The Xenos

Humans aren't the only sentient species in the Broken World. Other races, alien in form and custom, are surviving and even thriving in these hostile climes.

Over the years, there have been a mixture of reactions to the 'Xenos'. Some welcome the xenos as allies against the chaos, while others see them as the greatest threat of all. More backwards clans refuse to distinguish them from the more primative monsters than inhabit fragments, and try to chase them away with weapons.

Folklore suggests that the Xenos are fundamentally different from humans, and were born 'after' the apocalypse. Certainly, their forms are more suited to this world. One thing Humanity has learned is that they are not to be trifled with. While generally less organized, they have proven just as cunning and just as deadly as any 'civilized' threat.

Currently, small groups of Xenos can be found among all the colonies, making homes and tending to their own needs the same as everyone else.


Superficially, the Zwerginn look similar to humans, if a little shorter. They normally dress in robes going from the neck to the floor, made of coarse fabric, beneath which is a skin with the texture and consistency of rock. The main feature identifying the Zwerginn is the cloth bound to their face, covering everything except the eyes.


Zwerginn have an innate connection to fragments that other races cannot comprehend. For some reason this connection is strongest on deserted fragments, and that in turn led to a culture of raiders.

The old society was split into three areas; the guiders, the takers and the sorters. The guiders held the most influence, for they looked out across the void to locate rich fragments prime for raiding, and then steered towards it, right up to the point of collision.

The takers would then surge across as the collision occurred. With lightning precision they speed across taking ores, food, livestock, grain and slaves, and returning back to the home fragment, which then returns into the void.

The sorters would then sift through the debris, allocating it to various warehouses to be divided up amongst the population.

With the old society dying out, the functions of these groups has need to shift.

The Rite of Hearth

Every Zwerginn undergoes this rite when they are deemed an adult. A small part of their home fragment, no bigger than a small house, is carved free, and the Zwerginn undergoing the rite ceremoniously boards it.

This is the Zwerginn's ferry stone. They spend a month meditating on this this tiny stone without leaving, until they understand every geomantic ebb, and it becomes an extension of them. It is then both house, and steed, capable of transport accross the world.


As humans became more and more able to defend themselves, the old way of life became unsustainable. The Zwerginn leaders decided it was time to try and integrate with the humans. They brought their barren fragments into the Union and began the process of integration.

Humans still see them as a very alien influence, for Zwerginn seem unable to comprehend human emotions such as Love, Hate and boredom, and have difficulty grasping that there was anything wrong with raiding other clans to survive. It is hard to tell if this is based on primal instincts, or ruthless logic.


Phytarin are essentially sentient plants. They resemble humanoids composed entierly of leaves, moss, flowers and branches. They generally keep to themselves, having little interest in civilization, and are thus regarded as mostly harmless.


Phytarin live deep in wooded areas, and for the most part do precious little, content to simply soak up the stormlight. What work they do involves maintaining their forest homes, cultivating a wide variety of flora and fauna into a garden. What passes for a garden makes little sense to human eyes though, who see a tangled mess of plant matter where a phytarin must see something else.

Most cultures have some form of contact with a free colony of Phytarin, sometimes for trade, and sometimes as a mutual-protection agreement in exchange for leaving their forests alone.

Some individual Phytarin have seen lucrative employ as explorers and traders. Their natural affinity with wild places make them more able to tread where others can't (or won't).

Many Branches, Same Tree

Established Phytarin communities can form a rudimentary hive mind. A complex ritual known only to the Phytarin is used to form a link between two of the clan( most Phytarin only have the capacitiy to maintain one link at a time). Bonded Phytarin are constantly aware of their fellows, and while they can't communicate through the link, they will know if the other is excited, scared, unconscious or contented.

How the ritual is used varies between clans. Some use it as a rite of marriage. Others use it as a means of border patrol, and others still to keep tabs on prisoners. The truly exceptional among a clan can maintain multiple links at once. These 'den mothers' generally rise to positions of prominence.

Fear of the Queen

Phytarin legends talk of a creature known to them as “The Queen”.

They describe it as a parasitic lifeform, bent on sucking life from fragments. This creature is feared for the control it can exert over Phytarin, making them completely surbservience to its needs. The stories say that enthralled phytarin will carry out its orders, going so far as taking their own lives if it commands. They also say that the Queen's will manipulates the form of phytarin, turning them in to fiersome demons.


