Pyreen Factions

Sorry if I seem to repeat myself.

If you consider that the Peace-Bringers is not another name for pyreen but rather the - likely only - publicly known faction of the pyreen, have you created your own pyreen, or pyreen factions?

If so please tell us about them :slight_smile:

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I have a Pyreen NPC in my game that had brought the party back to life.
His cover is that he is a water priest who was drawn to this particular site due to the powerful creature bound into it. In the campaign, during the Cleansing Wars, a Xixecal was captured and was being studied, but the location had long since been lost. Now after all this time the bindings are beginning to fail. The Xixecal is actually part of the complex, with tunnels being carved through the massive glacier like creature.

The Pyreen is going to be trying to get the party and other adventurers to try to deal with the creatures infesting the complex. His own abilities are tied up at the moment, trying to keep the Xixecal from getting free. As a result it works kind of like a mega-dungeon for the party, and started off as kind of a bonus dungeon area that the party seems to have taken a keen interest into.


There are various ways to think about the pyreen. Whether you accept the retcon that Rajaat is a pyreen is pivotal.

If Rajaat is a pyreen: the pyreen are a chastened race. The pyreen were supposed guide the other races towards a healthy, civilized existence but instead one of their number brought about the near destruction of their world.

In this scenario, Rajaat likely had pyreen collaborators. Perhaps one of these may even have been Lalali-Puy. Now the pyreen do not form factions. They avoid hubris and do not involve themselves in world changing plots, because that is where Rajaat and his followers went wrong. Instead they work on their own immediate surroundings.

If Rajaat is NOT a pyreen: In this scenario I suppose you could have factions, although the general lore of pyreen tends to work against it. Instead of naming factions, you can start with their stance towards the world. Active/passive, aggressive/pacifist, anti sorcerer monarch/work within the system.

In my view, the pyreen are loners that come together only to mate. They aren’t a conventional race. Their ways are not our ways.

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I posit that the Peace-Bringers are a faction, while also recognizing that pyreen factions are made of loaner individuals that agree on limited ideals and a general way forward.

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Like others, I subscribe that the pyreen originally looked over the Rebirth races.

I think the term “peace-bringer” is what other races dubbed them and not something they call themselves. Likely a term that came up during the Cleansing Wars or maybe some other massive conflict predating Rajaat’s campaign.


I run with the idea that they were originally the Rhulisti that actually ended the Brown Tide and started the Rebirth (not all of which were voluntary). Fresh from their success in saving their race, they introduced a lifeshaping plague from the Pristine Tower that converted all remaining halflings into the Rebirth races except their own loyal civilians who were inoculated against it. Their warriors voluntarily became part of the Rebirth races as leaders and were allowed to keep their memories. Those few who would become Pyreen ended the war between the nature-benders and nature-masters becoming the Peacebringers. To ensure the Rebirth was successful they changed themselves into the Pyreen to forever guide their descendants and protect the world ensuring nothing like the Brown Tide could ever happen again.

The Rebirth races simply multiplied much faster than expected and quickly outstripped the Pyreen’s ability to guide. They were the founders of the druid circles so that they could extend their reach in protecting the world and their remaining people. The Pyreen consoled the halflings to retreat before the tide of Rebirth, creating pockets of halfling civilization all across the globe. As the Pyreen grew older and started to forget some of the basics of actually being a halfling, the halflings began to diverge from them. Within a few generations the Pyreen faded into obscurity, engaging only to slow the progress of the new civilizations as they threatened advancement that could destabilize the world itself.

With only a few dozen Pyreen spread far across the world and births of new Pyreen unheard of as the Pyreen lost their more base instincts, Rajaat was one the first and last born Pyreen. As all the others of his new kind, he was a melding of all the Rebirth races and halfling, capable of changing form just as easily, the Pyreen were astonished that he considered his form ugly and the Rebirth a mistake. His elders tried to counsel him but he was unwilling to hear them. When he disappeared, they assumed he had gone into self exile to contemplate his nature, they never expected him to spend those thousands of years creating magic.

The opening salvo of the hidden war was fired by Rajaat. During the Preserver Jihad it wasn’t just preservers that were targeted but the leaders of the druidic circles and the Pyreen themselves. By the time the Peacebringers learned who was really behind magic and the war against all those who would preserve the Green Age it was to late. A few of the Peacebringers got close enough to Rajaat to try to reason with him, but with armies at his beck and call and his desire to return to the Blue Age, he had them slaughtered, their souls captured and stored for the Return. Unable to reason with the Warbringer, their power base ever shrinking, and the inability of any Pyreen to harm one another they faded once more into the background to provide what assistance they could without being noticed by the Warbringer.

