unless it has reached the most desperate of stages. In this, the Dagger Peri exalt. Nevertheless, this happens rarely so immortals with this himsati more often are left with only fantasies of such glory. They always hope for better times in which they will be the celebrated warriors like the Swords and Axes. In the meantime, they are passionate individuals who create incredible beauty but are never satisfied with anything they make.
Preferred Callings: Emissary
Created as the weapons of justice for the Kai-Ra, the Mace and Hammer himsatis all share an emotional distance from others. They attempt to remain detached from all so that they can remain impartial in their work. They try to keep their work separate from their social lives, but often fail.
Preferred Callings: Probe
Arrow (Devil's Advocate)
Forged as the second of the weapons, Arrow Peri were made to kill from a place of concealment and distance are thus weapons of deceit. As such, they are ruled by an internal struggle of morals. On the exterior, they seem scoundrel and heretics, questioning authority and everything else, but inside they are skeptical of even themselves.
Preferred Callings: Highbinder
Always intent upon enjoyment, the Ax himsati is ruled entirely by its passions and desire for novelty. While a strong warrior in combat, the ax is most at home when not warring, enjoying a good dance or a beautiful lover. As such, the Ax Peri are most unreliable immortals as they never want to miss out on anything and end up missing much.
Preferred Callings: Juggler
The Hammer is blunt and lacks elegance, and as such, it is a himsati requiring great respect, but is excessive in everything that it does. Forcing their will upon others through might, the Hammer Peri often create more enemies than friends. Still, they make unquestionably powerful allies.
Preferred Callings: Slayer
Third of weapons forged is the merging of Knife and Staff to form Spear. Peri of this himsati are often leaders though they would prefer otherwise. Internally, they would abandon this role to live a quiet life by themselves, but somehow they are thrust into the role of head of whatever group they take part in. This may be because they know others so well and put the needs of the group before their own. Spear immortals, forced into stressful roles, are prone to addictions to escape their awesome responsibility.
Preferred Callings: Any or Rooks
The Peri have always maintained a highly militaristic society, ruled by order and chain of command. At the same time, rules, while important, have always been recognized as subject to dispute. This may seem like a contradiction, but the Peri strongly believe that ones past forms ones future and that change, always inevitable, must be examined and discussed. Therefore, change is welcomed, if not warmly. There are two kinds of orders, a shouting order and quiet order. Shouting orders, commonly made during combat or involving dangerous missions are not to be questioned. It is assumed in these instances that superior knowledge and experience is the cause for any seeming inconsistencies or failings in the orders. Quiet orders on the other hand are made during a time of calm or are of little import. These can be questioned, but seldom are. Still, they are open to debate and often it is the questioning of these orders that change Peri society radically. Even shouting orders can become quiet orders after the crisis has passed allowing them to come into the arena of dispute.
The intent of this soundly practical philosophy of the Peri is to allow all voices of the Pride to be heard, but not at a time when those voices could lead to the downfall of the Pride or individuals within. Other Prides find this social convention to be disruptive and disrespectful of elders, but in fact, those elders are the first to hush the great hall to hear the complaint of a fledgling. This is termed "hearing the voice of children", which the Peri consider highly important. It was engineered long ago, but revived fully by the Palin generation at the end of the Childrens Crusade of 1212.
To keep their bodies honed and skills sharp, Peri practice combat in their fortresses regularly, sparring against one another and groups. They pull their punches in these mock battles, but the blades are still sharp. If hit, one will bleed, but the true test of skill is the fighter who lands a blow and leaves only a scratch. Being struck in the back is despised by Peri, and they will endure great hardship to revenge themselves upon someone who did so.
In their free time, when not practicing maneuvers or discussing future operations, Peri are renown for their festivities. At these times, the great halls come alive with music, dance and love. Wines brewed from the very minerals underground is served. With every new addition to the Pride (often in the form of kidnapped children whom the Peri consider pure enough to become one of them) the Peri rejoice. Revitalization of the Pride is paramount.
Peri exhibit a love of music almost unparalleled anywhere else. Their fortresses and underground amphitheaters ring with uncanny acoustics so vibrant that they often get visitations from members of the Phoenix and Amaranth with requests to perform.
The Peri seem rather "humane" in their relaxed, modern attitude. However, it takes very little to cause their aggression to boil up into a seething storm of weapons and war-cries. They are governed by a lust for combat, a need to right the wrongs of the world, to restore dignity to those deprived of it, and to visit their wrath on anyone they consider evil. They especially are the protectors of innocents. Peri are considered fearless (see the sidebar below, fear).
The Peri love technology. It is vital to their lives. They surround themselves with the most clever mechanisms they can devise, a vast array of gadgets that whirl in the vaults of the earth in an intricate clockwork. The Peri pride themselves on being able to create anything, often a blind-spot which later haunts them. Peri ingenuity and the need to create has often been exploited in the past.
Unlike the Arachne, who create art for its ability to influence the minds of others, the Peri approach art with sincerity and molten passion. They create for the sheer act to create, filling their halls with objects so rare and cunningly beautiful that the human art world would suicide itself for its own shortcomings. Even so, the Peri also appreciate human art to its fullest and are tireless patrons of art museums and other creative exhibits.
A pervading theme of the Peri psyche is the need to be unique, to glitter like a jewel in the dark. This consuming need guides much of their traditions and convictions. To be common is to be a mere ornament in a hoard of real treasures.
There is a tradition that Peri lack the emotion of fear, most attribute this to an agreement with pride Arachne when the plot involving the Children's Crusade was orchestrated. This is not entirely true. In fact, no Elementals have any fear in them and the original Peri were no different. Immortals uplifted into the pride after their original creation or who joined it later do have the emotion of fear, but it is reduced by the spirit of the Peri which diminishes fear in pride members. Pride Arachne discovered this and made the agreement with the Peri to be allowed to study this phenomena in return for aid in capturing the children of the crusade.
All Peri are immune to the fear hostile.
"The Rialla. Festivities for the mortals, repast for immortals. There are many ceremonies at which immortals congregate to gather life-force, and I could list them here for you, but I am sure that you are well aware of most of them. I am sure you can learn for yourself how other immortals feed off mortal joy, but you are Peri and you must learn the Peri ways. We are a species of warriors and it is only in death and the occult that we exalt. And our greatest Peri Rialla is the war. A time of great suffering and pain, but also the period when mortals and immortals alike push themselves to their ultimate limits. The stakes of life or death result in incredible levels of emotional excitement, it is this rush that we feed off of truly. This is why Peri can most likely be found on any given battleground. Make no mistakes---we feed on conflict.
"The ethical issue of whether relishing in the darkest moment of humanity is not a concern of the Peri who understand that conflict is a necessary part of existence. But, remember that there are even bounds to the ways of Peri. Torture and extreme cruelty have no place in the glory of battle, nor do wars without risk, for they evoke none of the adrenal-pleasure that proper warfare does. Modern times are quite disappointing to the Peri who once fought side-by-side with pike-wielding countrymen and shared trenches with the most desperate of men. We find the push-button wars of current times a let-down and therefore prefer operating with commando units still engaged in direct conflict or joining in smaller so-called "brush-fire" wars in nations not yet equipped with the arsenal of destruction the Twilight superpowers possess. Our love for technology does not include all-powerful weapons.
"Wars are not the only Rialla we partake of though, there are many similar conflicts that excite the same kind of emotional intensity without involving mass destruction. Riots are impressive events culminating in the release of pent-up frustration. Different from the wretched violence of war, riots provide a release of anger that is satisfying to Peri present. Their short-lived existence makes them all but impossible to rely upon for recovering lost life-force, but when they do ignite, Peri living in that city or area will most likely gather around the outbreak, if not participate in it, while engorging themselves.
"More reliable and somewhat calmer are rallies encouraging war or inciting others to violence. The life-force present is far decreased in these instances, but they are far more common, particularly in warrior nations or those threatened with invasion. Despite the best efforts of the Twilight United Nations, supported by the Tautha, there are still some nations eager to invade others or willing to strike out against those who would break the "international truce". All Peri agree there will always be wars, for without warfare our existence would be without purpose."
Peri In Human Society
While most Peri are at home within the safety of the Underworld, those Peri who choose to savor the twilight culture above have different customs and rules. They are fewer certainly, and scattered amidst the territories of many prides and hundreds of nations. Still, across this diversity lies a common lifestyle.
First and foremost, a Peri living in human cultures will tend to live underground. This could mean a basement apartment, renting the basement of a house or even a dark first-floor tenement. This is because of their distinct dislike of heights. The dwellings of choice of the surface Peri are ground-level or lower. Similarly, they prefer the windows be shaded over, not due to any aversion to the sun, but to remind them of the darker comfort of the Underworld.
Within a Peri home, relics of war will be found to adorn the walls. Finely crafted weapons, scraps of ancient armors, tokens of wars fought in ages past. This will appear to a twilight to indicate the character of a collector, but in truth they are souvenirs that Peri has accumulated over his life.
The furniture, sparse at best, will be of solid timber, oak, teak, or carved stone. The Peri dislike unsteady furnishings. In many ways, a Peris home will seem more like a temple than a house.
The Peri in any given city will likely number less than two dozen, but they will all know one another and likely socialize together at least once or twice a month at some bar. Their lifestyles will vary greatly depending upon their character, but all will likely have a good assortment of twilight associates. Those of a bohemian, boor, bully, heretic, scoundrel or survivor temperament will likely be involved in some sort of organized crime or street gang. Operating as the hired guns, their favorite pastime will be practicing their martial skills. Similarly, those of confidant, custodian, drifter or knight temperament will be found working in the military or police stations using their combat skills to protect the humans from harm. Though these two types of Peri have differing attitudes on how to work with the humans, neither is particularly opposed to the other's line of work and while not working together, will not try to directly challenge one another's activities. It is only the innocents who will avoid combative activities, usually keeping peaceful lives amidst mortals. These Peri tend toward craftsmanship occupations where they can use their harmonious abilities to create items of beauty. Some are architects, others metalworkers.
Money is rarely a problem for the Peri who can visit the Underworld to collect a load of semi-precious stones (most precious stones are used in ceremonies, therefore cannot be sold away) for sale above. They are usually in close connection with jewelers who ask no questions and get quality gems for a fairly low price.
The Peri are driven by rank and recognition of ability. Therefore, they were very pleased with the ranking system devised by the Jury for the Stratagem, though they felt it left true battle, something that all Peri respect immensely, to be ignored. They will likely instigate changes in the Stratagem once they become the Scepter, a prospect many other immortals fears as backsliding into the old barbarisms of the past ages.
Peri are status conscious within their own family. Pride status differs from Stratagem visage in that it is only recognized within the pride Peri and reflects combat prowess. Having survived such dangerous times, they feel that the honor of respect should fall to those who have accomplished great things. Paramount is their respect for battle, though this like everything else is changing. A Peri who does not distinguish himself in battle will never be highly respected or gain any true authority in the Pride, despite his visage. However, battle need not only be in the physical realm. A Probe who outwits another immortal in a contest of the mind will gain as much admiration as a Slayer who bests his opponent. Similarly, the Sleepers are respected for their dream clashes. The true test of one's mettle comes in the odds of success in the battle and how it was won. A fine line is drawn between trickery and strategy in battle. Trickery is regarded by the Peri to involve under-handed, unfair tactics which none could avoid while strategy involves a cunning plan that the opponent could outmaneuver if he saw its intricacies.
Like all Prides, the Peri attend all monthly Conclaves and sponsor those where their power is dominant. A Peri-sponsored Conclave always occurs in a beautiful, vibrant subterranean area which is heavily protected form outsiders. The safety of other immortals is paramount to the Peri, although they will not interfere with personal vendettas as long as these are quietly conducted. Because the Peri can be moving pieces of art, their Conclaves are the talk of the Perpetual Society. Only the Morrigan, who abhor walking underground, seem unimpressed by the cozy atmosphere.
Azhoth, Drove (The Vampire Blades)
The himsati of Azhoth appear as obsidian weapons, they are all razor sharp, often with saw-toothed edges. All Azhoth appearing in human form are black as pitch, appear to have sharp features with black hair and milky red eyes filled with a white asterism. They wear sunglasses to conceal this fact. They are often very emaciated. Mortals who touch an Azhoth who is in himsati form have their blood sucked out. An Azhoth blade will also exude the accumulated blood of those it has preyed upon to become too slick to handle. In an enclosed area, an Azhoth blade can release enough blood to fill a room to the ceiling and drown anyone within. Azhoth blades also have a proclivity of breaking off in a wound and consuming a person from the inside, causing him to slowly waste away into a mere skin-covered skeleton.
All Azhoth are cursed with to cause magnetic disruptions, including compasses going wild and watches stopping. They are always having problems with technology as cars often stall on them and computers suffer frequent crashes when they work on them. As a result Azhoth typically avoid high tech answers, preferring to work with simpler mechanical devices. As a reflection of their past existence as members of House Ivalde, the Azhoth are brilliant artisans, although their creations are always cursed in some way to harm those who possess it. Like all drove-members, the Azhoth must continually return to the world of dreams to heal themselves.
These creatures are mechanical constructs, usually in the shape of an animal. The first generation of these machines were created by the Ivaldi in the initial construction of their Doomsday Device. The creatures escaped the laboratory into the underworld. Whenever Peri came upon them, they squashed them. At length, encounters of the runaway machines tapered off to nothing.
The middle ages saw the return of the cannibal drones. They were known as golems to many a medieval sorcerer who captured them as mechanical servants, overcoming their internal "programming" with the power of their own will.
