I have gotten quite a few questions about this stuff, especially considering comments are off. In order to avoid discouraging interest I will share a little as I go along. The art is all placeholder shit, at this point, so be kind.
I can be reached at themetalearthATgmailDOTcom. You must of course, replace the caps with the appropriate powerglyphs.
Data-Map of Karkul, province of Empire
Below, Outpost 17
STATE OF THE EMPIRE:
Everything is broken and dirty, but somehow things keep moving along. Most machines are patched and repaired, often with parts from other machines. Structures and fortifications exist more as products of accretion, modification and erosion than architecture. Everything is old, drafty and haunted. The feeling on the mainland is that the real empire has shifted to the deepwater islands and beneath the sea. Almost all inland settlements have been abandoned. Beast and worse overrun the food-caves. A few coastal settlements remain, but are squalid and under populated. The movements of citizens, even aristocrats, are restricted or the coast would be empty too. Endemic corruption and shortage remain facts of life. Loyalty to the Emperor is always in question. You are being watched. On clear nights you can see the Wurm.
Winter is coming.
LEECH: (Princess, Prince) Officially the Emperor’s personal slaves, leeches have managed transform thralldom to power in the millennia since their subjugation. Leeches are the healers of the empire; everyone living requires their service. Nobody, aside from the leeches, perhaps, is very happy about it, though. Unlike yeti, leeches may move from place to place unimpeded- although they must carry papers like everyone else. Leeches view each other as social equals. Many are known to extend this courtesy to commoners, seemingly unaware of, or too polite to acknowledge, the superstitious hate often given in return.
Leeches are slight, pale white-green skinned, humanoids schooled in blood magic. Leeches are not quite undead, nor are they completely alive; they exist in a liminal state known as half-death. According to rumor, a leech’s heart beats but once an hour and they are said to be without feelings. The former is true, or mostly so; the latter is a slur. Leeches exist in the present as vestiges of a vanished pre-imperial culture. Due to their healing abilities and power over the undead, leeches occupy an important niche in imperial society. As a group they are both revered and despised.
The leech's prime requisite is intelligence; a minimum of 9 is required; a score above 13 result in a 10% bonus to all earned experience points.
RESTRICTIONS: The leech uses a d6 for hit points. A leech must feed upon blood to draw upon his powers (eg, spell casting, turning the undead) and to survive. Each keeps what might best be described as a small external organ, or tumor, known as a kaul, upon which he must feed once a day to maintain access to spells and other special-abilities. The leech must feed once weekly (more or less) to retain its half-dead status. Failure to take a bloodmeal for ten consecutive days will drive the leach into a full dead state until he is force fed the fresh lifeblood of a living beast. Leeches may use any weapon and wear any armor. However, the spilling of blood is considered to be unseemly by most; as such, they tend to reserve the use of edged weapons for duels, and use blunt or energy -weapons in most other circumstances. This is not a hard restriction, merely a societal norm, violation of which will not go without notice or remark, however. Leeches must cover their skin out of doors in the daytime, and traditionally wear a moon mask while in the company of others, day or night. During the day they suffer 1pt of damage/turn if caught outside (even when it is overcast; which, indecently, is always). Once inside, the leech heals all damage so incurred at a rate of 1hp/round.
SPECIAL ABILITIES: The leech exists at the threshold of life and death, and draws energy from the necrosphere, whilst feeding from his kaul and gains spell-casting ability and power over the earthly dead as a result. The leech has access to cleric spells and turns the undead as a cleric of equal level (X5,X7). At 5th level the leech no longer has to carry his kaul; it levitates beside him.
Below: kaul, owner unknown.