Tiralth, Quest for Freedom
The Vaxian Empire
By This Blade I Hunt
_ By This Blade I Live_
_ Cower all ye Prey_
For by the Blade I Come!
- Common Vaxian Prayer before a battle.
The Vaxian empire consists of a large island continent just north of the Dark Elven territory of Firen. It is a lush environment home to many forms of reptilian life. From Raptors who hunt in packs, to small geckos. The island, called Vaxis by the inhabitants, is a mountainous region filled with jungles and flowing rivers leading to the oceans.
The Vaxians are actually a race that was magically evolved from the native Raptors of the Island by the Great Black Wyrm Vermithrax. The rebellion lead by the Kin saw the near total genocide of the dragon species. Vermithrax, who by a stroke of luck, was not one of the Dragons targeted in the night of a Thousand scales, saw the end of his race in the uprising. His mate was killed before his eyes by a host of enraged Kin, he saw his own brood mates murdered and watched as the Black dragon Flight was torn apart one Dragon at a time. Knowing a loosing battle when he saw one he fled south, using magic to keep him hidden and flying higher than any Kin could reach he eventually found an Island continent he had visited before. Plenty of hunting ground, and best of all none of the Slave races lived there as the Blacks had long claimed it as a secluded hunting ground.
There he vowed vengeance on the Kin, their covenant, and the Races of the world who helped them. Being one of the Dragons who was present at the creation of the Kin he knew the magic that was used in their creation. He knew he was alone, and had no Dragon Eggs to use in the spell. So he traveled the Continent and gathered 500 eggs from the Raptors. He would grow his own warriors, and then when the race had grown he would strike the slaves down. He hunted for a week straight, gathering a natural body reserve to strengthen him. Then he brought the eggs to him and began to cast magic.
For one month he poured arcane will into the 500 eggs. He molded and shaped the embryos inside until they were humanoid. He could not give them wings he found, but he could make them tougher than the Kin. He kept some of the Raptor’s instincts, the hunting by scent, he influenced their intelligence, and kept their natural claws and sharp teeth. Then he added bits of his species, the Black Dragon Flight. There he added cunning, seeking of knowledge, and the toughness of Dragon scales. Then he cast with every ounce of his will one word to be etched into the very soul of his creations: Loyalty.
After many months of tending the eggs finally hatched. All 500 had survived the incubation and the magical alteration. Picking one up from the mess of squalling infant dragon men he marked the male with the point of a talon. Three lines across the face, carefully avoiding the eye. From left, to right. He named the infant Agenor Vaxis, and named him the Emperor of this new race. That line from his seed would rule this, his race and carry out his will. From then forth the infants were known as Vaxians, and Vermithrax began their education.
The infants all grew under Vermithrax’s tutelage. He quickly discovered that the Vaxians had absolutely no touch of the arcane. Something the Kin and even the other slave races, would have a major advantage over. He also discovered that were they lacked arcane mastery, seven of the Vaxians seamed to have a divine connection. He nurtured this and gave the children volumes of tomes to read about his gods. The goddess of Fire, and her pantheon. Strangely they were all female, and the circle of priestesses was created. The other children went forth into the jungles and hunted on their free time. Soon competing in competitions on who could hunt the strongest opponents. Unsurprisingly Agenor was the top hunter all the other hunters aspired to best him. It was a friendly competition, and trophies were kept to show the honor, and to tell the story of worthy prey.
For hundreds of years the Vaxian race grew, developed a society, began traditions and slid into a social caste system. Vermithrax encouraged and offered suggestions, but never took a claw in the running of the empire. The empire spread to every corner of the continent, six major cities sprung up, with towns and villages dotting the countryside. Being carnivores the Vaxians had no use for agriculture except as a hobby. The Capital city of Vaxis, named after the first emperor, houses Vermithrax’s massive underground lair as well as the Circle’s primary temple.
The Vaxians developed an intricate Caste system comprising of the following Castes; Recrnar, Prestise, Tograth, Gonlar, and Sevarth. They break down as follows.
• Recrnar: Or Royal in the Vaxian tongue. These are the direct decedents of the First Emperor Ageno Vaxis. The Emperor is always anointed by the Prestise Caste from this Caste. While being in charge of the Vaxian Empire they follow the Strict codes of honor as defined by the Tograth. Like Agenor, the Emperor is marked by Vermithrax with three lines tore across the face by his claw.
• Prestise: The circle is comprised of female Vaxians who have the ability to serve the Gods. All young females are tested by the Circle for the gift of hearing. Which means, the ability to harness Divine energies through prayer. The Caste itself oversees the blessing of Hunters, Rites of passage, and baptisms.
