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History of Rakasta

by Marco Dalmonte

Before starting with the chronology however, you have to bear in mind the evolution of the rakasta breeds, so here we go:

1. Simbasta *
1.1 Mountain Rakasta (only in Brun)*
1.2 Lynxmen
1.3 Caracasta *
1.4 Servasta

1. Sherkasta
1-2.1 Pardasta (interbreeding of Jakar and Sherkasta)*
1-2.1.1 Cloud Pardasta
1-1-2.1.1 Snow Pardasta (interbreeding of Pardasta and Sherkasta; only in the north)
2. Jakar
2.1 Jakarundi
2.2 Ocelasta

Fast-runner: interbreeding of Pardasta and Servasta that originates in Davania; many of them later moved westwards with Minaeans around BC 100 (some settled on the Isle of Dawn, others in Skothar)

* in Brun the mixed breeding of Pardasta, Mountain Rakasta and Simbasta created the Domestic Rakasta breeds (ca. 1800 BC)

That said, this is the history we have devised to explain the different existing breeds of Rakasta and their diffusion on Mystara surface (and on Patera).
Bear in mind that ALL DATES here ARE totally HYPOTHETICAL (barring those regarding the Savage Coast and Yazak Steppes).

BC 4800: Kum-rah (Cave Rakasta) and Ba-steh (Rakastodon Fatalis) become the first rakasta created by Ka. After Kum-rah's final death, Ba-steh undertakes the path towards immortality leaving her own house and "whelps" .

BC 4600: Ba-steh becomes immortal and abandons the Multiverse in order to explore other dimensions, settling in the Dimension of Myth and introducing herself to Egyptian-like people under the name of Bast. Ka creates new rakasta from great cats based on the brood of Ba-steh and Kum-rah, and he lets them thrive in two regions of Mystara: Skothar (Rakastodon Fatalis) and Davania (Cave Rakasta).

BC 3800: Cave Rakasta and Rakastodon Fatalis are nearly extinguished as theirs descendants have evolved into rakasta who are less powerful but have more advanced mental abilities. Ka transports some of the last samples of the two breeds in the Hollow World to preserve them, continuing to oversee the new rakasta of the outer world.
From the Cave rakasta derive the powerful Simbasta, which dominate the eastern region of Davania.
From the Rakastodon Fatalis derive the Sherkasta (which dwell in the southern forests of Skothar) and the Jakar (which dwell near the sherkasta and along the eastern Skotharian coasts).

BC 3700: Simbasta spread up to the Aryptian Forest (pre-GRoF) and the Meghala Kimata (central Davania).
Discovered by the ever-expanding Blackmoorian Empire, the Skotharian rakasta react differently. The proud Sherkasta isolate even more, refusing whichever contact with the humans and becoming aggressive. The Jakar (and later the Pardasta) instead have more frequent exchanges, remaining however to the fringes of the Blackmoorian Empire.

BC 3600: Simbasta reach and spread across the Addakian Wastes (western Davania).
In Skothar, Sherkasta and Jakar who breed together create the new Pardasta subrace.

BC 3500: The simbasta begin to drive away from the territory the weaker and less competitive members to preserve the strength of their clans; the first tribes of simbasta pariah are formed. Some of these are forced to migrate southwards (ancestors of the South Pole Lynxmen), crossing southern Davanian mountains to avoid clashing with the stronger male simbasta. These simbasta clash with the southern elves of Evergrun and become nomadic to avoid their enemies.

BC 3400: As a result of strong Blackmoorian pressures, various pardasta tribes decide to migrate westwards.
In the course of the following two centuries they will create permanent takeovers in Bellissaria (Cloud Pardasta), Alphatia, Isle of Dawn and Brun, reaching the north-eastern coasts of Davania.
A group of Sherkasta sages worshippers of Ssu-ma reveals to their own communities the secrets of writing and through Ssu-ma's direction they also start to communicate with pachydermions who dwell on the moon (Patera) through scrolls of communication and similar divination magics, believing them to be heralds of Ssu-ma.

BC 3300: The simbasta reach the northern parts of Brun travelling through the landmasses that connect Davania with the proto-isle of Dawn and Norwold (which will later be submerged after the GRoF). Here they spread on the fringes of the Blackmoorian colonies, often mistook for beastmen and hunted down, forced to escape northwards and westwards.

BC 3200: Following Ssu-ma's visions, Skotharian sherkasta and pachydermions from Kompor-Thap build a magical gate that links both worlds and start to pay each other visits and exchange knowledge, keeping this secret to the nearby human communities.

