The Veeza are an order of sentient creatures who follow The Lady Evonna. Historically, as a perspective member of The Veeza began to realize that they possessed psychic powers such as clairvoyance, foretelling, special healing abilities, or powers of illusion, they began to feel a strong calling to travel to Mt Fang. Mt Fang is a single towering mountain. It is bordered by The Desert of Despair, The Black Forest, and The Endless Plain. The trek to Mt Fang was a solitary one, the calling so strong, it is all but impossible to ignore. No matter how a perspective Veeza approaches Mt Fang, they are faced with a series of challenges which they must overcome using their special abilities. If the perspective reached The Fortress at the peak of Mt Fang, he/she was taken in and schooled in the teachings of The Lady Evonna. Their powers were evaluated and they received specialized instruction in order to bring each persons mix of powers out to full potential.
The Fortress was a wonder in and of itself. Built on the very apex of Mt Fang, The Fortress both towered upwards into lofty spires and burrowed downwards into deep catacombs. Despite being named The Fortress, the building itself had no walls or defenses whatsoever beyond its remote location. The Fortress housed the greatest library in all of the lands, as well as numerous temples to The Lady Evonna, and great underground storerooms filled with rare components the Veeza needed to compliment their varying abilities.
The Veeza were a very peaceful people, who would defend themselves if threatened, but would not attack, nor carry or create any item to be used as a weapon. They dedicated themselves to learning and honing their abilities and prospered by offering information and advise to those who sought them out. Race meant very little to The Veeza. Each member of the order was valued according to their knowledge and abilities. Races at war in the lands remained in harmony in The Fortress. The Veeza rarely ventured outside of The Fortress, keeping largely to themselves unless sought out.
The Veeza remained revered order until The Gish attacked, destroying The Fortress, killing many of The Veeza, and scattering the remaining members of the order to the four corners of the lands. The pull to Mt Fang remains strong to persons just realizing their powers, but there is little knowledge to be found there. Instead, The Veeza wander, never settling in any one location for long and perspective new members are forced to try to find mentors where they can.
The remaining Veeza do not cluster together, afraid that The Gish will fall upon them again. They remain a peaceful, but wary people. They will not carry weapons, nor attack other beings physically, nor use their powers as a weapon. They are still sought after as healers, and beings of infinite wisdom. The Veeza began their wanderings, picking up mismatched items and clothing as they went. This developed into a distinct style as time went on. One can determine a Veeza, regardless of their race of origin due to colorful flowing clothing in varied bright colors decorated in ribbons, embroidery, bells, and small bits of glass. Veeza with hair enjoy elaborate braids and many have tattoos, brands, and ritualistic scars.
The Legend of Volana
Volana was a human woman who came to The Fortress early on, possessing incredible abilities in clairvoyance. Volana would go into a trance and actively seek for specific knowledge rather than just receive it as many of the other clairvoyants would. There she would remain, sometimes for days until she fully grasped the facts, the implications, and the eventualities concerning what she sought. These trances took a great toll on her, however. Her body stooped. Her eyes widened, the pupils taking up almost the entire eye. Her hair was long and ragged. She very much resembled a great unkempt bird.
Many people sought out Volana for her wisdom and advice and she became a person of great renown and great wealth. However, her body was not the only thing to change. Volana’s mind became twisted. She remained in her trances longer than she needed to, gaining insight on matters much larger than what was brought to her for investigation. Volana began to give out her answers and advice in order to shape history as she saw fit. She was sly. Her half truths and lies kept people coming back for her services and often served their purposes only in the short term.
Some of the other Veeza saw value in Volana’s ways and found it alluring. They schemed to rule all of the lands quietly by their influence. Meanwhile Volan’s trances brought her deeper and deeper, keeping her away longer and longer. Her mind was stretched to its limits. She began to rant and rave almost unintelligibly, cackling gleefully and then sobbing uncontrollably. Finally Volana lapsed into a silence, staring straight ahead and would respond to no one. She died of starvation. The followers of Volana sought to continue her work, but to learn to control the information in a better way.
