Power Groups




Power Groups

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  1. Knightfall
    Knightfall
    Power Groups

    The Arcanum
    The Arcanum of the Stars, or the Arcanum for short, is a clandestine council made up the some of the most influential sorcerers, wizards, priests and psions from member worlds located in the Aegis Region of the Outlands. The council protects member worlds from those that would destroy them and sometimes will help in the resistance against the great red wyrm, Mezzenbone. The council is a huge interstellar guild dedicated to its continued freedom and expansion throughout Known Space and beyond.

    The role of the Arcanum is only somewhat vital to the freedom of the Aegis Region. In reality, they don't jump to protect worlds or affiliations that don't have membership on the council (and sometimes the council will let member worlds be conquered if it deemed in the best interests of the Arcanum). The Arcanum mainly works against the Dragon Empire to forward the goals of the Arcanum as a whole. The Arcanum doesn't have any desire to test themselves against the full power of the Imperial Legions. Thus, members are only secretly involved with the ongoing resistance forming throughout Known Space.

    The council also dedicates its resources to expanding the membership of the Arcanum to frontier Outlands worlds, contacting other Prime Material Planes (and exploring those they do find) and learning more about the Inner and Outer Planes. The Arcanum sees the Dragon Empire in a more long term view. They believe that confronting the Empire directly is a waste of resources and are dedicated as a group to staying one step ahead of the Dragon Empire in terms of expansion and contacting new worlds. The Arcanum will contact almost any civilization they come across no matter how primitive and attempt to beat the Empire to the punch by making that world a member world. They never use force unless they are attacked first. However, they will use spies and assassins to try to secretly coax worlds governments into joining the Arcanum.

    It is the belief of the Arcanum that they can, as a whole, outwait the existance of the Dragon Empire. The tenets of the council clearly state that an Empire is doomed to decadence and will eventually fall. Even an Empire with good intentions will end up this way. The Arcanum has existed for nearly as long as the Empire has been meddling in the Aegis Region. The council sees it as their duty and right to keep the Aegis Region of the Outlands free of permanent Imperial control. Individual worlds are somewhat expendable in the long run and the Arcanum tries very hard to convince member worlds on the brink of being annexed by the Empire to submit and then subvert from within.

    The Arcanum's Council is definitely not made up of a bunch of goodie-goodies, nor is its members uniformly evil. If there is one thing they have in common with the Dragon Empire it is the belief that an intelligent being should be judged based on how that being behaves. Thus, the Arcanum tries not to limit its membership by strict morality or high ethical standards. Even the vilest evil character can join the council… to a point.

    Characters that would use the council as a stepping stone for their own power base are not allowed on the council. However, there have been exceptions to this rule and several self-serving, evil members have proven their loyalty to the goals of the council over their own (i.e. Manshoon). One should note that very few paladins willing work with the council. Most outlander paladins are not used to associating with evil beings and can't stand the company that some council members keep. The council doesn't allow most of the limited magic wielding classes and there are only a handful of paladins, rangers and bards on the council (one handful). Psychic warriors are also rare members of the council. A character that cannot cast arcane or divine magic or that doesn't have the ability to use psionics is forbidden from being on the council... period!

    Also, certain types of creatures are forbidden from joining the council. These include but are not limited to dragons, outsiders, and the undead. A dragon could turn out to be a spy for the Golden Throne while outsiders are always bent towards a particular alignment. Undead are never allowed on the council and any council member who becomes undead immediately loses their seat. There are very few illithids on the council and only one or two drow. Surprisingly, the Arcanum does allow half-dragons on the council but only those that have a good or neutrally aligned parent. The Arcanum also has a few rouge chronomancers on the council as well. These characters will have to be created by the DM and cannot be affiliated with the Guardians or any other group.
  2. Knightfall
    Knightfall
    The Arcanum (cont.)
    The council is divided by affiliation. This can include trading houses, any other organization, or an entire world controlled by one government. Anything is possible on the council and several races, without a world of their own, have been given seats in Arcanum House. An affiliation can have as many as ten seats on the council. However, vote is by affiliation – not by the number of seats held. This can make voting a lengthy process, as individuals tend to want what's best for their personal agenda. If an affiliation doesn't have a centralized leadership that controls the voting of its members then the representatives must vote amongst themselves first to determine the affiliation's vote in the house.

