- O crystal heart! I the Serpent clasp Thee; I drive home mine head into the central core of Thee, O God my beloved.
- Even as on the resounding wind-swept heights of Mitylene some god-like woman casts aside the lyre, and with her locks aflame as an aureole, plunges into the wet heart of the creation, so I, O Lord my God!
- There is a beauty unspeakable in this heart of corruption, where the flowers are aflame.
- Ah me! but the thirst of Thy joy parches up this throat, so that I cannot sing.
- I will make me a little boat of my tongue, and explore the unknown rivers. It may be that the everlasting salt may turn to sweetness, and that my life may be no longer athirst.
- O ye that drink of the brine of your desire, ye are nigh to madness! Your torture increaseth as ye drink, yet still ye drink. Come up through the creeks to the fresh water; I shall be waiting for you with my kisses.
- As the bezoar-stone that is found in the belly of the cow, so is my lover among lovers.
- O honey boy! Bring me Thy cool limbs hither! Let us sit awhile in the orchard, until the sun go down! Let us feast on the cool grass! Bring wine, ye slaves, that the cheeks of my boy may flush red.
- In the garden of immortal kisses, O thou brilliant One, shine forth! Make Thy mouth an opium-poppy, that one kiss is the key to the infinite sleep and lucid, the sleep of Shi-loh-am.
- In my sleep I beheld the Universe like a clear crystal without one speck.
- There are purse-proud penniless ones that stand at the door of the tavern and prate of their feats of wine-bibbing.
- There are purse-proud penniless ones that stand at the door of the tavern and revile the guests.
- The guests dally upon couches of mother-of-pearl in the garden; the noise of the foolish men is hidden from them.
- Only the inn-keeper feareth lest the favour of the king be withdrawn from him.
- Thus spake the Magister V.V.V.V.V. unto Adonai his God, as they played together in the starlight over against the deep black pool that is in the Holy Place of the Holy House beneath the Altar of the Holiest One.
- But Adonai laughed, and played more languidly.
- Then the scribe took note, and was glad. But Adonai had no fear of the Magician and his play.
For it was Adonai who had taught all his tricks to the Magician.
- And the Magister entered into the play of the Magician. When the Magician laughed he laughed; all as a man should do.
- And Adonai said: Thou art enmeshed in the web of the Magician. This He said subtly, to try him.
- But the Magister gave the sign of the Magistry, and laughed back on Him: O Lord, O beloved, did these fingers relax on Thy curls, or these eyes turn away from Thine eye?
- And Adonai delighted in him exceedingly.
- Yea, O my master, thou art the beloved of the Beloved One; the Bennu Bird is set up in Philæ not in vain.
- I who was the priestess of Ahathoor rejoice in your love. Arise, O Nile-God, and devour the holy place of the Cow of Heaven! Let the milk of the stars be drunk up by Sebek the dweller of Nile!
- Arise, O serpent Apep, Thou art Adonai the beloved one! Thou art my darling and my lord, and Thy poison is sweeter than the kisses of Isis the mother of the Gods!
- For Thou art He! Yea, Thou shalt swallow up Asi and Asar, and the children of Ptah. Thou shalt pour forth a flood of poison to destroy the works of the Magician. Only the Destroyer shall devour Thee; Thou shalt blacken his throat, wherein his spirit abideth. Ah, serpent Apep, but I love Thee!
- My God! Let Thy secret fang pierce to the marrow of the little secret bone that I have kept against the Day of Vengeance of Hoor-Ra. Let Kheph-Ra sound his sharded drone! let the jackals of Day and Night howl in the wilderness of Time! let the Towers of the Universe totter, and the guardians hasten away! For my Lord hath revealed Himself as a mighty serpent, and my heart is the blood of His body.
- I am like a love-sick courtesan of Corinth. I have toyed with kings and captains, and made them my slaves. To-day I am the slave of the little asp of death; and who shall loosen our love?
- Weary, weary! saith the scribe, who shall lead me to the sight of the Rapture of my master?
- The body is weary and the soul is sore weary and sleep weighs down their eyelids; yet ever abides the sure consciousness of ecstacy, unknown, yet known in that its being is certain. O Lord, be my helper, and bring me to the bliss of the Beloved!
- I came to the house of the Beloved, and the wine was like fire that flieth with green wings through the world of waters.
- I felt the red lips of nature and the black lips of perfection. Like sisters they fondled me their little brother; they decked me out as a bride; they mounted me for Thy bridal chamber.
- They fled away at Thy coming; I was alone before Thee.
- I trembled at Thy coming, O my God, for Thy messenger was more terrible than the Death-star.
- On the threshold stood the fulminant figure of Evil, the Horror of emptiness, with his ghastly eyes like poisonous wells. He stood, and the chamber was corrupt; the air stank. He was an old and gnarled fish more hideous than the shells of Abaddon.
- He enveloped me with his demon tentacles; yea, the eight fears took hold upon me.
- But I was anointed with the right sweet oil of the Magister; I slipped from the embrace as a stone from the sling of a boy of the woodlands.