The industrial revolution caused the drones to emerge in greater number, for the technology of humans was evolving to the point where spare parts could be stolen by the drones and taken underground to repair themselves or to build offspring. Each new generation became more specialized, but still the drones remained slaves to any human mind which enslaved them.
Independence of the drones has come during this century after the creatures began stealing computer equipment. Assimilated into their species, artificial intelligence and batteries replaced the life-force installed by the Peri. Now the drones became fully independent creatures immune to the power of human will. Each succeeding generation is now sleek, miniaturized and more intelligent than older generations. They constantly attempt to break into high-tech installations to cannibalize the latest technologies and to add it to succeeding generations. Since the Peri very much have their fingers on the pulse of technology, their Highbinders and Slayers are constantly hunting them down. To be given such a task, although important to the Pride, is generally a sign of disfavor from a Peris superiors.
Never before considered especially dangerous, the Peri now fear their independent intelligence is causing them to evolve into a dangerous species of android. The Cerulean Order are at the forefront of searching for these creatures and for the central intelligence which constructs the newest generations. The rings of members of Cerulean Order permit them to take control of even a late generation drone as long as they can touch them.
The Ivaldi lay claim to the entire species and work to retrieve them.
Appearance: Older generations of the cannibal drones are bulky and would be considered by many as works of art. They are more organic in appearance, resembling mythological insects, serpents, cats and other creatures. Many of these have run out of power and are inert. The age of steam engines spawned a new generation, as did age of fossil fuels. The fossil fuel generation runs on gasoline and often raid cars or gas stations to procure precious fuel.
The newest generation of drones are beautiful, silicate things powered by batteries, micro-mechanisms and fiber-optic cables. They are often embellished with LED displays and other lights, camera lenses (cannibalized from camcorders) and contain hard drives stolen from computers. With larger hard drives and more RAM memory, the drones are becoming able to perform more functions and are rapidly becoming less specialized. Though mostly miniaturized devices resembling glass wasps, serpents and other small animals, a number of unexplained murders have led the Peri to accept the fact that giant versions, perhaps specialized assassin units, are emerging. Recent attacks of drones on nuclear power plants have caused immortals to increase security to prevent the creatures from stealing plutonium, and thus a long-lasting power source. In the coming age of super technology, the cannibal drones are certain to become a menace.
The Cold Virgin
This creature is an elemental immortal, a primal who was never enlightened, but who fell into the thrall of the Sanguinary when the rest of her people were flocking to the Bloom. In her isolation she waited in the far north, accumulating layers of ice until she became a large, intelligent poisoned glacier. The glacier has moved about through the ages, swallowing ancient cities within its girth. Its interior is vastly larger than its outer appearance suggests. After the last ice age she awoke, and was able leave her vast glacial body in a human-like form to stalk humanity.
There are many cults dedicated to her as an antithesis to the Virgin Mary. They toil to bring utter misery on humanity with the rationale that they will attain great power when the Cold Virgin rises at the end war as one of the Sanguinarys lieutenants. She is dedicated to the destruction of Yggdrasil, the Tree of Light in Avalon. She also has frequent battles with the Styx, the subterranean water Primal.
Appearance: In human form she appears as a strung-out junkie and lives wherever toxic human waste is found. These she gathers and returns to her glacier to further poison it. She and her minions work toward the destruction of earths ecosystem. Her actions are unpredictable, but many immortals, especially the Peri and the Tautha hunt her in hopes of destroying her and recovering the lost cities, lands and treasures within the glacier.
The glacier is located somewhere in the Himalayas. It is black and buried by normal glaciers which conceal its terrible presence. The glacier causes frequent avalanches as it creeps across the high mountainous regions of that part of the world.
Background: These ancient Abzulim warlords are by far the most feared specters in the oral tradition of the Peri. Bred as the ultimate killers of Elementals, their cunning and malice is second to none.
It was the Deepwalkers who forged the original Kai-Ra and used their terrible destructive powers to slaughter enemies of the Abzulim royal family. Soon their duties became specific---to destroy Elementals wherever encountered. This continued until the Elementals underwent a transformation into beings of purity. The Kai-Ra, encountering this purity, refused to harm another of their kind. This vow made the weapons useless to the Deepwalkers, who abandoned them on the battlefield and fled to their citadels when the Elementals rose against the Abzulim in their own purge.
Among the Deepwalkers, the most terrible is Alu. His will is so strong that it seduced his Kai-ra weapon, the dagger, into evil. While some of the Deepwalkers are rumored to lie imprisoned in the Anopheles vaults, some certainly roam free, including Alu. The Deepwalkers will very rarely be encountered unless they wish to destroy an enemy personally. Their evil is so acute that they are unable to disguise their corruption. Only Alu is the exception, and because of his iron will can appear as most any creature, immortal or otherwise.
The Peri are haunted by the memories of these ancient enemies and acknowledge that there are those among them who are unknowing pawns in the schemes of these ancient evils. Because the Deepwalkers gave part of their essence into the creation of the Kai-Ra, these weapons can be used to slay them. House Avalon possesses the only Kai-Ra, Caliburn (known to mortals as Excalibur.) The Ladies of the Lake allow his sword to come forth whenever they suspect a Deepwalker is involved with their affairs, such as was the case during the reign of King Arthur. The only other weapon which will harm a Deepwalker is one imbued with palladium or made of Sunedrion wood.
Alu, the Swallower
Benatu of the Barbed Lips
Doradoth, the Eye-taker
Etrosk, the Fanged
Ingadia, the Vile
Melheyon the All-eater
Shiakata the Raker
Tormad the Relentless
Unamal the Flayer.
Sidebar: Deepwalker Armor
Like all Abzulim armor, that of the Deepwalkers is a blend of Darkle technology, mystical power and living flesh, deadly and highly resistant to damage. It is imbued with a number of himsati natures that can be activated at will by its wearer. Thus, the armor can grow claws, wings, tentacles, serpentine coils, and a host of other natural weapons.
Only palladium or a Kai-Ra weapon will pierce it. All other weapons do no damage at all to the armor. Their cloaks allow them and whatever they ride (horses, for example) to fly, walking or galloping on air. If a Deepwalker is killed, his armor must be scattered, or will function as a robot-like entity, carrying on the will of its master. It must be separated to keep this from happening but, unguarded, the pieces will escape and reform the armor once more.
Ganeida, the Seductive Dragon
Originally a human who learned many of the magical arts offered by the Dark Ages, Ganieda quickly fell into the thrall of the Sanguinary, who offered her great power in her dreams and who increased her lore in strange, twisted ways. Despite her corruption, she was beautiful and youthful, a candidate for recruitment into the Peri. Through complex and clever means, she was able to get herself sponsored to the Peri. Her position was secured when she used her powers to capture the fancy of Sindre, who had succumbed to despair and had been immobile for years. Awakening from his trance, he was profoundly grateful to the enchantress, calling her his sister and uplifting her into the Pride. Once immortal, she began learning all the lore of the Peri, particularly how to unlock the power of stones and to combine this released power into forged weapons and other items. She quickly mastered the lore of even the greatest masters and then surpassed them. Soon after she created a quiet culture called the Nibelung as assistants at her forge.
Hearing a tale of a stone which reputedly fell from Satan's crown during his fall from heaven, Ganieda suspected it was part of the Sanguinary and sent her servants, the Nibelung to recover the stone. It turned out to be one of the seven Chi Pao, the largest shards of the Sanguinary in existence (see the Dracul Sourcebook for more detail on the ChiPao). Using this green stone and her lore, combined with the power of belief emanating from her mortal servants, she was able to melt it down and create a charm of immense power, fortified with the blood of Peri she'd murdered. She used this charm to weave a spell of compliance over the Peri, and to impregnate the females to bear special warriors forever tied to the power of the charm.
Devoted to the Sanguinary, she recieved instructions in her dreams that she must kill the child Merlin, an emmissary of the sunedrion, who had come to Britain to oversee the birth of a very special mortal, Arthur Pendragon. Ganieda used her arts to take the shape of a dark dragon and wandered Britain in search of him. A Ki-Rin of the Dracul, sensing her presence, pursued her to a cave underneath a hill. Their battle, which raged for years, caused attempts to build a citadel there to constantly fail. After vanquishing her foe, Ganieda was anxious to lure Merlin to his doom by convincing the humans that his blood had to be mixed with the mortar of the strongholds bricks in order for it to stand. Her plot failed and she was driven out of her lair. Her plot to destroy Merlin was constantly foiled. She finally determined to slay Arthur himself, whose Bright Blood pained her and whose dreams were immune to the whispers of her master. Her rage against him reached its zenith when he used his own power to break her charm over the Peri, setting them free and causing her to lose her sanctuary.
Her attempts to murder Arthur were blocked by immortals interfering on his behalf, so she changed her tactic to corrupt him instead, and to rob his power in hopes of restoring her charm's thrall over the Peri. This proved more successful, especially when she lured his wife Guenevere into a love affair with Lancelot, his best friend. Weakened, Arthur became isolated from the immortals who adored him, allowing Ganieda to seduce him and bear a mostrous child, Mordred, to succeed him on the throne. Served by Spectral Knights, the animated corpses of mortals who died in their sleep, she hounded Arthur and his Round Table knights and reestablished her hold over the Peri until Percivale, one of Arthur's trusted men, discovered the power of the Holy Grail and destroyed Ganieda's charm forever. In the last battle for his kingdom, Arthur was killed by Mordred, who he also slew. Excalibur, given to him by the Ladies of the Lake, was returned to the Peri. Ganieda was slain, but never forever. She would rise again in the centuries beyond the end of Camelot's golden age.
Appearance and Goals: Ganieda can appear in two forms, one human-like an extremely comely, the other dark and reptilian, a dragon shape. Either are dangerous to encounter. In human form, Ganieda is charming and often moves about human society as a young nanny, seeking out children in the modern era who possess the "bright blood" and slaying them in hopes of preventing the foretold rebirth of Arthur.
The Narrator can provide attributes to Ganieda as he wills, she can be killed with concerted effort, but at a high price. Wherever she lairs, there are items (especially jewelry) of unsurpassed craftsmanship. Shes made them herself, and each carries a curse to anyone who she gives them to. Stealing one such item, however, negates its curse---Ganieda must put the item in the hand of her victim and have him or her accept it freely.
History: During the Dark Ages, a group of avaricious knights came upon a wounded dragon, the black form of Ganieda after her combat with a Ki-Rin from Pride Dracul underneath a stone hill. Believing they could nurse the creature back to health and use it to help seize lands in Britain, they were instead seduced in their dreams by the creature in Ganiedas fair maiden form. Unwilling to leave their dreams and the beauty of their lover, the brothers died in their sleep. Their corpses became undead servants of the dragon, who forged for them suits of armor, each its own distinct color.These creatures were sent to disrupt the surrounding lands, making it more difficult for King Arthur to keep order. Although slain with their mistress, the knights are only banished while she is absent from the material world. When she rises, they rise.
The spirits of the spectral knights remained in the dreamworld, where they became slaves as well. They became heralds of terrible nightmares to shake the foundations of human resolve and to turn prospects toward the Sanguinary. They are still a force in this realm today, battled by Sleepers from the Peri and Tautha Prides. Because they are still mortal (yet undying in the strange dimensions of the dream world) they are among the most powerful dream denizens known.
Appearance: There are five spectral knights, each with a suit of macabre mystical armor, forged by Ganieda, in a dark, distinctive color (black, red, white, green, blue). The armor contains the embalmed corpses of the knights corporeal flesh, and is horrifying to look at. The armor is still buried somewhere in England today.
The Armor of the Spectral Knights
Any human who puts the armor on will find himself in the same horrible trap as the previous owner, seduced into the dreamworld while his body dies of starvation. An immortal who finds and puts on the armor will find it possesses the ability to walk through any material that does not contain human faith, as if he were a spirit.
Each suit of armor also has a cloak of similar hue. The cloak is lined with a dark material which, when gazed into, reveals hideous images from the world of dreams. Anyone who is foolish enough to stare into the lining of the cloaks fall asleep and are drawn into the dream-world, there to face whatever horrors the Spectral Knights furnish. The wearer of the cloak, when allowing its power to manifest, cannot otherwise attack the target of power. Characters staring at the cloak must make a red roll of 15 or more to resist its power, adding ranks of the talent Light Sleep to the roll if they possess it (see sidebar).
If not animated, the Spectral knights are aware of anyone who steals their suits of armor, and will focus their efforts to rid the thief of the item. If animated, the spectral knights will physically pursue the thief to recover the armor. The armor heals itself of all damage during a new moon. Unlike Deepwalker armor (see above) the armor of the spectral knights can be rendered harmless by scattering the pieces and burying them. This does not, however, guarantee that the other knights will not attempt to recover the pieces.
Wormine (The Black Druids)
History: Part of the true Illuminati, this ancient sect of corrupt druids were allied with the Azhoth and helped them battle the Peri. They secreted themselves amidst the Lapis followers who descended deep into the earth. When the Peri took them in, the Wormine kept themselves concealed among their honest associates and bided their time learning as much as they could about the Underworld. Meanwhile, they covertly gathered support among the growing Lapis Quiet Culture.
It wasn't until 1097 AD that they made their move, attacking Peri outposts using the power of their own faith to warp all those they found in Arcadia. Because the Peri had already been greatly weakened and only a fraction of their forces remained, the Wormine sorcerers were wildly successful, forcing the Peri to retreat from this area completely. This allowed the Wormine to build their own defenses, some taking the knowledge gained from the Peri to construct fortresses against them.