    Gamemasters can use what is presented here to create their own version of the Arcanum. If a GM decides to incorporate any of the D&D Worlds into an Arcanum-based campaign then I recommend that the NPCs listed below be included as members on the council. Of course, some are more appropriate but nice mix should make things more interesting. These characters would vote by world since the affiliations they are a part of are not stellar in origin, with a few exceptions.

    Manshoon is my personal dark horse on the council. This "Manshoon" is one of the remaining clones of the original that was killed. He fled Toril and now lives amongst the stars. His seat in Arcanum House is part of the Theraman Trading Collective. Thus, his seat is not part of the Toril voting block.

    Athas
    • Gulem the Gray
    • Sadira of Tyr
    Krynn
    • Dalamar the Dark
    • Palin Majere
    Oerth
    • Kieren Jalucian
    • Melf, Prince Brightflame
    • Mordenkainen
    • Tenser
    Bral
    • Aric Cozar
    • Gadaric Main

    Sigil
    • Erin Montgomery
    • Harys Hatchis
    • Komosahl Trevant
    • Rowan Darkwood
    Toril
    • Alyana al-Azzazi
    • Elminster
    • Khelben Arunsun
    • Kao Shan Ten
    • Manshoon
    • Vangerdahast

    Complete Arcane
    • Japheth Arcane


    The GM can setup most of these NPCs as members of the Arcanum without much difficulty. The two worlds that would be easiest to convert would be Oerth and Toril, while Athas and Krynn would require some thought. If you use the Arcane Order, from D&D Complete Arcane, on say Oerth then Greyhawk NPCs should take precedence over Japheth Arcane.

    The Sigil NPCs might be a little harder to work into the history of Dragonstar but they are listed regardless. Sigil doesn't exist in my Dragonstar campaign so any of these NPCs I use will have very different backgrounds.

    Spelljammer's Rock of Bral is considered it’s own world, no matter where the GM puts it but could have different affiliations stationed on it. I have little other information on the major NPCs of the worlds of Mystara and the Birthright campaign setting so I have omitted them from the list.

    The D&D Worlds that officially exist in my Dragonstar campaign are Athas, Bral, Krynn, Oerth, and Toril. I will also be using the NPCs Erin Montgomery and Japheth Arcane as well.
  3. Knightfall
    Knightfall
    Arcanum House
    The base of operations for the Arcanum is located on the barren world of Charamosh. Located in a hidden system somewhere in the Outlands, Charamosh has little value. No atmosphere, no veins of ore worth plundering, and very little light, as it is the last planet in its system. These conditions make Charamosh extremely cold and uninviting.

    Due to these conditions, Arcanum House is located underground carved from dozens of interconnected passages. And while members sometimes refer to the caverns as Arcanum House, it is the structure that hangs in the central cavern the way the liquid-metal sphere hangs in the center of a starcaster, which is really Arcanum House.

    Designed as a perfect sphere, Arcanum House permits enter only to those that are members of the House. This is done through the combination of retinal scans, fingerprinting, and spells such as Detect Magic, See Invisibility and True Seeing. It is impossible to Gate, Shadow Walk, or Teleport into the House whether by arcane, divine or psionic means. This protection means that no being short of a lesser god could break through the enchantments (and even then the deity would have to battle some of the most powerful wizards, priests and psions from the worlds of the Outlands).

    Dozens of walkways stretch across the cavern to allow access to the structure but most members use special skiffs to take them to and from Arcanum House. These skiffs are magical constructs that have Levitation, Telekinesis and Tenser's Floating Disk cast as part of the creation process. They can usually carry about 3 to 5 medium-sized humanoids comfortably but can carry up to 10 in an emergency. Most affiliations have one or two skiffs available for their members, which are kept at the affiliation's council house.

    Inside the House proper, each affiliation has it's own terrace, which in turn has a small skiff designed to detach from the terrace. This allows a particular member to address the council from the center of Arcanum House, if they so choose. A skiff would be crowded with more than 3 medium-sized humanoids on it.

