Rakshia (4e Race)
From D&D Wiki
|By Justin Sweet
Highly adaptable insect humanoids that find their homes in some of the most hostile environments
|Average Height: 3'8"-4'2"
|Average Weight: 110lb-190lb
|Ability Scores: +2 Wisdom, +2 Strength or Dexterity
|Speed: 6 squares
|Vision: Low-light vision
|Languages: Common, Deep speech or Thri-Kreen
|Skill Bonuses: +2 Dungeoneering, +2 Acrobatics
|Sensory Antenna: You have Blindsight 2. In addition, you may see with this blind sight while blinded, but you may not while deafened.
|Rakshia Breed: You gain Aquatic Adaptation (bog Rakshia), Earthen Adaptation (Desert Rakshia), or Winged Adaptation (Cave Rakshia) as a bonus feat at first level.
|Natural Scavengers: You gain a +3 bonus to nature checks when scavenging for food. You are immune to food-based diseases, and ingested poisons.
|Masterful Climbers: You always count as being trained in athletics for the purpose of climbing.
Play a Rakshia if you want to...
- Be an insect
- Not worry nearly as much about food or water
- Be an adaptable and unpredictable creature
- Spit acid at your enemies
- Be a member of a race that favors the Fighter, Seeker, and Monk classes.
Rakshia are an insect-like race, covered with hard chitin from head to toe. Rakshia have a slender build and are very short; though they appear more like an adult than a child when looking at the scale of their bodies. Due to their odd physiology they have difficulty speaking most languages and often lisp, slur or have some other minor speech impediment. Rakshia have the appearance of wearing a mask with a pair of humanoid eyes along with sets of smaller insectoid eyes. Rakshia have a thorax sticking out the back of their hips which they must have in order to breed and adapt. Rakshia usually wear minimal clothing as they have no need, normally a small loincloth or wrap around their lower bodies with the exception of armor. Rakshia come in three variants; Bog, Cave, and Desert Rakshia. Most easily distinguished by their gills, wings, and claws respectively.
Most Rakshia were enslaved by the Drow and developed their sentience during this time. They are often treated as property rather than people by other races and as such yern for freedom to go back to the wilds from which they came from. Some fought for freedom, some escaped and others were freed by kind tradesmen and adventurers. Though many Rakshia are free many are still slaves, still hateful towards drow and distrustful of many.
Rakshia tend to be very one with nature. They are sparse about their resources and tend to live sparingly. Cave Rakshia are generally mild mannered and peaceful to others. Bog Rakshia are hostile but not violent, and Desert Rakshia are a feral people that often hunt beast and people alike, though they are willing to pay those who take down large beasts with “useless” trinkets and stones.
Rakshia are very communal tending to be a one-for-all community. Due to their potent stomach acid they can craft surprisingly elegant tools and weapons out of stone and less resistant metals. Due to the Rakshia’s tribal nature other more tribal peoples are more open to them than the more civilized races of the world.
Rakshia are an insect-like race, covered with hard chitin from head to toe. Rakshia have a slender build and are very short; though they appear more like an adult than a child when looking at the scale of their bodies.
Rakshia have a jaw structure of reinforced chitin that act as their teeth. This jaw has a similar shape to a human's teeth, though the jaw is one solid piece rather than several parts. Rakshia do not have any “baby teeth” so to speak, rather their teeth are renewed each time they molt. Additionally, the section of teeth that would be the canines is longer, giving them additional tearing power to their bites.
Rakshia also have a long, tube-like tongue that they use for drinking. Their tongue is also used to assist in speaking and enunciating, similar to both the lips and tongue in human speech patterns. Due to this unusual speaking mechanism, Rakshia often have a lisp, slur, or other minor speech impediments.
Rakshia have a smooth face of chitin with small slits in place of a nose. Their heads have crests and cheek plates that extend back giving them the appearance of wearing a mask. They have insect-like eyes in sets of 2, 4, or 6 in addition to a set of humanoid eyes.
These human-like eyes have eyelids in addition to a nictitating membrane. These eyes sport unusually colorful and complicated irises, dichromats (each eye having a different colour) are far more common in this race than in other races, occurring in about 1 of 100. In addition, Rakshia have between 2 - 5 colours in their eyes. Though there is no limit to what the colours of their eyes can be, vibrant colours are far more common.