Karbaldi are in rare contact with humanity, and even when they meet, Karbaldi are usually covered from head to toe in their 'wandergear'. Nonetheless they have a somewhat reptilian feel about them, with scaly skin and rasping voices. They have a long, prehensile tail with a pair of hooks at the end, an adaptation to climbing around on the underside of fragments.

Mist Dependance

The Kar’Baldi are reliant on the mist to survive, finding the space outside the mist as toxic as humans find life withing it. When away from thier cities they must wear wandergear, breathing apparatus which gives them a mist like atmosphere, which they have become dependent on.


Naturally, Kar'Baldi are restricted to the lowest lying fragments. They live in the undercities, cities which cling to the bottom of fragments. These cities havea two tiered society; the upper class live in the cloisters surrounding courtyards that open onto the mists below.

Below the fragments hang the gantries, the home of the peasants, who farm the organic stalactites that the whole race depends on for food and building materials. Here life is dangerous for there is very little to prevent one from falling into the mists; young children are rarely left out, for fear of them running of the edge by accident.

Whether they are in the cloisters or the gantries, Kar'Baldi live in Houses, to which they are fiercely loyal. This doesn't mean they won't happily backstab each other within their House for greater standing; more that when someone else tries to move in on House business they will all join together and punish them for their temerity. Kar'Baldi culture can thus be seen as a struggle for dominance between Houses in macro scale, and a struggle within Houses for renown on the micro scale.


For a long time the Kar'Baldi saw those that inhabited the topside of their fragments as unwelcome and dangerous invaders, and tried to bring about their downfall with mist magic, brainwashing and manipulation. However since their presence has become more widely known, trade with Kar’Baldi settlements has increased, and slowly but surly they have become more appreciative of the surface cultures, although they are still widely distrusted.


The Hareppi are a capricious race resembling a large winged serpents. Their body is feathered, and while they have wings and arms, they have no legs. This probably relates to thier inability to sit still. Their plumage matches the various shades of the storm. They are notorious for their skill at channelling the storms' power.


The Hareppi live in large flocks, which travel between the fragments in search of food. Each flock is made of a number of smaller family units, which move between flocks as convenience allows.

Although the lifestyle of the Hareppi is too fluid to allow any form of government, word spreads fast between flocks and the Hareppi will rally to face any danger or source of entertainment.

In general the Hareppi have few possessions beyond small family heirlooms, and look down on those races that lay claim to land, wealth, buildings or livestock. Bartering with the Hareppi is a difficult task; you must walk a fine line between convincing them that something is worth the exchange, and convincing them too much so that they steal it.

Lust for Life

Though the Hareppi have no government to give them a general purpose, they do have a philosophy of life that humans would do well to understand. For generations uncountable their existance has been nomadic, flying through the world between fragments. They are contempteous of wealth and only with ties to their closest family, though all share a concern for the race as a whole. Instead, they dedicate their lives to exploration and hedonism; there is no greater joy than discovering an excting new fragment full of things to see, eat and do.


When the Hareppi first interacted with the Humans of the archipelago, many saw them as a threat; they destroyed settlements with their powers over the storm and stole from many clans. They were driven away from the archipelago and the Union saw that they would never return.

Elsewhere things were different; in the Confederacy, the corvidae built up a strong relationship with the Hareppi, and have some sway with them. With the fallen, flight was seen as an important improvement, so the Hareppi were brought into society so that the mechanics of individual flight could be researched.

Other Races


The Maali only barely pass as sentient life, and are little more than a nuisance. Humanoid in appearance, the main difference is the runic tattoos burned into their skin. The Maali show only rudimentary intelligence, unable to learn no more than basic skills. They live in small family groups, hunting animals and hiding from outsiders.


The Enfantir have horns, cloven hooves, and have sharp teeth. They appear to live underground, and are rumored to have powerful abilities with Passion Magic. For the most part they keep to themselves, and are one of the less seen xenos.

The Stone Men

The Stone Men are hard to call a race; There so few records of them, and no two have matching descriptions. Their skin is crystalline, their features chisselled, but their form can vary wildly, as can their coloring.

Contact with Sone Men tend to be monumentous. They are posessed of immese powers akin to a spirit mage, and have little understanding of human ways. Many are worshipped as gods among the more primative clans.

game2/xenos.txt · Last modified: 2008/10/09 21:01 by gm_james