“I’ve forgotten this before.”
- A Thassali phrase, used to describe a past-life’s memory.
During a war with Ackenzal, the regency of Thassal used forbidden magic known as astromancy to call down an asteroid on their foes. As punishment for breaching the Starfall Truce, the Fae Courts unleashed the Wombplague on Thassal. Any child born to an afflicted would be soulless and unmoving. The magi of the nation scrambled to find a way to save their people from extinction, and found the answer in anagogic magic. They created the phylacteries—objects in which a sentient soul could be stored, unfrayed, upon the time of death. When an afflicted woman becomes pregnant, magi transfer a soul from the phylactery into the womb. All Thassali children are fully braided to a phylactery when they come of age so when they die their souls are stored once again, and, in this way the people live on. The only exceptions to the braiding ritual are those who are destined to become servants to the Devas, who remove themselves from the cycle of rebirth. The effects of being continuously reborn are strange, making the Venerable distant, wise, and slightly unnerving.
Play a Venerable if you want…
- To be have dimly remembered connections to previous lives.
- To play a character with a very direct connection of Ruengouthe’s history.
- To be able to excel as an avenger, cleric, invoker, psion, or wizard.
- Use the Deva statistics from the Player’s Handbook 2. Languages are Vulgate, Thassali, and choice of one other.
Physical Description: Venerables, like normal humans of their region, are dark-skinned, with densely curled and dry hair. However, the rebirth cycle has changed them physically somewhat. Many children are born with rheumy eyes, giving them a glazed, bluish tint. The Venerable also stick out due to their unearthly stillness, being able to stand as still as a statue. The most unnerving aspect of this is the fact that a Venerable can hold their eyes stock still, staring more deeply than is possible for normal humans. Venerables live just as long as a normal human, though they reach emotional and mental maturity much, much quicker. Most can speak by six months old, and at the age of twelve they reach the cognitive capacities of a normal twenty-year old. Venerables tend to dress in light, breezy clothing because of the tropical region they live in. Shaven heads are common among married men, and both genders mark their marital status on their foreheads.
Playing a Venerable in this campaign: In the world of Ruengoethe the Venerable are seen as serving a punishment for a sin of their ancestors—you may feel guilty for this, or you may regard the curse as unfair. Venerables tend to be wary of those who may harbor resentment. In Ganza, the region still feeling the effects of the second starfall, Venerable are very unwelcome. Venerables are known to have moments of memory that strike them at odd times. They may feel a connection to a face, an object, or a phrase that one of their past lives experienced. As a player, feel free to explore these scenarios and try and see what one of your past lives may have done. Venerables are obsessed with tracing lineages and actions of their ancestors in order to determine the truest nature of one’s spirit-— to discover what is determined by the nature soul and what one can will to be.