Motes in the Serpent's Eye
Siarrans are a race of artists, musicians, and rebels who love freedom above all else. They prefer an active life and are usually found traveling from world to world, alone or in groups, performing for whatever audience they can find. They often call themselves “children of the wind” and say they go where the wind takes them. For most siarrans, “freedom” means the liberty not only to go where they wish, but also to do, say, and take whatever they like. There is no malice in their actions – they try not to hurt anyone or take form those who can’’t afford the loss – but most siarrans believe that their sacred freedom is more important than obeying arbitrary laws. When their love of freedom brings them into conflict with the authorities, most siarrans prefer to avoid conflict by simply leaving the planet before local law enforcement can confine them.
Personality: Siarrans love freedom above all else. Like the wind they revere, they move where they will and refuse to be constrained. This is reflected throughout their culture and in their individual natures. When at rest, siarrans usually give the impression of a barely restrained energy. They seem ready to move in any direction with little notice. Even so, their movements never seem sudden because of their natural grace. The siarrans appreciate things of beauty, particularly beauty of expressions. They prefer their art and their lives to be filled with activity, and it is rare that a siarran remains idle. They grow easily bored with a slow pace of life, a fact that fills many siarrans with wanderlust, often leading them to adventure. To a siarran, life is a performance meant to be enjoyed. Even as they face danger, they relish the experience for its drama and appreciate their enemies’ beauty and strength. Some even take unnecessary risks for the sake of “putting on a good show”. Because of this attitude, siarrans may seem light-hearted or foolhardy to others.
Physical description: Siarrans are typically tall and thin, between 5.5 and just under 7 feet in height. They weigh between 130 and 200 lbs. They have dark, coppery brown, or even black complexions and light brown, blonde, white, or silvery hair. They have four arms – an upper pair placed at the shoulder, much like a human’s, and a second lean and thin pair a little above the waist. Their fingers are long and lithe, giving them superb manual dexterity. Their eyes slant upward at the outside, and they have high cheekbones and thin mouths. Siarrans usually dress in draping, loose-fitting garments or robes. They use subtle embroidery to decorate their clothes, preferring patterns of earth tone or red threads. Performing siarrans wear brighter colors designed to attract attention. Siarrans are also known to adopt clothing styles from the realms they visit, sometimes combining them into a unique style all their own. Siarrans are considered adults at age 25, and they live about 150 years.
Relations: Among the races of the core worlds, siarrans have a reputation as excellent performers with a penchant for thievery and mischief. As a result, siarrans are more common in the Outlands and other less developed worlds, where their reputation is not as well known. Siarrans have had excellent relations with elves for centuries, as they have much in common. A siarran will only steal from or otherwise harm an elf if absolutely necessary. Siarrans find humans to be lacking in subtlety and dwarves to be downright repressive. Soulmechs vary so radically from one to the next, it is impossible for the siarrans to make any generalizations about them. Siarrans are wary of dragons, half-dragons, and drow. Too often they have seen these races using their power to restrict the freedom of others. While the siarrans will rarely publicly defy the leaders of the Dragon Empire, they sometimes undermine the authorities through propaganda, espionage, and sabotage. Orcs and half-orcs are either pitied for their complete lack of artistry, or disdained for serving what the siarrans see as the oppressive Dragon Empire. In either case, orcs and half-orcs find the siarrans condescending at best, and infuriating at worst. Nevertheless, siarrans believe in allowing everyone their own freedoms, and are rarely bothered by the cultural or social differences found among other peoples. They are willing to get along with most anyone (regardless of their opinions of the person) so long as that person does not restrict anyone else’s freedom.
Alignment: Siarrans enjoy freedom of expression. They prefer to speak and so as they choose, demonstrating a chaotic bent. They prefer to avoid conflict, and avoid hurting others if they don’t have to, but aren’t above causing trouble if its in the interests of preserving their own freedom. Most siarrans are neutral, though a few veer towards goodness.