Most Rakshia have two sturdy antennae jutting up from their heads that act as ears. They can manipulate them to help determine direction, distance, and even speed to some degree.
Rakshia have many spines coming off of their head. These spines are so dense that they appear to be like hair, though some Rakshia have very few spines or none at all.
Rakshia have two arms with four fingers on each hand. The two inner fingers are normal while the outer two are opposable, like thumbs.
Rakshia also have unusual feet, with three toes at the front and one at the back. These feet are more specialized to climbing, this essentially gives them 4 hands to climb with. In addition, there are various different styles of feet that allow them to have greater stability on some forms of difficult terrain.
Rakshia have another unusual feature; a thorax sticking out from their rear. The thorax is moderately large, extending about half their torso length back from their bodies. Males tend to have thin thoraxes, whereas females have thicker ones. The thorax contains both reproductive organs and a large hormone production center.
These hormones are produced in response to environmental stimuli, and cause the Rakshia to switch their genes on or off to be better suited to their environment. Additionally, these hormones can trigger a forced mutation which allows a radical change in the Rakshia’s physical form. Without the thorax, a Rakshia cannot reproduce or adapt, as this race is most known for. As a side note, although the Rakshia’s sexual organs are quite different from that of other species, the act of procreation is very similar.
Approximately four months after a female is inseminated, she will give birth to her larvae. The larvae will then crawl out and onto the female’s back, where the larva bites into a thinner part of the shell and begins to take nutrients from it’s mother. This soft larvae will mature into a hard larva within a month, having its own shell, well protected from its environment. This hard larva will grow over the course of 6 months, and form a cocoon where about one month later, a newborn Rakshia will emerge.
In addition, the Rakshia have a viscous liquid within their organs that is similar to honey or gel. For them, it is used for both nutrient storage and as a protective layer that helps absorb impacts. This “honey” is also a prized delicacy and in places where Rakshia are more common, they are often used as a staple food due to their convenience and unique taste.
Rakshia almost never wear clothing like other species do. They have almost no need to cover up due to their chitin. Nor any need to compensate for their environment by covering up due to their adaptability. As such, Rakshia clothing is often limited to only a loincloth that covers the groin. Rakshia do wear armor but they are highly minimalistic about what they wear. Rakshia favor the use warpaint to distinguish between one another as well as display their rank in the tribe. Each tribe has its own distinct color of warpaint though it is not known how the tribes know what colours have been taken.
Robes will often be worn as a scarf, sash, or other form of wrapping. Leather armors are usually wraps and bindings with sturdier pieces of leather worn on their chest. Hide is worn in a similar manner to leather, but with the incorporation of larger solid patches in addition to more coverage. Chain armor is worn in a more normal manner, having chain fastened to and padded with leather. Scale and plate armor is worn in one of two ways. Free Rakshia wear it as many other adventures would, with a few extra pieces fastened onto their chitin to hold it in place during combat and everyday tasks. Alternatively, those who are prize fighters, gladiators, or other combative slaves have their armor secured by nailing it and burning it into the chitin, this can damage the chitin and often causes the Rakshia to endure constant pain, though most slave owners only care that it's a cheap and effective method. However a premium bonded armor can allow for an expanded range of motion while still giving the full protection.
Bog Rakshia have exceptionally smooth shells and are often coloured dark green or blue. They have webbing between their fingers and toes, as well as gills in several locations on their abdomen and thorax.
Bog Rakshia average to around 3’5” in height with their average weight about 87 lb. Bog Rakshia’s “honey” is citrusy and greasy, being a deep teal in colour. Bog Rakshia are closely related to the Electric Rakshia, whom are more beastial and can emmit large electrical surges from their bodies.
Cave Rakshia have a rough texture to their shells, which are normally grey or brown. Cave Rakshia also have 2 pairs of wings, similar to that of a dragonfly.
Cave Rakshia are both the lightest and smallest of the Rakshia, averaging 3’ with and a weight of 68 lb.
Cave Rakshia’s “honey” tastes slightly bitter and is very sticky, being a dull purple in colour. Cave Rakshia are also related to the Venomous Rakshia whom are very territorial and share a relationship with spiders.