Eventually, they were pushed back into the darkest corners of the Underworld by the revitalized Peri, but now they were strengthened by the Sanguinary. They continue to haunt the Underworld along with all of the other minions of the Sanguinary to this day. But, many have since found exits from their Underworld prison and have recruited help from human criminal elements to aid them in their battle below. Ruled entirely by the Sanguinary, they work against the Peri at every step. They know about the Holy Grail and are seeking it themselves. Recently they have allied themselves with strong warriors to match the Peri's martial might, but this alone will not be enough to permanently destroy their chosen foe. Instead, they are working to bring humans into the Underworld and expose it to human exploration, thereby spoiling Peri plans to remain secretive.
Appearance: Wormine sorcerers dressed in their traditional Druidic clothes for centuries. Black robes and body paint are used to intensify their magic. In recent times the sorcerers took to shaving their heads and all of their body hair to avoid infestation by the many insects that inhabit the Underworld. This is one way that the Peri identify them by. They typically carry swords and sickles. When Wormine surface in the Mortal world, they typically adopt the popular dress of the time and place they emerge, preferring long concealing clothes without much decoration. They dress almost exclusively in black.
A stronghold is only impenetrable when the enemy believes it is.
Underneath the Earth lies the Underworld, a land of subterranean passageways, deep shafts and immense caverns. This is the land of the Peri, where the immortals who sought its protection forged homes from the rock. Yet, underneath this world, there lies the Foundry, a fortress even deeper and hotter than the blackness of the Underworld. This is where the Peri found their beginnings, where the Deepwalkers forged from them from the mineral elements. Few Peri venture this far underground, for the Foundry is an ancient place built by the alien Abzulim and filled with unpleasant, eternal living traps.
The underworld is divided into seven tiers, each one deeper than the next. The deeper the tier, the more fortified strongholds a traveler will find. The Peri maintain their creche, the Hearth, on the Fifth Tier.
Peri Strongholds and Other Features of the Underworld
The dark city of the Azhoth, Alavastis is a bottomless pit with a web of horrific technological edifices made of a dark bone-like material and hardened green resin. It glimmers seductively like an emerald-lined throat of some huge gothic beast, spanned by bridges, buttresses, cables and huge machines whose purposes are known only to the Droves who created them. Alavastis is a place of fear, pain and despair, a game preserve where captured humans are brought to serve and to provide food for their drove masters. The place radiates an aura of hatred and obscene violence. Once destroyed by Mimir, it has been rebuilt in a well-concealed area of the third tier of the Underworld (see below). Here the last of the Azhoth, far fewer in number than in past days, still hold the dark city under their thrall. The Sword Of Victory, which contains many Peri souls, guards the city. Rumors abound that it is also a prison to the mysterious entity known as the Silver Seeress, the being who, according to some Peri legends, led Solitaire herself to eidos.
Alavastis has the distinction of being a breeding ground for especially horrific newborns, immortals created through the insertion of a shard within them. These creatures, lacking self-awareness, are under the control of the Azhoth, who use them as shock troops and special assassins against the Peri and to gather more humans into their fold.
The Gauntlet and the Hearth
The current Peri creche, their central stronghold, is known as the Hearth. It lies deep beneath seven distinct levels of the Mammoth caves in present day Kentucky. The Hearth is surrounded both above and below by the Gauntlet, a maze of caves filled with murder holes and other clever traps designed to take down any unwelcome visitors who are not recognized and greeted by the Keepers of the Gauntlet.
Once beyond the Gauntlet a visitor is faced with an enormous steel gate electroplated with gem dust that radiates rainbow hues and bears the Peris pride blazon. Keepers imbedded within the stone walls on either side of the Gem Gate gaze through solid stone at all visitors and emerge if an enemy approaches, flowing from the rock like fountains of lava. Once the Keepers hear the Dirge, the vibration of a Peris himsati form, the gate opens without a sound and reveals a murky darkness inside. This is the Abyss, which is a 200 foot deep trench with a 10 foot wide bridge crossing it. There are no torches to light this passage, Peri must find their way in the dark. Falling would not be lethal, but the Peri do not like to drop ropes down this trench as there are things down there that they would prefer to stay there.
On the other side of the cavern is another rainbow gate opening into the bustling Great Hall. Peri of all callings wander about this gigantic chamber in the heart of the Hearth. This is where they meet to decide future actions and where most schemes are hatched. Illuminated by great pyres in each corner, the hall is alive with light and heat, only the alcoves which dot the walls of the Hall are immersed in darkness, for discussions of a less public nature. There is always a feast on the round tables of this hall.
The alcoves open into the Maze, which surrounds the Great Hall. This labyrinth is designed to confuse even Peri and is changed continually. There are two challenges in the Maze, find your way out (not the way you came in though) and defeat all met within. There are always Peri wandering through, looking for a good contest. Battles are always to first blood.
The only other ways out of the Great Hall are through the west portal which opens into Shelterings, the east portal which leads to the Concourse and to the north, the Great Arch which leads to the Walk. The Shelterings are the housings and living spaces of the Peri and their guests. At the end of the west corridor is a cul-de-sac which radiates halls every dozen feet leading to chambers where Peri keep their accumulated possessions, servants and where they sleep or meditate. Every few chambers, there is a central place where all Peri of that corridor can gather to play games, practice their skills and socialize. The division in housing reflects the Peri belief that the spirits of those who deal with death should dwell with others who share the predilection. This way, they can offer genuine support to one another. The same is true with those who deal with information.
The true differences in architecture between the housings of the Styx Prelate and the Third Adz lie in the nature of these individuals. Third Adz housing is composed of many rough-hewn passages that force a great deal of endurance to travel and are decorated with carvings of great battles while the Styx Prelate section is more finely crafted with beautiful mosaics adorning the walls. Third Adz, however, it is built to muffle sounds and has numerous dark corners in which one could talk without being seen.
The Concourse begins with the east portal, which has been carved with images revealing the history of the Peri. Every victory and each defeat is represented in this round, 50' high portal with space left for future actions. The last carving depicts the silhouette of a creature shaking the Underworld apart, a reminder of the day when the Sanguinary will rise. The Concourse itself consists of over 20 miles of winding passageways lit by radiant crystals and glass torches. Though it is not as confusing as the Maze, only Peri familiar with it can navigate it easily. At the end of it lies the Paragon and Paradigm's chambers and the central chamber where the Paradigms of the Third Adz and the Styx Prelate meets. Near this lies the Heartrock, the central ark of the Pride Peri, in which great stores of life-force are stored. The Heartrock is a clear crystal column filled with shifting rainbow hues of light. It breathes and throbs with a definite beating-heart sound. The Peri could withstand a siege lasting several centuries with these stores.
Beneath the ark is the vault, a feature of all Peri strongholds. It contains the most precious possessions of the Peri people and is guarded by elite Keepers of the Third Adz.
In essence the Walk is composed of two hollow rings. The first runs beneath the north pole, stretching to the south pole and back. The second runs around the equator and bisects the first ring. The site of the Walk underground is astonishing. It appears as a huge, enclosed ornate bridge of gothic/high-tech architecture with flying buttresses, battlements, spires, stained glass windows, laser gun emplacements, fluttering pennants and smaller bridges connecting these and other features. The bridge, because it is actually a hollow ring, extends from horizon to horizon. The most brilliant stonework and metallurgy decorates the walk. Lakes and parks can be seen through the windows. Bat-like lighters, ships used in ancient wars through the soaring caverns of the underworld hang dormant underneath.
The marvels of the Walks exterior can hardly prepare one for its interior. Like a vast space station marrying high technology with ancient aesthetics, the interior is a marvel. Unfortunately, the Walks primary power source, the Blue Emerald, was stolen from it long ago and thus most of it is dark. Only small areas with modular power provided by roaming bands of Peri are lit, showing off the brilliant stained-glass work, the bristling crystal spines and the blinking landing pads. The Walk is filled with old abandoned galleries, halls, quarters, kitchens, theaters, arenas, aqueducts, cathedrals, parade grounds, airlocks, laboratories, factories, temples, parks, colleseums, zoos, palaces and a host of other features. It can contain millions of people. The Peri believe that nothing can match its grandness, and on Earth this is probably true.
A central corridor leads through the walk, and travel tubes wrap around its exterior. These are all silent so traversing the Walk can take years. Parts of it are purposely submerged under water. Many sections have fallen into ruin from neglect.
The features outside the Walk vary depending upon the region it is found in. Europe's Walk is composed of a great deal of gigantic limestone caverns deep beneath the crust, while parts are carved out of lava rock and granite. North America varies from limestone and marble in the Appalachians to igneous rocks in the Black Hills and dolomite in the Rockies. It is for the most part pitch black as the Peri need no illumination themselves and parts are submerged under water. This makes travel perilous at times, but no more so than traveling through the side passages in which Bete Noire lurk and droves lie in waiting to ambush immortals.
Where the Walk traverses an area controlled by a major power group, there will be outposts that may attack on sight, ignore small groups or exact a toll from all passer-bys. The Peri are more apt to wait to determine the nature of the group approaching and respond appropriately (attacking droves, exacting a toll from solitaires and questioning all others). The droves on the other hand are more interested in blood. Solitaires are wildcards, though prone to hiding if a sizable immortal cadre is sighted.
When a member of the Cerulean Order enters the Walk, its clever sliding doors, lights and other mechanical features are activated by his or her thoughts. This power guarantees the safety of the Order when away from their own bastion, Undersky.
Undersky is the domain of the Blue Emerald and her Cerulean Order. It is a great cavern complex deep beneath Arcadia on the Seventh Tier with four cities radiating around a central city. The four cities of Ralderoth, Thortis, Balphor, and Dalchist are carved within enormous stalagmites rising from the cavern wall toward its soaring ceiling. In the center of these is a stalactite carved into a city which clings to the domed ceiling. The exterior of these magnificent structures are carved and imbedded with windows and balconies. Around the base of the four cities is a shallow lake. Bridges connect each stalagmite to one another and to a central pillar which acts as a landing pad for lighters from the Blue Emeralds city above.
The main feature of the cavern that gives it its name is the domed ceiling which is studded with fine jewels, each containing bright fire. From the bridges and the cities below, these jewels are perpetual multicolored stars whose reflections glitter on the surface of the cold lake. Undersky is entered through a number of caverns, each well-guarded by the Cerulean Order.
Within the massive earth pillars which house the cities live the members of the House. The technology of the cities is utopic and powered by the Blue Emerald, a small but operable version of the Walk. All members of the Order who have proven themselves distinct and dedicated to the Blue Emerald become her priests in the city above. Each one receives a Draupnir ring and does the bidding of the Emerald in the world above. For more information on Draupnir, see the text under Peri Artifacts, later in this book. The elite Keepers of the Blue Emerald are known as the Bairn. They have the distinct reputation as the best fighters among the Peri.
The society of Undersky is quiet, reflective and monastic. Any Peri can join one of the four cities and work their way up to the Blue Emeralds city of Tizacia (lit. "the place of singing crystals.") Within each of the monolithic cities are carved temples filled with technology, including the storage area for a virtual world known as the Soul Cage in which the Order intends to imprison the Sanguinary once its body has been destroyed.
The River Styx
Originally believed to be a great river running through the darkness of the underworld, it was soon learned that the Styx was instead a water Primal of great power. It runs through the Third Tier of the Underworld, much like the Walk, continuously throughout all the regions of the underground domain. Unlike the Walk, it is not a mapable entity, changing course without warning and vanishing in one area while appearing anew in another. The waters of the Styx render mortals invulnerable to weapons not enchanted with life force.
Immortals swear oaths on the river Styx, and when they do so they had better never break that oath, for the Primal will visit terrible vengeance on those who do. Some Peri believe Styx, though a dangerous entity, somehow watches over immortal affairs as the eyes and ears of the other Primals. This is fanciful dreaming to others, who consider the entity to be beyond comprehension. To the immortals, the River is dangerous and touching its water can only bring misfortune. For this reason, the Peri are reluctant to travel its waters, let alone soak themselves in it.
Nevertheless, the river Styx is an icon to the Solitaires, who have built a secret and binding mysticism around it. The Peri have observed Solitaires leaping into the water, being swept away by its eternal flow. Most Peri believe this to be suicide associated with the Solitaires meaningless lives. Some are not so sure. The river sometimes drops hundreds of feet in one place, at others, running treacherous rapids that would shatter the strongest boat. Only the mysterious being Chaeron has ever been able to successfully navigate its waters in his lighter, charging a hefty price, not always monetary, for his services. He may be a manifestation of the river itself.
The rivers waters are dark, but they occasionally glow and are filled with a strange haunting song which causes anyone hearing it to weep for its beauty. Anyone who drinks the water of the river becomes a brilliant musician. This ability is only temporary, however, fading away and leaving the character morose and hungering for a return of the elusive "song."
The more reflective paradigms of the callings of the Peri, the Emissaries, Jugglers and Probes call themselves the Styx Prelate as a reminder that truth is a powerful and dangerous entity.
In the Chartreuse range, within the borders of France, a network of caves known as La Dent de Crolles can be found. Hidden among its passages a corridor can be found leading down into the Underworld and the fortress known as the Citadel on the Fifth Tier. This was once the greatest Peri stronghold, now it is but ruins. A few dozen Keepers remain, guarding the Peri secrets of this place.
The majority of the Citadel lies in ruins, neglected by the current inhabitants who remain isolated from the rest of Peri culture. It is similar in lay-out to the Hearth, as the Hearth was modeled after it, but the Citadel betrays a craftsmanship that has been lost in recent times. This great stronghold was a great Peri fortress between 2500 BC and 540 BC when it became a creche until 1095 AD when the Wormine Apocrypha forces lay siege to it and finally destroyed it. It once housed thousands of immortals. Other prides were allowed entry, even some Solitaires found refuge within. Other than the Walk, the Citadel was the crowning achievement of Peri construction in the Underworld, but now it lies abandoned.