Peacebringers discovered by any of the armies of Rajaat were captured no matter of the cost. His hatred of the Rebirth races including Pyreen, even himself, knows no bounds. If he could have destroyed himself he would have but until he undoes the mistake that is the Rebirth he can not die. Any factions among the Peacebringers gave way to only a single one thousands of years ago, those who are still free. Once that faction is no more, once the Rebirth races and all the mutated abominations that came into existence after the Blue Age have finally been wiped out, and the world returned to a sea of blue, Rajaat himself can finally be free of his obligation, the same shared by all the Pyreen, to guide the descendants of the Rhulisi into a golden era and protect the world that is Athas, and he can finally, at long last, rest in eternal oblivion.

*Note: In my world the Pyreen are practically eternal. The Gray can not consume their spirits so if they are actually killed, they simply go into a cycle of renewal that sees them reborn right from their substance as a new Pyreen with no real memories, just instincts. When this happens all Pyreen within a thousand miles know there is one nearby who has been reborn and will need guidance. To truly undo the Rebirth, Rajaat must collect the souls of all the Pyreen and destroy them, himself, and the Pristine Tower all at once, something that can only be done when blue waves again surround the tower.


Maybe ‘faction’ is not the right word, too loaded with politics and inter-factional fighting.

It’s more like … devoteries, philosophical and spiritual goals or states of mind you devote your life to.


In the 2e writeup for pyreen its stated they follow a mission to preserve the land or defeat a defiler but each take a different approach. If you think on it, Rajaat was following that directive, but just to an extreme.

“Defiler” could mean anyone or thing harming Athas and not necessarily a class/method of casting.


I don’t know if this is an old idea or not, but I am putting it out there:

Just like Sanderson’s kandra have a First Generation, and the subsequent generations have different origins, what if pyreen’s first generation was the only one with ancient nature-master knowledge (because they were rhulisti who elected to keep their knowledge), and they died of old age decades later after setting up the next generation of pyreen (their children) to be the protectors and guides to the Rebirth races.

This second generation is the one that was designed to be long-lived and inherently in touch with the land and the Unseen.

Rajaat is stated to have been born way after the Rebirth, so he would have been 2nd+ gen.


Agreed that most of the original pyreen have passed and the current ones are a few generations removed.

Like to think there’s several OG pyreen guiding the newer generations. Maybe an Elder Council that meets every few centuries.

A potentially profound subject, Pennarin. Firstly, I would say to even the most veteran of us, that before you wade into the matter of pyreens, one should review the pertinent original article in Terrors of the Desert, in case one has forgotten some of the precise details.

Regarding their having factions, for our convenience, I proffer two selections from the article so that we may consider them:

These noble beings can always recognize one another, in
whatever form they are currently using. Only rarely do they
work together, for each has slightly different ideas on what
needs to be done to restore the world to its former state.


Though he is considered the leader of the pyreens, Alar gives
no orders nor does he expect loyalty from the other pyreens.
This is because of the pyreens’ fierce independence. Alar realizes
that defilers must be stopped, but he also knows that the land
can no longer restore itself. He continually looks for an answer
to this dilemma, and his aid of adventurers is just a small way to
help stop the total ruin of a world.

From these passages, it seems to me that we might imagine not much more than loose “schools of thought” shared between the various pyreen. Their general principles and goals seem uniform (the article introduces their general goal plainly enough: “They travel about Athas attempting to set things right”), and beyond subtle differences and similarities between their individual philosophies and objectives, at first glance I might not expect much in the way of party politics between the pyreen.

But let us go deeper, and consider from our sources what else we may know or adduce about the pyreen. Though I know we often exercise caution with some of Mr. Hawke’s four novels, his work is nonetheless influential (for me he definitely helped build a certain style or flavor of the Dark Sun world), and besides unless I am mistaken his are the only novels to showcase the pyreen. And upon the Dragon’s Tooth Mountain, upon the first pages of the Outcast we read the words of a pyreen elder:

“I, Lyra Al’Kali, daughter of Tyra Al’Kali of the Ringing Mountains, do hereby take my solemn vows and acknowledge the purpose of my life, as every son and daughter of the pyreen has done before me, and shall do after me, until Athas once again grows green. I vow to follow the Path of the Preserver, using my powers to protect and restore the land, and to foil and slay defilers who would steal its life for their own perverted gain. I vow allegiance to the elders, and to the Eldest Elder, Alar Ch’Aranol, Peace-Bringer, Teacher, Preserver, Dragonslayer. I herewith dedicate my life to follow in his noble path, and pledge my soul to the service of the Druid Way and the rebirth of the land. So do I vow, so shall it be.”

Surely we see in this an emphasis on the unity of mission among the pyreen. However, note that she does not say “obey the orders of” Alar Ch’Aranol or the elders. Allegiance is the sentiment.

Two Basic Parties

Upon contemplation, I will submit to you that for the purposes of game play, there are two major schools of thought among the pyreen: the Patient and the Militant.

