In the Service of the Queen
(From the Blue Rose Core Rulebook)
A people touched by the arcane, vata were more common in the days of the Old Kingdom, when their forebears, the vatazin, still lived. Vata were originally the offspring of vatazin and human parents, and they survived the vatazin genocide by hiding among their human kin. Over the centuries, the vata have become fewer, but traces of their lineage are found in all human lands, especially Aldis. Unsuspecting humans sometimes have a vata child. For most communities, this is considered a blessing, but in Jarzon and Kern, vata children are problematic.
The Jarzoni accept vata’an children, but Purist priests often treat them harshly if they use their arcane gifts and are not preparing for the priesthood. Vata’sha are simply abused—if not immolated—for they are considered tainted by Shadow. In Kern, vata’an are killed outright, while vata’sha are taken to be raised in the service of the kingdom. Some Kernish parents manage to hide their vata children, but rarely for long. Vata are sometimes smuggled out of Kern with the help of Aldin envoys, but it is a dangerous and difficult undertaking.
Vata’an, or “true vata,” have silvery white hair and violet, pale blue, or pale green eyes. They tend to have slim builds and a couple of inches of height over the average human. Vata’an, both male and female, tend to wear their straight hair long, at least down to their shoulders. They typically dress in the styles of their homeland.
Vata’sha, or “dark vata,” appeared as a result of the Sorcerer Kings’ experiments on vata’an. They look much like vata’an, except their skin is night-black. Some people have taken this as evidence the vata’sha are tainted by Shadow. Despite their sorcerous origin, there is no innate corruption within them.