-Tarrenta Willet, rilkan bard
Rilkans are rakish entrepreneurs and daredevils of fortune. They believe in drinking deep from the cup of life. Like skarns, they are descended from the enigmatic mishtai, displaying their heritage in the bands of semirepilian scales that grace rilkan forarms and necks. For the rilkans, the skarn and mistai goal of "perfection of form"" is a false idol. They believe that perfection is to be found in the journey, not the destination, and they seek to relish every moment that they are alive. According to the skarns, it was this heterodoxy that thwarted the mistai's efforts toward perfection, and the skarns that have resented the rilkans for it ever since. In keeping with their reverence for gold and song, rilkans count numerous bards, merchants, and rogues among their number.
Rilkan Racial TraitsEdit
Rilkans can pass for humans if they cover their pebbly corundum-hard scales. These scales range in color from turquoise to sapphire to ruby. In males, the scales are a single solid color; in females, they are patterned and polychromatic. Rilkan men are dashing and handsome, while rilkan women dress to accentuate their femininity.
- +2 Deterity, -2 Strength: Rilkans are naturally lithe and graceful but also physically weak.
- Medium: As Medium creatures, rilkans have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Rilkan base land speed is 30 feet.
- Humanoid (Reptilian): Rilkans are humanoids with the reptilian subtype.
- Racial Knowledge: The rilkan race is linked through the power of incarnum to the accumulated knowledge of their entire people. This manifests in two ways. First, all knowledge checks are treated as trained skill checks for rilkans regardless whether they actuallly have ranks in the skill. Even without formal instruction, a riklan naturally absorbs learning from the accumulated knowledge of her people. Second, rilkans gain a competence bonus on all knowledge checks and bardic knowledge checks. This bonus is +1 but increases by an additional +1 for every two soulmelds currently shaped by the rilkan, since each soulmeld contains a small portion of the collected souls of the rilkan race.
- +2 racial bonus on Bluff and Diplomacy checks: Rilkans are talented at saying the right word at the right time.
- Racial Aid: Because of the incarnum bond that knits together all rilkans, at any time that rilkan succeeds in using the aid another action to assist another riklan she adds +3 to the ally's roll, rather than +2
- Automatic Language: Common. Bonus Languages: Any (other than secret languages such as Druidic). Rilkans enjoy learning a wide range of languages, as befits their nature.
- Favored Class: Incarnate
Rilkans happily integrate into most other societies. Gregarious by nature, rilkans do not form isolated, all-rikan enclaves. Their adventurous spirits often lead them to travel, but they are equally likely to settle down in a community that strikes them as especially charming.
Rilkans tend toward the chaotic, since they have a strong individualistic streak. Chaotic neutral is the most likely alignment for any given rilkan.
Rilkan lands are beautiful. Whether they choose ragged escarpments high in snowbound mountains, a tropical bay, or a glittering city with marvels of artifice on every corner, rilkans believe in the value of the moment. None ever suffer themselves to live in an enviornment they do not cherish.
Rilkans are content to live in the settlements of other creatures. They enjoy elven tree villages, human cities and even dwarven delves. Halfling burrow communities refer to the enlarged rooms in their taverns and town halls as "rilkan rooms." As a result of their natural talets for diplomacy and peacemaking, rilkans rise to places of prominence in whatever society they choose. In settlements where rilkans are the majority, other races are welcomed with open arms. This extends even to bugbears, orcs, gnolls, and other "monstrous" races, as long as they keep the peace. In one famous rilkan city, the head of the sewer workers guild is an intelligent gelatinous cube.
Rilkan culture venerates merchants and bards. The rilkan knowledge pool awakens them to a sense of history that few other cultures share, and bardic takes of the heroes of yore fascinate them. Rilkans also believe in the power of trade as a means to enjoying the best that life has to offer. A common rilkan saying is, "Gold is the root of all good." In rilkan-majority communities, the most powerful organizations include trading guilds, adventuring companies, and bardic colleges. Rilkan governments which limit their activities to little other than the courts and the city watch take a distant fourth place.
The rilkan ethos teaches members of the race to seek out and experience the best that life has to offer. It does not embrace utter hedonism, instead placing emphasis on heroic strugle, grand passion, and epic strife. Religion plays a major part in rilkan society. Deities of wealth, beauty, and love arre populare among rilkans--in the core pantheon they favor Olidammara above all others. In contrast to the stories of other races, the heroes of rilkan epics are also traders, usurers, and oligarchs who generated great wealth for themselves, their families, and their employees. It is rare to find a villainous merchant in the rilkan art.
While skarns look down on rilkans as second place finishers, at best, in the race to the mishtai's goal of "perfection of form," riklans shake their heads and wonder why the skarns are skill running that race. Riklans harbor ill will toward the skarns because, according to legend, the skarns once formed half of a racial link similar to the Knowledge Pool (this one supposendly consisted of war and combat skills). Rilkans blame the skarns for sundering this irreplaceable link after the skarns grew dissatisfied with the rilkan's progress toward "perfection." With races other than their fellow mishtai descendants, rilkans get along famously.