    The House is also enchanted to prevent destructive magic from working while in the interior of the structure. Thus, a character could not cast a Fireball in a group of seats that contained a rival affiliation. Not even 9th-level spells such as Wish work within Arcanum House. Some minor magic items work fine but most spells tend to fizzle out near that so much magic and technology.

    The House has a chancellor that controls all debates and voting by recognizing each world member as they petition to speak. This chancellor is elected to their position every 10 years but can be removed from his position by the council, by a vote, with a 75% majority against. At least 90% of the entire council must in attendance for such a vote to occur.

    The current chancellor is named Syrath Erais and has held his position for the last 50 years and isn't in any danger of being voted out. Syrath lives on Charamosh year round and has access to almost limitless resources. He has three skiffs that are his personal property and he always seated in a central skiff in Arcanum House. This skiff is the largest in the council chamber but he thinks nothing of the prestige it supposedly provides him.

    For while the chancellor controls the flow of conversation in Arcanum House, another governs Charamosh. Derr Mantun is the de facto ruler of the planet. Appointed out of the necessity of having someone in charge who isn't involved in the politics of the House, Derr is more like a constable/king than a world ruler (although that is changing rapidly).

    He is responsible for keeping the peace amongst the different affiliations. This isn't an easy job and he is often diplomat, soldier, judge, jury, and executioner (if it comes to that). And that's usually all in one day. Luckily, he has a personal staff of over a hundred of the toughest fighters and rouges on the planet. Those he didn't recruit himself are die hard members of the ongoing resistance against the Dragon Empire. His second in command on the planet is a female raia named Tariana.

    He doesn't trust spellcasters but does rely on a powerful group of psion/monks to police the more powerful members of the Arcanum. This force is lead by a dwarven male named Kurth Anvilstar. Kurth doesn't like arcane spellcasters at all and wouldn't remain on Charamosh if Derr didn't need his help. The two adventured together across the stars years ago and are the best of friends.
  4. Knightfall
    Knightfall
    Arcane Order
    "The Arcane Order has been described into three different references put out by TSR / Wizards of the Coast. The first book, AD&D College of Wizardry is one of my favorite 2nd Edition accessories and was written by Bruce R. Cordell. The second book is the 3rd Edition (v.3.0) splatbook, D&D Tome and Blood, which was written by Cordell and Skip Williams. (I was not surprised to see Cordell's name on D&D Tome and Blood once I realized he wrote the first one.) The third book is the 3rd Edition (v.3.5) sourcebook, D&D Complete Arcane, which was written by Richard Baker." - KF72
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    The Arcane Order, just the words inspire awe and wonder in the minds of youngsters eager to learn the art of magic. The order is an university of magic with about a dozen campuses spread throughout the known galaxy. Dedicated to teaching and researching magic, the order has existed since the dawn of the Gold Age. Its members benefit from sharing knowledge with one another and the university has its own electronic database of arcana completely seperate from the spell database of the Imperial Society of Arcane Magic. The two organizations are like oil and water and don't mix!

    This division has existed since they first became aware of each other. The Imperial Society is the largest known groups of wizards in the Dragon Empire and are somewhat recognized. The Arcane Order, on the other hand, is a much smaller organization that struggles to remain operational due to the universities independent nature and need for private funding. The order is much less likely to be influenced by the Royal Houses of the Empire and it does not back down from threats both physical and political.

    This policy is the belief of one man who has been its Chancellor for as long as anyone can remember, Japheth Arcane. He runs the order and directs its reseach. Japheth is a man obsessed. He has been trying to unlock the secrets to something he calls the Language Primeval (or Aleph). He believes this Aleph is an ancient magical grammer that is older than every other language known to the known galaxy, including Draconic. It is this belief which has brought the Arcane Order into conflict with the Imperial Society. Society members have dedicated themselves to standardizing magical research into Draconic regardless of race and most in the Imperial Society think Japheth a dangerous radical trying to upset the balance of magical power.

