All mortals share two qualities, from the strongest to the weakest of their kind. All mortals fear death and dream of immortality. All mortals hope that they will live forever and will be able to escape from the jaws and snares of death. Sadly, for the incalculable multitudes, few have managed this feat.
The options of how to do so are secret and rare, foolish to attempt and dangerous to practice. Lichdom guarantees everlasting life, but one dulled and robbed of the genuine joys of life. Daemonhood will let you dwell amidst the stars with the everlasting ones, in exchange for everything that makes you human.
The most common way to escape death is to die, over and over again. If one possesses the ability to craft new bodies for himself, then all you need do is evade Death and his minions long enough for your new body to be constructed. Then you will rise and live again.
But those who choose this latter option are not the only fugitives from death. The souls of the dead are known to be allowed to return to Earth on certain days of the year, and sometimes they are permitted to return at other times, as long as the appropriate paperwork has been filed and they passed through customs. These souls are known to return to their homes to see how their family is doing or who is living in their house, or to return to see if anyone still remembers them. Artistic souls return and try to find out if anyone still appreciates their work, while warriors come to investigate the old battlefields and eavesdrop on living generals planning a new offensive.
And while many return, some overstay their allotted time and have to be dragged back by heavenly bounty-hunters and other spirits contracted to capture and return stragglers and escapees. But the most tricky ones to capture are not those who overstay their welcome or attempt to escape from Sheol, but those who never passed through customs to begin with.
I am Rakshasha:
Mortals that dwelt with demons or other evil spirits usually have to face these spirits upon their deaths. Sometimes the demons are just there to gloat, to sneer at the mortal and claim their final victory over the mortal. Other times, they come to take revenge and drag the mortal down into Sheol, where the demon can torture them forever, or at least, for an eon. But other times, they come to mortals and present a bargain. Service and in exchange, life.
Most don't take the deal- they know the demon has them over the barrel and may feel that whatever waits beyond the gates of the underworld is better than slavery to such a wicked creature. But those consumed by the fear of what awaits them or those in the thrall of rapacious passions, obsessed with the idea of domination, corruption and destruction, to them such an offer is too good to be true. They say yes. And once they have served the demon, they are reborn as Rakshasha.
AR varies, see below
Atk varies, see below
Saves (7+SHP) or less
Resistance to bludgeoning and sharp damage from non-magical weapons
Damage Threshold: All Rakshasha have a Damage Threshold equal to the number of SHP (Super Hit Points) they have. If a source of damage does not equal or exceed their Damage Threshold, treat the attack as if it took no damage. If a source of damage equals or exceeds the Rakshasha's damage threshold, it takes 1 SHP of damage. When it loses all of it's Super Hit Points, it dies.
Magic Resistance: Rakshasha have advantage on all saves against magical abilities and spells, as well as anything else the referee would consider "Magic".
Specific Death Condition: All Rakshashas have a specific death Condition. Unless a Rakshasha is killed in a specific way, they will return to life after some time. To determine what this condition is and how long it takes for the Rakshasha to return to life, roll on the table below.
Shapeshifter: Rakshasha can alter their appearance as an action, taking on any humanoid form the Rakshasha has seen or can imagine. The Rakshasha can mimic someone's appearance, but prefers to take on a guise that is unique and suits it's own sensibilities. No matter what form it is in, the Rakshasha's stats do not change.
- Depends on the type of Rakshasha
To customize a Rakshasha, roll on the tables below:
This Rakshasha fights with...
1- A masterwork weapon. This weapon is a 2d6+1 rapier and the Rakshasha can make 2 attacks with it.
2- A magic weapon. The weapon is an iron staff that is imbued with the power of Chaos. The staff can (1/Day) turn any non-magical, non-living object into a 1d6 [1= Snake that obeys no one- venom is 2d6 poison damage, save for half; 2= A sphere of ball lightning that strikes the first creature it touches, doing 1d6 lightning damage; 3= A tiny construct that runs around breaking stuff and causing mischief, it dies after 1d10 minutes or when destroyed; 4= A swarm of scorpions that obey no one; 5= It makes the object glow red then explode in a 2d6 fireball after 1 round; 6= raw beef.] By itself the staff does 1d6 magical bludgeoning damage and the Rakshasha can make three attacks, each one doing 1d6+2 damage.
3- Barehanded, the Rakshasha knows one of the Fist Arts. The Rakshasha is a(n) 1d3 [1= Journeyman; 2= Expert; 3= Novice of 1d3 Fist Arts] in his chosen Art(s). The Rakshasha can make 3 1d6 unarmed attacks or 2 1d8 unarmed attacks. The Rakshasha adds his STR modifier to the damage done by these strikes.
4- Barehanded, the Rakshasha's transformation gave it great strength and power. It needs nothing to but bare hands to beat you to death with. The Rakshasha's unarmed strikes do 1d8 damage and he has a STR of 18(+3), so he makes two 1d8+3 attacks.
It is protected by...
