The tale of many worlds began with the birthing of a tree, in a place far removed from areas considered hospitable. The Perennial Expanse differed little in this regard, with the frozen ground to the far north rising, cracking, and sprouting its World Tree. With a shake of its branches, creatures of the air leapt into being, and carried the Will of the Tree far away. They made their way through the air until they fell from the skies in exhaustion, their tired fragile forms touching down in droves. The leaves, flowers, and seeds that they carried, when dropped, made the lands beneath lush and verdant. A curious thing happened with the creatures themselves though as the Will of the Tree changed them.
While a good deal of the creatures became beasts, both common and fantastic, A good number of them became the Orben, long eared humanoids, who would set about their singular task of spreading across the great land in a fervor. The Orben are indistinguishable at birth, the differences being geographic location and culture, which are the determining factors as to whether they are Po’Maa or if they are Yaksaa. Those to the east, the Po’Maa proved to be industrious, one might even say high cultured, as they slowly spread throughout the world. They sport infrastructural advancements as well as technological abilities that allowed the easterners to naturally bind together. The land where they were born was too rocky for vegetation to be found in abundance. They would need to learn to change their landscape to harvest enough food for their growing population.
The Yaksaa, unlike their cousins, tied themselves more closely to the natural world around them. They use the rolling hills to the west to their advantage, traveling in small tribes that could live off the land, moving with ease, never staying in one place for too long. They would assure that any place that they stayed, even if only for a night, fulfilled the Will of the Tree. The advancements of the Yaksaa can be hard to judge, as a people they had to develop differently, to focus more internally. In general, their abilities tend to lie more towards the spiritual and martial paths, to either commune with or subdue those they encounter.
The Cosmic Power of the Orben is known as Sacrifices of the Mind, Body, and Soul – available to both the Po’Maa and the Yaksaa. The sorceries tend to be caster centered enhancements that can be sacrificed to enact secondary effects. Group cast spells are less powerful, but afford enhancements to a small group as they take part in the casting (whether they have the magic or not).
Out of play explanation: The Perennial Expanse is loosely based on The Roman Empire and the Mongol Empire. Both civilizations sought to expand and rule the world as they knew, and that desire reflects in this world. The only requirement to play one of the Orben is an “elf ear” prosthetic for both cultures, though the player is also encouraged to add costuming as their taste demands.
Read the full Perennial Expanse setting packet here.