    The Golden Throne has always taken the viewpoint that the Arcane Order is a harmless group of crackpots and charlatans. The dragons believe that Draconic will always be the language of choice for magical research and just wish the two groups of wizards would stop squabbling. In a dragon's mind, wizards aren't important -- they only pretend to understand magic, unlike sorcerers, and both groups suffer from second class status in the arcana community of the Dragon Empire. Mezzenbone considers both groups to be a nuisance and not worth the credits it takes to keep them running. However, if given the chance, the Dragon Emperor would love to pit the two of them against each other and have them wipe each other out or start a larger conflict across known space.

    While the Arcane Order can sometimes be defiant, Japheth has no desire to incur the wrath of the Empire, as it would make it impossible for him to continue towards his goal of discovering the ultimate secret behind the Language Primeval. He is content to remain neutral when it comes to interstellar politics. Only when dealing with the Imperial Society will Japheth become passionate about his beliefs and the goals of the Arcane Order.

    Some of his fellow order members believe that Japheth is either a lich or a soulmech. The truth, if known, would be stranger than the constant rumors that circulate throughout the campuses of the Arcane Order. The ISPD has heard some of these rumors and is the only branch of the Dragon Empire that takes the threat of the Arcane Order seriously. A small group of elite drow are determined to learn the truth behind the origin of Japheth Arcane and his interstellar university.
  5. Knightfall
    Knightfall
    Artificers' Guild
    This guild of wizards has decided to remain separate from the Arcanum, for the most part, and work towards a better understanding how magic and technology blend together. They care little for the ongoing resistance against the Golden Throne. And while individual artificers can, and do, have seats on the council, the group as a whole doesn't have a unified voice in Arcanum House. The guild isn't any where near that organized and almost any race can join including tinker gnomes, which make up about 30% of the guild.

    The Artificers' Guild can design spellware almost as easy as gnomes and the arcane. The Gnome Commerce Guild is not fond of artificers in general, considering them second rate hackers and madmen. Thus, the GCG doesn't allow artificers in the guild or tinker gnomes either. These strange gnomes from the Sirion system are considered a menace by the GCG and are forbidden from even coming near a GCG facility. A tinker artificer is one of the most frightening concepts imaginable in the minds of the GCG.

    The Artificers' Guild and the LifeTrade Alliance sometimes have the same clientele and will steal trade opportunities from the other when possible. This rivalry is usually peaceful but ever since the alliance was given sole rights to sell spellware in the Thunder Cluster things have started to get overtly hostile between the two groups. Some in the region fear a outright trade war between the two and I don't mean the financial kind.

    The one thing that the Artificers' Guild hasn't been able to master yet is starcaster technology. No matter how hard they try they just can't get the hang of it. Many a guild technomancer has blown up his lab or teleported himself into the depths of space. Very few of these experiments end without the death of at least one or two individuals. The only thing scarier than a tinker artificer is a tinker artificer-technomancer.

    Artificers love dealing with planars of all sorts. So much so that they often pester planars that they meet until a fight breaks out. More than one artificer has met his end while annoying a fiend or celestial.
  6. Knightfall
    Knightfall
    Dragon Brigade
    "The information here was inspired by Mike Bentley's original post, on the DSD20 Yahoo Group, about a Dragon Empire sponsored pirate/privateer fleet causing trouble on the fringe worlds of the Outlands. Eventually, Mike will be posting his on version of the Dragon Brigade on his website -- Mike's Psychotic Dragonstar Page." - KF72
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    The Dragon Brigade is a secret Imperial fleet stationed in the Outlands. More like a group of Imperial sponsored privateers than a true Imperial Wing, the brigade is made up of the most ruthless individuals that the Dragon Emperor could recruit from the Imperial Fleet and the Legions. The brigade is tasked with subjugating Outlands worlds without the trouble of diplomacy. Many in the Dragon Empire, such as the good dragons of the Qesemet, would be horrified to learn that this group of privateers is sponsored by the Dragon Emperor. Only a few resistence pockets in the Outlands even suspect that the Pirate Brigade (which is what it is known as to outlanders) is really Mezzenbone's Wing, as brigade members are fond of calling themselves.

    The brigade is lead by a ruthless, half-dragon orc rouge/sorcerer named Thul Gulokas. Thul, nicknamed the Dark Son, was sired by one of Mezzenbone's most loyal allies in the Outlands, a colossal black dragon female only known as the Night in the Sky. Thul was sent to the Legions, by his mother, the instant he was old enough. There he learned discipline and loyalty. Within two years of graduating to the Imperial Fleet he had his own command and was the Dragon Emperor's favorite commander. When Mezzenbone secretly put together the Dragon Brigade, Thul was the only choice to lead.