As context for these parties, I cite a fascinating section from Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, page 45, entitled The Organization of Chaos:

Legends say that the druids who remained after the Eradication gathered on a high mesa somewhere in the northern Tablelands. It was there they decided that they should scatter to the most remote reaches and farthest regions of Athas, there to bide their time, waiting for the day when they were powerful enough to challenge the sorcerer-kings again. This was a long time ago, and the druids have yet to return to the cities of the defilers.

Some say that they will never return, that their seclusion and isolation have destroyed whatever power they once wielded as a circle. Others say that the druids’ long wait is indicative of their cunning, and that their plan is to insure that the next confrontation with the kings won’t end in defeat.

In my ancient campaign, I have dubbed this gathering the Druid Council. To me, it is difficult to imagine the pyreen not being a part of this. If ever they were to present themselves openly for the sake of the Way of the Druid, this would be the time. Having by this time been severely defeated, those present at the Druid Council obviously ended their open war with the defilers of the world, and elected a path of patience.

Through the centuries, especially during times of great outrages or waxing strength, the remaining pyreen of Athas must have some among their number that strongly consider or even wholesale advocate a return to the Militant Path.

Perhaps, in the wake of the Dragon’s death, the Militant Path has increasing support. Alar Ch’Aranol himself must be jubilant that the Dragon is no more, and may be strongly considering marshaling the pyreen, druids, preservers and all allies of the world to overthrow the remaining sorcerer-monarchs. But Athas is immense, and the Tablelands only one part of the world. Above almost all others, the seemingly immortal pyreen must surely know what other mighty defilers (and other dragons?) there are in distant regions. Given such lore they possess, the Patient Path may still be the wisest the pyreen elders would proffer to their own number, and to the druids of the world at large and their numbers.

And so I ask, in your campaign, in the wake of the Dragon’s death, to what path do your pyreens lean: to the Path Patient, or to the Path Militant? For these beings, in which years might pass as days do for us, perhaps they can afford to wait many more years to make up their minds…


I love this thought as a perfect segway into the threat the kreenlands pose. Maybe the millitant path is responsible for sealing the entrace to the Crimson Savanah. In order to keep the sorcerer monarchs contained and away from lush lands. And could be responsible for opening it again via the great earthquake as a way to draw out the forces of the remaining sorcerer monarchs weakening them so they could attack.

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The pyreen are extraordinarily powerful beings. In terms of their average power, probably the most powerful race on Athas.

For this reason, we can’t really have tightly organised pyreen running around. Looking at the 3.5e rules, which are the default rules for this website, the pyreen are extremely powerful. As they should be, because the 3.5e rules for pyreen follows the 2E pyreen very closely.

Pyreens (or Peace-Bringers) are mysterious beings that roam the world of Athas. They are powerful psionicists and very powerful druids. They travel about Athas attempting to set things right, although it looks like a hopeless battle. Few know of their existence, and fewer still have ever met one. They are sworn enemies of defilers, and their actions indicate they are bent on the destruction of the sorcerer-kings.

Pyreens are humanoid, although they are not identifiable as any of the current humanoid or demi-human races - rather, they have characteristics of all of them. They have the broad bodies of dwarves, the pointed ears of the elves, the eyes of a human or giant, and the childlike face of the halflings. Pyreens are almost never seen in their natural form, for with their druidic abilities they can take the form of any animal. Peace-bringers also have forms in each race and generally travel about looking like any of a thousand faceless wanderers on the roads.

Pyreens speak all of the languages of humans and demihumans. In addition, there is a 65% chance that they speak any other language spoken by intelligent creatures of Athas.

Combat: Pyreens do not like combat, but they are devastating foes if they do decide to fight. In addition to their formidable psionic powers, all pyreens are druids of at least 16th level. As such, they each have guarded lands, but these lands are huge (for instance, the entire Forest Ridge or the Ringing Mountains of the west). They have major access to the spheres of the Cosmos and to all of the elemental spheres. The pyreens are generally 16th level, although there are four at 17th level, four at 18th level, two at 19th level, and their leader, Alar Ch’Aranol, is 20th level.

In addition to psionics, spells, and the other druid powers, pyreens all carry several magic items, among which is usually a magical metal weapon. This is generally a dagger or knife, something easily concealed. The weapon is always highly enchanted (+3 or better) and sometimes has other special powers. Other magic items favored by pyreens include rings, cloaks of protection, and bracers of defense.

Pyreens are naturally immune to the initiative loss of defiler magic. Their connections with the spirits of the lands are strong enough that they never need to pray for spells, but instead receive them every morning without prayer.

