Thus far, I haven’t had much to say about the place of warlocks in the Land of Fate. I’ve touched on additional spells able to be used with any class, and provided a number of additional options for classes, but I haven’t focused on the warlock. This is in large part because I have been thinking for a long time about how warlocks fit into Zakhara. The last real iconic class option I haven’t addressed is the sha’ir. The genie-blood sorcerer, while neat, isn’t a sha’ir. I’ve toyed with the sha’ir appearing as a warlock variant, but I think it might just really be weird enough to warrant being its own class, and then allowing you to bend more cleric or wizard as a result of your archetypes. This is all well and good, but it doesn’t address the issue of warlocks. However, I realized recently the setting was ready made for warlocks. Who better to link the warlock to than the heathens? It’s a match made in narrative heaven.
First, please understand when I speak about the warlock, I am referring to the complete overhaul of the class I did last year. To say this is controversial is an understatement, but having seen this in play, it worked very well. The warlock was able to engage in a wider variety of content and have a wider variety of available play styles. Fighter still ruled the roost, but warlock did a good job of matching the other classes and styles. More data would be needed, obviously, but it was a good trial run.
Anyway, Al-Qadim has a concept of heathens, the people of the Land of Fate that simply do not believe in the gods, the concept of divinity that the kahin follow, or even acknowledge the greater force of fate. What’s strange, is the lack of implication of genie worship. Genies are acknowledged as beings of great power and influence, but no one believes they are gods, outside of some corner case super-powerful genie stuff. They are acknowledged as primal elemental forces, sure, but interacting with them is hardly taboo stuff. In fact, the setting wants you to engage with the genies often. Genies meddle in mortal affairs, the gods of the setting really don’t.
Instead, the setting presents the ajami and the savage gods. The savage gods oppose the enlightened gods of the civilized people of Zakhara, while the ajami are the “gods of the outside”, which means the primordials or “Dawn Titans.” The cold elemental gods (Kossuth, Istishia, Grumbar, and Akadi) are fine, but the rest are all pretty much just warlock patrons either explicitly (Dendar the Night Serpent) or implicitly (Blazing Rorn the Fury, how metal is he?) However, even here there is a lot of room for expansion and information.
Zakhara is so unlike the rest of Forgotten Realms. The pantheon structure is completely different, which means the influences of the place should be completely different. The savage gods are still treated as gods, with full-on priesthoods associated in those regions, so they don’t fit. Sure, they might be heathens, as they worship savage gods, but very few, if any, are cults. Zakhara needs something to help explain how they ended up this way in the first place. Thus, the Court of the Sanctum Empire.
The Sanctum Empire
You have pledged yourself to, or found a way to siphon power from, the rulers of the Sanctum Empire. The Sanctum Empire existed long before enlightenment and savagery warred in the Land of Fate, and Fate did not yet hold sway in the minds of mortals. The Sanctum Empire still exists in the bones of the Land of Fate, waiting to be discovered, set-free, and rule once more. Before its defeat, the Sanctum Empire was ruled by Earthen Sultan Kre’mos , Sultana Dono’krusia the Night Maiden, and their four children, Desert Pasha Vor’voros, Sifu’nas of the Sky, Radiant Kai’apir, and Pto’sidato of the Ever-reaching Abyss. The Sultan and Sultana had four children who aided mortals over their kin in the conflict that saw the defeat of the Sanctum Empire. These children were known as the Pillars of the Empire, and were the great generals, strategists, and warriors of the empire before their defection.
Expanded Spell List
The Sanctum Empire lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a warlock spell. The following spells are added to the warlock spell list for you.
Sanctum Empire Expanded Spells
|1st||guiding bolt, ray of sickness|
|2nd||maximillian’s earthen grasp, moonbeam|
|3rd||erupting earth, spirit guardians|
|4th||giant insect, mordenkainen’s faithful hound|
|5th||contagion, insect plague|
Defenses of the Sanctum Empire
Starting at 1st level, your insight into the Sanctum Empire allows you to enact some of the defenses granted to the most loyal of subjects. As an action, you may cast protection from evil and good on yourself or another.
Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
Breaker of Chains
Upon reaching 6th level, you share in your patron’s desire to be free from the mystical shackles binding them. You have advantage on saving throws against being restrained and on ability checks against being grappled or knocked prone. While being grappled, restrained, or prone, you have resistance to all bludgeoning, force, piercing, and slashing damage.
Whenever one of these conditions is ended or prevented, your next successful attack deals 1d10 necrotic or radiant damage.
Blessing of the Infinite Prison
After reaching 10th level, your patron shares the punishment of the Infinite Prison with you, teaching you how to fight against it. You gain darkvision and resistance to radiant damage while you cannot see the sun, and you gain blindsight and resistance to necrotic damage while the sun is in the sky.
Additionally, while under the night sky, or covered by earth, such as in a cave, your AC and Saving Throws increase by 1, so long as you possess no magical item that replicates either of these two bonuses.
Wrath of the Sanctum Empire
Beginning at 14th level, you temporarily awaken the might of the Sanctum Empire. When you successfully hit a creature, you may spend your reaction to cause the next successful attack by an ally to deal 2d6 necrotic or radiant damage. If the target is an aberration, celestial, fey, fiend, elemental, or undead, the target instead takes 3d6 damage. You may do this a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier. You must finish a long or short rest before you can use this feature again.
If you have not granted this ability to anyone after resting, you may spend your reaction, which you take in response to being damaged by a creature within 60 feet of you that you can see, to deal 10d6 radiant or necrotic damage. If the target is an aberration, celestial, fey, fiend, elemental, or undead, the target instead takes 15d6 damage. You must finish a long rest before you can use this feature again.