World of Verdin

The Drael Gods

The Drael people themselves are not native to Verdin. They hail from a world known as Ilokdin, living in grand subterranean cities deep below its surface.

You may be wondering what exactly is a Drael and why, if they are not of Verdin, does it matter?  Were you to ask them directly, they would only smile disarmingly and turn the conversation to lighter topics.  Perhaps this is for the best.  Were they to answer honestly, they would say that they are the loose stone that sends the fool off the cliff, the malice hidden behind every inviting smile, the unseen hand of the puppet master…cruel, treacherous, calculating, intelligent, beautiful, deadly and, most importantly, superior to all else.

They are a dark tide seeping into the world.  What that will mean for the races of Verdin is yet to be seen.  After all, it wasn’t until recently that their Gods took an interest in our affairs…and the Gods of the Drael are far more vicious than their worshipers.

Illuria, The Eternal Queen  (top)

Illuria is the ruling goddess and matriarch of the Eternal Depths.  As the head of the pantheon, she oversees all that goes on within her own plane and keeps a watchful eye on the goings-on of all others.  She is the Queen of the Great Web, the Keeper of the Weave that interlinks all living things, all events throughout our own Sphere of Creation.  This spiritual web can be altered but no changes are made without her knowledge or permission and she guards its secrets jealously.  She is capable of weaving her Will into reality with but a thought.

A conqueror queen, Illuria is ambitious, ever seeking to expand the reach of her creation, the Drael people, into new planes and territories, and demonstrating their superiority over all else.  Her foresight is far-reaching and so her battle plans span across both time and planes, each step having been carefully orchestrated centuries in advance.

What Illuria desires, she attains by any means necessary and her ambitions know no bounds.  As beautiful as she is deadly, she is a skilled seductress and weaves a web of enchantment over any unfortunate enough to have caught her attention.  She will then extract whatever information, powers, or oaths that she wants.  Once she has what she needs, however, and the hapless fool has fulfilled their purpose, they are fed to one of her many pets.

Illuria appears as a young woman with dark bluish-grey skin, her long white hair pulled tightly back from her face.  She wears leather armor fashioned from the flesh of those her armies have conquered and her elegant, pointed, elongated ears are adorned with earrings of precious stones and metals.  Her white eyes sparkle with malice while her sultry voice and calm demeanor mask the volatile and dangerous nature of her personality.  Although normally exhibiting an air of supreme authority and monarchical grace, when enraged a swirling cloud of energy explodes around her, her voice taking on a dominating chill that promises a fate far worse than death for those with whom she is displeased.

Myrsa, The Ebon Tempest   (top)

In the darkness of the Eternal Depths, necromancy is considered a high art and it is from Myrsa that one may learn its secrets.  As the Ebon Tempest, Myrsa is able to control the weather, fueling violent storms with the essence of death and undeath in order to rain destruction down upon any she chooses.  Wickedly intelligent and seeing herself as somewhat of a scientist-mage, she uses her talents to their full advantage, experimenting on the living and dead alike to create new and unusual types of undead creatures and releasing them from time to time on the unsuspecting to observe the results.

Myrsa also uses her experiments to test the effects of various curses and death magics on both the body and soul of her victims.  Adept at soul manipulation, she often uses this as a means of torturing a victim to extract information or to break the soul down completely.  In the case of the latter, called soul withering, she causes the soul of her target to die, allowing her to replace it with a new one of her own creation. In the same way, she is capable of decaying the minds of the living and undead alike.

Myrsa appears as a comely young woman with blackish-grey skin and wears a worm-eaten white gown.  Her white hair is pulled back from her face and piled neatly upon her head.  Quiet and calculating, she radiates a cold energy that seems to sap the life from the very environment around her, an effect which is very unnerving for most.

Vaethrana, The Archmagess  (top)

As the goddess of self-mastery, the Archmagess Vaethrana’s primary focus is on perfecting the self and increasing one’s own magical prowess.  She understands that balance is key to truly understanding and wielding magic in general, firmly upholding the ideal that one must master both the light and the dark to truly be called an adept.

