The Mists of Paoru
“Kazzi, the Mother of All, formed the creatures and plants from the aether leftover from the stars and populated the world of Paoru. She contemplated her children for a time before sparking upon an idea and in that idea, a great love bloomed for a unique race to have dominion over all else. She formed the love she felt and fused it with the clay of Paoru and created the Maora, her most favored children of all.” ~ 1st Story, Book of Forgotten Dreams
“When Kazzi finished populating the universe with stars and worlds and life, she took to naming them and therefore giving them purpose and life. Her brothers looked on in wonder at the plethora of beauty she had made and became jealous. Shazza asked Kazzi for some of her children to have as his own and Kazzi being wise and giving, gave him a certain number of the Yokai to name and have as his own. He called them the Tianshi and they were ever faithful to him. Dempo came in all his shadowy beauty and asked her sister to gift some children to him as well. Kazzi gazed into the endless darkness of Dempo and thoughtfully gave him more of her Yokai. Dempo took them and named them the Oni, who loved and feared great Dempo with all their being. Kaida remained still and gazed with mysterious eyes upon all that Kazzi had wrought and smiled.” – 3rd Story, Book of Forgotten Dreams
“There came a time when Paoru had existed for some eons and the Gods were content but Kazzi who is ever changing and inchangeable remained to watch over the life she had wrought. She contemplated some of her children and altered them, while others she killed with abandon for such is her way. Reaching an impasse, she sought out her siblings for their help. Shazza saw the many children of Kazzi and proclaimed them perfect and turned away to commune with his Tianshi. Dempo who loves the shadows, took some of Kazzi’s children and made them terrifying and horrible but still beautiful in her eyes and he set his Oni to have dominion over all her monstrous children. Kaida abided.” ~ 4th Story, Book of Forgotten Dreams
“After uncounted time had passed and Kazzi had created her crowning children, the Maora, and departed . Kaida who had watched all with his empty eyes roused from his place in the stars and walked among the Maora as one with them. Kaida came to know Kazzi’s children intimately, their hopes and fears, dreams and nightmares and realized a way to fill the emptiness of his soul. He turned some number of them awaw from their worship of his siblings and sought to teach them the understanding that only the Gods may know. In this, he killed the children he hoped to make.~ 7th Story, Book of Forgotten Dreams
The stories from before Baozuo are scattered and rare and thus most of the stories and tales have been passed down through the generations and their veracity must be accepted like any bedtime story.
It is well known and been corroborated by many Imperial Historians that the Mao were the first race in the world and held dominion over the Holy Land that is no more. They existed for a brief harmonious time with the Gods That Were and lived happily under their kind tutelage. But Kaida felt an emptiness in his heart that no Mao could fill and he began to create the other races one by one until the First Holy War began between the Mao and the children of Kaida. The Gods That Be saw the dissent that Kaida caused and beseeched him to undo what he had done but Kaida would not relent. The Gods That Be brought forth their will and cast Kaida from the heavens taking from him his divine power and his face for his crimes. This act ended the war between the Mao and the children of Kaida as the Gods That Be accepted Kaida’s children as their own.
The Faceless One was hurt when he fell from the heavens and landed far to the south in the frozen land and took many years to heal. During that time he discovered a new power and subverted many of the Mao to his cause to gain retribution against the other Gods. These Mao he began to alter as he had the others but his power was corrupt and his new children were corrupt as well. He named them the Gao and they loved him as no other had done before. He plotted his revenge and soon he and the Gao descended upon the Holy Land against the allied might of the Maora, Asta, Eola, Notta and Bloma.
The Second Holy War had begun and lasted almost 45 years before the allied armies drove the Gao and the Faceless One back to the frozen south and placed the Divining Wall to imprison them there. The Holy Land was ravaged from the war and was no longer able to sustain the races who lived there. The Mao never one to forget slights left the other races behind to find a new home and took sail in the first fleet.
The Mao were at sea for almost 50 years before making landfall on Eodaia. They chose this place for their home and founded the Empire of Baozuo. Over the course of the next 1800 years, the Empire spawned the creation of the Grand Duchy of Xie Tao on the far western coast of Eodaia and the Merchant Principalities on the southern Coast, as well as the Province of Jiyun on the northern coast. All separated by the ever growing Rosewylds and it’s magically enhanced plants.
The Maora come in various racial stocks but all have certain racial characteristics that are found species wide. Their eyes no matter the color have a thin, white band around the iris. Their most prominent feature though are their ears. Their ears can be likened to a goat’s ear in it’s length and shape. When speaking, the Mao tend to move their ears around to various sounds. It’s often fashionable to tie the ears back or decorate them with piercings or colored silk. Their eyebrows tend to grow longer as they age as well as growing hair on the flanges of their ears. Their eyes tend to be slanted and almond shaped.
The Imperial Baora stands between 5’ and 6’ tall with a light bronze colored skin tone and hair colors in the darker tones.
The Maora Barun stands between 5’6’ and 7’ with paler skin and lighter shades of hair color.
The Mao Mukkal of the Principalities tend to stand between 5’ and 6’6” tall with much darker skin tones and almost exclusively dark hair.
The Mao Hitori from Jiyun stand between 5’ and 6’ tall and have pale skin tones and a greatly varied range of hair colors ranging from pale blonde to raven black. Their eyes tend to be rounder and their ears not as long.
The average mao family have a close relationship but one stylized with rich traditions. They are patriarchal in nature with little equality between the sexes.
The average life of a Mao is rich in tradition with many rituals proscribed over the ages. They are an almost exclusively patriarchal people, women are often treated as nothing more than another possession, being sold into marriage by their families.
The average home of a Mao consists of a house surrounding an inner courtyard used during warmer weather for meals and entertaining. The surrounding house has many rooms that open exclusively onto the courtyard and are used almost entirely by the family and a few servants if they have them. Parents often share a room on the ground floor while unmarried male family members each have their own set of chambers. Unmarried female relatives are given a room that is only accessible through the parents chambers.
- Adulthood: 15 Years (Intuitive +1d4, Self Taught +1d6, Trained +2d6)
- Male Height & Weight: 4’10” + 2d10 in, 120 lbs + (2d10 x 5 lbs)
- Female Height & Weight: 4’5” + 2d10 in, 85 lbs + (2d10 x 5 lbs)
Standard Racial Traits
- Ability Score Racial Traits: Mao receive +2 bonus to any two ability scores
- Size: Mao are medium sized and receive no bonus or penalty relating to size modifiers
- Type: Mao are Humanoids with the Maora Subtype
- Base Speed: Mao have a base speed of 30ft
- Languages: Mao begin play knowing their regional language or dialect. Mao with higher intelligence can learn any language or dialect that their country has amicable relations with.
Feat & Skill Racial Traits
- Urbanite: Mao are known for their skills in social situations. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy checks made to gather information and Sense Motive checks made to get a hunch about a social situation.
- Skilled: Mao gain an additional skill rank at 1st level and one additional skill rank whenever they gain a level.
Senses Racial Traits
- Acute Hearing: Mao have a tendency to move their ears a lot when active and can orient onto sounds pretty well doing so. Mao receive a +2 perception bonus related to hearing checks.
Alternate Racial Traits
- Gift of Tongues: Mao universities are reknowned for their education and vast libraries. Mao gain a +4 racial bonus on Linguistics checks, and they learn one additional language every time they put a rank in the Linguistics skill. This trait replaces Urbanite.
- Skill Training: Mao learn to analyze social situations from an early age. Bluff and Diplomacy are always considered class skills. This trait replaces skilled.