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The Theocracy of Canceri:
Nation of the Damned
Author: Robert J. Schwalb
Cover and Interior Art: Pat Loboyko
Cartographer: Robert Taylor
Developer: Henry Lopez
Layout: Ruben Smith-Zempel
Art Direction: Jim Beck and Eric Wiener
Additional Material: Scott Charlton, Henry Lopez, M. Sean Molley, Kimberly Wajer-Scott,
Derrel Weaver
Team Paradigm: Henry Lopez, Nelson Rodriguez, Eric Wiener, Matt Blank, M. Sean
Molley, and Peter Barrenechea
Special Thanks: Russell S. Timm
Except as otherwise identified, all portions of this publication are © 2000-2006 Paradigm Concepts, Inc. All rights reserved.
The mention of, use of or reference to any company, trademark or product in this publication is not a challenge to the
trademark of copyright in question. Dungeons & Dragons ® and Wizards of the Coast ® are registered trademarks of Wizards
of the Coast and are used with permission. The D20 System and D20 System Logo are registered trademarks of Wizards of
the Coast and are used under the terms of the D20 System Trademark License.
Table of Contents
Chapter Six: Feats.............................................74
Chapter One: Canceri’s History........................4
Chapter Seven: Bazaar of the Damned..........81
Chapter Two: Canceri Society.......................17
Chapter Eight: Magic.....................................89
Chapter Three: Canceri Geography...............34
Chapter Nine: Bestiary of Canceri.................111
Chapter Four: The Living and the Dead...........48
Chapter Ten: Dramatis Personae.................134
Chapter Five: Classes.......................................53
They are nothing but filthy heretics and
traitors. Everything wicked comes from
Canceri. They are too far to matter much if
it were not for their knowledge of death, of
war and of blasphemy. The Canceri are the
epitome of wickedness.
Few have reason to trust the Canceri. Fewer
have reason to journey to the land of exile.
None can tolerate their corruption, for
Canceri is the blight of Onara. So foul are
their actions, beliefs and practices, no right-
thinking person could ever bring themselves
to accept their dark ways. In Canceri, men
worship fiends, exploit the physical remains
of the dead for their own fell purposes, and
even go so far as to dismiss the fundamental
teachings of the Mother Church.
Canceri is a nation built on struggle and
survival. Those people who first dwelled
in these inhospitable lands faced famine,
pestilence and war, facing extinction. Without
their conversion and their early acceptance
of dark occult practices, the people of this
nation could never have survived. Their
initial pragmatism evolved into something
darker, something far worse than their
founders could ever have envisioned. This
landscape features vast domed necropolises,
free roaming fiends, cannibals and worse.
Yet, Canceri is not without value, however.
Other nations use the blighted landscape
as a death sentence for their criminals,
banishing those committing heinous crimes
to bleak landscape in the shadow the smoking
mountains of Nier’s Spine, where they eke
out their final days before succumbing to the
endless horrors of death and madness found
there. Those strong enough can survive and
may even prosper, finding the atmosphere
of the place to their liking. As a result, the
nation of the damned winnows away the
weak, pure or just. This nation is a den of
blasphemous thieves, of evil unbound, and of
inconceivable atrocities.
Reader Discretion
Canceri is an evil and awful place, filled
with cannibals, necrophilia, devil worship
and worse. To do this nation justice, we
have taken an unflinching look, covering all
the nasty details, rites and practices of these
people. This subject matter may be offensive
to some readers, so read at your discretion.
The Theocracy of Canceri
As a continuation of the Empire Books,
The Theocracy of Canceri is designed to
enhance and provide further detail for Onara,
the World of Shattered Empires. Building
on the rich details found in the Codex
Arcanis, Living Arcanis: City of Secrets:
The Adventurer’s Guide to Nishanpur , the
published adventures and all the events and
adventures in Living Arcanis , Theocracy
of Canceri provides full disclosure on
this depraved nation. At the core of this
sourcebook is a detailed exploration of the
checkered history of this ancient region,
uncovering every sin, every vice, and every
corruption of the gods those of the Empire
hold dear. More importantly, however, this
sourcebook provides an entire volume of
new rules to create or update your villains,
and make them lasting abominations to be
opposed by your players. On the other hand,
if your players wish to experiment with evil
characters, this sourcebook is the ultimate
authority on the worst in Onara.