Vaethrana strives towards mastery of her craft.  Through the alchemy of the soul, she is capable of transfiguring the very essence of one’s being into something more, refining it to remove the dross and elevating it into a higher state of being.

Vaethrana understands the ancestral webbing and how it affects both one’s physical and spiritual well-being.  We are all the products of our ancestors and their actions and beliefs—all of which can be either a boon or a curse.  When these ties become limiting or detrimental, it is Vaethrana who can guide one to a means of resolution.

Dressed in revealing garments of woven spider silk, Vaethrana appears as a youthful light indigo-skinned woman of no more than 20 years.  Her white hair is elaborately coifed with braids intertwined with gold, silver, and precious gems.  Vaethrana’s demeanor is calm and serene, her presence exerting a soothing effect on those near her despite the highly charged tingling aura of pure magical energy that surrounds her.

Maryth, The Crimson Scythe   (top)

Laying claim to the title The Crimson Scythe, Maryth sees himself as a Reaper of Souls, harvesting them through the sacrifices made by any who call upon the gods of the Eternal Depths. Vengeance and retribution for wrongs suffered is another of Maryth’s aspects, exacting punishment on the offender at Illuria’s command.  Often acting as her Grand Inquisitor, she turns to him when a more direct approach is needed to extract the information she desires.  Maryth is then left to his own devices, his favorite method being a slow dissection of the still-living victim.

As the Lord of Sacrifice, he oversees the weaving oaths and pacts between mortals and stands witness to the same made with the gods.  He also presides over rites of sacrifice, standing ready to collect the soul of the victim as it is offered up.  Maryth punishes those who fail to keep their word to the gods in horrific yet inventive ways.

Maryth appears as a handsome ebon-skinned, grey-eyed man in his late twenties.  He sometimes appears wearing a lavish crimson coat trimmed in black and gold over black leather trousers and boots.  At other times, he wears nothing above the waist except a spattering of glistening blood.  From his hip hangs a curved black blade that often seems to drip with blood.  His head is shaved on the sides and in back, the exposed skin covered in elaborate tattoos.  The long silver hair that remains hangs down on one side.  On the surface, Maryth always appears calm but a vicious desire for bloodshed lurks just beneath this polished veneer.

Tharne, The Grim Crusader   (top)

Tharne embodies what it means to be perfected through the magic of the grave.  His most prominent dominion is that of Death itself and he wields it with absolute authority.  A proper knight and one of Illuria’s favorite Generals, Tharne delights in the ravages of war and the frenzy of battle.  He commands an army of fallen warriors raised into his service by his own hand.  Each enemy slain by Illuria’s armies adds to his own legions, which he then uses to fuel and bolster her military force.  Tharne can teach his followers how to raise similar armies of their own.

Much like Myrsa, Tharne too is proficient in the creation of undead creatures.  His favorite servitors are a type of revenant similar to the draugr that guard northern tombs.  The process of summoning such a creature involves rites of desecration of his own formulation, something of which he is most proud.

True to his dominion, Tharne knows the secrets of gaining immortality through death and the preservation of the flesh.  The weaving of death magics to this end are a specialty of his.  However, it is not a youthful or beautiful countenance that one gains through Tharne, as the death essence takes its toll upon those who use it.

Tharne appears as a gaunt man dressed in dark armor, his dark grey flesh stretched over his lean frame.  His white eyes appear deep set and somewhat sunken into their hollows.  At times, his thin silvery hair is tied tightly behind his head.  From his hip hangs an ebon blade of great power and he carries in his left hand a staff made from the bones of children.  His demeanor is solemn and cold despite the somewhat wry smile that graces his lips.  An icy chill emanates from him that sends shivers through even the staunchest of necromancers, radiating an energy reminiscent of the grave and the inescapable grasp of cold earth.