1- An ordinary chain shirt. This grants it +1 AR. It is also concealable under regular armor or clothes.
2- A shield. The Rakshasha's servants constantly carry one with it. Grants +1 AR plus a variety of bonuses to various saves, see here.
3- A magical amulet. This Amulet gives the Rakshasha 10 temporary HP in the form of a magical shield. This shield replenishes itself on a roll of a 5-6 and the Rakshasha can roll 1d6 each round on his or her turn.
4- A magic ring. The ring can, for X minutes per day, create the impression that you are just slightly left or right than you actually are, giving all attack rolls a -1d4 penalty to hit. The ring's effects lasts for a number of minutes equal to the user's CHA modifier and can be switched on or off at will.
How can it die?
This Rakshasha's specific death condition is...
1- Death by impalement.
2- Death by burning/fire.
3- Death by decapitation.
4- Death by having its heart cut out.
5- Death by being drowned.
6- Death by being buried alive.
7- Death by being poisoned.
8- Death by dismemberment.
What happens if it doesn't die that way*?
The Rakshasha returns to life after...
1- 1d6+3 months
2- 1 year
3- 1d6 years
4- 1d10 years
5- 1d20 years
It returns to life by...
1- A woman gets pregnant, even if she takes precautions, is too old, or is infertile. The pregnancy goes much faster than normal, lasting only a couple of months to a week. The child that is born is a miniature Rakshasha. The child swiftly grows to maturity, then abandons its mother and returns to its scheme.
2- The Rakshasha's corpse or tomb is struck by lightning and regenerated back to perfect health. The Rakshasha rises from the grave, reborn.
3- The Rakshasha possesses a living person who has been marked by the Rakshasha. The person's soul is parasitized and eventually, overcome as the Rakshasha dominates it and eventually subsumes it into itself or drains it of all Vita and then expels it from the body
4- The Rakshasha has a supply of spare bodies concealed somewhere in the world. The Rakshasha's soul is released from service and it returns to possess one of these bodies.
*Rakshasha know that they will only die for good if killed in a specific way, and they know how that is. Thus, while death is an inconvenience, Rakshasha might let themselves be killed if there is no better option. Alternatively, if their enemies know that they can only die in a particular way and the Rakshasha is aware that his or her enemies know this, they will kill themselves rather than face the risk of the final death.
Rakshashas are all schemers and manipulators. They all have goals vast and terrible in scope, and pursue them eagerly. This is one of the few commonalities among the strange multitudes of their kind. They have few others, being as varied in appearance as they are in motivation. They are all creatures of great wealth- either having wealthy admirers in this world who will fund their activities, or they can draw upon the fortunes that they stored up in their other lives before this latest reincarnation. These large fortunes are usually used to hire servants, bribe allies or enemies and to hire capable men with few scruples. Another commonality among them is that they all love luxury- they dwell in urban areas and use their accumulated wealth to live in debauched opulence. Depending on the culture they live in, they may revel in public, or they may conceal their indulgence behind masks of decorum and piety.
The last and final commonality among all Rakshashas is that they are liars all, gifted and talented in the art of deception. They are very good at it, cloaking themselves behind multiple layers of deceit. A Rakshasha may pretend to be a generous noble, but then you may discover he is not all he seems. Then the Rakshasha will maintain his deception, but insist that he is not as generous or benevolent as he claimed to be, but is instead pursuing this goal for selfish reasons. And if you dig further, you may discover he has even darker motives. At this point, the Rakshasha may resort to black-mail, intimidation, bribery or assassination, but it will keep up the facade that he is still this noble, even if you think this noble evil. You will likely not find out that the Rakshasha was a Rakshasha at all, until you lay dying, and the Rakshasha takes off his mask to gloat and see your fear as the light leaves your eyes for the last time.
What type of Rakshasha is it?
Rajatani are created from the souls of those who crave power above all else, those who will backstab, lie and cheat to claw their way to the top. In their first life they were those who had power and craved more, or had none and were willing to do whatever it took to obtain it. They were princes and scheming viziers, judges and generals, courtiers, groveling administrators and eunuchs.
Rajatani usually operate by posing as someone important, but not central- not the King, but one of his wise men; not the richest man in town, but still a wealthy merchant. Someone who has power and influence but doesn't dominate the stage. They will then focus on infiltrating high society and gaining access to the levers of power. They will seduce the necessary people with promises of promotion and glory, manipulating them through guile and honeyed words. Sometimes they will also trick or provide one of these people with the chance to do something immoral and use it that information to black-mail and control that person.
Unlike other Rakshasha, Rajatani are extremely patient and avoid direct action whenever possible. They are also known to avoid violence unless absolutely necessary, or if it will not threaten their plan. They are most in favor of letting others take risks for them and letting others handle their dirty work. They conceal themselves behind shields of status and institutional authority, then pervert and twist the institutions to suit their needs and take control of them.
In their true form, Rajatani have the head of a...