- I was smooth and hard as ivory; the horror gat no hold. Then at the noise of the wind of Thy coming he was dissolved away, and the abyss of the great void was unfolded before me.
- Across the waveless sea of eternity Thou didst ride with Thy captains and Thy hosts; with Thy chariots and horsemen and spearmen didst Thou travel through the blue.
- Before I saw Thee Thou wast already with me; I was smitten through by Thy marvellous spear.
- I was stricken as a bird by the bolt of the thunderer; I was pierced as the thief by the Lord of the Garden.
- O my Lord, let us sail upon the sea of blood!
- There is a deep taint beneath the ineffable bliss; it is the taint of generation.
- Yea, though the flower wave bright in the sunshine, the root is deep in the darkness of earth.
- Praise to thee, O beautiful dark earth, thou art the mother of a million myriads of myriads of flowers.
- Also I beheld my God, and the countenance of Him was a thousandfold brighter than the lightning. Yet in his heart I beheld the slow and dark One, the ancient one, the devourer of His children.
- In the height and the abyss, O my beautiful, there is no thing, verily, there is no thing at all, that is not altogether and perfectly fashioned for Thy delight.
- Light cleaveth unto Light, and filth to filth; with pride one contemneth another. But not Thou, who art all, and beyond it; who art absolved from the Division of the Shadows.
- O day of Eternity, let Thy wave break in foamless glory of sapphire upon the laborious coral of our making!
- We have made us a ring of glistening white sand, strewn wisely in the midst of the Delightful Ocean.
- Let the palms of brilliance flower upon our island; we shall eat of their fruit, and be glad.
- But for me the lustral water, the great ablution, the dissolving of the soul in that resounding abyss.
- I have a little son like a wanton goat; my daughter is like an unfledged eaglet; they shall get them fins, that they may swim.
- That they may swim, O my beloved, swim far in the warm honey of Thy being, O blessed one, O boy of beatitude!
- This heart of mine is girt about with the serpent that devoureth his own coils.
- When shall there be an end, O my darling, O when shall the Universe and the Lord thereof be utterly swallowed up?
- Nay! who shall devour the Infinite? who shall undo the Wrong of the Beginning?
- Thou criest like a white cat upon the roof of the Universe; there is none to answer Thee.
- Thou art like a lonely pillar in the midst of the sea; there is none to behold Thee, O Thou who beholdest all!
- Thou dost faint, thou dost fail, thou scribe; cried the desolate Voice; but I have filled thee with a wine whose savour thou knowest not.
- It shall avail to make drunken the peoÿle of the old gray sphere that rolls in the infinite Far-off; they shall lap the wine as dogs that lap the blood of a beautiful courtesan pierced through by the Spear of a swift rider through the city.
- I too am the Soul of the desert; thou shalt seek me yet again in the wilderness of sand.
- At thy right hand a great lord and a comely; at thy left hand a woman clad in gossamer and gold and having the stars in her hair. Ye shall journey far into a land of pestilence and evil; ye shall encamp in the river of a foolish city forgotten; there shall ye meet with Me.
- There will I make Mine habitation; as for bridal will I come bedecked and anointed; there shall the Consummation be accomplished.
- O my darling, I also wait for the brilliance of the hoineffable, when the universe shall be like a girdle for the midst of the ray of our love, extending beyond the permitted end of the endless One.
- Then, O thou heart, will I the serpent eat thee wholly up; yea, I will eat thee wholly up.
Liber VII, Cap. 2 (attributed to Saturn):
- O my God! use Thou me again, alway. For ever! For ever!
- That which came fire from Thee cometh water from me; let therefore Thy Spirit lay hold on me, so that my right hand loose the lightning.
- Travelling through space, I saw the onrush of two galaxies, butting each other and goring like bulls upon earth. I was afraid.
- Thus they ceased fight, and turned upon me, and I was sorely crushed and torn.
- I had rather have been trampled by the World-Elephant.
- O my God! Thou art my little pet tortoise!
- Yet Thou sustainest the World-Elephant.
- I creep under Thy carapace, like a lover into the bed of his beautiful; I creep in, and sit in Thine heart, as cubby and cosy as may be.
- Thou shelterest me, that I hear not the trumpeting of that World-Elephant.
- Thou art not worth an obol in the agora; yet Thou art not to be bought at the ransom of the whole Universe.
- Thou art like a beautiful Nubian slave leaning her naked purple against the green pillars of marble that are above the bath.
- Wine jets from her black nipples.
- I drank wine awhile agone in the house of Pertinax. The cup-boy favoured me, and gave me of the right sweet Chian.
- There was a Doric boy, skilled in feats of strength, an athlete. The full moon fled away angrily down the wrack.
Ah! but we laughed.
- I was pernicious drunk, O my God! Yet Pertinax brought me to the bridal.
- I had a crown of thorns for all my dower.
- Thou art like a goat’s horn from Astor, O Thou God of mine, gnarl’d and crook’d and devilish strong.
- Colder than all the ice of all the glaciers of the Naked Mountain was the wine it poured for me.
- A wild country and a waning moon.
Clouds scudding over the sky.