    Gulokas and the crew of The Warlock were ordered to the Outlands and start the Dragon Emperor's new clandestine crusade. For nearly a year The Warlock worked alone and stuck to terrorizing small vessels. The Warlock was though to be just another pirate ship, even if it was well organized. As more ships were assigned to the Dragon Brigade and Thul's power and reach grew in the Outlands it became obvious to several resistance groups, such as the Freedom League, that Thul and his fleet were being sponsored by Mezzenbone.

    The Dragon Brigade has nearly two dozen small to medium-sized starships at its disposal in the Outlands. Mezzenbone is hesitant to assign more vessels to the group, as the Dragon Emperor doesn't with them to become too overt. However, the brigade is assigned new personal every cycle and has one of the largest and best trained groups of pilots in the Outlands. Only the Freedom League and the Regency of Bluefall have access to a larger group of pilots and starships.

    Gulokas is a big believer in in discipline and all in his command must follow the tenets of the Code of Emperor, which was implemented by Mezzenbone when the wyrm ascended the Golden Throne. This Code of behavior is not an option in his fleet and failure to follow the Code is punishable by death. Thul has no tolerance for weak, uneducated, and undisciplined pilots or soldiers. The Dragon Empire is all.
  7. Knightfall
    Knightfall
    Freedom League
    The Freedom League is dedicated to breaking the power of the dragons at all costs. For the most part, the league doesn't see any difference between the Asamet and the Qesemet. Dragons are dragons and they have been lording over the known galaxy for too long.

    The Freedom League is know as many things depending on who you ask and where they live. Outlanders tend to view them as freedom fighters and patriots in the fight against the Dragon Empire. Those living on or near the throneworlds view them as stellar pirates, brigands and revolutionaries. The ISPD simply refers to the Freedom League as being a huge pain in the ass.

    It is important to note that not all outlanders consider the Freedom League to be their protectors and governments such as the Regency of Bluefall and the Crugar Octagonal do not allow league vessels to enter their territories. Other races such as the sharn and the fraal wish this militant group would just fade away so that they don't bring the wrath of the Golden Throne down upon the entire Outlands.

    This isn't likely going to happen as the league is starting to spread from system to system like a plague of dissent. The driving force behind the league is a core group of individuals led by a human named Davis Madden. A former Imperial captain that had been loyal to the Dragon Empire until Mezzenbone ascended to the Golden Throne and the known galaxy had started to suffer under the red tyrant's claws.

    Commander Madden is determined to lead the league for as long as he can. His body is failing, however, and he is deciding whether or not to pass the mantle of leadership to another or become a soulmech. He doesn't like the second option very much, as he is a true believer in the natural cycle of life. If he cannot convince Arassil to take over the league then he might not have a choice in the matter.

    The Freedom League tends to be run as independent groups of starships and hidden bases. The group will rarely come together in one place, as they do not wish to give the Empire a chance to destroy their power base all at once. What happened at Toril 10 cycles ago taught Commander Madden a lot about what the Dragon Empire is capable of. He has refused to commit his forces to defending worlds that he knows can't help in the defense, although he will send spies and assassins to such worlds to take out key Imperial figures.

    The league is known more for its hit and run tactics and in a sense they are a lot like privateers. They will just as willingly attack a Regency ship as a Imperial one due to Bluefalls stance on using diplomacy instead of weaponry against the Empire. Most Regency citizens don't see any difference between the Dragon Brigade and the Freedom League. In fact, the two groups are a lot alike and constantly at each others' throats. Very few outlanders realize that the brigade is sanctioned by the Empire -- or simply turn a blind eye, rather than incurring the wrath of Mezzenbone and Thul Gulokas.

    Regent Hale suspects that the Pirate Brigade is influenced by someone in the Empire but he hasn't any real proof. Commander Madden couldn't prove the truth either even though he knows for a fact that Gulokas is being controlled by the Dragon Emperor. This is why he refuses to let anyone else besides Arassil take over the league. She knows more about Gulokas than anyone and it will piss off Thul to have to face Arassil as an equal.