Mind Reader: Rajatani can, as an action, sense the surface thoughts of any creature they can see. They can only see the creature's surface thoughts, meaning whatever topic most occupies the creature's mind at the moment. If you say, "Don't think about a pink elephant", odds are most people will start thinking about a pink elephant, for example. A creature whose thoughts are being observed can eject the Rajatani by beating it in a COG contest. On a success, the Rajatani is forced from the mind of that creature and cannot read their mind for 1 hour or until that creature loses mental focus- such as when it is in pain, intoxicated or sleep-deprived.
Innate Spellcasting: Rajatani have Mana Dice equal to their SHP. They can cast the following spells as an action. These spells do not trigger Chaos or Corruption, but the Rajatani's MD do burn out as normal. The Rajatani knows the spells: Charm Person, Fly, Illusion, Invisibility, Levitate, Mental Dominion, Perfect Illusion and Suggestion.
Mark of the Ravenous: Rajatanai can, by touching a creature, mark that creature. This mark allows the Rajatani to imbue that creature with one of the Rajatani's inflamed passions or vile desires, which afflict the marked like a curse. These desires vary from Rajatani, but are generally terrible sins such as sexual perversion, greed, hubris, cowardice, an inability to control one's rage or egomania. This mark can be removed by the Rajatani as a free action or will fade after months of abstinence from the actions that feed that passion. For example, greed is broken by taking an oath of poverty, perversion by abstinence, cowardice by heroic moral or physical courage.
- Avoid combat unless absolutely necessary
- Use stealth, illusions and invisibility to get the upper hand
- Use Mental Dominion to turn the tables or create an opening to escape
Dandasukas are created from the souls of those who loved murder and manipulation. They were souls who did not want power over society, but only over their victims. In life they were killers, cannibals and other depraved criminals who primarily harmed others for their own sadistic amusement, not to advance any cause or prove a point. When they didn't do that, they might have been weird, but they could have just as easily been seemingly normal members of society, the type of person who people would be shocked was capable of such acts. Now that they have been reborn, some choose to drop the act entirely and become terrors in the night, while others use their newfound powers to elevate their deceptions to even greater heights.
Dandasukas operate usually by entering a civilized environment and setting up as a business owner or a merchant. They are never poor, but never too prosperous either. Someone who fits into the middle of society, who has little interesting or notable about him. Someone helpful, a man you could trust. Depending on their specific goals, they may travel or they may remain sedentary. The Dandasuka will then craft an alternate persona, which it will use for it's evil actions. During the night it will adopt the persona of the monster, but during the day it will be your friend, neighbor and ally. From here depends on what it wants.
While some Dandasukas are content merely to kill and commit terrible crimes, others have grander visions that they advance in secret. Depending on that agenda, the actions of the monster persona will vary. It may be a solitary hunter, it may seek to infiltrate and co-opt existing criminal networks, or it may seek to enter and control the centers of power. Regardless, it will be a careful deception which slowly, inevitably oozes through the cracks and poisons the place the Dandasuka dwells in. And as they stay still, the city, people and land around them will slowly be poisoned with vice, crime and a palpable air of corruption.
In their true form, Dandasukas have the head of a...
3- Ant or Termite
Ripping Jaws: Dandasukas can, as an action, unhinge their jaws and open their mouths impossibly wide, then make a bite attack against a creature within melee range. The bite attack does 2d8 damage, but the target subtracts their AR from the damage done. If the Dandasuka injures a creature, it regains X SHP, where X is that creature's HD.
Mark of the Devoured: A Dandasuka, if it has injured a creature, can force it to save as an action. On a failed save, the creature's open wounds start bleeding. This does 1d6 HP damage and 1 CON damage a round. If this damage reduces a creature's HP to 0, it immediately gains the "Bleeding Out" condition, as if it suffered a Horrible Wound. If the creature's CON drops to 0, the creature falls unconscious and cannot move or act. The only way to stop the flow of blood from this wound is with healing magic, or by anointing the wounds with a potion made from a powerful healing reagent, such as Trollflesh or shavings of Unicorn horn. Creatures who are at below half HP make the save against this ability with disadvantage. Stopping the bleeding also does not remove the mark, which can only be removed with a willing sacrifice of blood.
- Separate one from the herd
- Pick him off
- Attack with Ripping Jaws if injured or if you need a quick kill
- If in danger of being killed, mark the survivors and flee
Marai are created from the souls of those who pursued arcane power at the expense of all other things. The proto-liches, the questing Sages, the occult scholar, those who valued the power and knowledge over morality or even ambition. Marai were those who sought immortality through the path of sorcery but failed, or those who performed unethical experiments and were slain for it, either by their own hand or the hand of the executioner and the agents of Law. As such, Marai tend to hold such institutions in contempt, striking out on their own. Unlike other Rakshasha, who gleefully revel in wickedness or mask their cruelty behind masks of charm and warmth, Marai deny that they did anything wrong at all. To them morality is but a way for the lowly to hold down the great, to restrain them and to make themselves feel better for the inadequacy. In life they were often weak, perhaps they were women, or simply men who lacked the necessary gifts to be powerful.