• Tograth: Or Hunter in the Vaxian tongue. The Tograth are both warriors and providers. They follow a strict code of honor that focuses on the hunt. They carry ritualistic Halberds and use them with deadly efficiency in both battle and on the hunt. They also carry a long bladed belt knife called a Talon strapped to the left thigh. On the Right wrist all hunters have strapped on a miniature Crossbow that carries six barbed bolts. This is only ever used in battle against those who prefer to cowardly shoot bows as opposed to meeting honorably face to face in battle. When not in battle or on a Hunt the Tograth Caste are very intellectual. From poetry, to painting, they practice forms of expression that have nothing to do with battle or the hunt. The most popular, despite the races carnivore tendencies is Jurat tree tending. The highest honor in battle is the taking of trophies. Those that are killed by a hunter have some signet, hair, or other signifying mark striped for their corpse and attached to a ribbon or ribbons that trail from an honor blade. If a Trophy is taken, the Hunter will eat the Heart of his prey fresh from the corpse so that his strength is preserved in the hunter.
• Gonlar: This is the worker caste. They build, they raise the live stock that is not hunted, and form the rank and file of the Vaxian Army.
• Sevarth: Slaves. They can be from any race from around the world. Slaves are surprisingly well treated so long as they obey the rules. The exception to this is Kin, who have their wings tore from their body and are either studied by the Circle, or sold to Adferre.
The Vaxian army is one of the strongest in the world, seconded possibly by the Legions of Vir Sidus though people argue that the Empire may actually be larger. They are also the most brutally efficient and effective army. They place honor above all which is considered odd when one finds that they worship Fire’s pantheon, and will show respect to those who face them in open combat. All challenges are met. This is not to say they are foolish and will not accept challenges that place the army in general in danger.
One proof of the respect shown opponents is the Orc Vaxian war. The races had only one battle, and it shaped up to be the biggest the world had ever seen. The Orcan Warlord stepped forth and issued a challenge. No less than the Vaxian Emperor Thraxion stepped forth and accepted. The battle between the two combatants raged for ten days. At the end the Orc Warlord lay defeated at Thraxion’s feet. Honored by this most worthy of foe, he rammed his claw in the still barely alive Warlord’s chest and feasted on his Heart before the Warlord’s eyes. The Orc, who had a similar belief of consuming an opponents flesh to preserve the strength were so honored by the Vaxian’s Emperor that they knelt before their enemy and swore allegiance. So shocked and honored by an army showing that much respect, he accepted the allegiance. Allowing the Orcs to keep their nation, as long as they answer the Vaxian’s call for war.
This lead the Vaxians to consider attempting the Father’s dream of vengeance. Marshalling an army larger than the world had ever seen they began what would become to be know as the Vaxian War. Forging a military alliance with the Firen gave the Vaxians naval escort for their less than adequate naval vessels. The Orcs complimented the Vaxian army with swift mounted cavalry and expert archery. For six years the Vaxians waged war on the world. The only nation that was barely involved was that of Vir Sidus, who only had three engagements with the Vaxians. One loss, One victory and one were both sides were forced to withdraw due to a larger Gnollish force moving in, one that would likely attack both sides.
At the end of the six years the Vaxians agreed to meet at a place designated as Four Corners by the High Elven General Arelias Astalner. There the leaders of the nations came together and negotiated a cease of hostilities, and the creation of a city on the location of the treaty specifically for trade and negotiations. The Vaxians were allowed to keep territory taken during the war. However the people inside that territory were allowed to take up arms against their conquerors. The nations outside the Vaxian controlled territory are not permitted to support them in any way. Should proof be brought forth that the nations were assisting those inside Vaxian territory the war would start anew.
The Vaxians are not content with this arrangement. They agreed only out of respect to General Astalner, and because the races were offering far more resistance than anticipated. While they were definitively winning the war, it was costing them more in resources and Vaxian lives than anticipated. It would make controlling and enslaving the populations extremely difficult. So they agreed to the treaty, and have set up a district in Four Corners.
The long term goal of the Vaxian army is conquest and the search for glory. First they must subjugate the Vaxian controlled territories, then build up their available army while maneuvering their slave race (The Orcs) and their military Allies (The Dark Elves) into positions to assist in the eventual conquering of the world.
Vaxian Racial Stats
Favored Class: Fighter
Claws: Vaxians have clawed hands and feet. These claws inflict 1D6 points of damage and can be used with an unarmed strike.
Cold Vulnerability: Vaxians were created from a reptilian species. They are thusly affected by cold. Cold attacks do half again as much damage. IE 6 points of cold damage would actually inflict 9 points of cold damage to a Vaxian.
Vaxians have a +2 racial bonus to survival checks when tracking.
All Vaxians can use an Honor Blade and short swords.
The Vaxian Honor Blade:
Damage: 1D10 for the long blade 1D6 for the Spike. Crit: 19-20 *2 for the Long Blade 20 *2 for the spike. Reach: As a pole weapon if used as a single weapon and not a double weapon this weapon has a five foot reach.
The Honor Blade is carried by all Vaxians of either the Warrior Caste or the Royal Caste. They are pole arms with a long blade at the front, and a vicious bladed spike at the end. They typically have long trailing ribbons on the haft toward the long blade that displays the hunter’s trophies.