Theraman Trading Collective

The Theraman Trading Collective just proves the adage that anything is possible. Founded by a soulmech, that calls itself Theraman, the TTC is one of the most powerful merchantile organizations in the Outlands. Theraman is mysterious figure throughout the Aegis region — the soulmechs history isn’t commonly known outside of the TTC. And then, only his most trusted partners and advisors know the whole truth. The Slaadi Lord known as Thuy is one of the only individuals outside of the TTC who knows that the soulmech known as Theraman was once the human known as Ful Theraman.

Those in the know inside the TTC really don’t care about Theraman’s history, as the soulmech has proven itself to be a shrewd businessman and honorable CEO of the organization it founded. The time that Theraman spent being tortured, when he was still flesh and blood, by Thuy, taught the sentient machine the value of patience and honor. Two concepts that it had lacked as a human. When Theraman was “killed” by Thuy, a strange alien secretly took his dying body to a wizard and paid a hefty sum to have a Soulbind spell cast just at the moment that Ful Theraman died.

Theraman, the soulmech, found itself indebted to the alien and was forced to work off the debt by acting as a bodyguard. For just over one cycle did Theraman work to pay off his debt, learning the value of hard work as a result. The soulmech was treated well by the alien and learned the art of compassion. Theraman had soon paid his debt in full to his friend. The alien revealed its true form as a female fraal and explained that she had been watching over his family for two generations. The fraal, called Joiiya, and Theraman’s father had been good friends. She explained that there hadn’t been a way to prevent the death of his human body.

Ful Theraman had grown up without his father being around most of the time and the two of them had never been close. He had always resented his father, which had drove him into the life he chose working for the Slaadi Lords. The soulmech felt something lift off his soul and he would have cried if he had still been human. Theraman found his true soul again and gave up the vileness in his soul. Theraman and Joiiya expanded the fraal’s medium-sized trading firm into one of the most profitable organizations in the Outlands. Theraman was soon running the organization by himself, while Joiiya helped from behind the scenes. It took only two cycles for the TTC to be competing with other interstellar organizations such as the Gnome Commerce Guild, LifeTrade Alliance, and Artificers’ Guild. The TTC is on good terms with the Jade Consortium and respects the boundaries set by that group when it comes to selling merchandise in consortium controlled areas. The TTC does not do business with the Slaadi Lords and will even use force against them.

For while Theraman might have given up evil he still holds a grudge against his old employers. Joiiya worries that such self-inflicted anger and pain might push him back into the darkness and she is constantly reminding him to take it easy once in a while. She is especially worried that Theraman allowed a powerful evil wizard, named Manshoon, too join the TTC roughly a cycle and a half ago. Theraman and Manshoon are, surprisingly, close friends. The soulmech often reminds Joiiya that he too was once a black-hearted man and that she shouldn’t judge Manshoon so harshly. Theraman believes he can change Manshoon and makes the wizard work as hard as anyone else. This no nonsense attitude used to really bother Manshoon but he is becoming used to doing his part (and reaping in the benefits).

The TTC is a member of the Arcanum of the Stars and is one of its biggest supporters. The TTC almost always uses its influence to take a wait and see approach to Arcanum House politics. And while Theraman can’t actually join the council itself, several of TTCs key corporate wizards and psions fill out the membership of the TTC in the House. The most vocal of this group is Manshoon and he is the defacto head of the TTC voting block — another thing that worries Joiiya. She has considered joining the council herself just to keep Manshoon from exerting more and more influence on the TTC Arcanum members. Her disdain for the Arcanum is the only thing that has kept her from applying and she would be the first fraal to join the House if she ever decides to go through with it. She would rather have Theraman break off ties with the Arcanum completely believing that nothing good will ever come from being part of what she calls a bunch of terrorists and hot-heads.

Slaadi Lords

The Slaadi Lords are an enigma to all who know of them. Chaotic outsiders with a inclination towards destruction and sometimes even evil, the slaadi are surprisingly organized throughout the Outlands worlds. They have built a extensive criminal network that puts even the great Thieves’ Guilds of the Throneworlds to shame. There are roughly five main Lords of Chaos, as they are sometimes called and each has different motivations and goals.