A circuit of pines, and of tall yews beyond. Thou in the midst!
- O all ye toads and cats, rejoice! Ye slimy things, come hither!
- Dance, dance to the Lord our God!
- He is he! He is he! He is he!
- Why should I go on?
- Why? Why? comes the sudden cackle of a million imps of hell.
- And the laughter runs.
- But sickens not the Universe; but shakes not the stars.
- God! how I love Thee!
- I am walking in an asylum; all the men and women about me are insane.
- Oh madness! madness! madness! desirable art thou!
- But I love Thee, O God!
- These men and women rave and howl; they froth out folly.
- I begin to be afraid. I have no check; I am alone. Alone. Alone.
- Think, O God, how I am happy in Thy love.
- O marble Pan! O false leering face! I love Thy dark kisses, bloody and stinking! O marble Pan! Thy kisses are like sunlight on the blue Ægean; their blood is the blood of the sunset over Athens; their stink is like a garden of Roses of Macedonia.
- I dreamt of sunset and roses and vines; Thou wast there, O my God, Thou didst habit Thyself as an Athenian courtesan, and I loved Thee.
- Thou art no dream, O Thou too beautiful alike for sleep and waking!
- I disperse the insane folk of the earth; I walk alone with my little puppets in the garden.
- I am Gargantuan great; yon galaxy is but the smoke-ring of mine incense.
- Burn Thou strange herbs, O God!
- Brew me a magic liquor, boys, with your glances!
- The very soul is drunken.
- Thou art drunken, O my God, upon my kisses.
- The Universe reels; Thou hast looked upon it.
- Twice, and all is done.
- Come, O my God, and let us embrace!
- Lazily, hungrily, ardently, patiently; so will I work.
- There shall be an End.
- O God! O God!
- I am a fool to love Thee; Thou art cruel, Thou withholdest Thyself.
- Come to me now! I love Thee! I love Thee!
- O my darling, my darling — Kiss me! Kiss me! Ah! but again.
- Sleep, take me! Death, take me! This life is too full; it pains, it slays, it suffices.
- Let me go back into the world; yea, back into the world.
Liber LXV, Cap. 1 (attributed to Earth):
- I am the Heart; and the Snake is entwined
About the invisible core of the mind.
Rise, O my snake! It is now is the hour
Of the hooded and holy ineffable flower.
Rise, O my snake, into brilliance of bloom
On the corpse of Osiris afloat in the tomb!
O heart of my mother, my sister, mine own,
Thou art given to Nile, to the terror Typhon!
Ah me! but the glory of ravening storm
Enswathes thee and wraps thee in frenzy of form.
Be still, O my soul! that the spell may dissolve
As the wands are upraised, and the aeons revolve.
Behold! in my beauty how joyous Thou art,
O Snake that caresses the crown of mine heart!
Behold! we are one, and the tempest of years
Goes down to the dusk, and the Beetle appears.
O Beetle! the drone of Thy dolorous note
Be ever the trance of this tremulous throat!
I await the awaking! The summons on high
From the Lord Adonai, from the Lord Adonai!
- Adonai spake unto V.V.V.V.V., saying: There must ever be division in the word.
- For the colours are many, but the light is one.
- Therefore thou writest that which is of mother of emerald, and of lapis-lazuli, and of turquoise, and of alexandrite.
- Another writeth the words of toÿaz, and of deep amethyst, and of gray sapphire, and of deep sapphire with a tinge as of blood.
- Therefore do ye fret yourselves because of this.
- Be not contented with the image.
- I who am the Image of an Image say this.
- Debate not of the image, saying Beyond! Beyond!
One mounteth unto the Crown by the moon and by the Sun, and by the arrow, and by the Foundation, and by the dark home of the stars from the black earth.
- Not otherwise may ye reach unto the Smooth Point.
- Nor is it fitting for the cobbler to prate of the Royal matter. O cobbler! mend me this shoe, that I may walk. O king! if I be thy son, let us speak of the Embassy to the King thy Brother.
- Then was there silence. Speech had done with us awhile.
There is a light so strenuous that it is not perceived as light.
- Wolf’s bane is not so sharp as steel; yet it pierceth the body more subtly.
- Even as evil kisses corrupt the blood, so do my words devour the spirit of man.
- I breathe, and there is infinite dis-ease in the spirit.
- As an acid eats into steel, as a cancer that utterly corrupts the body; so am I unto the spirit of man.
- I shall not rest until I have dissolved it all.
- So also the light that is absorbed. One absorbs little and is called white and glistening; one absorbs all and is called black.
- Therefore, O my darling, art thou black.
- O my beautiful, I have likened thee to a jet Nubian slave, a boy of melancholy eyes.
- O the filthy one! the dog! they cry against thee.
Because thou art my beloved.
- Happy are they that praise thee; for they see thee with Mine eyes.
- Not aloud shall they praise thee; but in the night watch one shall steal close, and grip thee with the secret grip; another shall privily cast a crown of violets over thee; a third shall greatly dare, and press mad lips to thine.
- Yea! the night shall cover all, the night shall cover all.