The Lady Evonna disapproved of this course of actions and took Volana’s skull, creating an artifact that possessed knowledge, but would tell only the truth. Volana’s Skull is a powerful item, but also serves as a warning against twisting the intent of the Veeza’s gifts. After The Gish lay ruin to The Fortress, The Lady kept The Skull of Volana. Legend has it that the artifact will be given to a worthy one in true need as The Lady deems.
The Great Birch
The Great Birch is nondescript log of birch wood. It is about 1 ½ feet long and 6 inches across. The Great Birch was a gift from the Plain of Smoke. It is used by placing it in a fire among other burning wood. The birch itself will never burn, nor even scorch, but will produce a smoke that will yield visions that The Veeza can interpret. The denizens of the plain of smoke will share their knowledge, but they are wily and will often send cryptic visions that are apt to misinterpretation. These misleading visions have become consistently worse and the log was deemed as “not to be trusted” by the majority of The Veeza. After The Gish attacked, it is generally believed that The Great Birch wound up along the Southern Coast, perhaps with the race of beach Nymphs.
The Order of Sacrifice
The Order of Sacrifice is rumored to be a secret sect that operated within The Veeza. It is unclear how any particular Veeza became involved with The Order, or even how organized The Order was. However, from records unearthed, it seems that The Order was made up of many of the followers of Volana, as well as many of the Veeza who disagreed with the ban on using The Great Birch. Members of The Order of Sacrifice did aspire to great power and influence. It is also rumored they disagreed with the moratorium on the use of weapons and thus may not have truly been followers of The Lady Evonna, but rather of another Avatar altogether, perhaps the makers of The Great Birch, or perhaps a more mysterious avatar that visited The Veeza not long before The Gish’s attack.
One account unearthed tells of a Gish emissary who visited The Veeza in order to determine whether The Gish should attack their neighbors, The Fire Demons. The Veeza managed to liberate The Great Birch from its catalogued spot in The Great Library. The Veeza became quite animated while attempting to persuade the smoke denizens to give him the information he wanted and inadvertently scratched the Gish emissary. The smoke denizens immediately reacted to the cry of pain and to scent of blood. They calmed, focused, and answered the question that had been posed to them.
From this point on, certain Veeza, intent on exploring this odd occurrence, attempted to augment their particular gifts by causing injury to animals, other sentient creatures, and even themselves. The results seemed to show that when the denizens of the Plain in question being posed a question were chaos or evil-based, the greater the injury, or the more sentient, orderly, and good the creature being harmed was, the better the results. The best results of all came from injury to the Veeza posing the question. Thus, it was not uncommon for a Veeza to be missing a toe, a finger, or to have punctures, cuts or scars. In severe cases, some were missing eyes or limbs, although none would admit to self mutilation.
The Vortex Sphere
The Vortex Sphere was a gift of The Lady Evonna to The Veeza after chaos was unleashed upon the world. Chaos ripped through the lands, leveling armies and cities, slaying peoples and even Avatars. The Vortex Sphere is a polished, round stone whose surface swirls. It can can be held in the palm and used to focus energies to create vivid illusions. The Vortex Stone was used to create a sustained illusion of a great army that helped hold the Minotaur hoards off. The stone was spirited away during The Gish attack by a Veeza who seemed to be an elf, but the elf went back to her homelands, not to the seashore, but to the lands inhabited by a race who could imitate the form of any sentient race in the lands. To anyone’s knowledge, The Vortex Sphere remains there still.
The Veeza remain a broken, wandering people. Some believe them to be good, helpful beings. Some believe them to be evil manipulators. Most tolerate, but do not trust them. Even amongst themselves there is doubt and mistrust. Some Veeza believe The Lady Evonna has abandoned them and that they should take up arms and rebuild a new order. Some remain faithful to their avatar and await the ability to return to Mt Fang and rebuild. Even as the Veeza struggle, The Lands themselves struggle. Chaos and Evil that had gained strongholds were dealt a massive blow, but could easily recover. And The Chaos Scrolls themselves seem lost. As the future of the Lands balances atop a precipice, the next chapter of our story begins…