Isryn, Death’s Envoy   (top)

According to her own words, the dark goddess Isryn is the “death that comes unseen, the devouring wolf in the darkness.”  As the divine assassin, she executes her marks swiftly and silently.

Isryn wears dark garments made of magically treated leather.  Her many weapons are similarly enchanted and she is adept in the art of creating both armor and weapons  for whatever purpose she desires.  In addition to her impressive arsenal of weaponry, her knowledge of poisons is unrivaled as she understands the chemistry of plants, herbs and even animals.  Using this knowledge, she creates some of the deadliest and most fearsome toxins known throughout the planes.

Although as beautiful as she is deadly, Isryn often appears with her face covered and head cowled.  When she does not conceal herself in this way, she appears as an indigo-skinned woman in her mid-twenties with grey eyes.  Her white hair hangs loose to just below her shoulders.  Upon the belt at her waist are secured a razor-thin garotte and an array of small vials filled with poisons and toxins of her own creation.  Occasionally, glints of hidden blades can be seen along various parts of her armor.  Cold, callous, and calculating, Isryn exudes an aura of lethal malice that is almost palpable—one that she can collapse and expand at will to suit her needs.

Vilhari, The Sanguine Healer   (top)

It has been said that “the blood is the life.”  Though often quoted, no other creature in creation understands the truth of this statement as well as Vilhari.   Vampiric in nature, she is the Sanguine Healer of the Eternal Depths.  Like Tharne, she too knows the secrets of prolonging life and preserving the flesh.  However, instead of doing so through death essence, she does so via life essence.

Forever calm and poised, Vilhari possesses an almost inexhaustible amount of patience despite an ever-present hunger.  She stalks her prey skillfully and effortlessly, waiting for the opportune time to strike.  So artful is she in her pursuit that her victims are never aware of the danger she poses as she lulls them into a false sense of security.  Though it may seem out of character with one of so dark a nature, Vilhari is able to leech the life force from a victim and use it to heal infirmities both spiritual and physical.

The lovely ebon-skinned Vilhari always appears wearing very little, although this varies according to her desires.  Because of her vampiric tendencies, her mouth appears to be perpetually stained with blood.  Her eyes are red and her gaze predatory.

Nefari, Fate’s Misfortune   (top)

A dark, mysterious goddess, Nefari is the Shadowy Lady of Fate.  Observing the mortal world from the shadows, it is she who, by Illuria’s leave, weaves the threads of a Drael’s fortune for good or for ill.  She is capricious in nature—when her mood is cheerful, her good will falls upon those she chooses.  Should her temper turn foul, however, woe betides any and all unfortunate souls within her sight.

To her callers, Nefari teaches the art of placing enchantments upon people, locations and objects for any purpose.  If in a favorable mood, she can sometimes be convinced to assist a mage in improving his or her own good luck or to utterly decimate the luck of an enemy.  She has also been known to drain away the good fortune of one mortal in order to bolster that of one of her favorite devotees.

Curses and the incitement of tragedy and catastrophe are more of her fortes. She is capable of calling down destruction upon entire family lines.  She is vicious in her pursuit of such matters—so much so that these works will last for the rest of eternity, completely irreversible by any means known to humankind.  If a mortal can persuade her to do so, she will assist him or her in ending or cleansing bloodline and hereditary curses as well.

As befits a Lady of Illusion, Nefari’s demeanor is quiet and subtle.  Her voice, however, is strong and commanding.  When called, she appears as a beautiful ebon skinned woman with flowing white hair and piercing red eyes.  Swirling shadow and smoke often obscure her form.

Ishara, The Shadow’s Muse   (top)

Few forces on Earth have the power to move hearts and minds the way that music, song, and dance can.  Wielding this incredible power, Ishara weaves her will into being, creating symphonies of life, death, joy and sorrow as she chooses.