Desert Rakshia have many small thorns on their body, though only adorning a few places such as the shoulders, back, shins, and forearms. Additionally, Desert Rakshia have semi retractable chitin blades on each arm, allowing them to stab and slash at their foes.
Desert Rakshia are the largest and heaviest of the Rakshia, their weight rivaling that of medium creatures despite their size, with an average height of 3’10”, and a weight of around 103 lb.
Desert Rakshia have a “honey” that is very spicy and also flammable, having a similar consistency to oil, it is a bright orange colour and burns with a deep red flame. Desert Rakshia are related to Flaming Rakshia, a species that produces a much more volatile liquid which is weaponised to great effect. Both the Desert Rakshia and Flaming Rakshia are hostile, but the flaming variety are far more aggressive.
In ages past, the Rakshia were nothing more than simple creatures of the Underdark within the new world. They did not excel at anything, nor were they truly sentient beings. To survive with any success, they needed to adapt. With the ever changing environment of the new world, any specialization they leaned towards became obsolete. However over time, the Rakshia became very adaptable creatures. They could quickly change minor aspects of themselves to make themselves better suited to their environment and the hazards within it.
Throughout the many years of war in the new world, they became the one of the few creatures that would survive with little trouble; nearly regardless of the destruction that was wrought. Their success was mostly due to their adaptability. The Rakshia eventually evolved the ability to enter a metamorphic state on rare occasions. This metamorphosis allowed the Rakshia to change in a more drastic manner to deal with more extreme environment and living conditions or even gain additional features like wings or extra limbs if the need consistently arose. The Drow learned of the Rakshia's unique adaptability and quickly decided to abuse it this new tool.
The Drow enslaved almost all of the Rakshia, forcing these semi-sentient creatures into treacherous labour camps, enforcing a horrendous death as punishment for failure. With many of the less intelligent Rakshia being killed for their mistakes, they began to gain intelligence at a surprising rate, and again Drow took advantage of this. Forcing the Rakshia into increasingly complex and dangerous situations. Eventually - and to the disappointment of the Drow - they discovered that despite the Rakshia's immense adaptability, they still had limits. With many of the Rakshia dying from the extreme conditions, the Drow discovered that the Rakshia could not survive for long with their current treatment. The Drow stopped treating the Rakshia as harshly, allowing them to live like other slaves, and forcing them to do whatever they saw fit. Again the Rakshia's adaptability and newly gained intelligence allowed them to survive well enough within their enslaved world.
Rakshia were often seen as less desirable and cheap slaves since they were still rather simple minded and ugly. During their time of captivity, the Rakshia were always seen as wild creatures and treated as such. Despite the fact that their intelligence and success were nearly on-par with others in captivity. Even among fellow slaves, the Rakshia were treated terribly, and given the worst of the gruel, sometimes forced to eat mere scraps and waste. However, due to the Rakshia's adaptability, they were eventually able to live off of waste and little bits of organic scraps without falling ill. Additionally, the fact that the Rakshia were seen as animals led many of the Drow to slaughter them as if they were livestock when food was scarce.
When the Drow first started to kill the Rakshia for food, they found that the Rakshia were surprisingly edible. The Drow discovered that most of the Rakshia’s body was filled with a sweet and sour thick purple liquid that surrounded the organs. This so called "honey" was not only quite delicious (having a taste similar to sour berries), but was also very slow to spoil and was an incredibly good ration, as it was easy to get and supplemented as both food and water. Since the Drow needed both the food and the slaves many of them decided to remove the abdomens of the Rakshia. This allowed the Drow to collect this honey and continue to use the Rakshia as slaves. Unfortunately for the Drow, they eventually discovered that the Rakshia required their abdomens for both their metamorphic adaptation and to have young. This lead to the eventual death of most of the captive Rakshia populations. The sudden loss of both slaves and resources forced many clans within the Underdark to war, thus igniting the Slave War.
