Introduction to the Peacock Sky
An Introduction to the Peacock Sky
Coming from nine very different planets, sentient life comes in dizzying variety in the Peacock Sky. The aliens of Asimov and Barlowe are just as common as Tolkien’s orcs and elves or the talking animals of Brian Jacques. In addition, many creatures were mutated or created during the Sundering, imparting sentience, strange physical changes, and/or new mystical powers on random targets (alive or otherwise) throughout the world. Some creatures are the only or first of their kind and others have re-awakened from ancient sleep.
That said, humans are nearly unheard of in this day and age, as most of them died off in a cataclysmic event on Kieros during the Sundering. Of the familiar fantasy races, gnomes have been most successful in the Peacock Sky splitting into two great nations with countless offshoots. Dwarves struggle under the shadows of recent slavery and past greatness. The nearly immortal elves split into the isolationist Serene and the bacchanalian Wildlings. The diminutive hoardlings breed like rats wherever they show up and tackle multigenerational adventures with fearless abandon. Tribes of Orcs, intelligent and fierce, fight amongst themselves for territory and resources.
Life is hard in the Peacock Sky, and one thing all sentient races have in common is their ability to survive. All player races in the peacock sky have been built with 20 points through the Pathfinder Race Creation system making them twice as powerful as the standard Pathfinder races. Similarly, non-player characters throughout the world are stronger and advance through PC progression rather than taking NPC classes.
On that note, please excuse the state of some of the race entries. They should all have a small blurb, but we are working on solidifying them now.
The world of the Peacock Sky is named after the cerulean mists of the gas giant that engulfs the 9 shattered worlds. The remnants of the original planets drift through the mists of the gas giant as floating islands referred to as “Shards.” Before the Sundering the gas giant was known for its strange swirling patterns and a huge, ceaseless storm in the shape of a blue-green eye. Since the Sundering, 9 years ago, the new denizens of the Peacock Sky have found out just how strange the mists really are.
Traditional roads, waterways, and tunnels were suddenly cut off at the edges of each Shard, isolating people and destroying ancient trade routes. These intersections ripple with magic, showing other worlds through a thick haze of mist. The first explorers tied ropes to their waists and crossed the boundaries bravely, only to find that such methods worked inconsistently. Some such passageways seemed to have set beginning and ending locations, while others spit the traveler out unreliably, sometimes into certain doom.
Travel off-shard is difficult
After this initial burst of exploration and accidental transplantation, travel flagged for a few years while many races tried to develop air transportation. The Builder Gnomes, who already used airships, were the first to discover that this method of travel was also highly unpredictable. Some groups of the consummate raiders have created compasses that lead back to their home Shards, but they still have yet to chart other Shards dependably.
The mercantile Thulians were the first to pioneer the so far only known reliable form of transportation between Shards: the Ferriers. Like many of the creatures indigenous to the cerulean mist, the Ferriers are incredibly alien; they are huge creatures with chitinous shells and an unsymmetrical assortment of crab-like limbs, tentacles, mouths, eyestalks, and other bizarre limbs. They float through the mist, devouring other abominations that live there and endlessly singing haunting songs.
Sentient creatures that spend more than a day or two listening to a Ferrier’s song become swept up in it, neglecting their past life and devoting themselves to cleaning and tending its massive body. While no one is sure who first bonded with these creatures, many lost Thulians found their way home through their bond with Ferriers shortly after the Sundering. Joyfully reunited at first, almost all of them returned to the Ferriers over time, unable to eat or sleep without the constant hum of the song.
These devoted people are referred to as Journeymen, and their unusual connection with the Ferriers allows them to make travel requests of the beasts. Together, they have forged a new way of living, with the Journeymen building soundproof structures and booths on the Ferriers’ backs and trading goods and food items for reliable passage. The Ferriers themselves seem to have an unknowable intellect, and can often complete even vague requests, such as finding the Shard where a lost loved one resides or reach the nearest Shard interested in trade.
All stories in the Peacock Sky connect to these major themes in some way.
Reclaiming what was lost: Everyone lost something in the Sundering. For many, it was someone special, a family member, lover, or close friend who disappeared in the chaos. Sometimes it is an item, or a place. For others, it may be knowledge or artifacts lost to the ages; much of the solar systems history has been forgotten over the years.
Fixing the broken: When the planets shattered 9 years ago, many towns, cities, structures, and landmarks suffered physical damage. Though 9 years is a long time to repair a roof, or a fallen tavern, many communities were broken as well; a town may suddenly be stranded without any carpenters, doctors, or other knowledgeable professionals necessary to physically rebuild. Villages that used to depend on fields for crops may suddenly find them mutated and deadly, or gone altogether.
Creating new ties: With the races of 9 worlds flung together in strange combinations, sometimes suddenly dependent on each other for survival, people are often forced to cooperate. With old trade routes destroyed, and travel so difficult, it has become desperately important to forge new trade routes and agreements. Old feuds may still rage, but darker, more terrifying enemies lurk in the mist.
Twilight Children: These creatures hale from the depths of the earth and loath sunlight. They can ooze up from any dark hole or be created by great tragedy. Tales of them suggest they have a number of forms and abilities. Many of these stories whisper of possession and dastardly machinations.
Builder Gnomes: For the most part, the Builder Gnomes have been a plague over the past 9 years, randomly raiding any shard they come across and then using their arcane compasses to find home again. While being struck twice is rare, many cities towards the edge of their shard have felt the terror of Builder harpoon guns and cannon fire. Wherever these pirating groups go, slaves are taken almost as often as supplies and valuables.
Collectors: While Collectors maintain that they are neutral by nature, their mysterious ways can be dangerous to the living. They do not always remember that their living companions or servants need food, sleep, or air. They may also decide that a particular artifact’s safety is more important than a few sentient lives. Aside from that, truly ancient collectors have been known to go mad and “accidentally” destroy entire cities in their quest for an artifact.
Serene Elves: The Serene Elves have been sequestered away in xenophobic haze for hundreds, if not thousands of years. However, there was a sudden flux of action in their ranks right before the Sundering. Since then, they have been expanding wherever they have numbers, destroying or enslaving any other sentient race they come across.