Shadowlands Regions & Factions
The Shadowlands are divided into three major regions. The innermost region is called Avior, and it is further divided into 5 nations. We’ll cover those shortly. The middle region is called The Twilight Expanse, and it is home to 6 of the 7 Free Cities. Finally, the outermost region is called The Shadow Wilds, home to the last known bastion of civilization, Last Light, the 7th Free City.
Avior is the most populous region of the Shadowlands. At its center, in the Illuminated Palace lies the Bot-Shahar (Daughter of Dawn), the only true source of light in all of the Shadowlands. Without the Bot-Shahar, no light would be able to shine anywhere in the Shadowlands. The further one gets away from this source, the less effective light becomes.
Because of its close proximity to the Illuminated Palace, Avior still has some vestige of a day/night cycle. The sun shines for approximately 4 hours each day here.
The 5 Great Houses –
Avior is divided into 5 nations, each ruled over by one of the 5 great houses. No house can lay claim to the land upon which the Illuminated Palace is built though.
House Leshra –
Ruled over by King Doram Leshra, 2nd of his name, House Leshra is known as the darkest of the 5 great houses. They are the keepers of secrets, and stealers of dreams. Well suited to life in the Shadowlands, the members of House Leshra are known to employ assassins, rogues, fixers, and other “denizens of the dark” to carry out their plans. The house almost never moves openly, or acts hastily. They are careful planners, and scheming minds.
House Perks: +2 Stealth, +2 Bluff, +1d6 Sneak Attack Damage (Regardless of Class)
Leshran Fade – You become invisible until the beginning of your next turn, attacking ends the invisibility after the attack is completed. Free Action. 1/encounter.
Dark Favor – You can call in a favor from a higher ranking House Member at any time, but no more often than once per month. This favor can be great or small, but always comes at a price; either gold or another favor in return. The return favors are very unpleasant or dangerous. You cannot call in another favor until you have repaid the first one. (Caution: Waiting a long time to repay a favor can be bad for your wellbeing.)
House Tazen –
Ruled over by King Gramesh Tazen, 1st of his name, House Tazen has made a reputation for itself as the home of the finest warriors. They are unmatched in skill with a blade or bow, and their shields never shatter. Short of temper, and quick to violence, House Tazen is a powder keg. The other houses make extra efforts to avoid starting unnecessary wars due to accidently offending a member of House Tazen. This house respects strength over everything else. They hold grand tournaments twice a year, offering fabulous prizes to the winners (most often their own members.)
House Perks: +2 Intimidate, +2 Acrobatics, +1 to Attack or AC (Chosen once and the choice is permanent)
Tazen Ferocity – You can reroll your last failed attack roll with a +2 bonus. Free Action. 1/encounter.
Reinforcements – You can call for a small contingent of Tazen Soldiers (4 in total) to aid you for up to 24 hours. The soldiers’ levels are always equal to your level -2. They will protect you and anyone you designate from any harm that may come your way during their service. You may also choose to issue the solders specific orders. They will attempt to carry out these orders to the best of their abilities. Should any of the solders die while in your service, you will be required to pay a fee to the house for each soldier that dies. (Fee based on level.) You may call for reinforcements once per month.
House Ithen –
Ruled over by Archmaster Wren Ithen, 3rd of his name, House Ithen boasts the greatest repository of knowledge in all the Shadowlands. They are scholars and mages, loremasters and archivists; only House Leshra can even hope to compete with them when it comes to secret knowledge and lost lore. This house prizes knowledge highest of all. They are refined, dignified, and well read.
House Perks: +4 Any Knowledge, +2 Use Magic Device, +1 additional trained Skill.
Ithen Knowledge – You may make an appropriate knowledge check against an enemy in place of an Attack Roll. Free Action. 1/encounter.
Arcane Council – You can call on the combined knowledge of House Ithen to answer any single question. This service is most often provided for free. However, there are some questions that come with a price. You may call an Arcane Council only once per month.
House Lumen –
Ruled over by Archbishop Alleria Lumen, 2nd of her name, House Lumen worships the Bot-Shahar. They are priests and paladins; protectors of the light. To house Lumen, it is only by the will of the Bot-Shahar that any are allowed the grace of illumination. Though none have ever managed to make it to the Illuminated Palace and back again, House Lumen is vigilant in its study and protection of the holy site. This House is single minded in its devotion to the light. They seek to find ways to expand what little light the Shadowlands has, even going so far as to fund expeditions into the Shadow Wilds, both to bring light to the darkness, and seek whatever answers may be hidden there.
House Perks: +2 Heal, +2 Survival, +1d6 Healing from direct sources.
Lumen Zeal – Your next successful attack causes a blinding flash of light. One creature affected by that attack becomes Blinded until the end if your next turn. Free Action. 1/encounter.
Illuminate – You can call upon your devotion to the Bot-Shahar in order to bring light to dark places, at least for a little while. When you employ this ability you create an area of bright light in a 20ft radius burst. This light dispels all darkness, and creatures of darkness cannot enter this area. Creatures of light within the area will heal at twice the normal rate, and cannot be affected by nightmares. The light lasts for 24 hours. You may call upon the Bot-Shahar in this way only once per month.
House Enai –
Ruled over by Grand Arbiter Lordim Enai, 1st of his name, House Enai is the law of the Shadowlands. They are judges and arbiters; keepers of the peace. House Enai is a strictly neutral house. They are called upon to settle disputes between the other houses and to interpret the laws of the land. This house is strictly impartial; any evidence that suggests a member has a bias toward any other house faces the harshest of punishments.
House Perks: +2 Perception, +2 Sense Motive, +2 to Will Saves
Enaian Impartiality – You may instantly end one Fear, Charm, or Dominate effect that you suffer from. Free Action. 1/encounter.
Inquisition – You can call upon your house to ascertain the truth from one target you have in custody. Once you hand the target over to your house’s “tongue looseners” you may ask any number of questions of that target. The target may not choose to stay silent. They must answer and the *will* answer truthfully. You may call an inquisition only once per month.