The Icons

Heroic:

The Enlightened Caliph: A hero in his youth and a pious, compassionate man in his middle years, the Enlightened Caliph wishes to see Khavayin grow past its petty hungers and bloody feuds. His city is one of the finest in the land, and his agents — loyal soldiers, cunning spies, righteous priests and forthright paladins first among them — support those who work for peace and prosperity.

The Immortal Sage: This benevolent archmage works quietly to keep ancient evils bound deep in the earth or confined outside the mortal realm. He shows interest in adventurers who seek knowledge for the right reasons. His influence is felt in summoned spirits, agent-adepts, even intelligent magical treasures.

The Prophetess: She is touched by the gods, or perhaps even the voice of Fate itself. She calls on heroes to help fulfill the brightest visions of the future, and to keep her darkest nightmares from coming to pass. Anyone, from beggar to noble champion, could be working for the Prophetess’s dreams — in extreme cases, her influence can be mistaken for purest coincidence.

The Serpent Emirs: A race of intelligent, benevolent serpents, the various Emirs take an interest in rewarding the virtuous and courageous. They have many mortal allies and fey servants, making them one of the subtlest of icon influences.

The Sentinels of the Broken Wall: The scattered descendants of the royal guard of a fallen city, the Sentinels dedicate their skills to ensuring no more cities meet their homeland’s fate. They are few in numbers, but strong and dedicated champions who possess many secret martial techniques.

Ambiguous:

Fate: Not an organization nor an individual, Fate is simply Fate. To be marked by Fate is to meet with strange coincidences and reversals in fortune with no earthly explanation.

The Beasts of Stone: The spirits of the wild are numberless, and concerned with their own business. But some will speak to mortals they find worthy. The Beasts of Stone are the primal spirits who take interest in people, either as followers or as enemies. Each one is tied to an idol of some sort, its primary means of communication with the physical world. Some are predatory, some benevolent, some dispassionate. But they all have an interest in the natural world, and a distrust of growing civilization.

The City of Thieves: The most widespread organized crime syndicate in Khavayin are those who know the secret name of a city that does not exist. Its streets and districts are laid out in their organization, its culture formed by their activities. All classes of criminal may claim to be residents of the City of Thieves, from the cruelest cutthroats to the noblest liberators.

The Queen of Birds: Of the many fey monarchs, the Queen of Birds has the greatest interest in Khavayin. She is enthralled by beauty, art, music, gossip, and secrets — all of which are in great supply. She can be kind, as archfey go, but she is fey after all, where compassion is more of a challenging exercise than an inborn urge. Her subjects range from bird maidens and elementals to talking birds of all sorts, giving her eyes and ears anywhere she might find interesting.

The Sultanates of the Jinn: All genies have an interest in Khavayin. Each of the four great elemental courts might have intrigues that reach to the mortal world, and certainly there are genies bound to peculiar tasks thanks to mortal sorcery. Ifrit in particular offer meticulously worded bargains to those who impress them, and may the heavens help anyone who tries to evade payment. Genies are also not above taking more personal and sometimes even romantic interest in mortals of especially notable quality. Their collective resources and agents are almost innumerable, though any genie’s influence is more limited in the mortal world.

Villainous:

The Ascending Flame: Khavayin was once split asunder by a war fought between wizard-tyrants, as well as the rebellious people they’d oppressed. Wizards have been since kept from positions of temporal power, but the Ascending Flame wishes to change that. They are an order dedicated to bringing Khavayin back under the rule of mages, whether the people accept it or not. Some agents of the Flame truly have the best interests of the people in mind, but the group as a whole is not interested in sharing power.

The Brotherhood of Vipers: There are many orders of assassins in Khavayin, where assassination is often seen as more pragmatic than open war. The Brotherhood of Vipers are the most feared of all, for they have no master but their Ancient One, and no cause save avarice and spite. They have made themselves snake-blooded through dark rituals, the better to advance their agenda of toppling the old ways and watching the land writhe in chaos.

The Ghul Queen: She is ancient, cunning, and a master of sorcery. The Ghul Queen is said to have eyes in every cemetery, and knowledge of every catacomb. Her hunger for power is stronger than her hunger for flesh, though they are often the same. She savors devouring the corpses of particularly strong or knowledgeable fallen, so that she can add their experiences to her own. Her network of ghuls, specters, scavengers and necromancers is larger than anyone would like.

The Ogre Khan: A great lord among ogres lives in the wastes beyond, and he has cast his eye on the fine cities of Khavayin. His raiding parties seek out the treasures and luxuries of the civilized world. He has many children, some of them brutish chieftains and some of them clever sorcerers — and almost all of them dedicated to earning their father’s favor by taking some portion of Khavayin in his name.

The Slumbering King: A great shaitan who ruled in the mortal world long ago, with his court of 999 other devils, the Slumbering King was overthrown and bound into sleep long ago. Even his name was lost with the realm. But certain of the 999 remain in the world, and both they and power-hungry madmen work to locate and wake the Slumbering King once more.

The Icons

13th Voyage Barastrondo