A pyreen very rarely enters combat on someone else’s behalf, although they might make an exception if a defiler is involved. This is not to imply that a peace-bringer is in any way fearful, but rather that they feel that someone who has lived thousands of years should not risk his life to save a short-lived human. The destruction of the land is another matter entirely. A party battling a defiler may suddenly find a sand elemental fighting on their side, or a sudden forceful wind may arise that knocks down the defiler, spoiling his spell. Such parties have been aided by a pyreen, although they will never see him nor find the slightest trace of him.

The chance for a pyreen to help a battling party is based entirely on the combat involved. If a pyreen observes a druid defending his guarded lands or a party fighting a defiler, he may lend his help. On the other hand, if he stumbles upon a group of adventurers simply battling a creature that wants to eat them, the pyreen is likely to just carry on about his business. This seemingly callous attitude is caused by the pyreen’s thousands of years existence. A short-lived human or elf is just not worth a risk to the pyreen’s greater mission.

In addition, pyreens have a good knowledge of the world. If the party is well known and powerful, the pyreen is 75% likely to know about them. In this case, the amount of help (or opposition) proffered by the pyreen depends entirely on the party’s previous actions. If they are known for defeating a defiler, for instance, they stand a good chance of receiving some sort of aid from the pyreen, even against some lowly monster.

Habitat/Society: Pyreens are solitary creatures, even in the midst of a city. They usually have a mission to perform, something connected with restoring the land or defeating a defiler (the ultimate defilers, of course, being the sorcerer-kings). Alar Ch’Aranol’s current mission is the ultimate destruction of the dragon of Tyr. While Alar is very powerful, he knows that he is no match for the Dragon. So, he is trying to see that good adventurers survive to reach levels of power even greater than his own. Much of his time is spent helping the land recover from visits by the Dragon, aiding enslaved humans and demihumans, and doing what he can to prevent the further destruction of the land. This has been his mission for almost a thousand years now, and it looks like it may take many more. He knows that his mission is virtually impossible, but he also knows that given enough time, anything can be accomplished.

Peace-bringers have no permanent home, although they may take up residence in one place for 50 or 100 years. Generally, they are travellers, seeking to do what they can to restore the land. This includes aiding druids in defending or restoring their guarded lands.

Pyreens have vast knowledge concerning the way Athas was before its ecology was ruined. They never reveal this knowledge, even to save their own lives. (They are also some of the very few beings who have traveled extensively in the Hinterlands.) The knowledge they possess might be shared with a deserving party, but only regarding the current condition of the land. A pyreen will never talk about the land’s state as it used to be. They are perhaps the only beings who might know just where and how the dragon came to be, for it is thought that they even predate the dragon.

These noble beings can always recognize one another, in whatever form they are currently using. Only rarely do they work together, for each has slightly different ideas on what needs to be done to restore the world to its former state.

It is not known whether their extremely long life spans are a racial trait or are due to their incredible druid powers. There is no record of a pyreen ever dying of old age. There were once many more of them.

Pyreens are able to sustain themselves without water or nourishment anywhere on Athas, just as a high level druid in his guarded lands. They can and do eat and enjoy fine wines and foods.

Peace-bringers use their powers to aid the land and the people in it. Legends tell of a man dying of thirst in the desert finding a bottle of fresh cold water. Most people put this down to an “old elves” tale, but the man in question was actually helped by a pyreen. In general, if a pyreen can help without revealing himself, and if he feels it will benefit the land, he will help. A favorite trick is to shapechange into human or half-elven form and approach the party claiming to be a low-level druid. The pyreen is very careful never to reveal any of his powerful magic, even moderating the effects of his spells if necessary. Thus, he might use a create water that only creates two or three gallons of water, rather than the eight to ten he could normally create. A pyreen never becomes too involved with any individual or group of adventurers; if they need help more than once in their lifetimes, they are not the type of adventurers that a pyreen is looking for to aid his great mission.

Ecology: Pyreens are a throwback. As such, they have no real place in the ecology of Athas, although they certainly have an effect on it. An adventurer that battles a defiler may not be able to do anything about the destruction caused by the defiler. However, if he returns to the battle site a few months later, he may find grass and trees growing where none should. Unfortunately, a pyreen is only able to cast a rejuvenate spell once per month. This is a great weakness in their battle to restore the land, and perhaps the reason that they help parties to reach higher levels. If they actually witness a mage or priest casting a rejuvenate spell, they are likely to follow that being in animal form for quite some time. They seek to aid and protect someone who can do almost as much to restore the land as they can. In spite of this aid, the world is so big, and the peace-bringers so few, that an human may adventure his whole lifetime and never meet a pyreen.

The lore as it is precludes organised factions. Now that doesn’t mean that there aren’t pyreen around that want to organise. But they are doing so in the face of the nature or cultural norms of most pyreen. So if there were to be a pyreen faction, they are likely to be some flavour of renegade pyreen. Perhaps they are disorganised for a reason; with each pyreen conducting it’s own missions independently, it is much harder for the sorcerer monarchs to stamp them out.