All of the Slaadi Lords except one are of the blue subtype. The fifth slaad is not one of the five main types of slaadi cataloged by the Dragon Empire and is believed to be either a variant type of slaad or a mutant of some kind. This slaad, called Thuy, has the most organized mind of the five and is the defacto head of the Slaadi Lords. This is mainly due to his more neutral outlook on life and the fact that the others are too chaotic-minded to want the job. However, while the four blue Slaadi Lords only lean slightly towards evil, Thuy is completely evil and fits the Neutral Evil, “Malefactor” profile to a T.

The Slaadi Lords are into every shady deal and illegal vice one can think of. However, the black market services they offer tends to fluctuate widely. They could be selling tainted chulroot juice to arcane addicts one cycle and black market stuffed, furry collectibles the next. Anything goes when it comes to the Slaadi Lords. About the only thing that remains constant is the trafficking of slaves and exotic magic. The Lords of Chaos’ best clients are usually evil outsiders or grey & death slaadi, which they do not bow and scrape to. It is widely rumored that Thuy could defeat even the most powerful death slaad in one-on-one battle, which would never happen, as Thuy keeps his highly loyal, elite bodyguards around at all times. (These bodyguards are vicious lizard-like humanoids that were never given a name by Thuy when he first created them as his personal race of thralls.)

Thuy oversees most of the deals involving magic including magical beast, powerful minor artifacts, and specialized technomancy. He leaves the trading of slaves in the hands of the other Slaadi Lords. The four blues usually don’t get directly involved in the day-to-day operations of slave trading, as they are always distracted by the newest vice or hot item. One could call them “trade” junkies but never to their faces. The “organization” is run mainly by whichever smooth-tongued rogue or violent fighter is currently the favored adviser to the individual Slaad Lord. This position has a tendency to be short and profitable if you can get out with your hide intact.

Only once has Thuy had to intervene and remove an overtly greedy aide to one of the Lords of Chaos. That human, Ful Theraman, ended up as Thuy’s personal plaything for nearly ten cycles before Thuy thought he put the man out of his misery. Only three years later did Thuy learn of the soulmech trader who has carved out a small trade empire of his own. Thuy was not happy that Ful’s soul had survived and has devoted much of his time towards destroying the soulmech that calls itself “Theraman”. However, Thuy is interested in acquiring as much of the TTC’s assets as he possibly can and has held his overt forces back. Thuy is especially interested in acquiring the services of Theraman’s right-hand-man, the clone known as Manshoon.

Lifetrade Alliance

When one thinks of the LifeTrade Alliance the first thing that comes to mind is the mercane. And while the mercane are the absolute masters of the alliance they don’t run every facet of the day-to-day operation. Almost any race can be found working for the alliance, from dwarves to thivins, the workforce of the LTA is one of the most diverse in known space. The main exceptions to this are gnomes and drow who aren’t trusted by the mercane to keep valuable trade secrets secret. And while the mercane and the sharn don’t like each other they will cut trade deals with each other from time to time, as long as it is to both races benefit and they don’t have to deal directly with each other. This is where the race known as the thivin come in.

Thivins are a strange race of interstellar traders that the mercane first discovered. The mercane were amazed by the thivins natural talent for trade and some believe the race was created by the god Ptah, a powerful aspect of the Merchant. It is also believed that if anyone harms a thivin they will suffer great tragedy physically and financially. The mercane immediately saw the benefit of having a race with such a legend attached to their existence, work only for them. However, they learned that trying to force the thivin to work only for them cost them more than it was worth. The mercane are mow positive that the legend is not just a legend but a fact. The mercane went from being financial atheists to some of the most faithful followers of the Merchant as a result.