BC 3000: The Great Rain of Fire obliterates the Blackmoorian civilisation and shifts the planetary axis wreaking havoc and destruction all around the world.
The Jakars take their own ships and they escape eastwards in order to avoid earthquakes and the toxic clouds that pour out from the near Blackmoorian borders, founding colonies in the Arm of the Immortals.
Other rakasta that live too close to the Blackmoorian Empire succumb to the disaster, while groups of sherkasta seek shelter on the higher mountains in order to escape to the plagues and the deadly radiations, becoming the Tagh group (sherkasta of the north).
The simbasta of the southernmost regions of Davania and northernmost regions of Brun, having to adapt themselves to the new glacial climate, evolve in the Lynxmen breed.
In Skothar, tribes of pardasta and sherkasta now find themselves living in the Arctic polar zone and they band together in order to survive, becoming the Snow Pardasta in the following century.
Also in Skothar, when the unexpected GRoF strikes the sherkasta sages gather more people they can and transport their faithful followers on Patera (in Kompor-Thap) using the gate, before it is destroyed by the disaster.
In the newly-formed islands of Ochalea and isle of Dawn clans of simbasta and pardasta remain isolated after the seas arise, and the same fate befalls the pardasta living in Bellissaria and Alphatia, and the simbasta of Cestia.

BC 2900: On Patera, the pacific leadership of the wise sherkasta followers of Ssu-ma is questioned by the more warlike factions of the young sherkasta who do not remember the Great Rain of Fire. After a while the wilder sherkasta rebel to their leaders and to the pacific lifestyle preached by the followers of Ssu-ma (both sherkasta and pachydermion), and migrate with other adventuresome groups of sherkasta and pardasta outside the borders of Kompor-Thap, founding cultures inspired to that of their ancestors -the sherkasta Harimau-Belang who survive in the Skothar. These outcasts found in the following decades the nations of Surabayang (Malaysia), Malacayog (Indonesia) and Selimpore (Singapore).
The group of more peaceful sherkasta instead continues to live close to the pachydermions of Kompor-Thap (Burma) creating a culture based on mysticism and founding the nation of Rajahstan (similar to Buddhist India).

BC 2800: The sherkasta of Rajahstan try to contact other survivors on Mystara, and discover that some of them are still alive. They start to interact with the Tagh and to influence their culture (making it a Tibetan civilisation), but they leave the Harimau-Belang to their destiny after they prove to be wild and treacherous as much as the outcasts who rebelled against the laws of Ssu-ma on Patera.

BC 2700: The Brunian simbasta have by now evolved becoming the breed of Mountain Rakasta. They live mostly in the wilderness, far from the human settlements. The pardasta of Brun instead continue to move in order to find suitable places to settle down, sometimes mixing with tribes of mountain rakasta, other times instead living close to human settlements.

BC 2600: Some tribes of simbasta pariahs are driven in the more barren steppes of eastern Davania, where they are subjugated by the will of strongest simbasta, becoming predators of small game and subterranean rodents in order not to compete with the other simbasta. Over the course of the following centuries they will become the first Servasta.

BC 2400: The rakasta of Brun settle in the northern Steppes of Yazak (mostly pardasta with some mountain rakasta) and form a civilisation on the base of the predominant oriental culture of the pardasta. This civilisation develops around the city state of Plaktur.[non-canon]

BC 2300: Tribes of Pardasta in Davania mix with more humble servasta to resist the overwhelming pressure of the Simbasta.

BC 2100: Fast-runner breed is created from Servasta and Pardasta interbreeding of the last two centuries.

BC 1999: Lupins escaping from Taymor arrive in Ochalea and they must compete with the Ogre-magi and several groups of nomadic pardasta to settle. Many of them are immediately enslaved by the Ogre-magi (Ochalean houndlings and chow-chow), while others remain more or less free and work as mercenaries (shar-pei) or ally and find shelter among the foo-dogs (Ochalean crested). The conflict among the three groups will weaken them all.

BC 1800: In Brun the constant interbreeding between mountain rakasta, pardasta and the last simbasta specimen create a smaller breed of rakasta with the most diverse features, forming the so-called Domestic rakasta or Mongrels. They share a common smaller shape, variable somatic traits and fur colours, and a definite imprinting for sedentary life and cooperation with other "humanoid" (not goblinoid) cultures.

BC 1700: The massive invasion of hordes of goblinoids destroys the Plaktur civilisation and forces the rakasta to escape southwards. Some groups of powerful sorcerers and nobles instead use a collective spell in order to escape en mass and they are transported on Myoshima, where they lay the basis for the foundation of a rakastan empire.
The survivors on Mystara return to a nomadic existence, and they will be forced to move southwards until they will finally settle in Bellayne in the VII century BC.
In Ochalea, rakasta and lupins under the leadership of the foo-dogs form an alliance after a couple of centuries of competition and exploiting the sudden seismic activity and volcanic eruptions in the north which throw the Ogre-magi civilisation off-guard, they succeed in defeating the ogre-magi and to put an end to their tyranny. In the centuries that follow they form the base of the Ochalean culture.