- Thou wast long seeking Me; thou didst run forward so fast that I was unable to come up with thee.
O thou darling fool! what bitterness thou didst crown thy days withal.
- Now I am with thee; I will never leave thy being.
- For I am the soft sinuous one entwined about thee, heart of gold!
- My head is jewelled with twelve stars; My body is white as milk of the stars; it is bright with the blue of the abyss of stars invisible.
- I have found that which could not be found; I have found a vessel of quicksilver.
- Thou shalt instruct thy servant in his ways, thou shalt speak often with him.
- (The scribe looketh upwards and crieth) Amen! Thou hast spoken it, Lord God!
- Further Adonai spake unto V.V.V.V.V. and said:
- Let us take our delight in the multitude of men!
Let us shape unto ourselves a boat of mother-of-pearl from them, that we may ride upon the river of Amrit!
- Thou seest yon petal of amaranth, blown by the wind from the low sweet brows of Hathor?
- (The Magister saw it and rejoiced in the beauty of it.) Listen!
- (From a certain world came an infinite wail.)
That falling petal seemed to the little ones a wave to engulph their continent.
- So they will reproach thy servant, saying: Who hath set thee to save us?
- He will be sore distressed.
- All they understand not that thou and I are fashioning a boat of mother-of-pearl. We will sail down the river of Amrit even to the yew-groves of Yama, where we may rejoice exceedingly.
- The joy of men shall be our silver gleam, their woe our blue gleam — all in the mother-of-pearl.
- (The scribe was wroth thereat. He spake:
O Adonai and my master, I have borne the inkhorn and the pen without pay, in order that I might search this river of Amrit, and sail thereon as one of ye. This I demand for my fee, that I partake of the echo of your kisses.)
- (And immediately it was granted unto him.)
- (Nay; but not therewith was he content. By an infinite abasement unto shame did he strive. Then a voice:)
- Thou strivest ever; even in thy yielding thou strivest to yield — and lo! thou yieldest not.
- Go thou unto the outermost places and subdue all things.
- Subdue thy fear and thy disgust. Then — yield!
- There was a maiden that strayed among the corn, and sighed; then grew a new birth, a narcissus, and therein she forgot her sighing and her loneliness.
- Even instantly rode Hades heavily upon her, and ravished her away.
- (Then the scribe knew the narcissus in his heart; but because it came not to his lips, therefore was he shamed and spake no more.)
- Adonai spake yet again with V.V.V.V.V. and said:
The earth is ripe for vintage; let us eat of her grapes, and be drunken thereon.
- And V.V.V.V.V. answered and said: O my lord, my dove, my excellent one, how shall this word seem unto the children of men?
- And He answered him: Not as thou canst see.
It is certain that every letter of this cipher hath some value; but who shall determine the value? For it varieth ever, according to the subtlety of Him that made it.
- And He answered Him: Have I not the key thereof
? I am clothed with the body of flesh; I am one with the Eternal and Omnipotent God.
- Then said Adonai: Thou hast the Head of the Hawk, and thy Phallus is the Phallus of Asar. Thou knowest the white, and thou knowest the black, and thou knowest that these are one. But why seekest thou the knowledge of their equivalence?
- And he said: That my Work may be right.
- And Adonai said: The strong brown reaper swept his swathe and rejoiced. The wise man counted his muscles, and pondered, and understood not, and was sad.
Reap thou, and rejoice!
- Then was the Adept glad, and lifted his arm.
Lo! an earthquake, and plague, and terror on the earth!
A casting down of them that sate in high places; a famine upon the multitude!
- And the grape fell ripe and rich into his mouth.
- Stained is the purple of thy mouth, O brilliant one, with the white glory of the lips of Adonai.
- The foam of the grape is like the storm upon the sea; the ships tremble and shudder; the shipmaster is afraid.
- That is thy drunkenness, O holy one, and the winds whirl away the soul of the scribe into the happy haven.
- O Lord God! let the haven be cast down by the fury of the storm! Let the foam of the grape tincture my soul with Thy light!
- Bacchus grew old, and was Silenus; Pan was ever Pan for ever and ever more throughout the æons.
- Intoxicate the inmost, O my lover, not the outermost!
- So was it — ever the same! I have aimed at the peeled wand of my God, and I have hit; yea, I have hit.
Farn-svapar hermathul vihara esh. (Feather-sleep is a virtue of the soldier.)
Sarva dusha abar elon komesh. (Every soul comes from the stars.)
Durgnar duri gutha esh. (Thunder is the voice of the father.)
The Elendar are the race sacred to Seluniel (the Moon). They are masters of perception, and the manipulation of perception.
Age: Elves reach adulthood around 100 years and can live to be well over 1000.
Size: Elves range from under 5 feet to nearly 7 feet tall. Your size is Medium.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision: You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light.
Mask of the Wild: You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena.
Proficiencies (Weapon): You have proficiency with the longsword, shortsword, longbow, and shortbow.
Proficiencies (Skills): In addition to the skills from your class and background, you may choose one skill proficiency from Perception, Insight, Nature, or Animal Handling.