Marai are sorcerers still, and have the goals of sorcerers. They use their talent and knowledge of magic to perform wild experiments and attempt things never done before. Like Liches, they usually have vast projects that if successfully completed, could dramatically alter the fate of the entire world. But unlike the Lich, Marai are consumed by the need to move quickly and never slow down. They are often impulsive and impatient, and this can easily lead to their secret laboratories and hidden workshops being discovered, often by neighbors concerned on the strange monsters crawling out of the sewers of the strange lights above the farm.
In their true form, Marai have the features of women merged with those of a monstrous serpent, slit-pupil eyes, fine scales covering their skin, long fangs potruding over the gums.
Each of their arms also are transformed into...
Serpents. These serpents can either make a 1d6 bite attack or spit their venom. If the Marai spits venom instead, the creature targeted must save. On a failed save, they are hit by the venom. On a successful save, the creature evades it. Creatures with a shield make the save with advantage.
To determine what venom the Serpent carries, roll on the table below, rerolling duplicates:
1- Blinding. Any creature exposed to this serpent's venom takes 1d6 COG damage a round. If this damage reduces the creature's COG to 0, it is blinded.
2- Paralyzing. Any creature exposed to this serpent's venom takes 1d6 STR damage a round. If this damage reduces a creature's STR to 0, it is paralyzed.
3- Agonizing. Any creature exposed to this serpent's venom feels agonizing pain whenever they attempt to move. Such a creature takes 1 damage when moving and 1d4 damage when attacking or making another non-movement action.
4- Halluciogenic. Any creature exposed to this serpent's venom starts hallucinating for 1d4 hours. This time is extended by 1 hour by successive exposures.
5- Acidic. This serpent can spit balls of acid that do 1d6 damage plus 1d6 damage a round the acid isn't diluted or washed off. This acid can dissolve armor, weapons, clothing and organic material, anything that isn't plastic, ceramic, stone designed to resist strong acids or magical. The acid can be neutralized with a strong base or diluted by large amounts of water or other fluids.
6- Burning. This serpent can spit balls of fire that 2d6 damage, save for half. They also set objects on fire, causing creatures to take 1d6 damage a round if they are on fire until they take an action to put out the flames. If bitten by this serpent, the magical flames in the serpent set the creature's blood on fire, causing tongues of flames to burst from it's open wounds. This does 1d6 CON damage a round. If this reduces a creature's CON to 0, a pillar of flame floods out of the creature's mouth and nose, after which the creature dies (unless somehow immune to fire damage or other special circumstances- Referee's Discretion). The only way to extinguish these flames is to shove the creature underwater or otherwise deprive the flames of oxygen.
7- Chilling. This serpent can spit balls of blue-white fire that do 2d6 cold damage, save for half, sucking the heat out of a creature. If bitten by one of these serpents, a creature takes 1d6 CON damage a round. If this reduces a creature to 0 CON, that creature freezes solid. The only way to prevent this is to expose the creature to an equivalent amount of fire damage (ti the initial bite). This serpent's venom can also be neutralized by a burning serpent and vice versa.
8- Necrotizing. This serpent can fire rays of photo-negative looking energies at a creature. These do 1d6 necrotic damage and inflict a -1 penalty to attack per successful hit. This penalty stacks with successive hits. These rays also ignore non-magical armor. Any Undead hit by these rays is instead healed for 1d6 HP. Any creature bitten by one of these serpents takes 1d6 DEX damage a round and grows clumsier. If this damage reduces a creature's DEX to 0, that creature dies. The only way to stop this damage is to expose the creature to a source of radiant damage.
9- Wailing. This serpent can fire waves of concussive sound that do 1d6 thunder damage and force a creature to save or be thrown 30' backwards and knocked prone. This damage ignores non-magical armor. Any creature bitten by ones of these serpents takes 1d6 COG a round. If this reduces a creature's COG to 0, the creature is deafened.
10- Shocking. This serpent can fire lightning bolts that do 1d6+X lightning damage, where X is the number of metal items a creature has on its' person or in its inventory. This damage ignores non-magical armor. If bitten by this serpent, the creature exposed to the venom becomes magnetized, and all creatures making attacks with metal weapons have advantage on their attacks, while metal items stick to that creature.
11- Crushing. This serpent can fire rays of purple energy that if they hit an object, allow the Marai to manipulate that object as if she was touching it and had a STR of 16(+2) as if she had telekinesis. If a creature is bitten by one of these serpents, the Marai can manipulate the creature like it was one of those objects, and can do 1d6+2 damage to it as an action on behalf of this serpent. However, if she takes damage or is otherwise distracted, she must save. On a failed save, she loses control of any objects she is controlling with this serpent's venom.
12- Loving. This serpent can spit clouds of pink smoke that surround one creature. That creature must save or be charmed to the Marai for 1d10+10 minutes. The creature will not take any action to harm the Marai and must save upon seeing others try to hurt her. On a failed save, the creature will attempt to stop the others from hurting her. If bitten, the creature takes 1d6 CHA damage a round. If this reduces a creature's CHA to 0, the creature falls under the influence of the Marai and will serve her faithfully for 1d6+1 days, with successive bites extending this period by 1d6 days.