Visitors to the Citadel, now rare, are struck by the beauty that remains in this once majestic fortification. Every inch of the Citadel was carved with images and stories of the Peri's efforts in this region. Stories of other prides also share space on the walls, offering great insight into the history of the Perpetual Society in Europe. However, much of it has been covered over in dust or shattered to pieces by the last great battle which destroyed it forever.
Located under what is now Israel, deep beneath the canyon mazes around Qumran, near where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, Emberen lies. The Peri creche between 80000 BC and 540 BC, it is now almost entirely abandoned, with only the remnants of the ancient passages remaining in utter ruins accessible only be the Walk.
Emberen is composed of many rooms interconnected by narrow passages without much decoration. There is some graffiti carved into the walls, but nothing of true artistic value. It is fairly evident that this was a military stronghold and nothing more. However, its defenses have all been breached and great holes can be found where the invaders sought the Peri treasures that they believed were buried within.
The most modern of Peri mortal worlds, Moor Lock is located in the caverns beneath New York City, a popular place of the Peri. Their home is unlike any other Peri fortress. It is only a hundred years old and is defended more by mortals than by immortals. Dozens of passages lead to cave entrances on the surface and to cracks in the walls of the subway system. Humans live among them while Peri there engage in twilight society on a regular basis.
Moor Lock's purpose is to provide a home for Ingenue Peri who do not fit in with ancient Peri culture. This is often a place of transition and most inhabitants do not live there for more a decade. Still, there are some Peri to whom the idea of merging with twilight culture in their own territory (that of the underground) is highly appealing. These Peri often take the form of street urchins to get around without being noticed. This place is the first stepping stone to entering Lethe.
The fortress itself is composed of a Hall where most business is conducted and recent arrivals sleep, the sheltering where the inhabitants sleep and the ark where life-force is stored. The sheltering is barely adequate for the number of individuals staying there and are invariably filled with rats and the ark is always nearly empty.
The role of Moor Lock in the Stratagem is to be at the forefront of Peri incursions into the Mortal world and to provide a resting ground for Ingenue who have just been recovered. The lack of secrecy in this locale allows recovered non-Peri Ingenue to be welcomed with open arms without fear of allowing too much knowledge to escape.
Unknown to all other prides and to many Peri, deep in the lava caves of Japan, there exist a network of passages that make up a labyrinth in the First and Second Tier of the Underworld of this region. Used as sanctuaries for many centuries between 265 AD and 1846 AD by the Soga and Taira Peri during periods of revolt against them, these caves came to be known as the Devil's Catacombs or Senkutso no Akuma. With openings both in the once wilds of the island and now into underground centers and subways, the Devil's Catacombs allowed quick movement throughout the region. In addition, many strongholds allowed the Peri to hide out underground for centuries at a time. Foremost of these strongholds are the Golden Palace, fortress of the Soga dynasty and the Iron Castle of the Taira.
The Golden Palace, built in 273 AD, is a huge cavern that has been filled with a Japanese style palace, the walls plated in gold. A glorious place to visit, it has only suffered two attacks, both by Gaki who found their way into the Catacombs, but has been restored after each assault. This palace, though now quite antiquated, continues to be the seat of the Regency in Japan. Unfailing upkeep has preserved its beauty as if it were built yesterday and promises to survive longer than many mortal edifices.
The Iron Castle appears very different, being composed almost entirely of natural features that have been shaped into stronger defensive positions by the Peri. This fortress, all but impregnable, has served as the final refuge of all Peri of the region and has never yielded to the many sieges that have befallen it by drove and immortal forces. Rivaling the defenses of the Hearth, this fortress is far smaller, but thus, much easier to defend, with many corridors that act as death traps for invaders. Though officially possessed by the Iron Corps, in fact only members of the Bloodstone Order can now be found in the Iron Castle, which has become a training ground for initiates to the Order and a treasury of the pride's most valued artifacts.
There are three other chambers in the Iron Castle: the sheltering, the ark and the vault. The sheltering is designed for 1200 inhabitants and the ark has stores enough to sustain as many immortals. The largest chamber is the vault which is truly immense. Peri treasures are placed here.
All across the Underworld, there are small Peri outposts, usually along the Walk. While many only house one to two dozen Peri, some are the home to entire armies. They are generally connected to the Walk, though their entrances are often well-concealed so that only the inhabitants of a Outpost will be the only ones who will know of its presence.
Outposts are often located with openings into caves into the Mortal world with guards at this entrance. They are used by Peri to gain safe entrance into the Underworld and to keep humans out. All outposts are built to mirror the design of the Hearth, with a Hall, shelterings for the inhabitants and an Ark where life-force is stored.
Strongholds in the Mortal World
The Peri claim the Underworld as their home and make no claims to any regions within the Mortal world. Nevertheless, they do maintain a presence in most major cities around the world as they have increasingly learned that sustained ties with the humans is highly beneficial to their hopes of vanquishing the Sanguinary. In the past, they have worked silently with the mortals to aid them with their war craft and to this end help them develop metallurgy and battle tactics. These efforts have transformed the humans into formidable warriors with weapons on a scale that the immortals could never have dreamed of. Now, the Peri consider the mortals worthy allies in the coming times.
The current Peri strongholds in the Mortal world include Tokyo and New York City's subway systems where many entrances into the Underworld exist. These places are the focus of many Peri operations, using the cloak of random violence to conceal their actions. In addition, the quick-moving trains allow them to distance themselves from their deeds in short time. This network of mortal-crafted tunnels is highly respected by the Peri and similar operations have been organized in all major cities that are home to underground rapid transit systems, such as London, Paris, Boston, Osaka, Montreal and Los Angeles.
Otherwise, the Peri are loathe to maintain concentrations of power and individuals within the human world for fear of discovery by other prides of the Perpetual Society. As such, most major cities are home to no more than a handful or two of Peri who operate together but maintain separate lives. This reduces the chance of their discovery and allows them to operate with relative anonymity. Peri watch all technological firms with great interest and control as many as they can. They also watch these sites for incursions by cannibal drones.
The playground of the spirit is the fortress of the mind.
Portals: Avalon is entered through one of several pristine lakes joined to the upper world. These lakes are guarded by the most trusted Keepers of Kin Avalon, the Ladies of the Lake, hand-picked keepers chosen by its founder Nimue. Anyone entering Avalon must swim through water-filled passages beneath the lakes and emerge in the lake which surrounds the island. There are so many deadly perils to such a crossing that a character requires assistance from the Ladies of the Lake to reach it.
Geography/Layout: Avalon is a huge cavern underground filled at the bottom with a deep clear lake. As discussed, the lake has tunnels which reach into pristine lakes around the world above.
The lake is filled with bioluminescent marine life, including several cetacean species such as dolphins and whales of every description. The water is warm and heals any malady, be it wound or disease. The lake, also known as Mimirs well, is inhabited by the Norns who are the direct servants of the Tree Ygdrassil and defend the well. No ordinary immortal can prevail against them. The lake is filled with light from the falling leaves of the Yggdrasil tree and during storms caused by its falling sap, churns and is covered by pastel mists.
In the center of the lake lies a lush beautiful island lined with gray-sand beaches. A deep enchanted forest, filled with apple trees whose fruit brings about deep, pleasant and restful sleep beyond the borders of the Sanguinarys dark realm of dreams cloaks the mountains. Clinging to the central rocky spire is a sunedrion weald, an apple tree growing a mile high and whose uppermost branches form a canopy over the entire cavern. The tree, having been drained by Mimir in preparation for his battle, appears as if in an autumn phases, radiating gold light that sends radiant shafts through the mist-covered island below and illuminates the land. Leaves drop from the tree and burst into auroras of bright purple, green and blue upon hitting the lake below.
Sap from the Tree of Avalon occasionally falls from an upper branch, creating storms of wind, sweet rain and rainbow light which lasts for hours. The sap itself dissolves into the lake, giving the water its narcoleptic quality and also providing visions of the future and power (temporarily elevating all attributes to maximum for a single day) to those who drink it. No one can drink of the water without the Lsdies of the Lake immediately knowing. There are a number of lakes on the island itself, from which rivers run and eventually fall as cascades to the valleys below.
Technological Limitations: Technology does not exist in Avalon. All domiciles are part of the huge trees which bask in the light of Yggdrasil and move to accommodate the thoughts of the Peri of the House. Any weapons brought here vanish, only to reappear when a person has left. Peri are immune to this limitation since they are living weapons.
Physical Laws: Avalon is not a mantle. A corridor connecting to the the Blue Air itself creates a constant flow of immaculum and dreams that empty into the cavern. Avalon is thus a wild, dreamy, untamable place burgeoning with fecundity and wild creation. Spirits often haunt its woodlands. Those who visit it are loathe to leave. The light of the Tree keeps the minions of the Sanguinary from entering the cavern from the dream world, but its light continues to diminish.
Social Makeup: Medieval chivalry prevails in Avalon, from which it came. The concept of romance is so powerful that the term Avalon is synonymous to all Peri to the word love. Under the sweeping canopy of the Tree is a valley boxed in by high soaring cliffs and the roots of the tree itself. A majestic pagan temple complex is constructed here wherein the members of House Avalon live and work in harmony. Since Kin Avalon is a matriarchy, Nimue and her sisters maintain the rules of chivalry to keep the hearts of their people pure.
The Canyon Reaches
History: The Canyon Reaches mantle was created in 1771 AD by the Tryst, Robert Rogers, founder of Roger's Rangers, a commando unit in the French and Indian wars. He was the product of a Peri slayer in Lethe in Massachusetts and a mortal woman. A great warrior, he used Peri tactics to lead his forces to victory in 1758 AD. While keeping his mortal persona alive until 1795 AD, he was taught the art of creating mantles and soon made the Maze for Peri warriors to practice in. He was particularly fascinated by Peri history and used that as a foundation for his creation.
He created a twisting network of valleys, canyons and cave systems perpetually basked in twilight. Recreations of monsters from legends and some created from his own mind inhabit the mantle and provide opponents for those who enter the treacherous land. All the normal hazards of this uninviting terrain are doubly present as cave-ins pose constant dangers and pit falls litter every passage. The Canyon Reaches have been invaded several times, but never significantly damaged. More often the invaders are wiped out completely. As of late, the Canyon Reaches has become a favored playing ground of Peri honing their skills or looking for a bit of a challenge.
Portals: The Canyon Reaches can be accessed through a carving of an arch on the Great Arch. A Peri's Dirge near it will cause the arch to glow and widen, opening a portal into a random location in the Reaches. This opening closes as soon as the individual passes through.
If seven Peri's Dirges are sounded near it, the entire Great Arch will begin to glow and will allow any number of individuals to enter, opening to the Canyon Reaches for a few minutes before closing. This was done to allow the large training exercises that the Third Adz regularly undergo.
Geography/Layout: Drawing upon ancient tales, Roger created the Canyon Reaches to simulate the Peri's earliest encounters with the droves and to simulate the Underworld as it was then, unknown and foreboding. While it may not mirror those times precisely, the raw warrior ethic is strong in this mantle wherein battle is the foremost concern. In this mantle, the Peri can practice their skills, combating scores of droves without worrying that losses with result in death or victory for the Sanguinary.
The Canyon itself is a nightmarish version of the Underworld. Narrow passageways and deadfalls are common, with a number of larger rooms containing massive ambushes of droves. Worse yet, the corridors and room change location without warning, making every step part of a new exploration of the mantle. Only Roger can navigate his way through the Canyon unfailingly, but he no longer travels it, instead running simulations for the Peri who enter. While he does not utterly overwhelm participants, he does create challenges suited to their particular abilities. In his mantle, Roger is able to sense the strengths and weaknesses of all who enter, playing them against the individual.
Because of the nature of the Canyon Reaches, several dozen Peri can be in the mantle without ever encountering one another. The mantle itself is rumored to be ten times larger than the real Underworld and a thousand-fold more confusing, making every journey through it a new experience. Some pit the adventurer against fire-breathing droves in the heart of the Inferno, scorched by heat while others take place amidst ancient battlefields of the Peri with ghostly Peri allies to defend against droves attacking by the hundreds.
To escape the Reaches, one must either sound the Dirge again, which opens an arch just in front of you which exits into the Hearth, or if Roger feels the session is not over, by defeating all of the foes he sets against you. There are some Peri who have spent decades wandering its corridors before Roger decided they had earned the right to return to the Hearth. This was part of Roger's sacred task before creating the Mantle, to ensure that all Peri were prepared to battle the Sanguinary.
Technological Limitations: In the Canyon Reaches, no mechanical, electrical or device more advanced than stone age implements may be used. This means that only melee weapons can be used and often, the Peri have to use the Endue serenade to create their own weapons, or use their himsati form. This was Roger's idea, to replicate the conditions of the original Peri in the Underworld. Likewise, armor other than coverings and leathers vanishes when the Canyon is entered. Therefore, the skill of the individual in dodging attacks becomes paramount.
Physical Laws: Within the Canyon Reaches, no Peri can be truly slain or even truly injured. Those injuries suffered simulate a loss in life-force for the individual, resulting in unconsciousness as soon as "death" would occur. Truly, no life-force is lost in this manner and in a few minutes the unconscious individual reawakens in a new part of the Canyon to continue anew. Often this means that Roger will set a few more challenges against the individual before allowing him to leave.