    The Freedom League strongly influences the regions known as the Thunder Cluster, Unknown Territories, and Zafferan Colonies. The Zafferan worlds broke off from the Empire shortly after Mezzenbone took the throne and has been waging an cold war against the Imperial Council and the Crugar Octagonal. The league has been supplying the colonies with starships and weapons in the hope of turning the Zafferan worlds into fully controlled league worlds. The Thunder Cluster isn't as league friendly but with the increase in cleash attacks and the real threat of the brigade they have been forced to ally with the league from time to time.

    As for the Unknown Territories, this area is uncontolled and wide open to cleash attacks. Not even the brigade would dare enter this region without Imperial support. The league has deemed the area as vital league territory and Commander Madden has setup several ouposts in the region. These outposts are constantly dealing with cleash attacks and rely heavily on the help of the scatti, a strange insectoid race that isn't affected by the cleash. These large, intelligent beings are born fighters and one scatti can handle twice the attackers that a medium-sized humanoid can. The League's Directorate has several scatti on it and Commander Madden is glad he has found a race of allies that aren't afraid of the cleash or the dragons.

    Now if he could just get the fraal on his side then the league might be able to go on the offensive into Imperial territory.
  8. Knightfall
    Knightfall
    Guardians
    The Guardians are an organization that protects the Temporal Energy Plane throughout the universe. The organization, as a whole, is beyond the control of the Dragon Empire or any other galactic civilization beyond the boundary of the Outlands worlds. The guardians know the detailed histories of many galactic regions such as Thel'math'shar, Psi-space, and The Unconquered Spiral, as well as the Dragon Empire. The guardians are linked to the Temporal Energy Plane the way the shades are linked to the Plane of Shadow. The organization first came about eons before the first gnome starship took to the spacelanes. Originating in the Outer Planes, the original guardians are thought to have either discovered or created the Temporal Energy Plane. This orginial race may have become either the inevitables of Mechanus or another forgotten race older than even the shanthas.

    The guardians are everywhere but very few galactic races are aware of the groups presence. Most that do know of its existance are member races to the organization such as the fraal, teres, and shanthas. A few younger races have also joined the guardians, on an individual basis, and elves, sharns, and even the arcane have been known to join the guardians. The organization has only a handful of of the other standard races as members except for humans. Humans are by far the most diverse race in the galaxy, which means they would eventually come to be a factor amongst the guardians. Humans are also the most likely, but not the only, race to become rouge time travelers, attempting to alter the past for their benefit (drow are bad for this as well). Most rouge chronomancers are hunted down once discovered but the problem is discovering them.

    The guardians are controlled by an ancient group of chronomancers known as the Time Lords. These six powerful masters of time keep to their own council. The Time Lords are powerful outsiders that live in the Citadel of Eternity, which is said to be the focal point of the Temporal Energy Plane. No one knows whether or not these six beings were ever mortal but that is unimportant now. The Time Lords are nearly godlike in their power and none within the organization would dare betray them. Rogue chronomancers don't last long once a Time Lord becomes personally aware of them.

    The Time Lords believe that what is past is past. They are completely against any sort of time travel into the past to prevent Mezzenbone from assuming the Golden Throne. This has caused an ongoing feud between the Arcanum and the guardians. Only rogue chronomancers willingly join or work with the Arcanum. The Time Lords believe in keeping the temporal status quo and work in the background against both the Dragon Empire and the Arcanum whenever the flow of time is endangered.

    The guardians have starcaster technology that allows them to travel through time, as well as space. Therefore, PCs are likely to meet them anywhere at anytime. These powerful timecasters could tip the balance of power in the known galaxy if they fell into the wrong hands. Luckily, the guardians believe that anyone but them is the wrong hands. There has never been an occurrence of a guardian crew losing control of a timecasting starship, as guardians will fight to the death and/or destroy the vessel before letting it be captured.

