The arcane are a race of giant blue skinned merchants that inhabit the SpellJammer universe (AD&D campaign world). These creatures are also referred to as the mercane in some material.

The arcane appear as lanky 12 foot tall humans with blue skin. The only major difference (beside size and skin tone), between them and humans is the fact that they have an extra joint on each finger.

The arcanes are merchants at heart, and they specialize in magical or enchanted items (spelljamming helms are their most common inventory item). They will sell their goods to almost anyone, making no moral judgements as to the use of them. They will happily sell weapons to both sides in a warzone. There are only a few creatures that the arcane won't deal with (the neogi, and extra planar creatures).

One does not find the arcane, the arcane will find them. You could search the largest city for days looking for one, only to have one approach you as you are saddling up your horse (they seem to know when people are looking for them, but they prefer to find their customers, as opposed to being found themselves).

Very little is known about the arcanes culture. They can turn invisible at will, and can teleport for short distances. They use these powers liberally to keep their wereabouts a secret. When one finally does locate an arcane, they will usually turn up with exactly the item you are looking for in hand (or nearbye if it is too large to carry). There is no haggling with the arcane, they will state a price, and that is it. They will quickly leave if you do not agree to their price (you might as well agree, as arcanes everywhere seem to have the same prices on everything).

It is unknown how many arcane there truly are, where they live, or how they travel. As no one has ever encountered an "arcane lair", and they are rarely seen traveling. They just seem to turn up wherever they are needed. Some people say that there are less than a dozen of them in the entire universe, and they simply travel quite a lot. That theory is held up a bit by the fact that you may encounter the same arcane merchant on one planet, then fly to another planet, and encounter the same one again only days later.

Battling an arcane is a rather bad idea, as they usually have bodyguards (hired from the local rabblerousers), and will always turn invisible and flee any battle. Once you attack one arcane, you will find that none of them will ever deal with you again.

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Ar*cane" (#), a. [L. arcanus.]

Hidden; secret.

[Obs.] "The arcane part of divine wisdom."

Berkeley.

 

© Webster 1913.

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