Continuing explorations 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 claims seven of each. The Parities of the Light can barely contain the experimental enthusiasm (and some would say recklessness) of the Steamwalkers…
Nicknames: Vapes, Cogs, Burners, Mad Scientists
Beliefs: Among the Parities, the Steamwalkers may be the only one that isn’t overly concerned with its place in the hierarchy of the Council of Shadows. The Parity is certainly older than the Dawning. And probably the Forseen is well, but you’d be hard pressed to find a Steamwalker that could confirm this as that their concern is moving forward, to the Great Next.
What exactly the Great Next is, is a matter of some debate. Discovery is the driving force behind the Parity and their work is never done, even when it is. A number of successful experiments have resulting in new magical knowledges for the Steamwalkers and the entire and city, but members often lose interest as soon as the results are verified. Many of them end up in deep depressions for fear they will never match their own prior success or find another relevant project.
Between epiphanies the Parity manages to find time to run the University and the magical schools comprising the Academies. These resources provide the City in Shadow with capable magical practitioners and also provide rudimentary education to the children of the city from a series of associated grooming schools the Parity maintains hoping to find prodigies as soon as possible.
Primary Facilities: The Tower of Vapors is a veritable cacophony of energetic discharges, popping plumes of smoke and occasional, violent explosions. Somewhere within the laboratories, foundries and casting chambers of the Tower there is a small administration office that houses the leadership of the Parity, often a mixture of “between projects” members and those who fear matching their prior successes. In addition to the towers, the University of Hyraeatan and the Academies Magical are both run by the more focused members of the Steamwalkers.
Allied and Enemy Parities: The Ashborn and Thunderchildren both find the efforts of the Steamwalkers to Discover for the sake of Discovery frivolous and wasteful. The House of Heights often gleans insights to Eternity in the rare experiment of the Steamwalkers and has been known to fund experiments that can contribute to the cause of Immortality. The Muses of the Descendants of Dreams find a near perfect match in the willing arcanists and machinists of the Steamwalkers, and such partnerships are often heard engaged in heated debate while walk from Kiva to University or in the trial chambers. The Blackblades end up inheriting a large number of members in the disillusioned remnants of such wild collaborations.
Desired Membership: Recruiting efforts of the Steamwalkers are mostly conducted in the Academies or University when a student displays exceptional promise. Rare trips to recruit talent in the Prime Material occur from time to time. And of course, adventurers willing to engage in the retrieval of rare reagents and materials or test experiments in the field are always in demand.
Rewards: Resources are provided for experimenters of the Tower and Academies. Field agents of the Steamwalkers are often armed with arcane equipment and machinework that is at the edge of development providing strange, wondrous and only slight dangerous edges to accomplish their efforts. Often times high ranking members are lent one another’s discoveries for “performance verification” periods that become indefinite in duration (as long feedback is supplied).
Denials: The members of the Steamwalkers are prohibited from engaging in the direct marketing of their discoveries regardless of the potential for profit. The leadership of the Parity feels that such mercantile efforts diminish future potential for the Discovery of the Great Next.
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. Don’t forget the GM Sales going on until March 10th!!
OGL Note: None of this entry is considered Open Content.