Unless otherwise specified, the venom from any of a Marai's serpents can be cured with an antidote, antitoxen or with magic designed to purge poison.
Spellcaster: Marai are spellcasters. They have MD equal to their SHP and trigger chaos on a roll of doubles or triples. Their MD also burn out on a roll of 5 or 6. Marai know the spells: Destructive Wave, Dimension Door, Finger of Death, Fireball, Flesh to Stone, Fly, Mirror Image and Wall of Force.
Chaos of the Marai: Roll 1d6 on this table each time the Marai rolls doubles or triples.
1- One random person around the Marai turns to stone. After 1d10 minutes, they must save. On a failure, they are stone forever. On a success, they turn back, confused but okay.
2- A lightning bolt flies down and strikes the nearest tall or metal object near the Marai. Hopefully this is a tower, and not a warrior on a horse. Does 1d10 damage to things that could be damaged by lightning such as trees, horses, or people. Does not harm things made of stone or metal.
3- A cloud of gas pours of the Marai's every pore. This gas does 1d3 damage to everyone nearby and causes temporary insanity. It is dispersed like a normal cloud of gas.
4- A cloud appears over the Marai and starts raining down 1d6 (1= gasoline; 2= blood; 3= salt water; 4= chunks of meat; 5= skulls, hands and small bones; 6= live fish).
5- All creatures within 50' of the Marai must save. Those who fail their save stop being affected by gravity for 1d6 rounds and start floating into the sky. This affects the Marai too. After 1d6 rounds, all creatures become affected by gravity as per normal.
6- For the next 1d10 minutes, as long as the Marai is within 100', no one can die, for any reason. This lasts just long enough for you to accept the idea you are immortal. People can still be injured and injuries remain once the time limit is up. Ex: Someone suffering from a fatal wound during this time will not die, just be in a lot of pain, but once the d10 minutes are up, they will go back to dying.
Mark of the Parasitized: A Marai can, as an action, mark a creature by touching his body. As an action, the Marai can cause the creature to take 1d6 FS damage and regain 1 MD. If the creature has MD, the Marai just steals one of those instead. If a creature has neither MD nor FS, the mark does 1d6 HP damage, but this damage is non-lethal and if it reduces a creature to 0 HP, that creature is just rendered unconscious.
- Open with a powerful spell that could affect all nearby enemies
- Pepper the survivors with a bombardment of attacks from the serpents
- Mark the spellcasters or the strong fighters, steal their power as needed
Naztharune are created from the souls of assassins, spies and manipulators, whose who sought power through covert means but never cared for the trappings of power, nor for the glory of the crown. These cold and violent souls sought to use others like tools and always took pains to conceal themselves. They recognized that though the King is the most important piece, it is still a piece. The safest piece to be is not any piece, but the player who controls the pieces. In life, they were unobstrusive figures who worked in darkness and obscurity, but nonetheless had great influence. They were spy-masters, assassin-kings, information brokers, banksters and money-lenders. Now, freed from the restraints of their old life, they have become terrible predators once more.
Naztharune enter a city and pose as someone important, usually a foreigner or a trader. They then ingratiate themselves to the rulers or the elite through choice bits of information about the enemies of their mark or marks and slowly but surely curry favor and gain influence over their prey. Soon they are essential, something the elite didn't know they needed until they had the Naztharune. From there, the Naztharune will continue accumulating power until they are pulling all the strings, carefully managing the stage-play so that no one, not even the puppets, are aware that they are being controlled. They are subtle and precise and prefer deceptions without coercion, as black-mail and other emotional strategems seem untrustworthy to them. They do not trust, but rely on mutual calculations of usefulness, which is better. For this reason, they are unsentimental and have no problem disposing of a piece that is no longer useful.
In their true form, Naztharune have the head of a...
Vanish: Naztharune can, as an action, conceal themselves in magic, cloaking themselves in an aura that causes creatures nearby to overlook them, their mind being nudged to see the Naztharune as part of the background or an unimportant detail. However, because creatures still subconsciously perceive the Naztharune, if it starts doing something interesting, important or dangerous, the creatures who could perceive the Naztharune get a save to try and perceive it. For example, if the Naztharune was leaning up against a wall in the far corner of a bar, no one would pay it any attention. But it was making a big speech or attacked someone, people would suddenly notice it. Creatures may receive a penalty or a bonus to perceive the Naztharune depending on how important or flashy the action the Naztharune is taking (Referee's Discretion). For example, stealing something out of a safe you are supposed to be guarding is a very important action, but smoking in the corner is not.
Assassinate: If a Naztharune attacks a creature from surprise, the Naztharune may roll it's damage di(c)e twice and add the results together for damage dealt.