BC 1600: Groups of simbasta pariahs living in the Meghala Kimata savannah have evolved in the last centuries becoming the Caracasta, competing with Davanian pardasta and simbasta for territory and food.

BC 1300: The Great Horde of Wogar marches from the Cradle through the Steppes of Yazak, heading westwards as a result of the visions of Wogar's shaman. On their path they destroy various settlements among which also those of the rakasta and elves, and they force several tribes to the move west- and southwards. In the Savage Coast, the goblinoid horde nearly annihilates the eleven and Oltec civilisations. The surviving humans and elves revert to a primitive existence and semi-nomadism.

BC 1200: Various families of Jakar that live in the heart of the Brunian rainforests change over the course of the centuries, assuming a distinctive black fur. The first clans of Jakarundi spread in the Arm of the Immortals, learning the secrets of arcane magic from the last Oltec wizards living there.

BC 997: Traldars fleeing Brun after the gnollish invasion arrive in Davania and found Milenia. After a few decades, the city becomes a thriving kingdom and later expands its borders by creating new settlements.

BC 900: Caracasta ally with the newborn Milenian Empire and are enlisted as scouts and first line footmen in the Milenian Army, learning to use bows and thus earning the disdain and hatred of the more traditional simbasta.

BC 700: During the Milenian expansion towards east, the Kerendan, Thyatian and Hattian tribes are put under great pressure.
Thanks to the mediation of the caracasta, groups of fast-runner form an alliance with the Milenians in order to drive away the resistant tribes or to submit them. The fast-runners hope they will be authorised by the Milenians to settle the conquered lands, to escape the pressure of the simbasta and the servasta.

BC 600: Alphatian commoners (those without magic) and clerics settle in Ochalea among the scattered communities of lupins and rakasta [You can have the Alphatians help the rakasta and lupins get rid of the Ogre-magi NOW, so they are more welcomed by these races.. as a matter of fact, it is better to have it like this ;)]. They carry with them the words of new and various immortals, influencing the Ochalese mysticism while they progressively adopt the Ochalean customs over the course of the following centuries, creating a peaceful society where all three races coexist.

BC 400: Several tribes of Jakar of the Arm of the Immortals are touched by the words of Atzanteotl, who tempts and taints some with his teachings. Others however, after the initial conversion later abandon and reject him completely, having understood his wicked ways. These tribes are then cursed by Atzanteotl and are driven away from their territories by the clans faithful to Atzanteotl, settling in the southern part of the Arm of the Immortals and becoming the Ocelasta.

BC 200: Various ocelasta, looking for a cure for their curse, move to north-western Davania sailing across the sea.

BC 100: The decadent Milenian Empire collapses under the pressure of the clans of simbasta and the southern Varellyan Empire. The caracasta try escape the repression of the simbasta moving to the north-west next to the coast, while various clans of fast-runners join the expedition of the city of Minaea towards east in order to leave Davania. During the voyage, the Minaeans stop in the Isle of Dawn, where they are however rejected by the Thothians, but a group of fast-runners decides however to disembark, not liking to risk further on the sea, and settle in Thothian plains.

BC 98: The Minaeans reach the southern Bellissarian coasts, but they are not welcome by the Alphatian settlers. After some other fast-runners leave their ships, they resume their voyage.

BC 97: The Minaeans finally settle and found their colonies on the westernmost coast of Skothar, now called Minaean Coast. The Fast-runners move in the nearby steppes of Jen.

AC 100: The humans move in the areas that later will become Eusdria and Robrenn; some elves and dwarves form an alliance with these humans. Lupins and rakasta build permanent settlements along the Savage Coast, in the lands that then will become Renardy and Bellayne.

AC 550: In the area of Bellayne, the strong influence of the Lawful Brotherhood (originally a religious order of the North) and the protection it offers against the goblinoids of steppes convinces many rakasta to join this order, learning its faith, customs and language. Many human members of the LB arrive in Bellayne and influence the evolution of the rakasta, causing a separation between the civilised rakasta and that nomadic ones.

AC 800: The Hulean colonies in Davania are destroyed by the surviving Milenian city-states and the simbasta, and the survivors sail back to Hule taking along most of the caracasta who had allied with them.

AC 900: Myoshiman explorers riding flying tigers establish the first contact with the rakasta civilisation of Bellayne and with that of Ochalea, and diplomatic relationships ensue.
Over the course of the century some adventuresome rakasta migrate to Myoshima from Bellayne and Ochalea looking for fame, glory and riches.