Best Intentions (Enemies of the City of 7 Seraphs: Nexalla, She Who Follows)

Xodai Race Preview

Xodai  monk – Artist: Vincent Coviello

“We’ve faced devils, demons, oni and daemons… all in a single day… and you’re telling me the Eternal Dawning brought them here?”

– Warden Styveius Eshta, on hearing of Nexalla’s origins.

Enemies of the City of Seven Seraphs: Nexalla, She Who Follows

The girl was strange.

The Jeweled Lords were uncertain what to make of her, a child of an unknown world. She had fled to them from the Shadow. Walking the Lattice from an age so young she claimed she could not see her parents faces in the eye of her mind. The rulers of Daestari fed her, clothed her, and…

The Daestari taught her.

She voraciously took to the shaping of veils. She devoured the tomes of their most powerful mages. She entered the Order of Unity with a passion that is born only of true acceptance. But never did she cross the threshold of the Grand Temples. The Gods of the Daestari were said to have rose from among their people. They could not be hers.

The girl grew.

She formed a Triad, and then a Circle. She led them against the enemies of the Jeweled Lords. Nexalla invaded the Abyssal Realms. She sealed the Infernal Gates. The power of their Unity grew. Her passion to defeat the forces of the 9 Hells and shatter the Lords Abyssal became a consuming goal. She spent more and more time traveling the Axes and the Lower Planar Trines. She studied her adopted peoples’ enemies.

The Daestari feared her.

The Priests of the Ancestors spoke out against Nexalla’s aggression.  They foresaw repercussions of her actions. She was censured. The woman grew angry. But she held Union sacred in her heart, and knew it was the key to defeating evil. She decided to prove it.

The woman created the Xodai.

Through study Nexalla learned of the psychic apotheosis of the creatures called elan. She postulated that a similar process could be used to created an arcane analog. But using a Circle of Six transfigurations she could cause the rebirth process to happen around a seventh creature. To encapsulate and divide its essence. To make living prisons–the Xodai.

The Daestari rejected the Xodai.

Nexalla and her creations were cast out. The woman had only known the Daestari’s home since she was the girl. The Daestari’s home… and those of their enemies. So she went out into the Trines of Evil and took her children. They found little welcome, so Nexalla set about making a new home. At the place where Nullus touches Abaddon, she rose a city in her despair–she named it Akaton. She knew Union could defeat evil, but perhaps she had approached it wrong.

The woman taught the Fiends.

In her city, she sought to show the Fiends the power of One. In Oneness they would surely turn from evil. Nexalla used bindings, pacts and offerings to win the Fiends loyalty. Those who refused were subjected to the Sundering Transfiguration and created more Xodai. But her designs worked too well, her creations were untouched by that which they imprisoned. The Xodai saw her Fall and chose not to follow.

The Xodai rejected Nexalla.

Fleeing the shadows of Akaton, the Xodai came through the Lattice once more to the Home of the Daestari. They threw themselves on the mercies of the Ancestral Gods. They were accepted by the Spirits. And so the Xodai came home. But Nexalla would not have her Union denied. She led her new Alliance through the Shadow. Devil. Daemon. Oni. Demon. Kyton. And more… she saw her true enemy at last.

The woman warred on the Gods.

She knew the Daestari would only accept her truths if they weren’t bound by the antiquated beliefs of their Gods. The sundered the Grand Temples with her Fallen Alliance and laid a deep corruption there. She shattered the palaces of the Jeweled Lords. She drew open the Will of her fiendish Oneness… And Gifted it to the Daestari’s world, joining its power to the heart of the world’s Magic. Their world was poisoned.

The Daestari fled.

Their Gods’ connections were broken or corrupted. Their world was poisoned and dying. The Jeweled Lords commanded the people to flee into Shadow. They vowed newer to reject the strange again, never to send a soul alone into the dark, to be as Dawn Eternal to any and all who would walk with them. To forever oppose the power of the fiendish Union of Akaton. And the new risen goddess, Nexalla. The goddess saw them flee from her glorious gifts.