Proficiencies (Tools, Instruments): You may choose one tool proficiency in Jeweler’s Tools, Painter’s Supplies, Woodcarver’s Tools, or a Musical Instrument of your choice.
Languages: You speak Elvish (an unwritten language) and can write and speak Common.
Bonus Feat: One chosen from Alert, Observant, Sharpshooter, Elven Accuracy (Xanathar’s Guide)
Natural Magical Abilities: At first level, an Elf can cast each of the following once per day: minor illusion, dancing lights. At third level, an Elf may choose one first-level illusion spell and cast it once per day. At sixth level, they may choose one second-level spell from that school, and so on at ninth (third-level spell), twelfth (fourth-level spell), and fifteenth (fifth-level spell) level. Each of these spells may be cast once, requiring a long rest to cast again. Wisdom is the spellcasting ability for these spells.
Gnome (Gnoldar): +2 INT; +1 to DEX or WIS
The Gnoldar are the race sacred to Stiboriel (Mercury). They are masters of knowledge and excel at divination.
Age: Gnomes reach adulthood around 30 years and can live to be 350 to 500 years old.
Size: Gnomes are between 3 and 4 feet tall and weigh around 40 pounds. Your size is Small.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
Darkvision: You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light.
Gnome Cunning: You have advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws against magic.
Naturally Stealthy: You can attempt to hide even when you are obscured only by a creature that is at least one size larger than you.
Proficiencies (Weapon): None (from Class and Background only)
Proficiencies (Skills): In addition to the skills from your class and background, you may choose 2 skill proficiencies from Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, or Animal Handling.
Proficiencies (Tools, Instruments): You may choose 2 tool proficiencies from Alchemist’s Supplies, Calligrapher’s Supplies, Cartographer’s Tools, Tinker’s Tools, Herbalism Kit, Navigator’s Tools, or a Musical Instrument of your choice.
Languages: You can speak and write the Gnomish dialect of the Dwarvish Language (Dwarves and Gnomes can be mutually understood) and can write and speak Common.
Bonus Feat: One chosen from Keen Mind, Linguist, Skilled, Prodigy (Xanathar’s Guide)
Natural Magical Abilities: At first level, a Gnome can cast each of the following once per day: guidance, detect magic. At third level, a Gnome may choose one first-level divination spell and cast it once per day. At sixth level, they may choose one second-level spell from that school, and so on at ninth (third-level spell), twelfth (fourth-level spell), and fifteenth (fifth-level spell) level. Each of these spells may be cast once, requiring a long rest to cast again. Intelligence is the spellcasting ability for these spells.
Rakshasa (Rakshdar): +2 CHA; +1 to DEX or INT
Age: Rakshasa reach adulthood around 30 years and can live to be 300 to 400 years old.
Size: Rakshasa are between 5 feet and 6.5 feet tall and range from thin to very corpulent. Your size is Medium.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision: You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light.
Proficiencies (Weapon): None (from class and background only), but a Rakshasa’s claws can be used proficiently to make unarmed strikes that hit for 1d4 + STR or DEX, i.e. a Rakshasa’s claws can be considered a finesse weapon.
Proficiencies (Skills): In addition to the skills from your class and background, you may choose one skill proficiency from Deception, Performance, Persuasion, or Sleight of Hand.
Proficiencies (Tools, Instruments): You may choose 2 tool proficiencies from Leatherworker’s Tools, Weaver’s Tools, the Forgery Kit, or a Gaming Set of your choice.
Languages: Rakshasa can speak and write Common. To other Rakshasa, they can communicate without speaking by means of scent, body language, and simple telepathy in a secret dialect of the Elvish language. They can speak Elvish to other fluent speakers.
Bonus Feat: One chosen from Actor, Dual Wielder, Skilled
Natural Magical Abilities: At first level, a Rakshasa can cast each of the following once per day: friends, animal friendship. At third level, a Rakshasa may choose one first-level enchantment or conjuration spell and cast it once per day. At sixth level, they may choose one second-level spell from those schools, and so on at ninth (third-level spell), twelfth (fourth-level spell), and fifteenth (fifth-level spell) level. Each of these spells may be cast once, requiring a long rest to cast again. Charisma is the spellcasting ability for these spells.
Human (Sildar): +2 to two Ability Scores of your choice
The Sildar are the race sacred to Auriel (the Sun). They are naturally versatile, and excel at restoration magic.
Age: Humans reach adulthood around 16 years and can live to be 70 to 90 years old.
Size: Humans are generally between 5 feet and 6.5 feet tall. Your size is Medium.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Proficiencies (Weapon): A human may choose a proficiency in any one Weapon.
Proficiencies (Skills): In addition to the skills from your class and background, you may choose a proficiency in one Skill of your choice.
Proficiencies (Tools, Instruments): You may choose 2 tool proficiencies from Cook’s Utensils, Glassblower’s Tools, Potter’s Tools, Weaver’s Tools, a Gaming Set of your choice, a Musical Instrument of your choice, or Vehicle Proficiency in Horse.
Languages: Humans can speak and write Common. You may choose to take one additional language of your choice IF you take only one Tool proficiency (above).