As the Shadow’s Muse, Ishara is fond of sparking creativity in those searching for artistic inspiration, whether it be for ritual or for use in more mundane purposes.  Music is truly the language of the soul and although enthrallment isn’t exactly her forte, Ishara is very familiar with how it can be used to manipulate others.  Just as sweet, tender lyrics and a slow tempo can capture the hearts of all who hear them, a fiery rhythm and fast cadence can ignite anger, courage, or bravery in the soul.  Those who wish to charm, mesmerize, or otherwise influence others through music need only call upon Ishara to learn this talent.

Be warned, however.  Whether man or woman, Ishara willingly offers herself as a lover to any who call upon her for aid.  Those who accept this arrangement may indeed complete their greatest masterpiece but will invariably die soon afterwards.

Although she could be considered predatory in nature, Ishara is generally both whimsical and gentle.  She can, however, be quite fearsome when enraged.  Appearing dressed in loose-fitting, gossamer garments, the youthful Ishara often carries with her one instrument or another.  Her ebon skin shimmers faintly as though she were dusted with powdered diamonds and her opalescent hair is loose and flowing.  Her eyes are somewhat dreamy and her demeanor relaxed and lighthearted.

Rilen, The Obsidian Scion   (top)

When the Drael or the gods and goddesses of the Eternal Depths seek hidden knowledge, Rilen is the one to whom they turn.  Possessing the mind of a true genius, he is a master of the mental and spiritual realms and their workings, including the arts of divination and prophecy.  Rilen sees all that has been, currently is, and will ever be across the planes.  Nothing is hidden from his sight.  Along with this, he knows the secret language of omens and portents.  Those desiring to learn the oracular arts often seek his counsel.

Because of his skill in foreknowledge and his supreme intellect, Rilen acts as Illuria’s Chief Tactician and Strategist.  Using the knowledge he gleans from his divinations, he knows the most likely outcome of any event.  Therefore, he is capable of planning for all possibilities.

Rilen wears a black robe.  Appearing as if he is no more than thirty years old, his angular features are very handsome.  His skin is light blue-grey in color and his white hair is short and spiked.  He speaks with a deep, gritty voice and his violet eyes are cold and knowing.  His demeanor is aloof and indifferent.

Karas, Shadow’s Champion    (top)

Karas is the epitome of what it means to be a warrior.  Vicious and bloodthirsty, he loves nothing more than the clamor of war and the scent of freshly spilled blood on the battlefield.  As one of Illuria’s loyal Generals, he delights in the carnage wrought by the clash of two opposing forces.

Exuding an almost tangible aura of malevolence that freezes the blood, Karas cuts an imposing and authoritative figure both on and off the battlefield.  His voice is deep and commanding.  A single glance from him stops even the most intrepid onlooker dead in their tracks for fear of arousing his displeasure or of meeting their demise at the end of his blade.  His bearing is proud and imperious—and deservedly so as his skill in martial combat is legendary.

Often acting as High Executioner, Karas is responsible for meeting out the death sentences given to any and all who oppose Illuria’s rule or the might of her people.  In this role, he sometimes works side by side with Maryth to exact justice upon the offending parties, the two gods collaborating on a suitable demise for the victim that often includes prolonged and exquisite forms of torture that last until the body simply expires.

Appearing as a handsome, youthful, indigo-skinned man around 35 years of age, Karas weard a full suit of dark armor.  A jagged sword hangs from his hip.  He wears his long white hair tied partially back, the rest hanging loose and framing his face.

Ravisi, Hate’s Purification   (top)

With a demeanor that is commanding yet soft, Ravisi is the Mistress of Healing and Magical Purification.  There is no magical infirmity that is beyond her skill and she gladly teaches her callers how to deal with all manner of affliction.

Unique among her brethren for her fathomless compassion and gentle nature, Ravisi is possessed of a driven and focused mind.  She has a vast knowledge of the medicinal and magical uses of plants and resins.

Acting as a Shadow Cleric of the Eternal Depths, Ravisi and her priesthood tend to those who have fallen or wounded in battle as her people maraud the planes in conquest, healing them so they may rejoin the fray and fight again.  Among her talents is the practice of soul cleansing, through which any and all curses placed upon the mage, whether by a rival, an ancestor, or in a previous incarnation, are removed.