And now Nexalla follows…

* * * * *

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Xodai Race Preview

Xodai monk – Artist: Vincent Coviello

Nexalla’s creations, the Xodai race are being added to the races section of the book as additional page count thanks to Jamie of Salt Lake City, UT solving the Fifth Shadow Lock! The Xodai’s powers allow them to contain a portion of a great fiend, imprisoning it until all of the transfigured Xodai binding it are destroyed. While sundered the Xodai can safely draw energy from the broken essence of the entrapped fiend. Player character xodai will have access to abilities that connect this energy with their classes via archetypes and feats. Veilweavers (like the Nexus) in particular benefit from this second pool of fragmented essence.

Keep your eyes open for Shadow Lock Six!

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Girl Power! (City of Seven Seraphs: Female Veryx)

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Female veryx fighter – Artist: Vincent Coviello

Since the Paizo forum community asked about her… here is today’s preview! The female veryx fighter along with her custom sheath-blades and abdominal scalemail. She is a bit larger than her male friend and is a little more likely to take the fight to the front line. Dressing for success as a veryx might cost a little extra but they rarely fail to impress.

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Love & Loss (Enemies of the City of 7 Seraphs: The Flowered Queen & Lightbringers)

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“Be alert people! We’re crossing beyond the Glarewood into Fey. Everything here could be something dangerous and send you to an unpleasant end. Unless its beautiful. Then it is definitely something dangerous and will send you to an unpleasant end.”

-an elected Warden Captain to his Circle when passing beyond the Orchard District into the Fey Realm.

Enemies of the City of Seven Seraphs: The Flowered Queen & Lightbringers

At the heart of most great tales lies love. In the City of Seven Seraphs that love might be said to focus on the Flowered Queen, Hyandil and what she felt for her friends who traveled the worlds beyond. As a princess of Fey Realm, Hyandil was said to be the daughter of the Rose Throne’s queen and a powerful elven archmage from the Prime Worlds. She spent an ageless childhood in the worlds of Dream.

The Princess grew bored.

In the Public Kivas of the Colleges District they sing of her grand journeys through the Prime Worlds and of the four souls she met on the way. Bards may argue about the specifics but most agree that that in the end there were five. A dangerous number. An ill-omen to be sure. The tellings vary between each who sing but most will say that Hyandil loved all of her companions. As friends or more who could be certain?

Around her grew light, love and adventure.

Shinthalis the Gray said it was she, the Princess Bud, Aphos and Aphora the mage-twins, Ceradon Longeye and Duxandus of the First Frosts who made those journeys. He was somewhat prone to embellishment, but as lovers danced partners and friends laughed in each song of his Cycle of Seven, it always came back to Hyandil and Ceradon. They were wed in a timeless forest in an world whose name is now forgotten.

They kissed in the light of magic.

The songs say it was there in the wind after that fated kiss she first saw it. A silvered hair tossed in the wind from Ceradon’s brow. The feyblooded princess knew little of time. But as the wind carried the hair away from them she knew it then. Ceradon was dying. So were the twins. So was the ice-maker. Not the sudden death, but the mortal one. Her friends were withering away–how had it taken her so long to see?

She told them a secret.

In her journey from the Realm of the Fey, Hyandil had passed through the Shadow of Yggdrasil, not yet called the Lattice and she beheld it. Radia. The Storm of the Infinite. If she had a hope of saving those she loved it was there. She taught them each the secret names to call the Shadow and led them into the Dark.

The Fade barred their way.

Some say Aphos eager to eclipse the new groom Ceradon, attacked the Fade. Others say he  subdued them with his nascent Divine Will. Others say he wept in the forests that would one-day be the Great Orchard. But a it is known wandering nature-priestess offered to join them for she too had been denied.

The Circle of Six was formed.

Satisfied with their Union and Balance, the Fade gave them leave to enter the light under Radia. The Circle studied its power, mysteries and in time each came to seek a way to remain in Hyandil’s love and light, forever. Hyandil was pleased and as her friends followed their Paths, she sang and danced, casting word of their successes into the heavens.

The Paths diverged.

Each of the Circle took their own way. Aphos the way of Blood. Aphora the way of Fire. Duxandus the way of Ice. Ceradon the way of Eternity. And the Priestess with No Name the way of Rebirth. These was were as different as the feet that trod them. And each named their way best. Ceradon was most proud as that he ever would remain as Hyandil, endless and Eternal.