The two races are the driving force behind the LTA but most of the legwork is done by humans and dwarves. Humans are a diverse lot and can trade with almost anyone, while dwarves have a natural talent with stone, metal and gems, which the LTA considers invaluable. Dwarves, while stubborn and hot-tempered at times, are big into honor and won’t ripoff the Alliance or at least that’s the mercane’s theory. Thivins tend to get along with t’sa and elves, which has brought about several interesting business opportunities for the alliance. The Armada of Sehanine, which travels throughout the Outlands, trades almost exclusively with the LifeTrade Alliance.

The alliance’s relations with the Dragon Empire has always be cordial if not a little cool but things are changing now that Mezzenbone has become Emperor.

Jade Consortium

The Jade Consortium is an alliance of countries, regions and even whole worlds bonded together by what is known as “Asian” culture. This culture isn’t always in the east but the consortium prefers this term to the generic descriptor of being oriental. The consortium is a sanctioned Imperial community and its members can be found anywhere in the Dragon Empire including the throneworlds. The consortium has a reputation for providing unique goods and services at reasonable costs. They also defend the Asian culture from those who would exploit it.

The consortium is a legitimate organization with its roots in honor and the way of the samurai. They have no love for criminal organizations and have opposed such groups in the past and will continue to do so in the future. The consortium has heard rumors of a yakuza alliance, which has been spreading throughout the Outlands worlds but the consortium hasn’t come into contact with them yet. The consortium has also been known to oppose the methods of the Arcane and the Slaadi Lords. They aren’t fond of Mezzenbone and the changes he has brought about since the Red Age began but the consortium knows that to openly defy the Dragon Emperor is to lose everything they have worked for.

Those outside of the consortium whisper that the true power behind the consortium are the secretive Lung Dragons. These Asian dragons have always separated themselves from the more widely known chromatic and metallic dragon types of know space. This is in part due to cultural differences, as well as the fact that lung dragons are as much a part of the spirit world in Asian culture as they are the physical one. If it is indeed true that the lung dragons control the Jade Consortium then that would mean the consortium exists because of the influence of the Celestial Bureaucracy.

Those in the consortium deny that the lung dragons have any influence as to how the organization is run. They simply state that such powerful creatures are above and beyond any one organization. After all, the lungs, or spirit dragons, as they are sometimes referred to, have way more important things to concern themselves with then the day to day concerns of mortal life. This attitude tend to irk chromatic and metallic dragons. A dragon is a dragon to them and they don’t believe for a second that the lung dragons don’t want a piece of the Imperial pie. However, no one has been able to locate a Imperial lung dragon and ask them.


The Guardians are an organization that protects the Temporal Energy Plane throughout the universe. The organization, as a whole, is beyond the control of the Dragon Empire or any other galactic civilization beyond the boundary of the Outlands worlds. The guardians know the detailed histories of many galactic regions such as Thel’math’shar, Psi-space, and The Unconquered Spiral, as well as the Dragon Empire. The guardians are linked to the Temporal Energy Plane the way the shades are linked to the Plane of Shadow. The organization first came about eons before the first gnome starship took to the spacelanes. Originating in the Outer Planes, the original guardians are thought to have either discovered or created the Temporal Energy Plane. This original race may have become either the inevitables of Mechanus or another forgotten race older than even the shanthas.

The guardians are everywhere but very few galactic races are aware of the groups presence. Most that do know of its existence are member races to the organization such as the fraal, teres, and shanthas. A few younger races have also joined the guardians, on an individual basis, and elves, sharns, and even the arcane have been known to join the guardians. The organization has only a handful of of the other standard races as members except for humans. Humans are by far the most diverse race in the galaxy, which means they would eventually come to be a factor amongst the guardians. Humans are also the most likely, but not the only, race to become rouge time travelers, attempting to alter the past for their benefit (drow are bad for this as well). Most rouge chronomancers are hunted down once discovered but the problem is discovering them.

The guardians are controlled by an ancient group of chronomancers known as the Time Lords. These six powerful masters of time keep to their own council. The Time Lords are powerful outsiders that live in the Citadel of Eternity, which is said to be the focal point of the Temporal Energy Plane. No one knows whether or not these six beings were ever mortal but that is unimportant now. The Time Lords are nearly godlike in their power and none within the organization would dare betray them. Rogue chronomancers don’t last long once a Time Lord becomes personally aware of them.