You gain one Feat of your choice.
Bonus Feat: One additional Feat chosen from Healer, Tough, Weapon Master
Orc (Aragdar): +2 STR; +1 CON or DEX
The Aragdar are the race sacred to Sengariel (Mars). They are masters of warfare, and excel at destructive magic.
Age: Orcs reach adulthood around 14 years and can live to be 60 or 70 years old, although many die much sooner in battle.
Size: Orcs are generally larger than humans, ranging from 5.5 feet to taller than 7 feet. Your size is Medium.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Relentless Endurance: When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.
Proficiencies (Weapon): An orc may choose proficiency in any one Weapon.
Proficiencies (Skills): In addition to the skills from your class and background, you may choose proficiency in one Skill from among Intimidation, Survival, Athletics, and Animal Handling.
Proficiencies (Tools, Instruments): You may choose one tool proficiency from Brewer’s Supplies, Carpenter’s Tools, a Gaming Set of your choice, or Vehicle Proficiency in Horse or Chariot (land vehicles).
Languages: Orcs can speak and write Common. They can also speak Orcish, which is a corrupt form of Elvish that serves primarily as the tactical language of the battlefield.
Bonus Feat: One chosen from Athlete, Charger, Mage Slayer, Great Weapon Master, Orcish Fury (Xanathar’s Guide)
Natural Magical Abilities: At first level, an Orc can cast the following once per day: Cause Fear (Xanathar’s Guide). At third level, an Orc may choose one first-level “destruction” (evocation) or necromancy spell and cast it once per day. At sixth level, they may choose one second-level spell from that school, and so on at ninth (third-level spell), twelfth (fourth-level spell), and fifteenth (fifth-level spell) level. Each of these spells may be cast once, requiring a long rest to cast again. You may choose Wisdom or Charisma as the spellcasting ability for these spells.
Dwarf (Durandar): +2 CON; +1 STR or WIS
The Durandar are the race sacred to Phaethiel (Jupiter). They are masters of luck and perseverance, and excel at protection-based magic.
Age: Dwarves reach adulthood around 40 years and can live to be 500 or 600 years old.
Size: Dwarves stand between 4 and 5 feet tall and average around 150 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
Lucky: When you roll a 1 on the d20 for an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you can reroll the die (once!) and must use the new roll.
Proficiencies (Weapon): A dwarf has proficiency with the battleaxe, handaxe, light hammer, warhammer, and shield.
Proficiencies (Skills): In addition to the skills from your class and background, you may choose proficiency in one Skill from among Athletics, Nature, Survival, and Intimidation.
Proficiencies (Tools, Instruments): You may choose one tool proficiency from Brewer’s Supplies, Mason’s Tools, Smith’s Tools, a Gaming Set of your choice, or a Musical Instrument of your choice.
Languages: Dwarves write and speak Dwarvish and Common.
Bonus Feat: One chosen from Dungeon Delver, Durable, Lucky, Bountiful Luck (Xanathar’s Guide), Dwarven Fortitude (Xanathar’s Guide)
Natural Magical Abilities: At first level, a Dwarf can cast each of the following once per day: sanctuary, blade ward. At third level, a Dwarf may choose one first-level abjuration spell and cast it once per day. At sixth level, they may choose one second-level spell from that school, and so on at ninth (third-level spell), twelfth (fourth-level spell), and fifteenth (fifth-level spell) level. Each of these spells may be cast once, requiring a long rest to cast again. You may choose Wisdom or Intelligence as the spellcasting ability for these spells.
Niśaçara (Skathdar): +2 DEX; +1 CHA or INT
Niśaçaras (Elvish: “night-stalkers”) or Skathdar (Dwarvish: “people of shadow”) are mole-rat humanoids! They are the race sacred to Khromuel (Saturn). They are natural shape-shifters and excel at transmutation magic.
Age: A Niśaçara reaches adulthood around 60 years and can live nearly 1000 years.
Size: They range from under 5 feet to around 6 feet tall. Your size is Medium.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet. Niśaçaras are also expert tunnelers. When in your natural form, your claws and protruding front teeth allow you to burrow through soft earth at 10 feet/round, and harder earth at 1 foot/round (GM’s discretion).
Superior Darkvision: You can see in dim light within 120 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light.
Sunlight Sensitivity: When exposed to bright light, a Niśaçara suffers blindness for one round and continues to suffer disadvantage on attack rolls and Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight as long as he or she stays in the bright light.
Proficiencies (Weapon): None (from class and background only), but while in natural form, a Niśaçara’s claws can be used proficiently to make unarmed strikes that hit for 1d4 + STR or DEX, i.e. a Niśaçara’s claws can be considered a finesse weapon.
Proficiencies (Skills): You may choose one skill proficiency from Acrobatics, Stealth, or Survival.
Proficiencies (Tools, Instruments): You may choose two (but see languages, below) tool proficiencies from Alchemist’s Supplies, Glassblower’s Tools, the Disguise Kit, the Poisoner’s Kit, a Gaming Set of your choice, or a Musical Instrument of your choice.