The Theocracy of Canceri consists of ten
chapters and one appendix. Opening with the
complete history of Canceri, Chapter One:
Canceri’s History compiles the historical
development of this region into one place,
describing the effects on the territory’s
development, its time under the rule of the
Devil-Kings, its subsequent liberation, the
rise of the Dark Church, the return of the
Sword of the Heavens and the subsequent
events after the Battle of Nishanpur. Chapter
Two: Canceri Society explores the intricacies
of the theocracy, the composition of social
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castes and the impact of the church on the
lives of those living here. The next chapter,
Chapter Three: Canceri Geography provides
a comprehensive overview of the regions,
major population centers, and all the details
needed run a campaign in this land. Chapter
Four: The Living and the Dead presents
details on how to play a dretch demon, while
expanding on the social consequences of
playing an undead character in the world of
Arcanis. Chapter Five: Classes provides new
holy champions of two of the gods of the
Dark Triumvirate, revealing the secrets of
the Nerothian Reaper and the Conflagration
Knight. Furthermore, new prestige classes,
like the Dark Consortand the Ventaka Razor
add a whole new dimension of evil to your
games. Chapter Six: Feats presents a host of
terrible feats to arm your villains or to explore
the depths of mortal sin, while Chapter
Seven: Bazaar of the Damned expands the
core rulebooks by presenting new drugs,
rules for slavery, alchemical concoctions,
and Canceri’s economy. Chapter Eight :
Magic provides a collection of evil spells
and magic items. Finally, the book concludes
with a survey of Canceri’s inhabitants in
Chapter Nine: Bestiary of Canceri, featuring
a collection of nasty creatures, from the
dreaded flesh swarm to the human hating
warped template. Chapter Ten: Dramatis
Personae explores the major characters found
in the nation, and statistic blocks for common
types of characters PCs are sure to encounter.
By the conclusion of this sourcebook, you
should have all the tools needed to unleash
horrors beyond mortal reason into your
About the Author
Robert J. Schwalb is a staff designer and
developer for Green Ronin Publishing, where
he helms projects for Warhammer Fantasy
Roleplay and various d20 supplements. In
addition to his work with Green Ronin and
Black Industries, Robert has freelanced for
Wizards of the Coast, Fantasy Flight Games,
Goodman Games, AEG, Paradigm Concepts,
and Paizo Publishing. His credits include the
Players Handbook 2, Tome of Magic: Pact,
Shadow, and Truename Magic, Fiendish
Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells, Tome
of Corruption, Grimm, The Black Company
Campaign Setting, The Book of Fiends, and
numerous other RPG sourcebooks. Robert
lives in Tennessee with his patient wife and
pride of cats.
Special Thanks
To Henry Lopez, his support and
encouragement made this abomination as
this possible. Next to Anthony Valterra of the
Valar Project, Chris Pramas of Green Ronin
Publishing, M Jason Parent of Ambient
for their assistance in bringing the evil to
Canceri. Also, to my gamers, they really
suffered through the development of this
one. And finally, to my wife Stacee, whom I
hope never sees this book.
Special bonus for Living Arcanis players
Whenever you see this symbol it means that the material is approved for the
Living Arcanis campaign. If the symbol is affixed to a section, all the material under that
section is approved. If the symbol is next to a specific feat, weapon, spell, etc, then only that
specific item in the section is approved for LA play.
For those who have not yet tried the hottest member run campaign in the RPGA, may
want to visit, or www.rpga.
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With the free membership you are eligible to play RPGA-sanctioned events
anywhere in the world as well as gain access to dozens of original Arcanis adventures for
use at conventions, store game days or at home.
Chapter One
Canceri's History
City of Secrets: An Adventurer’s Guide to Nishanpur
presents a comprehensive history of Canceri, detailing
the defining moments in Cancerese history developing
the nation into its modern form. With the rise of the
Sword of the Heavens, his subsequent fall, the life and
death of the Prophet Becherek, and the founding of the
Dark Triumvirate, all the necessary information is there.
