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Savage Coast Races: Rakasta

by Trevor Mellis

Known as the "cat people" by neighbouring races, the rakasta are a proud, nomadic race of feline humanoids.

Personality: Rakastas tend to be proud and emotional; the nomads in particular are quick to anger. All are convinced of rakastan superiority over other races. Still, most are extremely interested in the world at large, explore and experience all things for themselves, while for the town-dwellers, it becomes an intense curiosity about visitors and a penchant for puzzles of any type.

Physical Description: A rakasta looks like a furry human with the head of a cat. Its short fur is usually soft and ranges in colour from light tan to dark brown. Many rakastas have a darker hue on the ears and muzzle. Some specimens have white highlights and the ears and muzzle instead or even white or dark patches at the extremities (feet, hands, and tail). Older rakastas show a whitening around the face and ears.

Rakastas have a build similar to that of humans; nomad rakastas tend to be slender, while those who live more sedentary lives tend to weigh more, ranging from slightly chubby to downright obese. The creatures have cat eyes, with vertical pupils. The irises are usually green, but some are yellow or even blue or hazel; a few rare individuals have two colours, most commonly one blue and one green.

Rakastan hands and feet are like those of humans, except for the fur and retractable claws. Rakastas also have non-prehensile tails. Nomads usually have tails between two and four feet long, though a few have no tail at all. The tails of town dwellers range from four to six feet in length; most are covered with short fur. Rakastas are very proud of their tails and spend a great deal of time each day grooming them.

Relations: Rakastas often seem arrogant and defiant while in the presence of the other races. For this reason they are very well respected by isolationist races such as elves and half-orcs, but the more civil and personable races like halflings and humans tend to dislike them.

Alignment: Most rakastas are usually neutral where law and order is concerned, and are indifferent about the affairs of good and evil as well (this is especially common among the nomadic rakastas). Town-dwellers fit equally well into all alignments, favouring Chaos over Law and favouring Neutral over Good and Evil. Truly the most arrogant of races, the rakastas rarely favour anything more or less important than themselves.

Rakastan Lands: These feline humanoids seem to have originated in the Yazak Steppes. While Rakastas are found in steppes, savannas, and plains throughout the world, they are most common on the Savage Coast, where they have adopted a feudal style of government mixed with their ancient nomadic ways, warrior traditions, and mystical predilection. They are the dominant race of the nation of Bellayne.

Religion: The favoured deity among the rakastan people is Fellpurr the Great. Fellpurr is a patron of art, war, and travel.

Language: The main language of the rakasta is Rakastan, which has both ancient rakastan and Traladaran roots. In some ways it sounds like the common tongue, but it is different enough that the similarities are more confusing than helpful. However, common is spoken by town-dwelling rakastas.

Names: Rakastas generally have only one name, especially among the nomadic rakastas. Town-dwelling rakastas have been known to adopt a clan name along with their "first name," to draw distinction.

Rakasta Racial Traits