Languages: You speak Elvish (an unwritten language) and can write and speak Undercommon, a language spoken by the denizens of the Underworld. If you only take one tool proficiency above, you may take another language of your choice. (You do not speak Common by default!)
Bonus Feat: One chosen from Dual Wielder, Mobile, Resilient, Savage Attacker, Sentinel, Skulker
Natural Magical Abilities: At first level, a Niśaçara may assume the form of another humanoid once per day. This functions as a semi-permanent Alter Self spell, but requires that the Niśaçara possesses the skin (the entire skin) of the desired humanoid form. The player can revert to natural form at will, but can only change into the alternate form once per day. At fifth level, a Niśaçara may assume a second alternate form (additional skin required) and may change twice per day, at tenth level three forms, and so on.
Also at fifth level, a Niśaçara gains the ability to cast Darkness once per day. You may choose Charisma or Intelligence as the spellcasting ability for this spell.
Rakshdar (Dwarvish, lit. “people of the cat”), called Rakshasa in the common tongue (from the Elvish for “protector”), are the children of the wanderer Kupriel (Venus), an embodiment of love, pleasure, and affection. The Eye of the Cosmos states that the sphere of Kupriel is the divine source of “Desire, with voluptuous Joy and Laughter,” while The Precepts of Usil attribute to that sphere the “desire and longing that characterizes finite existence.”
Rakshasa have an acute sense of smell, and their mastery of aromatics and use of “telepathy” have led other races to accuse them of speaking the language of demons. Magically, they favor spells that influence the minds of their opponents and conjure otherworldy allies.
Their homeland of Rakshasthan is a semi-tropical land of alternating deep forest and sandy plains. The mighty Skhadwend, the Shadow River, culminates in the delta known as the Shadelands. Here, on the edge of the sea, is the great city Reval, Rakshasthan’s commercial port to the Human and Gnomish lands to the west. Outsiders are welcome in Reval, but have seldom ventured beyond. Some say that the giant stone sphinxes of Reval whisper the secrets of the interior, but no outsiders have ever visited Rakshasthan proper and returned to tell the tale.
The capital city of Leodashan is inaccessible to outsiders. Despite their isolation as a nation-state, many Rakshasa are seen wandering the lands of others. They are not so ubiquitous in Human lands as Gnomes, nor even so common as Dwarves, but they are a much more common sight in cities than Orcs and Elves. Human prejudice tends to regard Rakshasa as larcenous, if not outrightly demonic.
The native language of the Rakshasa is Elvish (arguably the first spoken language, but one that lacks a system of writing) and they are able to communicate “telepathically” (using a complex system of scents and body language) with other Rakshasa. The also speak and write Common. Merchants among the Rakshasa will often learn Dwarvish, the language of commerce used by the great Gnomish trading states. Few Rakshasa other than specialist scholars ever learn the language (or rather, the corrupted Elvish dialect) of the Orcs.
Rakshasa reach adulthood around the age of 30 and often live to be around 300 years old.
Rakshasa in the greater known world are almost universally mistrusted. It is assumed that they are all liars, just as all Nishaçara are thought to be killers. Some Rakshasa possess the ability to take on the forms of other races, a type of “illusion” that may be based on influencing the minds of others rather than on changing one’s outward appearance. This requires a great amount of concentration, however, so many Rakshasa don’t bother, choosing to tolerate the disdain others feel for them.
Rakshasa are great keepers of bees, and their mead is exported worldwide. They are also lovers of games of chance, and have innovated a number of card and dice games played throughout the world.
Rakshasa are seen primarily to be goddess worshippers. They possess, in fact, an entire pantheon of gods and goddesses, but only a few are well known outside of Rakshasthan. Expatriate theologians have written that such goddesses as Phreira, Kubali, and Taelixi are all aspects of the same terrible feminine power, while others point to the existence of separate priesthoods as evidence that they should not be conflated. The priests of Kubali, Goddess of the Lion and the Bee, are famous for the self-castration they undergo when they devote their lives to their one true love.
Prior to the current age of dominance by the Human Imperium, but after the famous age of great Gnomish mercantile city-states, some conspiracy-minded “historians” have posited an era of Rakshasa dominance. The so-called “Rakshasa Cryptocracy” exercised power over the hearts and minds of their Azyrian neighbors, corrupting the masses to indulge in sexual profligacy and spiritual excess. A much more likely explanation for the moral degeneracy of these times was that the Eldar races naturally devolved to become slaves to the flesh before the great liberator Usil came to save them from their errant ways a millennium ago.
Herodotus (5th century BCE) records that “gold is calculated to be thirteen times the value of silver” (Histories 3.95). I can’t help but wonder if this is an idealized value calculation based on the relative periods of the moon and the sun. The following metals were associated with the seven classical planets:
- Saturn – Lead
- Jupiter – Tin
- Mars – Iron
- Sun – Gold
- Venus – Copper
- Mercury – Mercury
- Moon – Silver
One need look no further than the colors of the metals and luminaries to understand the association of gold with the sun and silver with the moon.