In this manner, the Peri are able to practice without any real danger of losing vitality. It has been argued that the lack of real sacrifice leads to overconfidence and ultimately, weaknesses in the real world, but Roger has made sure to increase the difficulty of challenges so that these failings might be overcome.
Social Makeup: The Canyon Reaches have no permanent residents other than Roger, being used solely as a training ground for the Peri. While some members are trapped for long periods within its domains, there is little chance that individuals inside will find one another without Roger's express desire. Otherwise, Roger ensures that the domain is always populated with large numbers of illusionary beasts.
History: Since their earliest times, the Peri have valued and respected the art of entrapment and used it well against their enemies both on and off of the battlefield. One such trap involved the creation of mantles designed with the sole purpose of trapping droves and slaughtering them wholesale without risk of counter-attack. These mantles were called Murder Dens and were littered throughout the Underworld in an attempt to decrease the drove population.
The tactic never quite worked to the extent the Peri would have liked, and were a great source of contention when immortals of other Prides were murdered at one point. The Jury decided this to be a breach of the Stratagem and the Peri lost a great deal of visage. Since then, administration of the Murder Dens is closely supervised so that their creators do not truly slay members of the immortal society.
Portals: Every Murder Den has a different kind of opening that is completely unexpected. Some can be entered by walking into an alley from the wrong angle or by leaning against the wrong bit of wall in a dark bar or by stepping through a door marked "Authorized Entry Only" in subway stations. There is often no discrimination made as to who can enter and guards are seldom posted at their openings except if perhaps their target victim has entered and they do not wish assistance to reach the dupe. The goal of Murder Dens is not to keep people out, unlike most Mantles, instead it is to get certain people in.
Geography/Layout: Murder Dens vary in appearance depending upon the particular bent of the Tryst who created it. There are some that resemble Victorian London, misty and with gaslights glowing in the distance while others are more modern, amidst tall skyscrapers and empty streets. All Murder Dens share an urban setting, they are all set in perpetual nighttime, often with moonless and starless skies and every last one of them is devoid of people. Alone and faced with this urban nightmare, they are daunting to even the most experienced city dweller.
The particular kind of city varies, as does the setting within the city. Some are restricted to endless subway stations while others remain rooted in suburban wastelands where every house is forever under construction and cars sit abandoned on the freshly paved streets. There is never any more than the slightest of breeze, perhaps overcast or raining, but without the slightest indication of life to any of the surroundings.
The true horror comes from the Peri Slayers, Scourges and Highbinders that inhabit the Murder Dens. The only inhabitant other than the Tryst, these immortals form the sole protectors of these Mantles and defend their homes with lethal force. These Peri are exclusively members of the Cryptic Order and are given orders to kill all that enters their domain. This, the Jury cannot prosecute as all prides defend their Mantles with extreme effort. Why should the Peri act any different? In truth, there is never anything of value in Murder Dens other than the Trysts who run them, and these half-mortals are kept deep within the heart of the Mantle, hidden from all but the hardiest of intruders. Still, some Trysts have been kidnapped after the Peri defender was beheaded himself. Nevertheless, these instances have been rare enough to continue the practice.
Technological Limitations: Murder Dens are frighteningly unpredictable in what technologies actually function. Those locked in historical settings are restricted to the technologies of the time in which they were created (i.e.: modern equipment is transformed into 19th century equivalents in Victorian settings) while the more modern Mantles vary widely. Some allow all manner of current technology to exist within their domains while others disable all electronics and still others render gunpowder ineffective. None disarm intruders entirely, as this would create an unduly unfair advantage which could be prosecuted by the Jury, therefore all interlopers have a chance at surviving. Also, serenades are almost universally permitted within the Mantles as no ripples are created. Only the occasional one restricts the individual. These are most commonly known as the Twilight Zones, wherein the immortal's powers are all stripped away and they must do battle as if they were mortals. These provide the greatest challenges and the most fun for the Peri.
Physical Laws: The laws of the physical world by and large rule those of mantles. Walls cannot be walked through any more gravity can be defied. Still, subtle changes can be found within their domains. Magnetic forces often confuse attempts to navigate their streets and maps can never be found. The only true limitation common to most Murder Dens is that Legacies cannot be used. The reason for this remains within the hands of the Inner Council, but it has proved useful against certain immortals dependent upon their use.
The Crystal Maze
History: The mantle of the Crystal maze was created in 1802 AD by the Marquise de Volanges, a Tryst resulting from Peri involvement in the Napoleonic wars. This mantle, created of her own volition was designed to keep the Peri away from her, as she believed them all to be devils and demons. In fact, the Maze at first was filled with crosses and religious artifacts in an attempt to keep the Peri out and the Religarum produced by her did manage to keep the Peri at bay for a while, but eventually other Immortals learned of its presence and attempted to overwhelm her and seize the mantle.
This never worked because the Marquise loved mazes and designed her mantle to be the most difficult maze ever to navigate. It is virtually impossible and those who get lost may never find their way out again. There are said to be still several dozen Immortals wandering its corridors from the time of de Volanges.
Finally, a Palin-generation Peri named simply Marc found the trick to the Maze and walked straight up to the Marquise and asked her to join him for dinner. They shared a fine meal worthy of the greatest chefs in France and sealed a pact whereby the Peri were free to visit her mantle provided they did not seek her out. In so doing, they might discover themselves in navigating the maze.
Portals: The Crystal Maze is primarily reached through a great mirror found in the Ball Room in Versailles in Paris, but a number of mirrors throughout the world allow access to the Crystal Maze. Generally any mirrors that date back to the early 19th century and that were constructed or used in France during that period. This has allowed many other prides to attempt invasions, but they always seem ill-fated.
Geography/Layout: The Crystal Maze is quite simply laid out. It is a never-ending series of corridors and dead-ends of glass and mirror. There are occasional rooms, but is mostly composed of passageways with staircases leading up, down and sideways and often with other passageways located directly above one another.
Technological Limitations: Any device invented after the 19th century will not function in the Crystal Maze.
Physical Laws: Within the Crystal Maze gravity is relative to the individual. What is up for one person may not be up for another and often one will find oneself walking past another perpendicular to themselves. This can be disconcerting for those unaccustomed to it, but even worse are the infinite numbers of reflections that can be seen when one looks in any direction. It is nearly impossible to tell what is glass and what is mirror, but if one brings a mirror of their own, they will see in that mirror the reflection of what is truly where they are looking. For example, looking in a personal mirror will show where a portal exiting the mantle is whereas by looking at it, it may seem like an ordinary mirrored or glass wall.
Social Makeup: Only the Marquise officially resides in the Crystal Maze, but as mentioned early, there are said to be dozens of Immortals and mortals wandering its passages, lost forever more. They may be more than slightly anxious to escape, which anyone they encounter is bound to find quite disconcerting.
The Copper Passage
History: The Copper Passage was found by members of the Cerulean Order, a stable ley-line conducted through a pure vein of copper. Anyone touching the vein is immediately transported into it, traveling swiftly to various nodes along its length.
Portals: The Copper Passage is reached through natural caves found throughout Europe and the Middle-East. Portals are uncovered all the time through mining efforts to retrieve the copper (which continues to shrink the size of and disconnect nodes of the Passage).
Technological Limitations: No technology functions in the Copper Passage.
Physical Laws: Any character without taint can enter the Passage while touching the vein. They are instantly drawn into a molten, liquid-like environment of green copper (this molten state exists extra-dimensionally). A bubble of copper carries the character through the veins, compressing him through the journey (although he has no sense of the compression). The character exits at nodes, crossroads made by Peri imbedding crystals into the vein. The character leaves the Passage as a beam of light through these prismatic crystals and reforms into a physical form.
Social Makeup: The Copper Passage is a strange highway, almost envisioned as a waterway wherein the characters travel in bubbles. Unknown denizens of the deep earth, many beyond the lore of the Peri are often encountered here, so the place is considered a risky mode of travel. The Peri do not actually control the Copper Passage, they merely create exit points from it. Where it eventually leads is unknown to the Peri.
The Emerald Palace
History: Soon after the Soga clan came into power in Japan, Prince Shotokyu ordered that a mantle celebrating the true glory of the Soga be created under the direction of the Peri. The Tryst Sohei Suji began constructing the Emerald Palace to be the most glorious palace ever imagined. When the tide turned against the Soga in the Mortal world, many of the clan fled to its confines. They populated the palace and soon it became the heart of the Soga clan. There they stayed and lived out fanciful days imaging they still ruled over all of Japan until one day an Arachne samurai discovered the palace.
Attempts at invasion began immediately and soon the Soga were sent fleeing from their place of refuge. They returned to the Underworld where they met with the Taira Peri just beginning to gain sway in the courts of Japan. They forged an alliance and in exchange for advice and support, the Taira agreed to cast Arachne from the Soga sanctuary. This was accomplished in 1138 AD. The Emerald Palace has since become a place of meditation for all Peri who seek a quiet place for contemplation.
Portals: The Emerald Palace can be reached through any portal inset with emeralds, particularly those found in buildings owned by rulers. Because there are so many openings, infiltration within the palace has always been easy, but nevertheless is dangerous as a great number of Keeper Peri now guard it from within.
Geography/Layout: The Emerald Palace takes the form of a great palace of 12th century Japan. The entire palace is made of precious stones and metals. The garden are filled with jewels of all kinds and the entire palace is carved from a single emerald. The palace itself is filled with Buddhist temples as the Soga are all devout Buddhists. The principle room within the palace is the throne room from which the Soga paragon rules.
Technological Limitations: Only weapons which have spilt blood directly function within the palace. For example a sword used in a fight in which blood was drawn would function, but one that had never touched blood would not. Similarly, because guns do not incur injuries directly, they do not function within the palace, nor do bows.
Physical Laws: The Emerald Palace is particularly soothing and lowers the difficulty of certain serenades by 5. These serenades include: Cradle, Gestalt, Intaglio, Loa, Memoir and Nostrum.
Social Makeup: The Palace mantle is inhabited by a large number of Soga Peri and mortals as well as several dozen Taira who have chosen to withdraw from the Mortal world for their own reasons. In addition, a number of Peri and mortals outside of those two clans have selected the palace as their place of refuge and have merged with the society found within. Everyone in the Palace dresses in green, though the particular shade and pattern varies widely. All pay homage to the Soga who are the dominant force within the mantle.
Cromlech (The Sleeper Fortress)
History: There is no place more revered than Cromlech, which is the final resting place of all great Peri warriors, mortal and immortal. It dates back to a time when the Peri were just beginning to understand their place in the mortal world and encountered humans for the first time. Impressed by their fighting spirit, the Peri welcomed the mortals into their fold and embraced their existence. When a Tryst was created, this Tryst began imagining a wondrous place that all Peri dreamed of, a place where warriors once at the height of their existence could disappear to and live out their days in peace. For, what purpose is war but to eventually bring about peace.
Cromlech is the result of a number of Peri Sleepers carving out a portion of the dream-realm as their own. It is a place where Sleepers go to rest when they have done fighting battles in the realm of dreams. For the Peri, it is heaven, a Valhalla-like place where they can escape the terrors of nightmares and be at peace.
Portals: There is but one way into Cromlech, through the dream-realm. Its path can only be discovered by having a dream whereby 9 separate elements (for example: a waterfall, a night sky with a full moon, a glimmering field of blue flowers, a sword made of silver glass, the tranquil song of a virgin, the smell of the sea on the wind, the caress of a mothers hand, the sigh of a lover and the taste of a drop of honey) are present. All these elements must be present within the dream for the path (made of smooth blood-red stones) to shimmer into being and lead the dreamer to the paradise that is Cromlech. Even so, the way is guarded by Sleepers who make certain to keep it free of infiltration by the Nightmares. The elements required to enter Cromlech change each night.
Mortals who have distinguished themselves on the battlefield may reach Cromlech if judged worthy by the Sleepers. They are escorted there during their sleep and may stay the night. Any mortal who has been sheltered in Cromlech overnight will awaken refreshed and deliriously happy for a time.
Geography/Layout: Cromlech is a great fortress with luxurious suites lining its corridors and great halls in which feasting and story-telling is a constant pastime. The fortress itself covers the top of a mountain which overlooks verdant valleys and virgin wilderness. Every room offers a spectacular view and every whim is satisfied. The fortress itself is circular in construction with the great hall in the center and corridors spanning out from it like spokes of a wheel. At the end of each spoke is a great circular tower (there are nine of them) which rise fifty feet high. Each tower provides even greater views, serving as a place of reflection.
Technological Limitations: Nothing may be brought into Cromlech as everything needed is found within that mantle. However, weapons cause no damage and no one may harm one another. In Cromlech, the battles are all over.
Physical Laws: Cromlech is a very stable area of the dream-realm, and is thus indistinguishable from reality while a character is there.
Social Makeup: As one can imagine, Cromlech is filled with Sleepers and favored brave mortals who fight the darkness of the Sanguinary in their dreams every night. These Dream Warriors are accorded respect by all other inhabitants there, no matter what their origin. Sleepers from other Prides are often sheltered here.
For millennia, the Peri acted as mercenaries, and as such earned a vast amount of life-force as payment for their work. This life-force was stored in great arks of life-force in the form of menhirs, or great stone monuments. These creations were littered throughout the Underworld and many were created in the upper world to provide for Peri on the surface. In many cases, the Peri enacted alliances with Humans to aid in the construction of these great stone-works. The Sindren clan, the principle builder of these monoliths, were known to even share their secrets of creation with mortals.