However, Canceri, for all of its influences in the modern
world, with all of the evil, horrors, and blasphemous to
bubble up out of the moral morass that is this nation, it is
still home to a diverse assortment of cultures and beliefs,
of moralities and outlooks unique on Onara. Through its
people’s commitment to their religions and mythologies,
the Cancerese are more established theologically than
are any other people in the world. This chapter expands
the established history of these accursed lands, providing
everything needed to play a campaign here.
Myth (Unknown)
In the times before the coming of humanity
to the shores of Onara, ancient myths are still told by
the most sage bards and historians about the tribes of
man who were cast out of the Paradise created by the
Gods. The reason why they were turned out is greatly
debated; some say that mankind displeased the Gods,
while others contend that it was as necessary as a
mother weaning her child off of her natural milk.
Regardless of the reason, mankind soon found
itself alone in a sometimes hostile world. Three tribes in
particular, driven to the barren northern lands, suffered
the most. In this harsh and broken landscape, it was a
struggle just to eke out enough food and fresh water to
survive and so they continued their march ever northward
in the hope of finding some place to call home.
Of those condemned to die in this forlorn
landscape, there were three warring tribes, each so
consumed by their own arrogance and their disdain for
the other tribes that they hoarded what few resources
they could to avert the looming destruction facing them
all, leaving their brethren to the mercy of the harsh
landscape. Animosity flared as the resources grew
sparse and tempers grew even shorter and so the tribes
separated from each other.
Finally, the separate tribes found places that
they could call their own and end their nomadic lives;
a place where there was fresh water and wild herds a
plenty, but this respite was short-lived. Within the year,
they were assailed by horrible winged nightmares that
flew down and plucked from their peoples as a farmer
would pluck apples from his orchard. With each passing
month, their numbers grew smaller, until it was feared
that, as a people, they would not see the next winter.
It was then that it was discovered that though
they were driven out of Paradise, they were not
abandoned by their Gods. In each tribe a person of
faith was found and given a sign. In one tribe, a man
who had thrown himself into a small burrow to escape
the predators was shocked to find a small worm with
a human face staring at him as he hid. This man was
told that this worm was a manifestation of Lord Neroth
and that He had taken pity upon this man’s tribe and
wished to save them from extinction. Lord Neroth
instructed the man that the very earth would provide
protection from these creatures. He told him that his
people should give up living upon the world for within
its bosom was enough water and sustenance for them
to thrive and blossom.
So it was that this man, graced by the
divine power of Neroth, led his people to a series of
underground caverns where they found a luminescent
fungus for light, a large underground lake for fresh
water, and herds of beasts and mushrooms for food.
West of this, a second tribe had also established
a home within the hunting grounds of these foul winged
beasts. Being stone masons of the highest caliber, this
tribe had settled near a vast quarry where the finest
grade stone could be found. Here, they built elegant
homes, crafted statutes of great beauty and rejoiced
that they had fashioned their own Paradise from the
wilderness. This fallacy was revealed with the coming
of the horrors. Having been denied the easy prey of the
first tribe, they turned upon the second nearest one with
a vengeance. Like the first tribe, the people were easy
prey whose beautiful homes offered no protection.
After one particularly horrific attack, one
woman stood outside screaming for her son who’d just
been carried off. A drop fell upon her cheek and she
thought that a fresh rainstorm was approaching, but
upon wiping off the drop, she saw her hands stained
red with blood. Before she could react, more drops
fell until she was being bathed in a shower of blood.
Transfixed by horrors conjured by her imagination, she
discovered that a voice filled her head. ‘Be not afraid” ,
it said. “I am the Lord Sarish, Sanguine Lord and I
have not forsaken you.” I have anointed you with my
sacred blood. With it, you shall protect my people from
these predations.”
Following the Lord Sarish’s instructions, she
gathered together the greatest artists in the tribe and
bid them to create horrific statues of winged beasts
with razor sharp claws. So great was the holy essence
of Sarish upon her, that they did as bade and within the
month had fashioned monstrous, winged gargoyles.
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