The sidereal period of the moon is 27.3 days, while the synodic period (the time from new moon to new moon) is about 29.5 days. However, because of the week of seven days (also based on the seven classical planets), it is common to think of the period of the moon as an idealized figure of 28 days. As such, there are almost precisely 13 (13 x 28 = 364) “moons” or lunar months in a solar year. It is difficult to consider it a coincidence, then, that gold is reckoned to be 13 times the value of silver.
Ermid t’Augrondir had fallen far from fortune’s favor. Once a professor of astronomical alchemy at the foremost Gnomish University in the fair city of Sargola, Ermid was now a fugitive of a brand of justice bought and sold like so many clams at the summer market. He had been forced to leave everything behind: his many fine books, his magical lyre, even his twin sister Enid whose love and music were like the radiance of Kupriel on warm summer evening.
Despite the many rumors to the contrary, Ermid wasn’t able to control other people. His noble detractors liked to claim that their daughters were lured to perdition by the vibrations of his seven strings and the silky grace of his voice, but they were all a bunch of stinking liars. The fact is, these nobly born daughters, newly admitted in the last year to a University that had previously only accepted boys, had thrown themselves at Ermid with the inexorable force of flowers in the full bloom of springtime. Who was he to resist the powers of nature? How did these nobles have any right to complain of their daughters’ misplaced virtue, when for centuries their sons had been kidnapped at the docks by unscrupulous professors in need of students? It had never been a secret that at Sargola, a higher education was rife with perils both pecuniary and moral. And yet despite all this, the many glorious nights spent under the stars with his ephemeral favorites had somehow accumulated a critical mass malignantly leveraged by his detractors to tip the scales of justice against him. The many noble fathers, realizing that their individual complaints held little force, had banded together in a conspiracy to grease the gears of the law, inventing crimes where none truly existed.
His twin sister Enid, a masterful musician in her own right, was the only one who understood him. Enid could play circles around Ermid on every organ of musicianship save the lyre, but all agreed she couldn’t match the warmth and seductiveness of his voice. For all the trouble that Ermid’s vocal and other organs would get them into, Enid was always able to talk their way out of it. There had also been the t’Augrondir estate to sustain them, but when their father had passed in the winter, trouble began to brew like the putrefaction at the bottom of a neglected experiment in Ermid’s lab. Enid, spotting difficulties on the horizon, had urged her brother to amend his concupiscent ways, but Ermid’s organ of sense remained incorrigibly wedged in vices he seemed unable to recognize as such.
Only at the proverbial last minute, with the dogs of miscarried justice nipping at his heels, had Ermid fled Sargola, leaving everything of value behind. When he arrived at Vendigar, he checked in with the courier post, where Enid had said she would send the funds necessary to sustain him. Instead he found a letter from his sister detailing how the criminal and civil cases against him had detained all the t’Augrondir estate’s funds in a legal quagmire. Alas, he was truly on his own now. Why hadn’t he foreseen any of this misfortune in the movements of mighty Phaethiel? He had become like some great Sargolan merchant vessel, adrift on the trackless sea without the stars to guide his course. Yet despite everything, Ermid felt hopeful. This unsuspected blackening of his fortune, what else could it be but the melanosis that signaled the onset of the Great Work, the Summum Bonum, true wisdom and perfect happiness?
Like some Thesmophoric euphoria creeping heroically heavenward from your geocentric egocentric concentrically circular narcissistic wet dream, you remember at last the Platonic Idealization that will wash clean your cephalic pomegranate with dogpiss and suds. Surfing the swells of thanatological thalassic ejaculate that tastes like a chickenscratch hieroglyphic suicide note, rolling rocks and papers uphill and downwind and asking the only important question with your boy Sisyphus, vacationing in that ancient historical hotspot in your brainstem, they should have warned you that getting this religious entailed a constant flirtation with the underworld. Don’t forget a few bucks for the boatman. Having been put in charge of the corruption of 93 pathologically developing minds weaned on Empty-V capitalist muck-culture, you suck down the pharmaceutical hemlock like so much ambrosia, building your Pyramid of the Sun over the Cavern of the Shadow. (The way up is the way down.) It’s best to keep that shit locked up tight, well-tempered like a clavier, foul-tempered like a broken Node of Ranvier. A grain goddess, a grape god, and that great gay ape gaping in the nape of your pithy beanscape stroll saucily into a shantytown watering hole. Try doing some magic with that papyrus platter instead of eating so many Sloppy Franzes. Frankly, Fritzyboy, these jokes senza punchline are waxing quite tiresome and waning on the coherence. This is the evolutionary rationalization justifying everyone’s bad habits but your own, so roll yourself into a too-tight arthritic joint, role yourself into another unexpected and unearned authoritative archetype, and continue to pine hazily for the erstwhile day when breadwinning didn’t necessitate soulwhoring. Snorting lines of Sahidic Coptic and the dust of decomposed angels, you fall for the kingcraft of a crown chakra conspiratorially scheming with the sacral vertebrae snaking their way into the iron fortress of your will. The stinking fat lie at the foundation of the social contract pins your furry shoulders to the sweaty canvas of impotent infinite longing.