Mark of the Hunted: If a Naztharune touches a creature, it can leave a mark on that creature. This mark is subtle and isn't likely to be immediately noticed, unless it is on some obvious part of the body. This mark allows the Naztharune to find the marked creature anywhere on this plane of existence, knowing their exact location. The Naztharune can also "look" through the mark as if it was an eye and "hear" everything said around the mark as if it was an ear. This mark can be removed through an act of heroic courage, which wipes away the mark.
- Avoid fighting unless you have an overwhelming advantage
- Attack from stealth when the target is vulnerable, alone or otherwise easy prey
- Never engage in a pitched battle unless you have a plan for how to win and how to escape
Tatakas are created from the souls of blasphemers, rebels, traitors and infidels. Those who rejected the laws of God and King and sought to overturn throne and altar, the miscreants who revolted against the Law, those who sought to tear down society to reign over the ashes, these are the Tatakas. These violent souls were given a second chance, not to redeem themselves, but to bring the war anew to their foes. Tatakas were generals, commanders, cult leaders and would-be messiahs in their past lives, and they continue walking these paths once reborn. Tatakas are the least subtle of the Rakshasha, for instead of concealing their power and moving in the shadows, they flaunt their abilities and use them to attract followers. They assemble armies and unite warbands into vast coalitions, then lead them in raids and wars of conquest. Many a peaceful golden age has been shattered by a Tataka, who bring the fury of iron and blood down upon a peaceful land.
Tatakas usually begin by approaching the leaders of small warbands, militant cells or lieutenants in greater armies and sway them with talk of conquests, honor and glory. They use their powers to impress the leaders and prove to the soldiers that they are aided by higher forces. They are good at giving speeches and persuading rough, masculine men of the virtues of any particular cause. A Tataka is likely to walk somewhat openly, adopting less obvious personas only when stealth is part of a strategy or for dramatic flair. If you are facing an enemy general who is said to have magical powers, be protected by God or has a habit of appearing or disappearing only to suddenly reappear in another battle on the other side of the country, you might be dealing with a demigod, or perhaps a Tataka.
In their true forms, Tataka have the head of a...
3- Great Ape
4- Distorted Humanoid face (Ogre-like)
Aura of Red Terror: A Tataka possesses an aura of terrible power around it. If in combat against a Tataka, all creatures must save. Those creatures who fail their saves take 1d6 COG damage a round. If this damage reduces a creature to 0 COG, it flees in a blind panic and gains the Conviction, "I am terrified of [Tataka's name] and will not fight him again." Creatures must also save again if the Tataka kills any of their friends or does something that makes the players, not the characters, worried. The Tataka can turn this aura on or off at will.
Growth: Tatakas can grow up to two size categories from their starting Large size (Small-->Medium-->Large-->Huge-->Colossal). For each size category the Tataka grows, they get +1 AR and -1 to Attack. However, on a hit, they do +1d4 damage per size category they are larger. However, this additional damage is only added after a hit is confirmed.
Shrink: Tatakas can, as an action, shrink up to two size categories from their starting Large size. For each size category a Tataka shrinks, it gets +1 to attack but -1 AR (min 0). This bonus to attack gained from shrinking is not added in as additional bonus damage, however.
Mark of the Maddened: A Tataka can, as an action, place a mark on a creature's body by touching it. At any point, the Tataka can activate all or just one of these marks. When it does this, the creature whose marks were activated fly into a blind rage and attack any creature they identify as an enemy around them. These creatures do +2 damage but receive a -2 AR penalty as they fight recklessly, with no regard for their own lives. Creatures who rage like this fight until they die, fall unconscious or until there are not enemies left. A Tataka can remove the mark from a creature by touching it in the same place it placed the mark. The mark can also be removed by practicing strict mental discipline or taking an oath to do no harm to any living thing for several months or longer.
- Charge in and trample your enemies underfoot
- Grow larger to smash weak opponents
- Shrink to fight stronger or harder hitting opponents
- Drive some of your warriors into a maddened rage as an opening gambit or to escape
- Retreat reluctantly, only when all hope is lost
Amanusyas are created from the souls of women, specifically women who used their beauty and physical gifts in perverse and destructive ways. Those women who used sensuality as a weapon, who corrupted their marks and manipulated them through the use of their wiles. Amanusyas were once mistresses, seducers and manipulators, those who hated their own weaknesses and loved the power that they felt when leading people around by the nose. By the end of their lives, most of them reduced to insanity as their out-of-control passions devoured them from within, leaving them husks of what they once were. What was reborn has almost nothing to do with the people those women once were- all that is left is a husk, a sinuous shell that is hollow on the inside, utterly dominated by the urge to consume others and to receive pleasure, power and other boons in exchange.
Amanusyas corrupt others with the pleasures of the flesh, but also with other rewards, heroism, fame, gold and glory. They are highly skillful manipulators and are very gregarious. Unlike some other Rakshasha, which regard mortals only as tools or annoyances, Amanusyas actually take the time to get to know them. They take great pleasure in befriending their victims and learning their habits and weak points before exploiting them. They live to corrupt mortals, pandering to them and manipulating their passions. This is their favorite form of control, they dislike threats or black-mail as crudity.