The Time Lords believe that what is past is past. They are completely against any sort of time travel into the past to prevent Mezzenbone from assuming the Golden Throne. This has caused an ongoing feud between the Arcanum and the guardians. Only rogue chronomancers willingly join or work with the Arcanum. The Time Lords believe in keeping the temporal status quo and work in the background against both the Dragon Empire and the Arcanum whenever the flow of time is endangered.

The guardians have starcaster technology that allows them to travel through time, as well as space. Therefore, PCs are likely to meet them anywhere at anytime. These powerful timecasters could tip the balance of power in the known galaxy if they fell into the wrong hands. Luckily, the guardians believe that anyone but them is the wrong hands. There has never been an occurrence of a guardian crew losing control of a timecasting starship, as guardians will fight to the death and/or destroy the vessel before letting it be captured.

Note: While the Time Lords are indeed masters of time and space they don’t know everything that existed, exists, or that will exist. They aren’t truly gods and can’t see something that a god of time doesn’t want them to see. I will eventually detail these powerful characters using the D&D Epic Level Handbook.

GM’s Note: See the AD&D 2nd Edition Chronomancy Accessory for more details on D&D-based time travel and the Guardians. See pages 208 to 210 in the D&D Manual of the Planes for details on the Temporal Energy Plane and the Citadel of Eternity.

Freedom League

The Freedom League is dedicated to breaking the power of the dragons at all costs. For the most part, the league doesn’t see any difference between the Asamet and the Qesemet. Dragons are dragons and they have been lording over the known galaxy for too long.

The Freedom League is know as many things depending on who you ask and where they live. Outlanders tend to view them as freedom fighters and patriots in the fight against the Dragon Empire. Those living on or near the throneworlds view them as stellar pirates, brigands and revolutionaries. The ISPD simply refers to the Freedom League as being a huge pain in the ass.

It is important to note that not all outlanders consider the Freedom League to be their protectors and governments such as the Regency of Bluefall and the Crugar Octagonal do not allow league vessels to enter their territories. Other races such as the sharn and the fraal wish this militant group would just fade away so that they don’t bring the wrath of the Golden Throne down upon the entire Outlands.

This isn’t likely going to happen as the league is starting to spread from system to system like a plague of dissent. The driving force behind the league is a core group of individuals led by a human named Davis Madden. A former Imperial captain that had been loyal to the Dragon Empire until Mezzenbone ascended to the Golden Throne and the known galaxy had started to suffer under the red tyrant’s claws.

Commander Madden is determined to lead the league for as long as he can. His body is failing, however, and he is deciding whether or not to pass the mantle of leadership to another or become a soulmech. He doesn’t like the second option very much, as he is a true believer in the natural cycle of life. If he cannot convince Arassil to take over the league then he might not have a choice in the matter.

The Freedom League tends to be run as independent groups of starships and hidden bases. The group will rarely come together in one place, as they do not wish to give the Empire a chance to destroy their power base all at once. What happened at Toril 10 cycles ago taught Commander Madden a lot about what the Dragon Empire is capable of. He has refused to commit his forces to defending worlds that he knows can’t help in the defense, although he will send spies and assassins to such worlds to take out key Imperial figures.

The league is known more for its hit and run tactics and in a sense they are a lot like privateers. They will just as willingly attack a Regency ship as a Imperial one due to Bluefalls stance on using diplomacy instead of weaponry against the Empire. Most Regency citizens don’t see any difference between the Dragon Brigade and the Freedom League. In fact, the two groups are a lot alike and constantly at each others’ throats. Very few outlanders realize that the brigade is sanctioned by the Empire — or simply turn a blind eye, rather than incurring the wrath of Mezzenbone and Thul Gulokas.

Regent Hale suspects that the Pirate Brigade is influenced by someone in the Empire but he hasn’t any real proof. Commander Madden couldn’t prove the truth either even though he knows for a fact that Gulokas is being controlled by the Dragon Emperor. This is why he refuses to let anyone else besides Arassil take over the league. She knows more about Gulokas than anyone and it will piss off Thul to have to face Arassil as an equal.