Rilkans want to gamble at a tavern, head a guild, and gallop off to adventure for the sake of true love. Bard, rogue, and ranger are excellent class choices because their high skill points complement rilkan racial bonuses. Rilkans also take enthusiastically to the incarnate and soulborn meldshaping classes.
More than perhaps any other culture, rilkans believe in the fundamental drama of life. Everyday should have meaning, every night should bring passion. The path of the adventurer is replete with drama and thus highly respected in rilkan society. Unlike in other societies where a mother might scold her child for dreaming of swordplay, a rilkan family might activaly seek out a noted duelist to tutor the young lad.
In an adventuring party, rilkans take the roles of leaders and spokespeople. Thanks to the racial aid ability, rilkans form particularly effective adventuring parties if there are two or more of their race present. Wise wilkans take care to observe fragile psyches in their company, more than one successful band of adventurers has broken up over jealousies, unrequited feelings or broken hearts, all of which sometimes follow a dashing rilkan.
In addition to spell and sword, rilkans believe in the adventure of trade. Tense negotiations for land rights in a bulette-infested valley, the intrigue of contracts and forgeries, selling arms to the svirfneblin and delivering them past the drow's blockade: all these (and the pile of gold glistening at the end of every good deal) are the reason rilkans approach business with the same passion, joy and intensity that some reserve for religion or war.
Rilkans use feats and skills to take advantage of their Dexterity and racial skill bonuses. With their high Dexterity, they should be able to function without heavy armor. Charisma boosts every fourth level can help a rilkan act as a natural "mouth" or "face" for the party. The Leadership feat also allows a rilkan to take advantage of high charisma. With a cohort and recruits it also gives her a head start on founding the guild or business that is the true mark of a successful rilkan.
Rilkan names are varied, rilkan parents living in elf, dwarf, or human communities often adopt the naming conventions of their hosts. Equally often, because rilkans have a strong individualistic streak, rilkan parents attempt to find names that are not duplicated anywhere.
Male Names: Aldwyn, Dallyster, Gorashedd, Hashlok, Mentriphiste, Merrik, Orl, Toskeyp, Tristan, Vao-rinh, Westlay
Female Names: Alicine, Amaranthe, Bansebre, Cestrane, Karazele, Malisharme, Tarrenta, Tavneris, Tika, Tula, Ysati, Zaka.
Family Names: Arbuthian, Cerventa, Corundar, Gloranver, Harkedde, Klane, Lycriskan, Orbrandir, Shimboris, Themisint, Willet, Wotte.
Roleplaying a RilkanEdit
When roleplaying rilkans, remember that they wish to eperience all that life has to offer. If someone offers a drink and there is no reason to suspect it is poison, drink; if a stranger is traveling the road at night, invite him to sit at the campire and share his story. Rilkans pride themselves on their style and individuality. Whatever they are doing, they make sure to look good doing it. As always, remember that culture is a choice, not an automatic function of race; there are rilkans who choose to be as dour as dwarves, and dwarves who adopt the "live life to its fullest" approach of the rilkans.
Rilkans are calculated risk takers. They adore emotion, and they find something heroic in both transports of joy and descents of misery. The rilkans are consummate seducers and seductresses. They enjoy business and creating wealth. Both for the satisfaction of accomplishment and the style and pleasures that those riches aford them.
Roleplayng Application: If the party is facing a risky situation and there is a reasonable chance of survival, and you should be the first to volunteer. You believe in being a Hero with a capital H, and heroes don't wait for a cohort to try the robe bridge first. When you meet someone who you find attractive, make sure that he or she knows you are eligible (or, if you are spoken for, be flattering but honest). You should have "lines" prepared to use when approaching potential paramours. Above all, develop your own personal sense of style. Perhaps you always end a fight by dropping the plume from your hat onto your fallen opponent, or perhaps you are known for sinking a gold piece in every hundredth bottle of ale at the tavern you own.
Rilkans are at ease almost wherever they go. The only haunts likely to spook a rilkan are cemeteries or places with a large undead presence, the utter lack of hope in such places is anathema to them.
Roleplaying Application: In cities, pay keen attention to the business climate. Never miss an opportunity to invest in a sure thing. Use your travels as an adventurer to learn where goods are in supply and where they are in demand. In combat, name your maneuvers, issue witty soliloquies, and add a swashbuckling flair to every strike.
Rilkans love to talk. In a culture of bards, rogues, and traders, language is a specialty. Rilkan poetry is exquisite, and even nonbards memorize a number of their favorite passages. Rilkans delight in attaching belittling epithets to their nemeses and promulgating the use of these epithets across the land.
Roleplaying Application: When you encounter a recurring villain, make sure you have an insulting nickname ready for him. Spread that nickname far and wide in the courts, trading houses, and taverns of the region, so that your enemy hears laughter whenever he introduces himself.