Siarran Lands: Siarrans have no homelands of their own. According to tradition, they used to share a world in the Rimward Barrens with elves, dwarves, and humans. When the Dragon Empire took over the planet, the other races resisted – and were nearly wiped out for their impudence. The siarrans realized they could not stay on their home planet and retain their freedom, so they set off for the stars and have never looked back. The siarrans flew to the stars on 10 enormous starships. Over the millennia, the 10 ships became the basis for the 10 siarran tribes. Though there are countless smaller ships of siarrans scattered across the Empire today, each of them can trace its history back to one of the first 10 ships, and the siarrans onboard count themselves part of its tribe. While siarran society was originally feudal, it has evolved into a clan-based council system. Each siarran tribe is ruled by a council of mystics. Every 10 years, the mystics of the 10 clans meet to discuss clan matters and to elect a new Namridoth, the siarran king. Siarrans with intertribal conflicts can bring them up at this time for the council to judge. Namridoth is largely an honorary position. It is his responsibility to represent the siarrans to outsiders and to protect his people from outside threats. Since the siarrans are now spread across the galaxy and are largely autonomous, there is no need for a Namridoth to represent or protect them. Nevertheless, it is a great honor to be named Namridoth, and it usually goes to an old and venerable siarran.
Religion: Before fleeing their homeworld, the siarran mystics were priests of Allasyrain, a local good-aligned god of the wind. Allasyrain instructed his followers to be a gentle wind – unseen, unheard, harming no one, and allowing no one to touch them. In the millennia following the siarran exodus, however, the mystics gradually adopted the Stormlord as their patron deity. The gentle goodness of Allasyrain was slowly replaced by the active chaos of the Stormlord, and the siarrans began to put their freedom above the welfare of those around them. Today, most siarrans worship the Stormlord as a chaotic wind that blows them toward their destinies. They believe that because they are “children of the wind,” their desires mirror the desires of the Stormlord himself. And because the will of the gods is more important than the welfare of mortals, the siarrans are more than justified in doing whatever they need (or want) to do in order to maintain their freedom. Nevertheless, they recognize that wanton theft and destruction are a good way to try the Stormlord’s patience – and end up slaving in a prison colony.
Language: The Siarran language is intricate and uses its own unique and lengthy alphabet. The airy tones and soft vowel sounds usually put listeners in mind of breezy days and dancing, as the words roll easily from one to the next. While this does make learning the language a foreboding prospect, once Siarran has been mastered it is ideal for expressing movement and emotion, both of which figure prominently in their songs.
Names: A siarran is usually given only a single name at birth. When traveling, siarrans will also refer to themselves by a tribal name derived from the first starships that left their homeworld. Siarrans will only rarely use a place name to identify themselves, as their people too often wander to new places.
Male Names: Allact, Ballaran, Cionur, Dillaed, Fomael, Kessit, Tilaen, and Umrios.
Female Names: Amaera, Caelli, Diarral, Emaene, Guenna, Jiassae, Paelloa, and Telliar.
Tribe Names: Botarran, Ebonael, Faerios, Killaen, Maaran, Rollit, Saanias, Tinael, Vellitas, and Zianur.
Adventurers: Siarrans are always on the move. They are most commonly found in small performing troupes, either with their own ship or booking passage on large freighters. These troupes usually perform for money, but they are driven by far more than greed. Siarrans are eager to see the galaxy and experience for themselves how the wind blows elsewhere. Beyond the joys of travel and performance, siarrans champion freedom in all its forms. This can entangle them in local politics and other disputes. They have occasionally also been caught up in insurrections against the Dragon Empire, particularly while under Mezzenbone’s rule. While siarrans are usually found in troupes, lone travelers are not uncommon – especially in the core worlds, where groups of siarrans may attract unwanted attention. Lone siarrans travel for the same reasons that troupes do, forever searching for more new songs, dances, and tales that need to be told.
Additional Action (+3): Due to their four arms, siarrans may ignore 2 points of Multi-Action penalties each turn.
Frail (–1): Siarrans are of above-average height, but have very slim builds. This subtracts 1 from their Toughness.