The Freedom League strongly influences the regions known as the Thunder Cluster, Unknown Territories, and Zafferan Colonies. The Zafferan worlds broke off from the Empire shortly after Mezzenbone took the throne and has been waging an cold war against the Imperial Council and the Crugar Octagonal. The league has been supplying the colonies with starships and weapons in the hope of turning the Zafferan worlds into fully controlled league worlds. The Thunder Cluster isn’t as league friendly but with the increase in cleash attacks and the real threat of the brigade they have been forced to ally with the league from time to time.

As for the Unknown Territories, this area is uncontrolled and wide open to cleash attacks. Not even the brigade would dare enter this region without Imperial support. The league has deemed the area as vital league territory and Commander Madden has setup several ouposts in the region. These outposts are constantly dealing with cleash attacks and rely heavily on the help of the scatti, a strange insectoid race that isn’t affected by the cleash. These large, intelligent beings are born fighters and one scatti can handle twice the attackers that a medium-sized humanoid can. The League’s Directorate has several scatti on it and Commander Madden is glad he has found a race of allies that aren’t afraid of the cleash or the dragons.

Now if he could just get the fraal on his side then the league might be able to go on the offensive into Imperial territory.

Dragon Brigade

“The information here was inspired by Mike Bentley’s original post, on the DSD20 Yahoo Group, about a Dragon Empire sponsored pirate/privateer fleet causing trouble on the fringe worlds of the Outlands.” – RPB

The Dragon Brigade is a secret Imperial fleet stationed in the Outlands. More like a group of Imperial sponsored privateers than a true Imperial Wing, the brigade is made up of the most ruthless individuals that the Dragon Emperor could recruit from the Imperial Fleet and the Legions. The brigade is tasked with subjugating Outlands worlds without the trouble of diplomacy. Many in the Dragon Empire, such as the good dragons of the Qesemet, would be horrified to learn that this group of privateers is sponsored by the Dragon Emperor. Only a few resistence pockets in the Outlands even suspect that the Pirate Brigade (which is what it is known as to outlanders) is really Mezzenbone’s Wing, as brigade members are fond of calling themselves.

The brigade is lead by a ruthless, half-dragon orc rouge/sorcerer named Thul Gulokas. Thul, nicknamed the Dark Son, was sired by one of Mezzenbone’s most loyal allies in the Outlands, a colossal black dragon female only known as the Night in the Sky. Thul was sent to the Legions, by his mother, the instant he was old enough. There he learned discipline and loyalty. Within two years of graduating to the Imperial Fleet he had his own command and was the Dragon Emperor’s favorite commander. When Mezzenbone secretly put together the Dragon Brigade, Thul was the only choice to lead.

Gulokas and the crew of The Warlock were ordered to the Outlands and start the Dragon Emperor’s new clandestine crusade. For nearly a year The Warlock worked alone and stuck to terrorizing small vessels. The Warlock was though to be just another pirate ship, even if it was well organized. As more ships were assigned to the Dragon Brigade and Thul’s power and reach grew in the Outlands it became obvious to several resistance groups, such as the Freedom League, that Thul and his fleet were being sponsored by Mezzenbone.

The Dragon Brigade has nearly two dozen small to medium-sized starships at its disposal in the Outlands. Mezzenbone is hesitant to assign more vessels to the group, as the Dragon Emperor doesn’t with them to become too overt. However, the brigade is assigned new personal every cycle and has one of the largest and best trained groups of pilots in the Outlands. Only the Freedom League and the Regency of Bluefall have access to a larger group of pilots and starships.

Gulokas is a big believer in in discipline and all in his command must follow the tenets of the Code of Emperor, which was implemented by Mezzenbone when the wyrm ascended the Golden Throne. This Code of behavior is not an option in his fleet and failure to follow the Code is punishable by death. Thul has no tolerance for weak, uneducated, and undisciplined pilots or soldiers. The Dragon Empire is all.