The power of the menhirs was in their simplicity. While pride Banjax instructed mortals in fine mathematical precision to design the pyramids, the Peri were able to create as powerful artifices by teaching the art of stone sensing. As every stone and crystal has its own vibration, so too do they store energy and life-force in different ways. By choosing only the most efficient stones, the Peri were able to create comparable monuments without as much time or effort required. This gave them a significant edge in early human civilization when construction of monumental structures was difficult at best.
Of course, this was all done under the pretense of religious functions for the Humans, who used the structures for purposes far different from anything the Peri had originally conceived of. This had a twofold benefit, first the mortals respected the edifices and therefore did not seek to destroy them and second, other immortals dismissed them as fanciful creations of the Humans.
The tradition of stone burial chambers, such as the long barrows of ancient times, allowed the Peri entrances into the upper world from the Underworld that would not be commonly investigated by curious humans and would be dismissed as inconsequential by immortals. The barrows were created to honor the dead, a proper act in Peri eyes that also stored the life-force spilled from their deaths in the stone around them. These secret refuges would be used by Peri who required life-force. Some also contained secret passages leading to openings into the Underworld. Most in the Mortal world no longer have any function, having been abandoned when the Quiet Cultures that built them vanished.
Menhirs were sometimes also left as markers for Peri warriors returning home, marking directions to nearby entrances to the Underworld in a language of runes known only to the Peri. The more complex arrangements involving multiple rows were used to mark a protected path through Shallows which could endanger immortals pointing the way toward an entrance to the Underworld. These stones still point to openings into the Underworld, though not all such openings have survived the passing of time. Many have become overgrown with vegetation, masking their presence or have collapsed and forever been sealed off from the Underworld.
The henges, circles of stones or wooden posts with embanked earthworks were constructed as instant transport sites from one area to another. They were built according to Sindren specifications along Ley lines which were linked to others, including those which turned underground. Some henges allowed Peri to escape into the Underworld when they sounded their dirge. Others opened gates into mantles of ancient times or cleansed taint from immortals that entered their sanctuaries. Most required some sort of upkeep to maintain their abilities, which would in part be paid for by the life-force that would be stored in their stones. This represented a form of ark for the Peri. Human superstition often replenished the sites.
A few henges still function, though most have fallen into disrepair were abandoned centuries ago. The most famous of them, Stonehenge is a transport arena not to anywhere on earth, but to the Dominions beyond. It can be activated by any Peri with a visage of 8 or more.
It is unclear to the Peri whether this is an actual object, a person or another power beyond their experience. A conterfiet of the supposed goblet used by Christ at the Last Supper turned up and was enchansed with on of the shards of the Sanguinary, but this item is a pale reflection of power when compared to the true Grail. Some immortals believe the Grail is the ability to "tap in" to the remaining power of the sunedrion trees that did not burst forth in the Bloom.
The Torques of Almandia
Created by Ivalde himself, named for his Queen, these golden collars are inscribed with beautiful runes describing the glories of the house of Ivalde. They were made in response to Loki's challenge to test the craftsmanship of the Ivaldi and Sindren. The torques make the wearer immune to beheading while they are worn. There are seven in existence, three of which are owned by House Ivalde, one of which is part of the Russian crown jewels (which have vanished), one is worn by a Taira champion and the other two have vanished in time.
Draupnir is the ring that Sindre created in the challenge issued by Loki in 64,800 BC. Made of white gold imbued with mead at its center, inscribed with delicate, feathery script, the ring is renowned for making 8 duplicates exactly like itself every 1000 years. This means there are 528 duplicates of the one original ring.
Each Ring is imbued with a number of powers. Each ring allows understanding of the earth element, allowing its wearer to instantly identify any stone or mineral he touches and its value in the mortal world. No stone can bar the travel of the wearer of this ring, he will pass through any door or wall made of stone as if immaterial. He can enter into boulders and remain protected if he stays inside. He can move underground as if swimming without need to breathe. Every duplicate of Draupnir is set with a gem cut from the Blue Emerald herself. This allows all wearers telepathic communion with all other wearers of the rings, and with the Emerald herself, should she wish it. The Emerald can "see" out the eyes of every wearer, allowing her to direct the Orders efforts. The rings can activate any machine at the desire of the wearer, but only Peri technology can be controlled. Human technology is only "powered up." Abzulim technology cannot be effected by any of the Draupnirs.
The original Draupnir (not the copies) aside from duplicating itself regularly, grants additional powers to the wearer. The first is proof against all mind control and illusions. The second, the ability to sense any shard or vox within 1000 yards of itself. This ring is identical to the copies. Before the original ring makes a copy, it glows and emanates a beautiful music which lasts for 10 days. During this time, the Cerulean Order holds their most joyous festival, during which time a wearer of the newborn ring is chosen. To be chosen as a wearer of Draupnir is the most honorable duty a member of the Order can attain.
Most of the rings remain in the hand of the Cerulean Order. Whenever one falls into the hands of an alien house, the Order swiftly sends Highbinders to recover it. Even so, 5 rings are missing and the gems of the Blue Emerald have been taken out of them, leaving them invisible to the rest of the Order. The Order hunts these five rings ceaselessly.
Cap of Alberich
This cap was created by an Ivaldi named Alberich. He fashioned the cap for Hermes, but after a conflict centuries later, stole it back and disappeared into the Underworld. The cap itself is brown in color and does not appear extraordinarily beautiful or even very well-kept. It is nevertheless, a very potent magical artifact that has not one, but two serenades warded to it. The cap allows the bearer to turn invisible and be almost completely undetectable. This cap was used by Alberich to escape the Nibelung purge of 337 AD. It remains in his possession.
Ivalde, mastermind of the Walk also created a mobile form of the vast city, a ship which had all the amenities of a large city, but which could fly as well. He created the lighter during his contest with Sindre to determine which brother was more skilled. The Morrigan judged against him, which enraged Ivalde. He used Skidbladnr as a base of operations during the civil war that followed, but eventually he and his people were conquered. The Morrigan, for their aid against him during the war, demanded Skidbladnr as payment. The victorious Sindren agreed, and further sold the Ivaldi into slavery as weapons for the Morrigan. The ship was renamed Magonia by the Morrigan and is now their principal stronghold, floating in the clouds of the upperworld.
The Golden Boar
Another of Sindres works, the boar was made of solid gold, was fully articulated and could fly about shedding golden light. It has the ability to sniff out precious metals and is sought by many greedy mortals who have learned its myth is true The boar is supposedly still in the hands of the Cerulean Order.
Never take the same path home.
Deep under the Mortal world there lies the Underworld. A labyrinth of gigantic caverns, winding passages, gaping chasms and bottomless crevasses, this world of darkness is home to a host of mortal and immortal beings, not the least of which are the Peri. At times unrivaled rulers of the Underworld, at others the exiled few, the Peri have maintained an almost constant presence in this cavern world since their earliest beginnings. They have fought the Sanguinary's minions throughout time in this land and have pushed out immortal invaders from above. However, despite all of this, the Peri cannot be considered the sole inhabitants of the Underworld, there are many factions that would dispute this claim and due to the vastness of the land, it is a difficult claim to make at best. Though the Peri may know almost every cave and passage, there are still parts that Peri eyes have never fallen upon. In these nooks and crannies other forces fester and wait for a time when they might challenge the Peri presence for control of the Underworld.
There are entrances into the Underworld throughout the Mortal world, mainly through deep cave complexes, such as the Odyssey Cave in the Nullarbor region in Australia; the Schwersystem in Austria; the Jean-Bernard Cave in the Alps; the Sistema Purificacion in Mexico; Optimistrcheskaya in Russia and Jewel Cave in the Black Hills of the United States. Hundreds of other openings exist, but may not be as well known. In any case, they are often hidden from twilight detection, but an immortal would have a good chance of noticing them if they happened upon them.
The Underworld itself is composed of seven tiers and six regions. The first two tiers are linked closely with the Mortal world, comprised of the first two dozen miles beneath the surface. The other tiers, pushing deeper under the Earth's crust house the true Underworld, hidden from the humans and muffling any Ripples that could escape into the Mortal world above. Below the tiers there lies the Furnace, unknown to most immortals, it is the place where the Primals forged the Peri so long ago, and where the Palin dynasty was formed just a few hundred years ago.
The regions of the Underworld extend down through the tiers, ending with the Furnace which is a separate region unto itself. The regions are composed of: Arcadia, Acheron, the Barrens, Gehenna, the Inferno and Tarterus. Most of the regions stretch from pole-to-pole comprising a distinct territory of the Underworld.
Like the Mortal world, there are many features that define and represent the Underworld's wondrous beauty. Central to its nature is the Walk, a continuous pathway criss-crossing the whole of the Underworld and connecting all of the regions together into a coherent whole. Created by the Peri millennia ago, it has since fallen into disrepair and is coveted by all who live here as the fastest means of traversing the vastness of the Underworld. Similarly, the river Styx can be found flowing in the deepest levels of the Underworld, passing through undiscovered caves and engulfing all those that touch its waters. In addition, there are many wondrous features and fortresses that lie hidden throughout the Underworld, awaiting rediscovery.
Tiers of the Underworld
The First Tier of the Underworld is still part of the Earth's crust and is considered by the Peri to be a part of the Mortal world as it has been part of the twilight's domain for so long. These consist of the caves and caverns that mortals have lived in and explored so thoroughly. They are used to exit and enter the Underworld, but otherwise remain barren of any real Underworld activity or features. This Tier's greatest interest lies in the many rock formations that were formed naturally and the mineral deposits that were so easily accessed by the mortals. The temperatures of the caves of this Tier tend to be representative of the moderate climates of the areas above. They also are closely tied to the particular region they are found in.
The Peri share the same indifference for the Second Tier of the Underworld as the First. Though the discovery of this region by the humans is more recent (the last two hundred years), the Peri nevertheless wanting to remain secretive have avoided this Tier as ripples can still leak into the Mortal world above and they are loathe to bring the wrath of Nimrod down into the Underworld. Nevertheless, this region is filled with all kinds of unique life forms that can exist in its perpetual darkness. The rock formations in the Second Tier can be utterly spectacular as they have been disturbed very little over the millennia. In addition, at this level, the caves take on a cool temperature and are quite comfortable to live in, if not a little cool.
It is in this Tier that paths into the lower Tiers can be found hidden behind secret corridors and hidden doorways. At one time, the passages were visible to all, but the Peri and other immortals venturing underground soon realized the humans would reach this Tier and to prevent deeper exploration, a clandestine effort to conceal and misguide was launched.
Deep beneath the earth's crust, the Third Tier marks the first real Underworld passages where worn paths and much activity can be found. This Tier is characterized by luminous lichen which covers many corridor's walls, illuminating the passages for those whose eyes cannot penetrate the murky blackness. This Tier is well-known to most Underworld travelers, being well-traveled and lacking the unspoiled beauty of the Second Tier. The warm climate of this Tier, as well as its relative stability make it a pleasant home for those who dwell here, such as the Terat who like to keep their connections to the Mortal world close at hand. This Tier also features the river Styx, which some Terat use to traverse the Underworld, preferring not to travel on the Walk with its many dangers. Only Chaeron, an immortal of unknown lineage travels its water with complete impunity. Wise immortals contract his services if they wish to use its winding course to travel through the Underworld.
On the Fourth Tier, known as the War Burrows, little of beauty remains. This Tier, home to the Walk, has long since been mined out by droves and Peri in an effort to support their war efforts which then ravaged the Tier's most precious sites and left them ruins of what they once were. This hot and dank Tier is without much charm, home now to the remnants of ancient battles and ruins of prehistoric strongholds. Nevertheless, it remains the busiest region as the Walk passes exclusively through it and no other Tier.
The Peri made the Fifth Tier their principle home, constructing their strongholds on this level and claiming it for their own. This is one of the most wondrous levels in which great stone forests and carved caverns stretch for miles. One section, renown as the Medusa Plains is filled with statues carved by unknown Sindren millennia ago. The statues are said by some to move. Overall though, this Tier is a hot and dark one with many winding passages and dead ends. It is an easily defended Tier with few connections to the rest of the Underworld, which the Peri enjoy immensely. The long-term possession of this Tier has led to a great deal of Peri carvings and inscriptions on the walls, as well as development of caverns that they admire. As such, arches and grand statues can be found in the oddest places on the Fifth Tier, often monuments to Peri achievements and with a Peri outpost or stronghold not too far away.
Sixth Tier or the Deep Strata
Beneath the Peri lands, hell can be found, a land of great mineral diversity and magnificence. Scorching heat and frequent earthquakes afflict it, restricting most access to the most brave or most desperate. This realm, known as the Deep Strata is the refuge of many Underworld outlaws, including some Wormine whom the Peri have pushed out of the upper tiers. There are few exits and more ways to die on this Tier than any other. Lava flows are common and caves have short lives. Nevertheless, it is a great hiding place as no one, not even the Peri, know its passages. For those who brave its heat and many dangers there are other rewards as well. There are the jewel-filled wastelands of Avernus, the hilly caverns of Dis which are rich with ore-veins and the steam trenches of Stygia.
There is a drove of ex-Terat known as the Azazel who exist in this hell, small reddish creatures that leap from dark holes in the walls and strike out with spears made of obsidian. They are sometimes caught and enslaved as guides as they know this level like no other. Unfortunately, they are extremely slippery and within the blink of an eye can vanish into the murky blackness.
