Mopendor - The Tlaxu Queendom
Many traveller's tales are told of Mopendor, the land of the 'civilised' tlaxu. The land of Mopendor lies north and east of the Empire of Splendour, a curling tail of rainforest-covered land thrust out from the Inner Continent. The trading towns and villages along its shoreline see busy traffic from traders of the Merchants League, the Technocracy of Hudan, the sea-going Moa-Ruaki nomads and even less reputable visitors such as the Tuuma Cormayr pirates and the lemon-sailed ships of the mysterious Ptorac folk, for Mopendor forms part of a busy trade route between the Southern Sea nations, the Ssth-Gar islands, the remote land of Obrenaja and the distant Outer Continent of Fallen Sun. The Mopendine tlaxu are no slouches when it comes to sea trading, and ports throughout the eastern and southern seas commonly pay host to their sleek vessels. These tlaxu sailors are more slender than the hulking plains tlaxu, with spotted markings to their fur, often given the nickname 'sea tlaxu' or 'catlings'.
From contact with these tlaxu sailors, the outside world has formed a vague impression of life in Mopendor. These spotted tlaxu are a lower caste - traders, farmers and craftsmen, living their lives along the fringes of the rainforest lowlands. In the centre of Mopendor lies a vast plateau, thrust out from the same mountains that form the Throne of Heaven range in the Empire. Here the upper caste tlaxu live, black-furred priests and warrior-lords, serving Queen X'me, absolute ruler of Mopendor.
Whilst the low-caste tlaxu live mainly in wooden buildings, often on stilts to avoid seasonal flooding, the high caste tlaxu live in vast stone buildings that some say were built by an earlier race. The high caste tlaxu like to hunt low caste tlaxu (and other races) for sport, and spend most of their wealth on constructing huge tomb-monuments to serve them in the afterlife. The low-caste tlaxu worship spirit ancestors and some follow outside religions, from the Imperial religion to the serpent god Teth-Xar, learned from rogue ptorac. The high-caste tlaxu, however, follow the funerary cult of Daxa, venerating the mummified remains of past leaders and hoping to achieve immortality through the teachings of Daxa. As well as hunting sentient prey and building tombs, the high-caste tlaxu enjoy luxuries of all kinds. It is rumoured that Queen X'me is so taken with the concept of the Imperial bath-house that she has had one built, and keeps her fur shaven so that she may enjoy it better.
Mopendor is a place for using pulp adventure tropes featuring savage jungle tribes, decadent priests in ancient ruins, trapped tombs and high mountain plateaus.
Mopendine tlaxu have the same game statistics as any other tlaxu species, but are generally better armed and better educated.
The Cult of Daxa
Daxa is the name of a philosophy rather than a deity, and in fact the doctrines of Daxa largely ignore any supernatural entities, although such beings are acknowledged to exist. In the way of Daxa, the bodies of renowned leaders, priests, scholars, warriors and other revered ancestors are preserved, and their souls are enshrined as part of a global oversoul that guides and serves their living descendants. The preserved remains are held in a sacred chamber known as a calyx, where the priesthood may go to gain council from the ancestors. The methods of preservation have changed with time, with the oldest calyxes being ossuaries with the skulls kept in hundreds of niches. More modern techniques involve mummification, and the calyx takes the form of an audience chamber with the mummified ancestors seated around the perimeter. Older calyxes are based upon the idea of focussing as many ancestors in one place, but the more modern concept is to use the grandeur of the architecture as the focus, and for each ancestor to have his or her own private calyx. This has the effect of diluting the pool of knowledge available but the priesthood has become little more than a pawn of vain nobles, and so this weakening goes ignored.
A cleric of Daxa may take the domains of Nobility and Repose. They may also take the Knowledge domain, but can only cast the domain spells when within a calyx. They may also take the following Rite of Intercession feat.
Rite of Intercession
Prerequisites: Worshipper of Daxa, access to clerical domains.
To use this feat, a worshipper of Daxa must give up the use of one of his clerical domains. This, instead, becomes a wild-card domain that may be assigned to any domain. To do so, the Daxan worshipper must engage in an hour-long ritual in a Daxan calyx, petitioning the ancestors for help. In exchange, he may access the spells of any one domain that he chooses. This lasts until the next time he conducts the Rite of Intercession. The worshipper does not get the domain powers of his chosen domain. In effect he is sacrificing one set of domain powers for the flexibility in spell choice granted by this feat.
Daxan clerics use the Rite of Intercession to prepare them for a range of eventualities. In a time of pestilence, they call up the Healing domain. In a time of conflict, the War domain. If a drought threatens crops they may call upon Weather or Plant domains to help.
Daxan Priest (prepped for war)
Tlaxu Clr6: CR 5; Medium Humanoid (tlaxu); AL LN
Abilities Str 10 (+0), Dex 8 (-1), Con 12 (+1), Int 13 (+1), Wis 16 (+3), Cha 14 (+2).
Initiative +0; Speed 30 ft.
Armour Class 14 (-1 Dex, +4 bone armour, +1 shield) touch 9, flat-footed 14
Saves Fortitude +6, Reflex +1, Will +8
Hit Dice 5d8+5; hit points 27
Base Attack Bonus/Grapple +4/+4
Melee Masterwork battleaxe +5 (1d8, crit. x3)
Melee Claw +4 (1d4)
Ranged Throwing stick +7 (1d4, crit. x3, 10 ft.)
Special Attacks Claws, death touch 1/day (6d6)
Special Qualities Low-light vision, spontaneous cure spells, turn undead
Skills (armour -3): Concentration +3, Decipher Script +3, Heal +5, Knowledge (arcana) +5, Knowledge (religion) +10, Listen +5, Search +3, Sense Motive +5, Spot +5, Survival +5 (tracking), Use Magic Device +5
Feats: Craft Wondrous Item, Rite of Intercession, Scribe Scroll
Languages: Moa-Ruaki, Tlaxan
Possessions: +1 Bone armour, wicker shield, 4 throwing sticks, masterwork battleaxe, various magic scrolls
Domains: Repose, War* (through Rite of Intercession)
Spells per Day: 5/4+1/4+1/3+1
Spells Typically Prepared:
3rd level: bestow curse, dispel magic, magic vestment*, prayer.
2nd level: aid, bull's strength, death knell, resist energy, spiritual weapon*.
1st level: bane, bless, deathwatch*, divine favour, sanctuary.
0th level: detect magic, guidance (x2), resistance (x2).
(c) 2010 The Creative Conclave.
The Empire of Splendour
Technocracy of Hudan
Discuss this article
The Mopendine tlaxu invented both the throwing stick (Eck'lai) and the Klai Dagger, and they also commonly employ blowpipes, bows, spears and the atatl in association with throwing sticks. Traditionally their weapons are made of obsidian, but a long history of trade means that Mopendine tlaxu can usually be found armed with metal weaponry. The highlands of their country are quite rich with iron mines, as well as rich seams of precious metals and precious stones.
Properly, emphasis is on the first syllable, pronounced with a long 'O': MOE-pen-dor.