The Runeweavers came.

The Radia dimmed and the light that was to grant her loves the power to remain beside her was threatened. She sang her Mother’s song. She called to the Fey, the Linnorm, and the Sleeping Beasts. Her flowers bloomed on every world and the ways were made open. The Lightbringers came to Shadow and the Web of Runes was rent asunder. As peace returned, she took with child.

She bore Ceradon a son.

This boy was said to be a wonder. A joy of light and power. Ceradon and her son watched the City grow beside her. A royal family in all but crown. The place called Hyraeatan by the Fade prospered. But the Paths diverged. Aphos’ hunger ever grew and he began to call the City his. Aphora was lost to Flame. Duxandus stopped his beating heart. The Nameless Priestess slipped between lives.

The boy was discovered, dead.

Drained of blood and touched by the blood of another, Hyandil sought out her once beloved companion. Aphos faced her fury and glory as she demanded he explain the slow crossing of living death in her boy.  He denied nothing. Aphos only asked where the father had been. Ceradon fell from Hyandil’s eyes. She raged and stormed and decided it was not enough to merely destroy them both.

She vowed to destroy their City.

Abandoning the Tower of Light, she took her armies of fey and magic and returned to the Realm of her Mother. Casting her last glance back she smiled knowing that lest the City find Balance once more, it was doomed Fall… and if it did not… she’d return herself to tear it down.

* * * * *

At release the City of Seven Seraphs has only barely recovered from the first Lightbringers Incursion. The City bares the marks of a magical invasion and has gained strange new allies like Prince Maelwyn and the shadow few Court of the Mithral Throne. Dissidents supporting the agenda of the once glorious age of the Tower of Light work to undermine the City’s balance hoping one day for the return of the Flowered Queen…

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No More Middlemen (Enemies of the City of 7 Seraphs: The Runeweaver Syndicate)

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Male veryx arcanist – Artist: Vincent Coviello

“My bunk-mate is a talking spider. Of course my bunk-mate is a talking spider… because… because this place. You know I never thought I’d say it, but I am really starting to miss goblins.”

-a Prime-World born Warden on meeting his new veryx Circle member.

Enemies of the City of Seven Seraphs: The Runeweaver Syndicate

In the early days of the City of Seven Seraphs, then only called Hyraeatan by its native fade, there were many who came to investigate the near limitless magic of Radia, the Etherstorm. The bold researchers and adventurous souls that explored the area immediate to the phenomena would someday become the founding members of what are now called the Parities.

The Parities were not alone.

A more cautious group also existed, led by aranea and based on the Grand Plateau (oft called Leng). They called themselves the Runeweavers. These weaver mystics sought to shape a magical network around the Radia to safely channel and control it. Some scholars claim that this process also harnessed the Lattice itself. Others state it was by this process the first Portal Plazas were built. Regardless, they seemed to gain an upper hand and the Church of Parity called those beneath the Radia to them. A crusade was formed.

The Crusade of Balance began.

Most of what transpired then is lost. Surely, this conflict led to the Resolution and was the pre-amble to the Wonder Wars and thus the creation of the judow. As the Parities formed, the Runeweaver Syndicate came into open conflict with them. The Radia dimmed as power was drawn into a network of their sinister design. The Parities’ forces were dispatched across creation to find and destroy the Nests of the Web of Runes. It did not go well.

The Crusaders were failing.

It was not until the boy went to Leng, and at the Runed Pit sang his song. The Archweaver was thought to be of and among the aranea but none can say for certain. The boy, who would soon found the Descendants of Dream sang with purest intention. He sang of Wonder and Union. He sang of Loss and Memory. He sang of Swords and a Future unknown.

The Archweaver was moved.

Sliding from his webs within the Runed Pit, he tried to sing the boy’s song. The Archweaver had not the mouth of Man but something strange and the song while potent was a second tapestry of noise. They sang together, the Dreaming Boy and the Archweaver. A song of Wonder and Dark Delights. The favored children of the Archweaver listened and heard, a Harmony of Dark and Light.

The veryx followed.