If one would ever care to move down through the hell of the Sixth Tier, a kind of paradise can be found in the domain of the Blue Emerald. Somehow shielding largely from the searing heat of the magma core not so far away, this Deep Strata tier offers a safe retreat for prisoners of the hell above. Nevertheless, there are few entrances into the Seventh Tier and even fewer exits. There is little to see, as most of the caverns are immense, but barren. Only the Undersky holds any real interest for travelers. Isolated from the rest of the Underworld in a great cavern holding five cities, travelers are drawn to it from all over. There, ruled by the Blue Emerald, visitors are invited to enjoy its hospitality and learn of its quest to destroy the Sanguinary.
The deepest layer of the Underworld, actually a separate region unto itself, the Furnace has only been seen by a small number of immortals, almost all of whom are Peri. Even the Terat who have had many dealings with the Underworld are unaware of this bottom-most region that borders on the magma core of the Earth.
Droves and Bete Noire similar to those found in the Infernal region of the Underworld have been sighted in the Furnace, but in far fewer numbers and only in rare circumstances. The heat in the Furnace is unbearable, though there are a small number of passages and caverns in which the heat is muted by serenades laid on them by the Kai-Ra millennia ago.
Other than the Foundry there is little of note in the Furnace. The Peri have not ventured that far into it, as the heat is unbearable and deadly for those who overstay.
Sidebar; The Foundry
Within the Furnace region is the Foundry, an ancient Abzulim fortress of vast size, many secret places and strange powers. The Peri come here to initiate new members of the Pride in the seething fires, but the rest of the area is closed to them with enchanted Abzulim locks that no Peri has yet opened. It is unknown to the Peri what creatures and other objects are contained within this treasure trove, for not even the Cerulean Order have been able to open them.
The Kai-Ra were created in the fires of the Foundry by the terrible Deepwalkers, who are believed to still hold the key to opening the place. The first generation of Peri were born here as well.
Regions of the Underworld
Location: This region is located underneath the European continent, the Middle-East. It is the only region that shares a "strip" with another region, that of Gehenna to its south, where Africa and the Middle-East merge.
History: This region was originally part of the Underworld that stretched under the Dominions, but became a part of the Underworld when the Shattering occurred. This forever split it off from the Dominions and it took its own place under the mortal world. It was the first region that the Peri explored and settled. As such, it is rife with Peri ruins and battlegrounds. However, in recent times, twilight explorations of this region have resulted in many finds that bring the mortals closer to discovering the Walk. This has rekindled Peri interest in this abandoned region.
Geography/Layout: Thousands of caves honeycomb the areas above in this region allowing ample entrances into this part of the Underworld. However, only a select few contain passages leading to the Walk, which the Peri worked hard at concealing from those who might happen into the caverns above. Nevertheless, this Underworld region is close to the surface and only descends a few thousand feet below the surface. It is one of the most accessible regions for the Peri who know it so well.
This region is largely composed of limestone, but also contains a fair mix of chalk, conglomerate, sandstone, granite and lava rock. This creates a diverse atmosphere that changes fairly frequently. Most fortresses are found resting among granite or marble deposits, ruined and forgotten after being abandoned for so long. The more modern outposts utilized conglomerate rock at their foundation for reasons known best to Peri engineers.
The climate in Arcadia is temperate, but an atmosphere of ruin hangs over it. Once home to glorious battles and impregnable fortresses, only remnants of its past remain. The air which reeks of death has grown stale after thousands of years of habitation. Collapsing tunnels and gaping holes in the floor reveal the decay overcoming this decrepit land. Even the once rich mineral deposits have been mined out, leaving vast caverns of rubble.
The ruins of the Citadel remain, as well as a number of minor Peri fortresses. These once majestic fortifications act as somber reminders of a dark past. Similarly, the Wormine stronghold built in 1021 remains a grim reminder of their rule in this region for a short while. Now reduced to rubble it holds the last words of the Wormine defenders, "In Mortality We Exalt".
Denizens: Once the hub of the Underworld, droves, Peri, Terat and Solitaires made this region their home. Now, long after the Peri abandoned it for their new creche, it rests a quiet place. Few dare travel its paths for fear of the Peri's return. So bitter was their resolve to hold it for themselves that the immortals shun its caverns and even the Sanguinary's minions today shudder to pass through it, let alone stay for any length of time. Only the Bete Noire of ancient times would call this place home. For this reason, it ranks among the Inferno and the Barrens as one of the most desolate of realms within the Underworld.
Location: Running from the Arctic Circle down to the tip southern tip of the Atlantic, Acheron is located under the New World of the Americas. Long isolated by its position between the Barrens and the Inferno.
History: Long unknown to the Peri, this region was only discovered when explorers from the Old World reached the Americas overland and found there was indeed a region between the two oceans. When the Peri discovered it, they found droves already infested this land and the minions of the Blue Emerald had already entrenched themselves firmly in this new world. This meant that the Peri were not the automatic rulers of this realm and many battles were fought before they even gained a foothold in this region. Soon though, forced from the Old World, the Peri descended upon Acheron in great hordes and cleared vast regions for settlement, eventually allowing the construction of the Hearth under Mammoth Cave.
Work to reopen the tunnels which once connected the Walk to the rest of the Underworld began in 1854 and was completed in 1975, once again stretching the Walk across the globe. This marked a resurgence of Peri control in the Underworld.
Today, Acheron is the center of Underworld activity as it has become the new coveted region to control. The droves are fighting to reassert their primacy while the Peri are crushing these pockets of evil wherever they go. The Walk has reclaimed its role as a battlefield as many of the droves attacks center on this most prized pathway.
Geography/Layout: Acheron, like Arcadia has a diverse geography, consisting of similar topography and mineral make-up, but on a larger scale. Acheron exists on a grand scale, with monstrous caverns acting as mini-worlds unto themselves and crevasses reaching down to the Furnace. The overall feel of the region is of expansion. There is still many areas that remain unexplored and entire networks of caves that are unknown. This provides interest for the Peri who love exploring. However, it also hides all kinds of danger in this new land. Droves hide in the darkness and Solitaires with murderous intent scurry through along side passages.
The main features of this region include the Gauntlet, a series of traps and ambushes protecting the Hearth, which only Peri eyes have ever glimpsed. In addition, several Peri outposts lie scattered along the Walk, keeping it safe for travelers. There are some Terat enclaves further out and rumors of Solitaire cities persist though none have yet been discovered.
Denizens: All species and races live in Acheron, carving out their homes from the rock and defending them from every other living thing. The Sanguinary's influence is strong in this region, resulting in hordes of droves passing through on a fairly regular basis. However, this is also the site of the Peri stronghold, making the Peri just as numerous and just as dangerous. There are a number of Bete Noire that haunt the caverns of Acheron, but the cowardly beasts found here tend to only prey upon solitary travelers.
Location: Underneath the breadth of the Atlantic Ocean the Barrens lie devoid of sentient life and largely flooded. It divides the New World of Acheron from Arcadia and Gehenna and lies beneath Ys.
History: Seldom visited, it would appear that the Perpetual Society has never had much of an interest in the Barrens. Even the adventurous Peri have only launched a handful explorations of it in all their time in the Underworld. Of the two parties to ever return, all that was discovered was a thoroughly desolate region that was too vast to cross. It was supposed that nothing else lay on the other end of it, so exploration ceased. Even the Terat refused to take refuge in this land, primarily because it is so flooded and frigid. Only Bete Noire have been discovered to make it their home, no doubt due to their lack of intelligence. There have been no major battles fought here, nor any outposts erected.
However, in truth, there lies a great civilization at the heart of the Barrens, merging with the ocean above and the realm of the Ys. While only traces of Ys remain in the Barrens, there were once great battles fought deep in this suboceanic region that would rival all others. However, as Ys is a world unto itself in many ways, most immortals are unaware of this information.
In recent times, the Walk has been restored in the Barrens, allowing anyone to cross it without having to navigate its flooded labyrinth. Now, there is far more traffic through this area, but it is almost exclusively on the Walk as no one has any interest in investigating what lies beyond it.
Geography/Layout: As mentioned above, the Barrens are desolate without much vegetation. The limestone and granite caves are mostly freezing, cramped and flooded. Those sections that are dry are usually filled with ice and rarely have much of interest in them, stretching for only a few miles before filling with ice-cold water once again. There are rumors that conundrum can be found here, which originally had prompted Peri investigations, but it is no doubt closer to the surface, where the Ys have unconstrained access to it. For this reason, the Peri are more apt to negotiate with the immortals of Ys than explore the Barrens.
Otherwise, there is some mineral wealth that lies untapped, but any sizable amount that lay close to Arcadia has been mined. If one was to venture any great distance in, rich deposits could be found, but the resources required to transport equipment in and the riches out would end up a loss.
(Travel through the first few miles of the Barrens results in Exposure Level 1 damage so long as the persona remains dry, increasing to Level 2 damage if the persona becomes wet. Once in the Barrens proper, Exposure damage is at level 2 while dry and level 3 if wet. Level 3 Exposure damage is not listed in the main book, so double the Exposure Period before first wound Rank and Recovery Period Required.)
Denizens: There is very little life in the Barrens, most of it being transient Bete Noire. Some Ys immortals can be found wandering the caverns deep within the Barrens, but their presence is a rarity. More likely a band of Bete Noire can be found near the edges waiting for explorers to grow weak so that they can move in and seize their easy prey. There are rumors of other beasts that lurk in these caverns, but they are no doubt unknown species of Bete Noire.
Location: With Arcadia to the North, the Barrens lie to the West of Gehenna and Tarterus and the Inferno can be found to the East. Geographically, Gehenna can be found under the continent of Africa.
History: Gehenna once stretched from pole to pole, like all Underworld regions, but when Arcadia was pushed into the Mortal world fully, it crushed Gehenna into a compacted smoldering concoction of what it once was. This also destroyed many of the passageways into the region and collapsed all of the Walk's grand routes leading into it. This resulted in little exploration for a long time, but when the Peri grew curious, expeditions into Gehenna discovered the surviving paths in. They discovered a thriving region, complete with a great deal of Terat influence and a number of Twilight tribes already investigating the caves in the Mortal world above. The Peri at first ventured only a hundred miles in, cautious of isolating themselves as droves had been discovered as well, in great numbers.
Gehenna is the site of many battles against the Sanguinary's droves, and some versus the Terat. There were many powerful Solitaires who concealed themselves deeper in Gehenna, making it a dangerous region to travel. Even the Peri are reluctant to journey through this land, some believing it to be a cursed place bringing misfortune to all who travel it.
To this day, Gehenna continues to be a land of discovery and battle as many forces coexist in this region, isolated by the many fractures in passageways that isolate one cave complex from another. Though the Walk has largely been restored, there is a great deal of guerrilla fighting from the droves that prevents easy travel through Gehenna. The Peri operate a few outposts, but have refrained from constructing any great fortresses as of yet.
Geography/Layout: Gehenna is overall a hot region with many lava caves and fumaroles (fissures where hot gases and vapors escape). This makes it highly unpleasant, coupled with the sulfuric stench that fills most caverns. The network of passageways and caves in Gehenna defy mapping, reflecting the cataclysm that tore it apart and crushed it into one small region. Nevertheless, there are relatively few cave complexes in the Mortal world that lead down into it, making it one of the safer regions from the Apocrypha's influence.
Denizens: There is a healthy mix of immortals and droves in this region leading to almost constant strife. Many Bete Noire lurk in the side passages, while drove Azhoth armies scour the Walk looking for battle. The Terat maintain a strong presence here, while the Peri maintain their outposts merely to provide safe havens for Peri traveling through Gehenna. Otherwise, many Solitaires take refuge here for its great number of hidden caves in which they can hide for centuries without being discovered.
Location: Lying under the Pacific Ocean, the Infernal region stretches under Oceana and Eastern parts of Asia, including Japan.
History: Where the Barrens presented a frigid barrier to Underworld, the Inferno manifests heat that could melt metal. As a result, exploration of this region has also been scarce, not to mention that passing through Tarterus was required before reaching it on the one side of the globe and the Barrens kept back westward expansion on the other side. Nevertheless, in recent times, with the discovery of Acheron, the Inferno has become a vibrant area of exploration until the Peri discovered it was the domain of the Phoenix who were involved in a struggle with their fiery enemies, the Salamanders. The Peri still tread lightly through this domain, but have given up any hopes of controlling it.
Geography/Layout: The Inferno is composed largely of lava caves, hot springs and fumaroles, making it very difficult to travel through it. The Walk is destroyed from time to time by the numerous earthquakes that afflict the Infernal region, adding to the many hazards of traveling through it.
(Travel through the first few miles of the Inferno results in Exposure Level 1 damage. After those first few miles, the Exposure damage increases to level 2 and then to level 3 a dozen miles after that. See The Barrens for information on Exposure Level 3. The only exception is the Devil's Catacombs, which have been constructed to vent cool air and avoid these difficulties.)
Denizens: There is less life in most of the Inferno than the Barrens, but it is a magnificent cathedral of flowing magma and showering fountains of fire. The Phoenix move as clouds of fire through here, undisputed masters of the domain.
Location: One of the largest regions, Tarterus covers all of Asia all the way down into the Indian Sea and through South-East Asia, bordering on the Inferno to the East and Arcadia and Gehenna to the West.
History: Lying deep below the crust of the Mortal world, Tarterus rarely connects with tunnels above. As a result, the region of the Underworld is only truly reachable through the Walk, which has collapsed from time to time. Nevertheless, continuous efforts throughout the ages by Peri engineers have kept the Walk open and trade with those immortals in the Orient alive for several centuries. Entire communities of Solitaires live there with their own distinct cultures and traditions, dealing with the Peri on a commercial basis. There is a basic understanding that the Peri will not attack them so long as trade continues. While there is little left to trade in modern times, token trading continues to maintain the peace.
