Races of Vathis – Noir, The Shrouded Tragedy
The origin of the noir is a tragedy, and considered globally to be the greatest misfortune to ever befall a group of people.
In the later years of the Vavairen Empire, the Emperor decreed the worship of the Old Gods punishable by law. At the insistence of his closest advisors, vandiels in disguise, Astrians were displaced from their homes and gathered together by the thousands. The captured Astrians were then relocated to a city in southern Vavaire called Whiterose. It was there that the Whiterose experiments were performed by the Vavairen vandiel advisors, horrific procedures where Astrian blood was mixed with trace amounts of vandiel blood. The result of these experiments were the noir: perfect spies and infiltrators under vandielic domination, able to take any face and learn any language.
The noir were discovered to be immortal, like their vandiels whose blood they share.
Upon being killed the body of a noir would decay rapidly, disappear, and reconstruct itself at the seat of the Shattered Hand in Valiance. The noir and their agelessness changed the course of the Second Empire Wars within a year. Vavaire was suddenly striking out against unprotected targets, and key military officials seemed to know the movements of their enemies with astounding precision. The noir remained undetected within their ranks for nearly a decade. Near the end of the war the construction of Aevalyn’s Wall around Vavaire ended the vandelic control over the noir, and the noir rose as individuals with no memory of their previous actions or lives. They remained in possession of their effective immortality, but instead of reconstituting in Valiance, the location of their rebirthing became random locations with little rhyme or reason.
Noir possess extremely varied reactions to the discovery of their torture and the heinous acts they may or may not have committed over the course of the Darkest War.
They are spared the exact knowledge of what they may have done, but every so often fleeting images or sounds will pass before them, reminding them of their inescapable past. Some noir revel in the life they were created for, and willingly seek the thrill of covert operations and intrigue. Some wish to repent for the crimes they have committed and desire to wash away the stains on their soul. Those who follow this path tend to be extremely pious, and may go so far as to use their natural form in their day-to-day life. Some noir even attempt to rediscover the mortal life they left behind, though after so many years it is unlikely that most will find living relatives or friends. Some noir simply choose to be left alone and continue on in whatever direction fate leads them.
In their natural form the noir appear much like any human, but with a few distinct changes.
For one, constantly shifting shadows appear underneath their skin. These shadows are typically one color, but the hue can vary from noir to noir across the entire spectrum of color. The shadows also appear in the hair of the noir’s natural form, changing their hair color to the shadow color on a whim. Their eyes are a shifting mass of colored darkness and solid black, with no remaining pupil or iris. Like the humans they used to be, noir possess the need to eat, sleep, and breathe. It is speculated that they will eventually die of old age despite their seeming agelessness, though the time frame is currently unknown. As far as anyone is aware, the experimentations performed on the noir have made them sterile. Whenever a noir takes the form of someone else, it overrides all of the natural features of a noir. While in the form of another they appear just as any member of the disguising race would.
Noir Racial Traits
Noir are quick and socially agile, but disjointed from the world.
Native Outsider: Noir are outsiders with the native subtype.
Medium: Noir are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Noir have a base speed of 30 feet.
Facechanger: Infusions of tainted vandiel blood gifted the noir the unique ability to change his or her body and face in an endless array of forms.
Memories from Before: Some remnant memories lives on in the noir from their countless incarnations of previous lives. A noir retains enough memory of his or her past incarnations to speak and understand multiple languages and quickly recall knowledge they gained in a prior life.
Instilled Will: Due to the remnant vandiel control noir possess strong mental fortitude.
Languages of the Spies: The noir have a gift with learning languages and the intricacies of the spoken and written word.
The Gift of Voice: In order to better become one with the targets of their espionage, their vandiel lords granted the noir the gift of the voice. They are able to easily sway others with their words.
Deep Secrets: One of the few abilities the vandiels instilled into the noir is the benefit of remaining undetectable by magical means.
Vandiel Blood: Noir are always treated as an Evil outsider for the purposes of spells and effects. Also, if they are banished, they return to the last place they reincarnated.
Endless Incarnations: When a noir dies his or her spirit is returned to the material plane in a new adult body. Typically their body will reconstruct in a place they have not visited in a previous life.