They are also known to cultivate relationships with mortals and by making the mortal fall in love with them, they can manipulate their prey through the victim's own feelings of love, responsibility and kindness. That being said, such relationships do not always work out. Amanusyas are corrupted by their own desires- they are ravenous and it is exhausting and difficult for them to restrain these to appear normal and should their mark find out, that often undermines the deception. It is hard to convince someone you are a meek and chaste heiress when he finds out that your male bodyguards double as your paramours.
Amanusyas in their true form resemble human women with their heads twisted around backwards, their hands reversed and their tongues unnaturally long, lolling down to the small of their backs.
Alluring Aura: Amanusyas have a constant aura of charm around them, but it is a subtle aura, not easily noticed. Creatures who can see or hear her must save. Creatures who are attracted to the Amanusya make this save with a penalty, those who are not attracted to make this save with a bonus. The Referee may also roll this save in secret. Any creature who fails his save takes 1 COG damage for nice thing an Amanusya does for him, such as being kind to him, serving him food, giving him a shoulder to cry on, etc. If they intimate physical contact, this damage increases to 1d6 COG. Any creature who is reduced to 0 COG by the Amanusya becomes hopelessly enraptured by her, and will gain the Conviction, "I am in love with [Amanusya's name] and would do anything for her." He will not want to hurt her or do anything that would upset her.
Mark of the Enslaved: An Amanusya can alter the nature of her alluring aura, transforming it into one of psychic slavery. Any creature who has taken COG damage from her aura must save. Those who have taken COG damage get a penalty equal to the number of nice things/favors she has done for them. On a failed save, these creatures fall under the direct control of the Amanusya and she can order them to do things on her turn as a free action. Creatures reduced to 0 COG by her aura fail this save automatically.
Venomous Saliva: Amanusyas can alter their saliva to make it have specific qualities. They can give their saliva a narcotic quality- anyone who drinks it takes -1 damage from all sources and becomes immune to pain for 1 hour (or longer, depending on the amount they consume). They can also give their saliva a paralytic quality- anyone who ingests it takes 1d6 DEX damage. If this reduces a creature's DEX to 0, the creature is paralyzed. This venom can also be smeared on a Amanusyas' weapons and applied on a hit.
If a creature sees the Amanusya behaving in a cruel or vicious manner, he can make a new save. If he makes the new save, he starts recovering 1 COG each day he is not around the Amanusya. Additionally, if she does something cruel to him, he will become immune to her aura for 1d8 hours if his COG is severely damaged, or 1d4 days if it is only mildly affected. Her using 'Mark of the Enslaved' and him passing his save will automatically count as her doing something vicious to him.
The effects of an Amanusyas' saliva wear off after 1 hour and can be purged by magic that is designed to remove poisons or a greater antidote.
- Avoid combat when at all possible
- Stimulate then manipulate the passions of your mark
- Use your Alluring Aura to subtly control those around you
- If in combat, dose your strongest opponent with your paralytic saliva
- Have your slaves take the risks and use your saliva to make them fearless
Avataranas are created from the souls of those who had no identity while they were alive, or those who had their's stolen. They were those who toiled in obscurity, those who sought something more and were soundly rejected. They were tiny cogs in enormous machines, but longed to be more. They were the faceless, denied even the chance to rise above their lowly origins. They were those who, when faced with suffering, allowed it to corrupt and poison their hearts. They were cruel and vicious in their desperation, so eager to be seen and heard that they were willing to do anything to achieve this, even horrible atrocities. Now, in death, they have been remade into walking grotesqueries, granted great power and the ability to become anything, except for who they are.
Avataranas have the ability to possess people, and this is how they use it. They find an appropriate target, usually a semi-important person with access to the upper rungs of society. Taking control of that person, they do their best to imitate that person's routine and habits, and use them to gain access to more important people. The Avatarana then switches bodies, after doing something to neutralize their previous host, sometimes by putting the creature in a position that would kill it then exiting the body, or committing a monstrous crime and leaving it's former victim to deal with the fallout while it escapes to a higher-status person. Avataranas continue this process for as long as possible, jumping up higher and higher, using the power and resources of their various hosts to crush and degrade those around them. Avataranas usually have little fear of being caught, but when they are, they never fight, but withdraw and flee, only attacking if they have no choice or are pursued. They usually just use their ability to erase memories to eliminate all traces of it from the minds of the pursuers, then it slips away into the grey mists of anonymity.
Avataranas in their true form resemble quadrupedal humanoids with a second pair of arms replacing their legs. They walk on all fours like a big cat, moving with supine grace. Their bodies are grey and featureless, stripped of any markings of identity. Their faces are concealed behind a mask of taunt skin that covers it. This is not their skin, but is affixed to them and cannot be removed. Occasionally, you can see the faint impressions of a face twisting behind this mask of skin, pressing against it, but these impressions are quickly lost.