The Rakshia, now both rare and valuable, were seen as more of a trading commodity than slaves. Being both a source of labour and food, the Rakshia were very valuable and were traded between kingdoms and clans in addition to being warred over. As trade commodities, Rakshia were often moved in caravans from one location to the next. Many bandits and raiders tried to attack these caravans and capture the Rakshia for themselves, but they quickly found that this was a terribly bad idea. Once the Rakshia finally had a chance to escape from their enslaved lives, they became incredibly hostile; screeching and attacking anything that came close to them. Since most of these raiding parties were fairly small, the swarms that were carried within these caravans easily overpower nearly any force of bandits. Those that could not, died in combat refusing to stay slaves with this opportunity for freedom within their grasp.
The Rakshia that did become free did not hesitate to flee, leaving primitive signs for other Rakshia to follow them. Most built small humming obelisk that Rakshia can hear with their antenna far easier than others. These Rakshia tried to flee to hostile terrains were few could survive. They eventually found themselves in a large arid desert with hardly even a cacti in sight. These fearsome and ferocious Rakshia became known as Desert Rakshia. These Desert Rakshia became accustomed to the arid environment and desert heat, developing small spines on their shells to store water and changing much of their liquids from water based to oil based, preventing evaporation for most of their fluids. Though these deserts were free from civilization, they were also far from safe. A desert is filled with hostile monsters and vile creatures many of which are gigantic in size. For those who are prepared to fight, these creatures are a daunting force. But for the Rakshia swarms with their massive numbers and fearsome claws, these desert creatures were prey.
Some Rakshia gained their freedom ironically through their slavery. A band of traveling merchants and skilled laborers known as the Green Scale Trades, bought up a large number of Rakshia to be part of their group as unskilled workers. The Rakshia, however, still were not treated well in their new work environment, but were now paid for their labour. The stigma of them being labour beasts rather than workers had not lifted. The Rakshia were still not fed well and were given the worst shelters, if any at all. Those who were highest within the Green Scale Trades did not wish for the Raskhia to be treated so poorly, but the workers and labour masters did not care for the nobles' ideals. As such, Rakshia were again given more dangerous work, having only the old tools to use.
The Rakshia were most commonly sent to work in the festering bogs and swamps of Cal-Nova. They were sent because humans and other more fleshy workers were pestered by mosquitoes and leeches, often falling ill from these pests. The Rakshia had their own problems with these swamps. Working in thick and tainted waters well above their heads, getting the thick muck stuck in or on their carapace, often leading to fungal growth and other infections. Eventually these Rakshia gained resilience to their environment. They were able to work long hours beneath the waters and gained resistances or symbiotic relationships with the fungal growths on their shells. Over generations, these new Bog Rakshia eventually bought their freedom using the gold their earned over the years of their labour.
Most Rakshia were not as lucky as the bog dwellers, nor the desert Rakshia. They had to make their own ways in the Underdark, typically gaining freedom simply by outlasting their masters; often trapped in castle prisons or slave camps, surviving in the blinding darkness off of mold, long dead corpses, and vile water. Even the Rakshia could hardly survive this lack of sustenance; many of them starved to death before they were freed from their prisons, a few managed to escape. Some of these trapped Rakshia learned how to cultivate some of the mushrooms and fungi, allowing them to survive. These Rakshia traveled deep into unexplored and long forgotten caverns, making their homes in the pitch dark. The Rakshia are now known as Cave Rakshia.
Many Rakshia are still slaves, some of them were never freed, others were recaptured and brought back into slavery. The Rakshia that were recaptured remained true to their tribes in both morphology and culture, clinging to their sweet taste of freedom.
Those Rakshia that were never free, or have been enslaved so long that they’ve forgotten what it was like to be free are known as Savage Rakshia. Rakshia have never held a kingdom, made any grand changes or lasting impacts. However, they have been as valuable as gold, and have been the making and destruction of empires. No one knows what lies ahead for these creatures. However, as the world moves forward, they will always be there. Whether they are a bout of plague or a blessing in disguise is for historians to decide.
Attitudes and Beliefs
The attitudes and beliefs of the Rakshia vary from tribe to tribe- breed to breed having larger differences- but all Rakshia live by some sort of creed. They believe that mystical abilities (Primal powers, magic, deities, and psionics) are to be honored and used to benefit the tribe (or group). Rakshia also believe in the cycle of life in a spiritual manner, that it is a process to be respected and honoured. Rakshia always give thanks for food (as they normally don’t have a lot). Additionally, any kill should be honoured for its sacrifice, and as little as possible should be wasted from the corpse.
