GGG: The Parlis, Lords of the Kinda, and Others.
The Parlis, as stated in an earlier post, consists of the broad expanse of agricultural land bordered by the bends of the Lesser and Greater Kinda. Numerous small communities within the city-state tend to various foodstuffs and other agricultural processes. The different communities are known by their location in the Eye, a term which refers to the coloration of the darkstone mesa and the surrounding blue slate roofs and verdant farmlands. After reaping the Parlis appears as a human eye; a large dark pupil, slate-colored iris, and wide expanses of rheumy white criss-crossed with the threads of irrigation systems.
Most communities of the Parlis region are populated via the Stacks or through older refugee sites. Some groups, usually the Servitors of businessmen or waterworkers (those who patrol the ditches and the arms of the Kinda) live in elevated homes with clear views over their small expanse of land. These elevated homes are nothing in comparison to even the least of the manors of the cartel known as the Lords of the Kinda.
Power Center: Lords of the Kinda.
The Lords are the cultivators of Qishi, a powerful narcotic which is used by Imperial nobles even though the Imperial State controls purchase and distribution of the substance through various channels in the provincial governments. Qishi has a secondary use by rogues and other mundane; its euphoric properties make spellcasting difficult, and many thieves use burning Qishi to disable their targets over a period of time. The Lords of the Kinda consolidate their power in their great lowland manors, which are the topic of this writeup.
A standard Parlinian manor appears compact in comparison to your average manor house; four large lower rooms and a number of smaller top floor rooms are arranged based on a standard plan but would barely be as big as a standard McMansion of today.
The Lords of the Kinda have invested more in the way their manor homes are outfitted than they have on their upkeep. Most ‘entrenched’ (read: second generation or later) Lords are Bards, with talents as jacks of all trades and who have taken on additional talents. However, the Lords are all well-versed in the use of at least one magic item from the first: The Lochs of Priumdi.
Most of the Lords are former refugees, and the four largest families come from Central Naschia. Brutally efficient in their handling of their business, the Naschian leaders brought with them memories of the legend of the deeps of Priumdi. The Endless Lochs of Priumdi were said to hold gold and riches left behind by a great flood which had filled the deep pits of the ruined city. The Lords, seeking a safe storage device, created such an item in these simple paintings. Created in the abstract style popular in Naschian religious icons, the Lochs of Priumdi require focus and a knowledge of the tale of Priumdi’s depths to enter and extricate materials.
The painting contains an extradimensional space measuring as large as a small closet (as Bag of Holding II). However, the item has been protected by a strange dual-key; one must focus his mind and his will in two ways: keeping a level head, and delving into the psychic depths of the abstraction. To open The Lochs of Priumdi requires two skill checks: A Use Magic or Psionic Device check of 25, and a Concentration check of 18. Anyone who attempts to ‘open’ the painting and fails must make a Will Save (against DC: 21) or take 3d4 Charisma damage (this attack functions as an augmented Ego whip).
Each Lord has several servants and creatures on their retainers; the Lords have smuggled Councilor’s eggs to hatch lesser Councilor Birds to serve as advisors (a discussion of Councilor Birds will appear in a later article). Some families deal in other types of trade or have special contacts. A few examples are listed below.
The Yurndi – Produce high-grade ‘royal’ Qishi, along with the smuggling of dissidents out of the Empire. Talented abjurer on staff.
The Calful – Original creators of The Lochs of Priumdi, innovators in ‘black hand’ magic. The Calful family trains assassins and Black Hands (Prestige Class focusing on magic to infiltrate and remove goods).
The Perdin – Slavers. Perdin ‘family’ members sell refugees into slavery through Sarian and contacts in the Ostari coastal island states.
The Golbel - Very minor, but talented in mental magic. The Golbel patriarch is rumored to be the bastard grandson of the High Priest of the Church City of Kuartani. Golbelo mercenaries are hired out by Parlinian nobles for protection.
Other Minor Organizations:
The Keepers of the Sun and Moon – A group of refugees from a wartorn region of Zajara, the Keepers of the Sun and Moon are a group of Adepts and Gleaners (see this article by Baker who use their talents to protect and heal their fellow Parlis-workers. The Keepers have gained a large following to their faith (that of Qatalya, or the Shieldbearer and Zajahran God of the Sun and Moon), and are holding their own. The Keepers hide their abilities whenever possible because they believe that service to the Imperial State as members of the imperial faith of Sucur and others of the pantheon would taint their worship of their own deity.
Waterworkers – Most waterworkers are men and women keeping away from Imperial control. Thieves, deserters, and the occasional disrobed (or disjoined) magus find themselves working the waters of the Two Kinda. Some waterworkers pole alongside the Lords of the Kinda, but some fight against the narcotics trade whenever possible, striking victories for their own ideologies.
Conjure Ladies – Adepts and others (mostly female) who produce potions and charms for local traders and individuals. Conjure ladies (and witch men) do works for a steady price, but will have spells which are considered outside of Imperial favor or be willing to cast spells of summoning and binding if they possess the talent, something which won’t be found amongst Imperial-taught individuals.
A few organizations and concepts on the waters of the Parlis. Another update is forthcoming . . . please leave comments so I can know if I’m driving in the right direction .