The Ashalan

(Selected Excerpts from the Ashalan section of the Legend of the Burning Sands RPG)

Long seen as both protectors and progenitors by the people of Medinaat al-Salaam, the Ashalan are an enigma to the people of the Burning Sands as well as to those of the Emerald Empire. A long-lived race whose nature borders on the paranoid and whose skill at deception can draw parallels to the Kolat or the Shadow, the Ashalan have seen a great deal over the centuries, and know more than most races in either the Jewel of the Desert or the Emerald Empire.

Originally created by the first Jinn spawned by the Moon and Sun, the Ashalan have lived for thousands of years since that time, sharing twelve souls amongst all the members of their race. Those ‘ensouled’ members lead the others and, until recent events leading up to and including the Awakening, most of the Council of Twelve had survived all the way from the Ashalan race’s creation until the present day. The decisions of the Council are typically followed by all Ashalan, and it was through this peaceful governance that they were able to quietly guide many of the factions that can be found in the Burning Sands, carefully shaping the destiny of those who lived above the City of the Seventh Star.

Unfortunately for these other races, Ashalan guidance does not always come in the friendly manner it once did. As the Council has dwindled, some members of the Ashalan race have grown callous and uncaring, even arrogant. They believe that if they had to pay the ultimate cost, other races must be prepared to do the same, and the weak among them must be removed. Needless to say, this is not the attitude of most of their race, and those Ashalan who continue to behave in such a manner may find themselves eventually undone. Plans within plan unfold within Ashalan society, and many such schemes eventually lead back to the Council or others of their immortal species, if one were inclined to follow them.

Basic Character Class: Sun-Riders (Diplomat)
Known among the people of the Burning Sands as some of the best guides who can be found, the Sun-Riders are the explorers and wanderers of the Ashalan. While some of them are among the few who have been banished from the City of the Seventh Star for their conduct, most of them go abroad out of simple curiosity or wanderlust. The Sun-Riders have seen the worst of what the desert can offer and survived, making them valuable to any caravan that might pass through the Jewel of the Desert.

The Council uses the Sun-Riders as scouts, hunters, and spies, sending them to find information where no other can. Though they are not truly bounty hunters, more than a few Sun-Riders end up dragging in criminals when they return from the desert. They despise those who prey on the weak, and some view themselves as a more mobile and less restricted version of the Blood-Sworn. When they grow tired of exploring or wandering the world, many of the Sun-Riders return to Medinaat al-Salaam for a long respite, usually of a decade or more, and learn to use their skills in an urban environment. Inevitably, however, the curiosity that drove them to become an explorer in the first place compels them to return to the open desert.

Benefit: +1 Agility

Integrity: 2.0

Starting Skills: Athletics, Defense, Horsemanship, Hunting (Survival), Swordsmanship (Scimitar), Stealth (Sneaking), Traps.

Outfit: Scimitar, riding horse or camel, bow and 20 arrows (any type), tent, robe, boots, traveling pack; 8 copper. 

Techniques
Rank 1 (of 5): Show the Lady No Fear

Sun-Riders have spent so much time in the light of the desert that they eventually gain partial immunity to the harsh effects of the Sun. Your TN penalty for being in bright sunlight is reduced by your Sun-Rider School Rank. However, you also lose your Shadow Cloak ability completely, as you have essentially learned to use it to shield yourself from the sun constantly.

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