This post outlines the saudad character background for the Land of Vampires campaign or a campaign set in Azuria.
Your nomadic, communal lifestyle growing up combines with the long memory of your people to make you an intriguing companion to almost anyone you met, at least among those who bear the saudad no ill will. Life on the road has been dangerous, and you learned from an early age to keep a sharp eye in the wilds and among “civilization.” You are a skilled interpreter of the signs of Cassandra, the goddess of fate, and treasured for the unique role you play in your muster.
Skill Proficiencies: History, Performance
Languages: Saudad and one other language
Equipment: A musical instrument (one of your choice), implements for interpreting Cassandra’s favor (cartomancy, astrology, palmistry), a set of traveler’s clothes, and a pouch containing 10 gp
Feature: Fortune’s Favor
Should you find yourself in need of fortune, friends, or favor, your identity as a saudad grants you an extension of trust on behalf of local sages, herbalists, and performers alike. Between the three, you’re sure of a welcome and a place to lay your head. Additionally, it’s almost impossible for you to travel near a festival or past a fairground market without being asked to speak Cassandra’s favor into the lives of those you meet. Your careful insight into the desires of others, quite often, leads to favorable results at these sorts of gatherings.
The life of a traveler is one of interchanging dualities. You know better than to trust the reception of yourself and your people—the world is a fickle place, filled with pain and joy, beauty and devastation. As one blessed with an extended communal memory, you have a strong sense for when you should share and in whom you should confide. But the constant you can always depend on is the careful eye of the goddess of fate, Cassandra. The saudad are her most blessed followers, traveling through the realms on threads of fate. But behind the cheerful façade, you share a melancholy with the rest of your people—beyond Cassandra’s Eye, a single constant remains—you can never return home.
Further Context about the Saudad
The saudad are the interplanar travelers of Azuria who have journeyed widely through Tor’stre Vahn, Caldara, and even the Brightlands and Shadowlands. At the dawn of every decade, the saudad meet in Steymhorod for an assembly, a gathering of the many saudad musters traveling the known realms. Shortly after Steymhorod’s fall into the Shadowlands, their homeland Orison was also destroyed and fell into the sea where it has remained hidden for millennia. The saudad who found themselves in Steymhorod at the time of Orison’s fall have been unable to leave since. Their musters condensed into a single group that travels Steymhorod. They know many of Lord Draego’s secrets and, as permanent outsiders to his lands, have worked out an understanding with the vampire lord and his heirs. No vampire is to touch one of the saudad and they, in turn, agree to leave the citizens of Steymhorod’s cities to their own limited memories. Only they, the fae, and the other vampires are aware of how long the land has been submerged in the lands of shadow.
To be from Steymhorod or to not be from Steymhorod . . .
Saudad from Steymhorod are cautious around outsiders. Those from beyond Steymhorod’s borders have proven to be of great interest to Lord Draego before, and their first concern is to protect their muster, in part by avoiding conflict with the vampire lord. These saudad know that it has been the desire of their Seers for generations for someone to restore the Fanes, but they closely guard this information. It is difficult, in Steymhorod, to know who may be listening.
Saudad who are not from Steymhorod have a general understanding of the land’s history. They are aware, for example, that Lord Draego has been in charge of Steymhorod since the land fell and that he is not to be trifled with. They are also aware that history has progressed much less over the last several centuries (it has actually been several millennia) in Steymhorod than it has in Azuria. While Azuria’s ancient cities can trace their history back at least three thousand years to the great flood, in Steymhorod, the past is much fuzzier. When one can convince the city-folk to reminisce, it appears that the entire history of Steymhorod can be condensed into a few hundred years. And of those years, it is only rare Steymhorod natives—outside the fae, saudad, and vampires—who are aware of what has transpired more than twenty or, at most, fifty years in the past.