From across the Lattice they came, mages and warriors the Runeweavers had shaped. As they went they unmade the Web and the Radia was no longer slaved. Light once more balanced the Dark. The Archweaver entered the Temple of Balance and was never seen again. The veryx remained to help shape the City and to sing the songs of Light and Dark.

The Seraphs rose.

And the Runeweaver Syndicate gathered around the Archweaver’s empty Throne of Web and began plotting their revenge…

* * * * *

A new villain group reveal, and also…

ShadowBanner - Veryx

Matt in North Salt Lake, UT solved the Fourth Shadow Lock Riddle!

As players in our earliest memories, some of us still were fascinated by the creatures on the other side of the screen. We wanted to play monsters. Tolkien’s Shelob and Ungoliant. The shattered lands Dark Spiders. Rowling’s Aragog. These creatures moved us. And the near miss of driders and drow… well… it’s time. Introducing the Archweaver’s favored children: the veryx. A PC race of spiders that has a central place in the lore and history of the City of Seven Seraphs! With Endzeitgeist’s secret race from the First Shadow Lock (it’s very cool, we promise)  and the N. Jolly’s judow that makes three new PC races revealed available in the City of Seven Seraphs book. Have we mentioned how much we like the number 7?

Keep your eyes peeled for Shadow Lock 5!

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Time to Reflect (Enemies of the City of 7 Seraphs: The Sarrosians)

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Chrysalis Covenant/Art Patron Level Example – “Three Against the Likeness” – Artist: Zefanya Maega

“Some say that Sarros is a magical map gone wrong… other tales say it’s what lies on the other side of an Opposing Mirror… either way if you see yourself outside a mirror’s reflection…. RUN!”

-Warden 2nd Circle Commander Avaira Mies to a new 1st Circle Warden patrol.

Enemies of the City of Seven Seraphs: The Sarrosians

Long ago, a man named Sarros was commissioned by his king to make the most glorious map of the land. A cartographer of surpassing skill, he began to set to his task, traveling his world and seeking the secrets of other map-makers from its distant corners. In one such remote place, he found a woman whose skills exceeded his own and, so the story goes, had mastered the art of laying spells into her vellum and paint.

Her maps were magical.

These maps shifted as the traveler moved, maintaining their relevance regardless of footing or distanced journeyed. Sarros apprenticed himself to her immediately. Together they refined the magic of maps to a undreamed of level. Maps that rose into a third dimension. Maps that showed the feelings of the people that lived in that lands depicted. Maps that showed secrets. The man grew obsessed. His king was forgotten.

A map of secrets showed him a certain Well.

A Well that traded deep truth for vision. Secrets of all things could be had for the price of a single sacrifice–an eye. It is unclear who they came from but Sarros’ passion was such that he offered up not one, not two, but FIVE eyes to Well-in-Shadow. These offerings rumored to be from his teacher, whom he had wed, and their daughter certainly included one of his own. Some say the king’s men had killed them. Some say it was Sarros himself.

He gained sight beyond seeing.

And with his five-eye offering, he drew. He painted. He put to ink a new map. Its angles were the angles behind mirrors. Its colors where the shadows of rainbows. Its boundaries the borders of the Infinite Storm. Sarros drew and painted in ways forgotten. Lines were made that were forbidden.

The map he painted was a map of everything.

In his ambition, Sarros made a map that attempted to capture the Likeness of all reality. His magic, while powerful, found a task beyond him. One stroke away from his completion, his lifeforce shattered. Drawn into the map and doomed. And the broken map of infinity, unbounded by a single fractured line became something else.

A twisted Mirror Realm was born.

Reflections of worlds haphazardly translated into a expanding realm of fractured vistas. Men and women touched by the maps’ magic duplicate, sometimes replaced or simply echoed into the Realm of Sarros Mapmaker. And at times the maps magic passed leaving nothing of the original behind rather taking it into the broken realm of the Mirror Map. Swathes of featureless nothing left in its wake.

The Eyes came home.

The Maps creation held a certain memory, and the Sacrificed felt rage at what had become of their offering. Dopplegangers and echomen sought out the Well-in-Shadow and retrieved the Eyes, five in all each stained red with the blood of sacrifice and grown mighty of the secrets of Mimir.