Rakshia are often wary of those who are kind to them for no notable reason. As such, Rakshia are very nosy as to the reasoning for the actions of others, and often deny unwarranted gifts from travelers and adventurers. This attitude is held for the Rakshia as well, meaning they are not friendly towards others unless they need something from them, and if someone does help them they will do whatever they can to repay those who helped. In combative groups, this often leads the Rakshia to favour those who helped them than those who have not, often leading to many battle pairs working in groups within the tribe.
Rakshia lead difficult lives where food is scarce and predators are abundant. As such, everyone must do their parts and contribute to the group. Those who do not are outcast and shunned, or killed and eaten. Additionally, when times are good, Raskhia don’t relax, but instead take the time to prepare for famine and struggles that may lay ahead.
Rakshia have a hatred for liars, slavers, cruelty, and those who go back on their word. As such, the Rakshia hate the Drow, and this hatred is further fueled by the history between the two races.
Most Rakshian tribes are segregated from society. Many Rakshid are not aware of deities or of any formal form of magic. As such, Rakshia normally believe them to be Primal or Psionic abilities, rather than magic or power from the gods. Additionally, Rakshia are not educated in the most common knowlege of social etiquette and common cultural traits. Though there are exceptions with Rakshia tribes that often interact with traders or local settlers.
Bog Rakshia see themselves as benevolent masters of their swamps, offering travelers safer passage in exchange for resources, tools, or other things they deem valuable. Some will also accept trades to make the path more dangerous for others, by damaging the path, or even attacking and raiding caravans if the pay is good enough.
Cavern Rakshia are similar to hermits, keeping themselves tucked away in their caves, growing moss and fungus to eat. These Rakshia are neither hostile nor friendly towards outsiders and will make fair trades with adventurers in exchange for solving some issues or simply doing labour.
Desert Rakshia are the most hostile and predatory of the Rakshia; often attacking travelers and monsters for food, equipment, and resources. This leaves wastes of treasures laying in the sand, as the Rakshia continue their hunt for food. Rakshia will often lead larger monsters towards a party of adventurers, as they know they can feast off of the corpse without expending much energy. Additionally, they have learned that adventurers are very fond of the “junk” they collect during their attacks and will often pay the adventurers handsomely with gemstones and jewelry.
Rakshia are tribal cave dwellers, they carve the majority of their homes out of the cave walls using their potent acid. Although, some are also built out of bones, hide, or scrap materials. Rakshia also use their acid to carve tools and equipment out of stones and other materials, leading to some surprisingly elegant and effective weapons; often with tribal carvings on the surfaces. Rakshia have many rituals and rites of passage through their communities, separating children from adults, celebrating birth and death, and even some around hunting and farming.
Rakshia are very much a “one for all” community, members focusing more on the well-being of the tribe rather than individual goals and priorities. Rakshia communities also tend to limit their size due to a lack of food or other problems, forcing them to send younger tribe members out on their own or with a mate. Rakshia “marry” for life with a single romantic partner painting matching designs on their crests and abdomens, but Rakshia have several sexual partners. The female that bears the child will raise it with her romantic partner.
Rakshia tribes often have a strong chieftain with knowledgeable elders leading the tribe. These elders look surprisingly youthful, due to how Rakshia age. The only noticeable signs of age for Rakshia are wear marks on their chitin. These leaders stand out because of ornate markings and ornaments on their head. These leaders are treated with more respect than other members of the tribe, but the entire tribe still shares resources with no preference for who gets them.
Those who need to use equipment generally get it, those who fight get weapons, those who farm get farming tools, and this is shared for all things with the exception of food and water. Some tribes are not fortunate enough to have a stable home and are thus nomadic, these tribes carry around all their equipment and food with them; sometimes having dedicated packers who are tasked to tote all of the resources. Desert Rakshia are the most common nomadic Rakshia, though they can have stable settlements within desert caverns. The other breeds of Rakshia are nomadic on rare occasion.
While adventuring, Rakshia are not usually treated well by other races; most often they are considered more as animals rather than people, and generally shunned out of inns. When in a party, they are treated like a pet or slave, and normally have to stay in stables, pens, or sub-par rooms. Drow are especially hostile towards Rakshia, and may try to take them as slaves off of a group of adventurers.
