The Obsidian Kingdom of Kenrei

Overview // History // Religion // Society // Power Groups

“White petals and sand
Flitting, flying, fluttering-
Black stone standing still”

–Moto Sashi, philosopher-king and writer of “the Sword and the Lotus”

The Kenrei who live in the Obsidian Wastes are a study in opposites: They live in a harsh wasteland, yet their cities hold gardens of vibrant beauty. They have carved a society from savagery, they prize manners and courtesy about all, but at a single misstep, blades are quickly drawn and only the courtesy given from hence is a swift death. This juxtaposition, this pairing of opposites, is called “the Sword and the Lotus” and it defines much of the Kenrei’s complex civilization, from the fashion of the courts and the cultural philosophy, to the will of the Obsidian Throne. Precision and Perfection in the arts of beauty, philosophy, craftsmanship and war – the Kenrei believe wholeheartedly in these virtues and strive to master them.

Costuming Preferences: The Kenrei tend toward silken or cotton robes, long skirts and other flowing vestments as a main template of their fashion, oftentimes with wide sleeves and overcoats that emphasize the shoulders. The design of their clothing can range to simple but graceful to colorful and elaborate. Kenrei robes often have abstract symbols and sigils adorning the back of the torso area. Those Kenrei who wear trousers wear loose fitting cloth pants beneath robes that allow for ventilation. Footwear among the Kenrei tend toward simple shoes and sandals, oftentimes with white, grey or black socks. Kenrei who are often on the move may prefer thin-soled, form-fitting boots over the norm, but more traditional Kenrei will prefer the delicate grace of the knotted sandal. Kenrei colors and patterns grace the entire spectrum of hues, although soft gold over solid black (called the obsidian pattern) is considered holy and is usually worn by Shen, Wu Jen and the royal line of the Obsidian Throne. Kenrei tend to be very tidy with their physical features, trimming beards and moustaches as well as keeping hair tightly bound and in place– it is not unknown for Kenrei who have spent enough time outside the Obsidian Kingdom to fall awry from these practices until they re-enter proper, polite society.

Races: Human only.

Language: Wyrd-Spiel, the most common language in all of Midworld and Shensai.

Kingdom Benefit: (choose one)

o       Know thine weapon: “Those who would carry a weapon would do well to know how to use it and to mend it. Woe will come to he who bears a weapon but does not delve into the intricacies of its crafting. So sayeth Moto Sashi” You gain the Field Repair Weapon skill for no build cost.

o       The Path of the Shen: It is the Shen that rule over peasant and priest, and it is the Shen who must bear blade for the Obsidian Throne when the winds of war blow upon the Obsidian Wastes. For no build cost, you gain the Blade Proficiency and Bow Proficiency skills.

o       Wu Jen (Priest, Witch or Mystic only): Those who can weave the magics of the elements are called Wu Jen by the Kenrei. These folk are considered to be the priests of the Obsidian Kingdom (who worship ancestors rather than gods), although Wu Jen approach their craft with a perspective of practicality rather than spirituality. You gain either a basic Totem feat (Mystic only) or a basic Witch/Priest spell (Witch/Priest only) whose prerequisites you have already fulfilled.

o       Lotus-Eater: There are those among the Kenrei that desire a return to a simpler, more war-like existence. Those they employ are skilled in the use of poison and subterfuge in order to achieve their goals. You gain the Student of the Lotus skill for no build cost.