Possession: If an Avatarana makes contact with a creature's body, it's flesh gains a liquid quality and it begins to flow into the creature's pores, mouth, nose and any open wounds the creature has. Each round the creature may attempt a STR check, contesting the Avatarana's CHA check. Avataranas have a CHA of 16(+2). If the creature wins, it manages to pull part of the Avatarana out of its body. If the Avatarana wins, it slithers deeper inside the creature's body. If the Avatarana wins three of these contests, it is able to enter the creature's body and possesses it. The creature is imprisoned within it's own mind, unable to do anything but watch as the Avatarana controls it. If the creature wins, the Avatarana is expelled from the body of the creature.
When an Avatarana possesses a creature, any physical damage to the creature's body is taken by that creature, while any magic that affects the spirit (necrotic, radiant, psychic) is split between it and the creature it is possessing, unless the attacker has some way of specifically targeting the Avatarana. Additionally, should the creature the Avatarana is possessing die, this does not kill the Avatarana, which can merely re-liquefy it's body and slither out.
The Knife of Loneliness: Whenever an Avatarana injures a creature, that creature loses their memories of the last 1d10 minutes. If an Avatarana is given more time, it can also pour through a creature's memories and carve out those that it chooses. Those memories are then lost. The Avatarana cannot erase memories based on muscle memory and long amounts of practice, but it can erase intellectual knowledge and other memories. For the latter type of memory removal, creatures get a save to resist.
Mark of the Faceless: An Avatarana can, as an action, mark a creature by touching it. A creature marked in this way becomes unrecognizable to anyone who knows that creature and barely noticeable to anyone who doesn't. Even close friends or family will not be able to recognize the creature, and will have a hard time believing that this creature is their loved one.
- Ambush your prey, pick off the lonely and vulnerable
- Or if possessing that creature, pretend to be a friend and stab them in the back
- Avoid pitched battle or where you can be noticed
Zalyakavats are created from the souls of obsessives, violent and deranged creatures. Those who sacrificied everything to be the best, who burnt their bridges and trampled down everything in their path, those who threw away everything and were left amid the desolation of their own actions, a hell of their own making, that is the fate and nature of the Zalyakavats. Zalyakavats all had some goal in their lives that they pursued with unending zeal, dedicating themselves to perfection. To become the one who stood above all others, that was their goal. And this obsession is the one thing that persisted, after everything was lost, even their lives, the obsession remains. And despite all the problems it caused, Zalyakats continue pushing forward, driving toward the unseen horizon, regardless of the cost.
Zalyakavats have a goal that they pursue unerringly. Nothing else matters to them, but depending on that goal, their methods will need to change. A Zalyakavat obsessed with martial perfection will train and spend his time searching for opponents stronger than he is to fight, but a Zalyakavat who is obsessed with revenge will stalk his targets, recording every detail of their activity, habits and tendencies. It all varies, the only thing that doesn't is their obsession and the white-hot purpose that fuels them.
Zalyakavats are ugly, green-skinned creatures with frail-looking forms, starved to the point of emaciation. They tremble slightly when they stand still, whether from cold, nervousness or fear or wild mania barely suppressed is a topic of wild speculation. Unlike all other Rakshasha, who have a great love for finery and opulence, they clad themselves in humble garments or rags unless it is necessary to wear something else.
All Zalyakavats are obsessed with something, a goal that they move towards in an unbending pursuit...
This goal is...
1- The mastery of a form of combat. A martial art, fighting style or use of one particular weapon.
2- The destruction of the enemies the Zalyakavat had made while alive.
3- Achieving an ideological goal that the Zalyakavat had while alive.
4- The completion of some personal ambition that went woefully unfulfilled while alive.
Master of War: Zalyakavats are all Masters of one particular martial school (as a Fighting Man), whether a Fist or Weapon art varies depending on the Zalyakavat. The Referee can determine this, or roll randomly as he prefers.
Zealous: Zalyakavats are immune to all Fear and Charm effects. They cannot be influenced or controlled through magic or any ability, especially if that ability would have them not continue on their obsessive path. They will retreat if it means victory later, but if victory is possible here and now, they will push forward regardless of the potential losses.
Indomitable Body: Zalyakavats have a 2-in-6 chance of regenerating 1 SHP per round on their turn. If the Zalyakavat spends his action concentrating, this chance increases to 4-in-6. Creatures can attempt to disrupt the Zalyakavat's recovery by attacking or trying to distract it, which forces a save. On a failed save, the Zalyakavat cannot recover any SHP that round.
Mark of the Obsessed: A Zalyakavat can, by touching a creature, place a mark on it's body. The Zalyakavat can then select a tendency or Conviction the creature has. The selected tendency or Conviction becomes the creature's main focus, an obsession that consumes and replaces all other thoughts. If faced with the choice between doing something else and pursuing their obsession, the marked creature must successfully save or pursue their obsession. This mark can be removed by isolating the marked creature from the source of their obsession for as long as it takes for the Conviction to dull or be erased.