With Paizo’s most recent racial supplement and this week’s earlier mention, today we are futher delving the content of our upcoming release of Hyraeatan, City in Shadow. The demiplanar metropolis is ruled by a Council comprised of fourteen rival factions known as the Parities. The Parities espouse the titular balance of Light and Dark as such the claims seven of each. Today we look at the oldest of the Parities, at least that’s what they will tell you…
Parities of Hyraeatan: Sanguine Sovereignty
Nicknames: Bleeds, Crowns, Drains, and Goldbites
Beliefs: The Sanguine Sovereignty claims to be the founding Parity of Hyraeatan. Citing references to the Immortal Ascendant, Aphos Kalavol. A mage said to have first sought immortality in vampirism before eventually shedding mortality altogether and becoming a divine Patron of Hunger. Aphos’ priesthood created the city’s first vampire nobility from Aphos’ last remaining mortal blood. Overtime the line between the First Hunger’s church and the nobility grew so blurred that it is assumed that almost all vampires have some religious authority.
Aphos taught that Hunger on all levels–Food, Flesh and Lust–was the drive to life itself, the heart of the divine. He saw vampirism as the most obvious route to divine empowerment. He also believed that as that natural order had hierarchies of predator and prey, so to did the societies of the living. By ensconcing the vampiric element in the elite of society he mirrored the divine pattern of life in a predatory crown.
Lastly, the Hungerer believed that the greater existed to empower the lesser, and on union of circumstance and fate, the poorest urchin with the right intrinsic qualities–beauty, talent, genius–could be elevated to the nobility (and often vampirism). This practice is held even today where the living nobility “transition” in a rite of blood ascension. Titles shed and passed to a commoner as they take a larger estate in the vampiric Crown. This romance allows the Sovereignty far more influence than their current day single Council vote would indicate.
Primary Facilities: The Tower of Blood, to reinforce the Parity’s claims is indeed one of the oldest structures in Hyraeatan, though it is rumored that the Tower of Steam has much of its original arcane lore. The Palace of Aphos is near it in approximate age, and as its smaller cousins serves as grandest of the cities Houses of Appetites. Combinations of brothels, eateries, taverns and smoke dens in various parings bare the golden crest of the Parity but only there in Aphos’ old home can debauchery reach the deepest levels of hunger and satiation.
Allied and Enemy Parities: Among the Parities of Light the Eternal Dawning resents the Sovereignty’s enmeshment in and practice of vampirism and general consorting with the undead. The Descendants on the other hand fear the sleepless state of undeath and its inability to heighten the Tides of Dream. The Chrysalis Covenant finds itself divided as some members see the Grand Metamorphosis in vampiric ascension and some just see death. The House of Heights points to Aphos as an example of their practices and respects the Sovereignty while resenting its “appropriation” of an immortal. In the Dark Parities, the Temple of Coin is seen as having “stolen” the secrets of vampirism and drives the wedge deeper by offering them to any who can afford the privilege. The Bookbinders have long enjoyed friendship in the Sovereignty due to the undead often preserving lost scraps of knowledge.
Desired Membership: Recruiters of the Sanguine Sovereignty are considered to be among the most particular in Hyraeaten. The vast majority of candidates for vampiric ascension are already from established bloodlines. They do however also look for “specimens” of exceptional breeding, artists gifted with skills considerable enough for immortal preservation, or individuals of power worth claiming.
Rewards: Members obviously gain the immortal patronage of the vampiric lords of the Sanguine Sovereignty. The benefits of this are hard to quantify or exaggerate varying from the freshest imported foods from the Material Plane to rare and illicit substances available in the most narrow ranges of the Cosmos. The raw social power of even the Sovereignty’s symbol is hard to argue with.
Denials: Members of the Sanguine Sovereignty are not to spawn new undead without explicit permission from the leaders of the Parity. Unauthorized spawn are slain indiscriminately and measures have been taken to protect those who enact this sentence on the Sovereignty’s behalf.
More info on Hyraeatan can be found in the Mythic Paths of the Lost Spheres appendix and the upcoming Book of Beyond WIP. Hyraeatan, City in Shadow will be available later this year. For our other products visit: d20pfsrd.com, drivethruRPG, paizo and RPGNow.
OGL Note: None of this entry is considered Open Content.