THE CELESTIAL SHURAYU REPUBLIC
NÍN ŠÚRÁYU. NÍN BÉLÚ ṢERRET ŠAMĘ. AMÁRANNÁŠI U ŠAḪÁṬU.
WE ARE SHURAYU. WE ARE MASTERS OF THE GALAXY. LOOK UPON US AND BE STRICKEN WITH AWE.
Šar Kinzirű Anšar
Napšutaširpam is the nectar to which the magitechnical machinery of the Shurayu is addicted. It is a potent fuel-source used for virtually everything, made of souls which have been refined into a vaguely plasmic state. The original source of Napšutaširpam, distilled from the souls of the Erṣetim exterminated by the Ḫalluláya has not yet been totally exhausted, and the echoed death-throes of their souls can still be heard even now, radiating from their containers. It is common for civilized places farthest from the core of civilization to construct Napšutaširpam refineries of their own, using the souls of animals to create their product, though the most insidious of criminal organizations use the souls of their fellow Shurayu, creating the most potent type of Napšutaširpam ever seen.
The Shurayu traverse through space in thrusterless six-sided ziggurats called Šamędannatú that hover across the cosmos with magitechnical gravity engines. They are normally piloted by a mage who interacts with the systems of the Šamędannatú in a meditative state, controlling the vessel as if it their own body. If the mage in question is incapacitated or otherwise unavailable however, the ship can be controlled manually, albeit with much less agility. Šamędannatú normally range in size from fifty feet in all directions to the size of multiple six-sided football fields, though even larger sizes have been recorded.
The Shurayu traverse between star systems using teleportation. To teleport is to tear a temporary wound in the fabric of reality, the fabric of reality being a terribly complex and unimaginably vast and dynamic metaphysical resource whose thickness waxes over great distances but over time such thickness wanes in loosely predictable patterns. Tears are made with spectral blades called Ašratunamṣarú, they range from the size of normal swords, able to tear open a wound for a single person, to blades the length of basketball courts, able to tear open wounds large enough for full-sized Šamędannatú. The energy-cost of teleportation depends upon the relative thickness of the fabric reality, with the greatest cost of short-range teleportation being split between powering the Ašratunamṣarú and the equipment used for the magitechnical machinery to calculate the proper placement of tears and detect the thickness of the fabric of reality. Navigating the folds in the fabric of reality grows exponentially more difficult the farther one goes, though short-term teleportation is fairly straight-forward and much less expensive. Many complexes will have several teleportation nexuses, each the size of elevator-rooms with man-sized wounds in reality held open with magic and fuel, teleporting the user to other nexuses within the same complex. To navigate the folds of reality on an interstellar scale, however, is exceedingly dangerous and done by typically guild-bound specialists called Meḫišparú who tread along reality's hem, braving its endlessly shifting creases, and surveying the materia hidden within, mapping out cut-zones for their kin to teleport to within the material plane and earning great wealth and prestige for themselves and their families.
Just as a shark has it’s teeth or a hawk has it’s claws, a Shurayu has their magic. Magic is a part of the daily life of all Shurayu, an intrinsic power constantly and autonomously drawn from Ur-Kuríbadnáti, the spiritual plane where the Shurayu were conceived, and stored in the heart where it can be expelled and transformed through the will and visualization of the wielder in the form of spells. The base capacity for magic in one's heart, the rate at which it replenishes, and the innate fineness of one's spellcasting is bound by genetics and chance, though such attributes can be improved through extensive training. Magic, when wielded by a Multépiš- one well-studied and inundated in the arcane arts, is a heavy presence upon the universe around it like the hand of a small god, a confounding force borne of an otherworldly heart which enforces dominion over reality and unreality alike.
Despite the incredible potential from the innate magical capabilities of the Shurayu, only a fraction of the population are well studied in it and considered true Multépišú as the exploration of one’s magical abilities and the study of the countless particularities of magic is an incredibly personal, time consuming, and costly endeavor. Each Shurayu is naturally inclined towards a certain kind of magic, usually influenced by their temperament or environment.
As a Shurayu dedicates themselves to the study of magic, they gradually reach an understanding with themselves and the nature of their very existence, and from their new perspective the wall between spiritual and physical, real and unreal bends and muddles and they see what they can one day be. As this life-long revelation is slowly revealed, their heart’s ability to store magic increases, it’s ability to replenish it quickens, and their ability to visualize their magic improves, allowing them to perform more powerful and complicated spells that last even longer.
For the ease of study, magic is divided into three artificial categories: First is Pagrukišpé, enslavement of the base elements of the physical plane through the use of magic, of which there are seven subcategories: Išátašaláṭ - domination of flame, Šurípašaláṭ - domination of frost, Birqašaláṭ - domination of electricity, Mánitašaláṭ - domination of wind, Eperašaláṭ - domination of the earth, Nírašaláṭ - domination of light, and Akášašaláṭ - domination of the movement of objects. This is the simplest and easiest to conceive of all categories of magic, and all Shurayu can wield at least some form of it with varying skill even without study. A master of Pagrukišpé is a supremely unsubtle and direct being, capable of surrounding themselves in forcefields wreathed in the substrate of the material realm as they rain down elemental death upon their foes with a destructive force equivalent to an entire artillery battery.
The second category of magic is Zumrukišpé, modification of the body through the use of magic, of which there are seven subcategories, Aráḫašaláṭ - enhancement of speed, Isḫašaláṭ - enhancement of strength, Bârašaláṭ - enhancement of durability, Diglašaláṭ - enhancement of sight, Šeműšaláṭ - enhancement of hearing, Mušallimašaláṭ - enhancement of healing, and Eműšaláṭ - bodily transformation. Masters of Zumrukišpé typically assume the roles of healers and spies, using their magic to force cells to regenerate at an accelerated rate and sneak across the galaxy silent and unseen.
The third and final category of magic is Kuríbukišpé, manipulation of the forces of the spiritual plane through the use of magic, of which there are five subcategories, Šúlútašaláṭ - manipulation of spirits, Sebírútašaláṭ - creation of illusions, Ṭárašaláṭ - nullification of magic, Nakálašaláṭ - endowment of magic into mundane objects, and Dintanagášašaláṭ - teleportation. Masters of Kuríbukišpé are the most respected mages, for the magic of Ur-Kuríbadnáti is the hardest to harness and possesses the greatest potential for power. Specialists in Kuríbukišpé typically become rich off the enchanting of various items, participation in the interdimensional soul trade, facilitation of astral projection, and the construction of teleportation nexuses.
The Shuraya of the tenth millenia is a tumultuous place.
The gods of old seem to have returned after an eon of absence and their power can be felt all throughout Shurayu dominion. After thousands of years of near-unanimous faithlessness Shurayu society reels in shock as for the couple centuries following the return of the gods a massive religious revival has taken place as the Commandments of the Mighty Absentee Gods often contend with the Ancient Guidances of ATRAHASIS, whose philosophy built and maintained Shurayu society since its inception.
Shuraya is a fledgling interstellar republic comprising tens of systems on the edge of a strangely lonely galaxy, outwardly strong, but dying inside, in possession of a vast frontier of which it’s corrupt government barely holds, with great slaver-syndicates owning vast armies and territories in constant conflict with the beleaguered government military and myriad local militias, along with a society getting ever-closer to the brink of ideological collapse, as the ten-thousand year reign of it’s all encompassing Atrahasian way of life wanes as the Shurayu expand beyond the mere city-state they once resided in, into the endless cosmos.