While the Peri and Solitaires maintain a truce, there are many droves that haunt the grand caverns that lie throughout Tarterus. At times, the Solitaires have fallen under its sway and the Peri fought them to rid the Underworld of their presence. Now, only the strongest immortals survive and themselves battle the Sanguinary with all their might.
The Terat's presence in Tarterus marks a second foe for Solitaires and Peri alike. While the Peri are unable to battle them freely, the Solitaires who are unbound by the Stratagem freely attack Terat and are themselves assaulted by Terat forces on a frequent basis. Many drawn out wars lasting several centuries have been waged in this region between these two groups.
Geography/Layout: Tarterus is a region of great riches, but with more large cavern complexes than winding passages. Travel through the region is quite simple, complicated only by earthquakes which collapse some passageways and open up new ones. Consisting of every mineral imaginable, this region holds many riches, but at the expense of being highly isolated in caverns that may only remain open to the Underworld for a few decades before being resealed by an earthquake.
The Solitaires maintain many distinct fortresses in this region, each acting as warlords and sometimes squabbling amongst one another. The Terat keep a number of smaller strongholds from which they launch their attacks while the Peri are content with outposts along their trade routes.
Denizens: A strong mix of all of the denizens of the Underworld can be found in Tarterus with the notable exception of the Peri who maintain only a marginal influence in the region. The Terat, Solitaires and Gaki droves all fight for dominance in this war-torn land.
Appendix: Mineral Index for the Lore Of Stones
The playground of the spirit is the curse of the mind.
Abzulim: The first race of immortals, descended from dinosaurs and with the Elementals, the most powerful immortals known to have ever existed. Many immortals resulted from their strange breeding programs.
Abzulim Warlords (See: The Deepwalkers)
Adamantine A metal created from the distillation of an earth Elementals essence, extremely strong and able to heal itself when cut.
Amaranth: A mysterious group of immortals created during the Bloom from plants bathed in its light. Possessing the power to create Bright Blood in mortals, they wander through history, inspiring heros within each generation. Once thought to be Solitaires, the Perpetual Society has learned this group is far more powerful and in direct service to the Transcendants.
Answerer: The second Peri to transcend into the perfect light of eidos, a powerful sword.
Azhoth, drove: A group of corrupt earth immortals dedicated to the Sanguinary.
Bloodstonese: Warrior bards among the Peri dedicated to serving and protecting the Kai Ra and destroying the Sanguinary.
Blood Shields: Magical shields constructed of inscribed cerise diamonds which are locked into the aura and orbit the body at blinding speed, causing injury to those who attempt to penetrate their protective circle. Members of the Cerulean Order make the most prized of these devices, but lesser versions are made by Keepers.
Bloom: An event which occurred over six million years ago during which life-force from the slaughtered Trees of Light which once covered Earth erupted from the underground where it had been stored for millennia. The burst of pure life-force pushed back the cold of the ice age and attracted the few surviving Elementals, who were drawn by its purity. They entered the fountain of life and were cleansed of the Sanguinary's influences as their shards died. Because they did not achieve this state of purity through enlightenment, these Elementals were intolerant of all creatures infected by the shards and because of this, prosecuted a war of genocide against the Abzulim. The Bloom faded after discharging its power, leaving behind a group of immortals known as the Amaranth. A second Bloom is predicted during the final war with the Sanguinary.
Blue Emerald: A large shard, the substance composing the body of the Sanguinary and believed by her adherents to be part of the Beasts supressed conscience. The Emerald, a living thing, is dedicated to the destruction of all other shards ( including one day herself) so that the Sanguinary never achieves physical form. Because her Cerulean Order also follows this purpose, they are constantly censured by the rest of the Peri, who fear they will come hunting voxes along with shards.
Bright Blood: The presence of an uncorrupted, transcendent soul within a human, who enter the Crucible when dreaming instead of the Morpheum and are thus immune to the Sanguinary's usual influences.
Caliburn: (also, Excalibur)The First Sword, one of the original Kai-Ra.
Cannibal Drones: Artificial constructs in the shapes of insects and other small animals which escaped a Peri laboratory long ago, and which are refining their species with spare parts stolen from modern technologies. The Peri predict the cannible drones are becoming more and more intellegent and therefor represent a threat of unknown potential. Some Peri whisper that the Cannible Drones have been taken over by the Sanguinary.
Cap of Alberech: A magical leather cap which allows its wearer to turn invisible, possessed by the Peri.
Cerulean Order: A kin devoted to the Blue Emerald and the destruction of the Sanguinarys corporeal remains, the shards.
Childrens Crusade: An event in AD 1212 in which children from Europe were sent to the Holy Land to free them from the Saracens. The Peri intercepted a number of the children, nurtured them and eventually brought them into the Pride as the youthful Palin.
Citadel, the: An abandoned stronghold of the Peri.
Charm , the: An object created by Ganieda using a shard of the Sanguinary and used by her to enslave the minds of the Peri. It's shape is unknown, for it was always kept hidden from all other eyes, but it was lost when Ganieda was slain by Sir Galahad.
Cromlech: The Peri mantle of Sleepers, where dream warriors rest from their war duties.
Crystal Maze: A mantle composed of endless crystal mirrors wherein many Peri venture to find an inner meaning of their existence by staring at their reflections at countless angles.
Deepwalkers: Nine powerful Abzulim warlords bred to destroy the Elementals that plagued the Abzulim. They are among the few Abzulim to escape the genocide of their race, withdrawing into fortresses within the Dominions. The Deepwalkers hold the secrets to unlock the locked vaults of the Foundry.
Devils Catacombs: A mantle of the Peri in the lava caves under Japan, a stronghold of House Soga and Taira.
Doomsday Device: A machine being constructed by the Ivaldi as a superweapon against the Sanguinary in the end times. Other than among the highest echelons of the House, nothing is known of its appearance or function, but part of it escaped into the human world in the form of the cannibal drones.
Draupnir: A magical ring capable of duplicating itself eight times every 1000 years, used by the Cerulean Order as a setting for fragments of the Blue Emerald. The rings grant a number of mystic powers to their wearers.
Emberin: An abandoned Peri fortress beneath present day Israel.
Emerald Palace: The Taira mantle, constructed from a single emerald.
Excalibur: See Caliburn.
Foundry: An Abzulim fortress containing many rooms, bays, hangers and forges, used as the site for creating all their most terrible weapons. The Deepwalkers used the magical fires of the Foundry (which are hot enough to melt conundrum and other shards) to create the Kai-Ra. The Kai-Ra later took residence in this place and bred the Adamantine, the first generation of the Peri in its fires. Most of the Foundry is locked behind impenetrable doors, and though the Peri use its central forge for their most sacred rituals, they are unaware of what lies behind these gates. Only the Deepwalkers can open them.
Furnace: The deepest region of the Underworld near the earths molten core, site of the Foundry.
Ganieda: A mortal thrall of the Sanguinary who eventually was uplifted by the Peri. She became thereafter one of their most dangerous enemies.
Gargoyles: A generation of Peri which were rescued from Alavastis by the Kai-Ra Mimir after he consumed an intense draught of mead from Avalon's lake. They live to destroy the last Azhoth.
Gauntlet: A protective area surrounding the Hearth, the Peri creche beneath the Mammoth Caves in Kentucky. Visitors to the Creche must survive its traps before gaining entry.
Gehenna: A region of the Underworld located under present day Africa, the site of many battles between the Peri and droves.
Golden Boar of Sindre: A pig-like robot constructed by Sindre, made of solid gold with long sweeping bristles like hair. The ancient machine can fly through the air, shedding golden firelight and is also capable of sniffing out precious metals, as a pig sniffs out truffles.
Gray Dolls: A Quiet Culture of the Peri, dedicated to recovering the lost voxes of slain Peri and ministering to the wounded.
Hearth: The creche of the Peri, a central stronghold under the Mammoth Caves in present day Kentucky.
Hecatoncheries: A Quiet Culture of the Peri dedicated to intervening on the behalf of humans against the interference of other immortals.
Henges: Ancient sites which allow for instantaneous teleportation from one site to the other, used as arks by the Peri.
Imari: The ruling body of House Ivaldi who are constructing the Doomsday Device.
Inferno: A deep region of the Underworld beneath the ocean floor.
Ivalde: The leader of the Ivaldi, a marvelous craftsman who became embittered by a Morrigan plot which pitted his skills against those of his brother Sindre. Judged inferior in a contest, he led a civil war against the Sindren, eventually to lose and watch his people sold into slavery to the Morrigan.
Ivaldi: Ivaldes House, builders of the Doomsday Device.
Kai-Ra: The nine First Weapons forged by the Abzulim Deepwalkers in the Foundry. They were used as Elemental-slayers until the Elementals were fortified by the power of the first Bloom. Thereafter they refused to strike any Elemental and were eventually abandoned. The Kai-Ra afterward created the first Peri generation in the same place where they had been born.
Ladies of the Lake: The ruling body of Kin Avalon, Keepers who protect the pristine lakes which offer entrance into Avalon and whose pure waters feed the Sunedrion tree surviving there.
Lamp Lighters: A type of double-person flying fighter craft constructed to traverse the Walk, appearing similar to a translucent, glowing bat. Most of these marvelous crafts lay dormant and hanging from their bays along the Walk.
Lapis: A Quiet Culture of the Peri dedicated to distributing the mineral wealth of the Peri into human society in return for temporal holdings.
Loki: A Morrigan who used his clever machinations to engender strife among the Peri, strife which eventually led to their civil war. The Peri hate Loki and his children.
Longinus: A mortal who became part human, part spear Peri when he pierced the side of the dying Christ to give him a merciful death. The faith of Christ is claimed to have transformed him. He is a sometimes ally of the Peri but longs for death.
Lore of Stones: The ability of a person to unlock the mystical vibrations of various minerals and release them as magical effects.
Lost Boys: The Quiet Culture of the Palin, composed only of children and dedicated to soothing the plight of abused mortal children everywhere.
Menhir: Standing stones which are used by Peri as arks.
Mimir: One of the Kai-Ra , the axe.
Mjolnir: One of the Kai-Ra, the hammer.
Moor Lock: A shabby Peri holding where humans and Peri mingle, an orientation and testing place for those about to be accepted into the Underworld.
Murder Dens: Peri Mantles designed to lure in, trap and destroy Droves without a chance for retaliation.
Nibelung: A human Quiet Culture of the Peri dedicated to locating the Holy Grail.
Nimue: Leader of Kin Avalon and protector of the Tree there.
Palin: The new breed of Peri created from children lost during the doomed Childrens Crusade of 1212. They are dedicated to the protection of innocence and the idealism of youth as well as eventual reconciliation of the Peri with the Elementals.
Sindre: Ruler of House Sindre, twin brother of Ivalde and the son of Solitaire. His pride caused him to compete against his brother to prove he was a better craftsman. That contest led to civil war which decimated the Peri. He now exists in a state of regret, his pride broken. His Kin, once the pillar of the Pride, engenders only pity and scorn.
Sindren: The people of Sindre.
Solitaire: The First Spear, one of the Kai-Ra. She was the first immortal to achieve eidos on her own.
Solomon, the: Also called Solomons ship, a lighter capable of flight and the ability to cloak itself from view, the Solomon was constructed by the Nibelung, who used it to escape the purge of Ganieda. It is still in the hands of the Quiet Culture.
Soul Cage: A virtual world being constructed on the world wide web by the Peri as a prison in which to trap the metaphysical essence of the Sanguinary after it has been exorcised from the dream-state of human beings. The effort is spearheaded by the Cerulean Order.
Spectral Knights: Undead servants of Ganieda who wear colored suits of armor. Having died in their own dreams, they also inhabit the dream world as bringers of nightmares.
Steel, the; A thrill-seeking, lesser Kin of the Peri engendered on the American frontier during the old west.
Styx, river: A powerful Elemental whose body (the waters) constantly shift through the earth in different paths. All oaths sworn on the River Styx by an immortal must be honored, or the river invariably visits terrible vengeance on the oath-breaker. Immersion in the water causes an immortal to become acutely aware of his own latent corruption, and to sink into instant ennui. Mortals who bathe in the water are made proof against any weapon that is not enchanted with limmaculum. The "river" is dangerous and unpredictable, and all immortals fear it.
Sword of Victory: A terrible weapon forged by Volund-Thjasse, a corrupted smith of the Ivaldi and the first to join Drove Azhoth. The sword has the power to imprison the himsati souls of those immortals it slays, as well as human souls. The Sword of Victory was used against the Peri and the Morrigan. Both Prides seek it to release the himsatis of their people trapped inside its blade.
Torques of Almandia: Magical necklaces which prevent any who wear them to be proof against beheading. The torques can only be willingly removed by their wearer.
Toys: A group of Peri resulting from Ganieda's use of her charm on Peri females. Bred as a slave race, they are susceptible to the lost charm and seek to recover it. Toys have toy-like himsatis (similar to dolls and clowns) which they use to hide themselves among mortals.
Undersky: The monastic domain of the Blue Emerald and her Cerulean Order, composed of 5 beautiful cities.
Walk, the: The greatest architectural achievement of the Peri, a vast double-spanned bridge which circles the earth from pole to pole and along the equator. The vast city was meant to be the Peris principal stronghold, but the central power source to operate its technologies, the Blue Emerald, was stolen by her own Cerulean Order and carried into a secret place, causing the Walk to shut down. It now remains a dark but beautiful monument to Peri achievement.
Wormine: Enemies of the Peri, a brotherhood of dark Druids connected to the Illuminati.