However, when encountering other tribal races, Rakshia are often treated with respect, and seen as brothers of the earth. This often leads to more tribal or nature-embracing races to bridge the gap between Rakshia and the rest of society.
Playing a Rakshia
Rakshia adventures are often filled with turmoil, being hunted, betrayed, or taken advantage of. As such, Rakshia try to take a strong role in the party and stand out as a key member of the party. Rakshia will rather join a party than travel on their own, as it offers them safety from the more intense prejudice and aggression.
Many Rakshia are forced into being adventurers, being chosen to leave their tribe, escaping from slavery, a last survivor from a brutal attack. Rakshia may also be driven by revenge, or a need to repay a debt they owe to a stranger. Sometimes Rakshia adventure for the thrill, or to gain something like strength or knowledge so they can better help those they care about.
Some Rakshia choose to adventure for a greater destiny, to rid the world of some great evil, destroy monsters that ravage the lands, or become a legend: to both inspire and bring the Rakshia closer to being accepted as people.
Rakshia Characteristics: Tribal, Community-oriented, Quick-thinkers, Untrusting, Respectful, Suspicious, Protective, Wary, Adventurous.
Rakshia Names: Rakshia have a given name and a "nest" name which is shared between all members of their community. Although, unlike most races, they have no distinction between male and female names. Rakshia that do not belong to a community have a name based on why they don't have a community. Given names are simple, and come in several varieties. Community names sound softer, whereas lone names sound harsher.
Given Names: Kek, Katir, Vecom, Cahuum, Tekra, Kelom, Xrac, Zalk, Quehom, Aevoon, Jeeon, Valka
Community Names: Breen, Saleom, Pulta, Bekvon, Walel, Preon, Guran, Yebal
Lone Names: Kral (Traitor), Reav (Slave), Eknos (Lost), Vaila (Survivor), Kelra (Killer)
Three sample Rakshia adventurers are described below
Kalisara Eknos is a Rakshia Rogue, She was a hunter of her tribe until it was attacked by raiders, she was one of the captured Rakshia, but managed to escape. Alone and lost, she found a group of adventurers, set upon by a pack of wolves. She leapt into battle and helped the party, she asked that in exchange for helping them, they would help her save what little family she had left.
Darpana Vaila is a Rakshia fighter, he was the prized warrior and guardian of his tribe. One day they were attacked by Drow. The fight was hopeless, but Darpana tried, nonetheless. Fortune had his side, and a team of explorers happened upon the combat and jumped into the battle. Sadly, this help was too late; Darpana was the last surviving member of his tribe. In helping the explorers through the caves, he earned himself a reputation and found himself invited to an adventuring guild.
Mindal Reva is a Rakshia Psion, enslaved to a benevolent wizard whom helped Mindal learn how to use his powers. The elderly wizard has brought together a group of adventurers to investigate some troubling occurrences that his scrying rituals had revealed. Mindal, loyal to his master and trusting of his new allies sets off on his first real adventure.
Rakshia Racial Options
Epic Destinies: Primeval Heart (WIP), Blood Tainted (WIP), Psycho-Kinetic (WIP)
|Your internal gel absorbs shock and dissipates energy, reducing the damage to vital organs.
|Your shell is now more streamline and can move far easier in the water
|Small spines form on the underside of for arm, and can be launched with a quick flick of the arm.
|Your claws are weapons.
|You carry a series of retractable claws on your hands that allow for easy digging, in addition to soft hooks that dig into soft terrain helping you keep a grip.
|A Pair of wings form on your back granting exceptional jumping capabilities
|Your antenna become more attuned to assist your vision giving you great advantage while blinded.
|You gain webbing between your fingers in addition to gills and an even more hydrodynamic shell, allowing you to move through water with the greatest of ease.
|a second set of wing has grown to work in-tandem with the first; enhancing your jumps and allowing for limited flight.
|Concentrated Acid Spray
|Your acid is concentrated to be even more potent
|Your claws are much harder and coated with a weak acid allowing you to dig through tougher substances.
|Your natural weapons grow in power
|Varying circumstances give you a wide variety of adaptations.