Ravisi always appears as a lovely violet skinned woman dressed in a velvet dark green and gold robe over a simple linen shift.   Her grey eyes are kind yet determined and her white hair is elaborately coiled upon her head.  Her very presence bathes everyone around her in a comforting, rejuvenating aura.   When she speaks, her voice is soft and sincere.

Iaska, The Spider’s Grace   (top)

Tall and comely, Iaska is truly the embodiment of deadly desire itself.  Called the Spider’s Grace, she is the Mistress of Dangerous Seduction.  A true “black widow”, her long, elegant limbs, graceful movements, and sensuous frame easily lure unwary victims into her web to be enslaved to her will.

One of Illuria’s favorite interrogators, Iaska is often called upon to use her seductive allure to extract secrets and information from victims that could be of use to the Eternal Queen.  Once her objective is accomplished—whether it is for pleasure or information—the victim is then fed upon by Iaska who drains their life essence until death overtakes them.  On the rare occasion, death may be followed by the eating of their flesh.  She is highly skilled at using sex as a torture device.

Like her elder brother Tyrian, she enjoys amassing multitudes of slaves to act as menial servants.  As such, she is adept at enslaving the minds of others and forcing them into a virtually mindless servitude.  In this state, the thrall is so irrevocably and utterly enamored with her that they are consumed only with thoughts of bringing the object of their desire pleasure in every way possible.

The art of persuasion is one of Iaska’s strong points and she wields this power with great pleasure. Possessed of a silver tongue that would make even the most bewitching succubus jealous, she is capable of bending the will of any and all to her whim.  Her sultry voice overcomes even the most steadfast and vigilant minds, lulling her victim into a defenseless state whereby she can command them as she sees fit.

When Iaska appears, she wears a transparent dress that drapes over her dark grey-skinned form while her white hair hangs long and loose.  Her rose-colored eyes regard all about her with a suggestively lustful gaze that is hard for most to resist.

Tyrian, The Scarlet Conqueror   (top)

The Scarlet Conqueror Tyrian is Illuria’s High General of the Armies.  It is he who is in charge of all of the Eternal Queen’s military forces and he commands them with a tyrannical will and an iron fist, leading them throughout the planes and conquering as he goes.  He is a terrifying figure and demands absolute obeisance and respect from all around him.  Like his younger sister Iaska, he is skilled at compelling magics—unlike her, however, he is more totalitarian in nature.  He does not mess about with seducing others to his will—he simply grinds any opposition beneath his boot heel until they are crushed and beaten.

As the High General, Tyrian recruits new soldiers on a regular basis from among the dead of those his armies have conquered.  Recruitment is absolutely involuntary and candidates are put through intense trials to ensure suitability—trials which many souls do not survive.

Tyrian enjoys exerting absolute domination over others.  Many Drael strive to follow his example in their dealings with other races.  Like him, they firmly believe that inferior beings are not completely useless but as inferiors. Instead, they naturally require the unyielding authority of their superiors.  As such, Tyrian is responsible for placing the shackles of slavery upon those souls deemed unworthy to be soldiers, thus providing slaves and servants for himself and the other gods.

Of course, this isn’t the only use Tyrian has for slaves.  He has taught the Drael to not waste valuable soldiers by sending them into unknown circumstances during battle.  Instead, he urges them to employ the use of “arrow fodder”—sending slaves instead of soldiers in to a situation to test the proverbial waters, allowing them to gain a better understanding of the opposing force’s skill and tactics without risking the life a trained soldier.  After all, slaves are everywhere but a soldier requires an investment of time and training.

Dressed in dark armor with a magnificent broadsword at his back, Tyrian appears as a handsome man with dark bluish-grey skin and short spiked white hair.  His red eyes sparkle with a malevolent authority that causes most to cower before him with a single glance.  He speaks with the confident tone of one who commands millions, his voice prompting immediate and unquestioned compliance with his will.