"The Faithful"

When Adram was forced to flee for his life, it was the Kanai that pursued him. They hurtled through time and space, battering down the barriers he left behind him. But there were some who were struck by the beauty of his creation and chose to defend him instead. Led by two of their ancient brothers, a small number of Adram's pursuers turned on the rest, destroying most and holding the others back long enough for Adram to seal off his own small piece of the universe, locking them out for what he hoped was forever.

The creatures left behind found themselves in a strange, new world. Where formerly they had existed without organization, they now felt the need for order, perhaps as a result of Adram's direct influence, or perhaps as the more indirect result of their newly begun evolution.

Those who were like-minded joined together to form the nine tribes, each named by its chieftain and represented by a particular color, which is displayed in some way at all times so that they might recognize one another. The Chieftain or Elder of each tribe is usually, as the name implies, the oldest, measured not in actual years but by who can remember the farthest back in time. Memory is sacred to the Kanai, as they see it as the very genesis of their existence in their current form. They respect greatly those who can remember events of the distant past.

Each tribe has a number of Elders between three and seven. These are the founding members, those who were once creatures without form. Their children make up the bulk of the tribes, as most of their offspring have proven infertile, but membership extends as far as the rare third and fourth generations.


BOGAYDA (WHITE): "Traitors." Ironically, the name for those who remained faithful to their original cause, Adram's destruction. Unfortunately for that cause, they are also cowards. This tribe is comprised of all those who fled the First Battle and have since hidden themselves as best they can among the creatures of Shadow and Chaos in hopes that the others will forget they ever existed. They are loosely organized, unlike the other tribes, but they still answer to the most powerful among them, Airavata.

GHANDARVA (GREEN): "Celestial Musicians." The creators of melody. No being can equal their skill with either voice or instrument. They use their talent to great effect - to calm, to enrage, to seduce. Many have hired them to write and perform songs in order to influence others. Their Chieftess is Caitrarathi.

GUYAKA (BROWN): "Hidden." The Guyaka are rarely seen, and they prefer it that way. They long ago distanced themselves from the affairs of other races as well as their own, choosing to spend their lives in isolated regions of Shadow. They often take on the form of geographic features such as rocks, riverbanks and small hills. Their Chieftain is Kamsa.

KALIYA (BLACK): "Dark." The original Necromancers, they are also fearsome warriors. They work their magic and cut down their enemies through intricate dances, the mere sight of which have been known to drive entire armies from the field. Their Chieftess is Kali.

KAVYA (GOLD): "Seers." 'Tuned in' to the universe around them, the Kavyas are able to see events of the past, present, and possible future. Hidden among other species, they have been both hailed as prophets and burned as heretics for their visions. Their fellow Kanai often consult with them. Some legends state that their Chieftess, Gauri, has seen as far as the end of time.

LOKAPALA (GRAY): "Protectors." The smallest but most feared tribe of the Kanai race. Their Chieftain, Benisato, led the revolt against those who sought Adram's destruction. Later, he and two others, Beltempest and Balvinder founded the Lokapalas, each of whom were sworn to defend Adram and his creation, though, over time, they also took on smaller causes.

MOHINI (VIOLET): "Enchanters." They live and breathe magic. Their every action is steeped in it. Any simple task assigned them will be accomplished with some form of enchantment, whether it be moving a mountain, or delivering a tray of tea, both of which they are equally capable of doing. They prefer to be surrounded by beautiful things, hence their love for illusions and enhancements, as well as much time spent in the company of the Sudarsana. Their Chieftess is the first magician, Maya.

NARMADA (BLUE): "Pleasurers." Exactly what one would imagine. The Narmada are purveyors of pleasure. They are skilled in every way one can be made to feel...good. They are equally skilled at making even the most steadfast abstinent fall panting and drooling at their feet. The Narmada are performers, companions, courtesans and concubines, often keeping company with the Ghandarva. Their Chieftess is Nila, also known as "The Irresistible One".

SUDARSANA (RED): "The Beautiful." As their name implies, each member of the tribe is possessed of stunning good looks in any form they assume. They are great diplomats, adept in using their charm and beauty to their fullest advantage. The Sudarsana are also information gatherers. They dwell throughout Shadow as servants and companions to the powerful and influential, each reporting to their Chieftain, Candramas (known in Amber as Caughner, Princess Florimel's personal valet).



The Tanaka are those who dwell beyond Adram's walls. Like any form of life will when secluded from others of it kind, the Tanaka have evolved somewhat differently than their relatives, the Kanai. They have remained chaotic in nature, in both thought and physical form. They favor a system of government wherein strength and violence determine who rules and so have existed in a state of constant anarchy until recently, when the Empress Hramini and her forces brought about a state of relative order.

EMPRESS HRAMINI PRAHJAPATI: The first woman. While all of her people are extremely adept at shapeshifting and capable of assuming any form they choose, she was the first to develop the concept of an entirely female form. It was she who incited her fellow creatures to a frenzied witch-hunt, forcing Adram's flight from his homeland.

Hramini secluded herself from the tumultuous millennia which followed Adram's escape. With her companion, Laertes, and a small band of followers, she eventually emerged from hiding and turned the chaos into an empire, naming herself the Empress of Am Tanaka.

LAERTES: The Empress' advisor, consort and bodyguard, chosen by her because he possessed a clarity of thought that equaled his capacity for violence long before reason was common. He spent much of the time before Hramini's rise to power studying the notes and workings that Adram left behind in hopes of understanding the principles behind them.


The most intelligent and powerful of their kind.  Only Laertes and the Empress herself can be counted among them, as would any of their offspring.

PANEMAYU (Pah-neh-MAH-yoo)

There are 8 Elder Panemayu from which all others are descended, each ruling a nation of Am Tanaka.  Their descendents fill the upper class of Tanaka society.  Highly intelligent, though not as innately powerful as those above them, they seek any position in which they can showcase their talents.  They are ruling lords, wealthy merchants, and advisors to the Royal House.   


Cunning and fierce, they are the most feared warriors on the Tanaka side of Adram's Wall.  They possess an intelligence rivaling that of the Panemayu yet retain a strong bond to the chaos from which their ancestors sprung.  They are physically powerful, highly adaptable and renowned for their fighting prowess.

CAKSUSA (kahk-SOO-sah)

Large, bipedal, demonoid creatures, not exceptionally bright but very strong and well-suited for physically demanding tasks.  They make up the bulk of Am Tanaka's foot soldiers, miners, laborers and guards.  They are also unparalleled shape shifters, able to adapt quickly to changes in temperature, terrain or weather.

MAHISA (mah-HEE-sah)

Tanaka with a dog-like form and intelligence, capable of learning and performing simple tasks with unflagging determination.  They are extremely loyal and are most frequently kept as guards or companions.  They are also skilled hunters able to seek out prey from great distances.