The Five stare endlessly at a creation beneath them.

The Eyes of Sarros watch now, the worlds beyond the Mirror Map. They send their echopeople to spy and make ready the Day of Last Reflection when the worlds outside Sarros can be destroyed and the fullness of the Map complete, the only truth remaining…

* * * * *

People who have enjoyed doppelgangers, clones, and mirrors of opposition might want to pick up the City of Seven Seraphs to see our new enemy group, the Sarrosians. Born from a magical map’s infinite corruption, these masters of reflected power seek to become the truth by destroying the worlds of Origin. Ruled by the Eyes of Five, aberrant eyes twisted by the maps creation, the Sarrosians will have your heroes questioning their own faces looking back from the mirror…

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Strange Tides (Enemies of the City of 7 Seraphs: The Undreamt)

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The Coinspinner – Artist: Paolo Puggioni

“Don’t let your hand stray too far from her mindwheel Axiar, she remembers strange shores and distant stars… and craves to touch them again.”

– the Captain of the Coinspinner on speaking to her new First Mate.

While a certain setting of Pathfinder’s ancestral system greatly inspires the City of Seven Seraphs project, you might be surprised how much a couple other influences helped to shape our planar metropolis… (Though probably a lot less so after today’s art preview.)

Enemies of the City of Seven Seraphs: The Undreamt

Sometimes called the Faceless Kings, the creatures known as the Undreamt are among the most ancient beings in creation. When the Eternals of the Elder Age and the Divinities of the First Prayer made war large swathes of Creation were ceded by one side of another, dividing the nascent multiverse into a patchwork of conflicting Divine Law. On rarer occasions, these territories where so powerful, contentious, or corrupted by the energies of this conflict that both sides abandoned them simultaneously.

These places became bubbling oceans where the magics and spiritual systems in them suddenly collapsed without their supernatural support structure and cosmic laws. Most things within were destroyed outright or driven insensate by madness made physical. All but the powerful were said to collapse and dissolve.

Those powerful enough to remain called themselves the Undreamt.

With wills mighty enough to arrange new physiologies and mindsets, these Faceless Kings found their war-torn paradises and great cities cast into the depths of Far Realms. They shaped the other malleable entities of their new homes and preserved their greatest cities. Vessels of living tissue and godless flesh were made to sail the churning seas of the Forgotten Worlds. And when they had structured kingdoms from these sickened, abandoned, and lawless places…

…They turned their eyeless visages once more to the Eternals and Divinities that had left them formless.

* * * * *

Fans of the Mythos of Lovecraft and the arcane ships of the ancestral system’s first fantasy-space campaign are in for quite a treat as the Docks of the City of Seven Seraphs open the waters of the Sea of Star and Shadow to the multiverse. Ships sailing the dual-reflections of the Seas’ waters can find themselves slipping through the dark of night into the Seas of the Prime Worlds. Ships baring magic enough can instead bridge the Straight of Reflections and rise into the starry voids of an infinite array of worlds. And waiting for them in the starless Realms beyond stand the Undreamt with strange biocraft and new corruptions to threaten our heroes with.

Excited yet?

(Visit the Campaign Here!)

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Chain Gang (Enemies of the City of 7 Seraphs: Kytons)

(62% funded on the Kickstarter: Here)

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N. Jolly’s judow male iconic – Artist: Vincent Coviello

Enemies of the City of Seven Seraphs: Kytons

When the kytons deep within the Vile Geometries began to fracture under the weight of their allegiances to Dis and other realms of the Nine Below, many of them journeyed from the Iron Pits and the Realms Outer to lay the ground of new kingdoms. Most set their eyes on the quasi-real depths of the Shadow Plane. And when they journeyed into Shadow, they did not do so alone…

Blending aspects of enlsaved inevitables and captured humanoids and fused under the loving mercies of the Screaming Choir and other kyton fastnesses, the judow are a constant obsession of their one time masters and draw their attentions as much as the power Radia itself bleeds into Shadow…. And so the Chained Masters ever strive to infiltrate, corrupt, or outright destroy the City.

Who will stand to stop them?

Check back tomorrow for more enemies in the City of Seven Seraphs.

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