    Note: While the Time Lords are indeed masters of time and space they don't know everything that existed, exists, or that will exist. They aren't truly gods and can't see something that a god of time doesn't want them to see. I will eventually detail these powerful characters using the D&D Epic Level Handbook.
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    See the AD&D 2nd Edition Chronomancy Accessory for more details on D&D-based time travel and the Guardians. See pages 208 to 210 in the D&D Manual of the Planes for details on the Temporal Energy Plane and the Citadel of Eternity.
  9. Knightfall
    Knightfall
    Jade Consortium
    The Jade Consortium is an alliance of countries, regions and even whole worlds bonded together by what is known as "Far East" culture. This culture isn't always in the east but the consortium prefers this term to the generic descriptor of being oriental. The consortium is a sanctioned Imperial community and its members can be found anywhere in the Dragon Empire including the throneworlds. The consortium has a reputation for providing unique Far East goods and services at reasonable costs. They also defend the Far East culture from those who would exploit it.

    The consortium is a legitimate organization with its roots in honor and the way of the samurai. They have no love for criminal organizations and have opposed such groups in the past and will continue to do so in the future. The consortium has heard rumors of a yakuza alliance, which has been spreading throughout the Outlands worlds but the consortium hasn't come into contact with them yet. The consortium has also been known to oppose the methods of the Arcane and the Slaadi Lords. They aren't fond of Mezzenbone and the changes he has brought about since the Red Age began but the consortium knows that to openly defy the Dragon Emperor is to lose eveything they have worked for.

    Those outside of the consortium whisper that the true power behind the consortium are the secretive Lung Dragons. These Far East dragons have always seperated themselves from the more widely known chromatic and metallic dragon types of know space. This is in part due to cultural differences, as well as the fact that lung dragons are as much a part of the spirit world in Far East culture as they are the physical one. If it is indeed true that the lung dragons control the Jade Consortium then that would mean the consortium exists because of the influence of the Celestial Bureaucracy.

    Those in the consortium deny that the lung dragons have any influence as to how the organization is run. They simply state that such powerful creatures are above and beyond any one organization. After all, the lungs, or spirit dragons, as they are sometimes referred to, have way more important things to concern themselves with then the day to day concerns of mortal life. This attitude tend to irk chromatic and metallic dragons. A dragon is a dragon to them and they don't believe for a second that the lung dragons don't want a piece of the Imperial pie. Howerver, no one has been able to locate a Imperial lung dragon and ask them.
  10. Knightfall
    Knightfall
    LifeTrade Alliance
    When one thinks of the LifeTrade Alliance the first thing that comes to mind is the arcane. And while the arcane are the absolute masters of the alliance they don't run every facet of the day-to-day operation. Almost any race can be found working for the alliance, from dwarves to thivins, the workforce of the LTA is one of the most diverse in known space. The main exceptions to this are gnomes and drow who aren't trusted by the arcane to keep valuable trade secrets secret. And while the arcane and the sharn don't like each other they will cut trade deals with each other from time to time, as long as it is to both races benefit and they don't have to deal directly with each other. This is where the race known as the thivin come in.

    Thivins are a strange race of interstellar traders that the arcane first discovered. The arcane were amazed by the thivins natural talent for trade and some believe the race was created by the god Ptah, a powerful aspect of the Merchant. It is also believed that if anyone harms a thivin they will suffer great tragedy physically and financially. The arcane immediately saw the benefit of having a race with such a legend attached to their existence, work only for them. However, they learned that trying to force the thivin to work only for them cost them more than it was worth. The arcane are mow positive that the legend is not just a legend but a fact. The arcane went from being financial atheists to some of the most faithful followers of the Merchant as a result.

    The two races are the driving force behind the LTA but most of the legwork is done by humans and dwarves. Humans are a diverse lot and can trade with almost anyone, while dwarves have a natural talent with stone, metal and gems, which the LTA considers invaluable. Dwarves, while stubborn and hot-tempered at times, are big into honor and won't ripoff the Alliance or at least that's the arcane's theory. Thivins tend to get along with t'sa and elves, which has brought about several interesting business opportunities for the alliance. The Armada of Sehanine, which travels throughout the Outlands, trades almost exclusively with the LifeTrade Alliance.

    The alliance's relations with the Dragon Empire has always be cordial if not a little cool but things are changing now that Mezzenbone has become Emperor.
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